Events and Exhibitions: February 20 – February 26, 2015

Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Yang!  You can celebrate China’s Golden Week with these events.  We’re really psyched about the poetry events with Xu Bing, the Taiwanese puppet show, and the Cao Fei films at MoMA.

We added two plays to the list of ongoing performances — one about a dubious American doctor who discovers Chinese medicine and the other a peasant woman who tries to climb her way out of poverty only to be disillusioned by the system.

The contemporary art exhibition at Lincoln Center organized by China Central Academy of Fine Arts for Chinese New Year goes through February 24 features:

  • 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

In case you missed the fireworks show on the Hudson River because you didn’t want to be in sub-freezing temperatures on Tuesday, here’s the video:

Don’t forget that Concrete Flux‘s open call for submissions on the topic of suzhi (素质 /素質) closes on February 28.

Looking ahead….

At BAM, artist Zhang Huan directs the opera Semele.  March 4 – 10.

The Hong Kong Dance Company’s Mulan has a short run at Lincoln Center.  March 5 – 8.

Asia Society begins a small retrospective of the films of Myanmar-Taiwan director Midi Z on March 6 with his film Ice Poison  (冰毒).

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

Upcoming Events

1) An Ephemeral Food Art Exhibition: Finding Puberty – Avent Studio’s first food art show is a “chance for the audience to look back to their lives and to recall their memories of the simplest and vivid days”.  Millennial artists He Wei and Hu Naishu contrast their generation’s early curiosity about sex and explore their accelerated understanding of the world.  They “rebuild the scenario of [their] childhood carnival, with absurd yet spectacular toy and food installations, to depict [their] germination of sex.”  Promising to “deliver an unforgettable experience to the audience, while taking a satirical and innovative approach to our nostalgia for the amatory memories of our puberty.”

Friday, February 20, 7 PM
Ran Tea House, 269 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn


2) Dancing Wind: Earth, Water, Fire and Wind –  Dancing Wind is a cross-cultural project that explores traditional & contemporary choreography of Asian dance through an infusion of live world music from both Korean and Chinese traditions.

Choreographed by Song Hee Lee and performed by Younghoon Oh, Na Kyunh Shin, Ling Tang and Song Hee Lee. The live music group features Rami Seo (gayakeum), Hee Jung Han (haegum), Zhou Yi (pipa), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion, electronics) and Joonsam Lee (bass), joined by a special guest Han Chung Eun (daekeum and sokeum). (Flushing Town Hall)
Friday, February 20, 8 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$15/$10 Members & Students 


3) An Afternoon of Chinese Opera – The New York Chinese Opera Society performs arias and a Peking opera.  See event page for details.

Saturday, February 21, 1:30 PM
Queens Library Flushing Branch Auditorium, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing


4) Lunar New Year Festival Presented by Xi’an Famous Foods – Food, drink and performances by MC Jin (歐陽靖), Wanting Qu (曲婉婷), Clara C, Esther & Lara Veronin (梁心頤 & 梁妍熙), The Shanghai Restoration Project, and Mree.

Saturday, February 21, 6 -11 PM
Music Hall of Williamsburg
$50/General Admission; $80/VIP; $150/Premium VIP


5) Lunar New Year Dance Sampler – Celebrate the Year of the Ram with Asian dance and much more. Curated by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou, this year’s sampler will present demonstrations of dance from China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Mexico, Step from the U.S. and more.

Sunday, February 22, 2 – 4 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing


6) Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy Opening Reception – Two great masters of calligraphy from two traditions, Mr. Chao-Lin Ting (102 years young) and Dr. Yoo Sung Lee, are both highly respected by the Chinese and Korean communities. This unique exhibition during the Lunar New Year will demonstrate the extraordinary essence of harmony between two great cultures in the Chinese Hsu-Fa and Korean Hangeul scripts.

Sunday, February 22, 3 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$5/Suggested; Free/Members and Students


7) Parties and Politics in Contemporary Taiwan  – Shelley Rigger, Chair of the Political Science Department at Davidson College discusses parties and politics in contemporary Taiwan as part of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s Modern Taiwan Lecture Series.

Tuesday, February 24, 4:10 –  6 PM
Schermerhorn Hall, Room 963, Columbia University


8) Sound and Image: Chinese Poets in Conversation with Artist Xu Bing – Panel discussion with poets Bei Dao, Ouyang Jianghe, Xi Chuan, Zhai Yongming, Zhou Zan, Xu Bing, Contemporary Artist.

Moderated by Lydia H. Liu, The Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University and John Rajchman, Adjunct Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University

Tuesday, February 24, 6 PM
Butler Library, Room 203, Columbia University
Free, but registration required


9) 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)

Li Huanzhi (李焕之 / 煥之) Spring Festival Overture


10) The Marvel of Glove Puppetry — “A Sea of Puppets” – A traditional Taiwanese glove puppet show performed on a beautifully carved wooden stage. With amazing skill the puppeteers bring the exquisite puppets with embroidered costumes to life. They perform not only delicate gestures, but also exciting fighting scenes and acrobatics. The story is a romantic tale where a young man saves a girl from the hands of a villain. In the show we will see all the characters of traditional Taiwanese puppetry: the young lady, the scholar, but also the clowns and the villains.

The show is without words and suitable for an audience of all ages. Please come and get caught up in the wonder and fantasy of Taiwanese puppetry.

Wednesday, February 25, 3 – 5 PM
Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York, 1, East 42nd Street


11) Birds of Metal in Flight: An Evening of Poetry with 5+5 – An evening of poetry by Bei Dao,  Charles Berstein, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge,  Pierre Joris, Marilyn Nelson,  Ouyang Jianghe, Afaa Weaver, Xi Chuan, Zhai Yongming, Zhou Zan

With remarks from Xu Bing, Contemporary Artist; Lydia Liu, The Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Wednesday, February 25, 7 – 9 PM
The Cathedral School of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue
Free, but registration required


12) Makers and Markets: Drivers of Fashion in Chinese History – A conversation between BuYun Chen, Assistant Professor of History, Swarthmore College, and Rachel Silberstein, Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design.  Moderated by Dorothy Ko, Professor of History, Barnard College

Thursday, February 26, 6 – 8 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918, Columbia University


13) The Shanghai Restoration Project – The Shanghai Restoration Project blends Chinese culture, hip-hop, and electronic music with stunning visuals to create a wholly unique multi-media performance. Emmy-winning producer Dave Liang and collaborator Jamahl Richardson take listeners on a sonic journey through the city, evoking its infectious energy with a beat-driven, interactive show that draws its creative inspiration from old 1930s Shanghai jazz bands. The set showcases a diverse repertoire of music accompanied by projected visuals from leading Chinese visual artists. This performance will also feature the renowned Shanghai singer Zhang Le, described by Oscar winning composer Tan Dun as “a rising young star with a remarkable gift,” and a special guest appearance by the acclaimed Chinese animator/rapper Ray Lei.

Thursday, February 26, 7:30 – 9 PM
Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th St.
$25/General Admission; $21/Member; $15/30 and Under (with I.D.)


14) i.Mirror by China Tracy (aka: Cao Fei) Second Life Documentary Film / Haze and Fog  

i.Mirror by China Tracy (aka: Cao Fei) Second Life Documentary Film
2007. China. Directed by Cao Fei. Artist and documentarian Cao Fei recorded her experiences within the online social platform Second Life. 28 min.

Haze and Fog
2013. China. Directed by Cao Fei. Beijing-based artist and filmmaker Cao Fei mixes pop aesthetics, fantasy, and surrealistic references with documentary and social commentary to reflect on China’s rapidly changing economy and how it transforms the everyday lives and imaginations of its citizens. Her latest film features nouveau riche businessmen, musicians, security guards, maids, manicurists, and sex workers who cross paths in the confines of a compartmentalized and alienating apartment complex. They are all, ultimately, seeking human contact—and they are ripe for the emergence of the undead. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 47 min.

Post-screening discussion with Xin Wang, Associate Curator, Asian Contemporary Art Week

i.Mirror, Part 1 

Haze and Fog Trailer:

Thursday, February 26, 8 – 10 PM
MoMA, 11 W. 53rd Street
$12/General Admission; $10/Seniors; $8/Students; Free/Members

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) The Subtle Body – Megan Campisi’s 90-minute historical comedy in English/Mandarin with subtitles. Developed by Gold No Trade in collaboration with artists in Shanghai, the play concerns different interpretations of the human heart. It’s 1707: Charlotte Floyer accompanies her eccentric husband John (a historical British doctor) to China to learn about Chinese medicine’s understanding of the human heart. But when Charlotte falls in love with the couple’s translator and he asks her to join his household as his second wife (an accepted tradition in historical China), she and his first wife must reconsider their own understandings of the human heart.

February 12 – March 1
59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th Street
Performances are sold out, but stand-by tickets may be available.


2) The World of Extreme Happiness – Unwanted from the moment she’s born, Sunny is determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city. As naïve as she is ambitious, Sunny views her new job in a grueling factory as a stepping stone to untold opportunities. When fate casts her as a company spokeswoman at a sham PR event, Sunny’s bright outlook starts to unravel in a series of harrowing and darkly comic events, as she begins to question a system enriching itself by destroying its own people.  By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, and directed by Eric Ting.

February 3 – March 29
New York City Center Stage I, 131 West 55th Street

3) A Course on the Uniqueness of Chinese  –  A three-part course that “explore[s] the musicality of the language and the artistic and ingenious features of the written characters as living images of the Chinese culture. An in-depth understanding of Chinese written characters, their sounds, and the tonal system enables one to grasp the structure of the Chinese language and, through all this learning, come to understand the culture and people of China.” (China Institute)

The lecturer is Ben Wang, Senior Lecturer in Language and Humanities at China Institute, Co-Chair of the Renwen Society of China Institute, and Instructor of Chinese at the United Nations Language Program.

Part 1 – February 17
Part 2 – February 24
Part 3 – March 3

All sessions begin at 6:30 PM
$135/Members; $150/Non-members


4) Triumph in the Skies (衝上雲霄)  – Film version of hugely successful Hong Kong TV series centered on airline crew and their drama and hijinx across multiple Asian cities.  Directed by Matt Chow and Wilson Yip, 100 min. Hong Kong, 2015

Opens at AMC Empire 25 on February 20



Closing soon:

Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral (Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 2/28) (review)

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

Wong Kit Yi in Crystal Ball, Feng Shui & Tarot (Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, 2/21)

Pi-Chou Cheng (鄭弼洲):  The Moon In My Heart (心中的月) (Hwang Gallery, 2/22)

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

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

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

Opening and newly added:

Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition (David Rubenstein Atrium and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 2/18 – 2/24)

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.

Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral (Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 2/28) (review)

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

Wong Kit Yi in Crystal Ball, Feng Shui & Tarot (Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, 2/21)

Pi-Chou Cheng (鄭弼洲):  The Moon In My Heart (心中的月) (Hwang Gallery, 2/22)

Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition at Lincoln  Center (David Rubenstein Atrium and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 2/18 – 2/24)

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

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

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

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)

Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy (Flushing Town Hall, 2/22 – 3/22)

Gu Zhongsheng: Gradually Fog Up (Schoolhouse Art Gallery, 2/12 – 3/28)

Lan Zhenghui (蓝正辉 / 藍正輝): Re-thINK (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 2/13 – 3/28)

Anicka Yi: You Can Call Me F (The Kitchen, 512 W 19th St, 3/5 – 4/11)

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

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

Image: Andrew Shiue