Events and Exhibitions: August 7 – August 13, 2015

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The big event this week is the opening of Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014  which brings to New York 28 films from the Beijing Independent Film Festival which was shut down by authorities last year.  There’s a lot of good stuff being shown.  Read our full coverage of the series here.

Coming up:

Wayne Wang’s film Chan is Missing plays at BAM as part of their Indie 80s.

Cloud Dance Theater of Taiwan comes to BAM in mid-September.

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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) Dancing for the Camera – Artist Talk with PeiJu Chien-Pott, Jye-Hwei Lin, I-Ling Liu and Lois Greenfield – Extraordinary Taiwanese dancers PeiJu Chien-Pott, Jye-Hwei Lin, and I-Ling Liu share their experience of dancing for the camera, and in conversation with legendary photographer Lois Greenfield who has photographed these dancers for her UPCOMING BOOK, “ MOVING STILL”. The Talk is moderated by Paul Galando, the Founding Director of Tisch Dance and New Media, and supported by Dance Films Association.

Dance films by Taiwanese artists Kuo-Heng Huang, Ji-Hong Lee, Jye-Hwei Lin, Wen-Chung Lin, Hsiao-Ying Peng and Yun-Ting Tsai are featured in the talk

Friday, August 7, 6:30 PM
Taiwan Academy, TECO in NY, 1 E. 42nd Street, Manhattan
Free, but RSVP required

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2) Emperor Visits the Hell 《唐皇游地府》

Directed by Li Luo
2012, 67 min, digital. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Based on the first three chapters of Journey to the West, this winner of the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival’s Dragons & Tigers Prize, this is a quietly astonishing tour de force that hinges on a lovely conceit: relocating to the present day the famous story of the Tang dynasty Emperor Taizong’s visit to the underworld. Shot in elegant, black-and-white long takes, the film spins a tale of a local river god, the Dragon King, who, feuding with a fortune teller, alters the weather without authorization and is condemned to death. When the Emperor fails to commute the god’s sentence, otherworldly retribution is swift: he is summoned to Hell. Li’s audacious use of multiple levels of storytelling and filmmaking craftily and joyously subverts every authority around.

Both screenings are followed by Q&A with Li Luo.

Review at Slant Magazine

Part of Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014 

Friday, August 7, 6:45 PM w/intro by critic and Cinema on the Edge programmer Shelly Kraicer
Monday, August 10,  9 PM

Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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2) Around that Winter 《田园将芜》 

Directed by Wang Xiaozhen
2013, 96 min, digital. In Shandong dialect with English subtitles.

This curiously beautiful Daoist comedy, the opening film of BIFF2013, is a first film full of promise. Wang, painting with scrupulously composed, eloquent black-and-white images, tells of a young urbanite who brings his girlfriend to meet his farmer parents in the countryside of Shandong province. Although nothing precisely happens, the farm and surrounding woods are a stage for almost non-stop cursing, kissing, pissing, and fucking. It’s both earthy and somehow unworldly at the same time, featuring perfectly ribald kids, a voyeuristic brother with a urination fetish, and a deadpan comic couple. Wang has a terrific eye, and an utterly unique, low-key comic voice.

Part of Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014 

Friday, August 7, 8:45 PM w/intro by critic and Cinema on the Edge programmer Shelly Kraicer
Tuesday, August 11, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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3) The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York – The 25th annual Dragon Boat race at Flushing Meadows Park includes multicultural artists and traditional music/dance from across the globe, arts and crafts, and food.

August 8 and 9
Flushing Meadows Park, Queens
Free

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4) Classical Beauties: 2015 Summer Concert – Free concert by the New York Chinese Opera Society and Kunqu Society featuring Kunqu operas The Wedding Proposal 《蝴蝶梦 说亲》 and A Banquet for Two 《长生殿 小宴》and Peking Opera Farewell at Sand Bridge《沙橋餞別》

Saturday, August 8, 2 PM
Flushing Public Library, 41-17 Main St. Flushing
Free

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5) Holding Up Half the Sky – Opera and puppet spectacle spanning 2,000 years of Chinese history presents the lives of four legendary Chinese women warriors – Hua Mulan (made famous in ancient ballads and opera, and more recently by Disney), Hongxian (Tang Dynasty), She Saihua (Song Dynasty), and Qiu Jin (early 20th century).

CTW dramatizes the battles and exploits of these brave fighting women, which spans 2000 years of Chinese history, using a wide variety of puppetry styles (shadow, hand, rod, bunraku), blended seamlessly with classic Chinese opera, dance and music with contemporary Western theater craft.

CTW’s co-artistic directors, Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin lead a diverse ensemble of American and Chinese performers and musicians , as well as Peking opera performance by Nuo Dai and music by Gang-Tien and Junling Wang.

Saturday, August 8, 2 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
Free

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6) The Moment: Taiwanese American Contemporary Arts Opening Reception – Opening reception for the exhibition displaying works by 14 Taiwanese artists who use various media to explore the idea of “the moment.”

As defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary, “moment” can mean a minute portion of time, importance, a stage in historical or logical development, or the product of quantity (as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point.

The concept of The Moment is to investigate the play of the virtual and the real, inward and outward, or a view of self in the outside environment. The 14 artists in the exhibition comment upon this intersection of the inner mind and the outside environment using a variety of media, including photography, painting, interactive media, video, animation, poetry and even 3D body scanning.

Saturday, August 8, 3 PM
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona, Queens
Free, but RSVP required

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7) Yumen 《玉门》

Directed by Huang Xiang, Xu Ruotao, and JP Sniadecki
2013, 65 min, 16mm-to-digital. In Gansu dialect with English subtitles.

Two Chinese avant-garde artists and an American experimental filmmaker have collaborated on a stunningly beautiful Chinese experimental-fiction-documentary that dazzlingly combines ghost stories and “ruin porn” to form a celluloid psycho-collage. Shot on 16mm film, it’s set in the largely abandoned oil drilling town of Yumen – a place with an ancient, poetic history in China’s western Gansu province – and takes us through trashed, desolate urban spaces abandoned by Chinese socialism. But the filmmakers bring these places alive with their cast of ghosts, artists, vagabond dancers, and singers. It’s a film chock full of fascinating things: massive oil pumps and sun-blasted vistas; nude performance art and impromptu flamenco; fuzzy bunny rabbits and snarling canines; groovy 70s Taiwan pop and contemporary Korean girl bands; socialist nostalgia and postmodern pastiche.

Reviews at Eye for Film and gbtimes.

Part of Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014 

Saturday, August 8, 6:45 PM w/intro by critic and Cinema on the Edge programmer Shelly Kraicer.
Tuesday, August 11, 9 PM

Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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8) Four Ways to Die in My Hometown 《我故乡的四种死亡方式》

Directed by Chai Chunya
2012, 90 min, digital. In Gansu dialect with English subtitles.

A four-part fiction film that’s as much poetry as it is narrative, first-time filmmaker Chai Chunya’s gorgeous work evokes four characters – a poet, a searcher, a puppet master, and a shaman – each with intense, mystical, deeply-rooted spiritual links to the land (the film was shot in and around Gansu province) mediated by the four elemental symbols: earth, water, fire, and wind. The film’s logic is associative, dreamlike; Chai builds up a series of striking tableaux, hypnotically suggestive and pictorially spectacular. Two young women lose a camel, then a father. A retired shadow puppeteer meets a gun-toting tree thief. Storytellers and shamans evoke a lost spiritual world that Chai films back to life in spectacular visual motifs whose meanings are intuited, like deeply felt communal memories.

Cine-Vue calls it a “beautiful, meditative take on remembering as a mode of healing”.

Part of Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014 

Saturday, August 8, 8:45 PMw/intro by critic and Cinema on the Edge programmer Shelly Kraicer

Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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9) Wrath and Resilience: Film Shorts – Zijian Mu’s award-winning One Child, about the tragic effect of the Sichuan earthquake on families following the one-child policy, is part of this series that looks at mankind’s resilience from the destructive forces of nature, a theme explored in Wave Hill’s current exhibition Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath – Force of Nature.

Sunday, August 9, 2 PM
Wave Hill, West 249th Street, Bronx
Free with grounds admission

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10)  China After the Reform Era – Fordham University University law professor Carl Minzner looks at the political scene in China after the 80s.  In Mandarin.

很多人认为,八十年代末之后,中国失去了最好的改革机会。强人政治向常人政治的转向,党内既得利益集团的崛起,让根本上的体制改革日益艰难。

中国政府的体制改革将往何处去?改革时代真的终结了吗?

Sunday, August 9, 2 PM
The Center for Place Culture and Politics, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue
Free

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11) Female Directors 《女导演》and Listening to Third Grandmother’s Stories 《听三奶奶讲过去的事情》 

Female Directors 《女导演》
Directed by Yang Mingming
2012, 43 min, digital. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Two brilliant young women, art school graduates with deliciously profane vocabularies and supreme confidence, talk sex, cinema, and power, as they wield their shared video camera like a scalpel. Yang Mingming’s superb debut is hilarious, moving, and subversive: is it documentary or fiction, or something new that violates both modes with gleeful abandon?

Listening to Third Grandmother’s Stories 《听三奶奶讲过去的事情》
Directed by Wen Hui
2012, 75 min, digital, b&w/color. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

A language written by women confronts official ideology in dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Wen Hui’s film. She starts from stories her 83-year-old great-aunt tells her of being tortured as a “class enemy” during Mao’s China: the result is poetry, an experimental documentary that combines testimony and dance-like gesture, in black-and-white and color.

Review and interview with Yang Mingming from Time Out Beijing.

Sunday August 9, 5:30 PM
Wednesday, August 12, 9 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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12) Ping’an Yueqing 《平安乐清》

Directed by Ai Weiwei
2011, 142 min, digital. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

The documentaries produced by Ai Weiwei’s studio are closer to investigative journalism than to conceptual art. This film in particular starts from a specific case, the mysterious death by “road accident” of a village leader, Qian Yunhui from Zhejiang province, an activist who stood up for his fellow villagers when their land was confiscated without compensation by the local government. Qian’s death in 2010 quickly became a cause célèbre online in China. Ai and his team take up the challenge of determining what really happened, and dig deep into the land dispute lying behind what looks like the convenient murder of a rights advocate. The story unfolds like a thriller, but an ultra-realist one, with terrified villagers, government media spectacles, conflicting stories, and a mysteriously disappearing surveillance video.

Sunday August 9, 8 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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13) Cinema on the Edge Experimental Short Film Program

ThePoetAndTheSinger1The Poet and the Singer 《金刚经》
Directed by Bi Gan
2012, 26 min, digital
A visually splendid poem that provocatively but elegantly juxtaposes a poet, a singer, a river, a pair of murderers, and the Diamond Sutra.

 

Dismantling Clematis#16-1Dismantling Clematis #16 《拆铁丝16#》
Directed by Zhi Jun
2014, 30 min, digital
After a fire, scarred bonsai trees are meticulously freed of their supporting wires by medical professionals.

 

 

http://en.cafa.com.cn/a-visual-journey-of-im-not-not-not-chen-zhou-at-magician-space.html/23-im-not-not-not-chen-zhoufilm-still-2013-hd-digital-film-color-sound-35mins

I’m Not Not Not Chen Zhou
Directed by Chen Zhou
2013, 34 min, digital
The color yellow, as well as artist Chen Zhou and his alter ego(s), star in this droll, playfully conceptual tour de force.  Read a review at Leap (艺术界) and curator Su Wei’s statement about the film when it was shown at Magician Space (魔金石空間)

Total running time: ca. 95 min.

Monday, August 10, 7 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave
$10/General Admission; $8 Students, seniors; $6 AFA Members, and children (12 & under)

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14) Mary Ting: Compassion – For the Animals Great and Small Opening Reception The exhibition features a series of drawings and an installation of recycled cardboard animal sculptures by the artist and her John Jay College students designed to raise awareness of the wildlife trade and poaching animals for the Chinese market.  Lama Tsewang Rinpoche joins for a Buddhist talk.

Wednesday, August 12, 6 PM
Gallery 456, 456 Broadway, Manhattan
Free


Ongoing Films and Shows

Jian Bing Man: A Hero or Not 《煎餅俠》– A superhero parody movie with cameos from Jean-Claude Van Damme is the tale of a street pancake vendor who gains superpowers from the breakfast dishes he serves. It is directed by Da Peng and stars Chinese actors Ada Liu (“Badges of Fury”) and Yuan Shanshan (“One Day”) and includes Hong Kong comedy favorites Eric Tsang and Sandra Ng. (Variety)

At AMC Empire 25


Exhibitions

In addition to the below, Sun Xun is among the film and video artists shown in Before the GIF which curated works in which artists explore the possibilities unique to analog animation forms whose primary goal is keen creativity, rather than mimetic trickery.  Two of works are presented: top-motion animations of his painterly charcoal drawings in Shock of Time (2006) and People’s Republic of Zoo (2009) follow the story of a man drawn on reams of newspaper pages and an ominous menagerie of wild and domesticated animals.

Read more at High Line Art.

July 9 – September 2, 2015
7:00 PM daily until the park closes
High Line Channel 14, 14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th Street

Just added and opening:

1) Fertility, Blessings and Protection – Taiwanese and Asian Cultures of Baby Carrier (Taipei Cultural Center of TECO, 7/29 – 9/20) – This exhibition features collections of Baby Carrier from Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory.

This touring exhibition features baby carriers including southwestern China’s ethnic minorities, indigenous people of Taiwan and Taiwan Hang people. Baby carriers of various styles and forms reflect differences in culture, climate, customs, habits, and aesthetics, while also manifesting shared ideas about fertility, blessings, and protection, proof that love is the universal human language.

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2) The Moment: Taiwanese American Contemporary Arts (New York Hall of Science, 8/8 – 9/13) –  Features works by 14 Taiwanese artists who use various media to explore the idea of “the moment.”

As defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary, “moment” can mean a minute portion of time, importance, a stage in historical or logical development, or the product of quantity (as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point.

The concept of The Moment is to investigate the play of the virtual and the real, inward and outward, or a view of self in the outside environment. The artists in the exhibition comment upon this intersection of the inner mind and the outside environment using a variety of media, including photography, painting, interactive media, video, animation, poetry and even 3D body scanning.

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3) Jun-Te Hwang (黃榮德): From Mountains to Monuments: The Hidden Corners of China (Hwang Gallery, 8/11 – 9/30) – Photography exhibition highlighting China’s spectacular landscapes.

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4) Mary Ting: Compassion – For the Animals Great and Small (Gallery 456, 8/12 – 9/27) – In response to the current plight of elephants, rhinos, tigers, bears and other animals due to poaching for the Chinese market, Mary Ting has created Compassion: For the Animals Great & Small, an art exhibition and series of public programs to create awareness and promote change.

The exhibition features a series of drawings and an installation of recycled cardboard animal sculptures by the artist and her John Jay College students. Public programs will include weekend family arts and education workshops along with guest speakers from the Buddhist, traditional medicine and wildlife conservation communities. The closing day will conclude with an individual ivory crush.

Closing soon:

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.

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

Before the GIF (High Line Channel 14, 14th Street Passage, on the High Line at West 14th Street, 7/9 – 9/2)

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

China: Through the Looking Glass (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5/7- 9/7)

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

The Moment: Taiwanese American Contemporary Arts (New York Hall of Science, 8/8 – 9/13)

Fertility, Blessings and Protection – Taiwanese and Asian Cultures of Baby Carrier (Taipei Cultural Center of TECO, 7/29 – 9/20)

Jun-Te Hwang (黃榮德): From Mountains to Monuments: The Hidden Corners of China (Hwang Gallery, 8/11 – 9/30)

Mary Ting: Compassion – For the Animals Great and Small (Gallery 456, 8/12 – 9/27)

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

Lead image: Night sky watching in Xi’an.  Photo by Andrew Shiue