Peoples’ Portraits for Patient Focussed Research


Very pleased to recently install 39 portraits in a working environment at the EBM (Evidence Based Medicine) Centre , School of Medicine at Tsinghua University, Beijing.,

Main Conference Room

Entrance to EBM Centre

Nurse Liu Yan’s Office

The portraits have been good companions in my studio over the years and reminders of different projects in China over the past decade. Some of the portraits are of artists , curators ,  students, friends and family.


A big thank you to the people working at EBM,  Nurse Yan Liu and Dr Liang for being so helpful and accommodating during installation.

A special thank you to Professor Daniel Porter Director of the EBM centre.


There will be a special reception for this installation after the Winter Olympics.  If you are interested in joining us please let me know. 





Link to previous document on Portrait Series 


Exhibition History


Since 2013 I have exhibited parts of the Portrait Series in more than twenty two exhibitions around China with a couple of exhibitions outside China.


2022  Peoples Portraits   The EBM Centre Tsinghua Intelligent Health Care Research Building Beijing 

2021 Her Name – Existence Peninsula Art Museum,   Weihai, Shandong, July

2021 The Second Step (mini solo) Joy Beans Space, Jiu Longtou hutong, BJ June

2020 The Pattern that Connects, duo show , Dong Yue Art Museum Beijing Oct

2019 China Ireland at MUSEu&m, Expo park , Shanghai, Nov

2019 Gobi Heaven Art Festival  Inner Mongolia, Aug

2019 Bloomsday  Irish Embassy in Beijing, June

2019 Carpe Diem Granary Art Centre,SiShui County, Shandong, May -June

2019 Beyond the Form of Art  Wick Art Centre , Budapest , Hungary, April-May

2019 Odyssey the Return Dong Yue Art Museum, BJ April

2018 Mortgaged Time Red Gate Gallery 798,Beijing, April                                                                                               

2017 International Visual Art Hunan Exhibition Mezzi Master, Changsha, Hunan, Dec

2017 Art:Gwangju:17 Gwangju art fair,South Korea, September

2016 The Painted ThreadJoy Pavillion, CBD , Beijing September

2016 Visual – Female Exhibition Dahua 1935 Xi’an

2016 International Representational and Abstract Art Jiujiang Jiangxi, January  

2015 Recombination and Gene Mutation– 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art University of Inner Mongolia,Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, December

2015 Red and Green- International Female Art Exhibition Ningbo City Cultural Centre March -April

2014 An Eastward Calling  (solo) Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing

2014 Convergence Irish Wave 2014  C3 Art Space 798                

2013 Women L’ eau Art Shanghai  M 50 Moganshan Rd, Shanghai, March

2013 Baby Baby Irish Centre Shanghai, Central Plaza,


The milk coloured portraits of young students were first exhibited for an Irish Wave  Exhibition  in Shanghai in 2013. This group of portraits are called “Transparent Milk Series” which began in November 2012.

2015 Recombination and Gene Mutation– 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art University of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, December

2016 The Painted ThreadJoy Pavillion, CBD , Beijing September

2019 Carpe Diem Granary Art Centre,SiShui County, Shandong, May -June

2019 China Ireland at MUSEu&m, Expo park , Shanghai, November

2019 Odyssey the Return Dong Yue Art Museum, BJ April

2021 Her Name – Existence Peninsula Art Museum,   Weihai, Shandong, July





Forest Breath – Currently showing in Xishuangbanna

Banna Overstory Niamh Cunningham 倪芙。瑞莲 acrylic on canvas 100x120cm 2021


The tree inhales, a temporary crystallization of carbon , holding it within the wood. Each year a ring of growth,  jacketing the previous year ,  a molecular signature of the atmosphere, an annual archive of our biosphere.

Banna Vortex Niamh Cunningham 倪芙。瑞莲 acrylic on canvas 120x100cm 2021 

Tree and atmosphere make each other, plant being a crystallization of carbon and air, but what is air? ………………….Air is 400 million years of forest breath.



The two paintings above are currently showing in Xishuangbanna State art Musuem in the group exhibition “Rhythm of Life” curated by Gao Xiang and Zhou Rui. These paintings were made during the November artist residency.

“Rhythm of Life “ runs throughout December at the Xishuangbanna State Art Museum , Jinghong, Yunnan.


During the artist residency in Menglun , Xishuangbanna , Yunnan Nov 2021

Many thanks to  Xishuangbanna  artist Han Xuan  罕璇 ( Nam) for this video.


Media link to the group exhibition Rhythm of Life 

Medial link 1

Media link 2

Link to previous blog about the  artist Residency


A huge thank you to curators Goa Xiang and Zhou Rui  all those  wonderful people involved with both the residency  in Menglun and the people who worked so hard make the  exhibition  a success in Jinghong, Yunnan, 

Hair Skull – currently showing in Shanghai, Dec 2021


Hair Skull , artist hair, Niamh Cunningham 2013

“Linear’ is a group exhibition showing at Jingheng Art Space, Shanghai , 88 Jingheng Square,  818, Zhiwei Road, Jinshan.

Working with DNA as an art material :

Physically knitting your own genomic material is a very contemplative process. Each strand is tested for strength, elasticity and tensility before being selected for specific sections of the sculpture. The white hairs are strong and tensile and suspend the skull with ease. The coloured hair is soft but elastic and resilient.

Being able to see through own genome and acknowledging it as your “coded” self as well as your personal story or experience, this screen of transparent knitted hair frames your world view. Holding on to the idea that it is my perception, acknowledging my referenced life (family traits and other things that are contained in my genome) and personal experience, this is what is framing my view of the world.


Hair Lock  artist hair, Niamh Cunningham 2015

Consciousness is controlled hallucinations:

This is an interesting soundbite worth looking into. We know now that green red and yellow colours are not objective properties of objects in the world, they are just attributes of reflected light. And as the brain works out calculations of wavelengths of light it determines what colour something is. So we don’t even passively receive colour from the world but we actively attribute it to things in the world.

Neuro scientist Anil Seth talks about controlled hallucinations as being our consciousness and says it is not just our perceptions of the outside world but also ourselves, our memory, everything we perceive is a construction.  According to Seth instead of perception depending largely on signals coming into the brain from the outside world, it depends as much, if not more, on perceptual predictions flowing in the opposite direction. We don’t just passively perceive the world. We actively generate it. The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in.

Hair Skull, artists hair, Niamh Cunningham 2013

Cultural perception and our ecological crisis:

This brings us back to our ecological crisis. How can we change our perspective and ways of relating to ‘life’ as a planetary process. Developing a cultural ability to see our actions and the changes we can make, to view this from a systemic perspective would be a good goal. I believe culture and the arts have a vital role in shifting these norms of perception to positive changes in consumer choice which will leading to new industries and economies which are actually sustainable.  


A huge thank you to curator Chang Feng and Shanghai Jingheng Art Space.  The exhibition continues till December 20th.


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. 


The Second Step- portraits have a Summer in Hou Hai

The Second Step is a collection of eighteen of my portraits showing at JoyBeans Space in Jiu Longtou Hutong .  I am delighted to have the portraits reach new audiences in this hutong space  near the lakes of Hou Hai.  


There are  portraits downstairs and upstairs. 


Thank you to those who came to our little gathering on Sunday June 6th  . A big thank you to curator Jacopo Della Ragione for putting it all together with panache and also to Will 陈宇威 one of the architects who runs the space. 


It was a great chance to meet old friends and meet new ones too. 


Special thanks to Ambassador Anne Derwin and her husband Joe for dropping by during their busy schedule, the Ambassador asked questions about every portrait!  






The coffee space is nearby the Prince Gong Mansions  and other interesting residences. It is nearby the area I used to train on the lakes and so I am also hoping my old buddies from Dragon Boat training will pop by .  

The work is showing until August 8th  . 











WaterCity showing at Kun Art Museum , Solana

瑞莲,汇源水城 布面油画 2017 100厘米x300厘米 Niamh Cunningham, Water City Huiyuan oil on canvas 2017 100x 300cm


Astro World – Exit Plan opened Saturday at Kun Art Museum , Solana Mall last Saturday June 5th . This diverse exhibition was curated by artist Curator Doug Lewis whom I have known a number of years. He has been a teacher at the Canadian International School for a number of years and this event is his swan song as he and his artist partner Jean Klimack return to Canada after fourteen years of working in China . I have met them over the years at exhibitions in Caochangdi and 798  and at one or two of Lewis’s other exhibitions he curated over the years.

I was also delighted to be exhibiting with  a couple of artists I have known for years and new friends too. The Exhibition included some graduates and alumni from the Canadian International School 

With Lei Chakman’s work with Chakman and Martin Werhmer 

With Zhang Zhaohui 

With Stephen Gleadlow 



Astro World continues till the 27th of June 

Participating Artists include 

Kai Wen Fei

Jean Klimack

Dani Greene

Douglas Lewis

Martin Wehmer

Matt Hope

Xi Wang

David Lane

Li Gang

LuLu Li

Zhang Zhaohui

Niamh Cunningham,

Lei Chak Man

Divina Yue

Brandon Yuan

Eileen Li

Anna Yang

Martyna Pekela

Rosemary Shen



Astro Music : Some of the artists are musicians  and performed during the opening including Li Gang ( not pictured here ) and Doug Lewis (double  bass)
















ART BEIJING 2021 Irish “Garden of Friendship” exhibition April 30 -May 3


Welcome to ‘The Garden of Friendship’ at Art Beijing 2021, a compelling exhibition by Irish contemporary artists. Much has happened since Irish artist Maurice Quillinan organized the first ‘Youyi Visual’ event in Hangzhou in 2019.

At this unique moment, ‘The Garden of Friendship’ offers new perspectives on connections and elicits from us our greatest creativity and courage and the intriguing prospect that we can build a safer and more inclusive home.

The collection ranges from literal visual realism to conceptual abstraction with a broad language of convergence. Are the answers for our new world in transition immersed within these diverse contemporary works?

A global journey beckons. Passports and quarantines are not required. It is our ideas and endeavors which will take flight. The exhibition is arranged in two seasons. A busy season full of movement and action. Many of the artworks discover the value of functioning networks, whether in family dining rooms or in geometric grids hinting at the screen divisions on video conference calls.

There are multifaceted ecologies among them include the allegorical, infinite and shimmering. These can be seen in the quieter more reflective side of the exhibition space.  Other ecologies show oceans we know to be fragile violently crash on the shoreline.  Cutlery drawers reference our food cultures that are also in transition and demand agriculture be a force for sustainable nourishment. 
Vaccines may give us time but only art will ensure our ability to survive as it endorses the realism and dignity that recognizes our planet as a living system. This is not so much an issue of independence nor dependence nor even interdependence but learning that friendships are an important measure of humanity.
I would like to thank Irish Ambassador Ann Derwin  and all from the Embassy of Ireland  especially Jack Mc Cormack and Han Bai for their support and hard work. A huge thank you to Emily de Wolfe Pettit , Shi Yang and Michelle Feng of Peking Art Associates who installed and operated Booth B 28  as I have been physically indisposed recently. 
Madam Bi Hong, Ambassador Ann Derwin and Emily de Wolfe Pettit at the VIP preview.
Participating Artists  参展艺术家及作品
Helen G Blake           海伦·G·布莱克
Abigail O’Brien  阿比盖尔·奥布莱恩
Tom Climent             汤姆·克莱门特
Niamh Cunningham        瑞莲
Bernadette Doolan   伯纳黛特·杜兰
Pauline Flynn             宝琳·弗林
Maurice Quillinan     莫里斯·奎利南
Robert Ryan              罗伯特·瑞恩
Una Sealy           尤娜·西利,
Donald Teskey         唐纳德·特斯基
Samuel Walsh           塞缪尔·沃尔什
Bernadette Doolan  
This painting illustrates through the human, an innate strength that through life events and social connections empowers us to steady our belief in moving forward. I have always been interested in the symbolism of the red thread of fate, or invisible red thread in Asian mythology. It has influenced my work before and appears again with this painting. In this painting it shows the girl ready to play, however a little uncertain.
Bernadette Doolan, Steadfast, Oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm, 2019
Pauline Flynn
My work is abstract but sometimes suggests landscape. While working on paintings I was thinking of icecaps, rocks, Ogham script (ancient Irish writing dating back to at least the 4thcentury CE), the fragility of earth, light and space. I graduated as a sculptor and later began to make painting.  I often use mixed media as well as paint in my work.
Pauline Flynn Earthwork I, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 2019
Maurice Quillinan
In recent years I have incorporated Chinese ideograms as my primary mark making process, continuously drawing, erasing and redrawing until a logical, visual conversation becomes fleetingly tangible. The poetry of Hanshan and T.S. Eliot (my other important influence) brings the reader into the DNA of places and ideas, narratives I endeavour to engage with via a visually tactile painterly platform.
Maurice Quillinan Poem 117: There is a Mist Eater, Oil on linen, 99.3 x 122 cm, 2019



Niamh Cunningham

‘The Sucrose Series’ explores transformation through crystalisation and drying of water content in mixed media. This transformation occurs on two levels. In the early stages ink is lifted from the surface with hot mixed media, particles of ink are moving and shifting as the process of drying occurs and crystallization takes place and to a certain extent the painting process continues. This layer could be the metaphor for our unique current era of the ecological emergency, being the first generation to witness climate change and the last generation to be capable of taking meaningful action.

Niamh Cunningham, Meeting of the Waters -‘The Sucrose Series’,Original sucrose, mixed media, 30 x 22 cm, 2015



Helen G Blake

Blake’s work is self-referential and without a theme. Using a working method where process and contemplation are both allowed to guide the evolution of the work, she composes overtly hand-made paintings which record and examine colour conversations within accumulating pattern structures, embracing accidents, flaws and discrepancies within their rhythms. The title here is deliberately ambiguous but may be taken as a comment on how the colours and shapes were selected and arranged.

Helen G Blake, Working Together, Oil on linen, 80 x 100 cm,  2019




Abigail O’Brien

O’Brien works in a range of media including painting, photography, video, sculpture and embroidery. She explores ideas of tradition, religion, ritual and domesticity. Table for Two, 2019. refers to preparations being in train, for dinner with a friend or loved one. A meal cooked for you by someone else is very special and food made with love tastes delicious.

Abigail O’Brien: Cutlery Drawer,  from ‘Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner No. 3’, Lambda chrome print on archival paper,  116.5 x 90 cm, Ed 1/2 & AP, 2019



Tom Climent

Tom Climent’s work investigates the borderline between abstraction and representation. His current body of work is predominantly landscape in nature, it suggests a narrative but never actually reveals what that might be. The paintings also investigate materiality and aesthetics. The layers and the mobility of the paint and textures become a witness to the thought process of their making.
Tom Climent, Giant , Oil & plaster on canvas, 92 x 92 cm, 2019
Robert Ryan
Referencing post-modern, it borrows qualities from European old masters, using traditional characteristics in a modern context. Robert Ryan paints landscape, but his work cannot be described as ‘landscape painting’. Allegorical concepts including the infinity of space and time, solitude, vulnerability, fragility and the cycle of life are explored in his paintings and drawings in which a generic four-legged creature is central. This creature inhabits another world, a universal landscape. Ryan has cultivated his images, of both place and its inhabitants, into a hybrid, a non-specific and as a result the viewer is left to reflect on essential truths. This is work that ultimately celebrates the commonality between man and all other creatures – past, present and future.
Robert Ryan, Last of a Species, Oil on canvas, 61 x 76 cm, 2019
Samuel Walsh
Ver is the Latin for Spring which indicates the time of the year that the painting was
made. The Maya were a Mesoamerican, Central American civilization. The painting comes from researching the Mayan period probably through images of Mayan art and architecture. No subtitle, so it was probably a reaction to the season. Influence is not something I am aware of, but I live in and work in the world and occasionally the world taps me on the shoulder and says, look!
Samuel Walsh, Vex X (Maya), Oil and acrylic on canvas, 51 x 51 cm, 2013
Una Sealy RHA
This painting chronicles a moment in time in a kitchen in Dublin, Ireland. The individuals are a diverse group of young people, some are members of a band, some are family and friends. There are 12 figures present. There are many details in the painting of typical foods, drinks, packaging and furnishings. All the characters posed for me, but not all were there at the same time, and the painting evolved organically, as a kind of time lapse, a glimpse into the lives of others.
Oil on canvas, One of the diptych, 100 x 120 cm, 2019
Donald Teskey
For the last 40 years the focus of my work as a painter, printmaker and draughtsman, has ranged from aspects of the urban landscape to the ruggedness of the western seaboard. Working outdoors and returning to the studio to develop work on a larger scale, my images reflect the formal elements of composition; – Shape, form and fall of light, with large abstract passages and surfaces which articulate the relentless, energetic and elemental force of nature.
Donald Teskey, Summer Storm, Acrylic on paper, 76 x 105 cm, 2018


Art for a sustainable future – exhibition

TreeSong Jinan Sucrose Series (3.7.) Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲2020

I believe the ecological crisis is a crisis of culture and art  (in all its forms) has an essential role in confronting the environmental emergency. It can be cross disciplinary, it can span the divides of science, agriculture, food culture, education , ethical consumerism, economics, film, music and so much more.

This week I was very happy to be part of the  exhibition “Art promotes a Sustainable Future” which coincided with the 13th China Corporate Social Responsibility Report International Symposium at the Taifu Hotel Beijing  2-3 rd December 2020.

Foggy Dew – Wu Hou Ci (8.6.)Sucrose Series Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲2020

The Sucrose Series began five years ago and explores transformation through crystalisation and drying of water content in the mixed media.  This transformation occurs on two levels. In the early stages ink is lifted from the surface with hot mixed media , particles of ink are  moving and shifting as the process of drying occurs and crystallization takes place. This layer could be the metaphor for our unique current era of the ecological emergency, being the first generation to witness climate change and the last generation to be capable of taking meaningful action.  The outer layer is a crust of opaque crenulation of crystal obliterating the original image.

Purls in the Undercut sucrose (4.6.) Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲 2020






Participating Artists include:

Jing Yumin 景育民

WangXiaokie 王小杰

Zhang Meng 张锰

Zheng Jing 郑靖

Liu Yue 刘悦

Niko de la Faye 尼可。德拉法耶

Eine Lem 艾娜。莱姆




Lv Zhiqiang  吕智强

Mica Kuehn 米卡。库恩

Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲




With CEO Zhuang at the CSR Symposium 



A big thank you to Mr Zhuang Creative CEO of Goldenbee  organiser for the symposium and  exhibition and also to Shiyan Wang of GoldenBee and artist Liu Yue  .

13th China Corporate Social Responsibility Report International Symposium
Art for a Sustainable Future







The Pattern that Connects

What an unusual opportunity to be able to show work at this time. ‘The Pattern that Connects ‘ is a duo exhibition with woodcut artist Ma Liangfen from Cangzhou academy of Painting , Hebei. The exhibition opened (26/9/2020) at Dong Yue Art Musuem in Chaoyangmenwai . 



Thank you to Therese Healy , acting head of Mission at the Embassy of Ireland who spoke at the opening . Also to Wang YueZhou from Cangzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Media figure Ms Chen Bing gracefully presented as Master of Ceremony . Thank you also to academic curator  Zeng Luhong  for his exhibition essay and media coverage and special gratitude to fellow artist Ma Liangfen whom I really enjoyed getting to know and learn from over the past two weeks. A big thank you to Yuan QiuLai director of Dong Yue Art Musuem with whom we had numerous cross cultural exhibitions over the past six years. The exhibition focusses on Nature , explores the human relationship with Nature and also examines  aspects of the ecological emergency . 

In January 2020 I began collecting written submissions on any aspect of trees for my blog “The Memory Palace of Trees” gathering stories from poets, childrens writers, dendrologists and other people across the globe. This socio-eco practice highlights the interdependence between trees and people and explores the place it might take us. 

Here are some artworks from earlier stories in the year. 

Forrester Anna Finke’s interesting passion for climbing trees



Environmental educator Carrissa Welton’s story “Roots of Recovery” linked to the Ginkgo Sucrose work

Barrow Trance 

The story for ‘Trees can Communicate’ was linked to artwork on Barrow river reflections.

Joshua’s tree the Hawthorne with the painting Piyos view

WU Yiqiangs 吴以强 story of artists replanting the Swan Goose Forest

Mayfield 4am 凌晨4点 80 x 60cm Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲2014

‘The tree in your Backyard Yard’ story is matched with Mayfield 4am.

When taking some visitors yesterday on a tour of the exhibition we were talking about shared DNA , how we share 25% of our DNA with trees, Shared DNA of all lifeforms on earth are also part of the pattern that connects. 

北京公共汽车站Beijing-Bus-Stop-132x-90-cm-oil-on-canvas Niamh-Cunningham倪芙瑞莲 2014


The funny poem by Pat Ingoldsby thinking about a wooden telegraph pole next to a bus stop match with painting Beijing Bus Stop


New developments on the sucrose series have extended to selected  UV prints on aluminium  . I have also shown some original sucroses which are not immediately  easy  to identify with the earlier process stages.  This work visualizes the transformations that occur during crystalisation as a metaphor for the ever present ecological metamorphosis. 

Sucroses in the original form

Tree Song Jinan, sucrose series, UV print on Aluminium 200x 100cm Niamh Cunningham 2020


There are also some figures from my  2019  Portrait series most of these have never been exhibited before. 


There are also some figures from my  2019  Portrait series. 

Here is a link to view more details on the portrait project . 

Ma Liangfen 马良分


Ma Liangfen’s expansive collection of woodcut boards cover journeys of the natural world across China. There are a number of prints on paper including some reverse colour prints where only one board was used . I asked her about her affinity to cats and she told me had no cat at home but loved observing the independence of the wild cats exploring at leisure. Other works explore unexpected thoughts and fantasies creating new worlds within the realm of reality . 




Here are more in depth links to her work 

Ma Liangfen link 1 

Ma Liangfen link 2 


Exhibition Media Doc link 









September _ Kosima’s corkscrew willow

Willow- Sucrose series (11.8) UV print on Aluminium 120x160cm Niamh Cunningham 2020 



Willow- Sucrose series (11.8) UV print on Aluminium 120x160cm Niamh Cunningham 2020 

(This artwork is currently exhibited at The Pattern that Connects at Dong Yue art Museum BJ  until Oct 3 2020)

My friend Kosima is a Mother Earth kind of gal. She is a fountain of knowledge on matters ranging from where best to hike outside Beijing to what kind of non harmful detergents to use in the house. Lately we have been chatting about the willow tree.


Kosimas corkscrew willow

Willows have always been my special friends, a weeping willow that would greet me when walking first to kindergarten and then school, its branches touching the ground, inviting a child to dive under immediately feel its protecting softness.

When we moved house, I so much wished for a big weeping willow tree behind our house – and indeed we did plant it. I remember It costing 20 DM at the time. Perhaps I even paid for it from my own money. And it is still standing proud with benches my father built, circling around its big dark trunk.

Behind the house even further there were some craggy willow trees, their branches holding on to each other, calling me to find refuge on their broad easy to climb bark where I would often read books.

Later on in life,  I moved to China and when we moved to our new courtyard it was absolutely barren.

Soon after my mother arrived for the children’s easter holidays, bringing easter egg paints and chocolate eggs – and most excitingly a branch of a corkscrew willow. It served to display our easter egg creations of hand painted blown out eggs shells. During the time she visited, the branch started to grow roots in the vase just as she had hoped. So just before she left for Germany, she planted the little sapling in our courtyard, on the west side of the entrance (just realizing that is actually the direction of Germany …)

The tree grew well throughout that summer, hardened in its first ice cold Beijing winter  – and ever since fully adapted to the local climate. It has grown so tall that we cut it back a year ago to avoid breakage from strong winds. 

Its graceful elegant leaves and soft curly branches contrast dramatically with its strong dark core, a double stem. It gracefully and sincerely represents the presence of my mother.


Memory Palace of Trees 2020 is socio- ecological art practice which invites your participation to tell a story (or give some kind of information) about trees. It is a social enquiry of how to live better with the planet and with people by simply sharing stories. You are cordially invited to tell me your story of a tree or trees. (email : I would love to hear from you. Throughout 2020 a story will be posted with either an artwork already made or perhaps your story will inspire me to make a new work!