Ceramic Expressions (2nd Edition) 2018

18 - 28 August 2018

Japan Creative Centre (JCC)

Japan Creative Centre (JCC), Embassy of Japan, and Mulan Gallery proudly present the second annual edition of Ceramic Expressions, a group exhibition series showcasing new developments in Singapore modern ceramic art. This year’s edition will feature new works by Singapore-based artists Agnes Lim, Aida Binte Khalid, Eddie Yee, Hazel Ng, Hiroko Mita, Suriani Suratman and Tan Gek Lin, accompanied by guest artist and master potter Dr Iskandar Jalil.

Founded to showcase the creativity and versatility of Singapore-based ceramicists, Ceramic Expressions seeks to foster new explorations in ceramic art, firmly placing the development of the artists in their creative journeys front and centre. These featured works include studies in new folds, styles and techniques, each fusing fire and clay, concept and creativity into a potent amalgamation and unique embodiment of a living art.

The works on display at the JCC exhibition will be showcased in the Mulan Gallery from 31 August - 22 September 2018.

About the Artists

Agnes Lim is a practicing ceramics artist at Temasek Potters. Her first encounter with clay was with Dr Iskandar Jalil in 1997 and was cemented when she began apprenticing under the master potter at Temasek Potters Studio in 2011. Since then, Lim has worked predominantly with porcelain. Her approach is greatly influenced by Dr Iskandar’s progressive attitude to pottery-making, which underlines the importance of constantly pushing past the boundaries. A 2016 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale finalist, she has participated in various group exhibitions since 1997.

Aida Binte Khalid first discovered the joys of pottery under the tutelage of Dr Iskandar Jalil in mid-2011. Thus, began her intriguing relationship with clay, which has continued mostly at Temasek Potters Studio to this day. She considers the process of creating each piece as a transformation of clay into an object of visual idioms. No single piece is the same – each is an exploration of form, materiality and texture, a unique work issuing from the mind and heart. The full-time design educator draws deeply from her surrounding context and everyday objects and is inspired by her conversations with the master potter. In 2015, she facilitated the Warisan Kita (Our Heritage) mural workshops at the Malay Heritage Centre and conducted a workshop in conjunction with the Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels) retrospective exhibition at National Gallery Singapore in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the National University of Singapore.

Eddie Yee is a full-time potter who has had an ongoing love affair with clay over the past two decades. A participant of the Nanyang Clay Group Exhibition since 2007, he is inspired by the tactile nature of the medium and the way it speaks to him, as well as by his surroundings and people – what he calls “an imaginary bazaar of sights, sounds, feelings and moods”. His works are typically adorned with glazes that enhance and intensify the varying surfaces and textures. The natural and unpredictable effects of the glazes take on a life of their own as each piece is gas-fired, resulting in running and pooling effects that imbue his works with a characteristic liveliness of spirit and a sense of joy and spontaneity. He has participated in many group exhibitions, with a solo exhibition in 2014.

Hazel Ng was introduced to pottery in 1991. This journey in pottery took a decisive turning point three years later when she began her apprenticeship under master potter Dr Iskandar Jalil. A year later, she was awarded the Third Prize in the Teawares Category in the 1995 Singapore Potters Competition. Hazel has continued to pursue pottery making at Jalan Bahar Clay Studios since 2007. She has been participating in various group exhibitions and pottery residencies abroad. She holds a diploma in Graphic Design and Advertising from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, as well as a professional diploma in Interior Design from Rhodec International.

Hiroko Mita counts herself blessed that she was able to learn the rudiments and techniques of pottery making under the tutelage of renowned potter Dr Iskandar Jalil. Her journey began at Jalan Bahar Clay Studios (JBCS) in 2006 and continued with Dr Iskandar at his Temasek Potters Studio. Her passion and devotion to pottery deepened further when she moved back to JBCS in 2012. Inspired by nature, music and the people around her, Mita’s works reflect the influences of her Japanese culture, her study of fine art and graphic design in Japan and in America, as well as her life in Singapore since 1996. Indeed, the Singapore based ceramicist’s choice of using local clay is her way of conveying respect to the people and the land she has called home for the last two decades. She has been an instructor for ROHEI Corporation’s Artisan series since 2015, as well as a member of the Japanese Ceramic Art Foundation since 2016. Her works have been shown in Japan and Singapore. She has been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Arts Council, National Heritage Board and Duke-NUS Medical School; and jointly participated in a mural project for NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Experimental Medicine Building and other communities.

Suriani Suratman discovered her passion for pottery when she started taking classes in 2001 at the Centre for the Arts at the National University of Singapore under the tutelage of Dr Iskandar Jalil, whom she has continued to study with. She works out of Jalan Bahar Clay Studios and has been holding pottery classes since 2005. Her works have been commissioned by the Singapore International Foundation, National Heritage Board and Patron of Heritage Awards, among others. In addition, she has co-created three public art works in Singapore: Warisan Kita (Our Heritage, 2015) at the Malay Heritage Centre; Apollo’s Dream (2016) at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University; and Flows and Contours (2017) at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore. Her first solo exhibition, Alam, was held in 2013, and she has also participated in multiple group exhibitions in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Tan Gek Lin is a practicing ceramics artist whose attraction to all things handcrafted started when she was a child. Her interest in pottery took root when she attended an evening pottery course while studying in England in 1997. Upon her return to Singapore, she continued her pottery journey by taking lessons from master potter Dr Iskandar Jalil. She has participated in various group exhibitions, with a solo exhibition Show + Tell held in 2013. Her works have been commissioned by the National Heritage Board and Economic Development Board, among others.

Dr Iskandar Jalil is widely known as Singapore’s master potter and leading educator in ceramics art, with an illustrious and immensely influential teaching career spanning over four decades. Armed with two Colombo Plan scholarships, his education includes a course in textile weaving in India in 1966, and studying ceramics engineering in Japan in 1972.

In the ensuing years, Dr Iskandar has garnered an immense reputation as an outstanding ceramicist, with an influential philosophy of pottery and aesthetics centred around the idea of each potter honing their skills and identity organically and concurrently, in a lifelong pursuit of their own ethical pot – a constantly evolving living vessel imbued with one’s consciousness and unique identity, enriched with moral and spiritual dimensions that are informed by and express a sense of place and time. He has been credited with shaping entire generations of pottery collectives through his work at the Malay Heritage Centre and Jalan Bahar Clay Studios and continues to do so at the helm of the Temasek Potters Studio today.

In recognition of his outstanding artistic and cultural achievements, he was conferred the country’s highest cultural award, the Cultural Medallion in 1988, and the Order of the Rising Sun – Gold Rays with Rosette in 2015 by the Japanese Government. A six-month major survey of close to 200 of his works from the 1960s to the present was held at the National Gallery Singapore in 2016, with an honorary doctorate conferred by the Nanyang Technological University that same year.

About the Exhibition

In this edition, Aida Binte Khalid reinterprets functional domestic wares into multiple permutations of visual puns and objects of desire, as Eddie Yee pays tribute to the values and universal aesthetics of folk art objects. Inspired by memories of her family garden, Suriani Suratman’s works invite us to reflect on and connect with nature, as Hiroko Mita presents her own ruminations on family, feelings and nature. Tan Gek Lin’s vessels are a veritable congregation of amiable anthropomorphic forms; Hazel Ng shows that her characteristic whimsy is in fine form amid tangles, twists and pods, whilst Agnes Lim’s porcelain works exemplify quiet studies of difference amid repetition. Situated amongst all these is the steady stewardship of Dr Iskandar’s hand, with his signature richly textured vessels.

Functionality, simplicity, nature, family, memory, tradition, values and aesthetics are some of the central themes foregrounded in these works, with explorations and expressions of the pot not only as receptacles and repositories of history, but living vessels possessing an infinite capacity for storing and sparking individual memories and feelings, and bottomless potential for inspiring endless conversations and meditations.

Exhibition Period

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Japan Creative Centre

4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372
+65 6737 0434 / jcc@sn.mofa.go.jp
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