Singapore, 29 August 2016 – Cultural Medallion recipient Iskandar Jalil’s artworks is on display at the National Gallery Singapore in its latest exhibition, Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels). The exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Iskandar Jalil’s career from the 1960s to the present, featuring close to 180 ceramic pieces by the Master Potter.
Kembara is a Malay term for “travelling” which conveys notions of exploration and discovery. Tanah liat means “clay”, referring to Iskandar’s life-long dialogue with the materiality of the medium. Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels) showcases artworks inspired by Iskandar Jalil’s artistic journey through his travels and his role as a teacher.
“I advise my students to travel extensively but always tell them – do not explore like a tourist. Take the road less travelled and go off the beaten track, stay longer and immerse in different pottery cultures. These interactions will lead you to develop exciting glazes, new forms and bodies of work,” says Iskandar Jalil on being a global craftsman.
The exhibition highlights his deep connection with clay and belief that the material embodies the local identity and culture of the land. It also helps bring to light the importance of ceramics in the modern history of art in the region through its reinvention of materials, pictorial idioms, language, forms and ideas.
“This survey exhibition of Iskandar’s works is part of the Gallery’s ongoing research efforts on key Singaporean artists who have contributed to Singapore art history. Not only did Iskandar constantly push the boundaries of ceramic art, he also contributed immensely to arts education in Singapore as a teacher over the years. We hope that the exhibition will extend the discussion on Singapore and Southeast Asian art beyond our permanent gallery exhibitions, and offer visitors a deeper understanding and appreciation of our important Singapore artists,” said Low Sze Wee, Director of Curatorial, Collections & Education, National Gallery Singapore.
Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels) is curated by National Gallery Singapore’s Senior Curator Seng Yu Jin and Assistant Curator Syed Muhammad Hafiz. The exhibition runs from September 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017 in The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery and Concourse Gallery 2, located at Basement 1 of National Gallery Singapore. Admission to the Concourse Galleries is free. This is an exhibition really worth seeing.