Events and Exhibitions: May 1 – May 7, 2015 [UPDATED]

Causeway Bay

If you’re a fan of free events and experimental and conceptual art, this week is for you.

We reached 800 Facebook fans this week!  We’re thankful for everybody who follows us on Facebook or Twitter and those who have contributed by letting us know about events and exhibitions or by writing articles for us.  Tell your friends about us so more people can know about all the Chinese arts & culture happenings in New York City and around the world.

Congratulations to Julep Piano Trio’s Chang-En Lu (violin), Amber Yi-Wen Ho (cello), and Joy Chi Wang (piano) on the trio’s Carnegie Hall debut on May 3.  They will introduce to the hallowed halls to their rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 70, Nr. 1 “Ghost” on May 3.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  We’ll look out for events around town, but here are two to get things going:

At Asia Society kicks things off on May 1 with their First Friday, featuring:

On May 3, 36th Asian American and  Pacific Islander Heritage Festival takes place in Chinatown. Chinese rock promoters MusicDish will announce Second Hand Rose’s upcoming US tour and host a booth with giveaways and a mini-exhibition of work they’ve done and Chinese rock.  Check it out!

The Met Museum’s Chinese fashion show China: Through the Looking Glass opens May 7, but if you’re a member, you can attend the preview on May 5 & 6.

Coming up:

Singapore indie band Pleasantry play Pianos in the LES on May 10.

Beijing psychedelic rock band Chui Wan (吹万) plays Baby’s Alright on May 15.

The annual Passport to Taiwan Festival celebrates the island on May 24 in Union Square.

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


Kunqu and Beijing Operas – Kunqu and its most prominent descendant, the Beijing opera, are the unique classical Chinese theatres ablaze with a fusion of poetry, singing, dancing and acting, both of which have reigned as the predominant theatrical genres from the 16th century down to the 20th century, during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Like Shakespeare’s sonnets, Caravaggio’s paintings, Handel’s music: all true beauties that must endure the test of time, the two Chinese cultural genres still look and sound so fresh that they remain as the towering and representative classical theatres of China today.

Ben Wang, Co-Chair of the Renwen Society of China Institute and a specialist on classical Chinese drama, will give a lecture in English on Kunqu and Beijing operas.

Saturday, May 2, 2:30 – 4 PM
China Institute, 125 E. 65th Street

Upcoming Events

1) S/K – S/K is a play about a trapped horse. S/K is an ancient brocade technology and a real loom. S/K is a bloody butcher who could not forget his dead horse, a digital female voice and gallows. S/K is made of wood, bamboo, blood, bones, hemp. S/K interrogates our cultural DNA and asks who we really are. Is it true that what we inherit from the past is what suffocates us in the present? Are we the product of this cultural machine, or is this machine the product of us? Are we repeating the same pattern years after years? Should we break this machine, free the horse and end it all?

Written and directed by Tingying Ma.

Friday, May 1, 2:30 PM, 8 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2:30 PM
Ford Studio at Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center, 480 W 42nd St.
Free, but RSVP required


2) Remembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi – A special conversation and screening on dance, performance, and art with Ping Chong, artist; Bill T. Jones, dancer-choreographer; and Muna Tseng, dancer-choreographer, sister of Tseng Kwong Chi and trustee of his estate, moderated by Karen Shimakawa, associate professor and chair of Performance Studies, TSOA, NYU. The event will begin with an excerpt of the performance SlutForArt a.k.a.Ambiguous Ambassador and 98.6: A Convergence in 15 Minutes choreographed and performed by Muna Tseng and conceived and directed by Ping Chong. The performance features the voiceover of the Tseng and Chong in an interview about Tseng Kwong Chi along with projected photographs in a deeply moving homage to the memory of an artist and brother who succumbed to the AIDS virus in 1990. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Tseng and Chong in concert with Bill T. Jones.

Friday, May 1, 6 PM
NYU Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street
Free, but RSVP required


3) Dismantling Invisibility: Artists’ Response to the AIDS Crisis – Panel discussion moderated by Amy Sadao, Daniel Dietrich II Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, will focus on AIDS activism, including the exhibition Dismantling Invisibility: Asian and Pacific Islander Artists Respond to the AIDS Crisis, which opened at Art in General in 1991. With speakers Zhang Hongtu, artist; Esther McGowan, associate director, Visual AIDS; and Herb Tam, curator and director of exhibitions, Museum of Chinese in America.

Monday, May 4, 6:30 PM
Fales Library, Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, Third Floor
Free, but RSVP required


4) Beijing’s Traditional Homes – Ronald G. Knapp, Ph.D., talks about Beijing’s hutongs as part of China Institute’s short course, Beijing, the City Through Its Architecture.

Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 PM
China Institute in America, 125 E. 65th St.
Members: $150 for full series
Non-Members: $175 for full series


5) Zhou Tao: Blue and Red – Focusing primarily on public squares in Guangzhou and Bangkok, [Blue and Red] captures pedestrians bathed in the warm washes of color emanating from streetlights and LED screens (hence the film’s title). These long shots seem suspended in time, even otherworldly, until the very real sounds and images of riot police, tear gas, and barricades forces one back to the reality of Bangkok’s recent anti-government protests. Tao speaks of his approach as “epidermal.” Most of the film is shot from above and none of the interactions—between individuals, between police and protesters—are translated. Bearing the artist’s own term in mind, the result feels like we’re seeing a body politic under a microscope, at once asserting volition and awash in a sea of pigment. (MOMA)

HDV, 25′, color, sound
Introduced by Christopher Phillips

The screening is part of “My Camera Doesn’t Lie?
Documentary Aesthetics in East Asia” hosted by Columbia University and Asia Art Archive.

Thursday, May 7, 7 PM
Schermerhorn 612, Columbia University
Free, but RSVP

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Kung Fu Killer, aka Kung Fu Jungle / 《一個人的武林》– A vicious serial killer is targeting top martial arts masters, and convicted criminal and kung fu master Hahou (Donnie Yen, 甄子丹) is the only one with the skills to stop him. Released from jail and into police custody, they soon have their doubts about Hahouas true allegiance after a series of mysterious events. Hunted by an unstoppable killer (Wang Baoqiang,王宝强) and the entire police force, Hahou finds himself on his own, leading to a final battle you have to see to believe in this action-packed, kung fu crime thriller from director Teddy Chan (陳德森, Bodyguards & Assassins, The Accidental Spy).

Review from The New York Times

Check listings at AMC Empire 25


Just added and opening:

1) Arthur Ou (Brennan & Griffin, 4/12 – 5/17) – Over the course of the past year, Ou has produced a series of fourteen portraits of photographers absorbed in the act of reading Ludwig Wittgenstein’s 1921 book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The portraits were made in various locations in the world, and depict the subjects in fixed moments in time, each engaging with a specific philosophical proposition in the text.  (Brennan & Griffin)

2) China: Through the Looking Glass (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5/7- 8/16) – This exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute in collaboration with the Department of Asian Art, will explore the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. High fashion will be juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.

The exhibition will feature more than one hundred examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China will be incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history. (Met Museum)

3) Ciu Xiuwen: Awaking of the Flesh (崔岫聞:肉身的覺醒) (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/7 – 6/27) – Cui Xiuwen departs from her recognizable use of symbolic language. Her previously commonplace icons such as schoolgirls, dolls, and landscapes are stripped away from her visual vocabulary. Instead, through the use of color, repetition, form, and line, these abstract paintings powerfully convey a myriad of concepts that grapple with ideas of mysticism, meditation, and relation.

Cui Xiuwen’s use of color, or apparent lack thereof, is both evocative and tranquil. Repetitive, colliding, and dispersed black and white lines—which vary in width and saturation—not only achieve a peaceful and subdued calm, but also reflect the chaos of daily life. Set amidst these ideas, Cui Xiuwen’s sparse use of red as a single striking line, or blue as a hidden sphere, presents a hope for awakening through higher consciousness. (Klein Sun)

4) Wu Yuren: On Parole (吳玉仁:假釋) (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/7 – 6/27) – Exhibited alongside Wu Yuren’s renowned series of politically-charged light boxes, stand new bodies of work that include encapsulated tools, expressive acrylic swaths of paint, and sculptures that are as engaging as Wu Yuren’s defiant activism.

Wu Yuren’s iconic series of light boxes entitled, A Sentence, draws inspiration from an ordeal in 2010 that began when Wu led a daring protest against the eviction of artists from a Beijing studio district. For his activism, Wu was physically beaten by police and imprisoned for more than ten months. In this series, Wu utilizes sentences such as, “It is an adventure living in China,” and translates each letter into seemingly random and colorful symbols. He then calls attention to the encrypted status of public protest in China by illuminating these symbols through an LED light box. (Klein Sun)

5) Chang Chien-Chi: Escape from North Korea and China Town (Chi-Wen Gallery at Frieze New York 2015, 5/14 – 5/17) – Chi-Wen Gallery for Frieze New York 2015 will present two important works by Graz, Austria-based Taiwanese artist Chang Chien-Chi (b.1961): Escape from North Korea (2005-2011) and China Town (1992-present).

For his recent project China Town (1992-present), Chang Chien-Chi first became interested in themes related to the dispersion of Chinese individuals and families from their homeland in 1992. In the years since he has closely followed and documented the lives of illegal immigrants in New York City’s Chinatown, who left China as a matter of survival. As an artist Chang Chien-Chi explores alienation and connection between people in contemporary society by developing long-term, interactive relationships with his subjects. China Town consists of 18 families portrayed in sets of either 2 or 3 black/white and colour photographs (total 38 pieces), together with one single-channel video.

Again using the medium of photography and video as his artistic medium, Escape from North Korea (2005-2011) records the dangerous journey by North Korean defectors, travelling 2000 miles and crossing Laos and Thailand, into China. This contemporary narrative of historical significance continues with the defectors facing the new challenge of starting a new life in South Korea. Escape from North Korea consists of a single–channel video installation and seven B/W and colour photographs.

Closing soon:

Shen Shaomin (沉少民 / 沈少民) : Handle with Care (小心轻放 / 小心輕放) (Klein Sun Gallery, 3/7 – 5/2)

Myth and Mutations (REVERSE,  4/10 – 5/2)

Yan Shanchun (严善錞): West Lake (西湖) (Chambers Fine Art, 2/26 – 5/9)

The Hugo Boss Prize 2014: Paul Chan, Nonprojections for New Lovers (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 3/6 – 5/13)

The Revival: William Pang Solo Exhibition (Gallery 456, 4/23 – 5/15)

The View of Formosa’s Landscape from Photographers (Taipei Cultural Center of TECO, 3/13 – 5/15)

Chang Chien-Chi: Escape from North Korea and China Town (Chi-Wen Gallery at Frieze New York 2015, 5/14 – 5/17)

Arthur Ou (Brennan & Griffin, 4/12 – 5/17)

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.

Shen Shaomin (沉少民 / 沈少民) : Handle with Care (小心轻放 / 小心輕放) (Klein Sun Gallery, 3/7 – 5/2)

Myth and Mutations (REVERSE,  4/10 – 5/2)

Yan Shanchun (严善錞): West Lake (西湖) (Chambers Fine Art, 2/26 – 5/9)

The Hugo Boss Prize 2014: Paul Chan, Nonprojections for New Lovers (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 3/6 – 5/13)

The Revival: William Pang Solo Exhibition (Gallery 456, 4/23 – 5/15)

The View of Formosa’s Landscape from Photographers (Taipei Cultural Center of TECO, 3/13 – 5/15)

Chang Chien-Chi: Escape from North Korea and China Town (Chi-Wen Gallery at Frieze New York 2015, 5/14 – 5/17)

Arthur Ou (Brennan & Griffin, 4/12 – 5/17)

2015 Triennial: Surround Audience (New Museum, 2/25 – 5/24)

The School of Nature and Principle (EFA Project Space, 4/10 – 5/30)

Ciu Xiuwen: Awaking of the Flesh (崔岫聞:肉身的覺醒) (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/7 – 6/27)

Wu Yuren: On Parole (吳玉仁:假釋) (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/7 – 6/27)

Zhe Zhu and Zhangbolong Liu: Vanitas/Traces 朱喆与刘张铂泷:维尼塔斯/痕迹 (Fou Gallery at Carma, 4/24 – 6/28)

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera (Grey Art Gallery, 4/21 – 7/11)

China: Through the Looking Glass (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5/7- 8/16)

Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong (Museum of Chinese in America, 3/26 – 9/13)

Image: Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, Photo by Andrew Shiue