Events and Exhibitions: August 14 – August 20, 2015

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Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012 – 2014  moves to Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Maysles Documentary Center, and Asia Society this week.  Read our full coverage of the series here.

Coming up:

Mists of Lights and Shades (identified as Taiwan: A World of Orchids on the Queens Botanical Garden site), a cross-disciplinary collaborative project with three talented artists Beryl Chen, Shuo-An Chen and Catherine Lan, dancer Ya-Ting Chi explores the nature and the manmade, is reflected in the experimentation of materials (faux fur), body language, video projection and sound.  August 21 – 23

A (New) Trial – Taiwanese director Dennis Yueh-Yeh adapted and directs this adaptation Peter Weiss’ play of the same name, which draws from Franz Kafka’s The Trial.  September 1 – 6.

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

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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Update 8/16: The date for Cut Out the Eyes 《挖眼睛》 has been corrected.


Coming up this week…

1) Opening Reception – Being Here: Mei-Ling Liu and HsiangLu Meng New Work in New York  – An exhibition of recent work by Taiwanese artists Mei-Ling Liu and HsiangLu Meng, curated by Jodi Waynberg. With each artist working in New York for a brief period of time, the city becomes a central character in their new projects: Being and The Imprints of New York. Both artists continue their investigations of the behavioral and material differences between cultures and, through imprinted compositions of discarded recyclables and porcelain clay cast shoes, create a diaristic interpretation of their intersections with the people and substances that make up a new city. From these observations, Liu and Meng compose new images, stories and connections that allow a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar space.

Friday, August 14, 5 PM
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, 120 Essex Street, Manhattan
Free

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2) Bruce Lee, My Brother – Dirs. Raymond Yip, Manfred Wong. 2010, 129 mins. Digital projection. With Aarif Rahman,Tony Leung Ka-fai, Christy Chung. A captivating biopic based on memoirs written by Bruce Lee’s siblings, Bruce Lee, My Brother tracks the rebellious teenage years of the action star in Hong Kong. There, against his strict father’s wishes, he began practicing Wing Chun martial arts, experienced love for the first time, got into trouble with the local Triads, and above all, proved himself to be a legendary invincible street fighter.

Friday, August 14, 7:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria
$12/Admission;  $9/Senior Citizens and Students

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3) Tongues of Heaven – Set in Taiwan and Hawaii, Tongues of Heaven focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous peoples to learn the languages of their forebears-languages that are endangered or facing extinction. Using digital video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from divergent backgrounds collaborate and exchange ideas to consider the impact of language on identity and culture. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, what does it mean to speak your mother tongue in this age of language homogenization? To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? These are just some of the questions that these women, with camera in hand, ask themselves, their families and peers.

Followed by Q&A with director Anita Chang.

Friday, August 14, 7:30 PM
Maysles Documentary Center, 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
$10/Admission

4) Egg and Stone 《挖眼睛》

Directed by Huang Ji
2011, 98 min, digital.
In Hunan dialect with English subtitles.

Winner of the 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Tiger Award, Huang Ji’s brave personal film is one of the most auspicious debuts in recent Chinese cinema. Set in her home village in rural Hunan province, Egg and Stone is a powerful autobiographical portrait of a 14-year-old girl’s attempts to come to terms with her emerging sexual maturity. Since her parents moved to the city to work, she has been forced to live with her uncle and aunt for seven years. Alone with her own inchoate fears and desires, she grapples with a terrifying world of sexual awakening and danger. Huang Ji’s visual sophistication, narrative fluency, and technical polish belie her youth. Cinematographer Ryuji Otsuka (also the film’s producer and editor) contributes beautifully crafted cinematic images, fearfully intimate, softly pulsing with light, saturated with complex emotional power.

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

Monday, August 17, 7 PM
Made in NY Media Center by IFP, 30 John St., Brooklyn (DUMBO)
$12/General Admission; $10/Members

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5) Chan is Missing 

Directed by Wayne Wang

Two taxi drivers (Moy and Hayashi) scour San Francisco’s Chinatown for the titular mystery man, who has disappeared along with their $4,000. What emerges from this simple set-up is a freewheeling, funny, frequently tense, and wholly surprising study of Chinese-American identity in all its forms. Made for under $20,000, this “matchless delight” (The New York Times) was the arthouse sleeper hit of 1982.

Monday, August 17, 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM
BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
$14/General Admission; $7/Members; $10/Students, Seniors, and Veterans

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6) Cut Out the Eyes 《挖眼睛》

Directed by Xu Tong
2014, 80 min, digital. In Chinese with English subtitles.

Er Housheng is a blind musician who travels Inner Mongolia with his lover/partner Liu Lanlan performing the saucy, sensationally bawdy form of musical duet comedy called er ren tai. Er’s female audiences are particularly enthralled with his combination of sensuality, Rabelaisian earthiness, and frankly socially subversive lyrics. Director Xu’s specialty is to train his piercingly observant documentary camera — intimate and complicit, rather than coldly objective — on unique Chinese characters like Er, using them to probe deep beneath the surface of China’s clash of rural traditions with its urbanizing contemporaneity. The result is, on one hand, an enthralling ethnographic showpiece; but it’s at its core a passionate and frenzied psycho-drama of lust, violence, and genius.

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

Tuesday, August 18, 7:30 PM
Maysles Documentary Center, 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
$10/Admission

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7) Wolf Totem – A members only screening of an adaptation of Jiang Rong’s best-selling semi-autobiographical novel directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet, The Lover), Wolf Totem tells the story of a young Beijing student who is sent off to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution. He soon becomes fascinated with the wolves, at once menacing, sacred, intelligent, and essential to the ecosystem of the steppes. When he secretly adopts a wolf cub, the young man gets quickly embroiled in the conflicts between human society and nature, traditional life and modernization.

Followed by a Q&A with the director.

Wednesday, August 19, 6:30 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free (Asia Society members only)

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8) A Filmless Festival

Various directors
2015, approx. 85 minutes, digital. In Chinese with English subtitles.

This film documents the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival in 2014, from the preparations before the opening ceremony to the process of its forced cancellation, the event which spurred the Cinema on the Edge series. The footage used for the film was captured by audience members, local artists, invited directors and special guests, festival volunteers and workers, as well as journalists and members of the media.  It is a film produced by the collective.

Followed by Q&A with filmmaker Wang Wo.

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

Wednesday, 7:30 PM
Maysles Documentary Center, 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
$10/Admission

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9) People’s Park 《人民公园》

Directed by J.P. Sniadecki & Libbie Cohn
2012. USA/China. 75 min. DCP.
In Sichuanese and Mandarin Chinese.

This delightful documentary was shot in the buzzing People’s Park, Chengdu, Sichuan in one single, bravura take lasting 75 minutes. Made by two young American directors, the film captures the fullness of Chinese urban leisure life. As the camera pans side to side and glides relentlessly forward through the park, it catches hundreds of Chinese urbanites out for fun, relaxation, socializing, and a certain kind of freedom: eating, strolling, singing, practicing calligraphy, and watching each other. Watching becomes dancing, as the film slowly gathers an ecstatic, trance-like groove, building to a rapturous climax, as people, movement, music, image, and sound mix together: this is as close to pure pleasure as cinema gets.

Introduction by Angela Zito, Anthropology Department, New York University, who will also moderate a post-screening Q&A with director J.P. Sniadecki.

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

Thursday, August 20, 6:30 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
$12/General Admission; $10/Students and Seniors; $8/Members

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10) The Moment Interactive Art Show –  in which six Taiwanese artists set up a station that invites the audience to interact through various languages of art. This includes: improvisational dance and body movement that is a storytelling which involves artists; a video game; and a video projection on a cut fur “painting” that creates a moving landscape, bringing people and natural spirit into the works. It will be a moment that connects the family and individual.

1. Sticky a Color: Pai Yu Hsuan – conceptual art, interactive with audience
2. Goodbye and Good Morning: Wei Hsinyen – performance with audience
3. The Curse of Mannequin Island: Allen Yu & Bruce Lan – video game
4. Interactive Dance project: Yating Chi and two dancers  – interactive dance
5. Skin Deep: Collaborative Self-Portraits: Rosalie Yu & Alon Chitayat – 3D full body scanning with hand drawn textures
6. In the Mists of Lights and Shades: a collaborative project – video by Beryl Chen, fur painting by Catherine Lan, music by Shou An Chen

Thursday, August 20, 5 – 8 PM
Queens Museum at the Unisphere Gallery
Free


Ongoing Films and Shows

Go Away Mr. Tumor 《滚蛋吧!肿瘤君》–’Go Away Mr. Tumor’ is based on the famous Chinese comic series created by online cartoonist Xiong Dun, chronicling the darkest hours of her life in a lighter and more amusing way. While fighting a malignant tumor, she wrote what became an explosively popular story and inspired millions of people with her optimism and courage.

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) Being Here: Mei-Ling Liu and HsiangLu Meng New Work in New York (Cuchifritos Gallery, 8/14 – 9/13) – With each artist working in New York for a brief period of time, the city becomes a central character in their new projects: Being and The Imprints of New York. Both artists continue their investigations of the behavioral and material differences between cultures and, through imprinted compositions of discarded recyclables and porcelain clay cast shoes, create a diaristic interpretation of their intersections with the people and substances that make up a new city. From these observations, Liu and Meng compose new images, stories and connections that allow a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar space.

2) Geng Xue: Borrowing and Easterly Wind (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/13 – 9/5) – A protégé of the renowned artist Xu Bing, Geng Xue hails from Beijing, a city which dictates much of her interest in Chinese folklore and her recontextualization of traditional ceramic and porcelain. Upon arrival to our residency at Millers Falls in early July, Geng continued her exploration of  clay in tandem with her interest in ancient Chinese philosophy, namely the Daoist writings of Zhuangzi. As the residency progressed, she began to draw parallels between the  environment around her and the ‘pipes’ or pathways of life described in Zhuangzi’s texts. The resulting work is a spiritual response to the ‘pipes’ found across China and America through an installation in which Geng carves out her own gaps and holes in both two dimensional and three dimensional work.

3) Ying Zhu: Live Like and Astronaut (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/13 – 9/5) – Having studied in both her native China and the U.S., she is primarily preoccupied with the hybridization of cultures and the human condition. She examines Western culture through distinctly Eastern eyes, creating immersive installations that are at once personal and also are gateways to society. At Millers  Falls, she became interested in the materials around her; like a forager, she collected wood and stone and was drawn to the stretched dimensions of time and space that allowed for creative meditation. Exposing details often overlooked by people rushing through life, Zhu creates an installation within the gallery that overturns conventional sight and touch experiences.

4) Lin Tzu Huan: The Yellow Snake is Waiting (Flux Factory, 8/21 – 8/27) –  a video installation created during his Flux Factory residency period. The video features footage of a fictional story to find the ultimate solution of never-ending desire by fusing two well-known mythical stories from East to West. The narrative explores the fog of memories and makes transparent the mystery of desire.

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Closing soon:

 

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.

 

Lin Tzu Huan: The Yellow Snake is Waiting (Flux Factory, 8/21 – 8/27)

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

Geng Xue: Borrowing and Easterly Wind  (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/13 – 9/5)

Ying Zhu: Live Like and Astronaut (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/13 – 9/5)

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)

Being Here: Mei-Ling Liu and HsiangLu Meng New Work in New York (Cuchifritos Gallery, 8/14 – 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: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.  Photo by Andrew Shiue