RAAQUU was started by Adil Ghani in 2020 due to his fall in love with raku 15 years ago.
By DANIAL FUAD
During the 16th century, Japan was in a chaotic state, with civil wars and social upheavals taking place almost continuously. So much so that it was called the Sengoku Period, which means ‘fighting throughout the country.’ It is interesting to see Raku, an art style that focuses on enjoyment or ease being developed during that time.
A student of visual artist Sen no Rikyu named Chojiro created the style. It was first developed as a way to create tea bowls for ceremonies which then expanded to decoration. Since the inception, this style of glazing the ceramics with combustible materials such as sawdust and paper has expanded worldwide. The thrilling excitement of not knowing what you would get from the glazing is what Raku is about. Making each piece one of a kind.
Malaysia also has a fair share of Raku practitioners such as James Seet who trained with Neil Boughton from Australia and Cheah Yeow Seng, who has been practicing ceramic making since 1976! There’s also Adil Ghani, a ceramic artist who fell in love with this technique 15 years ago after he learnt it in Japan.
In 2020, Adil formed RAAQUU as a testament towards his passion for the techniques. Now, the studio finally has their debut solo exhibition at Zhan Art | Space. According to Adil, “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.”
Launched last Jan 13, 2024, the exhibition titled Life: Magnified will be on display until Feb 8, 2024 in the gallery situated at The School in Jaya One. Attended by Communications Minister, YB Fahmi Fadzil alongside Zainariah Johari, the Chief Executive Officer of MyCreative Ventures, the exhibition unveiled 15 large-scale sculptural ceramic pieces. Each of the otherworldly sculptures is conceived from the imagination of Adil, who has proven himself to be one of the country’s most prolific sculptural artists.
“With Life: Magnified, I intended to showcase earthenware sculptures that capture various facets of nature and humanity within shapes inspired by microlife such as diatoms 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 are life-sized?”
Kicking off the year with a grand start, this is Zhan Art | Space maiden ceramic exhibition. The Founder and Curator of the space, Desmond Tong stated, “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.”
At the exhibition, RAAQUU also provided a sneak preview of the brand’s accessory line; promoting 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. The exhibition will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Further updates and information can be found on Zhan Art | Space’s website and Instagram.
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