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Iskandar Jalil, Life in a Cloud
Photograph: Sean LeeIskandar Jalil

6 ceramic artists in Singapore you should know

From a Cultural Medallion recipient to young emerging artists, these are the ceramic artists you should know in Singapore

Dewi Nurjuwita
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Dewi Nurjuwita
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Pottery – or ceramics art – is one of the most ancient art forms in the world. But it has been regaining popularity over the last few years, especially in major cities like Singapore. This Singapore Art Week, art lovers are treated to the inaugural edition of Singapore Ceramics Now, one of the largest surveys of local ceramics art since the 90s. But are you familiar with Singapore's local ceramists? From a Cultural Medallion recipient or to young emerging artists, these are the ceramic artists you should know in Singapore. 

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Iskandar Jalil
Photograph: Sean Lee

Iskandar Jalil

One can go on and on about Iskandar Jalil. At 81, the legendary master potter is still going strong. The Cultural Medallion recipient's works are inspired by Japanese and Islamic styles that are used to reflect his beginnings as a ceramist and Singapore-Malay identity.

Iskandar Jalil's works are highly sought after by private collectors and foreign dignitaries around the world. His signature style includes tactile rich surfaces, the use of twigs as embellishments, the presence of Southeast Asian motifs and Jawi calligraphy, and a signature blue glaze known as "Iskandar Blue". 

Jason Lim
Photograph: Jason Lim

Jason Lim

Jason Lim is regarded by many as "Singapore's next master ceramist". His repertoire of works encompasses ceramics, photography, video art, installation and performance. Lim has exhibited all over the world, even representing Singapore in the 2007 Venice Biennale with his work Just Dharma, a chandelier of 1,500 porcelain lotuses. 

For Singapore Art Week 2021, the artist is currently working with a diverse group of contemporary artists for the inaugural edition of Singapore Ceramics Now, one of the largest surveys of ceramics art in local history since the 90s. 

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Daisy Toh
Photograph: Daisy Toh

Daisy Toh

Emerging ceramist Daisy Toh was recently a recipient at last year's Young Talent Programme – so you're bound to see more of her. Her style merges serene gradient hues with fluidity to mimic the beauty of ocean waves and warm-hued sunsets. 

The ceramist has been perfecting her craft for ten years and counting. She started at 16 after learning the craft at the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) and went on to master the art of slip casting in university in Taiwan. Now, Daisy is also a full-time teacher at The Potters Guilt. You can see her works at Singapore Ceramics Now 2021. 

Madhvi Subrahmanian
Photo: Madhvi Subrahmanian Studio / Facebook

Madhvi Subrahmanian

Mumbai-born artist and curator Madhvi Subrahmanian is another prominent name in Singapore's art scene. Her works break away from the traditional notion of ceramics and instead, are informed by her migratory life and set in large scale, immersive installations. Madhvi's work can be found in various public and private collections, including the Mumbai Airport Authority in India,  Lohia Foundation in Indonesia, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan and Singapore's own East Coast Park. 

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Shayne Phua
Photograph: Jonathan Lum

Shayne Phua

Local sculptor and ceramist Shayne Phua is another name to look out for. The young artist recently had her debut solo exhibition Sehnsuhcht at Coda Culture, inspired by the symbolic nature of antique wooden moulds and brass stampings. Her works have also been exhibited in Chan + Hori Contemporary, Gajah Gallery and Your MOTHER Gallery.

Shayne's colourful, unique pieces reimagine the functionality of banal objects, studies on the peace in Chinese culture and mythology, and enquire into the lullabies and oral traditions from her childhood. 

Zestro
Photograph: Time Out Singapore / Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Zestro

Co-founder of Common Touch Craft Unit and ceramic artist Zestro Leow aims to share his passion for the craft with the world. His stunning pieces are influenced by Shinto shrines in Japan, reimagined in the form of spacecraft escaping from the mundane. Zestro has most recently exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair in 2019, where he was a finalist of the Young Talent Programme. 

 

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