NYC Events and Exhibitions: February 12 – February 18, 2016


A Dream of Red Pavilions closes this weekend.  If you’ve always been curious about the book, be sure to see this adaptation.  If you’ve read the book, go see it anyway to see how it’s been adapted for the American stage.

Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart 《山河故人》 opens this week; an arts and culture organization communicates traditional Chinese values through Hello Kongzi at Times Square and Grand Central Terminal; Wei Xiaoguang talks about his exhibition at Fresh Window.  Chinese New Year events in NYC continue, gravitating us to Queens and Brooklyn.

Be sure to head over to FIREWALL pop-up Internet Cafe + Art Project, especially if you’re near Chinatown!

Coming up:

More Chinese New Year events

Museum of the Moving Image screens Manufactured Landscapes a film that follows photographer Edward Burtynsky through China as he captures finds beauty in the massive.

Xi’an Famous Food’s Lunar New Year Festival brings you music and food to support a good cause.

MOMA’s Doc Fortnight screens two Chinese documentaries.  Mr. Zhang Believes 《痴》 looks at the oft-forgotten history of the early years of the People’s Republic of China with insight and crafty wit.  Paths of the Soul (Kang Ringposhe) follows a group of Tibetans over the course of a year as they make a spiritual journey from their home village to Lhasa.

Firewall Cafe hosts a reception on February 21.

We add talks, films, performances, performances, exhibitions, featuring or relating to Chinese, Taiwanese, diasporic artists and topics to our event and ongoing exhibition calendars as we learn of them.

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This week’s events

1) Elegant Chinese Melodies of Spring and Love – John Thompson will play guqin melodies of spring and love as published in 15th and 16th century Chinese scores.

John Thompson has become the best known guqin player doing historically informed performance of early guqin melodies. His repertoire boasts of over 200 melodies reconstructed mostly from Ming dynasty tablature. Thompson’s website,, is generally acknowledged as the most detailed source of information on early guqin music.

Friday, February 11, 1 PM
Catham Square Library, 33 E. Broadway


2) Flushing Lunar New Year Parade – Flushing Chamber of Commerce hosts Queen’s biggest Chinese New Year event.

Saturday, February 13, 11 AM (Reception at 9 AM)
Begins at Union Street and 37th Avenue, Flushing


3) Chinese New Year Family Celebration: The Year of The Monkey – China Institute hosts dumpling making, paper cutting, and paper lantern workshops along with dance and martial arts performances, face painting, and storytelling.

Saturday, February 13, 11 AM – 3 PM
China Institute, 100 Washington Street
Workshops: Members: $10/Adults, $5/Children; Non-members: $15/Adults, $5/Children


4) Sunset Park Lunar New Year Parade – Brooklyn-Chinese American Association hosts the 29th annual parade in Brooklyn’s largest Chinatown.

Sunday, February 14, 12 PM
Begins at 8th Avenue and 50th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn


5) Lunar New Year Dance Sampler – Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with Asian dance and much more. Curated by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou, this year’s sampler will present demonstrations of dance from China, Korea, Taiwan, and India. Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at our box office starting two hours prior to the performance.

Sunday, February 14, 12 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office starting two hours prior to the performance.


6) Lucky in Love: Traditional Asian Wedding Dress Exhibition Opening Reception – Curated by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou of New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, this exhibition will feature women’s and men’s traditional wedding dress of Asia, including: Taiwan, China, Korea, India, and more. Explore how different cultures define beauty and ensure a lucky marriage union at one of the most important moments of our lives. Or simply dive into your own memory as you enjoy the reminiscent collection on display.

Sunday, February 14, 3 – 5 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office starting two hours prior to the performance.


7) 456 Forum Artist Talk – Wei Xiaoguang – In conjunction of Chinese tradition “Go Spring”, a site visit to Wei Xiaoguang’s solo exhibition, Humble, at Fresh Window Gallery in Bushwick will be 456 Forum’s first event for Monkey New Year. Artist Wei Xiaoguang will give a talk about his latest approaches and works. Some interesting places nearby are ideal spots for a perfect date too

Sunday, February 14, 3 – 4:30 PM
Fresh Window, 56 Bogart Street


8) Hello Kongzi, a Pop Up New Media Carnival – Our friends food-themed artists Wei He and NaiShu Hu of Avent Studio and interactive storyteller Yu-Ting Feng are part of this pop-up event at Times Square and Grand Central Terminal.

Hello Kongzi is the first Cultural Renewal program that uses cartoon images and to illustrate traditional culture and the teachings of the Great Sage: the five constant virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and sincerity.

Yu-Ting will set up a 360 degree 3D mapping installation in Vanderbilt Hall (East) at Grand Central Terminal.

He Wei and NaiShu Hu use their food art performance to create a connection and dialog between ancient Eastern philosophy and modern Western performing art language: “The art event presents an instantaneous interaction between people and food, restraint and desire, past and present. In Chinese history, dining is never only a purely sensory experience, but also a process of sharing respect and establishing trust. While accompanying with globalization, essence of dining become more personal and joyful. The show is seen as a reflection of a person’s propriety and personality.”

February 16
Times Square

February 17 – 18, 6 -9 PM
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal
RSVP Requested


9) HATCH Series x Spaces Opening Reception  – See new exhibitions listing below for description

Thursday, February 18, 5 PM
Spaces Long Island City 31-00 47th Avenue, 3rd Floor Long Island City


10) Zhong Biao (钟飙) – The Other Shore (彼岸) and Cai Dongdong (蔡东东) – Fountain  Opening Reception – See new exhibitions listing below for descriptions.

Thursday, February 18, 5 PM
Klein Sun Gallery

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) A Dream of Red Pavilions – Pan Asian Repertory Theatre presents Jeremy Tiang’s English-language adaptation of Cao Xueqin’s classic Chinese novel in a theater production directed by Tisa Chang and Lu Yu.  Interested in making this notoriously complex work accessible to both newcomers to Chinese literature and those familiar with it, Tiang worked directly from the Chinese text rather than an existing translation, focuses on the work’s central love story and theme of decline, and presents an impression of aristocratic life in 18th century China.

Red Pavillion

Photo by Michael Blase

January 23 – February 14.
Clurman Theatre, 412 West 42nd Street
$66.25/Regular; Discounts available for seniors, students, military personnel and veterans, theater industry members, and on Tuesdays.


2) FIREWALL, a pop-up Internet Cafe + Art Project – FIREWALL is a socially engaged research and interactive art project designed to foster public dialogue about Internet freedom. Video and installation artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, in collaboration with artist and technologist Dan Phiffer, invites residents and tourists of NYC to commune over free tea and Wi-fi at Chinatown Soup, a creative space on the border of New York City’s Lower East Side. FIREWALL enables participants to simultaneously search images on both Google in the U.S. and Baidu in China to investigate online censorship and manipulation of information between these two countries. In this cooperative performance, Lee explores a rapidly developing web culture, the nuances of language translation, and the notion that everything can be found on the Internet.

February 9 – March 6.  Reception February 21.
Chinatown Soup, 16B Orchard Street
Free [updated]


3) Mountains May Depart 《山河故人》 – The plot of Jia Zhangke’s new film is simplicity itself. Fenyang 1999, on the cusp of the capitalist explosion in China. Shen Tao (Zhao Tao) has two suitors—Zhang (Zhang Yi), an entrepreneur-to-be, and his best friend Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong), who makes his living in the local coal mine. Shen Tao decides, with a note of regret, to marry Zhang, a man with a future. Flash-forward 15 years: the couple’s son Dollar is paying a visit to his now-estranged mother, and everyone and everything seems to have grown more distant in time and space… and then further ahead in time, to even greater distances. Jia is modern cinema’s greatest poet of drift and the uncanny, slow-motion feeling of massive and inexorable change. Like his 2013 A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart is an epically scaled canvas. But wherethe former was angry and quietly terrifying,the latter is a heartbreaking prayer for the restoration of what has been lost in the name of progress. A Kino Lorber release.

Opens at Film Society Lincoln Center on February 12

4) Washer/Dryer – Ma-Yi Theater brings Nandita Shenoy’s comedy to the stage.  Sonya and Michael’s recent elopement in Vegas seemed like a dream come true for both of them until they try living together in Sonya’s Manhattan studio apartment. As they discover that they haven’t been entirely honest with each other or themselves, their secrets come home to roost along with an intrusive mother, the co-op’s strict Board president, a harsh best friend, and a fabulous washer-dryer. Mayhem ensues as the couple is forced to re-evaluate their relationship and decide whether all really is fair in love and real estate.


5)The New Year’s Eve of Old Lee 《过年好》 – When a father’s daughter returns home from Beijing with her own daughter during Chinese New Year, conflict breaks out across the three generations.

At AMC Empire 25


6) The Monkey King 2 《 西游记之孙悟空三打白骨精》 – This sequel to the immensely popular film replaces Donnie Yen with Aaron Kwok “pick[s] up with considerably more storytelling assurance and technical prowess than the first film demonstrated, Cheang and his army of writers dive into the action quickly, ensuring they leave room for actual character development and narrative cohesion this time around. Briskly paced with (mostly) strong visuals and the requisite gravity-defying action choreography (this time courtesy of Hong Kong martial-arts stalwart Sammo Hung), this Monkey King is one of the strongest entries into the long list of films and television series based on the literary classic by Wu Chengen.”  Read the full review at The Hollywood Reporter.

At AMC Empire 25.


7) From Vegas to Macau 3 《赌城风云III》 – A grand wedding ceremony is being held at a resort hotel in Macau. It is the wedding of Ken’s (Chow Yun Fat) daughter, Rainbow (Kimmy Tong) and his protege, Vincent (Shawn Yue). Ken’s close friends, Vic (John Chiang) and Mark (Nick Cheung) are also on the guest list. During the ceremony, Mark receives a call from his buddy, Michael Chan (Andy Lau), warning Mark that someone wants to kill Ken. And the intrigue begins! (AMC)

Review from Variety

At AMC Empire 25


8) IP Man 3 《叶问3》– Donnie Yen ignites the screen in a return to the role that made him an icon – as Ip Man, the real-life Wing Chun grandmaster who mentored Bruce Lee. In this explosive third installment of the blockbuster martial arts series, when a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer (Mike Tyson) make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. Fists will fly as some of the most incredible fight scenes ever filmed play out on the big screen in this soon-to-be genre classic.

Reviews from The Hollywood Reporter and A.V. Club

At AMC Empire 25 and IFC Center

Current Exhibitions

Just added and opening:

1) Ze Dong – Uneventful Duration (Miyako Yoshinaga, 2/11 – 2/20) – This solo exhibition by Chicago-based emerging artist Ze Dong features his latest video and photo works: By the Way (2015), and Events of Time II (2014), as well as a selection of his past works.

Uneventful Duration questions the pre-established time frame we strictly rely on, explores time in our physical and mental dimensions, and strives to expand the experience of time in compliance with memory and imagination.

By the Way is a 22-minute single channel audio/video piece presented with a series of black and white photographs along the wall.  This video is built upon the artist’s daily bus ride on the Michigan Avenue in Chicago—from home to school and back again, from north to south and back again—a meaningless transition so meagre in labor and effort that it can hardly be called a “journey.”  Shot from inside a moving bus, four windows stay in the same frame, and yet the views from each window are edited to show different time, place, and direction. Dong’s treatment of the subject evokes the viewer’s own similar experience in their daily life, in which imagination and memory may find their way through the minutest cracks in reality and even start to rebel against its limitation. To express the manipulation of time to the fullest, the video and photos will be placed side by side to make a contrast between movement and the unmovable.

In the domestic space of the artist’s apartment, Events of Time II, a 12:00 two-channel audiovisual piece, shows a woman returning home, making tea, and eating fruits while watching TV in a couch.  From the moment she enters the scene, the video seems to construct a storyline. But, soon multiple sequences overlap, and time is no longer measured by a single chain of her activities. The image on the screen becomes chaotic with the combination of happenings, even though they are

This exhibition is organized by independent curator, Yinzi Yi.


2) Fu Xiaotong (付小桐) – Land of Serenity (寂净之地) (Chambers Fine Art, 2/11 – 3/26) – Fu Xiaotang perforates xuan paper, used by traditional brush and ink painters and calligraphers, with countless needle holes to create scale images of mountains, rocks, and water.

She  is adamant in her refusal to mask the surface of the organic Xuan paper she so admires, choosing to reveal its qualities through excavating its surface with a needle hundreds of thousands of times. Over the last five years she has evolved a “language of the needle” consisting of five different ways of approaching the surface of the paper. Early on in the development of this technique, she only perforated the surface of the paper from directly above, but now she also approaches it from the reverse side and at an angle from the left and from the right. Each work is preceded by a detailed preliminary study in which the subject matter is broken down into a complex network of interlocking parts numbered one through five. By now she has such control over the use of the needle that she is able to visualize how different combinations of directional strokes result in convincing representations of rocks and water. Seen from close-up, the texture of her paper works resembles textiles or tapestries in the intricate interlocking of the multiple units of directional needle holes.

Tempting as it is to associate Fu’s use of the needle as a sophisticated update of traditional “women’s work,” it soon becomes apparent that her labor-intensive practice has as much in common with certain types of conceptually-based work. In choosing to title her works according to the number of pinpricks required – from 200,000 or so for a relatively small work to several million for a medium-size one – she calls attention to the procedure through which they are made, detracting from their apparent relationship to the culture-laden and possibly moribund tradition of Shan Shui (traditional Chinese landscape painting). Through her obsessive daily practice, she revitalizes a theme that has been so important throughout Chinese history.


3) Lucky in Love: Traditional Asian Wedding Dress Exhibition Opening Reception – Curated by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou of New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, this exhibition will feature women’s and men’s traditional wedding dress of Asia, including: Taiwan, China, Korea, India, and more. Explore how different cultures define beauty and ensure a lucky marriage union at one of the most important moments of our lives. Or simply dive into your own memory as you enjoy the reminiscent collection on display.


5) HATCH Series x Spaces (Spaces, 2/18 – 3/18) – Local artist collective hosts a group show featuring Michelle Carolina Levie, Jess Wu-Ohlson, Eduardo Palma, I-Hsuen Chen, and Ta Wei Huang.


6) Cai Dongdong (蔡东东) – Fountain (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/18 – 3/19) – A strange dissociative experience exists in the works that make up Fountain 泉. In these photo sculpture works – manipulated silver gelatin prints from which objects, like a tap or an arrow, protrude – memories of Cai’s bleak past, and of static images of China, are narrated by their physical deconstructions. The photographs are taken either from the artist’s own archives or are hand-developed negatives from the era of the Cultural Revolution, uniquely accessible to Cai due to his background.

The title is directly taken from Duchamp’s original parody of industrialist objectification – and although a urinal does not feature in Cai’s series, the pastoral well tap or the symbolically militant arrow are just as mockingly scathing in their commentaries on the separation of object and objectification. More explicitly, the very architecture of the pieces mixes traditional photography with contemporary structures.

By emphasizing the formalist properties of these mediums, Cai’s parody of a parody is much more than a superficial Dadaist dig at the way we view objects and art. Instead, he is nodding to the power of the image, a lesson he learned long ago when his first shots captured the faces of China’s military youths.


5) Zhong Biao (钟飙) – The Other Shore (彼岸) (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/18 – 3/19) Klein Sun Gallery, – Zhong Biao is a prominent contemporary painter known internationally for his hyper realistic interpretations of modern life. Maintaining a distance from the parameters of classical portraiture and composition, Zhong’s eye on the world seems a cynical one – his depictions of chaos and destruction are all consuming – yet symbols of purity prevail, proving the symbiotic relationships of opposites in life.

In The Other Shore,  Zhong presents new paintings that focus keenly on the co-existence of diverse cultures, whether with respect to geography or in ideology. Based on the Buddhist concept of pāramitā, in which pure virtues are nurtured with the intent of attaining enlightenment, the half-abstract paintings constantly strive to understand the other shore – that is, the other side of the story. References to terrorist attacks, the media and natural disasters comingle with figures of people expressing puzzlement, sadness, or wonder at the world, eyes looking upwards as their bodies literally take to the skies. As Chinese contemporary art critic Paul Manfredi wrote in an essay for the exhibition: “The blend of figural and abstract is broadly emblematic of Zhong’s work, both as a painter and a thinker. His goal is to use painting to challenge the limits of space and time which frame our experience.”


Closing soon:

Li Hongbo (李洪波) – Textbooks (教科书) (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/7 – 2/13)

Gao Rong (高蓉) – The Simple Line (棱与韧) (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/7 – 2/13)

Zhu Jinshi (朱金石) Exhibition (Blum & Poe, 1/7 – 2/13)

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

Wei Xiaoguang – Humble (Fresh Window, 1/22 – 2/21)

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

Li Hongbo (李洪波) – Textbooks (教科书) (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/7 – 2/13)

Gao Rong (高蓉) – The Simple Line (棱与韧) (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/7 – 2/13)

Zhu Jinshi (朱金石) Exhibition (Blum & Poe, 1/7 – 2/13)

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

Ze Dong – Uneventful Duration (Miyako Yoshinaga, 2/11 – 2/20)

Wei Xiaoguang – Humble (Fresh Window, 1/22 – 2/21)

Chung Sum (Fanky) Chak (翟松森) – Looking for Gold Mountain (456 Gallery, 1/29 – 2/26)

Phoenix Gallery Associate Members 2016 (Phoenix Gallery, 2/3 – 2/27)

The Real Thing (Flowers Gallery, 1/28 – 2/27)

Lucky in Love: Traditional Asian Wedding Dress Exhibition Opening Reception (Flushing Town Hall, 2/14 – 2/28)

Tango – Wake Up! (Carma Asian Tapas, 2/6 – 2/28)

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

Catalyst (Queens Museum, 10/3/15 – 2/28/16)

Cai Dongdong (蔡东东) – Fountain (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/18 – 3/19)

Zhong Biao (钟飙) – The Other Shore (彼岸) (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/18 – 3/19)

Fu Xiaotong (付小桐) – Land of Serenity (寂净之地) (Chambers Fine Art, 2/11 – 3/26)

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)

HATCH Series x Spaces (Spaces, 2/18 – 3/18)

The Eccentrics (Sculpture Center, 1/24 – 4/4)

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 from Ray Kwong’s Twitter feed

The post has been updated.