Kumari Nahappan is one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Asia, being celebrated for her iconic sculptures in landmark locations in Singapore including SAGA for Singapore Changi Airport, Nutmeg & Mace for ION Orchard, Pedas-Pedas for the National Museum and Pembungaan for OUE Bayfront.
The first monograph on Kumari Nahappan’s work, kumari nahappan: FLUXION – Art & Thoughts, was launched in February this year. It was made possible with the support of the National Heritage Board in Singapore and spans over 20 years of the artist’s creative practice featuring drawings, paintings, installations, studio-based sculpture and public art. It presents new insights into Kumari’s artistic practice and is a critical contribution for those interested in her work and in the development of Singapore art.
Art historian T.K. Sabapathy, one of the authoritative voices of Asian modem and contemporary art, helms this thorough and multi-layered study. Research for the publication has stretched over 4 years, spurred by an unprecedented access to Kumari’s studio and private archives.
kumari nahappan: FLUXION – Art & Thoughts consists of 6 chapters. Each is devoted to detailed studies of particular phases and aspects of Kumari’s art, and showcases materials that have never been published before. These chapters bring to light Kumari’s creative journey from her beginnings in painting in the early nineties to her progression to installation as art, in which paintings continue to be featured prominently. Attention is also focused on the use of materials, on interpretations of traditions derived from Indian culture, on the predominant use of red, and on concepts of time and space. In a special contributing essay, Singapore curator Lindy Poh examines some of the challenges a contemporary artist encounters when developing and installing artworks in and for the public domain, as well as complexities arising from the reception and conservation of such art.
This study also features a lengthy interview with the artist, in which she talks about the key concepts, experiences, influences and personal circumstances that have shaped her thoughts on art and its practice. Moreover, the book also proposes contextual frameworks for appreciating Kumari’s art in contemporary terms. Plates and catalogue sections offer the reader additional visual insights into Kumari’s body of works and are completed with a comprehensive list of all featured artworks.
Kumari Nahappan was born in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia in 1953 and lives and works in Singapore since 1989. Kumari was invited to show at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel in (2007/2008) and at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam (2010). Her works have been exhibited at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo for Spotlight Singapore, Seoul Art Centre in Korea, Museum Rudana in Indonesia as well as in gallery exhibitions in Sweden, Germany, London, Italy, New York, Australia, Hong Kong and China.
Title: kumari nahappan: FLUXION Art & Thoughts
Authors: T. K. Sabapathy and a special essay on public art by Lindy Poh
Publisher: EDM, Editions Didier Millet
Specs: Hardcover, 264 pages, featuring more than 300 artworks