Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Illustration from Memory II: Aku & Alam Setiaku 1998 – 2003 Farewell
Illustration from Memory II: Aku & Alam Setiaku 1998 – 2003 Farewell

Ise, as he is best known, worked with different mediums and approaches. He often worked collaboratively, engaging with diverse communities and personal histories and a core group of what he called “Superfriends”. Till Kingdom Come is a visual journey of the many trials and tribulations faced by the artist at an integral time of self-reflection, Illustration from Memory I & II and So Close I & II are tapestries that refer to his early years as an artist. As the artist reconnected with memories, he also confronted the present, documenting the fateful event of the tsunami in December 2004. But typical of Ise, the works are playful, constructed from layers of paper, laden with memorabilia, and despite themes of uncertainty, they also express hope.

Mixed media on paper
43 x 53 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Roslisham Ismail "Ise"
About Roslisham Ismail "Ise"

Roslisham, better known as Ise, was born in 1972 in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. He was interested in social relations, cross-cultural and generational interchanges, class, and geography. His practice encompassed drawing, collage, video, found objects, publications, participative installations, and situations. Ise worked collaboratively and often with networks of what he called ‘Superfriends”, who were based all over the world. He was the founder of Parking Project and co-founder of sentAp!, a bilingual Malaysian quarterly art publication. Ise exhibited widely, including exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur at OUR ArtProjects (2018); ILHAM Gallery (2016); National Visual Arts Gallery (2007); as well as internationally at Residency Unlimited, New York (2016); Archipel Secret, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015), Operation Bangkok, Bangkok University Gallery (2014), Asia Asian Art Biennale (Taiwan, 2013 and 2019); Singapore Biennale (2011); and Sharjah Biennial (2019). Ise passed away on 23 July 2019.

Learning Section


  • There seems to be an intimate, diary-like feel to artworks, as artists often use their own experiences as inspiration for the works they make. In this series of drawings, ISE recounts his experiences becoming an artwork and all the struggles he had to face. His work can be seen as a series of self-portraits amongst visual metaphors of his challenges - self-doubt, negativity, lack of support. Why do you think he portrayed these moments of vulnerability in a childlike manner? Do you think that adopting the visual cues found in children’s drawings makes the artist’s work seem more direct and expressive?


  • Carry a sketchbook or journal with you everywhere for a week. Fill it with sketches of things you see and take notes about things you think about (these can be as philosophical or mundane as you would like!). Try sticking memorabilia (photos, flyers, tickets, etc.) that can help you reflect on what you have done, and what your interests are. Over time, the ideas and notes you store in your journal can provide you with inspiration for future artworks.