Beautiful Weihai – Her Name.Existence

Bi Keyan, Niamh Cunningham, Li XIaonan, Yan Ping , Li Fai Heung, Monika Lin, WangBaoju, Tong Yujie

I have just returned from beautiful Weihai, my first trip outside Beijing for over 20 months.

I am delighted to be participating in this current exhibition ‘Her Name-Existence’ This is the Peninsula Art Museum’s second exhibition of the series especially dedicated to art made by renowned contemporary art practitioners… who happen to be female.

Her Name .Existence – Peninsula Art Museum WeiHai.

The exhibition continues till October 22 2021

Art Practitioner panel discussion with academicians at the Peninsula Art Museum coffee shop

I was thrilled to meet renowned artists such as Yan Ping, Bi Keyan, Monika Lin and Wang Baoju, and also academic Chair Li Xiaonan  and academic art writer Tong Yujie. Unfortunately curator Zhen Guo is still in the US and other artists Huang Jia and Anna Kasima were unable to make the trip. A huge thank you to Director of Peninsula Art Museum Li Fai Heung and all the hard working staff of the museum including NingNing and Wang Qian who presented a wonderful space to explore a range of intriguing artworks and also the production of an impressive catalogue.


Click Here  for link to the overall exhibition of  all eight artists

Bachmann Girl acrylic on canvas 100 x 100 cm Niamh Cunningham 2017


Friend to Many CC 100x100cm acrylic on canvas , Niamh Cunningham 倪芙 2019

Friend to Many CC 100x100cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019


Twin Dance (Transparent Milk Series) oil on canvas 50x50cm Niamh Cunningham2013



I am showing twelve of my portraits at the Peninsula Art Museum, Weihai.

Reworking digital distortions, compiling and rearranging those distortions on canvas invites us to reread people we think we know well. We are living in an age where we need to look at ourselves from every angle. Deep Systems thinker the late Gregory Bateson liked to look at a thing from different angles, twist it around endlessly so as not to get stuck on a singular line of thinking.  ‘The pattern that connects’ was his life’s work. He was preoccupied with why humans frequently behave in ways that are destructive of natural ecological systems.

He asked questions of holistic structures such as how does it work? what works with it? what are the relationships? how does it learn? how does it think? how does it interact? If we don’t search for this pattern that connects, in our global culture, in our educational institutions, we are likely to break it and when that happens Bateson said “you necessarily destroy all quality.”This rereading of how we perceive and understand what is in front of us , the use of digital distortions , altering selecting and rearranging yet again on the canvas , this is what we have to work with, ourselves , together to secure a safe and resilient planet for many many future generations .

In Her Eyes 100x100cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019


A New Century EL 100x100cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019


Woodblock Connoisseur CC 100x100cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019


The portraits in Weihai include friends, fellow artists, curators, family members  and students. Among these portraits there is only one person I did not know personally that is the anti war poet Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) as a girl which was made for a special exhibition ‘Mortgaged Time’ at the Red Gate Gallery in 2018 .  

Ferryman.DC  50x50cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019

Mamo Greenfingers DC 50×50 cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019



Ally Eddie (EC) 100x100cm acrylic on canvas Niamh Cunningham 2019




For each artist below I have a link attached with more information and artworks by the artist.

Link 1 for overview  of all artists

Link 2 overview 


Yan Ping 闫平

Yan Ping is a well renowned artist here in China not only for her feminist art and reference to the female body of the 1990’s  but also known for her signature compositions of dancers and performance artists , there was one painting I came across in a catalogue and knew only a trained dancer could form that position  and was told that she had trained as a ballet dancer earlier in life. 

To learn more about artist Yan Ping please click here.


Guo Zhen  郭桢

I first met artist/curator Guo Zhen in 2018 waiting for a minibus in Songzhuang to take us to a sculpture residency in Wudi Shandong. Guo Zhen is well known for her huge textile installations of the female breast .

To learn more about the artist Guo Zhen click here . 



A portrait I made of her is currently showing in Hou Hai,  Joy Beans Artspace Beijing.

She GZ 50×50 acrylic on canvas 倪芙瑞莲.N Cunningham 2019 ( portrait of curator of exhibition is currently showing in Beijing Hou Hai  JoyBeans Space ) 


Bi Keyan  毕可燕

Bi Keyan is an artist currently living in  Weihai . I enjoyed listening to her talk about her work. She explores free movement of ink and random fusion with paper.  

Please click on the link to learn more about  artist Be Keyan .

Monika Lin 林耀明

I have known Monika Lin for many years as we have worked on shared projects . Her “ Philosphers Wall” made of complex stories inside walnut shells, this work is amazing when experienced up close.

To learn more about artist Monika Lin click here


Anna Kasima 安娜·卡基米娜

I first met Anna Kasima at the same sculpture project in Shandong Wudi  and we have kept in contact regarding other projects. To see more of her interesting figurative abstractions and to see more of her work

To learn more about artist Anna Kasima click here.


Wang Baoju 王宝菊

Wang Baoju is a video artist living in Beijing. Her film “Waves” focusses on the throats of 60 boys between 18 and 19 yrs displays the multiple movements caused by swallowing .

To learn more about artist Wang Baoju click here

Huang Jia 黄佳

Huang Jia is currently living in Germany . To learn more about her minimalist paintings of solid blocks of colour.

To learn more about artist Huang Jia click here



Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲

Click here to read short essays by Li Xiaonan and Ton Yujie on portraits by Niamh Cunningham .










Participating Artists


Yan Ping 闫平, Guo Zhen  郭桢,Bi Keyan  毕可燕 ,Monika Lin 林耀明, Anna Kasima 安娜·卡基米娜, Wang Baoju 王宝菊, Huang Jia 黄佳, Niamh Cunningham  倪福。瑞莲


Curator: Guo Zhen

Academic Chair: Li Xiaonan

Academic support  : Tong Yujie

Director of Peninsula Art Museum : Lee Fai Heung

The exhibition continues till October 22nd 2021


Special thanks to all the organisers in Weihai and  supporting institutions for publicity and academia. 

And a personal thanks also to Cheng Li who shared plenty of  interesting stories and facts  during  my visit in Weihai.