Nirmala Karuppiah’s photographic hits have been limited to black and white wonders, and since we’re on this music analogy, let’s just say that her photographs constitute some of the most classic melodies out there. The reason for this lies in the nature of her works. Nirmala shoots chiefly with film and her subject matter has largely been classical Indian dancers, many of whom areOdissi dancers from Ramli Ibrahim’s Sutra Dance Theatre.
Observers of the photographer’s work are thus split between two camps: those troubled by her unwavering choice of subject matter, and those enamoured by the romanticism and classical qualities of her images. This month, however, will see the former camp changing their minds as Nirmala showcases a body of work centred on Chinese opera performers. ‘My works have almost always concentrated on the dance genre, a vast subject of such beatific proportions. “Capturing Twilight” is a little different from my other forays, in the sense that I attempt to explore Chinese opera, its archaic language and the many moods and nuances,’ she says.
‘Capturing Twilight’ took a year to complete and you’ll see nine photographs from the ongoing series this month. Also being screened is a short art film of the same title, Nirmala’s maiden foray into the world of moving pictures. Rachel Jena