Events and Exhibitions: July 31 – August 6, 2015

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The Asian American International Film Festival wraps up this weekend with free encore presentations of their short length films which feature many local upcoming filmmakers and first screenings of films regarding Asian Americans.

We’re excited to be sponsoring our first exhibition, China: Fortress Besieged which features Bai FengWenjie Han, Xiao Wang, and Zhiyue (Will) Wang.

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Coming up: Films from the Beijing Independent Film Festival!  We’ll have coverage soon.

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) Nezha 《少女哪吒》 – This Taipei Golden Horse nominated film, is a microcosm of developing China from the 1990s to 2000s. The film takes the audience back to the 90s and to a rural city Baocheng in China. Wang Xiaobing is a middle school “good student” who lives in two extremes, the most complicated and the simplest. A broken pair of parents makes her learn the hypocrisy of the adult world. Literature keeps her reside in her inner world, where honesty and loyalty to what one believes is the only living code. Li Xiaolu, a transfer student fortifies Xiaobing’s inner castle when she enters her life wearing a confidence that her peers do not have. Xiaobing admires Xiaolu’s strong sense of justice, which does not agree with cultural norms and school rules. However, their distinct experience separates the two best friends gradually.

The audience’s visual perception accompanies Xiaobing’s emotion fluctuations. The cinematography captures the dark-lit household, structured classroom as well as the wide field and green landscape, echoing the contrast between societal reality and Xiaobing’s inner Utopia. Years past, the two worlds coexist and both are fragmented; neither of the two has force to terminate the other, until Xiaobing makes a decision to make only one world survive.

Our reviewer Yipeng Su sees a poetic rebellion from the characters.

Presented as part of the AAIFF.

Friday, July 31, 6:00PM
Village Cinema East, 181-189 E. 2nd Avenue
$14/Regular; $12/Students and Seniors

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2) Study Abroad 2: The Day Dreaming Bunny – Inspired to dispel misconceptions about the lives of Chinese students in the United States, Cathy Jiang created the Study Abroad film series to show how these international students live.

In this installment, romantic and naive art student Xiaotong who’s studying in the US, is trying to earn money for her graduation exhibition to prove to her conservative family the quality and talent embedded in her art. She’s been selling paintings on the street, drawing illustrations for magazines and doing other part-time jobs in order to collect enough money for the exhibition. With all this hard work, the only wish she has is to let her mother see her endeavors for their artistic quality, and gives her acceptance.

Friday, July 31, 7 PM
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.
$15/admission
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3) Off the Menu: Asian America – From the stories about how food is prepared to the traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, people and food have always had a close relationship. AAIFF will feature Grace Lee’s Off the Menu: Asian America, a film that explores how we define “Asian America” — through that thing that is near and dear to everyone, food. Off the Menu is a documentary that travels from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the heartland of Wisconsin to New York’s Lower East Side and delves into a wealth of stories, traditions, and unexpected characters that explore what it means to be Asian American today.

Friday, July 31, 8 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Free

Saturday, August 1, 8 PM
Hospitality Lounge, Sheraton-LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing
Free (visit AAIFF booth for complimentary passes)

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4) Made in NYC Shorts – A free encore presentation of AAIFF’s shorts program featuring local filmmakers organized in conjunction with local business and organizations in Flushing.

While New York City may be well-known for its fashion, Wall Street, and fast-paced lifestyle, it is also home to one of the best independent film scenes. In this program, we present to you some of the best Asian-American independent shorts made at home, right here in the Big Apple.

A collection of shorts including:

The Flip by Chung Lam
Pipe Dream by Yudho Aditya
The Surrender by Stephen T. Maing
Almost Tibetan by João Inada and Tanya Dua
Lao Wong by Ming Zeng
Split End by Eddie Shieh

Followed by a Q&A with directors and actors.

Presented as part of the AAIFF.

Saturday, August 1, 11 AM
Hospitality Lounge, Sheraton-LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing
Free (visit AAIFF booth for complimentary passes)

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5) LGBTQ Shorts –  A free encore presentation of AAIFF’s shorts program featuring local filmmakers organized in conjunction with local business and organizations in Flushing.

Sometimes we need to find a new community to be our home, our shelter from society. It is through this community, this chosen family, that we discover who we are and gain an identity. As one artist put it, “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are.”

A collection of LGBTQ-themed shorts including:

Coming Home 
《回家》 by Steven Liang
Pamanhikan by Angelo Santos
Talking to My Mother by Leon Le
Paper Wrap Fire by Raymond Yeung
Rattlefly by Min Ding

Presented as part of the AAIFF.

Saturday, August 1, 12:40 PM
Hospitality Lounge, Sheraton-LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing
Free (visit AAIFF booth for complimentary passes)

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6) The Experience of Cinema: Art House Shorts –  A free encore presentation of AAIFF’s shorts program featuring local filmmakers organized in conjunction with local business and organizations in Flushing.

Some go to the cinema to experience real life stories, but many of us make the trip out to the theater to experience cinema, to be “wow”-ed and momentarily escape in a fantastical, imaginary world. Through this program, we hope you can take a brief escape to another world where we can reflect upon society and ourselves.

Donkey Riding by Simon Liu
Karma by Majun Chen and Sixing Su
On an Infinite Loop by Allysa Sing
The Swan of Tuonela by Julie Zhu
Enfilade  by David Coyle
Six Dreams About a City by Tiger Cai
The Seat by Yi Xu

Presented as part of the AAIFF.

Saturday, August 1, 2:15 PM
Hospitality Lounge, Sheraton-LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing
Free (visit AAIFF booth for complimentary passes)

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7) HATCH Series No. 2:  Between the Concrete – 12 featured artists will be presented in a warehouse-converted loft apartment located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to challenge the boundaries of the conventional white-cube art presentation. Informed by the awareness of a certain temporality and transience – intrinsic to an urban lifestyle – and its impact on urban community and space, we invite artists to critically engage with the idea of urbanism and bring to light possible tensions that can either formally or informally be found in their practice. These ideas range from anxiety, alienation, displacement, violence, gender conflict, to the breach of privacy.
The show will present 1) a snapshot of how creative individuals live, consume, and produce the city – and ultimately become an integral process of the urban fabric, 2) how new ideas are inspired by such close exchange within the urban creative cluster, and 3) the social issues intensified by the same proximity in breathing space.

Featured artists: Raluca Ancuta, Laurel Atwell, Louis Dorantes, Wenjie Han, Brooke Herr,
Michelle Carolina Levie, Kuo-Chiao Lin, Jacqueline Jing Lin, Colin LoCascio, Ryota Sato, Xian Tao, and Hello Velocity & Amelia Zhang.

Learn more about the show and HATCH in our interview with HATCH co-founders Minna Son and Nana Yu-I Lee.

Saturday August 1, 7 PM
100 Freeman St, Brooklyn (Greenpoint)
Free

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8) Everything Before Us and Closing Night Awards Ceremony – The first feature film from Wong Fu Productions stars Aaron Yoo (Disturbia), Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner), and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat). The film tells the unique story of two couples trying their best to maintain and strengthen their love while navigating around the rules of an organization that monitors romantic relationships.

Followed by a Q&A with Wong Fu founders Wesley Chan and Ted Fu, director Philip Wang, and producer Christine Chen.

The AAIFF 2015 Award Ceremony will precede the screening.   The Closing Night Reception will take place immediately after the film at the same venue.

Saturday, August 1, 8 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria
$40/ticket

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9) Black Silk – Jiaju Shen EP Release Concert – With the unique Electric Pipa and the EP Black Silk, musician Jiaju Shen explores new possibilities of the pipa and its role in fusion music.

Jiaju Shen will also share backstage stories of the Black Silk project and bring guest musicians for special collaborative performances.

Sunday, August 2, 3 – 6 PM
Ran Tea House, 269 Kent Avenue
$15/Ticket with free EP

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10) The Purple Onion – An offbeat feature-length comic-drama film by Matt Szymanowski about the most unfortunate stand-up comedian you have never heard of. Johnny, a struggling Chinese American comedian in San Francisco, finds himself on a downward spiral of disappointment in his private and personal life.

Our well-intentioned and increasingly more hapless comedian works as a dishwasher and hopes to move up to server. Most of all, he wants to get on stage and perform comedy; but gradually more serious, absurd and unexpected obstacles prevent him from doing so. The comedian’s estranged and single relative Jeanie suddenly moves in to Johnny’s tiny apartment; she’s lost everything and her home to foreclosure. As the new roommates adjust to one another’s personal habits Johnny (a habitual masturbator) and Jeanie (a snooper) also struggle to find their own roles in a vibrantly diverse, often profoundly beautiful yet intrinsically challenging metropolitan San Francisco.Emotionally confused and in need of a human connection, sexual intrigue develops as Johnny and Jeanie’s fates intertwine.

Presented as part of AAIFF.

Saturday, August 1, 9 PM
Hospitality Lounge, Sheraton-LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing
Free (visit AAIFF booth for complimentary passes)

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11) Set for the Show: A Pre-Performance Lecture on  Zhang Huoding, Reigning Queen of Beijing Opera – Ben Wang, an eminent Peking opera and Kunqu scholar and specialist, will present a lecture on legendary Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding, who will perform the lead roles in productions of THE The Legend of the White Snake  《白蛇传》 and The Jewerly Pouch 《锁麟囊》 at the David Koch Theater of Lincoln Center on September 2 and 3.  Mme. Zhang is considered the best Peking Opera singer of the last 100 years.  Her gift for expressing emotion and thoughts through acting and singing, have won her the acclaim of both the traditional Peking Opera audience and the younger generation.

Wednesday, August 5,  6 PM
SUNY Global Center, 116 East 55th Street
Free


Ongoing Films and Shows

Let us know if there’s anything coming up.


Exhibitions

Just added and opening:

We’ll be adding a few shows next week

Closing soon:

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

China: Fortress Besieged (Resobox, 7/30 – 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

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.

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

China: Fortress Besieged (Resobox, 7/30 – 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- 9/7)

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: Bixi in Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing.  Photo by Andrew Shiue