Smaller edition available: 24 x 11 x 13.5cm
Photo provided by Chengdu International Financial Square, China
Courtesy of the artist
Singaporean interdisciplinary artist Kumari Nahappan takes everyday objects and converts them into striking artworks: “I’m trying to make things that are ordinary very extraordinary”. The subjects might be familiar but, to make them exceptional, Nahappan considers the scale, shape, arrangement, colour and that her model must be enlarged precisely, which requires her to make multiple five-hour journeys from her home in Singapore to a particular foundry in Thailand, chosen specifically for its high casting standards.
Nahappan sculpted this particular pepper for its familiarity - it’s a fiery pepper used in the local Szechuan cuisine. Its title, Mala, connects with the local people: it’s a hotpot dish where the stock is made from slow-boiled chilli peppers, the heat “known to blow your brains.”
The sculpture suits the city: UNESCO declared Chengdu to be an official city of gastronomy in 2011, in recognition of the sophistication of its cooking.
With its pits, twists and undulations, the vibrant patina and its size, Mala is a memorable, impactful and joyful artwork.
Next show: Gallery by the Harbour, Hong Kong, 12th November- 6th December 2015
Hedge, issue 37, September 2015, pp42-48