Events and Exhibitions: July 17 – July 24, 2015

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The Asian American International Film Festival opens this coming Thursday!  We’re working on a post to introduce the Chinese-related films and a write-up of our interview with festival founder John Woo.   We’ll have additional coverage of the festival too.  So, stay tuned.

We’re also excited about the documentary The Chinese Mayor 《大同》which follows former Datong City mayor Geng Yanbo’s (耿彦波) controversial efforts to revitalize the city through a massive cultural heritage project that would displace half a million people.

Head out to Governor’s Island for the last weekend of sound installations by artists Lin Chi-Wei (林其蔚), Dawang “Yingfan” Huang (黃大旺), and ShyuRuey-Shiann (徐瑞憲).  Also closing is Asia Society’s De/Constructing China which offers a great survey of contemporary art in China.

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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Coming up this week…

1) My Lustrous Life 《灯火纽约说人物》 Book Launch Party – The Chinese American Arts Council hosts a book launch for a new book by Alan Chow (周龙章), the godfather of Chinese art in New York City new book is a “true confession” forty-year career in which he shares stories about himself but also the colorful and fascinating people he’s met.

Friday, July 17, 3 – 5 PM
456 Gallery, 456 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Free

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2) A Special Performance of Peking Opera Arias – New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) and the Youth Troupe of NYCOS will present a Special Performance of Peking Opera Aria Songs.  The performance will include aria songs “The Hatred in Chu Palace” 《楚宮恨》, “Call at the Pass” 《叫关》, “Catch and Release Cao” 《捉放曹》, and “War at the City of Taiping” 《戰太平》

Saturday, July 18, 1:30 PM
Flushing Library Auditorium, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing
Free

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3) The Chinese Mayor 《大同》

China, 2015
Director: Zhou Hao (周浩)
89 minutes; Mandarin with English subtitles

Followed by Q&A with producer Zhao Qi. [corrected]

Fast-working mayor Geng Yanbo is on a mission. His goal: to successfully develop the underperforming city of Datong into a cultural hub overnight. Facing pressure from all sides, but primarily from his own pride and conviction, Yanbo rushes the project, leading to a rushed development that forgoes any safety standards.

The resulting errors bear huge impact on the residents of Datong, many of whom are forcibly relocated, their homes razed without alternate living preparations in place. At moments surreal in its portrayal of political ambition at all cost, this entertaining and oft tragic film offers a rare glimpse of insider politics in China.

Read more about Datong and the mayor in Citylab.

Variety marvels at Zhou’s “remarkable access to the daily business of a high-ranking mainland Chinese” (it won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Unparalleled Access at Sundance) and says of it is a “fascinating verité portrait of the collision between progress, politics, corruption and citizens’ rights in a rapidly changing People’s Republic” and a “rare peek behind the usual scrim of government image management” that is “[c]ompelling as both nonfiction narrative and character capture”.

Saturday, July 18, 9 PM
The Old American Can Factory Roof and Courtyard, 232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn
$15/ Admission

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4) SCREEN(ing) x 456 Forum – Ishu Han – In the first of many programs to be hosted at Gallery 456, Screen 介面 hosts a screening of video works by Ishu Han, who recently completed a residency with Asian Cultural Council and a new solo exhibition at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) (see below).  His video work comprises brief gestures that meditate on nationalism, ecology and privacy. The artist Hiroshi Sunairi will introduce his work and moderate a discussion.

Sunday, July 19, 5:30 PM
Gallery 456, 456 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Free

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5) 聽見台灣的味道 Midsummer Taiwanese Concert – Young musicians from Taiwan and around the world perform their own contemporary jazz arrangements of ten traditional Taiwanese songs such as “Dark Sky” 《天黑黑》, “The Grasshopper Taunts the Rooster” 《草蜢弄雞公》, “Summer Rain” 《西北雨》, and “An Old Train Song”《丟丟銅仔 》.

“Jasmine Flower” 《茉莉花》(arranged by Ya-Ting Huang, Zhen Wu; Violin: 汪育琳 (Lydia Yu-Lin Wang); Viola/Erhu: 林維洋 (Wei-Yang Andy Lin); Cello: 何翊雯 (Yi-Wen Ho); Piano: 祁苡瑄 (Sobina Yi-Hsuan Chi))

Wednesday, July 22, 7:30 PM
Taipei Cultural Center, 1 E. 42nd St.
Free, but RSVP required

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6) China-In Wonderland: Contemporary Calligraphy Exhibition Opening – Artist Guitian Li De Osu presents five series of kinetic calligraphy that marries traditional and 21st Century styles.

Thursday, July 23, 6 PM
Spin Ceramics, 13 Crosby Street
Free, but RSVP requested

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7) My Voice, My Life – AAIFF Opening Night Gala

Hong Kong, 2014
Director: Ruby Yang
91 minutes; Cantonese with English subtitles

This Hong Kong documentary directed by Oscar winner Ruby Yang, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of under-privileged middle and high school students as they underwent six months of vigorous trainings to produce a musical on stage. A life-affirming journey of self-discovery and growth, the stories of these young people will challenge every parent, teacher and policy maker in Hong Kong to reflect on our way of nurturing our young.

Followed by the AAIFF Opening Night Gala in the Garden Court Café inside Asia Society.

Thursday, July 23, 7 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
$160/VIP (Pre-screening Reception at 6pm, Screening, and Opening Night Gala Reception).
$80/Regular (Screening and Opening Night Gala Reception)

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8) The Ultimate Hong Kong Insiders – This inside look at the world of action cinema features the renowned Hong Kong film expert, writer, and producer Bey Logan (the upcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II), who will show clips from some of the genre’s most iconic films and share his insights, knowledge, and some wild tales. This program is hosted by Alex Richter, well-known kung fu instructor and Hong Kong film fanatic who was recently featured in Vice China’s series on kung fu masters teaching in New York. This program presents a rare opportunity to hear from one of the few westerners to enjoy a thriving career in the Hong Kong film world.

Thursday, July 23, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria
$12/admission; $9/senior citizens and students; free for members at the Film Lover level and above,


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) 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) Ishu Han: Memory of Each Other (ICSP, 7/8 – 10/2) – Ishu Han was born in China and raised in Japan; his work continually questions his own migration and issues of national identity. This is an unlikely direction for an artist living in Japan, a country which often is perceived to have a homogenous population. His video work, Memory of Each Other, shows one of the five uninhabited Senkaku Islands slowly fading into the sea, ending up level with the horizon line. This work addresses a highly charged territory in the East China Sea where the ownership of the five islands has long-been disputed between China and Japan. One newly commissioned work in the exhibition, Reclining Animals, provides a novel reading of iconic patriotic symbols; it is a sequel to Reclining Statues, also on view. Reclining Animals, shows the costumed artist, transformed into an eagle, lion and beaver – symbols of the US, UK, and Canada – gradually assuming the reclining Buddha pose. In a second commissioned work made this year, Han traversed the US to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, resulting in a digitally produced photograph of this natural wonder made up of identical one-cent coins, problematizing US politics and society through its currency.

Closing soon:

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)

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.

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

ShyuRuey-Shiann (徐瑞憲): 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)

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)

Ishu Han: Memory of Each Other (ICSP, 7/8 – 10/2)

Lead image: Shadow puppet store in Xi’an by Andrew Shiue