Ismail Zain was an artist from Kodiang, Kedah, born in 1930. He recieved his education from the Malayan Teacher Training College, Kirby, England, before going to Ravensbourne College of Art, England in 1964, an Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1966.
He was the first local to be appointed as the Director of the National Art Gallery(1972-1975), followed by the Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports (1975-1982), and Director of FINAS from (1982 -1985). Ismail Zain passed away on August, 1991 at the age of 61. In his memory, Petronas Gallery had hosted an exhibition called AlKaseh in 2016.