Events and Exhibitions: October 23 – October 29, 2015

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This week, we have an incredible sound performances presented as part of inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival, short films about Africans in Guangzhou and a town in Huizhou that is a copy of a town in Austria, Maggie Cheung in a French film, screenings and a talk with local artist Tuo Wang, and new exhibition listings.

Coming up:

Asia Contemporary Art Week, a “citywide platform that brings together leading New York and Asia-based art institutions to present cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, and proactive dialongues on current topics” runs from October 28 – November 8.  Programs involving Chinese artists are on the calendar.

Talks about how China’s art was saved in the earliest 20th century, China’s millenials and golf are also on the horizon.

Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew will have two performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 14.

Taiwan’s percussive U Theatre bangs at BAM for three performances from November 19 – 21.

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) China Remix and Double Happiness – The annual Margaret Mead Film Festival, named after the respected anthropologist “hosts movie screenings, video installations, conversations, and events that increase our understanding of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.”

China Remix
Melissa Lefkowitz and Dorian Carli-Jones
2015 | 29 minutes| China, U.S.A.
Directors in Attendance

Guangzhou is home to China’s largest community of African immigrants and a burgeoning international hip-hop scene. The short film China Remix observes the lives of three African artists at this unique intersection as they face challenging labor and immigration laws hoping for a chance of success in this land of opportunity.  See our earlier coverage here.

Double Happiness

Ella Raidel
2014 | 75 minutes | Austria, China
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

The idyllic mountain village of Hallstatt, Austria, has been precisely replicated near Huizou, China. Residents of the original Hallstatt visit their recreated town, baffled but also fascinated to find that every detail, in some cases down to the furniture in their homes, has been re-created thousands of miles away—setting the stage for provocative questions about tradition and innovation, copying and creativity, and appropriation and authenticity. Director Ella Raidel presents a multifaceted film experience, at once a thoughtful and sumptuously-filmed visual feast and a docu-musical of sorts, evoking The Sound of Music (1965). The documentary gets at questions about fairy tales around Austrian culture, the perfect life, and what it means to find home.

Friday, October 23, 4:30 PM
Linder Theater, American Museum of Natural History
$12/Adult; $10/Student and Senior

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2) Irma Vep 

Olivier Assasyas
1996 | 99 minutes | France
French with English subtitles

Rene Vidal, a director in decline, decides to remake the Feuillade’s Les Vampires. Believing no French actress can match Musidora as Irma Vep, he casts Hong Kong action heroine Maggie Cheung. On the chaotic set, Cheung defends Vidal to a Parisian journalist who trashes all French film; finds herself aided by Zoe, the wardrobe mistress who harbors a crush on her; befriends Vidal when he goes over the edge; and, in costume, breaks into a hotel suite to steal jewels as she loses the ability to define her identity apart from her movie role. The film climaxes with a frenetic stream of experimental film rushes, and the remains of Vidal’s unfinished film.

Friday, October 23, 8 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue
$10/General Admission; $8/Student and Senior

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3) inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Retina of the Unconscious I – Sound Performances – Musicans and sound artists Audrey Chen, C. Spencer Yeh, Hao Ni, and Yi-Xin Tong will perform, followed by a talk by Wang Chun-Chi, C. Spencer Yeh, and Audrey Chen

Presented by inCube Arts, the second edition of inToAsian: Time-based art Festival aims to continue its mission to exhibit time-based art with perspective from Asia.

Friday, October 24, 3 PM
Sylvia Wald + Po Kim Art Gallery, 417 Lafayette St, Fl.4
Free

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4) Johan Bergström Hyldahl & Tuo Wang @ 456聊天室 (456 Forum) – New works by Johan Bergstörm Hyldahl and Tuo Wang, followed by a Q/A session with artist Tuo Wang, organized by Wei Xiaoguang.

Johan Bergström Hyldahl, Dear Jesus, Do Something!, 2014 Duration: 24 minutes
Johan Bergström Hyldahl, Winterreise, 2015 Duration: 15 minutes
Tuo Wang, Vanitas – Real and Natural, 2014 Duration: 10 minutes
Tuo Wang, La bohème, 2015 Duration: 9 minutes

Sunday, October 25, 5:30 PM
Gallery 456, 456 Broadway
Free

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5) C. Spencer Yeh: Okkyung & the RCA Mark II – Investigating intersections of tape and live performance, and of composition with improvisation, C. Spencer Yeh presents a series of new works as part of his 2015 ISSUE Project Room residency. The program includes a “portrait” composition, part of an ongoing series combining real-time performance and pre-arranged recordings, for this occasion in a subjectively-directed homage to Okkyung Lee. Another new work is created from acoustic recordings of the historic and electronically-defunct RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer, housed at the Computer Music Center of Columbia University.

Monday, October 26, 8 PM
55 Walker Street
Free ($10 suggested donation)

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6) Patterns of Public Protest in China in the Past Forty Decades – Dingxin Zhao, Max Palevsky Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago.  Moderated by Yao Lu, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

Thursday, October 29, 4 PM
Room 918, International Affairs Building, Columbia University
Free

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7) Xu Xing and His Independent Films in China – Moderated by Ying Qian, Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University.  More on Xu Xing.

Thursday, October 29, 6 PM
Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
Free


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) The Assassin 《刺客聶隱娘》 

Hou Hsiao-Hsien
2015 | 105 minutes | Taiwan/China/Hong Kong
Mandarin with English subtitles

A wuxia like no other, The Assassin is set in the waning years of the Tang Dynasty when provincial rulers are challenging the power of the royal court. Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi), who was exiled as a child so that her betrothed could make a more politically advantageous match, has been trained as an assassin for hire. Her mission is to destroy her former fiancé (Chang Chen). But worry not about the plot, which is as old as the jagged mountains and deep forests that bear witness to the cycles of power and as elusive as the mists that surround them. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s art is in the telling. The film is immersive and ephemeral, sensuous and spare, and as gloriously beautiful in its candle-lit sumptuous red and gold decor as Hou’s 1998 masterpiece, Flowers of Shanghai. As for the fight scenes, they’re over almost before you realize they’ve happened, but they will stay in your mind’s eye forever.

Best Director, Cannes Film Festival

Official selection: New York Film Festival

Opened at IFC October 16.

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2) Goodbye Mr. Loser 《夏洛特烦恼》

Peng Damo, Yan Fei
2015 | 104 minutes | China
Mandarin with English subtitles

Comedians Shen Teng and Mai Li star in this film adaptation of the very popular Mainland theater play following the story of a middle-aged loser who finds himself magically transported back to his high school years, enabling him to fix all his life’s mistakes.

Opened at AMC Empire 25 on October 9

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3) Lost in Hong Kong 《港囧》

Zheng Xu
2015 | 113 minutes | China
Mandarin with English subtitles

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.


Exhibitions

In addition to the below the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program welcomes visitors to their Open Studio weekend.  Stop by and visit the studios of Cui Fei and Xin Song.

Thursday, October 22rd, 6 – 10 pm (opening night)
Friday, October 23th, 6 – 9pm
Saturday, October 24th, 1 – 6pm

Just added and opening:

1) Schutze Stone – One Buck Mobile Art Show #bigmoneybigart (mobile gallery, 10/24 – 12/23) – This non-profit art project launched by artist Schutze Stone (石村) showcases his oil painting series, E pluribus unum (one out of many) on a mobile gallery that will tour all landmarks of NYC.

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2) Helen Lee – Becloud (Agnes Varis Art Center, 9/16 – 11/7) – Helen Lee has described the content of the works in Becloud as bearing “sentiment on the cusp of visibility.” The act of taking in every detail is a challenge, but it’s not impossible: visitors are invited to linger and scrutinize these objects more intently than they might ordinarily do in a gallery setting. The word “becloud” means to “cause to become obscure or muddled.” Lee’s choice of this word asks us to consider the multiple ways in which her works transmit information through different kinds of semi-permeable barriers: heritage and love through culture and family, language and meaning through the written word, and the aesthetic and ineffable through glass and light.

The works in this exhibition, taken together, are the physical manifestations of Lee’s attempt to make tangible the dual experiences that have shaped her world: dead and living, Chinese and American, Mandarin and English. Her mastery of glass as a studio material dovetails with this aesthetic longing perfectly.

Many of the works in Becloud playfully engage with text and type. The neon work OMG depicts the Mandarin characters that read wo de tian, which translates literally as “my day”—the expression contemporary Chinese speakers use in situations where an American would say (or type) the acronym “OMG.” Rendered here in pink neon, the text resembles retail signage. In this installation, these electrified words serve as a welcoming beacon, inviting viewers to step into a space where something intriguing is on view, while not making it initially clear what that something might be.

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Closing soon:

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

Ying Dai – Magic Cube (Asian Fusion Gallery, 15 E. 40th Street, 12th Floor, 10/17 – 10/24)

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

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Retina of the Unconscious I (The Sylvia Wald + Po Kim Gallery, 10/1 – 10/24)

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Retina of the Unconscious II (inCube Arts SPACE, 10/2 – 10/24)

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Architectural Landscapes: SEA in the Forefront (Queens Museum 10/3 – 10/31)

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

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.

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

Ying Dai – Magic Cube (Asian Fusion Gallery, 15 E. 40th Street, 12th Floor, 10/17 – 10/24)

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

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Retina of the Unconscious I (The Sylvia Wald + Po Kim Gallery, 10/1 – 10/24)

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Retina of the Unconscious II (inCube Arts SPACE, 10/2 – 10/24)

inToAsia: Time-based Art Festival – Architectural Landscapes: SEA in the Forefront (Queens Museum 10/3 – 10/31)

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

Helen Lee – Becloud (Agnes Varis Art Center, 9/16 – 11/7)

Lee Mingwei – Sonic Bloom (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/30 – 11/8)

Yu Lik Wai – It’s a Bright Guilty World (WhiteBox, 10/8 – 11/8)

Chen Wenbo (陈文波): The Fat Years《盛世华年》– (Klein Sun Gallery, 10/14 – 11/14)

Li Liao (李燎): Attacking the Boxer from Behind is Forbidden 《严禁在背后袭击拳手》(Klein Sun Gallery, 10/14 – 11/14)

MINIMAX (abastraction for lack of a better determination) (Bullet Space, 292 E. 3rd Street, 10/16 – 11/22)

Chinese American Arts Council 40th Anniversary Show (Gallery 456, 10/30 – 12/4)

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

Body Politics (Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 10/15 – 12/11)

Schutze Stone – One Buck Mobile Art Show #bigmoneybigart (mobile gallery, 10/24 – 12/23)

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: Zhang Hongtu – Ping-Pong Mao (1995).  Photo by Andrew Shiue