Events and Exhibitions: November 14 – 20, 2014


This week we have an experimental film, extremely rare films, soulful jazz music, experimental music, kunqu and Beijing opera, a look at a uniquely Chinese American sport, a Chinese American discovering the independent culture scene in 1990s Beijing…

Get your fill in now in case you go away Thanksgiving week.

Our exhibition calendar has been updated with all current shows.

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Gyeongju – Korean Chinese director Zhang Lu (张律 / 張律) helmed this “poetic, sentimental journey in the vein of Hong Sang-soo, Peking University professor Choi-Hyun returns to the city of Gyeongju to attend a friend’s funeral. Spurred by the memory of an obscene picture he saw seven years ago on the wall of a teahouse, he proceeds on a strangely aimless quest, fumbling between tantalizing possibilities of erotic satisfaction or perhaps something of a more spiritual nature.” (BAM)

Variety calls the film “a perfectly wonderful place to spend 145 minutes — the cinematic equivalent of a good Haruki Murakami novel, complete with a few delicately supernatural touches.”

A Q&A with the director will follow.

Thursday, November 20, 7:15 PM
BAM Rose Cinema, Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM
$14/adult; $10/students and seniors; $9/members


Johnnie To’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 (單身男女2), a sequel to his 2011 rom-com hit about “Hong Kong One Percenters who swap romantic allegiances with the same manic brio with which they buy and sell shares of Fortune 500 companies” (Variety) starts runs at Times Square’s AMC Theatre Empire 25 and College Point Multiplex Cinemas in Flushing on November 14.
Variety and  Hollywood Reporter like it OK, but The Onion’s A.V. Club, not so much.


Upcoming Events

1) Six Dreams About a City – Tiger Chengliang Cai’s Six Dreams about A City will be awarded as the Best Experimental Film at Long Island University’s Big MINI Media Fest. The screening is at 8 PM, but the awards ceremony begins at 6:45.  Arrive at 5 to see other films.  There will be a panel discussion about the future of independent film distribution at 7 PM

Cai says of the film, “Dreams about a City is about the social crisis in China today, but it’s also happening in every city in the world. Perhaps I made up these dreams, but they are not my dreams. They are the unconscious fragments of our pessimistic world that I have collected. If there is no final explanation for this world, neither is there in the film.” spoke to Cai about his film (in Chinese)


November 14, 8  PM
LIU Brooklyn Campus, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn


2)  9-MAN New York Festival Premiere at DOC NYC – Played since the 1930s, 9-Man, a variant of volleyball, was developed by Chinese immigrants to America as both an athletic pastime and a social outlet in a time of widespread anti-Chinese sentiment, discrimination and segregation. Ursula Liang’s film traces the game’s fascinating history as a backdrop to the present-day national championship, in which Asian-American players, now fully integrated into mainstream North American culture, defy stereotypes about Asian masculinity and athleticism even as they connect to their heritage.

Ursula Liang, editor Michelle Chang, Paul Chin, and Patrick “2E” Chin are expected to attend.

Saturday, November 15, 2 PM
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
$17/adult; $15/children and seniors; $14 IFC members


3) Annie Chen Trio @ Tomi Jazz – If you like jazz and Japanese izakayas, check out Annie Chen and her trio.

Saturday, November 15, 11 PM
Tomi Jazz, 239 E. 53rd St.
$10/cover and $10/minimum


4) Classical Beauties: 2014 Fall Concert –  Queens Public Library in Flushing and Kunqu Society present Kunqu Society artists Mr. Dezhang Wu, Mr.Min Cheng, and outstanding Peking Opera artists Mr. Jingtao Zhang, Ms. Yingchun Li and Ms. Julia Wang, will perform with students of the Kunqu Workshop and well known musicians Shirong Huang, Chenglin Huang, Liang Wu, Bairu Song and others. Together they will present two Kunqu plays “An Interrupted Dream” (惊梦 / 驚夢),  “A Banquet for Two” (小宴) and one Peking Opera “The Broken Bridge” (断桥 / 斷橋) to introduce to the general public the art and beauty of Kunqu and Peking Opera, both proclaimed as “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The event is free and will be held in the auditorium.

Sunday, November 16, 2 PM
Flushing Public Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing


5) Cave of the Silken Spider (盘丝洞 / 盤絲洞) and China and the Chinese [Part 2] – The only print of Cave of the Silken Spider was lost but unexpectedly discovered in Norway last year.  Based on an episode of Journey to the West (西游记/西遊記), but not to be confused with the Shaw Brother’s The Cave of the Silken Web,  the film was the type that led to film censorship policies in Republican-era China in the 1930s. Read more about the film in our post from May.

China and the Chinese – This rare travelogue from 1927 offers revelatory images of Shanghai on the eve of China’s declaration of war on Germany. The film, with its bustling street scenes of peddlers, rickshaw drivers, merchants, and other urban workers, was part of a broader ambitious effort by a Russian American entrepreneur, Benjamin Brodsky, to dispel Western myths and stereotypes about the Chinese people.

Part of To Save and Project: The 12th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation series

Tuesday, November 18, 4 PM
MoMA, Theater 2
$12/adults; $10/seniors; $8/students; members/free


6) “China” – Viren Murthy, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin, talks about China as part of WEAI’s “East Asian Historical Thought in Comparative Perspective: What History Is, Knows, Does” lecture series.

Tuesday, November 18, 6 – 8 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918, Columbia University
No registration required


7) Stage Sisters (舞台姐妹 / 舞臺姐妹) (aka Two Stage Sisters) – 1964 Chinese drama film produced by Shanghai Tianma Film Studio and directed by Xie Jin, starring Xie Fang and Cao Yindi. Made just before the Cultural Revolution, it tells the story of two female Yue (Shaoxing) Opera practitioners from the same troupe who end up taking very different paths in their lives. The film begins in 1935 and ends in 1950, just after the founding of New China. (MoMA)

Part of To Save and Project: The 12th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation series

Wednesday, November 19, 4 PM
MoMA, Theater 2
$12/adults; $10/seniors; $8/students; members/free


8) Sacrificed Youth (青春祭) – An elegiac and rarely screened feature film about the “sent-down youth,” set among the Dai minority in Southwestern China. Directed by Zhang Nuanxin with post-film discussion by Renqiu Yu, Professor of Chinese History at SUNY/Purchase.

Wednesday, November 19, 6 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th St.
$15/non-members; $12/members


9) Val Wang – Beijing Bastard – Talk and Reading – Author Val Wang will present the works of China’s Sixth Generation filmmakers in conjunction with the publication of her memoir BEIJING BASTARD.

Seeing the underground Chinese film Beijing Bastards in 1995 led the American-born Wang to move to Beijing in the late 1990’s, where she worked as a journalist and became a subtitler and friend to a cohort of Chinese filmmakers whose use of all-new digital videocameras was revolutionizing the country’s filmmaking.

Shot in a loose, observational style, the documentaries and feature films told intimate stories of people whose lives were unfolding against the backdrop of the country’s unprecedented historical transformation into capitalism, people from young rockers to old grandpas.

In Wang’s coming-of-age story BEIJING BASTARD, the filmmakers play a central role in her development as an artist and writer. She will talk and read from her book, as well as screen clips from the works of seminal filmmakers such as Zhang Yuan, Wu Wenguang, and Yang Lina. Lesley Yiping Qin, ACV’s Program Manager, will be moderating. (Spectacle Theater)

Wednesday, November 19, 8 PM
Spectacle Theater, 124 S 3rd Street, Brooklyn


10) China Connection: Jerry (Part of DOC NYC’s Shorts Program: Lost + Found) – This short 5 minute film about leading United States legal expert on China, and the first American lawyer there after normalization of US-China relations, Jerome Alan Cohen, tells the harrowing tale of how and why his China studies prepared him to rescue his college classmate, Jack Downey, from ‘behind enemy lines’ after Downey’s CIA mission to infiltrate communist China went awry in the 1950s

Wednesday, November 19, 9:30 PM
IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas
$17/adult; $15/children and seniors; $14 IFC members


11) Fugu (福古) Album Release Show – Fung Chern Hwei (violin) and Ng Chor Guan (theremin) duet together on their new album, FUGU (福古).

Evolver Records says: “These two men, NG Chor Guan and Fung Chern Hwei, grew up and live under a society that presents very narrow artistic freedom to its people — mainly due to religious regulations — have come together and finding their own way to express themselves freely, within all the rules and laws that forbids them to do so. With a wailing theremin and a screeching violin, together with electronic noises, they have discovered a powerful screaming voice that protests their oppressors. Finding one’s sound is liberating; but finding one’s sound when a society does not encourage it, IS LIBERATION.”

Wednesday, November 19, 8 PM
ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn


12) MOCATALKS: Into the Wilds of a Changing China with Val Wang – Join Val Wang as she shares her unique, not-quite-outsider’s Chinese American perspective of life in contemporary China.   After being inspired by seeing the underground Chinese film Beijing Bastards in 1995, Val embarked on a unique form of rebellion in the ancient capital. Her humorous and moving memoir chronicles her coming-of-age journey and also discovery of a city rebelling against its roots. Val will read excerpts from her new novel, Beijing Bastard, and share film excerpts from China’s Sixth Generation directors. Book signing to follow.  This program is co-presented by Asian CineVision (ACV). Lesley Yiping Qin, ACV’s Program Manager, will be moderating. (MOCA

See #8 above for the trailer for Beijing Bastards.

Thursday, November 20, 7 PM
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street
$12/adult; $7/students and seniors; free/MOCA members


13) South of Gold Mountain – Dedicated men and women, lured to America by the promise of gold and committed to making a better life for their families. This beautifully historic tale told through dance will delight your senses as it unfolds through contemporary dance and score that blends unlikely traditions: Chinese music with Deep South Blues.

Thursday, November 20, 7 PM (also on Friday and Saturday)
Chen Dance Center 70 Mulberry St.
$15/general admission; $12/students and seniors

Jen Shyu Residency at Shapeshifter Lab – Singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu does a three-night residency featuring a number of musicians in addition to her own deeply personal exploration of culture in solo performances and with Jade Tongue.

Check out Search and Restore’s interview with Shyu before you go.

Friday, November 14

• 7 PM: Rema Hasumi solo “Patterns of Duplicity – The Poetry and Sound of Kenji Miyazawa”: piano & vocals*
• 8 PM: Jen Shyu’s “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths”: vocals, Taiwanese moon lute, gayageum, piano, dance
• 9 PM: Jade Tongue’s “Sounds and Cries of the World” 1st Fold: “Wehali: Birds from Inside”

John Hébert, bass
Ben Monder, guitar
Satoshi Haga, dance
Val-Inc, electronics
Jen Shyu, vocals, instruments, dance

Saturday, November 15

• 7 PM: Anjna Swaminathan solo workshop production of “WOVEN”: violin, vocals, multimedia**
• 8 PM: Jen Shyu’s “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths”
• 9 PM: Jade Tongue’s “Sounds and Cries of the World” 2nd Fold: “Answer with Fire”

Michael Formanek, bass
Ben Monder, guitar
Randy Peterson, drums
Jen Shyu, vocals, instruments, dance

Sunday, November 16

• 7 PM: Jordan Morton solo: double bass & voice***
• 8 PM: Jen Shyu’s “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths”
• 9 PM: “Sounds and Cries of the World” 3rd Fold: “Winged Rain in Diamond Light”

Djaduk Ferianto, vocals, suling
Ben Monder, guitar
Tyshawn Sorey, drums
Jen Shyu, vocals, instruments, dance

ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn
$15 ($12 w/ student ID) or $30 for 3-Night Pass
Tickets available at:

Ongoing Films and Shows

Wang Jianwei: Time Temple Exhibition Related Events – The Guggenheim has two ongoing programs presented in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • The Morning Time Disappeared –  Inspired by Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis (1915), this 55- minute film explores the transformation of contemporary China and looks at how the boundary between reality and fiction becomes blurred and abstracted. Like Kafka’s novella, the video positions itself in a state of imaginary realism. (Guggenheim)Daily at 1 and 5 PM through February 15, 2015
    New Media Theater, Guggenheim Museum
    Free with admission
  • Exhibition Tour in Mandarin – Guggenheim gallery educator Fuchiawen Lien focuses on themes and artworks in the exhibition Wang Jianwei: Time Temple.Every Saturday at 12 PM through February 15, 2015
    Guggenheim Museum (Meet at the entrance to the exhibition in Tower 2)
    Free with admission

Women Who Flirt (撒娇女人最好命  / 撒嬌女人最好命) opens at AMC Theatres November 26, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.


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

Closing soon:

Lu Zhang – The Birth from Tragedy (Dekalb Gallery, Pratt Institute, 11/14)

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

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, 11/15)

Opening and newly added:

Transformation (白猿涅槃) – Recent works by Wu Jian’an (邬建安近作 / 鄔建安近作) (Chambers Fine Art, 11/6 – 12/20)

Hsu Kuohuang: Views of Taroko Gorge (M. Sutherland Fine Art, 11/12/14 – 1/31/15)

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.  We’ve noted exhibitions for which a review has been published.

Lu Zhang – The Birth from Tragedy (Dekalb Gallery, Pratt Institute, 11/14)

Zhai Liang: “New York is a Big Liar” (Fou Gallery, 11/15) (review by Qianfan Gu in Chinese and by our review in English)

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, 11/15)

Lu Yang Video Room (Ventana224, 11/23) (review)

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)

Transformation (白猿涅槃) – Recent works by Wu Jian’an (邬建安近作 / 鄔建安近作) (Chambers Fine Art, 12/20)

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

Hsu Kuohuang: Views of Taroko Gorge (M. Sutherland Fine Art, 1/31/15)

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

Sui Jianguo – Blind Portraits (Doris C. Freedman Plaza (SE entrance to Central Park at 60th and 5th), 2/20/15)

Wang Jianwei: Time Temple (Guggenheim Museum, 2/26/15)

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) (review)

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) (review)

Image: Still from Integrated Circuit – Qiu Anxiong (邱黯雄) (photo by Andrew Shiue)