Ceramicist Abid Javed translates the microscopic world of molecular biology into a sculptural visual language.
The Hong Kong–born, London-based artist Abid Javed became a ceramicist almost by accident: While studying for his PhD in biochemistry, Javed began searching for a medium he could dabble in to fulfill a desire to make 3D forms inspired by molecules. “I considered glass initially, but it seemed too technical to pursue as a hobby,” Javed recalls. “Ceramics felt and became more intuitive.”
As a research scientist by day, Javed predominantly draws influence for his ceramic pieces from the shapes and patterns he uncovers in the intricate world of molecular biology.
“In the current collection, I have this repeating shape based on something called a nucleosome,” he explains. “Its a series of proteins onto which a thread of DNA is wrapped around.”
Like the forms, Javed’s color palette, too, is largely drawn from nature. “My intention has been to keep my pieces raw, and explore naturally colored clay bodies that allow me to not only match the colors with the forms but also to celebrate the clay body’s true, natural, raw state.”
“My ceramic work is somehow interconnected in such a way that the more my scientific understanding develops, I think that also informs the development of my work in ceramics as well, which is really interesting.”