NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: May 13 – May 19, 2016


This week: Three music events that show the versatility of traditional Chinese instruments and the creativity of those performing; a play about being a foreigner; a chance to learn about the history of the Museum of Chinese in America; interpretative dance based on the lives of Chinese in the American South; a panel discussion to discuss the themes of immigration and cultural dislocation and another about resources for immigrant artists; and more…

Coming up:

May 20 – Taiwanese puppets.

May 21 – A documentary about artist Mu Xin.

May 22 – 15th Annual Passport to Taiwan Festival

May 23 – Wong Kar-wai at MoMA

May 23 – 29, Three film series of works by Jia Zhangke.

May 25 – A panel talk about Chinatown’s legacy of culinary diversity.

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) Christopher K. Ho – Grown Up Art Opening Reception  – See below for exhibition description.

Friday, May 13, 6 PM
Present Company, 254 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn


2) One Day We Become Whites Chapbook Launch Reading – This release and reading honors Chialun Chang and her first chapbook, One Day We Become Whites, published by No, Dear Magazine and Small Anchor Press (ND/SA). Chialun Chang is a visual artist and writer born in Taipei and now living in NYC. She is recipient of a 2015 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Fellowship from NYFA and a 2016 Emerging Writers Fellowship from Poets House.

The evening will feature poetry by Chialun Chang, B.C. Edwards, Krystal Languell, Emily Skillings, and Wendy Xu and will be a partially bilingual evening of poetry by contemporary poets living in New York City.

Friday, May 13, 6:30 PM
Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York, 1 East 42nd Street


3) South of Gold Mountain – H.T. Chen & Dancers present a choreographed interpretation based on the images and oral histories of the Chinese that settled in the southern states prior to WWII. Lesser known were the Chinese who came to the southern states to work on plantations, widen the Augusta Canal, or build the railroads. Starting from the diaspora that led the Chinese to the South, this piece is a collective journey of these individuals. Through the power of faith, tradition, work ethnic, as well as the bonds to other Chinese families in the South, these individuals experienced, endured, and overcame their hardships. South of Gold Mountain pays tribute to the livelihoods of Chinese grocers, laundries, restaurants, and those who persevered to quietly make a difference in the communities they lived in.

Visit here for a clip.

Friday, May 13, 7 PM
Saturday, May 14, 7 PM
70 Mulberry Street
$15/General admission; $10/Student and Senior


4) Mao, Monk, and Me – Jazz and avant-garde-inspired pipa player Min Xiao-Fen performs her project Mao, Monk, and Me as part of the New York Guitar Festival.

Born in the ancient capital of Nanjing, Min Xiao-Fen interweaves Chinese folk music, regional operas and Taoist music with the music of John Cage, jazz and blues. Her works transcend borders with their own brand of cutting-edge fusion. Min’s latest solo set Mao, Monk and Me features treatments of jazz standards by Thelonious Monk mixed with historical counterparts of Chinese music. Min was a little girl during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The reformed Beijing Operas and folk songs she heard from the many regions were dedicated to the workers and soldiers. After moving to the United States, once again she was inspired – this time by Thelonious Monk.

– “BluePipa” (Min Xiao-Fen)
– “Children’s Song”/“A Little Cowherder” (Thelonious Monk/Chinese Children song, arr. Min Xiao-Fen)
– “Ask Me Now” (Thelonious Monk, arr. Min Xiao-Fen)
– “Misterioso” (Thelonious Monk, arr. Min Xiao-Fen)
– “Raise Four” (Thelonious Monk, arr. Min Xiao-Fen)
– “Tan Tan, Chang Chang – Playing and Singing” (Min Xiao-Fen)

Saturday, May 14, 2 PM (Festival begins at 10 AM. Her set is scheduled for 2 PM.)
The Cloisters
Free with museum admission


5) Along the Yangtze River – Silk and Bamboo Music & Arts – Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze River, has played a critical role in the development of Chinese history and civilization. Throughout Chinese history, a rich musical culture flourished along its southern banks. Beginning in the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) the pipa travelled along the Silk Road from northwest China. When the pipa reached the Jiangnan region, its unique timbre blended with the melodious southern musical aesthetics. Through conversation and performance, pipa virtuoso Zhou Yi of the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society guides the audience through the diverse music of southern China. She is joined by master musicians of Silk and Bamboo music, Chinese folk singer/dancer, tanci (Suzhou musical storytelling), and kunqu (Chinese opera). From the ancient music of China to contemporary East/West works, Zhou Yi leads the audience on a journey through tradition and modernity.

Saturday, May 14, 7 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing
$16/General admission; $10/Senior, student, members


6) Planet Heart: A New Play by Hongyi Tian – An American who teaches English at a high school in Xi’an, China, and a Chinese who works in New York City. They’re in different countries, yet their journeys intersect and intertwine as they meet different people along the way. A play about family and being a foreigner, and, perhaps most importantly, about how we make sense of our existence as we journey through life.

Saturday, May 14, 7:30 PM
Signature Theatre Company, 480 W 42nd St
Free, but reservation required


7) 37th Annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration – Cultural organizations and performances.  Includes Remember 1892, The Chinese Exclusion Act a pop up traveling exhibit about infamous Chinese Exclusion Act that barred the entry of Chinese laborers at First Chinese Baptist Church, 21 Pell Street.

Sunday, May 15, 11 AM
Mott Street, south of Canal


8) Mapping Resources for Immigrant Artists  – The immigrant artist occupies a rich intersection of cultural practices.  This makes their vision a unique contribution to their adopted country.  As the global community grows more interconnected, arts organizations in New York City strive to recognize and support the cultural expression of immigrant experiences.  Come spend an evening learning about the specific resources available to the immigrant artist from funders, artists and the arts administrators from the Asian and Asian American community. Presented by Asian American Arts Alliance and Museum of Chinese in America.


Cecile Chong, Visual Artist
Hali Lee, Founder and Executive Director of Asian Women Giving Circle
Jason Tseng, Community Engagement Specialist at Fractured Atlas
Haowen Wang, Program Manager, Grants, at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council


Leslie Kuo, Development Officer for Exhibitions at the Jewish Museum

Tuesday, May 17, 7 PM
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street
$10/General admission; $5/Student and Senior; Free/Members


9) A Fresh Night at the Cornelia – The Triple (III) music group – Huqin soloist Feifei Yang and pipa soloist Jiaju Shen of FJ Music Fusion, and composer/pianist Li Zong will perform with singer-songwriter-guitarist Terre Roche and bassist Jay Anderson.

This is a musical journey weaving Eastern and Western music techniques, breaking the boundaries of traditional and modern Chinese music. The collaboration of three modern Chinese music practitioners – Jiaju Shen, Feifei Yang and Li Zong, allows musical instruments pipa, erhu, and piano to collide new sparks. This unique combination has paved the way for a new foundation of international musical language, and to lead the development of modern world music.

Tuesday,  May 17, 9:15 PM (Terre Roche and Jay Anderson will also perform at 8 PM)
The Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street
$10 cover with $10 minimum.  Reservations recommended


10) The Journey to Create: The Museum of Chinese in America – A conversation between Michael Frisch, professor emeritus of American Studies and History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and John Kuo Wei Tchen, founding director of NYU’s Asian/Pacific American Institute and co-founder of MOCA, that will highlight the museum’s path from its origins in the Chinatown History Project to the creation and opening of its newly expanded space, to the critical role it plays today in reshaping the understanding of the history of Chinese in America.

Thursday, May 19, 7 PM
Museum Of Chinese In America, 215 Centre Street
$10/Adult; $5/Student & Senior; Free/Members


11) Crossing Paths with…: Encounter at the BorderThe CROSSING PATHS WITH… Salon Series examines important issues relating to Chinese/American Culture and Arts. ”Encounter at the Border” will explore the theme of immigration and cultural dislocation as reflected in two contemporary theater productions.

Featured guests will include members of the production “Before and After New York,” commissioned by the PERFORMA 15 New Visual Art Performance Biennal: Royce Ng and Daisy Bisenieks (Zheng Mahler)– conceivers and directors and Nuo An and Irungu Mutu– performers
And members of the Chinese Theatre Works production “Day Jobs/Opera Dreams”:
Kuang Yu Fong– writer and director
Junling Wang– musician
Yuling Feng– performer
Moderated by: Stephen Kaplin

Thursday, May 19, 7 PM
The Culture Center, 410 Columbus Avenue

Ongoing Films and Shows

1) Paths of the Soul 《冈仁波齐》– A group of Tibetans of all ages and from different families join together to make a pilgrimage from their home village to Lhasa, and around sacred Mount Kailash. Each makes the spiritual journey for their own reasons—one man, now elderly, may never have another opportunity, and a younger man seeks to change his fate. Over the course of an arduous trek that requires prostration after every few steps, they encounter many obstacles—a broken tractor, snow, exhaustion, sickness, a birth—but the ordeal never breaks their communal resolve. This unique blend of fiction and documentary uses real events to inform its dramatic storyline.

May 13 – 19 at MoMA


2) Kill Zone 2 《殺破狼 2》 – Winner for best action choreography at last year’s Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, this over-the-top, wildly entertaining thriller stars action superstars Tony Jaa (out of retirement after a stint as a Buddhist monk!) and Zhang Jin in a breakneck series of inventive, astonishingly choreographed, bone-crunching set pieces. Directed by Pou-soi Cheang, a longtime collaborator of Johnnie To, this giddy follow-up (not sequel) to the modern martial arts epic Kill Zone is a frenetic symphony of dirty cops, prison riots, and black-market organ transplants, providing an increasingly rare jolt of pure Hong Kong action cinema, an old-school cops-and-robbers chase movie with a twenty-first-century polish.

A.V. Club says the flick “produces some of the best action scenes in recent memory: a riveting free-for-all shoot-out in the glass corridors of Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal that could teach any Hollywood movie a thing or two about sight lines and intercutting; a prison riot handled like a Broadway ensemble number; and the climax, staged in a massive all-white penthouse, which pushes a movie with no shortage of visual metaphors into stylized abstraction.”

At Metrograph 5/13 – 5/19.


3) Midnight Kill – This original play by written and directed by Yangtze Repertory Theatre Co-Artistic Director K.K. Wong tells of a school campus in a Chinese rural village during the 1970’s that becomes a theater of twisted, oppressed but indelible human desires. Daily mundane activities become an absurd performance of ordinary people’s basic emotions. The play is based around an actual murder story that occurred in a mountain hamlet in Anhui province, where Wong lived for five years.

The play is a drama set among the teachers of a small elementary school in a rural farming village in northern China during the early 1970s, when China’s Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution was at its height. Under the country’s autocratic rule, extreme forms of collectivism, asceticism, and class warfare ran rampant in every corner of the country. In this crucible of passion, ideology and deprivation, a married woman has been having an affair with a young teacher. The play opens with the scene where the teacher has already killed the woman. The rest of the play traces their relationship as a flash back, eventually revealing the motivations behind the killing.

Presented by Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America.

May 6 -22
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM
Theater for the New City (Joyce & Seward Johnson Theater), 155 First Ave.
$20/General Admission; $15/Senior and Student
Wednesdays: Pay what you can.


4) Dragon Inn 《龙门客栈》 – The Chinese wuxia (martial arts) genre was forever changed after the emergence of King Hu’s Dragon Inn. Set during the Ming dynasty, the film sees the emperor’s minister of defense framed by a powerful court eunuch and executed. Soon after, the minister’s children are hunted by a clan of elite assassins known as the Black Arrow Troop. The ensuing pursuit takes them to the remote Dragon Gate Inn, where mysterious strangers begin to gather and paths—and swords—soon cross. Masterful compositions by cinematographer Hua Hui-ying (A Touch of Zen) capture tightly choreographed set pieces, each one more splendorous than the last—with the stakes always rising. A clear inspiration for myriad subsequent movies, from Ang Lee’sCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, this thrilling landmark of film history returns to the screen in a new, beautifully restored digital transfer, created from the original negative. A Janus Films release.

At Film Society Lincoln Center.


5) Finding Mr. Right 2: Book of Love 《北京遇上西雅图之不二情书》– Being the sequel of the hugely successful 2013 movie “Finding Mr. Right”, the pair will rekindle their romance and head to new and exotic locations in the U.S. and Europe. Both Chinese actor Wu Xiubo and actress Tang Wei return to reprise their original roles.

At AMC Empire 25.

Current Art Exhibitions

In addition to the listings below, three local artists are participating in group shows:

Naomi Kuo in Rhapsody in Color at Samuel J. Wood Library at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Through 6/10.

Fina Yeung shows her Urban Cages, a mixed media cardboard painting installation about her memory of growing up in a very crowded city, Hong Kong, at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s Wide Open 7 (5/7 – 6/12).

Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin is part of Queens International 2016.  Through 7/31.

Opening and newly added:

1) Christopher K. Ho – Grown Up Art (Present Company, 5/13 – 6/26) – Grown Up Art expands Ho’s decades-long sociological investigation of the artworld. With wit, passion, and acute sensitivity, the artist has in previous exhibitions mulled over white privilege, regional painting, Bushwick abstraction, and the fading legacy of 1968. In Grown Up Art, Ho explores how having children can affect, and underpin, a political art practice. Can being a positive role model—a parent, a mentor, a teacher—be as effective as negative critique or punkish rebellion?  Visit the exhibition page for more.

Art Dads, 2016

Art Dads, 2016


Closing soon:

Woods (Cloud Gallery, 3/30 – 5/14)

Qian Wu – The First Solo Exhibition of Qian Wu’s Artworks (2011-2016) (Gallery 456, 4/29 – 5/20)

Christophe Pouget + Hung Yi “Crossroads of the World” (Emmanuel Fremin, 4/7 – 5/21)


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, 3/30 – 5/14)

Qian Wu – The First Solo Exhibition of Qian Wu’s Artworks (2011-2016) (Gallery 456, 4/29 – 5/20)

Christophe Pouget + Hung Yi “Crossroads of the World” (Emmanuel Fremin, 4/7 – 5/21)

HER Gaze: An Exhibition of Contemporary Women Artists from Taiwan (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, 5/3 – 5/25)

Son: Signal of Authority (inCube Arts, 5/7 – 5/28)

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

New Voices: A DSL Collection Story – (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/7 – 6/18)

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)

Stage Design by Ming Cho Lee (Museum of Chinese in America, 4/28 – 9/11)

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

Lead image:Wei Qimei (韦启美), Writing (manuscript), paper, ink, writing brush.  See more works at CAFA, which recently exhibited his works.