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Zhan Art | Space Petaling Jaya Unveils the Versatility of Ceramic Artist, Adil Ghani with 15 Extraordinary Sculptural Pieces

LIFE: MAGNIFIED – THE MAIN SHOW takes on a contemporary approach to the ancient Japanese firing technique known as Raku which creates distinctive and unique finishes to each of its ceramic art pieces.

By Culture Editor

Photo: Adil Ghani

RAAQUU, Malaysia’s premiere ceramic art brand helmed by its skilled and innovative ceramic artist, Adil Ghani officially launched his first solo exhibition called LIFE: MAGNIFIED - THE MAIN SHOW at ZHAN Art | Space, Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 13 January. The exhibition is currently running and open to the public until 8 February 2024.

Photo: Adil Ghani explaining the technique of RAAKUU to Group CEO of MyCreative Ventures, Puan Zainariah Johari and YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications

In attendance was YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications who also officially launched the exhibition. It also witnessed the attendance of the who’s who of the Malaysian creative industry and the city’s most discerning arts enthusiasts. Guests were transfixed and transported to another realm as they delved into the display of 15 large-scale sculptural ceramic pieces curated by the gallery. Each of the otherworldly sculptures is conceived from the imagination of Adil Ghani, who has proven himself to be one of the country’s most prolific sculptural artist.

Photo: Adil Ghani (artist) and Desmond Tong (Founder of ZHAN Art | Space) representing a momento to YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications joined by Group CEO of MyCreative Ventures, Puan Zainariah Johari (left)

According to Adil Ghani,“It has been a dream of mine to put together RAAQUU’s first ever solo exhibition that highlights the brand in a more diverse and distinct light – that there is more to the brand than functional ceramic decorative items. With LIFE: MAGNIFIED, I intended to showcase earthenware sculptures that capture various facets of nature and humanity within shapes inspired by microlife such as diatomes and microbial bacterium - zooming in on elements of natural formation and my own thoughtful imagination.

Similar to the unpredictability of Raku’s firing technique, microlife has gone through a series of evolution making it almost impossible for humans to determine its shape. It has been said that mankind knows more about outer space than what goes on under the ocean. It is truly a world within a world, and Adil questions the possibility of, ‘what if these microscopic organisms and life-forms were life-sized?’. It is a reaction to this that roused the idea and narrative behind the exhibition.

He further explains, “The whole process of ideation down to the actual fabrication, construction and production of these large-scale sculptures took me and my team 6 months to meticulously complete. As challenging and arduous as it may be, the experience has provided me with the opportunity to understand the dexterity of the Raku technique better, and its newfound beauty. On a personal level, the journey is literally ‘life magnifying’ and I must thank my family for their encouragement and patience that has motivated me to pursue this vision”.

Desmond Tong, Founder and Curator of ZHAN Art | Space commented that, “We are thrilled to have RAAQUU exhibit with us as this marks our first official sculptural exhibition at the gallery. We believe that Adil’s mastery of Raku’s firing technique for ceramic making is world class, and should be brought to the forefront of the Malaysian art industry. We hope that this exhibition would diminish some of the ill-advised perspective and views with regards to art – that ultimately art comes in many forms including ceramic sculptures”.

Just like RAAQUU’s tagline ‘Painted By Fire’, the sculptural pieces displayed at the exhibition are the unique result of the firing method that is done in an extremely hot kiln and then removed while the sculptural pieces are still red-hot or molten. The pieces are then placed in a reduction chamber filled with sawdust or paper, igniting the combustible material with extreme heat. The reduction chamber is then sealed for a while. In time, what happens inside the reduction chamber is the key to the one-of-a-kind and unpredictable colours of each Raku ceramic pieces displayed at the exhibition, giving them its own individual character and temperament.

At the exhibition, RAAQUU also provided a sneak preview of the brand’s accessory line that promotes wearable art which are displayed among other notable products including the brand’s contemporary and functional home decoration pieces, particularly its ceramic vases, in various shapes and sizes.

All of the sculptural masterpieces created by Adil Ghani, and other RAAQUU ceramic items are available for purchase at ZHAN Art | Space, located at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya at various prices. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

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