Catalogues going to Asia Art Archive Library

As  marker of amazing cross cultural collaborative projects over recent years I have just mailed these catalogues to the Asia Art Archive library in Hong Kong. I was co curator on these projects. They are already in the library archive of National College of Art and Design Dublin Ireland and Limerick LSAD. If you know of any good archive collections for exhibitions in China I would be really grateful if you let me know , you can contact me at  niamh@niamhcunningham.com  

For Irish Wave exhibitions 2015 and 2016,  we had funding for a catalogue many thanks to John Lynam and the Irish Embassy for making that particular application. The other years I have referenced on my website. 

 

IRISH WAVE  was a cross cultural collaborative project bringing contemporary art by Irish and Chinese artists to Beijing and Shanghai since 2009. The project was founded and directed  by artist/curator Fion Gunn.  Many thanks to the tenacity and determination of our partners and collaborating venues in China over the years , they understood the skeleton/zero budget we needed to operate with and the only reason it could happen at all was due to the good will and understanding of our partners. Also thank you to all the participating artists both Irish and Chinese  for the interesting conversations they generated with their work throughout the themes of each exhibition. Gratitude extends to the visiting artist/curators from Belfast over the years including Gail Ritchie, Brendan Jamison, Mark Revels, Sean Campbell, Brian Connolly and many more in previous years. Long time Irish Wave Co-ordinator Ivan Liao who often worked his magic over the years negotiating and problem solving whether it was communications with venues or  trapped artworks in customs (we had our challenges with Customs over the years)  other co ordinators who stand out were Glassia Lu and Steve Chen. Also wish to acknowledge gratitude  to Culture Ireland  and the Irish Embassy in China Ambassador Paul Kavanagh and his wife Rosemary for their unwavering support and interest over the years.  

I learned a good deal working on IRISH WAVE projects. It was a hugely ambitious project and even visiting Ministers from Ireland acknowledged that we were ‘punching way above our weight’…. (unfortunately the project discontinued this year due to funding issues.  ) Remembering some of the curatorial challenges of varying venues comes to mind, one year we needed to hang an exhibition called ‘Hungry Minds’ in China Central Mall, the space was very small and had curved glass and mirror walls, it was a beauty parlor in its previous life. After 5 minutes of silent jaw dropping and 10 minutes of chuckling wondering how we were going to pull this one off…in the end it worked out perfectly! 

 

 Brendan Jamison with his Sugar sculpture referring to the curved glass walls behind at Hungry Minds venue in China Central Mall 2013.

Two days after installing ‘Hungry Minds’ in Beijing we found ourselves in a space over 100 times the size of  the previous space in the expansive international scale Art Museum in Shanghai University where we installed ‘Legacy ‘. How did the project endure so long ?  having a team that was ever ready and prepared to jump into insurmountable challenges, a good measure of wit and good humour and everyone offering their best side, this along with (founder of IRISH WAVE) Fion Gunn’s  determination were the only reason the project persisted so long. 

Legacy at Shanghai Uni Art Museum, March 2013 Fion Gunn with Irish Consulate Austin Gormley

IRISH WAVE created real value on many levels including the introductory points for two Universities in Ireland to develop Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Universities here in China. IRISH WAVE also attained prime Time TV coverage with the national broadcaster CCTV providing National coverage on the Irish Festival in China. 

 

Another important project with the catalogues going to the Asia Art Archive library is Intimate Transgressions.  This project deals with the challenging subject of violence against women during times of conflict. The narrative for this exhibition begins with the issue of the comfort women and the subject extends to the global present day. 

 

 

“the scope of the exhibition is, appropriately, global and current.” 
Holland Cotter, New York Times

 

 

 

 

Exhibitions have been held in different cities (New York, Beijing, Hangzhou, Taipei) each  bringing in local artists response to the subject. I co curated the Beijing exhibition with Fion Gunn at Inter Gallery 798 October 2016. This project is presented by CAPA Centre for Asian Pacific Affairs in New York and would not be possible without the support of Sam Chen.  

 

 http://www.intimatetransgressionsproject.com/

Taipei exhibition

 

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