Be sure to treat yourself to a little dance today , wishing you a great day !
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the opening ceremony for Beijing No 55 High School. The students were starting back after their long Chinese Spring Festival break ready to face the music for the next semester.
On Friday Nov 20th I arrived in XiYan town in Yu county, Shanxi for the funeral of Zhang Xiantu. She was the last surviving member of a group of comfort women that sued the Japanese government in 1995. In 2007 a top court in Japan recognized the crime but rejected the compensation claims.
I came to Shanxi because a few weeks earlier in Beijing we had a major contemporary group exhibition which I co curated with Fion Gunn “Intimate Transgressions” dealing with the issue of sexual violence as a weapon of war (click here for previous post). This large group exhibition will continue to visit cities in 2016 within China and Asia before going to Australia and Europe.
One of our artists Gao Yuan had researched the comfort women in Yu county for her photography and video work and we had chosen Gao’s portrait of Zhang Xiantu for the large poster outside Inter gallery in 798. Once I was kindly offered a car ride from Beijing by artist Meng Zifan and Jiang Yuchun there was no question, I was able to go.
There were stone slabs on one alley way which I was told was likely to be 300 years old. And so I couldn’t help thinking that there would have been little change to this impoverished village since the war. On entering the family farm-yard there was a fire burning wood to welcome and offer warmth for visitors, this is where I met with the funeral musicians huddled around the fire.
This post looks at a few of the participating artists’ work on the challenging subject of sexual violence in times of conflict, taken from both a historical and global perspective.
Niamh Cunningham: Hair Lock Knitted artist’s hair 36 x 66 cm 2015 (Click on the side bar of this page for a short video about making this)
The first exhibition of the “Intimate Transgressions” project was launched at the WhiteBox gallery NYC on September 3rd. This multi media exhibition explores the human experience of war from a gender perspective and aims to give a better public understanding of the institutional and individual violence towards women which occurs during conflicts. The exhibition was presented by CAPA (Center for Asian Pacific Affairs) and WhiteBox Gallery.
Wednesday morning (Aug 26th 2015) was a special marker of my five years here in Beijing. Three large Ginkgo works were installed in the entrance that welcomes and directs visitors to the Orthopaedic Nurses station. The three paintings were unveiled by the Ambassador of Ireland to China Paul Kavanagh, Professor Wu Yu-qing President of Huaxin First Affiliated Hospital to Tsinghua University and Professor Daniel Porter head of the Orthopaedic centre.
The two artist exhibition “Reciprocal Plane” 同一平面 opened on August 8th (the first day of Chinese Autumn) showing work by Shanghai artist Huang A Zhong and myself.
With Xiao Yan Ling and Prof Huang in the orange shirt
Many thanks to CRI China Radio International for this video clip.
The café, perched above the 798 art district, was empty, giving the sunlight a golden opportunity to shadow wooden tables. The setting seemed apt as across the table from me sat Chen Qingqing, a leading light, in more ways than one, of Chinese contemporary art.
With a major exhibition, “Fantasy Museum” showing at the Yuan Art Museum, her first in three years, Qingqing is relishing the chance to show her work, which focuses on wooden drawer installations, fiber hemp grass garments and light boxes, to a new audience.
Here is a look at Patty Hudak’s recent show at Being 3 at the plastics factory , Nan Gao, north of CaoChangdi in Beijing. The American artist (she also is Irish) has been living in Beijing for 7 years . Most of the work shown here was made in the last 2 years.
The show was curated by Catherine Cheng.
Sailing to Byzantium is a huge textile painting 25 m x 3 m and was originally conceived for IRISH WAVE 2015 exhibition – “Golden Fleece” which interlaced the poem by WB Yeats of the same name.
Having sat for four sessions this week for clay sculpture class of Prof Pan Yiqun at Tsinghua, it was a good exercise for me to learn to sit still for a change. My friend Pan Yiqun has been a long time participating artist with the annual Irish Wave exhibitions, even before I joined many years ago.