Niamh Cunningham is a visual artist working in Beijing for more than a decade. Her work is focused on ecological insights and linked to themes of collective transformation. She works mostly with paints, and employs mixed media and photographic processes in developing new techniques such as her “Sucrose Series”. She explores the space between the known and the unknown, of recognition and perception in her Portraits . In November 2020 she began work on a pilot project Microbe Art with research scientists the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) .
Light and transparency are often signatures in her work.
At the beginning of 2020 was a return to Nature with “The Memory Palace of Tree Stories” . This is a collection of stories from different people around the globe while working on painting and mixed media on the subject of trees. More recently the stories are in short video format . Another socio eco art practice began June 2022 with “Tree Planter” a tree installation which invites people to add their carefully folded origami leaves made from one yuan notes to the tree. Other kinds of work include the ‘Sucrose Series’ which investigates nature and loss and transformation, it is a multilayered process where crystallisation is worked with other interventions .
Since arriving in China , she has explored textile installation art such as: When I was 11, the Pillar of Time, the Hair Skull and the Hair Lock and other projects such as sound performance which was performed in the National Centre for Performing Arts as part of the Irish Wave exhibitions in 2012 . “The Hair Lock” was exhibited at the WhiteBox gallery in New York in September 2015 and also Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei in November 2016 and various museums around China. Some thoughts the artist has about working with DNA as an art material can be found here.
Cunningham has been co-curating exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai with Irish Wave for a number of years (2012-2016). She was the Beijing co -curator for the Intimate Transgressions exhibition in October 2015. Please click here for the post on Oct 2016 See A Walk with the Curators
In August 2014 she had a solo show at the ancient building of Dong Yue Art Museum next to Dong Yue Temple, Beijing. On March 29th 2015 CCTV news (China’s national TV English channel) broadcast the 30 minute documentary on the exhibition An Eastward Calling . In April 2017 TV programme ‘Beijing Guest’ on Beijing TV Youth Channel highlighted the exhibition with Infinite Entities : Life and Nature .
*Cunningham was invited to various artist residencies in China :
Zhang Jiajie International residency program in Hunan in November 2014.
Land art residency in Wudi Shandong in October 2017.
Guanlan printmaking base in Shenzhen March 2018
The Grand Canal residency in Tongzhou August 2021
“Rhythm of Life“ residency in Xishuangbanna Yunnan Nov 2021.
*received a commission for three large paintings for the Orthopedic Department in Huaxin Hospital which were installed in August 2015.8
*Presented art workshops for children in different communities in Beijing .
*presented artist /artist-curator talks in the Art Departments of Henan Business College, Zhengzhou（2013） and the China Women’s University, Beijing and Canvard College -Beijing Technology and Business University （2015）and other schools in Beijing.
Work has been sold in Europe, America, Australia, the Arabian Gulf and China and are part of collections in Emirati royal households (Abu Dhabi) and various institutions, including Dubai Duty Free, Tamani Hotel Marina and Grosvenor Hotel Dubai, the Department of Tourism Trade and Commerce Dubai, the Emirates Environmental Group, the Irish Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Beijing, Orthopedic Centre Huaxin Hospital Beijing, DiQiuCun, eco land art Museum Wudi Shandong, Pullman Hotels (China), Wan Liu Properties (Beijing) and Star Entertainment Group Properties (Sydney), MaHa Hobson Beijing , and other local corporate collections.
This website features documentation of artworks and exhibitions, downloads of publications and regular updates on upcoming projects.
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Anli Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing , China
Please e mail me for further contact details .
1988-1989 University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, MSc. Biomedical Sciences
1985-1988 University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BSc. Medical Laboratory Sciences
Huamei Ecoversity (online) – Eco literacy Training for Creatives and Art professionals July 2020
Planetary Boundaries PB001 (online)- Stockholm Resilience Centre September 2020
2022 Moon Covenant For觅 gallery , Grasse Town , Beijing June
2022 Artists from Ireland (online) Sasse Museum of Art Pomona, CA, USA (catalogue link)
2022 Peoples’ Portraits EBM Centre, Tsinghua Uni Intelligent HealthCare, Beijing
2021 Rhythm of Life Xishuangbanna Art Museum, Jinghong, Dec
2021 Linear Jingheng Art centre, Jinshan Shanghai Dec
2021 Abstract China, Taizhou, Jiangsu Oct/Nov
2021 Meet the Grand Canal Xinguanda Centre Tongzhou, Sept
2021 Linear Langkong Art Museum 798 , Beijing July
2021 Her Name – Existence Peninsula Art Museum, Weihai, July
2021 Linear LangKong Art Museum 798 July
2021 Silent and Soft -New Interpretations Suzhou classical Gardens June
2021 All things Bright CSR symposium Shangrila Hotel, Beijing June 10th
2021 The Second Step (mini solo) Joy Beans Space ,Jiu Longtou , hutong, June
2021 Astro World Kun Art Museum , Solana, Beijing, June
2021 Art Beijing, Garden of Friendship B28 Agriculture Centre, Beijing April
2021 Ireland creative Brigid festival Embassy of Ireland, Beijing Jan
2020 Art for a Sustainable Future China CSR report symp Taifu Hotel Beijing Dec
2020 The Pattern that Connects, duo show , Dong Yue Art Museum Beijing Oct
2020 Silent Blast Wuxi Bund Art Centre , Wuxi , Jiangsu, July 11-31 2020
2019 China Ireland at Museu&m, Expo park , Shanghai, Nov 29th 2019
2019 1919 – Irish Consulate New York City with the Hamilton Gallery September
2019 Gobi Heaven Art Festival , Inner Mongolia, August 2019
2019 Bloomsday at Irish Embassy in Beijing June 16 2019
2019 1919 – Hamilton Gallery, Sligo , Ireland July – September
2019 A Piece of Cotton Paper 9th floor gallery Songzhuang June 15th
2019 Winning the Day Granary Art Centre SiShui County , Shandong, May -June 2019
2019 Beyond the Form of Art , Wick Art Centre , Budapest , Hungary, April-May 2019
2019 Odyssey the Return, Dong Yue Art Museum, Chao Wai St ,Gongti East, Beijing April 13-22
2018 Map and Territory Art IRRCA at Beijing Geely College Nov 20- Dec20
2018 On Paper Supreme, Gwangju Art Museum Beijing Creative Centre Sonzhuang Nov16-Dec3
2018 China Europe International Contemporary Art Global Tour Shanghai, Investors Hub, The House of Roosevelt, The Bund, Oct 27
2018 On Paper Supreme, Extension Space, Shenyang, Liaoning, Sept 16th – Oct 21st
2018 An Irish Airman Forsees his Death Hamilton Gallery Sligo, Ireland June- Nov 2018
2018 Artist Nomination Exhibition Huaiyin gallery, Huai’an city, Jiangsu, July-Aug 2018
2018 On Paper Supreme, Ordos Culture and Art Centre , Inner Mongoloa , Aug – Sept
2018 Abstract International ChungChuen College, Jinan, July 2018
2018 On Paper Supreme, Tiantai Art Centre, Qing Dao, Shangdong, June 2018
2018 Existence, International Feminist Art Exhibition, Mezzi Art Space, Changsha, Hunan June
2018 Excavations, He Gallery, Laipeng Golf Art Space Beijing, April 22 –June 3
2018 Mortgaged Time, Red Gate Gallery 798, Beijing, April 21-29th
2018 Excavations, Enjoy Museum 798, Beijing, April 10-17th
2018 Red & Fruit, Raycom IT Centre, Zhongguangcun, Beijing Jan- March
2017/18 International Visual Art Hunan Exhibition Mezzi Master, Meixi xin tian di, Changsha, Hunan, Dec- Jan 2018
2017/18 Slow Raycom IT Centre, Zhongguangcun, Beijing Dec – Jan 2018
2017 Qualitiative Phase and the Narrative Beijing Film Academy Triennial Exhibition, Dong Yue Art Museum, December
2017 Paper.Supreme a group exhibition of paper works in Guangzhou , Centre for Contemporary Art , December
2017 Global Village Land Art Museum, two large sculptures were commissioned for public Land Art Park in Wudi , Shandong, October
2017 Art:Gwangju:17 presented by Leyden Gallery, London & Nancy Toomey Gallery, San Francisco at Gwangju artfair North Korea, September
2017 Paper.Supreme a group exhibition of paper works in Ordos Art and Cultural centre , Inner Mongolia, August.
2017 Niamh in Wuxi , exhibited monotypes at Wuxi Opera House Jiangsu, as part of the Folk is Fashion Festival, July.
2017 Infinite Entities- Life and Nature, with fellow artist Gengxin, Dong Yue Art Museum, ChaoyangmenWai, Beijing, April
2016 Female Artists Nomination Exhibition, Dayuntang Art Museum , Wangjing, Beijing , December
2016 Intimate Transgressions, Taipei Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, November
2016 The Painted Thread with artists Gulistan and Fion Gunn, at Joy Pavillion, Jinhui Road CBD , Beijing, September
2016 Monotype- The China Workshops Art Gallery of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, June
2016 Intimate Transgressions Hangzhou Public Library, April
2016 Struggle San Wei Arts Centre Shanghai, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)
2016 Identity Emerging Arts Research Centre, 798, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)
2016 Birth of a Nation NING SPACE, 798, March (IRISH WAVE 2016)
2016 Visual – Female Exhibition Dahua 1935 Xi’an March 8th
2016 International Representational and Abstract Art Jiujiang Jiangxi, January.
2015 Recombination and Gene Mutation,University of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, December
2015 Intimate Transgressions Beijing, Inter Gallery , 798 , Beijing, October
2015 Reciprocal Plane , (2 artist show with Shanghai artists Huang A Zhong) Dong Yue Art Museum , See previous post Reciprocal Plane
2015 Sailing to Byzantium, Leyden Gallery, London,UK October
2015 Intimate Transgressions NYC, White Box Art Centre, New York City, USA September
2015 Red and Green- International Female Art Exhibition:
Ningbo City Cultural Centre March -April (note: for this exhibition I am listed with my Chinese name Rui Lian瑞莲)
2015 Intimate Perspectives, Shanghai Grand Theatre, March
2015 Small World, San Wei Art Centre, M50, Shanghai, March
2015 A Meditation in a time of War, Dong Yue Art Museum, March
2015 Golden Fleece, Inter Art Centre, sevenstar mainstreet, 798, Beijing March
2014 Zhangjiajie International painting residency
China International Art Fair (CNIAF), Linyi, Shangdong, December
2014 An Eastward Calling , (solo)Dong Yue Art Museum , Beijing, September
2014 Nature, Patty Hudak’s group exhibition , 66 Art Space , Sanyuanqiao, Beijing, May
2014 Shadows, 228 China Central Mall, JianGuo Road, Beijing, March
2014 Material World Loftoo Gallery, M50 , Shangahi , March
2014 Convergence 3C space, 798, Beijing March
2013 Gather and Remade TuShanWan Museum, Xuhui Shanghai, March
2013 Legacy Shanghai University Fine Art Museum, Shanghai, March
2013 Baby Baby Irish Centre Shanghai, Central Plaza, Huangpi Road, March
2013 Ireland -China in View Yan Chao Collection Gallery, Guo Mao, Beijing, March
2013 Walls and Borders C 3 Creative Space, 798 , Beijing, March
2013 Tale of Two Cities Dublin-Beijing Nuo Art , 798 , Beijing March
2013 Women L’ eau Art Shanghai : BK3/111 M 50 Moganshan Rd,Shanghai 4 portraits
2012 Intimate Revolution Siemens Art space, 798, Beijing, March
2012 Instruments of Pleasure National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, March
2012 Hidden Meanings –Yan Chao Collection Gallery, Guo Mao, Beijing March
Performance art collaboration 2012: At all three above Irish Wave exhibitions I invited contemporary music composer Grainne Mulvey to compose rhythms for clapping, this exciting collaboration was performed by a team of five professional musicians: Maisie Wu (sound engineer), Wang Gang(composer),Yin Hao (singer) JinShan (singer) Catriona Crimmons (violinist) and myself.
2009 From Dubai to Carlow, (solo)
Carlow, Ireland, George Bernard Shaw Room, Carlow County Library, June
2008 Beyond Al Khor (solo)
Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai, UAE June
2008 Art Avenue-Jan- Feb 2008 patronage of Dubai Cultural Council, UAE
Selected works of Creek Series displayed with XVA gallery during Dubai Shopping Festival on Al Seef road.
2007 In Vivo – The Creek Series (solo)
Art Attack Gallery, Dubai, UAE Nov 2007
2007 British Embassy Dubai, UAE Nov 2007
Showcased by Black Sheep Studios with British artists in the UAE, Dubai
2007 Colourful Cares Dubai Womens Association Deira, Dubai, UAE
Showcased by Dubai Cultural Council in aid of Dubai Cares Charity Oct 2007
2007 Enterprise Ireland Dusit Hotel Dubai UAE June 2007
2007 Art Attack Gallery, Dubai, UAE, March 2007
Group Exhibition participating during Gulf Art Fair.
2006 Lakes Clubhouse Meadows, Dubai, UAE. June 2006
Showcased part of Creek Series alongside work of sculptor Alan Meyburgh
2006 Royal Dublin Showgrounds Dublin Ireland August 2006
Camio showcased works from Creek Series
2006 Cobalt Cafe and Gallery Dublin Ireland October Nov 2006
Four works showing alongside work of Siobhan Ni Shithigh
2006 Burjuman Art and Fashion Festival Dubai UAE Nov 2006
2005 Dubai International Art Centre Annual Exhibition Dubai UAE May 2005
2005 Burjuman Art and Fashion Festival, Dubai UAE Dec 2005
2004 Eigse exhibition Carlow Ireland June 2004
2002 Group exhibition on hiragana calligraphy Shibuyia Tokyo Feb 2002
Infinite Entities : Life and Nature
Female Artists Nomination :
Painted Thread , CBD , Beijing :
Intimate Transgressions Hangzhou:
IRISH WAVE 2016 “Birth of a Nation” :
Group exhibition in Jiujiang – International Representational and Abstract Art January 2016
Intimate Transgressions October 2015 Beijing
Intimate Transgressions, White Box Art centre NYC September 2015
Reciprocal Plane 2 artist exhibition
CCTV News– My China – An Eastward Calling, a 30 minute documentary on preparing for solo exhibition at Dong Yue, Beijing.
MetroStyle, A bilingual fashion and lifestyle magazine Weixin September 5 ,2014
Fenghuang News (Hong Kong online publication) August 31, 2014
Beijing Evening News 2, September, 2014
China Daily : National English Language Newspaper
China Edition, page 5, June 8, 2014
China Daily, European Edition, page 29, June 13-19, 2014
Red Gate: online magazine Sunday, p24, March 11, 2012
The Nationalist, regional weekly newspaper, Ireland,May 22nd 2009
Carlow People, local weekly newspaper, Carlow artist with a unique perspective, Ireland, May26th 2009
The National, daily newspaper in UAE: School exposes children to art, July 24 2008
The National, Arts and Life. A farewell to Al Khor June 10 p2
Dubai Irish Society Year Book 2008 p77
Cultural Horizons (Dubai Cultural Council) p28 Feb 2008
Cultural Horizons p25 Dec 2007
Time Out (Dubai) p72 Nov 15-22 2007
Gulf News, Tabloid p8 Nov 20 2007.
Dubai Eye Radio Interviewed by Lisa Ball-Lechgar Nov 19th 2007
City Seven TV News Nov 21st 2007
Canvas Guide p29 Nov/ Dec 2007
Gulf Today Nov 2 2006 Artists gather to create breast cancer awareness
Gulf News, Tabloid p5 Dec 3, 2005.
Bigsmallartists –board member: a community interest company which engages informal cross collaboration with European and Chinese artists .
Member of Visual Artists Ireland
Emirates Fine Arts Society
Dubai International Art Centre
Emirates Environmental group
Artist Talk- Get involved, Participate and Find you Tribe . Opening ceremony for Spring Semester for Beijing 55 HighSchool , Feb 2017.
Artist Talk– Poetic Vision. Facilitated and co presented an evening discussion of art and WB Yeats poetry hosted by the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing with artists Fion Gunn,Patty Hudak and major Yeats translator Prof Fu Hao March 25th , 2015
Artist/Curator talk: Canvard College – Beijing Technology and Business University, Songzhaung
Artist Talk: Off the Wall Informal talk at China Womens University Dec 2012
Artist Talk : Henan Business College Art Department May 2013
Irish Wave exhibitions supporting and co curating exhibitions in Beijing 2012, Beijing and Shanghai 2013, 2014 , 2015 and 2016
Workshop for migrant school at Irish Centre Shanghai, March 2013
Summer school Workshop for migrant school Xingzhi in Daxing, July 2012
Workshops with START a humanitarian art foundation -Al Alfia government school, Al Qusais, Dubai April 2008
START Summer School July 2008 held at Jam Jar – oil painting workshop for youth of various talent and needs.
World Wildlife Fund, Greeting card catalogue 2007
Flight of the Falcons public art project with Artworks, Dubai Jan 2006.
Designed and painted ‘Jupiter’ a small falcon sculpture displayed at The One and Only Royal Mirage in March 2006.
Artist Jam event by Jam Jar at Burjuman Centre Dubai, October 28th 2006Artist Jam in aid of Safe and Sound Breast Cancer Awareness
Arabian Horse public art project with Artworks, Dubai Feb 2005.Painted ‘Godolphins Rainbow’ , displayed outside the Godolphin Gallery at Nad Al Sheba Racetrack, Dubai, UAE