Nirmala Dutt Shanmughalingam
Nirmala Shanmughalingham (born 1941) has been painting since the early 1960’s and has participated in numerous group exhibitions both in Malaysia and internationally. She began her training under Mohamed Hoessein Enas and went on to art schools in the United States and the U.K., returning to Malaysia in 1978. A pioneer in many senses, being the first artist to exhibit an installation piece at the National Art Gallery in 1973, and one of the first artists to make use of documentary photography in her work, and to engage with "public art" through the distribution of work by mail, she has since become a prominent figure in Malaysian art. Certainly one of the region’s most important women artists, she has remained committed to using art to awaken social conscience. Her paintings of the 80s and 90s have been provoked by international atrocities of the century - the Vietnam War, environmental pollution, the Beirut conflict, the deforestation of Malaysia’s jungles, the tragic war in Bosnia, often integrating newspaper images and text. More recently she has grappled with issues of rape and child abuse in Malaysia, in an installation-based exhibition Virgin Spring Today & Siti [link to site], and in 2005, she produced a powerful and unsettling body of paintings Tsunami 2004-2005.
Copyright © Valentine Willie Fine Art 2008