Events and Exhibitions: August 28 – September 3, 2015

“Liu Jianhua 刘建华 (劉建華): Painted Sculpture Series 彩塑系列 – Play No. 16,

We’re excited about the opening of The (New) Trial, the theatrical release of Asian American International Film Festival opener My Voice, My Life 《爭氣》.  Go Away Mr. Tumor looks to be a cut above the typical Chinese films shown at AMC Theatres.  It brings a positive attitude and levity to dealing with a serious disease and could help shift the mindset of Chinese society towards coping with disease and other burdens.

There are a couple of exhibitions closing on Labor Day Weekend.  Be sure to see them before they end, especially Geng Xue: Borrowing and Easterly Wind and Ying Zhu: Live Like and Astronaut  at Klein Sun Gallery and the Met’s lavish China: Through the Looking Glass.

MoMA is hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to create, edit, and improve Wikipedia articles on Asian Pacific American arts and artists.  Of course, you can do it on your own, but join the event to meet others with similar interests and to utilize the research resources they offer.  Many of you know a bit about Chinese arts and artists.  Share the knowledge by spreading information through Wikipedia.

Coming up:

Cloud Dance Theater of Taiwan comes to BAM presents Rice, a production that takes the  grain, field, and flower as verdant muse in this celebration of the life cycle and natural beauty of the island’s essential crop.

In October, the New York Film Festival presents U.S. premieres of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin 《聶隱娘》 and Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart 《山河故人》,   hosts talk with both directors, and screens King Hu’s A Touch of Zen 《俠女》.

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) Tiananmen Annie – A comedic and heartfelt coming of age story about finding your Chinese soul. It is Ann Starbuck’s true story of living in Beijing as a student in 1988-1989, and working for CNN during the Tiananmen Square Uprising.  Winner of the Ezra Buzzingon Spirit of the Fringe Award for Best Production & Best Directing at the Hollywood Fringe.

Part of FringeNYC – The New York International Fringe Festival

Friday, August 29, 8:45 PM
64E4 Underground, 64 E. 4th Street (Bowery & 2nd Ave)
$18/General Admission

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2) Come Drink with Me 《大醉俠》 – Dir. King Hu | 1966 | 101 min.

When bandits make off with a governor’s son and hold him for ransom, the gov. retaliates with the big guns: the deadly Golden Swallow, his deadliest warrior and only daughter. Just as Golden Swallow begins ripping through the bandits holding her brother captive, she’s sidelined by a poison dart and re-habilitated by a local drunk who has his own share of secrets and hazy motives. Considered by many to be one of the best movies to ever come out of Hong Kong, Come Drink With Me elegantly blends elements of dance and martial arts, and was one of the first kung-fu films to feature a woman in the lead role.

Friday, August 28, 12:15 AM
Saturday, August 29, 12:15 AM
Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
$11/General Admission; $9/Children and Seniors

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3) #WikiAPA Edit-a-thon – A social evening of Wikipedia editing, dedicated to creating, updating, and improving articles about Asian Pacific American art and artists. Hosted at the Museum of Modern Art library in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Wikimedia NYC, this meetup will focus on unearthing information about a creatively-rich community that has historically been overlooked.

All are invited, with no specialized knowledge of the subject or Wikipedia editing experience required. Please bring your laptop and power cord; Research resources, WiFi, and a list of suggested topics on hand will be provided.

Wednesday, September 2, 6 – 8 PM
The Museum of Modern Art Library,  4 West 54th Street, New York
Free, but RSVP requested

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4) Legend of the White Snake 《白蛇传》 – Legend of the White Snake is adapted from a traditional Chinese story and Zhang Huoding (张火丁) is the first Cheng School artist to perform this classic Peking Opera production.

This story has been a well-known legend for thousands of years. Once upon a time two snake fairies live in Mount E-mei, called Bai Shuzhen and Xiao Qing, turns themselves into a master and a maid. They come to Southern Yangtze area for a tour, and then encounter Xu Xian around West Lake. Bai falls in love with Xu at first sight, and get married soon. Their happy life is interrupted by a monk named Fahai who reveals to Xu that Bai is a thousand-year-old white snake. Suspiciously Xu persuades his wife to drink some wine on the day of Chinese traditional Dragon Boat Festival. The wine changes Bai into her snake form, terrifying Xu so severely that he falls dead. Bai obtains a magical herb that restores her husband to life. Fahai then tricks Xu into imprisonment in the Gold Hill Temple. For the sake of rescuing her husband, Bai uses her magical power to flood the temple, but fails because of her pregnancy. Xu escape from the temple and meets Bai on a bridge. Bai tells her husband the truth about her origin, and Xu kindly accepts her. After giving birth to their son, Bai is imprisoned for eternity in Leifeng Pagoda.

Wednesday, September 2, 8 PM
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets begin at $22

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5) 9-Man – Dir. Ursula Liang | 2014 | 87 mins

On the eve of the 71st Annual North American Chinese Invitational 9-Man Volleyball Tournament in New York City, join MOCA for a screening of 9-Man. an independent feature documentary about an isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese American sport that’s much more than a pastime.

Since the 1930s, young men have played this gritty, streetball game competitively in the alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. Today, some 80 years later, nine-man is a lasting connection to Chinatown for a community of men who know a different, more integrated America, and it’s a game that has grown exponentially in athleticism. Nine-man punctuates each summer with a vibrant, aggressive, exhausting bragging rights tournament that unites thousands of Chinese Americans and maintains traditional rules and customs.

Followed by Q&A with filmmaker Ursula Liang.

Thursday, September 3, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street
Free, RSVP required

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6) The Jewelry Pouch 《锁麟囊》– The Jewelry Purse is master work that assembles the artistic features of Cheng School.  This production stars Cheng School artist Zhang Huoding (张火丁)

Xue Xiangling, daughter of a rich family in Deng Zhou, was caught in the rain in her sedan chair on her way to getting married and sheltered herself from the rain inside the Spring-Autumn Pavilion. Hearing the sound of crying from another sedan chair in the same pavilion, Xue asked her housekeeper to find out what’s going on and learnt that Zhao Shouzhen, who was also on her way to her wedding, felt sad because her family was too poor to provide a dowry. Xue gave her jewelry purse embroidered by her mother to the poor bride without leaving her name. Six years later, a flood batters Deng Zhou and Xue became separated from her family and found work as a maid in Lu’s family. One day, when she accompanied Lu’s childe to play she happened upon the very purse in the attic of Lu’s House and could not help crying. Fortunately, Madam Lu was Zhao Shouzhen, the poor bride the Xue helped six years ago. Zhao found out Xue was the generous person who gave her the valuable gift. She adopted Xue as her sworn sister and helped Xue to reunite with her family.

Wednesday, September 3, 8 PM
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets begin at $22

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7) Circle Line Cruise with Zhang Huoding – A once-in-a-lifetime private after party with renowned Peking Opera artist Zhang Huoding. Sail with Circle Line on a 2 hour cruise to see the Statue of Liberty and take in the best views of NYC under the moonlight, on the water.

Celebrate with Zhang Huoding’s friends, honored guests, fans, and students. Enjoy performance by Zhang Huoding’s talented students, photo opportunities with Statue of Liberty, and the opportunity to meet with Zhang Huoding in person and take photo with her.

Thursday, September 3, 11:30 PM (boarding)
Pier 83, West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue
Tickets begin at $80.


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) The (New) Trial – “The (New) Trial,” adapted from Peter Weiss’s same titled play and directed by Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, presents a surreal look at the life of Joseph K, an attorney in an international corporation that explores K’s obsessive idealism and his self-destructive methodology in helping others. Confined in his own docile body, K is manipulated as the public mask for the corporation to win the “war” current global market expansion competition, and eventually is abandoned by the corporation once the victory is obtained.”The (New) Trial” attempts to deconstruct the docile nature of the self and the hierarchical power relations among the characters of the play, hoping to stimulate changes to the society. To manifest this essential concept, actors will explore power dynamics among different characters, and will break the fourth wall to share their real life experience of being an actor with monologues. A giant mirror will also cover up the stage floor for actors to be fully aware of the power relations to the self.

For more information, see our earlier coverage

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2) My Voice, My Life 《爭氣》Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang’s newest film, which was the opening film at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, follows an unlikely group of misfit students from four Hong Kong middle and high schools cast in a musical theater performance. From low self-esteem to blindness, each student confronts unique personal challenges in the process of developing his or her character. This moving and insightful film chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of these underprivileged students as they go through six months of vigorous training 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 to reflect on our way of nurturing the young.

Opens August 28
Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St.

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2) 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:

Let us know if there are any shows coming up.

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Closing soon:

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

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)

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.

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:“Liu Jianhua 刘建华 (劉建華): Painted Sculpture Series 彩塑系列 – Play No. 16, 2003-2006 (porcelain 陶瓷)” / Beijing Commune 北京公社 / Art Basel Hong Kong 2013 / by Flickr user See-ming Lee, licensed through Creative Commons

Update: An earlier version of the post incorrectly identified the festival My Voice, My Life was part of.