Events and Exhibitions: September 12 – 18, 2014

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It’s another busy week, and we’re particularly excited about a few things:

  • The beginning of the Museum of the Moving Image’s month-long retrospective to “Triple H” (not the wrestler) and the related talk at Columbia.   Take a look at our post for embedded videos and links to commentaries on the films.
  • Tsai Ming-Liang’s Stray Dogs (郊游 / 郊遊) at the New York Film Festival.
  • Eric Liu’s two events (one with playwright David Henry Hwang) exploring the “Chinese American dream”
  • New York-based French artist Prune Nourry’s two exhibitions
  • China Institute’s curator’s lecture on their new exhibition on Mao’s mangoes

It’s the last weekend to catch MOCA’s Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink contemporary Chinese art show and the Red Poppy Ladies’ Percussion’s high-energy, high-fun Mulan: The Percussion Musical.   Don’t miss out!

You can always look ahead to events beyond the upcoming week by visiting our one-time and short term event and ongoing exhibition calendars.  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.

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]gmail.com.

Be sure to check this site, our Facebook page, or Twitter account regularly for articles and new events.  If you’re so inclined, we also send out a weekly newsletter.  Sign-up below.


Upcoming Events

1) Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien –  A discussion about the work of Taiwan’s celebrated filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien in conjunction with the Museum of the Moving Image’s retrospective Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Presenters include: Ian Buruma, Bard College; Richard Suchenski, editor of the new book Hou Hsiao-hsien; and Richard Pena of Columbia University.

Friday, September 12, 3 – 4:30 PM
Kent Hall 403, Columbia University
No registration required

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2) Ai Weiwei at Francis M. Naumann Opening Reception – A counterpart to the Ai Weiwei exhibition at Chambers Fine Art.

Friday, September 12, 6 – 8 PM
Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, 24 W. 57th Street, Suite 305

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3) Art Talk: New Directions: Contemporary Art in China – A conversation on new trends in Chinese contemporary art with Thomas J. Berghuis, Curator of Chinese Art at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Melissa Chiu, Director of Asia Society Museum and co-curator of Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition.

Friday, September 12, 6:30 – 8 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required

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4) Eat Drink Man Woman (饮食男女 / 飲食男女) – Free screening of Ang Lee’s classic about the relationship between a widowed chef and his three adult daughters .  Brought to you by the Museum of Chinese in America and the New York City Parks Department.


Friday, September 12, 6:45 PM
Columbus Park Pavilion, Bayard, Baxter, Worth & Mulberry Streets
Free

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5) Flowers of Shanghai (海上花) – The Museum of the Moving Image’s Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective opens with “Hou’s ravishing, lapidary chamber drama follows the fates of four “flower girls” working together in a brothel in the British section of Shanghai in 1884. Inside the sealed, illusory world of the flower house, fading Crimson fears losing the attention of Master Wang to Jasmin, while naïve Jade allows herself to be drawn into a suicide pact. “One of the most sublimely beautiful films I‘ve ever seen, and one of the most unbearably sad. To watch these characters break one another’s hearts, and then to have your own broken, is to experience something that the movies rarely grant us—perfection.” (Manohla Dargis, LA Weekly)” (Museum of the Moving Image)

Richard I. Suchenski, Director, Center for Moving Image Arts at Bard College, who organized the internationally touring retrospective, will introduce the screening.

Friday, September 12, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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6) Cute Girl aka Lovable You (就是溜溜的她) – Hou’s directorial debut is in the style of light melodramatic romances then popular in Taiwan. Apastoral romp, Cute Girl is the first of two films that Hou would make co-starring two pop singers then at the height of their fame, Hong Kong’s Kenny Bee and Taiwan’s Feng Fei-fei. Bee, a surveyor preparing rural Taiwan for development, meets Feng, a city girl visiting family in the countryside, and the encounter disrupts her plans for marriage. Per film scholar David Bordwell, these are films that “show [Hou] developing, in almost casual ways, techniques of staging and shooting that will become his artistic hallmarks.” (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Saturday, September 13, 2:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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7) HHH: A Portrait of Hou Hsiao-hsien – French director Assayas, a longtime friend and admirer of Hou’s, created this affectionate and probing portrait of the filmmaker for the French TV series Cinema de Notre Temps. An unpretentious and casual-tough figure, Hou shows the scenes of his childhood, source of his early, autobiography-based films, and hits up a karaoke bar with members of the Goodbye South, Goodbye cast. Hou’s longtime scriptwriter and collaborator Chu Tien-wen also appears, while Taiwanese critic Chen Kuo-fu provides a historical and aesthetic context for their groundbreaking work together. (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Saturday, September 13, 4:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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8) “If I Want Blue, I Paint with Orange” Xiaowei Chen Solo Exhibition Opening  This exhibition is an extensive survey of Chen’s practice over the past seven years, from her signature ink pen drawings, to an experimental fluorescent painting, and to her most recent stop motion animation as part of the collaborative multi-media performance ReBecoming.

Saturday, September 13, 6 – 9 PM
49B Studios, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn

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9) The Puppet Master ( 戲夢人生 / 戏梦人生) – In the acclaimed second chapter of his “Taiwan Trilogy,” Hou illustrates the childhood and early adulthood of Li Tien-lu, an 84-year-old Taiwanese puppet master, using a combination of documentary technique and elegant dramatization. The real Li, who had previously appeared in bit parts for Hou, functions as on- and off-screen narrator, as the film travels from 1908 to 1945, showing the years of Japanese rule as they impact one man’s life, including a ban of street theater in Taiwan during the Sino-Japanese war and recruitment of puppet-art for propaganda purposes. “I am exploring the values of traditional culture which we have lost, particularly at this juncture of our existence in an inflated materialist and technological age.” –Hou Hsiao-hsien (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Saturday, September 13, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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10) Renwen Society Lecture: 字如其人”與“人如其字 – Visit the event page for details about this discussion about calligraphy.

Sunday, September 14, 2 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street
Free

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11) A Summer at Grandpa’s (冬冬的假期) – The first entry in Hou’s coming-of-age trilogy, A Summer at Grandpa’s was inspired by the childhood memories of his screenwriter Chu Tien-wen, an invaluable new collaborator. When four-year-old Ting-ting and eleven-year-old Tung-tung’s mother goes into the hospital, they are packed off to spend the summer with her father, a country doctor. Scenes of pastoral, bucolic idyll are combined with indications of a darker side to country life, including roadside robberies, sexual assaults and shotgun weddings. “The child’s slow education becomes an allegory for the process of gradual understanding in which the viewer engages.” –Reverse Shot (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Sunday, September 14, 2:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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12) Cheerful Wind (风儿踢踏踩 / 風兒踢踏踩) – A photographer travels with her television producer boyfriend and his film crew to shoot a detergent commercial in a seaside village in Penghu. There she strikes up a relationship with a former medic blinded in an ambulance crash. When they reencounter one another back in Taipei, where he is preparing to undergo an operation to restore his sight, their connection intensifies. A little-seen early work, Hou’s second romantic film with Feng and Bee offers a look at the development of his signature style of continuous takes and telephoto compositions, and evinces an early devotion to location shooting. (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Sunday, September 14, 4:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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13) Three Times (最好的时光 / 最好的時光) –  In three segments, set respectively in 1966, 1911, and 2005, Hou depicts three love stories between three sets of characters (played each time by Shu Qi and Chang Chen), under three different periods of Taiwanese history and governance. The 1966 segment has a soldier falling for a pool hall girl, the 1911 segment is set in a brothel, and the 2005 segment features a bisexual female pop singer and a photographer—the cumulative effect is that of a summation of Hou’s career to date. “The resonance of these combined stories, their differences and similarities, their quietness and seeming simplicity, left me in a near dream-state—something that only happens to me after the most striking cinematic experiences.”–Jim Jarmusch (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective.

Sunday, September 14, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue Astoria
Free with museum admission

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14) Catherine Lan Solo Exhibition Opening Reception – Catherine Lan utilizes fashion elements to explore themes of flora and fauna, fantasy and desire. The recent Floral and Mirror Series depict subjects from Western and Oriental legends and architectural ornaments. For more information, see the press release.

Monday, September 15, 6 – 8 PM
The Center for Arts Education, 266 West 37th Street, 9th Floor

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15) Li Ming’s The Afternoon on June 1 – A Screening with Howie Chen – Mercurial shifts in performer roles and relationships unfold in Li’s video in which the artist and his friends (Yang Junling and Lin Ke) make an ad hoc video featuring an older unemployed actress who they encounter in front of the Beijing Film Studio. Filmed in a nearby park where abandoned nuclear plants and ancient pagodas dot the horizon, the video shows the subjects acting out unscripted scenes, loosely based on a narrative of an incestuous relationship between a mother and her sons.

What begins in the register of a puerile prank evolves into a complex play of fiction and reality, as these elements soon become indistinguishable to the viewer and the subjects in the video. Each scene begins to parallel different realities for the performers (Asia Art Archive in America)

Tuesday, September 16, 7 – 8 PM
Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn
Free, but RSVP required

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16) ChinaFile Presents: Climate Change at High Altitudes – Ian Teh and David Breashears will present their photography from the frontiers of this global environmental crisis, in an evening discussion with Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Tuesday, September 16, 6:30 – 8 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required

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17) Mao’s Golden Mangos and the Cultural Revolution Members’ Opening Reception – China Institute opens its newest exhibition that looks at the mango’s unlikely role  in Cultural Revolution-era propaganda.

Wednesday, September 17, 6 – 8 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street

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18) Eric Liu with David Henry Huang: How Chinese Americans Can Save America – Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Kung Fu) talks with former White House speechwriter and author of the new book A Chinaman’s Chance Eric Liu talk about the role of Chinese Americans in America at a time when China has become a major player in global politics, economics, and culture.

Wednesday, September 17, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue
$30/general admission; $15/attendees under 35

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19) The Chinese American Dream – “China’s growing dominance as a world power raises a litany of questions for Chinese Americans. The Chinese American experience is one of marked achievement, but also of challenges with privatization and discrimination that often place breaks between immigrant parents and their own children in the generations that follow. The value and impact of both blended cultures has, subsequently, never been more salient.

For what Eric Liu calls the “ABC”s, American-born Chinese, this age of widening inequality and demographic flux begs the timeless question, “Who is us?” Join New America NYC for a conversation between Eric Liu and New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas on the state of immigration, its impact on mobility, and what it means to be Chinese and American in this age.” (New America NYC)

Thursday, September 18, 6:30 – 8:15 PM
New America NYC, 199 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
Free, but RSVP required

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20) Curator’s Lecture: “Mao’s Golden Mangoes The Intersection of Fruit, Art, Passion, and Propaganda” – Alfreda Murck, an independent scholar and a co-curator of China Institute’s Mao’s Golden Mangos and the Cultural Revolution exhibition, will tell the story of the improbable transformation of the mango from then unfamiliar fruit to a symbol of Mao’s love for his people and the workers.

Thursday, September 18, 6:30 – 8 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street
$10/member; $15/non-members


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) Stray Dogs (郊游 / 郊遊) (Howard Gilman Theater, 9/12 – 9/18) – Tsai Ming-liang’s ( 蔡明亮) critically acclaimed film (Grand Jury Prize winner at the Venice Film Festival) returns to the New York Film Festival .  “A single father (Tsai mainstay Lee Kang-sheng) makes his meager living holding up an advertising placard on a traffic island in the middle of a busy highway. His children (Lu Yi-ching and Li Yi-cheng) wait out their days in supermarkets before they eat with their father and go to sleep in an abandoned building. As the father starts to come apart, a woman in the supermarket (Chen Shiang-chyi, also a Tsai regular) takes the children under her wing. There are real stray dogs to be fed in Tsai’s everyday apocalypse, but the title also refers to its principal characters, living the cruelest of existences on the ragged edges of the modern world. Stray Dogs is many things at once: minimal in its narrative content and syntax, as visually powerful as it is emotionally overwhelming, and bracingly pure in both its anger and its compassion. One of the finest works of an extraordinary artist.” (NYFF official description).

Rave reviews by The Hollywood Reporter and the A.V. Club

3) 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.


Christie’s Asian Art Week

Before we get into our regular exhibition listings, we’ll highlight a couple of Chines art-related things at Christie’s Asian Art Week which we’ve added to the exhibition listings and previewed in this highlights video.

First, there are four talks at Christie’s galleries at 20 Rockefeller Plaza:

  • “As the Dynasty Collapsed, Inspiration Blossomed: The Individualist Painters of Late Ming-Early Qing China” by Elizabeth Hammer, Head of Sale, Senior Specialist Chinese Paintings Department, Christie’s New York
    Sunday, September 14, 4 PM (English); 4:30 PM (Mandarin)
  • “Jingtai Blue: Classical Trends in Ming and Qing Cloissoné Enamels” by Professor Claudia Brown, Professor of Art History, School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University
    Sunday, September 14, 5 PM
  • Gallery Talk: Fine Chinese Paintings – A Deeper Look by James Stand, Kristina Yuetao Yang, Wei Lyu
    Monday, September 15, 10 AM (English); 11 AM (Mandarin)
  • Gallery Talk: Chinese Contemporary Ink  by Carmen Shek Cerne, Specialist
    Monday, September 15, 10 AM (English); 11 AM (Mandarin) 

Secondly, the items from the Fine Chinese Paintings, Rivers of Color: Cloisonné Enamels from Private American Collections, and Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auctions are available for public viewing from September 12 – 17.

Finally, Christie’s has launched a Chinese Contemporary Design category that showcases works from contemporary artisans who continue and innovate classical Chinese traditions with modern techniques.   The work of Shang Xia will be presented as part of Asian Art Week.


Exhibitions

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)

*Flotsam Jetsam (MoMA, 9/28)

Opening and newly added:

Christie’s Asian Art Week (Christie’s, 9/12 – 9/19)

“If I Want Blue, I Paint with Orange” Xiaowei Chen Solo Exhibition (49B Studios, 9/13 – 10/30)

Catherine Lan Solo Exhibition (The Center for Arts Education, 9/15 – 10/10)

Mao’s Golden Mangoes and the Cultural Revolution (China Institute, 9/18/14 – 4/26/15)

Prune Nourry: Terracotta Daughters (China Institute (downtown), 9/11 – 10/4)

Prune Nourry: Imbalance (Rio Grande, 179A Grand Street, 9/13 – 10/4)

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

Visit the exhibition calendar (http://ow.ly/pxe9o) 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)

Prune Nourry: Terracotta Daughters (China Institute (downtown), 10/4)

Prune Nourry: Imbalance (Rio Grande, 179A Grand Street, 10/4)

Catherine Lan Solo Exhibition (The Center for Arts Education, 10/10)

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

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

“If I Want Blue, I Paint with Orange” Xiaowei Chen Solo Exhibition (49B Studios, 10/30)

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, 11/1)

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)

Mao’s Golden Mangoes and the Cultural Revolution (China Institute, 4/26/15)

Group Shows

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

Image: 阿呆 (Dummy) by Andrew Shiue