Ideology:Helsinki brings to the fore the figurative elements in Dr Iskandar’s works. The figure emerged in his clay works as a response to the poverty and oppression Dr Iskandar had witnessed when on a scholarship to India in 1966. Such figural representations in clay were later exhibited in 1984 at his first solo exhibition at the Alpha Gallery.
Shortly after, Dr Iskandar stopped creating full figures because of family reservations. He was aware of aniconism – an interpretation of the Koran that prohibits figurative images for idolatry and that discourages figuration representations as a whole. Subsequently, Dr Iskandar would depict ‘extracts’ of the human form – limbs, or suggestions of a torso, face or other body parts.
In Helsinki, a human foot appears in mid-air, stepping on sinuous, tubular forms. Cobalt and barium glazes were used to produce his signature ‘Iskandar blue’. He had named this work after Finland’s capital, in tribute to time spent with a Finnish artist who was noted for sculpting legs.
Detail of Work:Year created : 2015
Weight : 4.5kg
Dimension : H 28 x 25 x 25 cm
Technical Info:Wheel thrown and hand sculpted
High-fired at 1300ºC, reduction gas-firing
Material:Stoneware (local clay)
Glaze:Sprayed with manganese oxide, cobalt and copper barium glazes
Seal:1 sakura motif, c.1990s
(at lower tubular section)