You Ku link to ‘Beijing Guest’ the 30 min programme on BTV

A huge thank you to the people of Beijing TV Youth Channel  (北京客-BTV 青年)especially the people working on ‘Beijing Guest’ Presenters Zhu Yingyi and Sima and Director Che . To fellow participating artist Geng Xin , to Yuan Qiu Lai of Dong Yue Art Museum. A big thank you also to the Embassy of Ireland in China, to Ambassador Paul Kavanagh who speaks on the programme and also to his wife Rosemary Kavanagh. Below is the link to the…

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Female Artists Nomination at Da Yuntang Art Musuem, Wangjing


December 3rd  was a busy Saturday afternoon at Da Yuntang art Museum in Wangjing. The Kaimushi (opening ceremony) was presented by TV Director Li Yemo. This project was organised by the Beijing Women Artists Association, sponsored by Yi Qi Network and curated by Huang Qian.


It was an honour to meet many highly regarded artists who have been at the helm of Beijing art and art academia for many decades.

He Yun Lan (left)  worked as art editor and professor of fine arts , appraiser of National Art exhibitions and is currently the Director of Chinese Artists Association. The curator for the exhibition Huang Qian is standing in the centre and on her right side  is the accomplished Pan Ying , head of the Beijing Women Artists Association, an artist well known for her gongbi technique.

Huang Qian  commented that the exhibition is a bold attempt to explore the fusion of Chinese and Western Cultures, with an annual exhibition highlighting a range of artworks promoting cultural exchange with the  female artists.


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The Painted Thread

The Painted Thread – Curated by Fion Gunn and Liu Pengsheng.


The Painted Thread exhibition by three artists Fion Gunn, Gulistan and Niamh Cunningham opened on September 25th 2016 at Joy Pavillion, 9 Jinhui rd CBD, Beijing.


The exhibition was installed to give the viewer unexpected movement and direction throughout the spaces whilst exploring cultural threads of memory and travel. There were seating arrangements for the viewer to sit and relax with different viewpoints around the exhibition area.

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The Art of Travel written by Luise Guest on my work for “The Painted Thread”

The Art of Travel

“Journeys are the midwives of thought,” said Alain de Botton in ‘The Art of Travel’. Perhaps this explains why so many artists, often restless, yearning souls, have worn tracks across the globe, seeking new wonders, new experiences, new visual languages.


Sometimes their travels are an escape from a more limited version of themselves, or from a stifling culture (think of hundreds of artists arriving hopefully in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century, pilgrims seeking the elusive ‘centre’.) Sometimes they are diasporic journeys. Sometimes an artist embarks upon a series of journeys through a willingness to seize the day, to embrace new opportunities as they present themselves. Whatever form an artist’s journey takes, it’s not tourism. A thoughtful, reflective immersion in new places, different cultures and languages, embracing the richness of visual experiences: the inevitable result is a new way of seeing and interpreting the world, and, ultimately, a change in the artist herself.


Irish artist Niamh Cunningham has lived in many places undergoing a state of flux and change: South Africa just before Mandela became president, Hong Kong during and after reunification, and Dubai, where she saw a hypermodern city rising from the sands. A year in Prague – a city and nation in transition from one kind of political and cultural identity to another – was followed by a move to China, where she has lived and worked since 2011. Beijing, some might say, is the ultimate transitional, liminal place: a city undergoing constant, convulsive change as the grey-walled hutongs are overwritten by steel and glass skyscrapers and new ring-roads push the city ever further into the countryside.

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Reality Bites- John Gerrard’s POWER.PLAY at UCCA

Curated by Philip Tinari and Guo Xi

John Gerrard’s first exhibition in China featured  Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada),  Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma) and  Exercise (Dunhuang) recently shown at UCCA in 798 , Beijing.

 1. SolarReserve photo:Niamh Cunningham1

Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) John Gerrard, POWER.PLAY at UCCA, 798, Beijing Summer 2016

What is real and what is a real representation are some of the internal workings going on with you as you experience these huge simulated light sculptures. These ambiguous interventions are so very similar to camera work. The slow steady panning of movement is quite hypnotic and the viewer needs time to find out how they are responding to this slightly strange yet familiar world.

But there are many layers to this new media and lucky for me Gerrard is one of the most articulate artists I have come across.

These pieces of software do not exist if they’re not energized. “The works are effectively energy in transit. That’s their condition. There is no film. There is no artifact. You simply have this set of instructions, which is bundled into an executable file. Without a computer to execute it, you have nothing. So my logic around that is that this is a very pregnant way to respond to contemporary conditions, because a lot of our realities are profoundly influenced by what I would call the algorithmic turn. Investment banking, political decision-making, military decision-making, trade, supermarkets: they are modeling reality, and, on that basis, they are making decisions about how reality is formed.”

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IRISH WAVE 2016 exhibitions have arrived for the IRISH FESTIVAL in CHINA

Here is a quick look at IRISH WAVE Exhibitions  showing this weekend in 798

'When I was 11'Niamh Cunningham

Exhibition 12 March – 9 April 2016

BIRTH OF A NATION @ 798 at NING SPACE – Formal opening: 5:30-7:30pm 15 March

Collectors Talk: 2:00 – 4:00pm 12 March (please request invitation)

Website / Email

Address: 706 North 1st Street, No.2 Jiu Xian Qiao Road, 798 Art District, Beijing

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm Exhibition runs from 12 – 20 March

IDENTITY @ 798 at Emerging Arts Research Center – Formal opening: 4-6:00pm 13 March

Followed by an informal artist’s talk & guided tour

Phone 18610317535 / Email

Address: 300m walk inside Gate No.2, 798 factory, Jiu Xian Qiao Road, 798 Art District, Beijing

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm Exhibition runs from 12 – 16 March

STRUGGLE @ Sanwei Art Center – Formal Opening: 5.30 – 7:30pm 19 March

Website / Email

Address: 68 Xinqiao Road, Shanghai

Opening hours Tues-Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm

Exhibition runs from 19 March – 9 April

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The Hohhot Experience -The First International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Inner Mongolia



This was my first visit to a snow covered Hohhot, the exhibition was held in the south campus of the University of Inner Mongolia. As a participating artist I had just arrived (by the skin of my teeth) on the overnight train for the 10 am opening ceremony on Monday morning, Dec 14th.



I was showing some of my  portraits  from the Transparent Milk Series  which I based on the young generation of China. I taught all of these young students during my first year in China, some were tutored individually so I knew them well and others were from art workshops at a migrant school. Before this point my portraits were heavily saturated  in colour but I needed to paint my students differently.  I began to paint my students in milk colours  in reference to the earlier story of powder milk contamination.

N & work 2









This exhibition titled “Recombination and Mutation of Gene” was curated by Gu Zhenqing and Wu Rijin. Four of the participating artists  at this exhibition are Irish Wave Artists: Jia YouGuang, Ma Yanling, Fion Gunn and myself.

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