Events and Exhibitions: December 18 – December 24, 2015

Rainbow family village(彩虹眷村)-22

There are two four events this weekend that we just learned about, an opening reception for a weekend exhibition by Xinyi Cheng, a concert by folk singer Zhou Yunpeng who is on first ever US tour, and two concerts by the China National Orchestra (中国民族乐团) at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.*

We’re surprised that as big as The Force Awakens is, AMC Empire 25 is opening three Chinese films this weekend: a character piece starring director Feng Xiaogang (sometimes called the Steven Spielberg of China), one based on a popular online series, and finally one based on a best-selling novel.

We add listings to our 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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Happy holidays to all


Coming up this week…

1) Splendor of Folk Music –  The China National Orchestra showcases the masterpieces of symbolic Chinese music, ranging from traditional, folk, to modern styles, taking audiences vicariously to the great land of China, region by region. A series of new compositions composed by world-renowned composers will be performed by the world’s greatest Chinese musicians, who have not only expanded the traditional impressions of Chinese music, but also intensified the richness of the Chinese culture.

Friday, December 18, 7:30 PM
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center
Tickets begin at $20.

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2) Opening Reception for Xinyi Cheng – Swimming Hole – Xinyi Cheng likes to paint in a quiet, empty and well-lit room. She makes paintings based on memories of the summers in the mountains, in the woods and beaches.

Saturday, December 19, 6 – 9 PM
Practice, 111 Eldridge Street
Free

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3) Impressions & Rediscovery of Chinese Music – The China National Traditional Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall to showcase heritage works in a modern light. With traditional Chinese instrumentation, the orchestra’s repertoire of new and traditional works is a result of hundreds of commissioned works and arrangements. In recent years, the orchestra has pushed its boundaries by collaborating with composers, musicians, and a variety of artists to create a re-imagined Chinese musical experience. This concert features original compositions and arrangements by Jiang Ying.

Sunday, December 20, 8 PM
Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Tickets begin at $20

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4) Zhou Yunpeng (周云蓬) – Blind since the age of nine, singer, songwriter and poet, renowned Chinese folk musician Zhou Yunpeng performs for the first time in the United States.  Popular in music festival across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Europe, he has won numerous awards including Best Lyric and Best Folk Music by Chinese Music Awards in 2008 for the album “Chinese Children”; the  Poetry Prize by People’s Literature Magazine in 2011 for the poem “Love without speaking”; and Best Folk Musician by Chinese Media Music Awards for his album “Cattle and Sheep down the Mountain.”  His soundtrack for the 2012 film Beijing Blues earned him a Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Cinematography award in the 49th Taiwan Golden Horse Award.

Sunday, December 20, 8 PM
Baby’s All Right, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn
$15 – $20/Admission


Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Mr. Six 《老炮儿》– “In this unusually fight-skittish action-movie scenario, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang plays a reformed criminal struck by how much the codes of behavior have changed when his son is kidnapped.” (full review by Variety)

At AMC Empire 25

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2) Surprise 《万万没想到》- Based on an online comedy that has over 2 billion views, the film follows the day-to-day misadventures of a character called Dachui Wang as he navigates though various modern and classic situations.  The little monster Wang Dachui, who was born with sharp ears & simple magic, made him different from the ordinaries. The local monster king, he thought he was. But to his surprise, on the one hand, his fate has changed since the encounter with Tang Monk, Monkey King, Piggy & Sand Monk. On the other hand, the meeting with Wang Dachui also should have been the great 82nd disaster to the four.

At AMC Empire 25

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3) Mojin – The Lost Legend 《鬼吹灯之寻龙诀》– Based on a #1 best-selling novel in China, the film evokes Indiana Jones, The Mummy and National Treasure as it brings to the screen an epic fantasy adventure about a trio of legendary grave robbers, the Mojin, who are enjoying the retired civilian life hawking goods on the mean streets of New York City, until they are propositioned by a shadowy and mysterious client. They accept the job and return to their roots, raiding the secrets and treasures of ancient tombs in China under the guise of an archaeology study. As each hidden passage is unearthed, it triggers extraordinary challenges that put their friendship, loyalty and life to the ultimate test.

The New York Times thinks the film wastes the talents of Shu Qi who plays the titular role in The Assassin and The Sydney Morning Herald compares the cinematography to Peter Jackson’s  The Lord of the Rings trilogy but finds it disjointed overall.

At AMC Empire 25

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4) 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.

Review from The New York Times.

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

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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:

Xinyi Chen – Swimming Hole (Practice, 12/18 – 12/20) – Xinyi Cheng likes to paint in a quiet, empty and well-lit room. She makes paintings based on memories of the summers in the mountains, in the woods and beaches.

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Closing soon:

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

Jing Liang (梁靜) – What is Not Art (Hwang Gallery, 12/1 – 12/20)

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)

 

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.

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

Jing Liang (梁靜) – What is Not Art (Hwang Gallery, 12/1 – 12/20)

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

Xinyi Chen – Swimming Hole (Practice, 12/18 – 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)

Stanley Fung – Saint Anonymous (inCube Arts, 12/3 – 12/30)

The Arbitrary Art of Numbers (Made in NY Media Center, 12/3 – 12/31)

Zhangbolong Liu – The Absence and Presence of a Cat (ISCP, 12/12/15 – 1/8/16)

The Art of Guo Fengyi (Andrew Edlin Gallery, 12/12/15 – 1/31/16)

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

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

SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape (Museum of Chinese in America, 9/24 – 3/27/16)

Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968 (Museum of Chinese in America, 9/24/15 – 3/27/16)

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: Rainbow family village(彩虹眷村)-22, Taichung, Taiwan.  Photo by Steven Barringer, licensed through Creative Commons.  More on Rainbow Family Village at Atlas Obscura.

* The article was updated to include the two concerts by the China National Orchestra.