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.
This rendition of Excavations opened on Sunday 22nd April and I would like to thank Gallery manager Liu Meijun, Mr Zhou Chen of Chen Gallery, Mr Huang Zhongjin of Laipeng golf grounds. Many thanks to curators Jia Jingjing and Liu Meijun for all their hard work. Sincere thanks to deputy Head of Mission Tim Harrington who came to officiate the opening along with cultural attaché Aoife Fleming of the Embassy of Ireland. Thank you to Dublin City Council for sponsoring this project celebrating the twinning programme between Dublin and Beijing .
The opening was very special as five of the six participating artists were present : Fion Gunn, Gulistan, Monika Lin arrived from Shanghai and Lee Sheungha came from Korea and myself. Sadly Audrey Mullins could not be present .
NIAMH CUNNINGHAM/瑞莲, Bachmann Girl 巴赫曼姑娘, 2017, Acrylic on canvas 布面丙烯, 100 x 100 cm
Anti War Poet Ingeborg Bachman spent her life’s work often using death as a motif, reflecting on the hidden forces of violence and oppression in society. She was appalled and yet fascinated by the fact that crimes against humanity were being committed on such a large scale even outside the boundaries of war.
The Aryan poet came to despise her father (a bona fide fascist) and began to identify with the Nazi Jewish victims. Bachmann witnessed the Nazi troops march through her town when she was 12 years old of which she wrote “the pain came too early and was perhaps stronger than anything since … the monstrous brutality , the yelling, singing and marching, the first deathly anxiety attack .” The portrait above is based on a photograph of the poet as a young girl.
Li Xinmo and Amy Grubbs performing at The Red Gate Gallery Sunday 22nd April 2018.
Mortgaged Time is an international group exhibition at the Red Gate Gallery in 798 , Beijing. The artworks and performances pay homage to the post WWII poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan.
The exhibition is curated by Raimund Rosarius who is also a theatre director and the project is produced by Susanne Matz. It was these two stellar people who conceived the project. Huge thanks also to Brian Wallace and the wonderful Red Gate team including Feibi, Hongmei and Han Chunhai for hosting this special dialogue and also to the Austrian embassy for their support of the project.
Please join us for a very special exhibition on Saturday 21st at The Red Gate Gallery , 798 . Exhibition produced by Susanne Matz and curated by Raimund Rosarius . Impressive live performances in the afternoon and various events , guided tours and performances throughout the week.
Fred Dufour, Fion Gunn, Gao Ping, Li Chao, Li Li, Li Xinmo, Ben Mcmillan, Shameera Wiest, Tami Xiang, Niamh Cunningham
Performance Artists: Amy Grubb, Fen Ni, Gao Yuan, and Li Xinmo
This video was produced by Kosima Weber Liu as part of the Tuesday Trotters trip . They have previously visited several exhibitions I have been involved with over the years .
Huiyuan Water City Oil on Canvas 2017 100x 300cm Niamh Cunningham
Excavations is an exhibition of work by six artists Gulistan, Fion Gunn, Monika Lin, Lee Sheungha, Audrey Mullins and Niamh Cunningham celebrating the twinning of the cities of Beijing and Dublin. Curated by Jia Jingjing and Fion Gunn.Excavations is an exhibition of work by six artists Gulistan, Fion Gunn, Monika Lin, Lee Sheungha, Audrey Mullins and Niamh Cunningham celebrating the twinning of the cities of Beijing and Dublin. Curated by Jia Jingjing and Fion Gunn. This post will look at some of my artworks.
Showing two renditions with different bodies of work the exhibition initially opened at Enjoy Museum, 798, April 12th-17 th .and will be at Art Golf Space, He Gallery from April 20thto 29th.