Events and Exhibitions: July 10 – July 16, 2015

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This weekend is your last chance to see Yangtze Repertory Theatre’s excellent Behind the Mask, A Play and the monumental Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera at Grey Art Gallery.  Don’t miss them.

Asia Society’s De/Constructing China offers a good survey of contemporary art in China.

Huang Rui’s Language Color at Zürcher Gallery has been extended to July 25.  We really dig the new exhibition on Taiwanese watercolor paintings at Tenri Cultural Institute.

The New York Asian Film Festival closes with a bunch of great films.  We saw a couple of decent films.  Did you make it to many?

We’re working coverage of the Asian American International Film Festival which will run from July 23 – August 1.  Stay tuned.

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.

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Upcoming Events

1) Touch of the Light 《逆光飞翔》

Taiwan-Hong Kong
Director: Chang Jung-chi (張榮吉) |
110 mins; Mandarin with English subtitles

Based on the life story of Huang Yu-Siang (黃裕翔), who stars as himself, Touch of the Light, which had its New York premiere at last year’s Asian American International Film Festival, tells Huang’s story as a blind piano prodigy from rural Taiwan and his relationship with Xiao Jie (Sandrine Pinna), a young woman who dreams of becoming a dancer despite enormous challenges. Critically acclaimed and warmly received worldwide, Touch of the Light  is blessed with the most striking performance by Huang Yu-Siang as it celebrates triumphs of those who dare to dream. (Asian Cinevision).

Part of the South Street Seaport’s Seaport Film & Food Festival.

Friday, July 10, 7 PM
South Street Seaport
Free

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2) The Peony Pavilion 《牡丹亭》  The National Ballet of China performs one of the most famous love stories in Chinese literature.  The original score by Guo Wenjing references works by Debussy, Holst, Ravel, and Profiev; choreography grounded in Western dance by Fei Bo, and costumes by Academy Award-winning designer Emi Wada.

Friday, July 10, 7:30 PM
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets: $35 – $150

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3) The Taking of Tiger Mountain in 3D《智取威虎山》

China, 2014
Director: Tsui Hark (徐克)
Cast: Zhang Hanyu, Tong Leung Ka-Fai, Lin Gengxin, Yu Nan, Tong Liya, Han Geng, Chen Xiao
149 minutes; Mandarin with English subtitles

Tsui Hark’s gonzo war movie is China’s 11th highest-grossing movie of all time, and this is the only chance you’ll ever get to see it projected in 3D, the way Tsui Hark intended. Tiger Mountain is a Chinese national epics, but Tsui has reinvigorated this tale of 30 PLA soldiers taking down a 1000-strong bandit army by stripping out the ideology and returning it to its action roots. That means he serves up heaping helpings of tiger attacks, human dogs, a Lord of the Rings-sized mountain fortress, bandits wearing black lipstick, ski attacks, lots of grenades, a tank, a fight on top of a crashing biplane, and a New York City traffic jam.

A spectacular mid-movie set-piece of bandits laying siege to a snowbound village reminds us that Tsui’s sheer cinematic craftsmanship is unequalled today, and that’s only one of the spectacular set-pieces sprinkled over this movie like chocolate chips on a magical motion picture sundae made of fire! Tsui Hark is a 3D true believer and he makes sure that not a second goes by when something isn’t poking, shooting, stabbing, exploding, or leaping off the screen right into your lap, whether it’s tigers, bandits, biplanes, or Tony Leung Kar-fai sporting an outrageous fake nose.

Friday, July 10,  10:00 PM
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
$10/Admission + 3D surcharge

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4) Second Chance 《逆轉勝》

Taiwan, 2014
Director: Wen-Yen Kung (孔玟燕)
Cast: Wen Shang-Yi, P.J. Huang, Angel Yao, Jason Wang
105 minutes; Mandarin and Taiwanese with English Subtitles

Like Rocky except for billiards instead of boxing, and also if Rocky Balboa was a Type-A, overachieving schoolgirl, this flick offers up a stylish twist on the sports movie, getting you to pump your fist for break shots, high runs, and head strings. Like Full Strike, it’s another movie about a washed-up champ who teams up with a younger player for a second chance, this time a young girl who might lose her house after the death of her parents. With charm to burn, a giddy 80s movie love for the underdog, a who’s who of billiards stars making cameos, and super-stylishly shot matches, it’s the summer billiards blockbuster you didn’t know you needed.

Saturday, July 11, 1:00 PM
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
$10/Admission

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5) Birdchirping Salon #05: “gentrification”, “chinese culture/identity and American dream”, and “globalization” through the eyes of artists

For the fifth episode of Birdchirping Salon, artists Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin, Li Shuang, Yi-Ling Hong, co-founder of Junzi Kitchen, Ming Bai and Zhao Yong share their projects in response to gentrification as it intersects the universalization of Chinese culture and disrupts the American dream.

Saturday, July 11, 3:00 PM
16B Orchard Street
Free

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6) Partners in Crime 《共犯》

Taiwan-Hong Kong, 2014
Director: Chang Jung-Chi (張榮吉)
Cast: Wu Chien-Ho, Teng Yu-Kai, Cheng Kai-Yuan, Yao Ai-Ning
88 minutes; Mandarin with English Subtitles

When a schoolgirl takes a swan dive off her balcony, she hits the street at the feet of three classmates who are total strangers. Convinced that there’s more to her suicide than meets the eye, these kids team up Veronica Mars-style to investigate her to suicide. But instead of being a whodunit, the bottom falls out, one death leads to another, and life becomes a nightmare. Shot through with sudden flashes of light, set in a high school inexplicably located in the middle of a steaming jungle, Partners in Crime is what would happen if David Lynch directed River’s Edge. Much more than the sum of its parts, the mystery at the heart of this story isn’t why did a kid kill herself, but why do we all feel so alone even when we’re in a crowd.

Saturday, July 11, 3:15 PM
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
$10/Admission

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7) Brotherhood of Blades 《繡春刀》

China, 2014
Director: Lu Yang (路阳)
Cast: Chang Chen, Cecilia Liu, Wang Qianyuan, Ethan Li, Nie Yuan
106 minutes; Mandarin with English subtitles

A one-in-a -million wu xia movie with all the reach, and none of the extravagance, of the biggest epics, Brotherhood of Blades leaves behind the genre’s flying swordsmen, weightless fantasy wirework, and dull speeches about brotherhood to deliver magnificent period action, drama, and characters that are swayed by cold cash and slain by cold steel rather than honor and the hard line of duty. Rich in historical detail, brutal in its depiction of violence, this dark blockbuster demands to be seen on the big screen.

Saturday, July 11, 5:45 PM
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
$10/Admission

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8) The Red Detachment of Women《红色娘子军》 – Best known as the ballet staged for President Nixon during his 1972 visit to China, The Red Detachment of Women dominated the stage during the Cultural Revolution and is a cornerstone of modern Chinese culture. Over the past five decades, the company has staged nearly 4,000 performances in China and around the world. Filled with bravura choreography by Li Chenxiang, Jiang Zuhui, and Wang Xixian influenced by the Soviet style, it remains one of the most popular ballets in China.

Saturday, July 11, 8:00 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2:00 PM
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets: $35 – $150


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) “Behind the Mask, a Play” – An ancient myth about blood and honor reveals the secret life of a Chinese theater troupe in the dark comedy “Behind the Mask — a Play” by Chinese authors Feng BaiMing and Huang WeiRuo, which is being newly adapted by Yangtze Repertory Theatre in a production helmed by Chinese-born director Chongren Fan. The play will be performed in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles and will be completely accessible for English-speaking audiences.

A play-within-a-play takes place in a theater space somewhere in China, where a nine-person troupe is rehearsing for a story about a Chinese mythical hero, Mei Jian Chi. As the myth is popularly known within Chinese culture, it depicts a tyrant, the King of Chu, who orders the death of his two master swordsmiths as part of a ritualized process to forge the world’s sharpest blades, using human blood. Their son, Mei, seeking revenge, devises a death ploy with an errant by offering his own living but decapitated head to the King. Fragments of the mythical story switch in and out from snippets of mundane and personal follies of the struggling troupe during rehearsal. Through the play, we get to learn about the troupe and the pressures of the artistic life in contemporary China.

June 25 – July 12
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave.
$25/general admission;  $20/seniors and students
On Wednesdays & Thursdays, pay what you can (available day of performance at box office only, advance sales regular price)

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2) New York Asian Film Festival – 19 films from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are part of this year’s festival.  See our post for a list of these films and their showtimes.

June 26 – July 8
Walter Reader Theater at Film Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th St.)

July 9 – July 11
SVA Theater, 333 W 23rd St.
$10/General Admission

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3) Forever Young 《栀子花开》– Xu Nuo (Li Yifeng) and Yan Xi (Zhang Huiwen) are an enviable couple.  As the lead singer of the well-known ‘Gardenia Band’ on campus, Xu works hard with his fellow bandmates in hopes of becoming a professional musician.  And Yan Xi and three of her friends look to fulfill their dreams of becoming dancers.  However, when each of their respective dreams are close, they end up finding numerous obstacles putting their relationship to the test.  When Yan is on the edge of collapsing, Xu becomes her support.  In order to reignite Yan’s hope, Xu and his bandmates decide to prepare an unexpected surprise for her.  However, these impulsive young men find out that they may have paid too much for the “surprise”.

Opens July 10 at AMC Empire 25.


Exhibitions

Just added and opening:

1) 12th China National Exhibition of Fine Arts (Bonham’s, 7/9 – 7/17) – Currently on a world tour, the 12th China National Exhibition of Fine Arts makes its first and only trip to the United States this week in New York. Running through July 17 at Bonhams, the exhibition features a wide range of contemporary award-winning Chinese art. (Many of the artists in the exhibition are from the Millennial and GenX generations in China and the U.S.) The 65 artworks on display – selected from a competition that included more than 24,000 entries from across China – cover various forms (paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and more) and reflect on the changing mores of China’s artistic culture.

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2) Born Again《重生》 – Qionghui Zou Solo Exhibition 《邹琼辉个展》(Gallery 456, 7/9 – 8/7) – Inspired by the life cycle of the cicada, Qionghui Zhou uses the insect as a narrative symbol and metaphor for the human condition using different colors, structures, and media.

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3) Up-Youth 《旋构塔》  (Klein Sun Gallery, 7/9 – 8/8) – UP-YOUTH  features works by five artists—Li Bo, Ma Wenting, Mo Xiliang, Yang Peng, and Zheng Zicheng.  These artists are shown together after having been showcased at the Times Art Museum in Beijing to international acclaim last year; with their individual styles drawn from their contemporary native landscape, they collectively introduce a new, exciting generation of Chinese expression to New York’s art world.

 

Closing soon:

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

New Ways of Seeing: Beyond Culture (Dorsky Gallery, 5/10 – 7/12)

De/Constructing China: Selections from the Asia Society Museum Collection (Asia Society, 6/9 – 7/19)

Lin Chi-Wei (林其蔚): Tape Player for Shanghai Biennale (Nolan Park Building, Building 5a5B, Governors Island, 5/23 – 7/20)

Dawang Yingfan Huang: LUANTAN: My life is audio graffiti (Nolan Park Building, Building 5B, Governors Island, 5/23 – 7/20)

ShyuRuey-Shiann: The River of Childhood  (Nolan Park Building, Building 5B, Governors Island, 6/17 – 7/20)

Huang Rui: Language Color (Zürcher Gallery, 5/26 – 7/25)

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.

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

New Ways of Seeing: Beyond Culture (Dorsky Gallery, 5/10 – 7/12)

12th China National Exhibition of Fine Arts (Bonham’s, 7/9 – 7/17)

De/Constructing China: Selections from the Asia Society Museum Collection (Asia Society, 6/9 – 7/19)

Lin Chi-Wei (林其蔚): Tape Player for Shanghai Biennale (Nolan Park Building, Building 5a5B, Governors Island, 5/23 – 7/20)

Dawang Yingfan Huang: LUANTAN: My life is audio graffiti (Nolan Park Building, Building 5B, Governors Island, 5/23 – 7/20)

ShyuRuey-Shiann: The River of Childhood  (Nolan Park Building, Building 5B, Governors Island, 6/17 – 7/20)

Huang Rui: Language Color (Zürcher Gallery, 5/26 – 7/25)

Brimming with Nostalgia: The Humanistic Landscape of Taiwanese and Japanese Watercolor Paintings (Tenri Cultural Institute, 7/6 – 7/31)

Facing East: Chinese Urbanism in Africa (Storefront for Architecture, 6/17 – 8/1)

Born Again《重生》 – Qionghui Zou Solo Exhibition 《邹琼辉个展》(Gallery 456, 7/9 – 8/7)

Up-Youth 《旋构塔》  (Klein Sun Gallery, 7/9 – 8/8)

One-Year Certificate Programs 2015 Full-Time Student Exhibition (ICP School, 6/19 – 8/9) – includes Chinese artists Amy Xian Luo, Jiaxi Yang, and Marc Qimeng Zhao

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

The Great Ephemeral (New Museum, 5/27 – 9/6)

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

Lead image: Xiamen Cave Entranceby Flickr user Jakob Montraslo.  Licensed under Creative Commons