Events and Exhibitions: November 13 – November 19, 2015

Food from Xi’an

We saw Zheng Mahler’s New York Post- et Préfiguratif (Before and After New York) on Thursday evening and were moved by the layers of storytelling and interaction of the two characters.   If you’re interested in more abstract and experimental theater, you will enjoy it.

China Institute’s series featuring the works of Xie Fei and Zheng Dasheng continues.  Flushing Town Hall jumps in on the fun with two films by the directors as well.  House of Flying Boobsa “conceptual cabaret of collaborative projects among visual, performance, and performing artists. Opera, theatre, burlesque and contemporary dance”, is back for a second night.

Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew sold out performance at the Met will be broadcast live on Q2 Music.  Taiwan’s U-Theatre opens its run at BAM.  On the Rim of the Sky about a documentary about a dedicated teacher in rural Sichuan, and C. Spencer Yeh screens his films.

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) Between Mao and McCarthy: Chinese American Politics In The Cold War – During the Cold War, Chinese Americans struggled to gain political influence in the United States. Considered potentially sympathetic to communism, their communities attracted substantial public and government scrutiny, particularly in San Francisco and New York.

Between Mao and McCarthy looks at the divergent ways that Chinese Americans in these two cities balanced domestic and international pressures during the tense Cold War era. On both coasts, Chinese Americans sought to gain political power and defend their civil rights, yet only the San Franciscans succeeded. Forging multiracial coalitions and encouraging voting and moderate activism, they avoided the deep divisions and factionalism that consumed their counterparts in New York. Drawing on extensive research in both Chinese- and English-language sources, Charlotte Brooks uncovers the complex, diverse, and surprisingly vibrant politics of an ethnic group trying to find its voice and flex its political muscle in Cold War America.

Friday, November 13, 6 PM
Asian American / Asian Research Institute – City University of New York, Room 1000, 25 West 43rd Street


2) New York Chinese Chorus: The Splendor of Blossoms 《花枝俏》– Founded in October 2009, a group of talented vocalists from China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia comes together to introduce and enhance the understanding of Chinese culture through a repertoire of folk songs, classical music as well as pop music. The New York Chinese Chorus will celebrate the season with flower-themed folk songs presented in the form of chorus, duet, solo or small ensemble.

Friday, November 13, 6 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
$30/Orchestra; $10/Balcony; $100/VIP (Reserved Table for 1, Wine & Snacks, Reception)


3) Zheng Mahler New York Post- et Préfiguratif (Before and After New York) – Working dually as artists and anthropologists, Hong Kong-based duo Zheng Mahler present New York Post- et Préfiguratif (Before and After New York), a multi-media performance that explores the shifting interplay of global economies and migration, drawing remarkable parallels between their fieldwork in Hong Kong [examining African traders in the city] and the experiences of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss who was exiled in New York in the 1940s.

Two figures are at the center of this story: Bull, a young East African businessman who worked from Chungking Mansions, an informal commercial center and gathering place for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and a Beijing Opera singer outfitted in traditional costume. The performance is staged as a conversation between the Bull, played by Kenyan-American actor Irungu Mutu, and a Beijing Opera singer, portrayed by Nuo An, a Chinese dancer currently based in New York, who performs excerpts from Day Job Opera Dreams, a piece based on the migration stories and work experiences of Beijing Opera singers living in New York written by Kuang-Yu Fong, executive director   of Chinese Theater Works. The performance is a visually and sonically lush Afro-Sino encounter between the characters.  The work’s syncretic narratives and melding of cultural expressions, as well as its traversal of time and space, imbues it with poignant reflections on Western modernity filtered through the prism of Asia and Africa at a time when the world is now experiencing the most intense flows of migration since World War Two.

Friday, November 13, 8 PM
Saturday, November 14, 8 PM
350 Broadway, Manhattan
$25, $20


4) Hwang Gallery’s 2nd Annual Arts Conference “Contemporary Art in China: Its Present and Future”  – This conference, conducted in Mandarin, attempts to examine the present trends and prospective directions of contemporary Chinese art from the standpoints of practicing artists as well as art historians and art critics. The contemporary art scene in China has garnered a certain amount of attention in recent years, not least because of the robust growths in the Chinese art market and the tremendous purchasing power demonstrated by Chinese art buyers in the global art world in recent years.

The conference also intends to take account of the economic facets of the Chinese art world, while also delving into deeper analyses of the stylistic differences of Chinese contemporary art compared to its Western counterpart and the unique cultural and political issues that inform the creative output of contemporary Chinese artists. By inviting discussion between experts of different art-related fields, the organizers hope to encourage a comprehensive and well-rounded discussion and to shed light upon the challenges and predicaments Chinese contemporary artists are facing and how and where to go from here.  Speakers include:

Wang, Jiazheng (王家增) – Deputy director and professor of the Painting Department in the School of Arts, Renmin University of China

Sui, Cheng (隋丞) – Executive deputy editor of the Chinese Engraving Magazine; Professor of the School of Arts, Shenzhen University

Zhang, Yingchao (張英超) – Associate professor of the Environmental Art Design Department, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts

Dr. Natalia S. Y. Fang (方秀雲) – Independent art historian and art critic; currently residing in England

Zhang, Feng (張峰) – Professor, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Sculptor;

Ho, Sin-Ying (何善影) – Associate professor of the Art Department, City University of New York; Deputy chair of Studio Art

Liu, Feng (劉峰) – Secretary-General of China Guanghua Foundation’s Think Tank

Each panel speaker are asked to produce a paper and will be given 30 minutes each to read his/her paper during the conference.

Saturday, November 14, 9 AM – 4 PM
Ben Hall 1F, Auditorium, St. John University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, Queens


5) Water Passion After St. Matthew – Tan Dun’s work isn’t just heard and seen, it is experienced—and his powerful Water Passion is experienced as never before when the Grammy– and Academy Award–winning Chinese composer stages the piece in the shadow of The Temple of Dendur. Originally written as a response to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, this astonishing work begins and ends with the sound of water emanating from seventeen illuminated, transparent bowls.

The performances are sold out, but Q2 Music will stream an audio of the concert live at 7 PM

Saturday, November 14, 2 PM
Saturday, November 14, 7 PM
Brooklyn Museum
$12/Adult; $7/Student & Senior; Free/MOCA Members


6) On the Rim of the Sky  – Located on the edge of a cliff in China’s Sichuan province, the village of Gulu has been isolated from the outside world for centuries. Everything changes when Bao, an idealistic young revolutionary, arrives with plans to modernize the village, beginning with its only school. This doesn’t sit well with Shen, who, despite the lack of credentials, has happily served as its teacher for over 25 years. Xu Hongjie’s expertly realized film captures an escalating clash between generations, ideologies and egos.

Dir. Hongjie Xu
101 minutes, 2014, Germany
In English and Chinese

Part of DOC NYC.

Sunday, November 15, 11:30 AM
IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue
$17/Adult; $15/Senior and Child; $14/Members


7) The Incorruptible Official Yu Cheng-Long aka The Inspector and the Prince 《廉吏于成龙》 – The general decline of opera films in China since the 1990s makes the award-winning The Inspector and the Prince a rare sample of its recent development. The film stages the Peking Opera performance of a legendary story about an incorruptible inspector from the Qing Dynasty, who must carry out his mission against scheming local officials and meet the Prince’s challenge of his own integrity and alcoholic tolerance! Though a studio commissioned mainstream production, the film was audaciously experimental at the hand of the young director Zheng Dasheng. It liberally complements the artificiality and conventionality of opera performance with an “alienation effect” that exposes cinematic devices, from camera work and editing to set design, lighting and musical

Dir. Zheng Dasheng
110 min, 2004, China
Mandarin with subtitles

Sunday, November 15, 2 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$7/General Admission; $5/Students, Flushing Town Hall, and Museum of the Moving Image Members


8) Woman Sesame Oil Maker aka Women from the Lake of Scented Souls《香魂女》– Xie Fei’s nuanced portrait of village life and the tensions between small town conventions and modernization centers on a mother (Siqin Gaowa) who runs a successful sesame oil mill while struggling to care for her family. Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.

In 1994, The New York Times said the film “cannot match the supreme visual mastery of Zhang Yimou’s films, but its own style is gratifyingly rich in detail. From the lotus blossoms on the lake to the ceremonial grandeur of a Chinese wedding, the film is gentle, moving and precise.”

Dir. Xie Fei
105 min, 1993, China
Mandarin with subtitles

Sunday, November 15, 5 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$7/General Admission; $5/Students, Flushing Town Hall, and Museum of the Moving Image Members


9) House of Flying Boobs – A conceptual cabaret of collaborative projects among visual, performance, and performing artists. Opera, theatre, burlesque and contemporary dance that burrow into a bewildering range of topics: the force of capitalism in Europe’s financial and humanitarian crisis; the sexual and political agency of women from the age of myth and biblical tales to Surrealism and the Cultural Revolution; the fabrication of discourse in the artist interview format. Featuring Nadim Abbas, Orit Ben-Shitrit (video artist/choreographer), Rainer Ganahl, Mary Notari (activist/stage actress), Tuo Wang, Mo Zhou (theatre/opera director), among other musicians, designers, composers, and performers.

Sunday, November 16, 6:30 PM
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
$15/Advance; $20/Door


10) Book Launch & Author Talk: Jeanne-Marie Gescher‘s All Under Heaven – In her new book, Jeanne-Marie Gescher argues that China’s greatest importance lies in a 5,000 year question about order: how can human beings live together in a big and complex world?

Weaving together the inspirations, ideas and dreams that have shaped the way China’s people have thought about order from the ancient past to the recent present, Jeanne-Marie explains how and why China’s question is at the heart of everything, not only in China but for the world at large.

Through an evening of readings and conversation, Jeanne-Marie will share the ideas of her book: All Under Heaven, China’s Dreams of Order

Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 PM
China Institute, 100 Washington Street


11) Fishing Luck 《等待飛魚》– The film Fishing Luck is set on Orchid Island from Taiwan, home to the Tao Indigenous People, and where nature and the Tao culture are well preserved. Images in this film are clean and show the audience this island’s spectacular and soothing natural scenery. It also showcases Tao cultural traditions like a tour guide, such as the Flying Fish Festival.

Part of the series “Discovering Taiwan”

Wednesday, November 18, 6:30 PM
Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York, 1 E 42nd St.


12) Black Snow 《本命年》 – Xie Fei’s realist masterpiece is the story of a young man (famed actor and director Jiang Wen), newly released from a labor camp, who attempts to navigate the rapidly changing Beijing of the late 1980s without getting dragged back into a life of crime. Cultural anthropologist Dr. Nancy Jervis will introduce the film.

Dir. Xie Fei
107 min, 1990, China
Mandarin with subtitles

Thursday, November 11, 6:30 PM
China Institute in America, 100 Washington Street
$10/Non-members; $8/Members


13) Beyond Time – U Theatre – Pitched gongs, thunderous taiko drums, nomadic chanting, and enlightened laughter score this multi-dimensional foray into temporal transcendence from Taiwan’s U-Theatre. Skirting material limits, bodies whirl with a controlled yet ineffable precision that combines martial arts mudras, contemporary dance, and Gurdjieffian movement practice, while imaging technology and projection render 4D rainfalls, eclipses, and full moons in shimmering blue light. Redoubled by mirrored flooring, the incomparable ensemble subverts the tyranny of time in this ceremonious, percussive vortex where void and substance, human and universe, mastery and wonder lead to sensuous spiritual awakening.

Thursday, November 19, 7:30 PM
Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Tickets start at $20


14) C. Spencer Yeh: Video On Demand – A brazen multidisciplinary artist who studied film history and theory, C. Spencer Yeh presents a program of two new moving image works combining diaristic and documentary footage as part of his Issue Project Room residency.

The recently completed Travelogue: Cairo Egypt crosses long takes and static shots captured via smartphone in a four-part composition exploring surveillance, chance composition, tourism, and politics. 2002 is a “concert film” that documents approximately forty bands and artists Yeh videotaped during the year 2002, including Deerhoof, Sightings, Sudden Infant, Cock ESP, Double Leopards, Caroliner Rainbow, Comets on Fire, Animal Collective, and others. These are two very different works that showcase Yeh’s unique perspective as an artist, organizer, and audience member.

Thursday, November 19, 8 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue
$10/General Admission; $8/Students

Ongoing Films and Show

1) The Last Woman Standing 《剩者为王》- Adapted from the book of the same name, The Last Woman Standing is a romantic film featuring Shu Qi and Eddie Peng. It tells the story of a successful business woman who has long desired to find love and has finally met the one. (Facet Film)

Opens at AMC Empire 25 November 13


2) 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

At IFC Center and Film Society Lincoln Center.


3) The Witness 《我是证人》– In this Chinese remake of the Korean film Blind, a blind girl and young boy accidentally become the witnesses to a rainy night kidnapping.  Their testimonies are entirely contradictory, but they collaborate to hunt down the murderer.

At AMC Empire 25


Just added and opening:

Let us know if there’s anything people need to see.

Closing soon:

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

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)

Zhang Huan – Let There Be Light (Pace Gallery, 11/30 – 12/5)

Poren Huang – The Dog’s Notes (Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, 11/7 – 12/6)

“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)

Samson Young – Pastoral Music (Team Gallery, 11/5 – 12/20)

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

Zeng Fanzhi – Paintings, Drawings, and Two Sculptures (Gagosian Gallery, 11/6 – 12/23)

The Art of Gene Luen Yang (Society of Illustrators, 11/10 – 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)

Martin Wong: Human Instamatic (11/4/15 – 2/14/16)

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

Chinese Textiles Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8/15/15 – 6/19/06)

Chinese Lacquer Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th–18th Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8/15/15 – 6/19/06)

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/31/15 – 10/11/06)

Lead image: Bowls filled with baked bread called mó (馍) to be used in a mutton stew called yángròupàomó (羊肉泡馍).  Taken in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an by Andrew Shiue