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After six exhilarating years in China I continue to focus on landscape and portraiture, with light and transparency being a signature of my work. Since my arrival, I have also explored textile installation art such as: When I was 11,  the Pillar of Time, the Hair Skull and the Hair Lock and other projects such  sound performance . I have been co-curating exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai with Irish Wave for a number of years (see the most recent being “Birth of a Nation 2016” at NING SPACE in 798 and “Identity” at EARC in 798 and “Struggle” in San Wei Arts Centre in Shanghai. Also recently participated in Hangzhou Library with “Intimate Transgressions” in April 2016 where “The Hair Lock” and a collaborative work  with Fion Gunn “Inside Out” was on exhibit.

I was co curator for the Beijing “Intimate Transgressions” show on October 2015.  Please click here for the post on Oct 2016

See A Walk with the Curators

Click here for more information on this meaningful project Intimate Transgressions


In August 2014 I had a solo show at the wonderful ancient  building of Dong Yue Art Museum next to Dong Yue Temple, Beijing. On March 29th 2015 CCTV news (China’s national TV English channel) broadcast the 30 minute documentary.

Biography Niamh Cunningham (born in Dublin), visual artist living in Beijing

*Has participated in all 3 “Intimate Transgressions” exhibitions todate, in September 2015 WhiteBox Art Centre New York City, in October 2015 at InterArt Centre, 798 Beijing and most recently  April 2016 at Hangzhou Library .

Yoga drawing* Work has been exhibited at various galleries in 798, Beijing: Siemens art Space, WithSpace, Nuo Art Gallery, Creative Crossover China 3C, InterArt Centre , NING SPACE, Emerging Arts Creative Research centre and in Shanghai Loftoo Gallery and San Wei ArtCentre M50, Tushanwan Art museum and Shanghai Grand Theatre  and Shanghai University Art Museum.

*Has participated in several workshops in Dubai, including pigment rubbings with visiting artist Gerhard Ruhenstroth, abstract drawing with Val Kwann and textile printing with Jill Hoyle.

* Has wide-ranging curatorial experience with the preparation, selection and hanging of collaborative, cross cultural group exhibitions with BIGsmallartists and IRISH WAVE in Beijing and Shanghai.

* Solo exhibitions have been held in Dubai, Ireland and Dong Yue Art Museum in Beijing.

*Has presented artist /artist-curator talks in the Art Departments of Henan Business College, Zhengzhou and the China Women’s University, Beijing and Canvard College -Beijing Technology and Business University and other schools in Beijing.


Yunnan village kids copy



Work has been sold in Europe, America, Australia, the Arabian Gulf and China and are part of collections in Emirati royal households (Abu Dhabi) and various institutions, including Dubai Duty Free, Tamani Hotel Marina and Grosvenor Hotel Dubai, the Department of Tourism Trade and Commerce Dubai, the Emirates Environmental Group, the Irish Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Beijing.

This website features documentation of artworks and exhibitions, downloads of publications and regular updates on upcoming projects.




Niamh Cunningham


E mail:

Address: Datun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing , China

Please e mail me for my mobile number and full address.



1988-1989 University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, MSc. Biomedical Sciences

1985-1988 University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BSc. Medical Laboratory Sciences

skull observer


2017 Infinite Entities- Life and Nature, with fellow artist Gengxin,  Dong Yue Art Museum, ChaoyangmenWai, Beijing, April

2016 Female Artists Nomination Exhibition, Dayuntang Art Museum , Wangjing, Beijing , December

2016 Intimate Transgressions, Taipei  Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, November

2016 The Painted Thread  with artists Gulistan and Fion Gunn, at Joy Pavillion, Jinhui Road CBD , Beijing, September

2016 Monotype- The China Workshops Art Gallery of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, June

2016 Intimate Transgressions Hangzhou Public Library, April

2016 Struggle San Wei Arts Centre Shanghai, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)

2016 Identity  Emerging Arts Research Centre, 798, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)

2016 Birth of a Nation NING SPACE, 798, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)

2016 Visual – Female Exhibition Dahua 1935 Xi’an March 8th

2016 International Representational and Abstract Art Jiujiang Jiangxi, January.

2015 Recombination and Gene Mutation,University of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, December

2015 Intimate Transgressions Beijing, Inter Gallery , 798 , Beijing, October

2015 Reciprocal Plane , (2 artist show with Shanghai artists Huang A Zhong) Dong Yue Art Museum ,  See previous post Reciprocal Plane

2015 Sailing to Byzantium, Leyden Gallery, London,UK  October

2015 Intimate Transgressions NYC,  White Box Art Centre, New York City, USA September

2015 Red and Green- International Female Art Exhibition:

Ningbo City Cultural Centre March -April (note: for this exhibition I am listed with my Chinese name Rui Lian瑞莲)

2015 Intimate Perspectives, Shanghai Grand Theatre, March

2015 Small World, San Wei Art Centre, M50, Shanghai, March

2015 A Meditation in a time of War, Dong Yue Art Museum, March

2015 Golden Fleece, Inter Art Centre, sevenstar mainstreet, 798, Beijing March


2014 Zhangjiajie International painting residency

China International Art Fair (CNIAF), Linyi, Shangdong, December 

2014 An Eastward Calling , (solo)Dong Yue Art Museum , Beijing, September

2014 Nature, Patty Hudak’s group exhibition , 66 Art Space , Sanyuanqiao, Beijing, May

2014 Shadows, 228 China Central Mall, JianGuo Road, Beijing, March

2014 Material World Loftoo Gallery, M50 , Shangahi , March

2014 Convergence 3C space, 798, Beijing March


2013 Gather and Remade TuShanWan Museum, Xuhui Shanghai, March

2013 Legacy Shanghai University Fine Art Museum, Shanghai, March

2013 Baby Baby Irish Centre Shanghai, Central Plaza, Huangpi Road,  March

2013 Ireland -China in View Yan Chao Collection Gallery, Guo Mao, Beijing, March

2013 Walls and Borders C 3 Creative Space, 798 , Beijing, March

2013 Tale of Two Cities Dublin-Beijing Nuo Art , 798 , Beijing March

2013 Women L’ eau Art Shanghai : BK3/111 M 50 Moganshan Rd,Shanghai 4 portraits


2012 Intimate Revolution Siemens Art space, 798, Beijing, March

2012 Instruments of Pleasure National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, March

2012 Hidden Meanings –Yan Chao Collection Gallery, Guo Mao, Beijing March

Performance art collaboration 2012: At all three above Irish Wave exhibitions I invited contemporary music composer Grainne Mulvey to compose rhythms for clapping, this exciting collaboration was performed by a team of five professional musicians: Maisie Wu (sound engineer), Wang Gang(composer),Yin Hao (singer) JinShan (singer) Catriona Crimmons (violinist) and myself.


2009 From Dubai to Carlow, (solo)

Carlow, Ireland,  George Bernard Shaw Room, Carlow County Library, June


2008 Beyond Al Khor (solo)

Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai, UAE June

2008 Art Avenue-Jan- Feb 2008 patronage of Dubai Cultural Council, UAE

Selected works of Creek Series displayed with XVA gallery during Dubai Shopping Festival on Al Seef road.


2007 In Vivo – The Creek Series (solo)

Art Attack Gallery, Dubai, UAE Nov 2007

2007 British Embassy Dubai, UAE Nov 2007

Showcased by Black Sheep Studios with British artists in the UAE, Dubai

2007 Colourful Cares Dubai Womens Association Deira, Dubai, UAE

Showcased by Dubai Cultural Council in aid of Dubai Cares Charity Oct 2007

2007 Enterprise Ireland Dusit Hotel Dubai UAE June 2007

2007 Art Attack Gallery, Dubai, UAE, March 2007

Group Exhibition participating during Gulf Art Fair.


2006 Lakes Clubhouse Meadows, Dubai, UAE. June 2006

Showcased part of Creek Series alongside work of sculptor Alan Meyburgh

2006 Royal Dublin Showgrounds Dublin Ireland August 2006

Camio showcased works from Creek Series

2006 Cobalt Cafe and Gallery Dublin Ireland  October Nov 2006

Four works showing alongside work of Siobhan Ni Shithigh

2006 Burjuman Art and Fashion Festival Dubai UAE Nov 2006

2005 Dubai International Art Centre Annual Exhibition Dubai UAE May 2005

2005 Burjuman Art and Fashion Festival, Dubai  UAE Dec 2005

2004 Eigse exhibition Carlow Ireland June 2004

2002 Group exhibition on hiragana calligraphy Shibuyia Tokyo Feb 2002




Infinite Entities : Life and Nature 

China Daily 


Essay by Claire Cuccio

BTV Beijing Guest Program  -Youku  30 mins (mostly Chinese language)



Female Artists Nomination :



Painted Thread , CBD , Beijing :






Intimate Transgressions Hangzhou:

Xin hua News coverage of Intimate T in Hangzhou

China Daily Coverage


IRISH WAVE 2016 “Birth of a Nation” :

China Daily coverage





Group exhibition in  Jiujiang – International Representational and Abstract Art  January 2016

Art Ron Article

Meishujia article

National Museum of China





Intimate Transgressions October 2015 Beijing


Intimate Transgressions, White Box Art centre NYC September 2015

Reciprocal Plane 2 artist exhibition

CCTV News– My China – An Eastward Calling,  a 30 minute documentary on preparing for solo exhibition at Dong Yue, Beijing.

CCTV link
You Tube link

relating to group exhibitions IRISH WAVE 2015
CCTV Culture Express  leading story on St Patricks Day March 17th covering the exhibition “A Meditation in a time of War”
China Daily: Irish Wave to sweep into Beijing and Shanghai covered the exhibition “Golden Fleece”
On group show Red and Green  -in Ningbo (two painted portraits are exhibited here under my Chinese name Rui Lian)

MetroStyle, A bilingual fashion and lifestyle magazine Weixin September 5 ,2014

Metro Style article

Fenghuang News  (Hong Kong online  publication) August 31, 2014

Beijing Evening News 2, September, 2014


China Daily : National English Language Newspaper

China Edition, page 5,  June 8, 2014

China Daily, European Edition, page 29, June 13-19, 2014



Red Gate: online magazine Sunday, p24, March 11, 2012

The Nationalist, regional weekly newspaper, Ireland,May 22nd 2009

Carlow People, local weekly newspaper, Carlow artist with a unique perspective, Ireland, May26th 2009

The National, daily newspaper in UAE: School exposes children to art, July 24 2008

The National, Arts and Life. A farewell to Al Khor June 10 p2

Khaleej Times: City Times “

Dubai Irish Society Year Book 2008 p77

Cultural Horizons (Dubai Cultural Council) p28 Feb 2008

Cultural Horizons p25  Dec 2007

Time Out (Dubai) p72 Nov 15-22 2007

Gulf News, Tabloid  p8 Nov 20 2007.

Dubai Eye Radio Interviewed by Lisa Ball-Lechgar Nov 19th 2007

City Seven TV News  Nov 21st 2007

Canvas Guide p29 Nov/ Dec 2007

Gulf Today  Nov 2 2006 Artists gather to create breast cancer awareness

Gulf News, Tabloid p5 Dec 3, 2005.




Bigsmallartists –board member:  a community interest company which engages informal cross collaboration with European and Chinese artists .

link to BIGsmall artists

Member of Visual Artists Ireland

Emirates Fine Arts Society

Dubai International Art Centre

Emirates Environmental group


Related contributions

Artist Talk- Get involved, Participate and Find you Tribe . Opening ceremony for Spring Semester for Beijing 55 HighSchool , Feb 2017.

Artist Talk– Poetic Vision. Facilitated and co presented an evening discussion of art and WB Yeats poetry hosted by the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing with artists Fion Gunn,Patty Hudak and major Yeats translator Prof Fu Hao March 25th , 2015

Artist/Curator talk: Canvard College – Beijing Technology and Business University, Songzhaung

Artist Talk: Off the Wall Informal talk at China Womens University Dec 2012

Artist Talk : Henan Business College Art Department May 2013

Irish Wave exhibitions supporting and co curating exhibitions in Beijing 2012, Beijing and Shanghai 2013, 2014 , 2015 and 2016

Workshop for migrant school at Irish Centre Shanghai, March 2013

Summer school Workshop for migrant school Xingzhi in Daxing, July 2012

Workshops with START a humanitarian art foundation -Al Alfia government school, Al Qusais, Dubai April 2008

START Summer School July 2008   held at Jam Jar – oil painting workshop for youth of various talent and needs.


World Wildlife Fund, Greeting card catalogue 2007

Flight of the Falcons public art project with Artworks, Dubai Jan 2006.

Designed and painted ‘Jupiter’ a small falcon sculpture displayed at The One and Only Royal Mirage in March 2006.

Artist Jam event by Jam Jar at Burjuman Centre Dubai, October 28th 2006Artist Jam in aid of Safe and Sound Breast Cancer Awareness

Arabian Horse public art project with Artworks, Dubai Feb 2005.Painted ‘Godolphins Rainbow’ , displayed outside the Godolphin Gallery at Nad Al Sheba Racetrack, Dubai, UAE