Events and Exhibitions: October 2 – October 8, 2015


October 1 is National Day in China.  On this day in 1949, Mao Zedong officially proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  However, unlike popular belief, he did not actually say from the Tiananman rostrum where his portrait hangs that the Chinese people have stood up.  For more about how National Day was celebrated in the early years of the PRC, take a look at this article from

This week mezzo-soprano Yixuan Pang sings western operatic arias and Chinese folk songs at Carnegie Hall; a lecture about how standard Mandarin became standard Mandarin; the Modern Sky Festival hits NYC; an opening reception for a time-based art show; a new exhibition at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts and a retrospective on artist Zhang Hongtu are our latest addition to the calendar.

Don’t forget that seven films from the recent Cinema on the Edge series which brought films from the Beijing Independent Film Festival to NYC, are available on MUBI.

Coming up:

Next weekend, the New York Film Festival shows Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s latest film and Taiwan’s Oscar entry The Assassin 《刺客聶隱娘》, and the coming of age The Boys from Fengkuei 《風櫃來的人》.  Learn more about The Assassin and read the original Tang Dynasty story on which it is based.

David Borgonjon’s Really, Socialism?, an exhibition and series of talks related to socialism, take a look at socialist sci-fi on October 10 and 17.

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

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Coming up this week…

1) Retina of the Unconscious Exhibition II Opening Reception – A second opening event for Curator Wang Chun-Chi’s first portion of inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival 2015, the one and the only art festival dedicated to Asian time-based art in North America, gathers together a group of time-based art work, including videos, short film, kinetic installations and real-time sound art performances, featuring 27 artists from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, Canada, United States, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines.

Friday, October 2, 6 PM
inCube Arts SPACE, 314 West 52nd street, #1


2) Silk Road by Vocal Arts – Chinese mezzo-soprano Yixuan Pang is a young vocal artist who performs both Western operatic repertoire and traditional Chinese folk music. After touring the world’s stages, Ms. Pang returns to Carnegie Hall with her Silk Road by Vocal Arts project, which blends English renditions of traditional Chinese folk songs and vocal tributes to Western classical music composers, including Schubert, Rossini, and more.

Saturday, October 3, 2 PM
Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall


3) Guānhuà and Mandarin Views of China’s Informal Language Standard in the Late Qīng – Jointly with the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Greater New York and the Confucius Institute at Pace University, the Renwen Society presents a lecture by Prof. Richard VanNess Simmons, Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers University on Guānhuà and Mandarin in the late Qing period. His talk will look at various versions of Mandarin that were prevalent in the Qīng dynasty. He will describe how northern and southern forms of Mandarin were widely accepted in China in the 18th and 19th centuries, with both considered to be equally valid and both widely spoken. He will explain that it is a state of affairs largely forgotten today with the general acceptance of a single Mandarin standard throughout the Chinese-speaking world. But the historical embrace of linguistic diversity is fascinating and well worth remembering.

Saturday, October 3, 3 PM
China Institute in America, 100 Washington Street


4) Modern Sky Festival  China’s Modern Sky Festival returns to NYC with sets by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, Gang of Four, New Pants, Song Dongye, Mark Sultan, Hedgehog, Lower, and Miserable Faith

Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg Food Market will provide festival goers with food from New York favorites including Asia Dog, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Lonestar Empire BBQ, and Pizza Moto. Additionally, VIP ticket holders will gain access to an exclusive catered buffet.

Celebrated New York designer Wendy Mullin (Built By Wendy) is designing the official festival merchandise again this year, to include t-shirts, totes, and her iconic guitar straps. All will be on sale in limited quantities during the festival.

See our earlier coverage for audio and video of the bands.

Sunday, October 4, 2 – 8:30 PM
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
$48/GA; $150/VIP  10% available with code BEYOND


5) A Touch of Zen 《俠女》 –

Directed By King Hu
1971/75 Hong Kong Mandarin with English subtitles
DCP 200 minutes

When it comes to the wuxia film, all roads lead back to the great King Hu: supreme fantasist, Ming dynasty scholar, and incomparable artist. For years, Hu labored on his own, creating one exquisitely crafted film after another (with astonishing pre-CGI visual effects), elevating the martial-arts genre to unparalleled heights and, as the film critic and producer Peggy Chiao noted in her obituary for Hu, single-handedly introducing Chinese cinema to the rest of the world. Hu’s three-years-in-the-making masterpiece, A Touch of Zen, was released in truncated form in Hong Kong in 1971 and yanked from theaters after a week. A close-to-complete version was constructed by Hu and shown at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, where he won a grand prize for technical achievement (and earned an apology from his studio heads). This beautiful restoration of A Touch of Zen was presented at this year’s edition of Cannes, 40 years after the film’s first unveiling to Western eyes. Restored in 4K by L’Immagine Ritrovata, with original materials provided by the Taiwan Film Institute. A Janus Films release.

Monday, October 5, 9 PM
Walter Reade Theatre, 165 West 65th Street
$15/General Admission; $10/Student


6) Evolver Records Presents: Matthew Shipp, Lola Danza, Fung Chern Hwei, George Spanos and Ben Stapp – Evolver Records presents a festival of music with special guest Matthew Shipp and Evolver Record Artists: Violinist Fung Chern Hwei presenting his project Lisao, Vocalist Lola Danza presenting her project Korean Shamans, George Spanos‘ Quartet and Ben Stapp & the Zozimos Myrrah’s Red Book Act II

Wednesday, October 7, 8 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn


7) Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee  – It’s hard to miss the On Leong Tong Chinese Merchants building on the corner of Mott and Canal Streets. With its pagoda façade and ornamented balconies, this iconic building designed by Chinese American architect Poy Gum Lee reveals the distinct hybrid modern architectural style often referred to as “Chinese modern.” Through Poy Gum Lee’s body of work in Chinatown and in China, guest curator of Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968, Kerri Culhane illuminates Lee’s influence on the architectural aesthetics in Chinatown, the cultural and political impulses behind this architecture style, and the role of the built environment as an expression of identity.

Thursday, October 8, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street
$12/Adult; $7/Student & senior

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Saving Mr. Wu 《解救吾先生》- In this suspenseful crime thriller, Mr. Wu, a Hong Kong movie star, is kidnapped by six unpredictable criminals disguised as police officers. The story is based on the 2004 real-life celebrity kidnapping case in China.

Read this review from Hollywood Reporter

Opens at AMC Empire 25 on October 2.


2) Lost in Hong Kong 《港囧》– In this sequel to China’s second highest-grossing movie of all time and a blockbuster in its own right, Lost in Thailand, A mid-aged mainland Chinese bra designer (Xu Zheng) takes his baby-crazy wife (Zhao Wei) and DVD-pirating brother-in-law (Bao Bei’er) to Hong Kong, ostensibly on a sight-seeing trip, but really wishes to use this opportunity to secretly meet his old flame (Du Juan). Never did he imagine he would be embroiled in a murder investigation.

Variety says “Trading the earlier film’s goofy fish-out-of-water gags for robust action acrobatics and fail-safe family drama, the laffer induces the warm-and-fuzzies as an ode to Hong Kong cinema and its role in mainland Gen-Xers’ sentimental coming of age.”

Opened at AMC Empire 25 on September 25.


Just added and opening:

1) Face to Face (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 9/10 – 10/24) – The portrait genre, perhaps the most universal form of expression in art, serves as a highly revealing window onto cultures, how they see themselves, how they see others, and how others see them. As the battlefronts of multiculturalism challenge our frontiers, both internal and external, the face and its depiction offers us a divergent language of perception that we can all share. In Face To Face Ethan Cohen New York explores the genre, drawing on African, Chinese and Western contemporary art to illustrate cultural commonalities and polarities. Through African masks, through portraits by renowned Western and Asian contemporary artists, the show compares disparate ways of seeing both across and within art historical legacies. The face that looks out at us, the way we interpret that look and the way we look back all goes to the heart of how a culture sees the world.

Includes Fang Lijun, Huang Yan, Li Daiyun, Li Lin, Mina Cheon, Qi Zhilong, Yuan Yunsheng, Yue Minjun, Zhang Dali, Zhang Hongtu, and Zhang Xiaogang


2) Zhang Hongtu (Queens Museum, 10/18/15 – 2/28/16) – The exhibition will be the first US survey of the art of China-born, Queens-based artist Zhang Hongtu. Zhang Hongtu left China in 1982 to find greater artistic freedom and is perhaps best known for his “Mao” series, a group of works responding to the ubiquitous images of Mao Ze Dong. Zhang studied traditional Chinese painting both in Beijing and in New York, as well as Western Art history and Popular Art after arriving in New York, and skillfully adapted and transformed them to fit the ideas he was expressing in his work. These multi-cultural influences combined to yield the wide-ranging output of this unique artist. Spanning the late 1950s to the present, the exhibition will unite more than fifty pieces, including pieces from the following major series and periods.

Closing soon:

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

Tai Xiangzhou (泰祥洲) – Celestial Tales (Paul Kasmin Gallery, 9/10 – 10/3)

Intimate Transgressions (Whitebox Gallery, 9/3 – 10/4)

Ji Zhou (计洲) – Civilized Landscape 《文明的景观》(Klein Sun Gallery, 9/10 – 10/10)

Xiao Fu – Pixel World (Storefront Ten Eyck, 9/11 – 10/11)

Visit the exhibition calendar ( for details for the following shows below.  As always, check the museum or gallery’s website for hours of operation.

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

Tai Xiangzhou (泰祥洲) – Celestial Tales (Paul Kasmin Gallery, 9/10 – 10/3)

Intimate Transgressions (Whitebox Gallery, 9/3 – 10/4)

Ji Zhou (计洲) – Civilized Landscape 《文明的景观》(Klein Sun Gallery, 9/10 – 10/10)

Xiao Fu – Pixel World (Storefront Ten Eyck, 9/11 – 10/11)

Wang Dongling (王冬龄) – New Works 《新作》 (Chambers Fine Art, 9/12 – 10/24)

Face to Face (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 9/10 – 10/24)

2015 inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival (Queens Museum, The Sylvia Wald + Po Kim Gallery, and inCube Arts SPACE, 10/1 – 10/24)

Willie Yao – Solo Exhibition (Carma Restaurant, 9/9 – 10/31)

“Who is My Neighbor? NYC” (Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center, 9/12 – 12/8)

SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape (Museum of Chinese in America, 9/24 – 1/31/16)

Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968 (Museum of Chinese in America, 9/24/15 – 1/31/16)

Zhang Hongtu (Queens Museum, 10/18/15 – 2/28/16)

Lead image from Mandarahu Tikid Tadau.