(Klang, Selangor, Malaysia, 1953)
Work and Lives in Singapore
Kumari Nahappan is a prominent artist in the region of Southeast Asia; her practice encompasses inter-disciplinary genres, painting, sculpture and installations. She has forged a reputation for effectively reconciling the language of “international contemporary art” with her own vocabulary and developing a visual identity that is decisively shaped by her cultural roots and beliefs.
Kumari is celebrated for her iconic sculptures in landmark locations in Singapore including Saga for Changi Airport, Nutmeg & Mace for the ION Orchard, Pedas-Pedas for the National Museum and Pembungaan for OUE Bayfront (the largest bronze mural in Singapore at over 45m) and other sculptures for corporate developments. Her sculptures have graced sites overseas including G Tower in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the J.Y. Campos Centre in Manila (the Philippines), and Chengdu International Finance Square (China) in 2014.
Kumari has received commendations in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards & UOB Painting of the Year. She holds the honour of being the first foreigner and woman to be conferred the Ksatria Seni Award (2004) by the Museum Rudana in Bali. In 2011, she won the Artist of the Year Award in the 15th edition of the Shanghai Art Fair and was identified as a notable female artist in the book Women Artists in Singapore . Recently, she was awarded Singapore Indian Icon of the Year 2014 by Act for Hope organization.
Kumari was invited to show at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel in [2007/8] and at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam . More recently, she has enjoyed critical and popular acclaim for her installation Anahata, a monumental work comprising of 4000kg of saga seeds for the Singapore Biennale 2013. Her works have been exhibited at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Singapore Art Museum, 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.
Trained in interior design in Willesdon College of Technology in London UK in the mid-1970s, Kumari pursued a successful interior design career before studying fine art at the Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, securing a Masters of Fine Art from the RMIT University, Melbourne. She was appointed as President of ALCA (Alumni of LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts) from 1994 to 2003 and has served as an external examiner and thesis supervisor for the art college.