Events and Exhibitions: November 20 – November 26, 2015

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With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s a quieter week, but there’s still stuff happening this weekend.

In addition to the below, ceramic artist Lu Zhang, founder of Dusty World Pottery,  participates in the Made in Clay 2015 Handmade Holiday Sale on Saturday, November 21, 12 – 7 PM at Greenwich Pottery House, 16 Jones Street.  Stop by to see ceramic works by her and others.

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) The Grand Tour: Asia  – Toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan performs in the Astor Court in the Chinese galleries as part of The Grand Tour: Asia, gallery-based performances that connect the museum’s collection with classical and contemporary music from Asia.

Friday, November 20, 6 – 8:15 PM
Astor Court, Chinese Galleries, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Free with museum admission

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2) 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.

Friday, November 20, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 21, 7:30 PM
Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Tickets start at $20

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3) Office 《华丽上班族》– The latest work from Hong Kong’s leading genre filmmaker, Johnnie To, is presented for the first time in the U.S. in its original 3-D version. Starring two legends of the Hong Kong cinema, Chow Yun-fat and Sylvia Chang, and based on Chang’s stage play Design for Living, Office takes the surprising form of a low-key, Jacques Demy–like musical, with songs by the groundbreaking Taiwanese pop composer Lo Ta-yu. The action takes place on a highly stylized, multilevel set that suggests a neon-lit, cubist abstraction of a Hong Kong office tower. Chow and Chang are business partners and longtime lovers who find both their financial empire and their relationship endangered when the collapse of Lehman Brothers sets off a worldwide crisis. On the levels below, younger employees struggle with conflicting needs for love and advancement, financial success and personal happiness.

Directed by Johnnie To
China, 2015
117 min.

Variety calls the film “dazzling” and the A.V. Club says it is an “inspired musical” that “puts Hollywood’s recent attempts at reviving the musical to shame.”

Saturday, November 21, 8 PM
Museum of Modern Art
$12/Adult; $10/Senior; $8/Student

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4) Lecture and Demo – Pipa: Queen of the Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments – The speaker, Ms. Ma Lin is rated as one of the “ten top pipa players in China” by CCTV, having performed at many national and international concerts. She will discuss the history of pipa, techniques of pipa playing and the new role assumed by pipa in contemporary music. Ms. Ma will also play for the audience her representative works.

In Mandarin.

Sunday, November 22, 2 PM
China Institute, 100 Washington Street
Free/Members; $5/Non-members

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5) Percussion People 2015 – Music From China Youth Orchestra is the guest of Percussion People which celebrates its 10th year Off Broadway at the historic Players Theatre in the heart of Greenwich Village. This interactive family concert takes the audience on a journey through China with musical performance by young musicians playing Chinese instruments supported by percussion instruments such as drums, gongs and cymbals. Some special sounding percussion instruments even tell the tale of a Menacing Tiger – so beware! This family concert includes an instrument building workshop prior to the performance where audience members not only enjoy the music but help to create it.

Sunday, November 22, 2 PM
The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street
$35/General Admission ($25 with MFC discount code)

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6) BodyMemory New York Launch Reception – LittleE Studio founder Yi Zhou begins her residency at Flux Factory with her Body Memory “mobile clinic”.  BodyMemory is based on the hypothesis that the body itself is capable of storing memories, as opposed to just the brain. Based on this hypothesis, Yi created a series of duplicated cast models of human body parts that were transformed into accessories. This is especially meaningful for anyone who has special memories associated with that particular body part. There are many touching stories since the project launched: ‘Crossed Fingers’ gesture for daily good luck; girls casting their nipple/breast to have a record of their body in its prime; and perhaps the most touching of a mother and daughter holding hands together to freeze that moment in time.

Sunday, November 22, 3 PM
Flux Factory, 39-21, 29th Street, Long isalnd City
Free

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7) Autumn Bamboo – Composer Angel Lam premieres a new trio for shakuhachi, koto and cello at this concert featuring Shakuhachi virtuoso Akihito Obama with guests Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto and shamisen; James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi and Hikaru Tamaki, cello. A shakuhachi duo by Kento Iwasaki also have a premiere

Sunday, November 22, 4 PM
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W. 13th Street
$25/General admission; $15/Student and Seniors


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Double It! –  From internationally renowned Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng ( 陳士爭, director of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s Monkey: Journey to the West), a story straight out of your favorite comic book, hip-hop dance numbers, and a dazzling martial arts showcase choreographed by one of China’s foremost kung-fu experts. The story revolves around a normal super hero costume party that grows to resemble a living comic book, with performers transforming from everyday citizens into the mighty men and women they emulate. Part acrobatic super hero saga, part kinetic martial arts theater, Double It like nothing you’ve seen before.

November 24, 2015 – January 18, 2016
Baruch Performing Arts Center
$55/Admission; $25/Students

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2) A Journey Through Time with Anthony 《 陪安东尼度过漫长岁月》– Based on the novel by Anthony Ma, A Journey through Time with Anthony is a series of diary entries by Anthony (known as “the bunny”) which seems his life filled with twists and turns when he encounters his dream girl.

Review by The New York Times

At AMC Empire 25.

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3) Our Times 《我的少女時代》 – The big-screen debut of veteran Taiwanese TV drama producer Frankie Chen Yu-shan is a smartly cast, sweetly nostalgic teen romance with juvenile storytelling. Described as the woman’s version of You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011), the semi-autobiographical Asian blockbuster about the first love of author-helmer Giddens Ko, Our Times manages to portray young romance in all its awkward splendor but fails to live up to the narrative sophistication and emotional persuasiveness of the earlier film. Yet just when you prepare to down the last of the popcorn, screenwriter Sabrina Tseng springs a surprise or two that sets this romantic comedy apart from other syrupy boy-meets-girl numbers. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Review at Taipei Times

At AMC Empire 25

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4) The Last Woman Standing 《我的少女時代》- 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

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5) 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.


Exhibitions

Just added and opening:

Ling Jian (凌健): Nature Chain (自然链) (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/19 – 12/23) – For the past two decades, Ling has explored the complex portrayals of woman-as-subject in his oil paintings which are hybrids of Eastern and Western aesthetics. In Nature Chain an exhibition three years in the making, he further develops his observational style with large-scale commentaries on society’s obsession with beauty, desire and death.

Nature Chain comprises works wherein Ling presents hyper-realistic worlds destroyed by the idolatrous image in which they were created. At first glance, the women and sharks in his paintings appear superficially hollow, merely props for displays of zoological intercourse and commentary on the male gaze. Ling’s intent here, however, is to subvert these messages. The women in his “Siren” series are visions of contemporary beauty, but they are somehow distorted; the sharks are eerily anthropomorphized in their graceful sexual interplay.

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GAMA: Idylls of the Kings (诸王的花谷) (Chambers Fine Art, 10/29 – 12/19)  Painter GAMA was born into a nomadic Mongolian tribe whose lifestyle was closely in tune with the land and the changing seasons. His aunt was a prominent shaman in his community and his exposure to indigenous spiritual traditions at an early age continues to influence his artistic practice.  His new exhibition, “Idylls of the Kings,” invites us into a surreal world where human beings seem tiny and inconsequential in comparison to monumental, otherworldly natural wonders. (Hi-Fructose)

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

Closing soon:

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)

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.

 

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)

GAMA: Idylls of the Kings (诸王的花谷) (Chambers Fine Art, 10/29 – 12/19)

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)

Ling Jian (凌健): Nature Chain (自然链) (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/19 – 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 taken in Lijiang by Andrew Shiue