NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: April 15 – April 21, 2016

Goofy at Hong Kong Disneyland
[Update: the event with Zhang Yimou has been postponed to the fall]

This week: Learn about China’s first emperor; a symposium on Taiwanese film; a conversation with Zhang Yimou; Silk Road murals and Suzhou embroidery; a play about economic and gender disparity in contemporary China; local Chinese jazz singer Annie Chen; a photo exhibition by young emerging photographers; a workshop on Chinese ink painting; and more…

Coming up:

April 22 – 24: The Hong Kong Contemporary Film Festival will bring video art, shorts, and feature length films to downtown  Manhattan.

April 22: The Queens International Night Market opens for the season.

April 27 – Cai Guo-Qiang at Japan Society.

April 28: Taiwan history documentary film series begins with the film Attabu 《阿罩霧風雲》.

May 6 – May 22 – Yangtze Repertory Theatre stages Midnight Kill, an original play by Co-artistic Director K.K. Wong that is based on an actual murder story that occurred during the Cultural Revolution in a mountain hamlet that where he lived.

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) 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.  See our coverage of their display here. 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》

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


2) Two Easts: Chinese Photographers in America – Two Easts derives its ditle from two notions of the East — one that is geographic and the other hypothetical (devoid of the West).  It will feature both conceptual and documentary works by emerging Chinese photographers in America. By showing works in China and in America, the show hopes to explore how their East and West selves are reflected through their aesthetic and conceptual works.

Features artists Yuan Fang, Effy Jiang, Sharon Peng, Shiqi Shen, Jiajun Wang, and Joyce Lanxin Zhao.

Curated by Felix Hoyuen Chan and Davis Yujing Chen

Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17.  Opening reception 8:30 PM, April 15
103 Allen St. Gallery, 103 Allen Street


3) Annie Chen Sextet at Cornelia Street Cafe – Jazz singer Annie Chen performs original compositions with her sextet in Greenwich Village.

Friday, April 15, 6 PM
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street
$9/Admission (includes one drink)


4) The World of Extreme Happiness – Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play on the economic and gender disparities in modern China.

When Sunny is born in rural China, her parents leave her in a slop bucket to die because she’s not a boy. She survives, and at age 14 leaves for the city, where she finds work in a factory and attends self-help classes in pursuit of a coveted office position. But when Sunny’s attempts at self-improvement lead to calamitous consequences for a fellow worker, she questions the system she’s spent her life trying to master. Savage, tragic and desperately funny, The World of Extreme Happiness is a provocative examination of individuals struggling to shape their destinies amid China’s dizzying economic transformation.

Here’s a review from The New York Times.

Friday, April 15, 7 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2 PM and 7 PM
Aaron Davis Hall, 138 Convent Avenue
$2/Admission (Sold out, but rush tickets available)


5) The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter 《五郎八卦棍》– The legendary Gordon Liu is the avowed pacifist son of an imperial clan driven to take revenge on those who have slaughtered his family in one of the all-time greatest kung-fu movies.

Friday, April 15, 9:35 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street
$15/Admission; $12/Senior and Child


6) Ping Pong Coach《乒乓》– Fifteen-year-old Tsi-An has fallen in love with her ping pong coach, who happens to be her best friend’s father. She asks for private lessons with the hope of getting close to him.

Dir. Yi Liu
15 min., USA/Taiwan, 2016P

Plays as part of Shorts in Competition: Student program

Saturday, April 16, 2:45 PM
Monday, April 18, 2: 45 PM
Tuesday, April 19, 8:45 PM
Regal Cinemas Battery Park


7) Conversation with Zhang Yimou – Lening Liu, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, talks with famed director Zhang Yimou.

Monday, April 18, 2 PM
James Madison Room, Columbia University Club of New York


8) Living Memory: Screening of Lucky Chow with Danielle Chang – How has Asian Cuisine transformed the landscape of food in the United States? Enjoy a screening of Lucky Chow and follow LUCKYRICE culinary festival founder Danielle Chang as she tastes, explores, and learns about a variety of Asian food – from ramen, to kimchi, to dim sum.

Tuesday, April 19, 6 PM
Queens Library at Flushing, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing


9) ChinaFile Presents: The End of China’s Economic Miracle? A Discussion with ‘Financial Times’ Writers – For decades, China’s economic growth has awed the world. But over the past year in particular, declining growth rates, precipitous plunges in the stock market, and uncertainty over the speed with which China’s leaders will carry out reforms are causing many observers to question whether China’s boom years are coming to an end. The Financial Times has covered the China slowdown closely, most recently with an original short documentary film, “The End of the Chinese Miracle“. The film shows how rural to urban migration—one of the chief engines of China’s explosive growth—has slowed significantly, manufacturing wages are on the rise, and international factories are beginning to relocate to countries with cheaper, more plentiful labor.

Join Financial Times Asia Editor Jamil Anderlini; former Washington and Beijing Bureau Chief Richard McGregor; Beijing Economics Correspondent Yuan Yang; and financier, philanthropist, and frequent Financial Times columnist George Soros for a discussion of these changes and a look at China’s economic prospects in the coming years, moderated by Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations Orville Schell

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 PM
The event will also be webcast
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
Free, but RSVP required


10) The Legend of the Rongbaozhai Art House – Jointly with the Confucius Institute at SUNY Global Center, the Renwen Society presents a lecture on the legendary history of the Rongbaozhai Art House (榮寶齋). Established in 1672 in Beijing, Rongbaozhai is China’s leading art house in exhibition, art education, painting and calligraphy, painting tools trade, woodblock printing, binding and mounting, publishing, printing and auction. The lecture will be given by two master art directors of Rongbaozhai: Mr. Lei Zhenfang and Mr. Zhang Xuguang.

The lecture is in both English and Chinese.

Thursday, April 21, 6 PM
SUNY Global Center, 116 East 55th Street


11) Chinese Art Night – Artists Dongze Huo, a RE:ARTISTE exhibiting artist at Soho Photo Gallery, and finalist of the “Show Your World” international art competition, and Miao Zhao will talk about and lead a workshop on Chinese ink painting.Meeting up in Downtown for trying Chinese Ink Painting!  You don’t need to be an artist to take part in our Chinese Art Night.

Thursday, April 21, 6:30 PM
Soho Photo Gallery, 15 White Street
$20/Admission (includes materials)


12) China’s Great Emperors –  Nancy Steinhardt, Professor, East Asian Art, University of Pennsylvania; Curator of Chinese Art, Penn Museum, will discuss Qin Shi Huangdi and his Qin Dynasty in the first installment of a six-session lecture series that will explore the history of imperial China through the lives of some of its most fascinating emperors.

Thursday, April 21, 6:30 PM
China Institute, 100 Washington Street
$15/Non-members; $10/Members (Full series: $75/Non-members; $50/Members)


13) Taiwan Cinema: Yesterday and Today  – A symposium and film screenings in cooperation with Columbia University and Taipei Cultural Center celebrating the release of An Annotated Bibliography for Taiwan Film Studies edited by Jim Cheng, James Wicks, and Sachie Noguchi.

The reception for book release at 5:30 on Thursday at Taipei Cultural Center, 1 E. 42nd Street

Thursday, April 21 – Friday, April 22
Room 203, Butler Library, Room 203

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) Face to Face: Regina Bogat, Wang Keping (Gallery Zurcher, 3/10 – 4/29) – Exhibition will show new sculptures by Wang Keping (王克平), one of the founders of Xing Xing, the first group of “nonconformist” Chinese artists.

Wang Keping ' 'Reclining Woman', 2016, Elm, 20.9 x 21.2 x 9.4 in.

Wang Keping ‘ ‘Reclining Woman’, 2016, Elm, 20.9 x 21.2 x 9.4 in.

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)

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)

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: Goofy at Hong Kong Disneyland.   Photo by Andrew Shiue