Mappa Mundi and other 798 delights

A few months ago I was asked to arrange a walking tour of 798 by the RAS  -Beijing  (Royal Asiatic Society ) . I knew that Mappa Mundi by polymath Qiu Zhijie would be a high priority for this visit. Prof Qiu is a writer, educator and curator believes that map making produces ‘awareness’ rather than understanding. Navigating links and building connections as we develop our own perceptions may well be one of those special things that shows us what it is to be human. These particular maps explore lost meanings and hidden connections that lie outside of history and common knowledge. On Saturday morning 4th (this was the last weekend the exhibition was running) we began our voyage of discovery at the UCCA.

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The Art of the Young Learner – two different workshops

It has been a few years since I gave workshops for children. But within the space of a week I gave 6 workshops in two different locations during the Chinese new year festival .

It was good to re-engage with my approach, knowing full well what I needed to provide. How will I manage and contain the exuberance, energy and impatience of the children? Would I remain patient myself in that environment?  Could I nurture the brilliant moments they have and push them on that path when things actually do work out and continue to work out wonderfully? Would I be able to unlock their talent and satisfy their curiosity ? Continue reading

‘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 the Bund, the China–Europe Global Tour

The view from The House of Roosevelt, 27 the Bund where China – Europe International Contemporary Art Global Tour.Shanghai was launched.

 

The opening ceremony was a grand elegant affair attracting support and endorsements from a range of cultural entities. The reception was hosted by Yu Tinting, founder of Qiyi culture. Speeches were delivered by Victor King founder of Global Investor Hub,  Li Jiashan, Executive Vice President of National Institute of Cultural Development, Mr POLO (chairman) and Mr. Ignasi Guardans i Cambo (a former MEP) and curators Ma Yiying and Longjing Li .

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At Your Leisure – Huai Yin Art Museum, Huai’an, Jiangsu

Hou Hai sucrose on printed cotton, mixed media, 20 cm diam,2018

Excerpt from catalogue 

……Abstract art has established a position in the mainstream of painting today and so it is a surprise to find an Irish artist follow the traditional laws of focus and perspective, embarking on a similar path to David Hockney. Cunningham 瑞莲 Ruilian has travelled extensively in China and it is obvious that the landscapes have influenced her style. She may even be more enthusiastic about Chinese landscape than Chinese artists themselves. The rolling mountains, the unreached horizon and the hustle and bustle of the city streets and buildings continue as witness to her travels, and are witnesses to her understanding of China. …..

Curator Xie Hai August 2018

The summer exhibition in Jiangsu, curated by Xie Hai, was held at Huaiyin Art Museum on July 24th 2018.  Xie said the project focussed on the individual artist painting language and development of the artist’s style.

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On Paper Supreme 2018, Ordos, Inner Mongolia

I am thrilled to be showing in Inner Mongolia at the moment. 

On Paper Supreme 2018  is currently showing in Ordos Culture and Art Centre, the exhibition is curated by Chang Feng. 

Some of the work I am showing is part of the Sucrose Series which refers to the fragility of nature and ecological settings.

On Paper.Supreme Sucrose series by Niamh Cunningham

‘A New Dress Woven ‘, mixed media, 40 cm diam Niamh Cunningham 2018

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From the Abstract to VR, toying with theories, The Jinan Exhibition

While preparing this blog and reading through the artists’ statements below there has been a lot of reference to constructing and perceiving reality which puts in mind the subject big data and VR, huge phenomena of our time. When symbols such as words fade away to be replaced by shared knowledge of communication, such a shared virtual reality, it can alter how we live and behave. We now exist in a very different space and time and it is the abstract form of art which points out to us a few basic building blocks.  

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