NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: April 8 – April 14, 2016

Photo Dec 29, 3 12 23 PM

We decided to put exhibition openings back on the main events section to highlight them and because sometimes we include new exhibitions before a week before they open, in which case their openings won’t be mentioned in the post for the week during which they happen.

We realized that we made two mistakes with exhibition listings in the past few weeks.  First, we noticed we did not include Contemporary Photography Asian Perspectives in the listings after we introduced it as a new exhibition a few weeks ago.  Secondly, the closing date for MARKING 2: Drawings by Contemporary Artists from Asia was incorrectly noted as April 3 instead of April 30.  Both errors have been fixed.

This week: The Old School Kung Fu Fest, photographers talk about their projects in Guangzhou’s African neighborhoods, an eccentric fashion designer, a gallery tour and afternoon tea, documentaries that take us to Xinjiang and Mongolia, artExpo New York, and more…

Coming up:

The Hong Kong Contemporary Film Festival will run from April 22 – 24.

A lecture about the famous Rongbaozhai Art House which was established in 1672.

A discussion about China’s economic future with leading scholars.

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

We post frequently on our Facebook page.   So check the page for links we share and get a heads up on events before we include them in these weekly posts.  Take a look also at our Instagram page.

If you’re interested in contributing to Beyond Chinatown, whether writing an article, contributing photos or artwork to be featured with our weekly events and exhibitions listing, letting us know about an event, send an email to

This week’s events

1) ChinaFile Presents: Inside Lens, Documentary Films from China – In collaboration with the News and Documentary program at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, ChinaFile, the online magazine of Asia Society’s Center on U.S. China Relations, will present a public screening and discussion of two films by young directors from China.

Fairy Tales, directed and produced by Rongfei Guo, is a short about “Fairy” Wang, a working-class woman from rural China who hopes to become a famous fashion designer. After posting her eccentric designs to the Chinese social media platform Weibo, she becomes an overnight Internet celebrity. But her fame comes at a price.

Rootless, directed and produced by Alice Xue Yu, is the true story of an Inner Mongolian mother who lives a double life for her young son. Caught between tradition and modernity, she leaves her grassland home for better schools in the city.

The one-time public screenings for these two documentary shorts will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Guo and Yu; Marcia Rock, director of the News and Documentary program; and David M. Barreda, visuals editor for ChinaFile.

Friday, April 8, 6:30 PM
Tune in to the webcast of the discussion at approximately 7:30 PM
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required


2) 6th Old School Kung Fu Fest – “A three-day barrage of the rarest, wildest, and most incredible classic martial arts and action movies.” This year showcases films from Golden Harvest, a HK studio that rivaled Shaw Brothers and became one of the most important studios in the Hong Kong film industry in the 80s and 90s.

Visit the festival page for more information about the studio, the films, and their screening times.

Films include:

Big Bullet 《衝鋒隊─怒火街頭》
The Blade 《刀》
Enter the Dragon 《龍爭虎鬥》
The Man from Hong Kong (aka The Dragon Files) 《直搗黃龍》
Pedicab Driver 《群龍戲鳳》
The Prodigal Son (aka Pull No Punches) 《敗家仔》
Rumble in the Bronx 《紅番區》
A Terra-cotta Warrior 《秦俑》

Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street
$15/General Admission; $12/Senior, Child, Matinee


3) A Letter to Future Children 《給親愛的孩子》– This documentary reveals how Taiwan’s native forests are being crudely severed and damaged by logging and aims to preserve the history of the forests.

Friday, April 8, 7:30 PM
Taiwan Center NY, 137-44 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$10/Presale; $15/Door


4) Fou Gallery Spring Exhibition Tour and Afternoon Tea Party – In collaboration with Peking University Alumni Association of Greater New York and Peking University Guanghua School of Management Alumni Association, Fou Gallery co-founder Echo He leads a tour of the current exhibition ‘A Piece of Paper’. Artists Michael Eade, Zhangbolong Liu, and Zhe Zhu will join for conversation at afternoon tea party in the gallery where guests can enjoy handmade desserts and exchange thoughts on art appreciation and art collecting.

Saturday, April 9, 3 PM
Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn
$20/Ticket and RSVP


5) Poet on a Business Trip 《诗人出差了》 – Originally shot back in September of 2002, this lo-fi, black-and-white adventure across China’s remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is both bawdy and astute. First seen mid-coitus in Beijing, the titular scribe Shu decides to go on a “business trip”—which consists of drinking, eating, and chewing the fat with truck drivers and fellow bus passengers in seedy barbecue joints and hotels. Against inhospitable, scarcely populated plateaus and bumpy roads, his experiences yield 16 poems that sardonically capture his journey. Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Jeonju International Film Festival.

Screens as part of Film Society Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real documentary series.

Dir. Ju Anqi
103 minutes, 2015, China
In Mandarin and Uyghur with English subtitles

The New York Times wrote about the film last year.

Saturday, April 9, 8 PM
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, West 65th Street
$14/General Public; $11/Affiliate, Senior, Student


6) Africa in China – Photographs from Guangzhou’s Little North Road  – As China’s power and reach have grown, it has become a new center of gravity pulling people from remote lands. Guangzhou has become a magnet for Africans and other groups who have come in search of opportunity and to trade in the goods produced in the Pearl River Delta.

To mark the publication of his new book in the United States, photographer Daniel Traub will present images from Little North Road, that combines photography with essays by academics and art critics, and attempts to unravel some of the obvious and other less obvious questions, such as: Are the subjects imposing on the image-takers a specific African portrait tradition? Or are the circumstances on this bridge in Guangzhou more revealing of the personalities and aesthetics of the two image-makers? In this era of the “selfie,” why are individuals choosing to stop and pose for a portrait?

At the heart of this book is a selection of images collected from two Chinese itinerant portrait photographers, Wu Yong Fu and Zeng Xian Fang. Equipped with digital cameras, they have made a living making portraits for Africans and other groups who wanted a memento of their time in China. Traub’s photographs on the bridge and immediate vicinity explore the broader dynamics of the area and provide a context through which to see these portraits.

Come see the portrait work that co-editor Robert Pledge describes as “images that express the openness, self-confidence, and optimism of a little-acknowledged group that chose to overcome any measure of cultural prejudice it would encounter and immerse itself in another ancient culture with similarly deeply rooted rural and community-driven traditions.”

Traub and Pledge will be joined in discussion by Associate Professor C. Jama Adams of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and David M. Barreda, Visual Editor at ChinaFile.

Monday, April 11, 6:30 PM
The event will also be webcast
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required


7) Herstory Opening Reception – The multimedia exhibition dedicated to the triumphs of Chinese American women opens with performances by pianist Joy Chi Wang, vocalist Chien-Lun Clare Lee, and dancer Chia-Chun Jessica Hu.

Tuesday, April 12, 7 PM
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 1 E. 42nd Street
Free, but RSVP


8) First Monday in May – Follow the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition, by curator Andrew Bolton. With unprecedented access, director Andrew Rossi captures the collision of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala, and dives into the debate about whether fashion should be viewed as art.

Dir. Andrew Rossi
91 minutes, 2016, USA

Screens as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tuesday, April 13, 7 PM
Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Chambers Street
Rush tickets only

Thursday, April 14, 9 PM
Regal Cinemas Battery Park
Rush tickets only


9) How Much? – Reimagining Contemporary Jewelry Opening Reception – Opening reception for new exhibition which includes art duo He and Hu.  See below for exhibition description.

Thursday, April 14, 6 PM
Chinatown Soup, 168 Orchard Street


10) artexpo New York – Huayuan Art will exhibit recreations of Dunhuang cave paintings, thangkas, Suzhou embroideries and other unique art pieces at the two largest booths at the fair. Other exhibitors of Chinese art include Beijing Caiyuxuan Gallery, Beiming Shi, Eddy Shen, Qing Art Gallery, Waqian Sun Art, and Liane Chu.

Wang Lihua (王丽华) – ‘A Bride in Tashkurgan’ 《塔什库尔干的新娘》

Thursday, April 14 – Sunday, April 17
Pier 94
$20/General Admission; $15/Senior and Student

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Chongqing Hotpot – After a preamble involving masked bankrobbers, our Chongqing potbolier settles into the story of three old schoolfriends (and former boy-band wannabes, naturally), now business partners who want to offload a dud restaurant built into one of the titluar city’s warren of underground caves. Embarking on some illegal renos, the trio accidentally blasts a hole through the floor of the bank next door; rather conveniently for Liu Bo (Chen Kun), who’s racked up a huge gambling debt with the psychopathic Brother Seven. (The Georgia Straight)

The Hollywood Reporter says “Chongqing Hot Pot is a crowd-pleaser, hitting all the right beats and loaded with stylistic conventions familiar to anyone who has seen Ning’s Crazy Stone or anything by Park Chan-wook.”

At AMC Empire 25

Current Art Exhibitions

Opening and newly added:

1) How Much? (Chinatown Soup, 4/12 – 4/24) – How Much? aims to recreate the system of value that governs the medium of contemporary jewelry in NYC by redefining the relationship that commodity materials have to the medium.  Challenging the notion of value in craft practice, the exhibition will explore the wearable-unwearable and utilitarian craft practice in a new frame.  This exhibition will question notions of value awarded to particular commodity materials such as gold and silver while simultaneously assigning new values to “valueless” materials through the expression of jewelry as an art practice rather than as a traditional craft practice rooted in the technical.  The exhibition includes duo He and Hu whose Propriety performance piece was part of the Hello Kongzi fair at Grand Central Terminal


Closing soon:

James Wong – Invasion of the Pods (Gallery 456, 3/10 – 4/15)

Qiu Xiaofei – Double Pendulum (Pace Gallery, 25th St, 3/11 – 4/23)

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

Woods (Cloud Gallery, opened 3/30)

James Wong – Invasion of the Pods (Gallery 456, 3/10 – 4/15)

Qiu Xiaofei – Double Pendulum (Pace Gallery, 25th St, 3/11 – 4/23)

How Much? (Chinatown Soup, 4/12 – 4/24)

Contemporary Photography Asian Perspectives (Laurence Miller Gallery, 3/10 – 4/30)

HerStory Chinese American Women — 165 Years of Struggle and Success (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 4/1 – 4/30)

MARKING 2: Drawings by Contemporary Artists from Asia (Art Projects International, 3/3 – 4/30)

Taca Sui (塔可) – Steles – Huang Yi Project 《碑錄—黄易计划》 (Chambers Fine Art, 3/31 – 5/28)

Chinese Textiles Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8/15/15 – 6/19/16)

Chinese Lacquer Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th–18th Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8/15/15 – 6/19/16)

Cao Fei (MoMA PS1, 4/3 – 8/31)

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/31/15 – 10/11/16)

Lead image: Kitchen script.   Photo by Andrew Shiue