Odyssey The Return – ‘what the artists say’

Fion Gunn, Niamh Cunningham, Gulistan, Li Xinmo and Qingqing
Fion Gunn, Niamh Cunningham, Gulistan, Li Xinmo and Qingqing

In concluding his essay for this exhibition academic curator Huang Du writes 

In short, whether the featured works are abstract or imaginative, whether rational or perceptual, the five artists participating in this exhibition contemplate, to varying degrees, the links between image making and literature and what these concepts mean in their individual artistic practices. They interpret James Joyce’s work from Irish and Chinese perspectives; in a profound way and in a variety of visual languages, they reconstruct a visual Odyssey from the lens of their personal experience.

They have fully wielded their imagination, judgment and expressive power; they have expressed their lived experience from different viewpoints, either subjectively or instinctively. They have contemplated identity, critiqued gender politics, explored the classics, reconstructed artistic ontology. Ongoing and close investigation of these themes has enabled the artists to construct unique, personal and ideological visions – to develop formidable, artistic narratives with confidence. This is what will enable the viewer to find a deep sense of spiritual connection to their work.

The five participating artists say a few words about their works in the exhibition.

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Odyssey the Outreach: Bookworm talk , BFSU talk , Tuesday Trotters visit ect …

Beijing Bookworm talk:

Beijing Bookworm talk on James Joyce with Prof Fu Hao , Niamh Cunningham and FIon Gunn

This year’s Irish project ‘Odyssey the Return ‘ explores James Joyces book Ulysses and the ancient epic poem The Odyssey.  On April 15th the famed Beijing Bookworm hosted our talk ‘What has James Joyce ever done for you?’  Our Monty Pythonesque title became slightly distorted with time as people started to refer to it as ‘What as James Joyce ever done to you?’

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Wandering Rocks a series of portraits currently showing at ‘Odyssey the Return’

These portraits take the roles of some of characters in Wandering Rocks the 10th chapter of Ulysses. Most of the characters in the book appear or are referred to in the 10th Chapter. This Chapter doesn’t have a direct Homeric parallel. The Wandering Rocks is the route not taken by Odysseus on his return journey to Ithaca. He was advised by Circe that these drifting rocks would cause havoc and that he should not go this way.

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Map and Territory – What the artists say

Personal Territory Mixed Media 600×600×300cm Franziska Greber 2018

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.

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‘Bright Stick Trapped’ and other discoveries

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….

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On Paper.Supreme Nov 2018 Beijing: What the artists say

 

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

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