Map and Territory – What the artists say

Personal Territory Mixed Media 600×600×300cm Franziska Greber 2018

Map and Territory is a cross disciplinary project exploring the subject and its many aspects via theatre , multimedia visual art and panel discussions. It was officially opened at Beijing Geely College Library on Nov 20th , initiated by the IRCCA (International Research Center for Contemporary Art). A huge thank you to curators Li Xinmo and Roland Von Der Emden for a stellar project and also to Geely College for hosting and supporting the project. The president of the college Huo Wei Dong officiated the event.

The speeches were followed by a performance by students who had taken a theatre workshop the previous 10 days with visiting theatre director Cao Kefei  who is living in Berlin and Beijing.

Theatre director Cao Kefei with students during her workshop

This post (as with many of my blogs on group projects) will take a look at artist intention behind the works. Of course this is not the only way to interpret a work but it can be understood as a reason for the work being made. This aspect is often excluded in most art media today and this is my way in addressing this gap. There are so many interesting things happening in this project. Let’s take a look .

What the Artists Say

Cao KeFei 曹克非

The Invisible , performance by Geely students , workshop directed by Cao KeFei Nov 2018

What the artist says:

Everyone has their own trajectory. They start from the moment of birth and then the trajectory moves, jumps, pauses, retreats…. Elapsed time, memory left, harvested or lost things, space that has been rendered and still hidden,  all of which form points lines and faces from a top-down perspective. They record where we are from and our possible destinations.

The theatre workshop invited eleven students from different art fields and disciplines to give play to their specialties in performance, dance and song to explore and record the life map of each participant .


Franziska Greber

Personal Territory mixed media 600×600×300cm Franziska Greber 2018

What the artist says:

The spiral path is both a way in and a way out – a path into the centre of personal contemplation, an internal retreat inwards but also a way out to the surrounding context, the public. Personal Territory leads to an unknown place. The homely carpets fill the interior and spread the familiar, the personal and vulnerable extend beyond its borders into the outside space.

But what does the personal space and the other include? What significance does the familiar have? What are the prerequisites to explore or even change these boundaries? How does the line manifest between the inner and the self, which wants to spread into the context, and vice versa? What questions, dilemmas and conflicts arise at these given or self-built borders? How do the different territories shape and behave in the process, and how does this ultimately anchor itself as our identity?


Martin Derbyshire

Detail Autumn Loop, digital video 13.8 min   Martin Derbyshire 2018

Autumn Loop, digital video 13.8 min   Martin Derbyshire 2018

What the artist says:

I am a Beijing-based artist. I am interested in timeless and universal aspects of human experience, and how they can be encountered within the local and specific. My work is about the relationship between the physical environment and the spiritual condition of the individual within it and how they may seem to mirror each other in tangible ways, at certain moments. I hope my work will encourage a form of attentiveness, because the liberation of the eye brings with it the potential for independent thought and inquiry. This simple act of seeing can initiate a critique of the forms we inhabit and the values, motivations and beliefs that produce them. I am particularly interested in neglected, unconscious moments, spaces and interactions: things that happen on the fringe, on the periphery of vision. These can be small, subtle, subliminal interventions within rational schemes of thought and environment.  I also like to address the appearance of the organic and intuitive within the rational and industrial. These corresponding dimensions of physical and spiritual reality suggest the presence of other forces, the recognition of which may allow a more considered and balanced view of reality to appear. It is this state of emergence and its attendant conflict, that I wish to evoke.


Tami Xiang

Family Portrait, C print x 90  90x60cm Tami Xiang 2014-2018

Elementary School visit Geely college exhibition:

What the artist says:

This project addresses the situation of the 61 million ‘Left Behind Children’ in China. These children are raised by their grandparents or great grandparents whilst their own parents work in cities sometimes thousands of miles away from them.


Douglas Lewis

The Grand World Game,  Flag installation Douglas Lewis 2018

What the artist says:

Grand World is the name of a newly designed theme park on the island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam – this installation is part of a large project comparison between two very small islands
(and other macro-communities): Phu Quoc and Susak, Croatia. They have an incredible number of similarities, yet are many thousands of kilometers away from each other and their cultures could not be more different and so similar at once. They are both fishing-based economies and both continue to struggle to survive – they have failed many times yet continue to creatively re-invent themselves.

In Phu Quoc, the villagers were building its golf course (named Grand World) and within the same year in Susak, the villagers were building a marina to dock very expensive yachts. Both cultures are trading and risking their histories for their futures.


Cinzia Cremona

Finding Ways Out  video (10 mins 30 secs ) Cinzia Cremona 2018

Finding Ways Out  video (10 mins 30 secs ) Cinzia Cremona 2018

What the artist says:

How do we leave the place where we were born? We become by breathing its air, speaking its language, wearing the clothes that mother and grandmother bought for us. Even when we leave, those tight boundaries remain inside body and mind to limit how we think.

In Finding Ways Out, I attempt to wear clothes from my own childhood. I cannot come out the same way I went into them, so I try to break free from their constraining size. Some break and some trap me, hurting my skin. This process destroys most of them, wiping the memory from my body to create new marks.


Li XInmo /李心沫

Unquiet Wind, Sculpture, Clay, Li Xinmo 2015.

What the artist says:

This is a disturbing time globally, from our air, water and food  to our sociopolitical environments. We live in an atmosphere of insecurity every day. This series of my works expresses such an emotion… Everything is disturbing, even the wind.


Frederik Foert

To Live is to Fly China 2017 video HD,6.35 min Music: Towns Van Zandt, To Live Is To Fly, 1971 / Dexter, Rainbow Flight, Frederik Foert 2013

playful spectators at Frederik Foerts work

What the artist says:

The movie shows a 7min bus ride from terminal 3 of Beijing International Airport over the airfield to the plane. I taped my IPhone to the window of the bus, so I got a s table camera dolly shot. Then I just used a simple turn of perspective, putting the images upside down. So we, the spectators, are loosing ground, while the sky gets structured by graphical signs and hanging vehicles. The former floor becomes a map of our imagination.


Jaroslaw Balinski

The Watchtower, digital print 100x75cm Jaroslaw Balinski 2018

What the artist says:

The world is changing so fast, the past removed, tomorrow is here. The old walls are demolished and the new ones are rising higher and higher still. We close our doors, yes, we close our eyes. We pretend we don’t see, we assume it does not exist. Where is our space to roam about? Where is our infinity, where the spirits can fly … into the sky.

‘The Watchtower’ is an open series of photographs, where the tower is used as a screen to display different messages. The series looks into the contradiction of being constantly controlled and observed in our daily and professional lives and the natural desire to be independent and having the
 control over our life. These contradictions in the world exist often in chaotic and unstable scenarios.


Shameera Wiest

Analysis of Maps and Territories, thread, paper , brick size: variable , Shameera Wiest 2018

What the artist says:

I wanted to use natural materials with minimal environmental impact such as thread, brick and metal.  The installation is a scientific model to evaluate success and failure of a process. Knots and points of intersections on the thread indicate nodes of information and the sections of thread are decisions which lead to pathways of success or failure. This complex network of lines of thread are not clearly visible unless you move around them or get closer which is why in my performance I dust the boundaries with grey pigment.


Zhen Guo/郭桢

Upended Vision installation  painting , flourescent tubes, branches, construction debris 430 x 300 x 120cm Zhen Guo 2018

What the artist says:

This abstract ink landscape, like the vast Asian natural world, is full of wonders. It is a strange and ever-changing place, co existing as factual and abstract, microscopic and infinite. In front of this landscape are two inverted triangles constructed from light tubes, creating an confrontational aesthetic tension. The element of light challenges the landscape behind resulting unequal focus, subverting the plane from the ink landscape. These two triangles, overlapping, would form a hexagonal star, which metaphorically contains many cultural of associations.


Anna Fang and Filippo Cardella

Aberrant, 300 printed postcards, acrylic and spray paint 14.8 cm x 21 cm x 300 Anna Fang and Filippo Cardella 2018

What the artists say:

300 black and white postcards printed and hand-painted are displayed in a grid system that forms a regular chart like the coordinates of a map. There are multiple layers of images and text that overlap each other in random and  chaotic ways. The installation generates a sense of frustration in front of an inevitable failed communication, a sense of alienation everybody feels in front of a universe that we cannot fully decode, a sense of frustration generated by our limited knowledge, a fear of not belonging, of being the foreigner.


Niamh Cunningham

Hair Skull  knitted artist’s hair , 23 x 23 x 25 cm Niamh Cunningham 2013

What the artist says:

The human being is fallible and open to vulnerabilities and strengths. 
Using my own DNA as an art material reflects on these fallibilities. Apart from its genetic content I consider its physical condition. For example,, selecting one strand it for its tensile quality which can hold the shape and occupy space. Another strand is selected for its elasticity, these qualities speak of enduring strength and resilience. My intention for this work relates more to the psychology of oneself, the mappings of psychological landscapes and to self awareness and transparency of thought.


There were some interesting panel discussions as part of the project

Speakers:Susanne Matz, Gao Brothers (Zhen) Shuai Hao, Michael Simon, Cao Keyuan, Douglas Lewis, Zhen Guo , Franziska Greber, Cao Kefei, Niamh Cunningham , (curators Li Xinmo , Roland von der Emden), Shameera Wiest, artist Jaroslaw Baliniski

Part 1. Unbounded Theatre had playwriter Cao Keyuan and  theater director Cao Kefei ( Swiss/Chinese) and visiting stage set design master Michael Simon (Swiss /German) currently preparing the NCPA -National Centre for the Performing Arts  stage for a special production of Hamlet . They discussed the relationship and the differences between traditional drama and contemporary theater and stage art and the changes taking place in live theatre.

Part 2 . Multiculturalism and Identity discussion was guided by Gao Brothers (Zhen) with artists Franziska Greber who has projects in 8 countries, Niamh Cunningham,  Shameera Weist who moved to the US as a teenager and also Guo Zhen and Gao Brothers who have also lived in the US for a couple of decades , the panel explored melting pots of cultural identity and how that is navigated as individuals and as artists.

Part 3 . Social Maps and Territories panel was guided by art historian and critic Shuai Hao,  art consultant Susanne Matz  raised realities and challenges to theoretical perspectives with artist curator Douglas Lewis.

Media Link 1

Media Link 2 

The next post will take a closer look at my work in this exhibition

Niamh Cunningham- Bio 。。。个人简介-倪芙瑞莲
'The Pattern that Connects' is part of the Common Threads project showing at EPIC Museum Irish Emigration Museum, Dublin Feb 1- 14th

Currently Showing Oct 2022: The Sasse Museum of Art , Pomona, CA, in the US opened a photography exhibition last weekend showing a process print (23.01.2018) from my mixed media Sucrose Series "Ginkgo Palace", Niamh Cunningham 2018
The original physical sucrose plate and accompanying print on aluminium was collected at Art Beijing 2021
Promoting Connectivity through Creative Industries Sept 2022 at Yindi Art Museum, hosted by Opportunity Lab
Hair Skull recently exhibited (Oct 1st-7th 2022) at Art Plus Shanghai , the group exhibition"Linear" is curated by Chang Feng

For more information on the Hair Skull and working with DNA as an art material click HERE

Ann Derwin, Ambassador to Ireland in China with gallerist 庞春慧Peng Chun Hui at For 觅 gallery , August 2022
Currently showing - Moon Covenant

Artist talk on gathering peoples tree stories before Spitoon Book Club discussion on Pulitzer prize winning novel " The Overstory" by Richard Powers
Online Catalogue launched Jan 2022 , showing Sucrose Series alongside Microbe Art
Recently exhibited in Xishuangbanna State Art Museum Dec 2021
Canal Bank Walk , Yuan Dadu Culural Relics Park Beijing
Grand Canal artist Residency and Exhibition

Her Name Penninsula Art Museum Weihai, Shandong 16 July- 22 Oct 2021

Linear….. showing at LangKong Art Museum (朗空美术馆) 07.7-30.7.21
Suzhou Couples Retreat Gardens
The Second Step – mini solo of 18 portraits in HouHai from 6.6 tp 8.8 2021
Astro World Exit Tourism – Group exhibition June 2021
Recently ART Beijing 2021 Booth B28 Irish Contemporary Art
Early stage – Sculpture project HongFangzi ShaWan Sichuan
Current Events 正在展出


2022 9月   谷山村中国农民丰收节暨大地艺术节


2022 9月   传粉者:北京西山鼓山乡村公园的再生材料雕塑



2022 6-8“月亮之约” For觅画廊,通州,北京

2022 1 来自爱尔兰的艺术家 ,线上展览 在线链接

2022 1 清华大学精准医学研究院, EBM 中心





20217 “线性”,798朗空美术馆,北京



2021610“万物有灵——多样之美” 艺术展与企业社会责任国际论坛,北京

20216“第二步”(小型个人展),龙头井胡同JoyBeans Space,北京

20216“天体世界:出逃旅行” 蓝色港湾KUN美术馆,北京

2021年3月4月 ART Beijing 2021

202012 艺术推动可持续未来” 中国企业社会责任国际学术研讨会, 北京泰富酒店


20207  “沉默的爆破”,无锡外滩美术馆,江苏无锡, 7月11日至31日

2019年11月”中国 爱尔兰  MUSEu&m , 上海

*2019年11月装置中国—红房子首届国际户外装置创作营在乐山沙湾红房子开营 …开始阶段

*2019年8月*Gobi Heaven- August 戈壁。天堂-八月

*2019年7月”1919″ 爱尔兰  Sligo -Hamilton Gallery  

*2019年5月“胜日寻芳“ 山东济宁市泗水等闲谷艺术粮仓美术馆

2019年5月-16 爱尔兰大使馆布卢姆日的展览

20195-6  《一张棉花纸》   在宋庄东区玖层美术馆展出



*2018年11月-12月“地图与疆域”国际艺术邀请展 北京吉利学院


*2018, 10月中欧国当代艺术全球巡展·上海

2018, 9月-10月“纸上·至上”展览,沈阳市拓•空间,

2018, 6月-11月诗人叶芝日,爱尔兰,斯莱戈(SLIGO),汉密尔顿艺术画廊

*2018年8月 淮阴艺术馆提名展,淮安市

*2018, 8月 “纸上·至上”展览, 鄂尔多斯,

*2018 , 6月30日 济南“国际抽象艺术展”

*2018 , 6月17 日 纸上•至上2018 在青岛,

*2018 , 5月20 日存在-国际女性艺术展,湖南长沙,

*2018 , 4月21 日延缓的时间,4月21日-29日,红门画廊,798艺术区

*2018 , 4月20 日 挖掘,,和画廊,来鹏高尔夫俱乐部

*2018年4月-12日 挖掘, , 展览,悦美术馆,北京798艺术区




*2017年12月末至2018年1月末, 《时间之外》主题艺术展, 北京中关村融科资讯中心

*2017年12月, 形质与叙事, 形质与叙事, 东岳美术馆

 *2017年12月,广州新造当代艺术中心,纸上·至上 纸艺作品群展.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

* Gushan Rural Village Park Harvest  Autumn 2022

Current Exhibition


Recent  exhibitions:

2022 Moon Covenant Forgallery , Grasse Town , Beijing June- August

2022 Artists from Ireland (online) Sasse Museum of Art Pomona, CA, USA (catalogue link)

2022 Peoples’ Portraits EBM Centre, Tsinghua Uni Intelligent HealthCare, BJ

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, Oct

2021 Linear Langkong Art Museum 798, Beijing July

2021 Her Name – Existence Peninsula Art Museum, Weihai, 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

* AstroWorld Kun Art Museum June 5 2021

*Portraits (solo) Joybeans  Hou  Hai 6.6-8.8

*River things  Suzhou Zhenyuan garden UNESCO world Heritage Training and Research centre June 12 th

*Art Beijing  2021 Booth B28  Garden of Friendship

*“Art promotes a Sustainable Future” China CSR international symposium Dec 2020.

*Silent Explosion, Wuxi Bund Art Centre, Jiangsu,  July 11-31 2020

* Sculpture project in HongFangzu , Shawan, Sichuan , begining phase Nov 2019

Current Exhibition

*China Ireland exhibition at MUSEU&m, near the Bund , Shanghai, Nov 29th 2019

* Sculpture project in HongFangzu , Shawan, Sichuan , begining phase Nov 2019

*1919 – Group Exhibition (Hamilton Gallery) in New York, Irish Consulate

*1919 – Group Exhibition Hamilton Gallery , Sligo , Ireland July – September

*Gobi Heaven Art Festival , Inner Mongolia , August 2019

*A piece of Cotton Paper  9th floor gallery Songzhuang June 15th

*”Winning the Day ‘ Granary Art Centre,  SiShui , Shandong, May – June 2019

*Beyond the form of Art , Wick Art Centre , Budapest, Hungary may 2019

*Odyssey The Return ; group exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing  in April

Map and Territory Art IRRCA at Beijing Geely College Nov 20- Dec 20 2018

*Thousands of Sprouts, an experimental online exhibition – by Elizabeth Ross  Nov 2018

* On Paper Supreme, Gwangju Art Museum Beijing Creative Centre Songzhuang Nov- Dec 2018

*China Europe Internaitional Contemporary Art Global Tour Shanghai Oct 2018

*An Irish Airman foresees his Death – Hamilton Gallery Sligo, Ireland June – Nov 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Extension Space, Shenyang, Liaoning,  Sept 16th – Oct 21st  2018

*Artist Nomination Exhibition, Huaiyin art gallery, Huai ‘an shi, Jiangsu, July-Aug 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Ordos Culture and Art Centre , Inner Mongolia , Aug 17th – Sept 10th  2018

*International Abstract Art , ChungChuen College, Jinan, July 2018

* On Paper Supreme, QingDao , Tiantai Art Centre, June 2018

* Existence , International Feminist Art Exhibition,  Mezzi Bookstore Art Space , Changsha

* Excavations 20 April-4th June  He Gallery, Golf Club.

*’Mortgaged Time’ 21st- 29th April at Red Gate Gallery , 798 Beijing  April 21st

*’Excavations’ 12-18th Enjoy Museum 798,  Beijing   preview 5 pm 12th April

* 5 week residency at Guanlan Printmaking base , Shenzhen (Feb-March 2018)

*Lunar New Year theme exhibition “Red Fruit” showing at Raycom IT centre, Zhongguancun,  28th Jan continues to March 3rd, organised by RoveArt , supporting the Female Protection Fund.

*Chinese & Foreign Visual Arts Hunan,  at the Meixi Academy Book Complex, Changsha Dec 26th to Jan 26th 2018.

* ‘Beyond Time’  Raycom IT Centre, Zhongguangcun, Beijing Dec – Jan 27th  2018

*”Qualitative Phase and The Narrative” Beijing Film Academy Triennial Exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing, curated by Li Zhen till Dec 18th 2017…………………………………………….


由此及彼——中(国)爱(尔兰)女艺术家邀请展 The Pattern That Connects Sept 2020
Wuxi Bund Art Centre “Silent Explosion”
My interview with Today Art Museum and Today Art Media on the COVID era

Recent Interview , click on above image April 2020

Link to newspaper coverage -Carlow Nationalist (click on image)

In Her Eyes, F&E 100x100cm acrylic on canvas, 倪芙瑞莲Niamh Cunningham 2019

Silent Explosion
‘China-Ireland’ exhibition Shanghai Nov 29th 2019

China Ireland exhibition at MUSEu&m, Shanghai , opening Nov 29th

‘Whirls in the Old’ in New York at the exhibition ‘1919’

1919-Whirls in the Old Terezin acrylic on canvas 30x30cm Niamh Cunningham 2019

Gobi Heaven Art Festival August 2019

Participating in the International Artists program for this exciting event in the Gobi Dessert

Jul.Aug 2019 Group Exhibition , Hamilton Gallery , Sligo, Ireland and also Sept 2019 at the Irish Consulate Offices , Park Ave NYC
Granary Art exhibition SiShui Shandong June 2019

Granary Art Exhibition SiSHui , Shangdong June 2019 click on image

Swim Duck Video …30 sec clip of original work recently shown at Bloomsday event at Embassy of Ireland Niamh Cunningham 2019
clip from Swim Duck video Niamh Cunningham 2019

Clip from 'Swim Duck' Video by Niamh Cunningham 2019

Group exhibition in Sishui, Shangdong 正在展出

Granary Art Museum , Sishui, Jining , Shandong

April /May 2019 in Budapest 近期展出匈牙利

Currently showing in Budapest Aprli- May 2019

Wandering Rocks series of portraits 游岩系列
Web Of Fabulous Grass – Sucrose Series Click on image for Artist Profile English &简体中文
Talk on James Joyce at Bookworm with prof Fu Hao 乔伊斯座谈会
Aritst Talk on James Joyce at Beijing Bookworm

Talk on James Joyce at Bookwork Beijing April 2019

Map and Territory project Nov -Dec 2018 at Beijing Geely University
Map and Territory

Map and Territory

Artist talk at Beijing Geely College Dec 11th 2018
-.On Paper Supreme made its final exhibition for 2018 in Beijing Songzhuang opening Nov 16th
Group exhibition Hamilton Gallery, Sligo
Hamilton Gallery Sligo - Lonely Impulse 2

A response to WB Yeats poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees his Death'

Group show Oct 27th Shanghai Bund 27 The House of Roosevelt House , the Bund Shanghai
With curator Guo Zhen at the opening of Existence in Changsha , exhibition continues till end of July 2018


Recent ‘At your Leisure’ Summer exhibition Jiangsu “悠游“——淮阴艺术馆
exhibited in Jinan curated by Ma Yi Ying
简体中文Artist Interview & Profile for the Art Project ‘Existence’
Group exhibition at Red Gate in April 2018 focussing on antiwar poet Ingeborg Bachmann
Niamh Cunningham 'Bachmann Girl' 2017

Artwork for poster is 'Bachmann Girl' 100x100cm Acrylic on Canvas by Niamh Cunningham 2017

Recent Posts
Excavations showing at Enjoy Museum 798 April 2018

Excavations , a cross collaborative exhibition showing contemporary art by Chinese and Irish artists , showing in Enjoy Museum, 798 , 2018.4.12

Very honoured to have Irish Ambassador Eoin O’ Leary visit Chinese New Year exhibition “Red & Fruit”

Irish Ambassador Eoin O'Leary with subway paintings at Raycom Centre exhibition Feb 2018

The Grand Canal (Hangzhou to Beijing) artist residency(August 2021) and exhibition (Oct 2021)

RTE interview on preparing for upcoming group exhibition 2 min clip

Currently showing as part of the Common Threads project, at EPIC Irish Emigration Museum , Dublin

Feb 1 -14th , 2023