Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Tasneem's Bike
Tasneem's Bike

The artist renders an intimate domestic space and frames it with curtains that run along both lengths of the canvas. Without a distinct focal point, the deep red background, encompassing both wall and floor, binds the semi-abstracted furniture, plants, textile and decorative shapes together. Some of the objects seem to float in space, yet the silhouetted tea table in the foreground and the grill door provide a sense of sequence to the room. 


Rafiee Ghani’s art serves as a visual diary, a record of the adventures he has had, and the sights he has seen on his travels around  the world. With his combination of Intimist inspiration and bold colours, Rafiee gives a nod to the seminal piece The desert: Harmony in red (The red room) by Henri Matisse, and also pays homage to the artists whom he so greatly admires: the French Nabis, Fauvists, and Impressionists.

Oil on canvas
26 x 20 x 77 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Rafiee Ghani
About Rafiee Ghani

The art of Rafiee Ghani  (b. 1962, Kulim, Kedah, Malaysia) is inspired by his life and travels. He credits his passion for both art and travel to his father - a geologist, who would send young Rafiee postcards from the exotic destinations that he worked in. Rafiee first received his creative training at the Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunst, Holland in 1980. Then, he obtained a Diploma in Art and Design from Mara Institute of Technology and an MA in Fine Prints from the Manchester Polytechnic in the UK. To date, Rafiee Ghani’s work has culminated in numerous series and solo exhibitions, including Adventure in Wonderland, Homeland, Desert Rose, Perfumed Gardens, and Oriental Afternoon.

Further Readings

  • The Tale of Rafiee Ghani's Moroccan Journey. 2017. Muliyadi Mahamood.

  • Perfumed Gardens. 2012. Galeri Chandan.

  • Oriental Afternoon. 1994. Art Salon, Kuala Lumpur.

Learning Section

  • Describe what you see in the painting. What colours are dominant? What other colours are used and where? What objects do you recognise in the scene? Where is the bike that is mentioned in the title? What is unusual about the viewpoint of the painting?What is in the foreground of the painting? What is in the background? The artist has not used perspective to create the illusion of space and yet there is a feeling of depth. How has the artist created this?

  • Do you know the painting "The Red Room" by the French artist Henri Matisse? How is this work similar? What are the differences?

  • Does this remind you of your own home or the home of anyone close to you? What elements are familiar? What kind of home is this? What is the atmosphere of the home?