Clay artist Jenifer Rajkumar takes the soft clay in her palm and rolls out beautiful rose petals in a matter of seconds. “For a blooming rose we need more number of petals,” she says while demonstrating ‘Nendo No Tetsukuri', Japanese clay art. At an exhibition organised to showcase the clay handicraft, colourful life-like flowers, bouquets, ornaments, dolls, wall hangings and decorative items were on display. “I am very impressed by this art work,” said Kayoko Furukawa, Consul, Consulate General of Japan in Chennai, while inaugurating the exhibition at the ABK-AOTS DOSOKAI, Tamilnadu Centre, here on Friday.

“I have a huge interest in this art. I learnt this art form for four and a half years in Japan,” said Ms. Jenifer Rajkumar who runs CLEO Clay Craft Academy in Chennai. “I am affiliated to Deco Clay Craft Academy in Japan and my aim is to start a similar chapter in Chennai and spread this specialised art form,” she said. The soft clay she uses is specially imported from Japan from Deco Clay.

A visitor at the exhibition, A.P. Radhakrishnan said: “These are nice pieces. Extremely good flower arrangements which look like real flowers.” A group of art students from La Chatelaine Junior College also visited the exhibition. “The items look very realistic and the clay is so soft it looks like cotton candy,” said Siddharth Krishna, a 9th standard student.

At the same function, a book ‘Tamil Through Japanese Pictionary' was also released. Its author Chitra Sivakumar said she was inspired by looking at a book which taught Hindi through Tamil. “The lack of a book for Japanese to learn Tamil inspired me to write a book along with Shalini who has done her Masters in Japanese,” she said. This pictorial book which has 285 words under 18 topics is specially designed to focus on pronunciations. “The objective is to get the correct sounds because there is a vast difference between Japanese and Tamil letter systems. This is like a ‘warm-up' book so I can get feedback from the Japanese community in Chennai,” she said. Ms. Furukawa released the book and Yasunori Hirasako, Managing Director, Mayekawa India Pvt. Ltd, received the first copy.

ABK-AOTS DOSOKAI, Tamilnadu Centre, Chairman M.R.Ranganathan and Vice-President G.Chandramohan participated in the function. The exhibition, at 110, Nelson Maickam Road, Aminjikarai, is open till June 26 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The clay art demonstrations will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.