Events and Exhibitions: January 2 – 8, 2015

Sui Jianguo

The December doldrums went out with 2014, and our first post for 2015 kicks off what will surely be another active year for Chinese-related events in New York City.

This week, in addition to two talks, four well-received films that really show how diverse the discussion about Chinese topics can be are playing for your entertainment and edification.

Looking ahead at things for which you may need advance tickets:

Asia Society and PS122 present Shanghai / New York: Future Histories on January 13

Japan Society’s 16th Contemporary Dance Showcase:  Japan + East Asia on January 9 and 10 features two performances from dancers from Taiwan.

From China to America: A Musical Journey with Tan Dun and Guests at The New-York Historical Society on January 10 showcases contemporary Chinese composers Tan Dun (谭盾 /譚盾), Zhou Long (周龙 /周龍), Chen Yi (陈怡 /陳怡), and Chou Wen-chung (周文中)

We add listings to our one-time and short term event and ongoing exhibition calendars as we learn of them.  If you know of anything or would like to contribute photos or an article, shoot us an email at beyondchinatown@gmail.com.

Be sure to check this site, our Facebook page, or Twitter account regularly for articles and new events.  You can also keep up with our weekly newsletter.


Upcoming Events

1) Talks on Chinese Literature (in Chinese) – 本期書會圍繞中外文學、東西文化之交匯、撞擊這一線索展開,重在比較、討論中國文學吸收歐美、世界文學養料而獲得發展的創作成果及其藝術價值。 書會的導讀與專題將以歷史上佛教為代表的中西亞、南亞文化對中國文學之形成和發展所起的作用為先序,以中國現當代文學先驅和代表作家魯迅、林語堂、曹禺、高行健、莫言等作品為剖析對象,說明他們是如何深受外來文學影響的。其中有文學思潮與觀念的挾裹,也有創作方法和寫作技巧的借鑒。或可以此窺見世界文學對中國文學發展的重大作用及東西方文化的互通交融。活動鼓勵書友以自己熟悉的作家及其作品為例,發表己見,座談交流。 書會分六個專題研討: 1.佛教對中國詩歌格律、戲曲、小說以及文學語言、觀念、文體的重大影響;2.鴉片戰爭後西方社科著作的翻譯流入所造成的巨大思想、文化沖擊;3.“五四”新文化運動之為文學大變革;4.歐美外來文學對中國現代小說、戲劇形成與發展的促進和推動;5.中國著名作家的成就之道—“拿來主義”;6.中國文學的韌性—吸收借鑒與堅持本色的關系。

English:
Professor Tang will explain the influences on modern Chinese literature of ancient and modern Chinese and Western forms and ideas. Chinese literary works will be compared to those of other languages, and literary theories and trends as well as works by outstanding authors will be discussed.

Saturday, January 3, 2:30 – 5 PM
Queens Library, Flushing, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing
Free

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2) MOCATALKS: Who was Shuck W. Chin? – Shuck Wing Chin was a “bachelor” who lived on Mott Street after completing his military service during World War II and became a lifelong restaurant worker. Find out how Heather Lee, author of “A Life Cooking for Others: The Work and Migration Experiences of a Chinese Restaurant Worker in New York City, 1920-1946” in Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader edited by Robert Ji-Song Ku, uncovered the life story of Shuck W. Chin from his personal effects, letters, and household items in MOCA’s “Bachelor’s Apartment Collection” and created a portrait representative of Chinatown’s “Bachelor Society. (MoCA)

This program is held in conjunction with the exhibition Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Archiving.

Sunday, January 4, 2 – 3:30 PM
Museum Of Chinese In America, 215 Centre Street
$10/Adults; $5/Students & Seniors; FREE/MOCA Members

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3) Stray Dogs (郊游 / 郊遊) – The latest opus from iconoclastic Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang follows a destitute family as they wander the margins of a subtly surreal, perpetually rain-soaked Taipei in a gritty, dreamlike series of vividly composed tableau shots. Along the way there is an alternately disturbing and darkly comic encounter with a cabbage, a series of enigmatic run-ins with a grocery store clerk intriguingly played by three different actresses—all leading up to the most audacious final shot of the year. (Museum of the Moving Image)

Part of the museum’s very alluring Curator’s Choice series.

The film was on CineVue‘s and Film Comment‘s Best of 2014 lists.   Reviews at rogerebert.com and New York Magazine‘s Vulture.  Additional reviews can be found at IndieWire.

Trailer:

Sunday, January 4, 2:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria
Included with admission to the museum – $12/Adults; $9/Seniors and Students

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4) One Child –  Director Mu Zijian’s documentary that follows three families from Beichuan, Sichuan and their different paths for recovering from the loss of their only child in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake which killed 90,000 people, including more than 5,000 children.  One Child won the 2013 NYU Sidney Gross Memorial Prize for Investigative Journalism and the Documentary Bronze Medal at the 41st Student Academy Awards in 2014.  It is one of eight films shortlisted for the Documentary Short Subject award at the 87th Academy Awards and is one of our favorite films from 2014.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

Co-presented by Asian CineVision and EnMaze Pictures LLC.

Monday, January 5, 7:30 PM
Maysles Documentary Center, 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
$10/admission + service fee


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Taking Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山)  – Tsui Hark’s (徐克) thrilling 3D adaptation of Qu Bo’s beloved adventure novel 林海雪原 stars Tony Leung Ka-fai (梁家輝 /梁家辉) as a ruthless bandit, ruling the lands of Northeast China from his fortress on Tiger Mountain. A captain of the Liberation Army (Lin Gengxin (林更新)) launches a counter-insurgency against the dictator with a skilled investigator (Zhang Hanyu (张涵予 /張涵予)) sent to destroy the gang from the inside. (WellGoUSA).

TwitchFilm says the film “[goes] against the grain of many recent Chinese wartime epics, Tsui injects his film with energy, personality and a genuine sense of fun, while never belittling the plight of the desperately under-equipped PLA forces.”  The Hollywood Reporter also has a review.

AsianCinevision and WellGoUSA have partnered for a Blu-Ray/DVD giveaway to anyone who sees this action-packed film between January 2 and 4.  Good luck!

Trailer:

Check listings at AMC Empire 25 in Times Square for showtimes.

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2) The Search for General Tso – From New York City to the farmlands of the Midwest, there are around 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S. While there can be quite a range of Chinese-American dishes, one in particular seems to have conquered the American culinary landscape with a force befitting its military moniker—“General Tso’s Chicken.” Walk into any Chinese restaurant in the country and you can be fairly certain you’ll be rewarded with a plate of this sweet and sticky fried chicken—seemingly just spicy enough for the American palate. But how did this dish reach such levels of ubiquity and who was General Tso in the first place? This delightfully insightful documentary seeks to uncover the origins of a dish that Americans have warmly adopted as their own. As director Ian Cheney journeys to Shanghai and Hunan, it becomes increasingly clear that the answers lie much closer to home, as the story of General Tso’s Chicken becomes inextricably linked to the story of Chinese Americans’ own search to define their identity.  (Tribeca Film Festival)

Variety says the film is “generously entertaining [documentary]…which also finds room for a thoughtful account of the Chinese-American experience, from the building of the railroads to the age of Panda Express” and is a  “welcome addition to the sudden surfeit of quality foodie [documentaries], the pic boasts high-end production values and breezy pacing that should help it to win the hearts, minds and stomachs of niche [audiences].  New York Post and Village Voice also have reviews.

Check listings at IFC Center for showtimes

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3) Back in Time (匆匆那年) – Based on the best selling novel series by Jiu Ye Hui (later adapted into a popular web series), a man (Eddie Peng) looks back on his life growing up in Beijing during the 1980s. Recounting his experiences to a wedding photographer, he recounts the bad, the good and how the support of those around him — and that one true love — allowed him to endure. He realizes the heartache felt in breaking up with her has made him the man he is today, for better or worse, and he looks toward the future to try and change who he is. (China Lion Film)

Check listings at AMC Empire 25 in Times Square for showtimes.

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4) Love on the Cloud (微爱之渐入佳境 / 微愛之漸入佳境) – An artistic young man with dreams of becoming a film director, GU (Chen He), meets a beautiful, young model, XIAOXI (Angelababy), over his mobile messaging app. Meanwhile, his good friend A-GUA also meets a new girlfriend on the mobile app who aspires to become an actress. Everything goes well until A-Gua introduces Gu to a powerful movie investor and they begin to experience the dramatic impact that these chance encounters have on their lives. The investor’s creative demands over the film spark a dispute between A-Gua and Gu and suddenly A-Gua’s opportunistic girlfriend leaves him for the cinematographer, becoming the new lead actress in the film. This is just the beginning of the chain of events set in motion by the subtle influences of the people around them. Love on the Cloud is a searing look inside love in modern Beijing, where for better or for worse, this age of mobile connectivity only magnifies life’s unexpected encounters and surprises.

The Georgia Straight has a review.

Check listings at AMC Empire 25 in Times Square for showtimes.

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5) 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, 2015New 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, 2015Guggenheim Museum (Meet at the entrance to the exhibition in Tower 2)
    Free with admission

 


Exhibitions

Opening and newly added:

Shi Jing & Wu Didi (Chambers Fine Art, 1/8/15 – 2/28/15)

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

Inside Outside  (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/10/15)

Sun Xun: The Time Vivarium (Sean Kelly Gallery, 1/24/15)

Michael Wang: Rivals (Andrea Rosen Gallery, 1/24/15)

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)

Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral (Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 2/15) (review)

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

The Art of the Chinese Album (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3/29/15) (WSJ 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: Sui Jiango (隋建國) – Blind Portraits Photo by Andrew Shiue