NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: August 12 – August 18, 2016


This week: Traditional and re-imagined tea ceremonies, vibraphone performances, a Taiwanese senior citizen motorcycle club, video projects that discuss how artists live and work, a documentary about a legendary Chinatown institution, and more…

Coming up:

August 18: Zhai Liang: Living Room opening reception at Fou Gallery.

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


1) Dialogue on Printmaking: The Taiwan – US Exchange Exhibition Opening Reception – Opening for a show featuring printmaking artists from the United States and Taiwan.  See below for exhibition information.

Friday, August 12, 6:30 PM
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, 1 E. 42nd Street
Free, but RSVP required.  Email Olivia Su to RSVP.


2) Performance: 1144 & Their Guests – Local artists get together for an evening of experimental performance.  Includes:

Tina Wang (dance) + Tingying Ma (chronography, happening)
Jason Doell (laptop)
Xuan Ye (voice, electronics, body) + Sean Ali (bass, other)
Julia Santoli + Kaia Gilje (movement/vocalization)

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

Friday, August 12, 7 PM
1144 Bergen St., Apt. 4, Brooklyn


3) Yuhan Su Jazz Quintet: Mythology – Vibraphonist Yuhan Su performs a series of compositions inspired by Chinese mythology’s Kua Fu (夸父), a giant who decided to chase and catch the sun.

Friday, August 12, 8 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
$16/General Admission; $10/Student and Member


4) Abandon/Gain: East-West Artistic Encounter: Chin-lung Huang Solo Exhibition Opening Reception – Opening for a show featuring paintings from the Taiwanese painter.

Saturday, August 13, 2 – 4 PM
Hwang Gallery,  39-10 Main Street, #303


5) When Matcha Meets Oolong: A Japanese-Taiwanese Joint Tea Ceremony – Tea, as the second most consumed drink in the world, has been enjoyed by people across the globe for thousands of years. Though different regions favors different types of tea and have their own interpretations of the drink, very few countries take it as seriously as Taiwan or Japan where intricate formal ceremonies exist for the preparation and consumption of tea.

Ms. Keiko Kitazawa will present the Japanese Omotesenke (表千家流) style, and Ms. Pan Ching-fang will demonstrate the traditional Taiwanese tea ceremony.

This event will offer a rare opportunity for tea lovers to witness two different ceremonies practiced by professional tea masters from Japan and Taiwan. Apart from learning about the essence of Japan and Taiwan’s tea culture, guests will also be able to taste different varieties of tea, as well as tea snacks.

Saturday, August 13, 3 PM
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13th Street
$15/Suggested donation


6) The Art of Living – Various assumptions about culture play a significant role in how the concept of the artist is constructed in public imagination.  Michael Smith and Joshua White created the fictitious “Mike Smith” in Open House Reel, who had bitterly intended to sell his Soho Studio, which symbolized selling his art trajectory and life for over 20 years; black artist Kenya (Robinson) brought a statue of a white man with her wherever she went and posted the photo diary on Instagram; Musquiqui Chihying dressed himself in athletic gear and jogged on a German supermarket conveyor belt, watched by a middle-aged, German, female cashier; Jaakko Pallasvuo’s nonchalantly narrates about his studio and digital painting he produced there.  Tan Tian’s staged interview performance mirrors and exaggerates the expectations artists are facing.  Lin Ke invites us in his studio to witness his laptop ballad.  The music is is supported by the clicking of hard drives and USB sticks and the chiming of keyboards linking the work of a programmer with the skill set of a pianist.  Katy Roseland made a video to visualize a major struggle in contemporary digital art practice: the sharing of files and data through online platforms and how this can be a challenge on the Chinese Internet. These semi-autobiographical videos react to the local economy, in a satirical, but often straightforward way.

The screening features artists Michael Smith (New York), Joshua White (New York), Kenya (Robinson) (New York), Tuo Wang (New York), Tzuhuan Lin (New York), Misquiqui Chihying (Berlin), Jaakko Pallasvuo, Manuela Johanna Covini (Berlin), Brita Thie (Berlin), Lin Ke (Beijing), Tan Tian (Beijing), Katy Roseland (Beijing), and more.

The program includes:

Musquiqui Chihying (Berlin) / The Jog, 3:37
Jaakko Pallasvuo (Berlin)/ Nu Painting, 5:58
Manuela Johanna Covini (Berlin)/ Mental Metropolis: Chapter 1, 12
Brita Thie (Berlin)/ TRANSLANTICS – EPISODE 1/6: PORES OF PERCEPTION, 15:03 and 2/6 AWKAWARDS, 14:50
Lin Ke (Beijing)/ Lens from the E-World, 3:22
Tan Tian (Beijing)/ How to Do Interview, 22:46
Katy Roseland (Beijing)/ OLO is a code, 5

Presented by SCREEN, I:project space, Artnet, and Loris

Saturday, August 13, 4 PM
Artnet News, 233 Broadway
Free, but RSVP required


7) Living Memory: Reunification Film Screening – Queens Museum and Museum of Chinese in America’s joint series Living Memory: The Culture & Heritage of Chinese New Yorkers presents this award-winning film (won Special Jury Prize at SDAFF) that gives an insider view on the contemporary Asian American immigrant experience, divorce and family psychology, and personal filmmaking, filmmaker Alvin Tsang reflects on his family’s migration from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the early 1980s – fraught with betrayal from his parents’ divorce, economic strife and communication meltdown between parents and children.  This poetic exploration of many unresolved years moves moodily across different channels and modes, bending into labor histories and Hong Kong’s colonial trajectories. Tsang turns the camera on his own family, cautiously prodding for answers, but fully acknowledging that the only closure he can get will be from deciding for himself how to move on.

Q+A with the director follows the screening.


Sunday, August 14, 1 PM
Queens Library at Flushing, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing


8) Tea Party: Slow & Flow – To mark the milestone of its 25th anniversary, Taipei Cultural Center in New York—Taiwan’s chief cultural mission in North America, invites Lin Ceramics Studio to perform its award-winning program “Tea Party: Slow &Flow” and share the depth and richness of Taiwan’s unique tea culture with local audiences.

Yi Cha Huei Yo (以茶會友),, which literally means “meeting friends over tea” or “friends of tea” in Chinese, is the very essence of Taiwan’s tea culture that will be demonstrated in this performance entitled “Temperature.”

As an old Chinese saying goes: welcoming a friend from afar gives one great delight, “Temperature” celebrates friendship and is the second chapter of “Slow‧Flow” by Lin Ceramics.  It opens with the tea master making a fire, preparing to welcome a friend with tea. As the warmth diffuses in the space, the tea master performs the classic tea ceremony.

“Tea Party” attempts to give a novel, contemporary perspective on tea cultures in Asia.  It reintroduces traditional tea culture to the young generation in a modern, trendy manner so that this thousand year old culture can evolve with the times and stay relevant.  Audiences explore a new vision of tea culture during the performance that not only presents a tea ceremony, but also gives a whole new look to tea-drinking.  For this performance several design teams worked together on every single element- the tea ware, tea table, costumes, music, stage setting, and dance-to create this piece. Tea Party: Slow & Flow was the winner of Design for Asia Awards 2013 and iF Design Award 2014 (in the discipline of communication).

Learn more about the program here.

Sunday, August 14, 1 PM
Queens Museum
Free with museum admission

Wednesday, August 17, 6:30 PM
Corner Room, Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave.


9) Passport Thursdays Outdoor International Dance, Music and Film Series: Taiwan – Queens Museum summer festival series presents a Taiwan-related film and musical performance.

Film: Go Grandriders!

A group of senior citizens, many of whom learn how to ride a motorcycle for the first time, embark on what may be the most daring adventures of their lives: a 13-day tour around the island of Taiwan entirely on motorcycles.  Among these 17 “Grandriders,” two have had cancer, four need hearing aids, five suffer from high blood pressure, eight have coronary heart disease, and every one of them has joint problems.  However, at the youthful age of 80+, they dare to challenge themselves and discover the land they have lived all their lives from a new perspective.

Dir. Tian-Hao Hua
80 min., 2013
Mandarin with English subtitles


Yuhan Su Band: A native of Taiwan, New York based-vibraphonist Su came to the United States in 2008 to study at Berklee College of Music. Since then, she has performed with her jazz quartet throughout the East Coast and joined the acclaimed saxophonist Greg Osby’s label, Inner Circle Music.  The band will perform a set of music featuring the traditional music from different ethnic groups in Taiwan, including Taiwu ancient ballads, Hakka traditional song, and Taiwanese folk song, with Hakka singer-songwriter Yu-Wei Hsieh as special guest.  Yuhan will bring a new series of compositions inspired by Chinese mythological KuaFu, a giant who decided to chase and catch the Sun.

Thursday, August 18, 7 PM
Queens Museum


1) The Lost Arcade – Blinking, beaming, and ringing, The Lost Arcade intimately memorializes the end of video arcades in New York City, while celebrating the camaraderie and history of a pop culture phenomenon. The film is an exceptional directorial debut that focuses on the Chinatown Fair, the Mott Street landmark where generations honed their craft, made friends and lost at tic-tac-toe to a chicken. Masterfully presenting the sights and sounds of a changing scene, wistful yet hopeful, and full of the faces and characters that radiate fun and innovation, The Lost Arcade is a dazzling portrait of technostalgia and a timely commentary on the corporate era’s incineration of modest businesses, and the resiliency of the dedicated enthusiasts.

Reviews from A.V. Club, Hollywood Reporter,  and Sinovision (in Chinese).

Dir. Kurt Vincent
2015, 79 min.

At Metrograph August 12 – 18.


2) My Best Friend’s Wedding 《我最好朋友的婚礼》 – A Chinese remake of the smash Julia Roberts hit of the same name.  The remake centers on a pair of journalists — male and female — who have grown up together as best friends. The man falls in love with a wealthy Chinese girl who has been studying in the U.K, and asks his female friend to be his ‘best man’. The female friend realizes that she loves him, not just as a friend, and sets out for London a few days before the wedding determined to win him back.

Opens August 12 at AMC Empire 25 


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

Catherine Lan and Ginger Chan are part of a new media group exhibition, Always On Never Off at Macy Gallery, Suite 544 Macy Building, 525 120th Street, Teacher’s College, Columbia University.  The opening reception is 8/12 from 5 – 8 PM.

Ping Wang exhibits his photographs inspired by dreams and the surrealist movement which use strong lighting and symbolism to create an atmosphere of psychologically charged unease at SVA’s In Cylinder group exhibition 8/13 – 9/10.

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) Han Bing: Urban Amber (FitzGerald Fine Arts, 8/1 – 11/1) – Han Bing grew up in an impoverished village in rural China. After fifteen years of labor in the rural areas, in Beijing, he was moved by the harsh contrast between the urbanized “Chinese dream” propelling the nation’s struggle to become “modern”, and the cruel realities of those left behind, or trodden underfoot in this stampede. Exploring the struggles and desires of ordinary people in China’s “theater of modernization”, his works invert quotidian practice, reinvent everyday objects and ask us to rethink the order of things. Han Bing’s works are dedicated to Social Praxis of Art.

In Urban Amber, Han Bing’s visual interventions also raise questions about the paradoxes of desire. Desire for Han Bing is an irreducibly bifurcated modality, that is, it has powerful manifestations and effects that can be both beautiful and poisonous. In his conceptual photography series of single-exposure images, Urban Amber, this paradox takes on a different form. The spectre of glamorous high-rises, those icons of middle-class China’s dream of home and a better life, are juxtaposed to the rundown, temporary dwellings of the urban poor living in their shadows. These fantasy high-rises appear resplendent and dream-like until you realize that their inverted images are reflected in Beijing’s ubiquitous, industrial-waste and garbage-infested “/stink rivers”. Like amber, these rivers capture sediment of the times, showing us through a mirror darkly, the underbelly of China’s fantasy of modernity.


2) Dialogue on Printmaking: The Taiwan – US Exchange Exhibition (Taipei Cultural Center, 8/12 – 9/9) – The exhibition will feature twenty-five Taiwanese artists including Wu Hao, Hsiao Chin, Liao Shiou-Ping, Shaih Lifa, and Lee Shi-Chi. Participating artists from SAGA are Michael Di Cerbo, Linda Adato, and three other well-known American printmakers.  Each artwork in this exhibition has its own voice and aesthetics.

Due to its multiplicity and easy transferability, printmaking stands out among other art forms as a more common medium for international art events. This exhibition has collected artwork from the 1960s to the present, illustrating the transition of the art medium and the spirit of different periods. By learning the uniqueness of different print genres and the aesthetics of each participating artist, viewers will gain a whole new perspective on the world of printmaking.
Among them, Wu Hao’s Tulips displays a sharp contrast in colors—an artwork with blooming flowers depicted in black lines and a complex composition rich in solid colors. Inspired by the Taiwanese folk prints, Liao Shiou-Ping in Gates of Festivity employs images of doors, windows, and scissors, for instance, to represent the rhythm and simplicity of everyday life. Dawn Chen-Ping applies the techniques of lithography print and spot colors to create the hand-drawn effect in A Pit, whose composition is rather simple but rich in texture and its significance. In Grass Coat series, Yang Ming-Dye integrates sculptural concepts into printmaking and develops a two-dimensional print into a sculptural piece made of glass and paper. In 3 Minutes and 5 Minutes, Mei Dean-E attempts to subvert the concepts of printmaking by utilizing existing objects, the iron to create the burn marks thus elevate artistic quality. American artist, Michael Di Cerbo, in A Clear Night in Gotham applies geometrical images and the light-dark contrast to create a mysterious ambiance of the urban towering skyscrapers.
Through the showcase of the thirty artworks, the viewers will appreciate the artists’ cultural perception and interpretation toward their own roots, and meanwhile to initiate a dialogue between them.

Li Ping-Yi - Lady of the Shell Ginger

Li Ping-Yi – Lady of the Shell Ginger


3) Abandon/Gain: East-West Artistic Encounter: Chin-lung Huang Solo Exhibition (Hwang Gallery, 8/9 – /27) – “Abandon to Gain” (有失才有得) is a common phrase in Chinese religion that conveys the ancient wisdom of having an open-minded outlook on life and tradition.  These two disjunctive words are two parts of a unity.  In order to Gain in life, one also has to Abandon.

With the process of artistic creation, the idea of “Abandon to Gain” is unavoidable. Often times when more details are sophisticatedly painted in a painting, the theme becomes less understood, making the subtraction technique a more effective method. The “less is more “ ideology serves as an important guideline in modern art.  The famous quote, ”Less is More,” from the master modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), influenced the majority of modernist artists.

In the era of globalization and information technology, western and eastern cultural rapidly exchange ideas and culture.   This cultural conflict and integration forms the cultural atmosphere of this era. The “reality” of this cultural atmosphere has deeply influenced the acclaimed Taiwanese artist Chin-lung Huang’s artistic trajectory.

The exhibition is constructed under the Abandoning and Gaining elements from two cultures to demonstrate a new possibility and trend in modern culture.  The themes of the subject of this exhibition are plum blossoms and the human figure, totaling twenty something art works, including watercolors and oil paintings.

Closing soon:

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)


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)

Han Bing: Urban Amber (FitzGerald Fine Arts, 8/1 – 11/1)

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

Lead image: Cutting liángpí (凉皮) noodles in Xi’an