Straitjackets made of ceremonial military uniforms, a last etheral dance, digitised histories on 100 paper aeroplanes showing at WhiteBox Centre NYC

2. Hair lock copy

This post looks at a few of the participating artists’ work on the challenging subject of sexual violence in times of conflict, taken from both a historical and global perspective.




Niamh Cunningham: Hair Lock Knitted artist’s hair 36 x 66 cm 2015 (Click on the side bar of this page for a short video about making this)

The first exhibition of the “Intimate Transgressions” project was launched at the WhiteBox gallery NYC on September 3rd. This multi media exhibition explores the human experience of war from a gender perspective and aims to give a better public understanding of the institutional and individual violence towards women which occurs during conflicts. The exhibition was presented by CAPA (Center for Asian Pacific Affairs) and WhiteBox Gallery.


The so named ‘Comfort Women’  were from Korea, China, the Philippines, Taiwan and other countries occupied by the Japanese, they were abducted, forced into sexual slavery and treated with such extreme brutality, that most did not survive the war. After the hostilities their plight was side-lined with no one held accountable for their sufferings and their story was wiped from Japanese history books by those in power.

Gao yuan


Photographic artist Gao Yuan  came to China to document some of the few surviving Comfort women.



Say Sorry, I’ll Forgive You, Gao Yuan 2015, detail from mixed media installation, photo courtesy of the artist


Curated by Fion Gunn and Juan Puntes, the exhibition makes several references to this starting point .  During World War II Japanese soldiers had been initiated into an exceptionally brutal military system and their actions were sanctioned and encouraged by the army hierarchy.  As vulnerable young men themselves, at the receiving end of fierce punishment, they could easily be encouraged or coerced into committing atrocities. The legacy of the ‘Comfort Women’ phenomenon in the organised use of rape as a means of subjugation and ethnic cleansing, has become a new norm in many conflicts.

Kamikazi Idyll mixed media Fion Gunn


The chief curator of the project Fion Gunn who is also an artist says ….”The effects of this on women and girls are painfully obvious.  In considering their experience we need to ask what does this do to men and boys? how do our societies recover their balance and psychological health for the future? ”



Kamikaze Idyll Mixed Media – Fion Gunn



















Artist Michael Lisle-Taylor bears witness to the culture of madness and transgression which is commonplace amongst men in the military. He investigated the  ‘drill’ as a means of undermining natural human reactions and promoting hyper-masculinity which underpins this body of work.



11951566_935517803158872_4700161999082647759_o copy








Bride Michael Lisle- Taylor                       ‘Bop it! ‘ Michael Lisle- Taylor

Lisle-Taylor was a soldier for 12 years and some of his work reflects on the military experience as a decorative straightjacket.  Using beautiful uniforms which he has learned to sew himself as a metaphor for the pride, pomp and restrictive codes of army life. He talks of his process as the insubordinate dissection by reshaping and modifying through every rivet and stitch reflecting again on the “drill”. Watching the artists video piece I couldn’t help wondering how many times his finger nails must have caught the machine needle.

short video Michael Lisle Taylor


white box






Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam worked 20 imageprints in Japanese stylized landscapes intersected with footage of police and army brutality in the year following Egypt’s 2011 revolution. The photographic work came from public sources which were widely circulated in the media.

Unfolding Series No 8  Nermine Hammam



Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam worked 20 imageprints in Japanese stylized landscapes intersected with footage of police and army brutality in the year following Egypt’s 2011 revolution. The photographic work came from public sources which were widely circulated in the media.

Unfolding Series No 8  Nermine Hammam


Anita Glesta ‘s installation is based on the Jewish and Roma women in the death camps during WWII.  She has taken a version of a story where a soldier Josef Schillinger, who was shot and killed by a young woman possibly a dancer in the undressing room of the Birkenau camp gas chamber October 1943.   An essay by historian Kirsty Chatwood explores a version of this story in which the young and beautiful dancer seduced the SS guards by undressing provocatively, then grabbed their guns while they were distracted.


Glesta says “I decided to incorporate overhead and wall projections of a partially-undressed woman shooting upwards at the viewer to acknowledge that even in the most horrifying of circumstances women’s sexuality is not only about victimization. It can be a survival mechanism, a weapon and a source of empowerment.”

Schillinger and the Dancer Anita Glesta





Andi Arnovitz explores the challenge of the woman within Judaism along with cultural and political expectations.


Mother and Sons etching/aquatint Andi Arnovitz

Andi Arnovitz explores the challenge of the woman within Judaism along with cultural and political expectations. Living in Israel means having sons and daughters who have to go into the army. Of concern to her as a mother, is this specific aspect of war and violence, and the never ending worry for their physical and emotional well being.

In the Mother and Sons  series you can see the metaphorical umbilical cord still connecting a mother to a child who is fighting in the battle field.



Mother and Sons etching/aquatint Andi Arnovitz


Participating Artists: 

Andi Arnovitz , A.N.V.I.L. Art Collective,  Niamh Cunningham Regina José Galindo, Anita Glesta, Fion Gunn, Nermine Hammam, Jusuf Hadžifejzović, Šejla Kamerić , Teresa Margolles, Elahe Massoumi, Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo, Chen Meitsen, Chen Qingqing, Atsuko Nakamura, Yoshiko Shimada, Gail Ritchie, Xin Song, Michael Lisle-Taylor, Ma Yanling & Wang Bingmi , Gao Yuan in association with Francesca Arri , Jelena Tomasević


The show will continue to travel to Beijing October 25th at InterArt Gallery in 798 . The project has plans to tour various cities in Europe and Mexico before returning to the US.



I have only taken a brief look at a few works here  ,  please take a look at the extensive information on the following links

Intimate Transgressions website

Insightful article on the show by Suzanne Russell for Womens Voices for Change



There will also be a panel discussion in New York on Thursday 1 October from 7 pm

The Act of Doing- Panel Discussion

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Panelists include Eleanor Heartney, Shirin Neshat , Luisa Valenzuela.

Introduced by Marjorie Martay,

Moderated by Anita Glesta and Fion Gunn

Respondents: Anthony Hayden – Guest , Juan Puntes & Raoul Zamudio





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