CAFA Wishes New York City a Happy Chinese New Year


To help New Yorkers celebrate the Chinese New Year and to promote cultural exchange between the United and China, the prestigious China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CCAFA, 中央美术学院 / 中央美術學院) has organized Happy Chinese New Year: Fantastic Art China (欢年春节: 艺术中国汇 / 歡年春節: 藝術中國匯).   For more information and videos related to the events, visit the program’s website.

Here are the events:

1) Special Chinese Lunar New Year Lighting of the Empire State Building – You probably don’t need to check What Color Is the Empire State Building? to guess what colors will illuminate the iconic tower.

February 17 – 19
Empire State Building


2) Fireworks Spectacular on the Hudson River – A 20-minutes fireworks show that with 3 barges will nearly equal the Macy’s Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular in scope.

Tuesday, February 17, 7:30 PM
Pier 84 (Hudson River btwn 43rd and 44th Streets)


3) Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition at Lincoln  Center – A public exhibition features works by internationally renowned visual artists including:

  • Huang Jiancheng (黄建成 / 黃建成) – Rebuilding Along the River at Qing Ming Festival (清明上河图 / 清明上河圖) English / Chinese
  • Xu Bing (徐冰) – The Character of Characters (汉字的性格 / 漢字的性格) English / Chinese
  • Xu Jiang (许江 / 許江) – Symbiosis (共生)  English / Chinese
  • Lü Shengzhong (吕胜中 / 呂勝中) – Little Red Human Figure (小红人)  English / Chinese
  • Chen Wenling (陈文令 / 陳文令) – The Landscape of Post-birth (Chinese title unknown)
  • Zhan Wang (展望) – Artificial Rocks No. 102 (假山石No.102) English / Chinese

The Character of Characters (excerpt)

February 18 – 24
David Rubenstein Atrium and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center


4) The Year of the Sheep – A Gala Celebration of the Chinese New Year – The New York Philharmonic’s fourth annual concert features Yo-Yo Ma (馬友友 / 马友友), conductor Long Yu (余隆)  sheng player Wu Tong (吴彤 / 吳彤), vocalist Lei Jia (雷佳) and ghijak player Gulinaer Yiming (古丽娜尔一命).  The program will include:

  • Li Huanzhi (李焕之 / 煥之) Spring Festival Overture
  • Hai-Deng Yan/Arr. Ye Zou Jin Tune for sheng and orchestra
  • Borodin Polovtsian Dance No. 17 from Prince Igor
  • Traditional/Arr. Ye Zou Fantasy on Maqam Themes (木卡姆主题幻想曲 / 木卡姆主題幻想曲), for ghijak and orchestra
  • Traditional Chinese folk songs: The Village of Sanshilipu, In Praise of Cattle
  • Lin Zhao Duo (U.S. Premiere)

Enter this contest by 10 AM on February 18 for a pair of tickets.

Li Huangzhi – Spring Festival Overture

Fantasy on Maqam Themes (木卡姆主题幻想曲)

Tuesday, February 24, 7:30 PM
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center
Tickets: $45 – $110


5) Dance performances at Josie Robertson Plaza – Public school children from the National Dance Institute will perform traditional folk-inspired dances, and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company performing a traditional Dragon Dance.

Tuesday, February 24, 4:30 PM
Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center (Columbus Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets)


6) Art and Chinese New Year – Dr. Jerome Silbergeld, the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Professor of Chinese Art History at Princeton University and director of Princeton’s Tang Center for East Asian Art, will lecture about this animal’s role in Chinese art and history.

The Chinese twelve calendrical animals system 生肖dates back at least to the Qin dynasty, complemented by the twenty-eight figures of the lunar “mansions” in Chinese astrology 二十八星宿and the four directional animals 四神. This year’s animal, the yang 羊, is unique among the twelve in being not one animal but two: the sheep and the goat, two animals that could hardly be more different from each other. This presentation will look at the calendrical system, particularly the twoyang and the various roles that they have played in Chinese cultural and historical lore.

This event will be followed by a reception with typical Chinese New Year fare of dumplings, rice cakes, and other light refreshments.

Friday, February 27, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th St.
$15/ non-members; Free/Members