Events and Exhibitions: October 17 – 23, 2014


It seems to us this week’s events are probably the most varied ever.

The Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective closes with a film not by him, but by Jia Zhangke, the slyly subversive I Wish I Knew (海上传奇 / 海上傳奇).  Other films include one of the first Hollywood films to feature a mostly Asian American cast; Taiwanese films about baseball and disaffected youth; a food film about Cecilia Chiang, the Julia Child of Chinese cuisine; a film about the Chinese Cultural Revolution; an Asian American film produced by Martin Scorsese and co-directed by Infernal Affairs‘ Andrew Lau (劉德華 / 刘德华); and a historical epic about two of China’s great modern writers, Xiao Hong (萧红 / 蕭紅) and Xiao Jun 萧军 / 蕭軍).

Chinese writer Lu Xun (鲁迅 / 魯迅) is the inspiration for a contemporary dance series at BAM.  Other arts performances include experimental music pianist Vicky Chow at MoMA PS1 and Second Hand Rose and 88 Balaz at Webster Hall (there’s still time to enter our ticket giveaway).  Just before Taiwan Music Night at CMJ, Tree, Jr., a figure in Taiwan’s music scene will talk about the indie music scene in Taiwan and globally.

People who were intrigued by the film Ghina at this year’s Asian American International Film Festival may be interested in the talk China’s Second Continent.  Other educational events include a re-enactment of an important trial in Asian American history, a talk about Tang Dynasty poetry, and a symposium about Chinese calligraphy.

Asian Art Week starts next week, and we’ll do a post to highlight Chinese-related artists who are participating.  In the meantime, you may wish to register for Do the Same Good Deed, a participatory public performance on November 3 that allows you to “participate in a new socialism for the 21st century…right in the heart of the Capital of Capital [Times Square]” and presented in conjunction to Polit-Sheer-Form-Office: Polit Sheer Form! which opens soon at the Queens Musuem.  Register early since it’s limited to 500 participants.

“Turning the Page: The Art of the Chinese Album” lecture by Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Asian Art has been postponed from October 17 to February 6, 2015.

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!

We’re looking for contributors!  If you would like to do a write-up or contribute photos for an event, please email us at beyondchinatown[at]

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.



counter)induction presents: X+N: Ning Yu and Vladimir Ussachevsky – Pianist Ning Yu performs

Ludwig van Beethoven: 32 Variations in C Minor
Vladimir Ussachevsky: Wireless Fantasy
Tristan Murail: Cloches d’adieu, et un sourire
Vladimir Ussachevsky: Piece for tape recorder (1956)
Unsuk Chin: Etude No. 4
Vladimir Ussachevsky/ Otto Luening: Sonic Contours
Sofia Gubaidulina: Chaconne

About the Series
X+N is a new c)i series coproduced with SpectrumNYC that combines the solo virtuosity of counter)induction players with seminal works from the history of electronic music. Each performer selects his or her own solo repertoire that best counterpoints the electronic works on the concert.

About the Artist
Pianist NING YU has performed dozens of world premieres including the works of Terry Riley, Michael Gordon, Tristan Perich, and Cenk Ergün. She has appeared on stages worldwide, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. As a chamber musician, Ms. Yu has performed with leading new music ensembles such as Bang on A Can- All Stars, Signal Ensemble, and theater groups Mabou Mines and the Tectonic Theater Project. She is a member of the New York based percussion and piano ensemble Yarn/Wire. A native of Shenyang, China, Ning has been living and working in New York City since 2004.

Upcoming Events

1) Wild Grass (野草) – Beijing Dance Theater (北京当代芭蕾舞团 / 北京當代芭蕾舞團) comes to BAM’s Next Wave Festival  October 15 – 18 with performances based on Lu Xun’s (鲁迅 / 魯迅) collection of prose poetry.  See our post for more information.

October 15 – 18, 7:30 PM
BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St, Brooklyn
$20 – $50


2) Exhibition Tour — The Art of the Chinese Album – Shi-yee Liu, Assistant Research Curator of Chinese Art, Department of Asian Art, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art leads a tour of the exhibition.

Friday, October 17, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Free with museum admission


3) Wang Mansheng & Zheng Xiaohua: An Exhibition and Symposium of Chinese Calligraphy – Reception – Reception for an exhibition of calligraphy by Wang Mansheng (王满晟 / 王滿晟) and Zheng Xiaohua (郑晓华 / 鄭曉華)

Friday, October 17, 5 – 7 PM
C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Reading Room, Columbia University


4) Flower Drum Song (1961) – As part of the its Justice in Film series and related to the current Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion exhibition, the New York Historical society presents Roger and Hammerstein’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical comedy, set in San Francisco and featuring one of the first largely Asian-American casts in Hollywood cinema.  Judge Denny China and playwright David Henry Hwang will introduce the film.

Friday, October 17, 7 – 9:30 PM
New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
Entrance to the film series is included with Museum Admission during New-York Historical’s Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6–8 pm). No advanced reservations. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 pm. New-York Historical Society members receive priority.


5) I Wish I Knew (海上传奇 / 海上傳奇) – “In our time, Hou Hsiao-hsien is the genius narrator passing down the memories of a nation through films.” (Jia Zhangke). A sneakily subversive documentary commissioned by the Shanghai World Expo, I Wish I Knew has the great mainland Chinese filmmaker (and Hou acolyte) Jia traveling from Shanghai to Hong Kong and Taiwan, tracing the history of the port city on the Yangtze—and, in effect the history of China—through personal reminiscences and cinematic testimonies, restoring information (and images) occluded or censored by the official Party line. Hou appears to discuss his experience making Flowers of Shanghai, while between sections the film returns to the refrain image of Jia regular Zhao Tao, a reproachful spirit seen wandering through the new World Expo Park.

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

Friday, October 17, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
Free with museum admission ($12/adults; $9/senior citizens, students;  $6/children (3-12))


6) Wang Mansheng & Zheng Xiaohua: An Exhibition and Symposium of Chinese Calligraphy – Symposium for an exhibition of calligraphy by Wang Mansheng (王满晟 / 王滿晟) and Zheng Xiaohua (郑晓华 / 鄭曉華).  Presenters include:

– Robert Harrist, Jane and Leopold Swergold Professor of Chinese Art History, Columbia University
– Wei Shang, Theodore and Fanny Brett de Bary and Class of 1941 Collegiate Professor of Asian Humanities and Du Family Professor of Chinese Culture, Columbia University
– Zheng Xiaohua, Professor and Deputy Dean of the School of the Arts, Remin University of China
– Wang Mansheng, Artist

Saturday, October 18, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Reading Room, Columbia University
Free, but registration required


7) 22 Lewd Chinese Women: A Trial Reenactment – A reenactment of Chy Lung v. Freeman with Judge Denny Chin.  Upon the arrival of a ship from China in 1874, a San Francisco state official determined that 22 Chinese women traveling alone were “lewd”—or prostitutes—and placed a bond of $500 on each woman in order to disembark. The women were detained and legal proceedings followed, including a trial and appeals to the United States Supreme Court, where issues of immigration, federalism, and human rights were raised. Legal experts lead a trial re-enactment of this case, telling the story of these 22 women through narration, discussion, and historic photographs.

Learn more at The Atlantic

Saturday, October 18, 9:30 – 11 AM (Registration at 9 AM)
New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
Tickets: $44; Members $32


8) Lu Zhang – All Lost Souls Opening Reception – Opening reception for the first New York solo exhibition of works by Brooklyn based artist Lu Zhang. Lu Zhang was born in 1986 in Xi’an, China. Lu’s photographic and video performance works are based on her longing for her lost identities, which is deeply inhabited in her spiritual practice. Lu Zhang will be presenting a series combining photographic and video work entitled “All The Lost Souls” which conjures relations and the spirits that dwell in the landscape of our ecosystem as well as the spirits of the inner landscape.

Saturday, October 18, 4 -6 PM
Stephen Romano Gallery, 111 Front Street suite 208, Brooklyn


9) Sound / Source – New Amsterdam Records presents Sound / Source, a day-long exploration of electroacoustic music in all its forms, featuring collaborations between legends, luminaries, and newcomers as they examine the interplay between human and machine sounds.

At 2 PM Pianist Vicky Chow, will showcase new and vital pathways being forged in the electronic field. Chow will perform composer and visual artist Tristan Perich’s Surface Image on the occasion of the piece’s release on New Amsterdam Records.

Sunday, October 19, 12 – 10 PM (Vicky Chow at 2 PM)
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City
Tickets: $20; MoMA and PS1 Members: $18


10) TRANSPLANT – Young Taiwanese Architectural Designer Exhibition (台灣建築新人聯展在紐約) –  Presentation, Panel Discussion, and Opening Reception – Exhibition of projects by a group of architectural designers who have been educated in Taiwan and New York City. This series of projects scaling from global to local, from macro to micro, from material to master planning will create a platform to examine the reflection of globalization on architectural thinking in our generation.

Sunday, October 19, 1 – 7:30 PM
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 1 E 42nd St.


11) Soul of a Banquet – Two screenings of Wayne Wang’s documentary on Cecilia Chiang, the “matriarch of Chinese Cooking in the United States”.  Here’s our post about the film.

The screening at Lincoln Center will be followed by a Q&A with Wayne Wang, Cecilia Chang, and food writer Ruth Reichl.

The screening at Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Factory will be followed by a discussion moderated by Francis Lam, Clarkson Potter editor and Top Chef Masters judge, about Chiang and Chinese cuisine with a culinary all-star panel that includes chefs Anito Lo (Annisa), Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food), Jonathan Wu (Fung Tu), and ginger ale wizard Bruce Cost.  Chiang and Wang will be in attendance.

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Sunday, October 19, 7 – 9 PM
Howard Gilman Theater, 144 West 65th Street
Sold out, standby only

Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Factory
Monday, October 20, 7 – 9 PM
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Factory, 465 Johnson Ave Brooklyn
Free, but RSVP required


12) Second Hand Rose and 88 Balaz at Webster Hall – Second Hand Rosebrings their act — part cabaret, part Chinese theater, and part rock n’ roll dance party — to Webster Hall’s Marlin Room with Taiwan’s garage rock 88 Balaz (八十八顆芭樂籽 / 八十八颗芭乐籽) opening.

Have you entered our ticket giveaway?

Sunday, October 19, 8 PM
Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th Street
Tickets: $16


13) Songs of the Heart: Magnificent Poetry from the Tang Dynasty – Blending music and painting – in that the spoken language is music and the written language is painting – the Chinese language is uniquely suited for poetry. Classical Chinese poetry reached its heights during the Tang dynasty (618-907). In this lecture in English, Ben Wang, Senior Lecturer of Language and Humanities at China Institute, will introduce selected works by three of the towering masters of the Tang period: Li Bai (701-762) of the high Tang Period, and Du Mu (803-852) and Li Shangyin (812-858) of the twilight years of the dynasty. Detailed discussion of the poems in their original Chinese will be given to reveal the beauty and profundity of the works. The political and social background of the Tang dynasty, against which the poems were composed, and the relationship between Chinese poetry, music, painting and major schools of thought will also be explored. A few classical poems in English composed in the spirit of the Chinese poems will also be introduced. (China Institute)

Last in a three part series.  No previous knowledge of Chinese is required.

Tuesday, October 21, 6:30 – 8 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street
$25/members; $30/non-members


14) Revenge of the Green Dragons – In the vein of crime classics like Mean Streets and Infernal Affairs, the 1980s-New York-set action thriller Revenge of the Green Dragons follows Sonny and Steven, two immigrant brothers who join a Chinatown gang and quickly rise up the ranks, drawing the attention of hard-boiled city cops. After an ill-fated love affair pits brother against brother, Sonny sets out for revenge on the very gang who made him who he is. The film brilliantly mixes the genres of Hong Kong action and New York crime film, and reunites executive producer Martin Scorsese with co-director Andrew Lau, whose film Infernal Affairs was the basis for Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed. (Museum of the Moving Image)

Directors Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo, as well as cast members, will attend the screening of this NYC-produced Asian American film

Co-presented by Asian Cinevision.

Tuesday, October 21, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria
$15/admission; $9 members at Film Lover, Dual, and Family levels; Free for Silver Screen members and above


15) Morning Sun (八九点钟的太阳 / 八九點鐘的太陽) – Documentary based on rare archival footage and interviews with participants, both famous and ordinary, seen through the lens of propaganda cinema. Directed by Geremie Barmé, Richard Gordon, and Carma Hinton. Introduced by Carma Hinton, who was raised in China, and is both a filmmaker and the Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies at George Mason University. (China Institute)

Excerpt (in Mandarin):

Wednesday, October 22, 6 – 8:30 PM
China Institute in America, 125 E 65th St.
$12/members; $25/non-members


16) Kano – Two screenings of the film based on the real-life story of an underdog team from the southern Taiwanese city of Chiayi which took on and defeated many an established outfit in its first-ever appearance in a major championship on Japanese soil in 1931 (THR)

The Wall Street Journal has an interview with director Umin Boya.

Wednesday, October 22, 6:30 PM
Taiwan Center, 13744 Northern Blvd, Flushing
Tickets: $5; First come, first serve. If you would like to reserve a ticket, call 929-500-1822

Thursday, October 23, 6:30 PM
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
$10 members / $13 non-members / $20 at the door


17) China’s Second Continent – Howard French, prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, talks about China’s presence in Africa and his book China’s Second Continent.

Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting, conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages, French creates a multi-leveled picture through discussion not only with policy-shaping leaders and diplomats, but also with the ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this important geopolitical development.

In China’s Second Continent, Howard French reveals this new world order, from the echoes of colonial ambition – exploitation of resources and labor; cut-rate infrastructure projects; dubious treaties – to new areas of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux.

China’s Second Continent offers fresh perspectives on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is playing the role it is, how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and what the ramifications for both parties – and the rest of the world – will be in the foreseeable future. (National Committee on United States-China Relations)

The New York Times has a review of the book.

Wednesday, October 22, 6 – 7 PM (registration at 5;30 PM)
Sidley Austin, 787 7th Ave.
Free, but registration required.


18) Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) – Tsai Ming-liang’s first feature film tells two stories of Taipei youth. One details alienated buxiban student Hsiao Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) and his troubled interactions with his family. The other shows two petty hoods, Ah Tze and Ah Bing, along with Ah Kuei, Tze’s erstwhile girlfriend. An idle act of violence brings the two groups into collision, and an act of revenge at the end completes the circle. It is a story of troubled youth, dissatisfaction, and the alienating effect of urban life. -Wikipedia

Part of the Taipei Cultural Center’s “Rebels: Down the Flaming Road” film series

Thursday, October 23, 6:30 PM
Taiwan Academy, 1 East 42nd Street
Free, but RSVP required


19) Tree Jr., “Musical Imagination for the Next Generation” – Tree, Jr. is a music insider with more than 20 years of experience in Taiwan’s independent music industry. He is a respected music critic, as well as a DJ, and a music manager. Tree, Jr. will talk about the ever-changing landscape of the independent music industry and will cover below topics:

● Value of the traditional record after the collapse of the industry.
● Enigma of the digital format in changing times.
● National boundaries after the rise of globalization.

Thursday, October 23, 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Studio Sprouts, 380 Harman St, Brooklyn

Ongoing Films and Shows

The Golden Era (黄金时代 / 黃金時代) – Ann Hui’s (A Simple Life (桃姐)) drama starring Tang Wei and Feng Shaofeng about the lives of Xiao Hong (萧红 / 蕭紅) and Xiao Jun 萧军 / 蕭軍), two of the most important writers in 20th century China. It was screened out of competition at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and is Hong Kong’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

Great reviews for Tang Wei’s acting in Variety.

Opens Friday, October 17 at AMC Empire 25.


We’ll post a new round-up of exhibition reviews for the current crop of shows.

Closing soon:

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)

Li Daiyun: The Grid (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 11/1)

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)

Wang Guangle at Pace Gallery (Pace Gallery, 510 W. 25th St.,  11/1)

Opening and newly added:

TRANSPLANT – Young Taiwanese Architectural Designer Exhibition (台灣建築新人聯展在紐約) (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 10/19 – 10/26)

Wang Mansheng & Zheng Xiaohua: An Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy (C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University, October 17 – December)

Polit-Sheer-Form-Office: Polit Sheer Form!  (Queens Museum, 11/1/14 – 3/8/15)

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.  Exhibitions marked with an asterisk have reviews that were posted on Beyond Chinatown.  Click on the asterisk to go to the post.

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

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

TRANSPLANT – Young Taiwanese Architectural Designer Exhibition (台灣建築新人聯展在紐約) (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 10/26)

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

Li Daiyun: The Grid (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 11/1)

* 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)

Wang Guangle at Pace Gallery (Pace Gallery, 510 W. 25th St.,  11/1)

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

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

Lu Zhang: All the Lost Souls (张璐: 所有丢失的灵魂 / 張璐: 所有丟失的靈魂) (Stephen Romano Gallery, 11/30)

ESC: Digital Artworks by C.J. Yeh (The Museum of FIT, 12/13)

Wang Mansheng & Zheng Xiaohua: An Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy (C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University, December)

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao’s New York: Assembled Realities (Museum of the City of New York, 10/15/14 – 2/15/15)

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)

Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Archiving (Museum of Chinese in America, 3/1/15)

Memory Prints: The Story World of Philip Chen (Museum of Chinese in America, 3/1/15)

Polit-Sheer-Form-Office: Polit Sheer Form!  (Queens Museum, 3/8/15)

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion (New York Historical Society, 4/19/15)

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

Group Shows

Ming-Jer Kuo in The Big Show (Art Factory 10/11 – ??)

Image: Wild Child (photo by Andrew Shiue)