Events and Exhibitions: January 16 – 22, 2015

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This week’s events should please lovers of experimental music, film, film noir, cabarets, and personal heritage stories.  Take a look at what the city is offering.

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

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.

Did you see our inaugural weekly digest feature?  We collated all the things we posted on our Facebook page and Twitter account in the past week in case you missed anything.


Upcoming Events

1) Spotlight on New York: 2015 Taiwanese Student Film Exhibition Opening Reception – A one-week film exhibition supported by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York that brings together young 11 Taiwanese filmmakers studying and working in New York to showcase their works in directing screenwriting, producing, cinematography, film scoring, and production design kicks off with a reception and cabaret program Salute To Broadway- Movie Sings.

Friday, January 16, 6:30 PM
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in  New York, 1 E. 42nd St.
Free, but RSVP requested

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2) From China to America with Lisa See  – A descendant of Fong See—a Chinese immigrant who overcame adversity and became the godfather of Los Angeles’s Chinatown— Lisa See, author of China Dolls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, draws inspiration from her heritage and provides a vivid portrait of Chinese culture and American idealism in her writing. In an intimate talk, she discusses her work and shares her family’s unique journey to attain the “American Dream.” (NYHS)

Saturday, January 17, 9:30 – 11:00 AM
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
$44/admission; $32/NYHS members

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3) Audrey Chen and Maria Chavez: Into 

AUDREY CHEN and MARIA CHAVEZ (voice/cello and turntable)

“Friction and touch amplified by the body to mouth, strings to wood and the needle to speakers.”

Chinese and Peruvian Americans, Chen and Chavez are two female artists who have been working parallel to one another for almost a decade but have never intersected their work until their winter premiere at CT-SWaM at Eyebeam Arts + Technology Center in Chelsea, NYC in 2014. Both performers center their shared practices of improvisation to combine the cello with the sounds of the turntable & voice. (Roulette)

Sunday, January 18, 8 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
$20/General admission; $15/members, students, seniors; $10/series members; Free/All-Access Members

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4) No World: A Screening with Fang Lu and Herb Tam –  A screening of Fang Lu‘s (方璐) No World (2014, single-channel video, sound, 17’52″), followed by a conversation with the artist and Herb Tam, Curator of Museum of Chinese in America.  See an excerpt here

Fang Lu’s practice raises questions about the process of image making. Blurring the line between performance and reality, the artist often invites her protagonists “to play out a certain designated role, emotion or state of being, in an isolated space, and for a sufficient period of time until this ‘acted’ or ‘artificial’ state of being becomes a genuine condition”1. In her latest work No World, six young protagonists reside in an empty house. Their daily activity is to rehearse the act of protest and to perform violent behavior without actual conflict. The image of struggle seamlessly transforms into an image of youth, free, rebellious and beautiful. The question remains — what is an image? How is it produced, mediated and consumed? For what and for whom?

Monday, January 19, 7 PM
Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen St, Brooklyn, NY
Free, but RSVP required


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Film Chinois – Written by Singapore-born playright Damon Chua and directed by Kaipo Schwab, Film Chinois is an atmospheric noir drama 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 play won the Ovation Award for Best World Premiere Play.

Randolph, a fresh-faced American operative, has been sent to the imperial city on a secret mission. He makes progress until he meets a Chinese woman who calls herself Chinadoll, his would-be adversary and lover. Is their relationship doomed from the start? How does the star-crossed couple navigate the thin line between personal passion and patriotic imperative? And how is their cat-and-mouse game linked to the amoral Belgian Ambassador and his current squeeze, Simone, a willful local songstress?

As Randolph plunges deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness that was once the most beautiful city in the world, he finds his life imperiled, even as he begins to unravel the mystery of a piece of old home-made film, and a beautiful woman who seemed to have vanished into thin air.  (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre)

Singapore Poetry had a chat with Damon Chua.

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January 17 – February 8, 2015
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, 520 8th Ave.
Regular Tickets $51.25
Seniors (65+) $41.25 use code TRFCSr
Groups (10+) $37 use code TRFCGrp
Students (25 and under, w/ valid ID, 2 per ID) $25 use code TRFCStu

There are a few special events:

January 20 —Singapore Night
Meet and Greet with Damon Chua during post-show reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar

January 22 —Opening Night (all tickets $75- call Pan Asian to purchase) tickets include performance and post-show mystery themed sit-down dinner

January 27– Post-Show Panel
with Ambassador Kenneth Taylor (former Amb to Iran), SJ Rozan (acclaimed mystery writer), and Damon Chua; Moderated by Ernabel Demillo (TV News Reporter).

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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) 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

Closing soon:

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

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

Opening and newly added:

Shi Jinsong ‘s Art Fair Free Download (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/15 – 2/28)

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.

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

The Art of the Chinese Album (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3/29) (WSJ Review)

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Shi Jing [title not known], Photo by Andrew Shiue