[Update] Events and Exhibitions: January 9 – January 15, 2015


It’s an exciting week for fans of contemporary music and dance from Asia!  Japan Society, New-York Historical Society, and Asia Society have groundbreaking performances by pioneering artists.

We hear great things about Sun Xun’s show The Time Vivarium Andrea Rosen Gallery.  Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

Looking ahead to events you may want to get tickets for in advance:

Film Chinois (1/17 – 2/8)- An atmospheric noir drama play with equal measure of spy-versus-spy intrigue and dangerous romantic liaisons set in 1947 China, an uneasy time between WWII and the imminent Communist takeover two years later.  The China 1945 event below could help you better understand the situation at the time.

Wu Shuang (吴霜), Coloratura Soprano – Wu-nique Soprano (1/29) – Performance at Carnegie Hall by a somewhat eccentric operatic singer that mixes Chinese and Western operas with humor and flamboyant costumes.

A Chinaman’s Chance (1/29) – Author, educator, and civic entrepreneur Eric Liu looks at the changing sense of identity and roles in society of Chinese Americans as they become an important part of business, civic, and entertainment cultures in the US and as China becomes more powerful on the world stage.

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.

Update 1/9: We’ve added two performances by Jen Shyu to the calendar.

Jen Shyu – Solo Rites: Seven Breaths – As part of the NYC Winter Jazzfest Marathon, Jen Shyu’s solo performance — that of a woman living simultaneously in multiple cultures and “projecting her ancestry” through contemporary monologue — reveals a personal journey of loss and redemption made universal through the exploration of losses that plagues our modern world: loss of tradition, habitat, and public spaces. Sonic, visual, and visceral rites and reflections are discovered by pilgrimage through Taiwan, East Timor, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Korea. (Asia Society)

Saturday, January 10, 10:45 PM
Players Theater, 115 MacDougal Street
$35/advance; $40/door – ticket provide admission to all Winter Jazzfest venues and performances


Jen Shyu – Winged Rain in Diamond Light –  Live film shoot of her new piece which pays homage to Taiwanese poet and nuclear physicist Edward Cheng, as well as three Indonesian artists who recently passed and deeply impacted her.

Thursday, January 15, 7:30 PM
IBeam Brooklyn, 168 7th Street, Brooklyn
$15/suggested donation

Upcoming Events

1) 16th Contemporary Dance Showcase:  Japan + East Asia – This bi-annual favorite, hailed by the The New York Times as “a hot ticket,” returns with a standout line-up of groundbreaking artists from the other side of the globe. This year’s showcase includes from Japan: Nobuyuki Hanabusa’s group enra performing Newton, an out-of-this-world amalgamation of motion graphics and choreography; Mikiko Kawamura’s street style solo Alphard set to a bold soundscape with J-pop and classical music; and Kaori Seki’s quartet Marmont, in which bodies morph into nebulous creature-like positions. From Taiwan: I-Fen Tung’s fresh duo How to Say grapples with communication through words and dance and Shang-Chi Sun’s Traverse, in which graceful martial arts-like movements oscillate between combat speed and tranquility. (Japan Society)

Below are videos of the Taiwanese artists.  For videos of enra, Kawamura, and Seki, see our earlier post.

I-Fen Tung (董怡芬)- How to Say

Shang-Chi Sun (孫尚綺 / 孙尚绮) – Traverse

Friday, January 9, 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 10, 7:30 PM
Japan Society, 333 E. 47th Street
$28/admission; $25/Japan Society members

As of Thursday, January 8, tickets are sold out but a waitlist for each performance will begin one hour prior to curtain at 6:30 PM.


2) From China to America: A Musical Journey with Tan Dun and Guests – Joined by accomplished composers—the Pulitzer Prize-winning Zhou Long, and the award-winning Chen Yi—Tan Dun will lead a performance and discussion that weaves together a narrative of the artists’ musical journeys from China to America. The evening will also be a tribute to composer Chou Wen-chung, who invited the musicians to America and Columbia University. (NYHS)

Tan Dun – Water Music selections

For bios and additional videos of the composers, see our post about the event.

Saturday, January 10, 7 PM
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
$38/admission; $24/NYHS members


3) 談溥心畬先生詩書畫 – Renwen Society presents its first talk of the year.   溥儒(號心畬)先生(1896-1963)為中國二十世紀,集詩書畫精絕於一身之奇才,是中國文學、書法與藝術史上一位偉大宗師。心畬先生早年即以繪事名重,然其繪畫實以詩文為基,其詩詞沈鬱蒼涼,沈摯淒婉,兼溫柔敦厚,章鏤句琢,音韻完美,不讓唐宋大家;其書法俊秀挺拔,典麗大方,直溯二王。上世紀中避亂南遷臺灣之後,詩作益加悲壯,多憂國之思,然皆哀而能越,傷而不怨,達到文學至高境界。(Renwen Society)

Saturday, January 10, 2 – 4 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street
Free, but RSVP requested


4) Lecture on Chinese Calligraphy – Hosted by the New York Chinese Opera Society.  Presumably in Chinese.


Sunday, January 11, 1 – 3 PM
120 Broadway, Suite 3650


5) Shanghai / New York: Future Histories – China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) has launched a groundbreaking new project, Rising Artists Works, a platform that commissions young, emerging artists from across China. Asia Society and Performance Space 122 have teamed up with CSIAF for the United States Premiere of three short, music-focused, multidisciplinary ensemble works:

1) Sam Wu (吴承昊 / 吳承昊) – dolphin song (白鱀豚歌)

2) Qin Yi (秦毅) – Mirror Mind (意境)

3) Zulan – Death and the Maiden


For descriptions of the works and additional video, see our post about the event.

Tuesday, January 13, 5 PM and 8:30 PM; 2nd performance will be broadcast live at AsiaSociety.org/Live
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required


6) China 1945  – As 1945 began, the United States was on surprisingly congenial terms with China’s Communist rebels; their soldiers treated their American counterparts as heroes, rescuing airmen shot down over enemy territory. Chinese leaders talked of a future in which American money and technology would help lift China out of poverty. Mao Zedong himself held friendly meetings with U.S. emissaries, vowing to them his intention of establishing an American-style democracy in China.

By year’s end, however, cordiality had been replaced by chilly hostility and distrust. Chinese Communist soldiers were setting ambushes for American marines in north China; Communist newspapers were portraying the United States as an implacable imperialist enemy; civil war in China was erupting. The pattern was set for a quarter century of almost total Sino-American mistrust, with the devastating wars in Korea and Vietnam among the consequences.

In China 1945 Richard Bernstein tells the incredible story of that year’s sea change, analyzing its many components, from ferocious infighting among U.S. diplomats, military leaders, and opinion makers to the complex relations between Mao and his patron, Stalin. Bernstein examines the first time that American power and good intentions came face-to-face with a powerful Asian revolutionary movement, and challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of modern Sino-American relations. (NCUSCR)

Tuesday, January 13, 6 – 7 PM
Dorsey & Whitney, 51 W 52nd St.
Free, but registration required

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.



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


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


3) 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


Closing soon:

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

Opening and newly added:

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)

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

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)

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

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: Nanjing Sun Yat-sen Memorial,  Photo by Andrew Shiue