Events and Exhibitions: September 5 – 11, 2014

Noodle Maker at China Shanxi Food Festival

After a summer of countless films, the unofficial start of autumn brings a new season of exhibitions.  This week, there are five openings for exhibitions of works by local and internationally known artists.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition The Art of the Chinese Album opens this Saturday.  More exhibitions from local artists will open later in the month.

Want films?  But Always (一生一也), a Chinese romantic drama filmed in New York, opens at two area theaters this week.  The Museum of the Moving Image will host a month-long retrospective of the works of Taiwanese director Hao Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝賢 / 侯孝贤).  We’ll have more about that soon.

Don’t forget about tonight’s discussion with Shanghaiist founder Dan Washburn and ESPN correspondent Jeremy Schaap about golf in China and its representation of new China.

Stay tuned for our recap of Asia Society’s Waking the Green Tiger: Documentaries from the Front Lines of China’s Environmental Crisis.

The one-time and short term event calendar and the ongoing exhibition calendar are up-to-date with the listings below.  Upcoming events also can be found on listing on the right side of this page.  New events and exhibitions are added as they come up.

Looking ahead:

  • New exhibitions at China Institute and the Museum of Chinese in America
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢 / 侯孝賢) retrospective
  • A tribute to composer Chou Wen-chung (周文中)
  • Chinese rock music festival in New York
  • A talk about the environment by photographers Ian Teh and David Breashears
  • Chinese folk music performance
  • Asian Art Week at Christie’s

Let us know if there’s anything we should add to the calendar! If anybody will attend these events and would like to contribute photos or a summary, please email us at beyondchinatown[at] Sign-up for our weekly newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to check this site, our Facebook page, or Twitter account regularly for articles and new events.

Be sure to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Upcoming Events

1) James Chan: Human Investigation – Opening Reception – Opening for artist James Chan’s exhibition of paintings made with paintbrush markers, ballpoint pens, grease pencils,

various ink pens, and acrylic paints that look at “clutter, disorder and isolation in our modern world”.  Read more at the press release.

Friday, September 5, 6 PM
Roux Roux Gallery, 243 Smith Street, Brooklyn


2) Shaolin Soccer (少林足球) – The Museum of Chinese in America and the New York City Parks Department keep summer alive with this free outdoor screening of Stephen Chow’s (周星馳) blockbuster martial arts-sports-action comedy.

Friday, September 5, 6:45 PM
Columbus Park Pavilion, Bayard, Baxter, Worth & Mulberry Streets


3) The Evolution of U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Past, Present, and Future (台美關係的進化論:過去、現在與未來) – How has the evolution of U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past 35 years both facilitated and impeded Taiwan’s international political development? What challenges currently exist within the bilateral relationship, and how can we successfully address them in the future?

Julia Famularo will touch upon the current situation regarding Taiwan’s status in the international community, as well as the role that the legislative and executive branches of the United States government can potentially play in facilitating greater international participation for Taiwan. This talk serves to enhance the audience’s understanding of not only the historical development of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, but also why bilateral ties are worth strengthening.

Famularo is a research affiliate at the Project 2049 Institute in Washington, DC. She is currently a pre-doctoral fellow at the Yale University International Security Studies program and a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University. 

The discussion will be primarily based in English.  Seating is limited.  Please RSVP here.

Friday, September 5, 7:45 PM
Cafe Philo, 440 Lafayette St. Room 3G
Free, but RSVP requested


4) MOCAFAMILY: Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival – The Museum of Chinese in America hosts a family event with arts and crafts, storytelling, and mooncake tasting in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Saturday, September 6, 12 – 4 PM
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street
$10 per person. $8 for all MOCA Dual and Individual Level Members. Free for MOCA Family Level Members and above, children under 2, and Cool Culture families
Advance purchase recommended


5) Zhai Liang: “New York is a Big Liar” Opening Reception – Fou Gallery opens its newest exhibition featuring nine works by Zhai Liang (翟倞) created during his three-month residency with the gallery.   Exploring the intersection of reality and the imaginary with allusions to Pinocchio, Sigmar Polke, and David Lynch’s Eraserhead, the works reflect Zhai’s experiences in New York.

Saturday, September 6, 5 PM
Fou Gallery, 535 Dean Street, Apt 507, Brooklyn


6) Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Presents: I Tried to Discuss Communism with the Chinese but No One Wanted to Talk to Me – A screening and presentation by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, a Seoul-based web art group consisting of Young-hae Chang from Korea and Marc Voge from the United States.

I Tried to Discuss Communism with the Chinese but No One Wanted to Talk to Me (2013, HD QuickTime movie, original text and music soundtrack, 22 min) is part of Pacific Limn, a three-part narrative originally commissioned by Kadist Foundation, San Francisco. Employing YHCHI’s signature text-based animation synchronized to a musical score and superimposed over static or moving images, the work takes the audience on a journey to contemporary China – seemingly touristic yet full of irony. Are Chinese communism and western consumerism simply two different names for the same thing? Is there still no counter-narrative to capitalism? Is the revolution over? These questions are left open, but at least there is some comic relief.

Tuesday, September 9, 7 PM
Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street (Ground floor entrance) Brooklyn


7) What Can’t Be Sung: Xiaolu Guo and Nellie McKay in Conversation with Sasha Frere-Jones – Do novelists, poets, and musicians explore culture in different ways? How do they tell stories of introspection? Do the processes of writing music and writing literature speak to each other? How do they map the past and present in our increasingly connected world?

The New Yorker‘s Sasha Frere-Jones will guide literary sensation and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo—recently named one of Granta Magazine’s Best Young British Novelists—and acclaimed singer-songwriter Nellie McKay, in an intimate program that addresses these questions and more. Musician, writer, and cultural critic Frere-Jones will expertly put some of PEN’s core beliefs to the test: meditating on the power of the written word, the urgency of protecting writers from persecution and censorship, and the belief that a vital literary culture can affect change. The event will include a reading from Xiaolu Guo’s (郭小橹) forthcoming novel I Am China, and the possibility of surprise performances.

Tuesday, September 9, 7:30 PM (Program begins at 8 PM)
Liberty Hall, Ace Hotel, 20 W. 29th St.
$25/general; $20/PEN members


8) Cao Fei: LA Town – Opening ReceptionCao Fei (曹斐), an artist who “explores the lost dreams of the young Chinese generation and their strategies for overcoming and escaping reality”, presents her latest video work.

Wednesday, September 10, 6 -8 PM
Lombard Freid Gallery, 518 W. 19th St.


9) Guo Xiaolu – I Am China – Xiaolu Guo (郭小橹) joins Susan Jakes, Editor of ChinaFile and Senior Fellow at the Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society, for a discussion about Guo’s work as a writer in Chinese and English and as a filmmaker.  Guo will also show short clips from her film work, including her recent documentary film about China’s newly merged social classes, Once Upon a Time Proletarian (Venice Film Festival, 2010), and her feature film, the political fable UFO in Her Eyes (Toronto Film Festival, 2012).

Followed by a book sale and signing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
$10/members; $12/students and seniors; $15/non-members


10) Jen Shyu – “From Within the Rite to the Rite Within”: A fieldwork film footage introduction + solo performance – This special performance kicks off the SEEDS 2014-2015 season with a rare inside look at Jen’s film footage of her travel and research dating back to her extended trip in Taiwan in 2008 to 2013 when she documented her mother’s return to East Timor for the first time in almost 50 years.  This will be an interactive sharing with the audience before Jen launches into a solo performance born from her deep studies of these rituals, drawing upon Jen’s latest solo opera, “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths” directed by famed Indonesian film-stage director Garin Nugroho, but also mixed with improvisations inspired by the moment.

Wednesday, September 10, 8:30 PM
SEEDS: Brooklyn, 617 Vanderbilt Ave
Fee information unavailable


11) Ai Weiwei: Part I Opening Reception – Opening reception for two concurrent exhibitions devoted to new and conceptually related earlier works by Ai Weiwei.  Ai Weiwei: Part II opens at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art on 9/12/14.

Thursday, September 11, 6 – 8 PM
Chambers Fine Art, 522 W. 19th St.


12) Liu Bolin: A Colorful World? – Opening Reception – Camouflage artist Liu Bolin (刘勃麟 / 劉勃麟) opens his newest exhibition that looks at the dominance of commercial advertisements and consumer goods that obscure oppression and injustice.

Thursday, September 11, 6 – 8 PM
Klein Sun Gallery, 525 W. 22nd St.

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Mulan: The Percussion Musical (The Ellen Stuart Theatre, 6/25 – 9/13) – The Red Poppy Ladies’ Percussion group is banging fun in this production of the story of legendary Chinese heroine, Mulan.  Take a look at our review.

2) But Always (一生一也) – A romantic drama starring Gao Yuanyuan (高圆圆 / 高圓圓)) and Nicolas Tse (谢霆锋 / 謝霆鋒) about two friends from Beijing that reunite and begin a love affair in New York City twenty years later in the 1990s.  Plays at AMC Empire 25 in Manhattan and College Point Multiplex Cinemas in Flushing.


We put together available reviews of the current exhibitions in our Exhibition Review Roundup.  The exhibitions included in a roundup are marked with an asterisk.

Closing soon:

Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink (MoCA, 9/14)

Xin Song in On Paper/Grand Central at 100 (Grand Central Terminal,  9/14)

Opening and newly added:

The Art of the Chinese Album (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9/6 – 3/29/15)

James Chan: Human Investigation (Roux Roux Gallery, 9/5 – 10/22)

Zhai Liang: “New York is a Big Liar” (Fou Gallery, 9/6 – 11/15)

Cao Fei: LA Town (Lombard Freid Gallery, 9/10 – 10/25)

Ai Weiwei (Part I) (Chambers Fine Art, 9/11 – 11/1)

Ai Weiwei (Part II) (Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, 9/12 – ?)

Liu Bolin: A Colorful World? (Klein Sun Gallery, 9/11 – 11/1)

Let us know if there’s something people need to see.

Visit the exhibition calendar ( for details for the following shows below.  As always, check the museum or gallery’s website for hours of operation.

Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink (MoCA, 9/14)

Xin Song in On Paper/Grand Central at 100 (Grand Central Terminal,  9/14)

*Flotsam Jetsam (MoMA, 9/28)

James Chan: Human Investigation (Roux Roux Gallery, 10/22)

Cao Fei: LA Town (Lombard Freid Gallery, 10/25)

Liu Bolin: A Colorful World? (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/1)

Ai Weiwei (Part I) (Chambers Fine Art, 11/1)

Ai Weiwei (Part II) (Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, closing date unknown)

Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition (Storm King Art Center, 11/9)

Zhai Liang: “New York is a Big Liar” (Fou Gallery, 11/15)

The Art of the Chinese Album (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3/29/15)

*Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral (Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 2015)

Group Shows

YinHua Chu and Ta-Wei Huang in Afterimage (Cuchifritos Gallery, 120 Essex Street (inside Essex Street Market), 8/9 – 9/7/14)

Ming-jer Kuo in Emerald City (The Gateway Project, Newark’s Pennsylvania Avenue, 7/31 – 10/2 )

Image: Noodle maker at the China Shanxi Food Festival at the United Nations by Andrew Shiue