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Works by Nirmala Dutt

As an artist, Nim allowed her work to shift according to the influences of the present moment, instead of forcing the moment to fit her own narrative. As such, the works on this site have been clustered according to formative moments in her life and reflect her concerns at that specific time. 

1972. NIM_241_Still Life.jpg

Glimpses of Civilisation 

1967 – 1989

During the 1960s, Nirmala Dutt started attending art classes with Hoessein Enas under the Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjung (APS) group, which is where she got one of her first “glimpses of civilisation”.

Friends in Need

1979 – 1993

Throughout her life, Nim actively engaged with global catastrophes, including the Vietnam War, the Bosnia War, and various refugee crises.

1986. NIM_130.jpg
NIM_063 (c. 1975).jpg

Your Beautiful Home

1973 – 1999

During this period, Nim produced her “Pernyataan” (Statement) pieces documenting the human and environmental cost of the country’s hunger for rapid development. In the late 90s, she created her Great Leap Forward series, which critiqued Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed’s strategy of rapid modernisation in Malaysia. 

London’s Homeless

1993 – 2003

Nim returned to the UK yet again in the early 90s to pursue her postgraduate studies in London. Her proposed area of study was “Art Against War and the Creative Process”, and she produced  countless prints of the homeless citizens she encountered around her area.

1993-5. NIM_104.jpg
1999. NIM_114.jpg


1998 – 2003

While Nim interrogated the world around her, she was always conscious of her own presence in it. The vastness of her interior world was reflected in artworks such as “Virgin Spring and Siti: An Installation”, which she exhibited in the intimacy of her own home studio. 

Tsunami 2004–2005

2004 – 2006

In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami wreaked havoc across the region. The series, “Tsunami 2004–2005”, emerged from the endless hours Nim spent watching news reports of homes destroyed and families stranded, interspersed with accounts of the immense heights of human compassion.

2005. NIM_113.jpg

After Sengai

2009 – 2013

Towards the end of her life, Nim's works became quieter and more subdued. She found solace in God and her faith, achieving a zen-like understanding and acceptance of her own mortality, reflected in the last few works she produced. 

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