Raimi Sani Sonnet 95 (The Misuse) 2017.
Raimi Sani’s solo White Knight is that wonderful “coming out” we always hope to witness from an artist.
Raimi Sani
Raimi Sani A Tale To Tell 2017.
Raimi Sani Light Weight 2017.

SHE is not the first to delve into “sadistic”, “masochistic” themes, and certainly not the only one. Her contemporaries include The Princess of Darkness, Fadilah Karim, the remorseless Chong Ai Le and in recent times, Yuki Tham.

And now we have Raimi Sani, whose passionately rebellious works we covet because they hit close to home. And because she happens to paint with the kind of vehemence we have not seen in a while.

What appeals most to the senses is her remarkable gift of painting flesh, the incredible expressions her subjects display, each one contorted in ways that are painful. The artist reflects: “I think my style is best described as a combination of different artists who inspire me: Rembrandt, Johan Barrios and Nick Alm, to name a few. So I guess it is safe to say that it is unique in a sense that I dictate which style to combine and use for which piece of work.”

Adding, the 25-year-old says thoughtfully: “I don’t think I’ve created a totally new style per se, but I would say that a signature style of mine is my particular fixation with light reflection on white fabrics. The subject matter is just a diversion. The key is to look beyond what you see.”

Well said, and growing up in a household where art appreciation is monumental, Raimi received much encouragement and participated in various art competitions. She later honed her art skills at Universiti Teknologi Mara.


Raimi’s latest show, White Knight, is a narrative on personal digressions, lyrical assertions and hints at mortality. In pieces like Sheer Sentiment and Light Weight, the artist paints with a beautifully undeviating style, frail at times and imperceptibly embroidered.

Everything from the background to the gowns is delicate. It’s as if she’s saying, “Look at me, yes, but not for so long: there is sorrow here which even I cannot bear.”

What are most memorable are again, the expressions; the haunted and sad, sad eyes, the uneasiness of sleep, the lethargy felt upon waking up. White Knight is simply marvellous because the paintings are simultaneously stunning and dreadful, both exciting and terrible. There’s fragility and disappointment and fullness and complexity, which makes viewing them all a heady trip down the rabbit’s hole.

The artist concludes: “My work has progressed into something more detail-oriented nowadays. I’ve always loved fine details but previously I had focused more on forms and colour variations. These days I tend to experiment more with perfecting the details, exploring light reflections and shadow effects.”

And it is our hope that Raimi will continue to give us more unpredicted moments; through curtain peeks, through sensations, through the flicker of light and spaces and new ways to express what is already familiar.

The Cure’s 1989 album Disintegration, Pictures Of You, come to mind as I conclude this. That is a song we revisit when the heart crumbles from losing love and of regret infinite:

Looking so long at these pictures of you

But I never hold on to your heart

Looking so long for the words to be true

But always just breaking apart

My pictures of you

There was nothing in the world

That I ever wanted more

Than to feel you deep in my heart

There was nothing in the world

That I ever wanted more

Than to never feel the breaking apart

All my pictures of you

About The Artist


2017 White Knight, G13 Gallery, Selangor


2016 G13 Project Room, G13 Gallery, Selangor

Processus, Galeri Chandan, Dutamas, KL

Gen Y, G13 Gallery, Selangor

Muda-Mudi,Segaris Art Center, Dutamas, KL

Gerakan Wanita, ASWARA Art Gallery, KL

Seni Amal SPWinds Orchestra: Road to LA 2016, Balai Seni Maybank, KL

Enthrall, TAPG gallery, Klang Selangor

Exposure, Eye Art Gallery, Alam Impian, Shah Alam, Selangor

Locals Only, Taksu Gallery, KL

2015 Exploration Show, Eye Art Gallery, Malaysia.

Art Expo Malaysia, Matrade, KL

Tauhid, Masa Gallery, Johor Baru, Johor

(2 Man Show) Take 2, Pampas Restaurant / Z-Art Gallery, Changkat, Bukit Bintang, KL

19 Degree Show, Segaris Art Centre, Publika, KL

Degree Show, UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor

2014 3D Florial Mural. Putrajaya, KL

Open Show, Galeri Shah Alam, Selangor

Nandos Art Initiative, Shah Alam, Selangor

Floria Watercolour Competition, Putrajaya, KL

2012 Nando’s Art Competition

Open Show, Gallery Shah Alam, Selangor

2011 Diploma Show, UiTM Perak, Perak

Life Drawing, UiTM Perak

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