NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: August 5 – August 11, 2016

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This week: The first Beijing opera filmed in 3D and other acclaimed art house films from China; Lou Ye’s noir, grungy look at Shanghai; a doc about an early Chinese American aviator; an exhibition that investigates the relationship between idle entertainment and waiting; and more…

Coming up:

August 12 – 17, Taipei Cultural Center in New York’s 25th anniversary events.

September 17 – Modern Sky Festival

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 beyondchinatown@gmail.com.


THIS WEEK’S EVENTS

1) Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera (3D)《霸王别姬》 (3D) – This ancient tale tells the story of a Chinese emperor’s rise and fall and his doomed love for a beautiful woman.  According to Hollywood Reporter, this production by Teng Junjie (not to be confused with the renowned film by Chen Kaige) is “the first time a Beijing opera production has been captured in 3D and the first time any mainland Chinese film has been made with both native 3D photography and Dolby Atmos surround sound technology.”

At the end of the Qin Dynasty about 2,200 years ago, the nations of Chu and Han wage a war over control of the entire country. Xiang Yu, the “Overload of West Chu”, is conceited and stubborn; while his enemy Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han dynasty, is wise and humble. At the battlefield, Xiang’s troops suffer several major defeats but even with his forces surrounded by the Han army, Xiang is determined to launch a counterattack. His lover Yu Ji and his generals try in vain to dissuade him from such a suicidal effort. When defeat becomes imminent. Yu Ji kills herself after a heartbreaking sword dance so that she will not hinder Xiang’s retreat. The Chu army is crushed in the last battle and although Xiang Yu has an opportunity to escape, he chooses to kill himself rather than live with the shame of having led countless soldiers to their demise.

Dir. Teng Junjie
China, 2015
102 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles
New York City Premiere

This screening is part of AAIFF’s Chinese Art Films Series.

Friday, August 5, 7 PM
Crosby Street Hotel, 79 Crosby Street
$20/General Admission (Use BCcaf16 to get a discount)

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2) The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York – Teams made up of locals from various organizations and companies compete in this annual two-day competition.

Saturday, August 6
Sunday, August 7
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Free

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3) Young Love Lost 《少年巴比伦》 – Adapted from a critically acclaimed contemporary Chinese novel, Young Love Lost presents viewers the melancholy and beauty of Lu Xiaolu‘s misspent youth in a small town in South China.

In the 1990s, Xiaolu arrives at a chemicals factory as a fresh graduate from a technical school, lost and directionless. He learns nothing more than turning screws as a fitter and changing light bulbs as an electrician. Outside of work, he spends his time playing computer games, getting into fights, pursuing women, and generally fooling around. He falls in love with Bailian, the factory doctor, but she abruptly leaves him for Shanghai for education and a brighter future.

Young Love Lost has been nominated for awards at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, and Shanghai International Film Festival.

Dir. Xiang Guoqiang
China, 2015
120 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles
New York City Premiere

This screening is part of AAIFF’s Chinese Art Films Series.

Saturday, August 6, 2:30 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue
$15/General Admission (Use BCcaf16 to get a discount)

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4) Meng Du: The Climb, The Fall Closing Reception – Closing reception for an exhibition featuring a selection of glass works, ranging from painting and sculpture to installation, by Meng Du that address profound notions of personal moments and memories.

Read our interview with the artist.

Saturday, August 6, 3 – 6 PM
Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave, #1, Brooklyn
Free

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5) River 《河》 – The complexity of family relations takes center stage in River. A little Tibetan girl is weaned by her mother who has become pregnant, causing the girl to think she is losing her parents’ love. Her fears go largely unnoticed. At the same time, her shepherd father’s resentment against her grandfather continues to simmer over what he perceives to be an unforgivable act. Tibet’s isolated landscape provides a stunning backdrop to the family’s slide into crisis, while the comically expressive face of the little keeps the mood tender.

Actor Yangchen Lhamo was named Asian New Talent Award-Best Actress at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival for her performance in this film. River was selected for the Generation section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and won four nominations at the FIRST National Film Festival.

Dir. Sonthar Gya
China, 2015
94 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles
New York City Premiere

This screening is part of AAIFF’s Chinese Art Films Series.

Saturday, August 6, 5 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue
$15/General Admission (Use BCcaf16 to get a discount)

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6) Deep in the Heart 《心迷宫》 – A young man tries to get away from his family’s overwhelming power, but when he accidentally kills a local thug, his fate will be intricately linked to his father’s. A woman, who for years has been victim of domestic violence, finds comfort in the arms of her ex-lover. The news of the death of her husband arrives as she was planning his murder. An honest village chief plans to retire but an exceptional event related to his son will pull him into the abyss.

Dir. Xin Yukun
China. 2015
119 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles
New York City Premiere

This screening is part of AAIFF’s Chinese Art Films Series.

Saturday, August 6, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue
$15/General Admission (Use BCcaf16 to get a discount)

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7) Aviatrix: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story – A documentary film about Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, who was one of the first Chinese women to earn a pilots license in the United States during the Golden Age of Aviation.   Director Ed Moy will attend for a Q&A.

Read about Cheung in 20th Century Aviation magazine.

Sunday, August 7, 4 PM
First Chinese Baptist Church, 21 Pell St.
Free

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8) Suzhou River 《苏州河》 “Sixth Generation” filmmaker Lou Ye’s tragic love story follows the transient lives of four people at the margins of Chinese society.  Eschewing the glitz of modern Shanghai, “the film resembles a contemporary film noir set in the seediest neighbourhoods of present day Shanghai, along the dirty, post-industrial Suzhou River that seems to wind through nothing but decaying warehouses and dusty factories on its way to Shanghai’s waterfront.” (Shelly Kraicer).  After winning the Tiger Award at the 1999 Rotterdam Festival for the film, the director was banned from filmmaking in China for two years.

Dir. Lou Ye
China, 2000
83 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles

Presented by Socrates Sculpture Park and Film Forum in Collaboration with Rooftop Films

Wednesday, August 10, 7 PM
Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City
Free

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9) A Collection of Slow Happenings Opening Reception – Yiyang Cao’s solo exhibition is a body of work which explores the codependent pairing of entertainment and waiting.   See the exhibition listings below for more about the show.

Thursday, August 11, 6 PM
The Cluster Gallery, 200 6th Street 3E, Brooklyn
Free

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10) The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Opening Reception – Artists selected in this juried exhibition include Yueli Guo, Dongze Huo, Wenjianglin, and Xi Zhang

Thursday, August 11, 6 PM
Agora Gallery, 530 W. 25th St.
Free


ONGOING FILMS AND SHOWS

1) League of Gods 《封神榜》 – A long time ago, a determined King Zhou, supported by his concubine Daji, sets his mind on conquering the Middle Kingdom. After years of slaughter, the unyielding Adept tribes have been eliminated in succession. Jiang and General Ji from Qishan are King Zhou’s longstanding opponents. Under a divinatory sign, Jiang discovers that the Sword of Light can reverse the adversity. Jet Li is back and ready for action in the new fantasy epic League of Gods. Based on the 16th-century Chinese novel The Investiture Of The Gods 《封神演义》, the film stars Jet Li, Louis Koo, Fan Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, and Angelababy.

At AMC Empire 25


CURRENT ART EXHIBITIONS

In addition to the listings below, one local artist is participating in group show:

Photographer Wayne Liu is part of  Everything that Gathers Blows Away at The Camera Club of New York, 126 Baxter Street.  8/3 – 8/8, 12 – 6 PM and by appointment.

Opening and Newly Added:

1) Yiyang Cao – A Collection of Slow Openings (The CLUSTER Gallery, 8/11 – 9/1) – Yiyang Cao’s first solo show is a body of work which explores the codependent pairing of entertainment and waiting. Vehicle headrests with built in video screens placed on stands are arranged in a cluster similar to a waiting room. Each screen displays a four minute video in loop. Anti-dramatic scenes are shot in super slow motion, and depict unexciting events.

Objects normally reserved for entertainment, and passing time quickly (on long drives), have been repurposed to illustrate the existential reality of spending time focusing on a small display screen. Slow motion in commercial film is a tool used to expand dramatic events and high octane action scenes; Cao has applied this effect on anti-climactic moments like shots of a bush, the sky, and a walking tortoise.

Intrigued by how people spend time while waiting and in transit, Cao’s A Collection of Slow Happenings aspires to have its viewers challenge their own perceptions about time and waiting.

Yiyang Cao - A Collection of Slow Happenings Installation View

Yiyang Cao – A Collection of Slow Happenings Installation View

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2) The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition (Agora Gallery, 8/11 – 8/23) – The artists in the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition were selected by a panel of jurors which include curators, gallerists, and art experts as a true representation of contemporary art from around the world.  Each artist has their own unique style, technique, and medium, but what ties the group together is their innovation and their inherent desire to bring forth a new perspective to the viewer.

Chinese artists Yueli Guo, Dongze Huo, Wenjianglin, and Xi Zhang are among those exhibited.

Xi Zhang - AS01E04, Acrylic on wood, 18 x 24 in.

Xi Zhang – AS01E04, Acrylic on wood, 18 x 24 in.

Closing soon:

A Fraction of Island – Hsiang-Lin Wang & Ming-Jer Kuo Duo Exhibition (Gallery 456, 7/8 – 8/5)

Soft Haze: Xinyi Cheng, Nabui, Ali Van (Thomas Erben Gallery, 6/7 – 8/5)

Meng Du: The Climb, The Fall (Fou Gallery, 6/28 – 8/7)

Hua Bai – Infectious Agent (Cloud Gallery, 7/29 – 8/12)

Peili: Greater New York (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/30 – 8/19)

Zhang Gong: The Watcher (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/30 – 8/19)

RongRong & inri (荣荣&映里) – Tamari Story 《妻有物语》 (Chambers Fine Art, 6/4 – 8/20)

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Current shows:

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.

A Fraction of Island – Hsiang-Lin Wang & Ming-Jer Kuo Duo Exhibition (Gallery 456, 7/8 – 8/5)

Soft Haze: Xinyi Cheng, Nabui, Ali Van (Thomas Erben Gallery, 6/7 – 8/5)

Meng Du: The Climb, The Fall (Fou Gallery, 6/28 – 8/7)

Hua Bai – Infectious Agent (Cloud Gallery, 7/29 – 8/12)

Peili: Greater New York (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/30 – 8/19)

Zhang Gong: The Watcher (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/30 – 8/19)

RongRong & inri (荣荣&映里) – Tamari Story 《妻有物语》 (Chambers Fine Art, 6/4 – 8/20)

The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition (Agora Gallery, 8/11 – 8/23)

Deng Tai: Shadow (MoMA PS1, 6/19 – 8/28)

Cao Fei (MoMA PS1, 4/3 – 8/31)

Yiyang Cao – A Collection of Slow Openings (The CLUSTER Gallery, 8/11 – 9/1)

Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, through 9/5/16)

Ka-Men Tse Photography (NYPL – Mulberry Street Library, 6/2 – 9/7)

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

The Keeper (New Museum, 7/20 – 9/25)

Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings (Metropolitan Museum of Art, through 10/9/16)

From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Metropolitan Museum of Art, through 10/9/16)

Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th – 19th Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art, through 10/9/16)

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

Folk My Life ( New York Foundation for the Arts Gallery, 7/22 – 10/21)


Lead image: Doors seen in a Fujianese apartment building in Chinatown