Iskandar Jalil is something of a purist. Don’t refer to the master potter as an artist; he is first and foremost a craftsman who believes his ceramic creations should be, above all, functional. “I’m only interested in pottery. A lot of ceramic artists actually they can’t do pottery,” he muses with justifiable pride in his work.
Visitors attending the exhibition “Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat” (Clay Travels), opening on September 1 at the National Gallery of Singapore, will however recognize the artistry in his functional objects. The major retrospective, the first broad survey of his practice over 50 years (from the 1960s onwards), presents 180 creations that showcase his mastery of colors and beauty of form with just the right dose of whimsical detailing to keep you intrigued.