Moon Covenant – Summer exhibition in Tongzhou

‘Bright stick trapped’ sucrose mixed media, 40 cm diam Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲 2018

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A big thank you to artist/curator Mei Lu for inviting me to this five artist exhibition and also to gallerist Hui Peng Chun of For Mi Gallery and to fellow participating artists including Chen Qingqing, Xiujuan Qin, Mei Lu ,Ge Zhang.

It was a really pleasant afternoon connecting with people, old and new friends after a long spell of isolation.



Opening Reception  Moon Covenant June 2022


Link to the overview  with details of the five participating artists  Moon Covenant  Media Link 1

Chen QingQing, Xiujuan Qin, Mei Lu, Ge Zhang and Niamh 

Media Link 2  

Several of  the sucrose works are exhibited at this venue.

Pillars of the Earth OP , sucrose series mixed media oval 40 x 30cm Niamh Cunningham 2018

Yuan Dadu Relics Park canal , sucrose series mixed media oval 40 x 30cm Niamh Cunningham 2018

Foggy Dew- Wu Hou Ci.  (武侯祠)  sucrose series 100 x 50cm Niamh Cunningham 2021

The sucrose series explores loss and reclamation through process and materiality. It involves a sequence of multiple interventions and explores how the physical matter itself can continue to push the creation event. Some of the interventions include sewing, ‘burning off’ the digital image from the surface, adding colour and of course the crystalisation process of sugar. Once the artist has stopped working on ‘sugar painting’ the process of crystalisation may continue to transform and obliterate. The imagery itself is of nature and the environment in urban park areas for which the artist has a strong affinity. (These places include areas around Beijing such as Olympic Park where she lives next door to and Hou Hai where she used to train in dragon boat racing) Her paintings reflect the tensions we experience in lives which are shaped by the processes of transformation and obliteration .

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

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

Apart from the Sucrose work there are also  two “Forest Breath” paintings on canvas which were made last year during an artist residency in Xishuangbana Yunnan. 

This exhibition is also the first time to show “Tree Planter” which is a socio eco practice aiming to inform the public and support local tree planting initiatives . The crab apple tree used here was donated by the Beijing Forestry Society in Changping and the “fruits” it yIelds over the Summer will be donated to their tree planting program.

Curator Mei Lu talking about “Tree Planter” to media.

Paper Makes Trees

This Crab Apple Tree was donated by Beijing Forestry Society, the “fruits” that it yields will be donated to tree planting programs.  The leaves are made from origami leaves and flowers made of one yuan bills.

Tree Planter uses a bank note that is decreasingly being used in circulation to raise awareness of our material world. All material matter has a physical permanance although some matter such as water can change its state for example  to ice or steam . Like water, physical cash also has transformative power and in this case the physicality of paper notes will be transformed into planting new saplings. .. paper is used to grow trees.

Read this link for ancient folklore on money trees.

Many thanks to the gallery  “For觅 “ in Grasse Town Tongzhou . The exhibition runs throughout the Summer for another two months. Please contact me if you would like to participate in the Tree Planter workshop.