Interview with award-winning conceptual artist Kumari Nahappan


Originally from Singapore, Kumari’s bold public monumental sculptures have been commissioned in Singapore, Malaysia, China and the Philippines. She has contributed significantly to the artistic and cultural landscape of Singapore and her artwork includes paintings, installation, sculptures mixed media and public art. She has partaken in museum shows including,’ Red Hot on the Trail of a Colour’ in Basel, Switzerland, Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and ‘Anahata’ at The Singapore Biennale 2013.

As her work is set to be the highlight of the UK debut Art Apart Fair, we sat down and asked her about her work, inspiration and her book ‘FLUXION’.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you first discovered conceptual art?

My practise as an artist evolved from space planning to painting to sculpting and installations. I started with conceptual work when I was doing my postgraduate studies in the early 90’s. I found it challenging, unconventional and hence was drawn to it.

Your wonderful chilli sculptures are fascinating. Where or how do you find inspiration to create such bold and unique works?

Created in a celebratory mood the chilies signify immense energy and propensities for growth. The possibilities are endless.

You will be a star attraction of the UK debut Art Apart Fair from October 17th – 19th.  Which pieces will you be bringing with you and why have you decided on these?

I will be bringing with me my ongoing ‘Song and Dance’ series and my recent works titled ‘Playing Fields’.

What are you most excited about with exhibiting your work at Art Apart?

It’s exciting to be a part of the debut show of Art Apart at the Town Hall Hotel and I shall be showing my sculptures in London for the first time. I also look forward to bringing my latest works closer to some of my London and European based collectors.

Art Apart is a hotel-based boutique art fair. What do you think is so special about this concept and displaying artwork in this manner?

The concept is unique as works are displayed in an integrated setting where the audience will have a much closer and intimate engagement with the work.

You are also promoting your new book whilst over here, ‘FLUXION’. Briefly describe what people will discover if they were to buy it.

‘FLUXION’ art and thoughts is an insight into an artistic journey of more than two decades, which I hope to share. The book is a monograph of my creative practice featuring drawings, paintings, installations, studio-based sculpture and public art.

Your artwork has spanned over two decades and you are well known for your monumental art public sculptures and installations. Where do you see your work progressing in the future?

I see it being integrated with architecture and the environment.

Finally, what is your greatest wish for the world?

My greatest wish is to see a kinder world … for man and nature!


The hotel-based boutique Art Apart Fair originated in Singapore in January 2013 and was held at Conrad Centennial Singapore and then Parkroyal on Pickering. It is making its debut in London in the heart of art central, East London at The Town Hall Hotel, in Bethnal Green from October 17th – 19th. The Fair allows visitors to appreciate the art displayed in an intimate setting whilst being able to imagine what the artwork could look like in their own homes. Rooms, lobbies and corridors will be transformed into a dreamscape of mesmerising fine art to excite both art lovers and discerning collectors.