Mulan Gallery



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Past Exhibitions



Participating Artist: Dr Iskandar Jalil

3 – 30 November 2018 (Japan Creative Centre)

In partnership with Japan Creative Centre (JCC), Embassy of Japan, Mulan Gallery proudly presents Dr Iskandar Jalil: Paradox, a solo exhibition of over 65 works by Dr Iskandar Jalil, recipient of Singapore’s Cultural Medallion and Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun (Gold Rays with Rosette) will be presented at the Japan Creative Centre from 3 November to 30 November 2018.

The exhibition affirms the breadth and richness of the Master Potter’s practice through an extraordinary range of wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramic works. With works produced at the Temasek Potters kiln facility founded by Dr. Iskandar in 2010, this exhibition revisits familiar forms and signature glazes as well as introduces recent ceramic works with sculptural qualities and new dynamic glazes.

The exhibited works are presented through the frameworks of his philosophy (Perfect Flaws), his travels (Beyond Borders) as well as his bonds and kinship with others (Same Difference). Alongside tea-pots and functional vessels are ceramic pieces bearing evocative forms. A special feature of texts by the Master Potter’s daughter Elena Iskandar, throws light on her Iskandar’s philosophy - suggesting that his convictions are not confined to the making of a pot but to a way of life.

Theme and Frameworks

The central theme of paradox relates to how paradoxical elements frequently appear in Iskandar’s practice and philosophy. The paradox refers to an apparent contradiction that appears intriguing, even absurd and perplexing but which challenge us to think and appreciate certain wisdoms.

In much of Iskandar’s works, the Master Potter would emphasize that in his own ceramics aesthetics ‘less is more’, or that there is power in the small or beauty in deformity, and that the test of a master potter lies not in complicated, monumental pieces but in the simplicity of the humble chawan (tea bowl).

The exhibition proposes 3 frameworks that elaborate on this core concept through his philosophy, his travels and his relationships. Perfect Flaw is a contradictory phrase that captures the approach in Iskandar’s practice where he allows certain imperfections or ‘flaws’ to be retained to enable the natural character of the clay and kiln process to come through. Beyond Borders brings to the fore how travel and interactions with other cultures are the impetus for Iskandar’s practice and strengthening his own cultural and aesthetic identity; and Same Difference highlights his bonds and kinships.


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