Inspired by Iskandar

March 23rd, 2007   •   8 comments   

Iskandar Jalil’s exhibition “The Pottery Voice of Iskandar Jalil”

Anybody who is a collector of pottery and sculptural pieces would be familiar with the works of Iskandar Jalil, one of Singapore’s Cultural Medallion winners and leading ceramicist. Accolades, awards and acknowledgements abound for this inspiring master potter, touted as one of Singapore’s best leading artist and a great teacher to boot.

Iskandar’s recent exhibition at MICA’s Atrium – Material, Message, Metaphor – The Pottery Voice of Iskandar Jalil – was very well received. In fact, I understand that 40% of his pieces were already sold, at prices ranging from $500 to as high as $8,000.
What makes Iskandar such a great artist?

First he doesn’t take any short cuts. Those who have trained and learned under him can attest to his extreme fussiness over details. The perfectionist streak in him makes every piece that he produces a quality work of art.

Second, he takes great pains to learn and enrich himself over the years. A Colombo Plan scholar, Iskandar is no intellectual lightweight. Over the years, he has enrolled in numerous courses and travelled around the world learning, refining and honing his craft.

Finally, he nurtures and passes his legacy on to the next generation. Many have known him as a great teacher in the fine art and craft of pottery, and he has nurtured many proteges and disciples. A lecturer at the School of Design at Temasek Polytechnic, he is also involved in various academic endeavours at NUS, Nanyang School of Fine Arts, and Baharuddin Vocational Institute.

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  1. tanguy
    posted on Mar 25, 2007 at 10:11 PM

    impressive artwork… usually I am not so keen about crafts, but there, it’s different – I hope I’ll get the opportunity to admire his work live, at least once.

  2. posted on Mar 25, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    I have seen his works at one of the exhibitions organised by Centre for the Arts, NUS, several years ago, and I love his works and art.

    I think other just the his quality of his works, I think somehow people can relate directly to his works in some ways or another.

  3. posted on Mar 26, 2007 at 5:04 AM

    I agree with you brudder Walter, I did remember visiting him at home some years back to check out his works and buy some pottery from him for my org. One word I can sum it up tho…”Passion”.

    But you are right man..this guy doesn’t cut corners and he instills discipline and a no-nonsense attitude to his students. He believes in originality and fails his students if they ever copy any ideas out there. I mean this guy is a master and he sure knows his works and pottery in detail.

    Thanks for the heads up on his exhibition man..when does it end ah?

  4. posted on Mar 26, 2007 at 5:38 AM


    Agree that Iskandar’s works has a certain intimacy which makes them easier to relate to. An interesting series I saw during the exhibition were the ceramic fishes. I think one was satay fish, the other was curry fish and the third was something else.

    He is well known for his technique of colouring clay in different hues and shades, and also forming unique textures. Few can reach his level here in Singapore.

  5. posted on Mar 26, 2007 at 5:40 AM


    Glad that you like it. There is a resurgence of interest in art in Singapore and I am glad to see that people are moving beyond just the bread and butter issues here. Most of his works resonate with the man in the street as they are both aesthetically pleasing and imaginative in creation.

  6. posted on Mar 26, 2007 at 5:44 AM


    I believe the exhibition is still ongoing. One of my former classmates used to be his student and I guess she was so interested in art that it is now a full-time career for her. The exhibition is still ongoing I believe and may last till end of this week? Best to check with the gallery Art-2 which is organising it at 6338 8713.

  7. Anonymous
    posted on Apr 03, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    he used to call me baby elephant!!!

    *sob* *sob*

    ms brown~

  8. dhammi
    posted on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:15 PM

    he is a cool teacher,1983 iam at baharuddin,a dressmaking student,all student name to him is the same(monkey)haha.Nah Peck Hoon

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