This blog takes a look at my work currently showing at Geely College exhibition ‘Map and Territory’. The works are diverse but play a role in the exhibitions conversation. Here we will see the Hair Lock, The Statesman, The Sucroses and When I was 11.
Map and Territory is a cross disciplinary project exploring the subject and its many aspects via theatre , multimedia visual art and panel discussions. It was officially opened at Beijing Geely College Library on Nov 20th , initiated by the IRCCA (International Research Center for Contemporary Art). A huge thank you to curators Li Xinmo and Roland Von Der Emden for a stellar project and also to Geely College for hosting and supporting the project. The president of the college Huo Wei Dong officiated the event.
The speeches were followed by a performance by students who had taken a theatre workshop the previous 10 days with visiting theatre director Cao Kefei who is living in Berlin and Beijing.
This post (as with many of my blogs on group projects) will take a look at artist intention behind the works. Of course this is not the only way to interpret a work but it can be understood as a reason for the work being made. This aspect is often excluded in most art media today and this is my way in addressing this gap. There are so many interesting things happening in this project. Let’s take a look .
What the Artists Say
After looking carefully at some high res images I believe that crystalisation is not necessarily pushing the ink, the ink in some cases is pushing the sugar , at least in the early stages of the sucrose series
2018.03.21 Niamh Cunningham ‘Bright Stick Trapped’ sucrose mixed media, 40 cm diam
The final exhibition for the project On Paper. Supreme 2018 has arrived in Songzhuang at the Guangju Museum of Art in the Beijing Creative Centre (see last post). It is a good time to review the changes in crystalisation for the Sucrose artworks in this project which have occurred at different rates for different layers of media.
This process related art series documents the most interesting stages so collectors can have the photographic work of two or three stages to accompany the original artwork.
Let’s begin with Bright Stick Trapped … many of the titles of work here come from one of my favourite nature poets Patrick Kavanagh from his poem Canal Bank Walk. (Seamus Heaney also loved Kavanagh for his nature poetry)
This work had minimal crystalistation , even though interesting things are happening with the ink layer, certain colours are lifted out of the original blur with patches of greens and browns more easily defined after all these months.
But even more exciting things are happening….
The final exhibition for this years project opened Friday Nov 16th at the Beijing Creative Centre affiliated with Gwangju Art Museum in Songzhuang. Curator Chang Feng listed the previous cities of QIngDao, Shenyang and Ordos where the project had toured earlier in the year.
Museum director Park Woon Fai welcomed the visitors and guests. Sincere thanks to Jack Mc Cormack cultural attache for the Embassy of Ireland who also spoke as there are three Irish artists in this particular project this year. A huge thank you to curator Chang Feng , Park Woon Kai and also Mr Zhou for hosting the exhibition for the Beijing part of the project.
Participating artists include:
Aimee Lee, Pyo Inbu, Ryota Shiibashi, Fion Gunn, Kim Namo/Jin Nanwu, Li Hongbo, Maribel Portela, Qin Jian, Xin Song, Wang Wei, Wu Liangyan, Yang Zhiling, Woonhak Chung, Audrey Mullins, Chen Yafeng, Jerry Lee, Ming Ke, Patrick Dewit, Quan Bao, Niamh Cunningham, Yumo Wu, Zhang Dan, Zhong Zhao
Here is a look at some of the works and a few words from the artists
There is something in Wang Ning’s work which follows you a bit after you walk on and leave it behind. It lingers but it is not a sweet stickiness. It starts off feeling familiar and welcoming but then it permeates to a disturbing disquiet ..dare I say it…it might be something of the human condition.
I have been documenting the progress of the sucrose crystals in my work for a considerable time. This blog will take a look at some of the changes occurring in certain works recently exhibited at China Europe Contemporary Art Global Tour Shanghai curated by Ma Yiying and Longjingli.
The crystallisation process has slowed down considerably over the past 10 months but it is still possible to see its traces as it pushes the ink within the mixed media. The ink which has been shifted by this process comes from two sources. Some of the interventions I make with this work involve ‘lifting off’ the surface ink and also I have added Chinese water colour ink to the mixed media of sugar and other secret ingredients. Continue reading
The opening ceremony was a grand elegant affair attracting support and endorsements from a range of cultural entities. The reception was hosted by Yu Tinting, founder of Qiyi culture. Speeches were delivered by Victor King founder of Global Investor Hub, Li Jiashan, Executive Vice President of National Institute of Cultural Development, Mr POLO (chairman) and Mr. Ignasi Guardans i Cambo (a former MEP) and curators Ma Yiying and Longjing Li .
Hou Hai sucrose on printed cotton, mixed media, 20 cm diam，2018
Excerpt from catalogue
……Abstract art has established a position in the mainstream of painting today and so it is a surprise to find an Irish artist follow the traditional laws of focus and perspective, embarking on a similar path to David Hockney. Cunningham 瑞莲 Ruilian has travelled extensively in China and it is obvious that the landscapes have influenced her style. She may even be more enthusiastic about Chinese landscape than Chinese artists themselves. The rolling mountains, the unreached horizon and the hustle and bustle of the city streets and buildings continue as witness to her travels, and are witnesses to her understanding of China. …..
Curator Xie Hai August 2018
The summer exhibition in Jiangsu, curated by Xie Hai, was held at Huaiyin Art Museum on July 24th 2018. Xie said the project focussed on the individual artist painting language and development of the artist’s style.
The catalogues arrived. As I opened them the memories flooded back. In Nov 2014 the second session of the residency (International Oil Painting Camp) took place in Hunan .
The catalogues covered the work done at the camp, activities and artist profiles, they are beautifully produced thanks to the editors Wu Shixiong, and Kongyan. The programme takes place every two years, bringing International and Chinese artists together in the Pullman hotel. We had to complete three artworks in the allotted time. Some of the two weeks was spent exploring nearby scenic towns and villages including the nearby Wuling National Park.
Some of the artworks on this page have since found themselves in different collections .