FEATURING NOOR ISKANDAR
ALL NOOR ISKANDAR asks from his audience is to grasp the “frailty of existence, spirituality and self-hood” - the aspects that we as people ought to be responsible for. Noor is an artist, photographer and poet. He dreams of growing a garden full of black roses. Too bad that doesn't exist naturally.
Despite apparent images of shadows and darkness connoted along with his artwork, Noor Iskandar believes that darkness is not always morbid. While jokingly adding that one should not be racist against the rampant amount of black used in his artworks, Noor chooses to reveal the beauty of shadows and darkness. One reason Noor provided was that “life is not all merriment and jolly, darkness gives us power to drive it out with light.”
Noor carefully weighs the amount of light and darkness pictured in his works. This is simply because one always requires the correct amount of visibility. “Too much light will blind you, too little, in turn, will haunt you.”
Darkness is a necessary state that let you be kings. They allow you to hide and reveal.
Accentuating silhouettes allows Noor to draw one’s awareness to Islamic issues and the Muslim identity. The hijab is a hot topic as of late. To address this, Noor’s poetry and works highlights how one is “visible and yet, invisible” when wearing a hijab.
The hijab, as Noor describes, allows one to become visible with “the trappings and prejudice they face.” In contrast, having been positioned beneath their hijab in “their voice and place”, they have become invisible. Physically, although the hijab allows one to be largely covered across their skin, they become bare and naked when under close scrutiny.
In a larger picture, he points out how the Islamic religion and its stereotypes are reflected in his artworks. People today, as Noor concludes, are often misguided in newly formed realities. Most often, the line between “truths and untruths, beauty and lies” are blurred.
Above the transient surge of emotions and hectic lifestyle, people should learn how to offer “peace and solace that were stolen from the roots and soil of lands across earth.” The travel enthusiast and NTU Art, Design and Media student hopes that through his artworks, people will learn to retreat and analyze topics with “peaceful paradigms and perspectives.”
Shadow is a latching for comfort to our existence;
that the sun is still loyal to us, there is still light spilling unto us,
there is still wall around us, ground underneath,
that we are never quite alone as we are all led to believe.
Highly regarding art as essential to his self-expression, Noor also seeks inspiration from travel. He wish to visit Andalusia in Spain, to Morocco and India. However, he still categorizes the Northern Lights as one of the greatest must-sees.
In numerous unimaginable ways, Noor affirms that his explorations to different countries made him whole again. “People lose sight when they lose hope but thing is, the world is ready for them anytime.”
Taking a breather from his aspirations and travelling plans, Noor is currently completing his final-year project entitled Noor. This work, as he explains, deals with the quagmire bedding his identity as a Muslim in Singapore. Noor offers “for solace in the intimation of oneself within a space.”