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1.6 The Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation Award Ceremony for Mr.Iskandar Jalil

On the 29th of August, Master Ceramist Mr Iskandar Jalil received the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award for his contribution to the promotion of Japanese Culture in Singapore. The award ceremony and reception was held at the Ambassador’s residence. The ceremony commenced with a speech made by H.E Haruhisa Takeuchi followed by the presentation of the award and Mr Iskandar’s acceptance speech.

Mr Iskandar was a recipient of the Colombo Plan scholarship in 1972 and thereafter began studying ceramic engineering in Japan. It was in Japan that he was introduced to the fine art of pottery and encountered Japanese potter, Mr Hamada Shoiji who had a significant influence on pottery of the twentieth century. Mr Hamada Shoji left a deep impression on Mr Iskandar. The love, appreciation and respect that Mr Iskandar has for the fine arts inspired many a student that has come into contact with him.

Over the years, Mr Iskandar has led groups of students to Japan, visiting various potteries to introduce younger generation of artists to the Japanese art and culture. Mr Iskandar himself mentioned that he makes frequent trips to Japan, about once a year, to visit the places where he studied and honed his skills as a master potter. Mr Iskandar has also taken up to two hundred of his disciples on trips to various parts of Japan, educating them on Japanese culture whilst further cultivating their interest in Ceramic Art. This shows Mr Iskandar’s tireless efforts and his dedication to sharing Japanese culture with those he meets.

Mr Iskandar’s tremendous achievements have led to him being awarded the Cultural Medallion in the year 1984. He is also prominent figure in Singapore’s Art Scene and is also known for his immense contribution to the relationship between Singapore and Japan by promoting Japanese culture in Singapore through his endeavours.


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