NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: December 23 – December 29, 2016

John Lü Shih-yun – ‘The Birth of Jesus’

Happy holidays!  Our second to last post of 2016 includes a holiday show and shop at Fou Gallery that features local artists and artisans, a workshop on how to collect oral histories, and a new exhibition at Asia Society.

We’ll have a look back at the events and exhibitions of 2016 in the coming days.  In the meantime, you can look ahead to next year:

January 3: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Millenium Mambo 《千禧曼波》at Film Society

January 6 and 7: 17th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia featuring two troupes from Taiwan

January 9 – A contemporary chamber concerto and a re-imagining of Hamlet by a Chinese opera star at Shanghai/New York: Future Histories

January 13 – Wu Hongfei at Webster Hall

January 14 – Jazz singer and saxophonist Stephanie Chou at Joe’s Pub

January 22 – Enno Cheng (鄭宜農) at Rockwood Music Hall

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) This Is Us – 2016 Fou Shop Holiday Show (我们的节日 – 否商店圣诞市集派对) – Join Fou Gallery for a holiday party and their holiday shop featuring works by artists and artisans Atelier F Ceramics, fascinator maker Chapeau Echo, Dusty World Pottery, painter Michael Eade, GEZIceramic, home furnishings and accessories designer Hyfen, elegant and whimsical painter Microcosm by Teng Teng, Poché Arts Initiative, Ren Studio, artist Peggy Tao, and furniture designers WE LIVING who apply traditional woodworking joinery techniques to modern designs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Holiday party: December 24, 6 – 10 PM
Holiday show: December 24 – 26, 11 AM – 6 PM


2) Lunar New Year Red Envelope & Oral History Workshop – As Wing On Wo.’s inaugural Lunar New Year 店面 Artist in Residence, Melissa Liu is creating a window installation that will be filled with handmade red envelopes (紅包, known as lai see in Cantonese, hong bao in Mandarin) and short-form oral history responses collected from members of Asian Communities in New York City and beyond.

In the weeks leading up to Lunar New Year (January 28, 2017), anyone identifying with the Asian Diaspora celebrating the Lunar New Year is invited to participate in workshops organized by Melissa in collaboration with The W.O.W. Project, local artists, and community members and groups. Participants will have the opportunity to design and make their own red envelopes, in which they will place a question to share with a family member or friend from an older generation and collect a written response from. Participants will also receive basic training on how to conduct an oral history interview within their community, and have a safe space to discuss issues that Asian communities face in today’s political moment.

Through her window display project, Melissa hopes that the exchange of questions through red envelopes between younger and older generations will spark deeper conversations and moments of empathy that can help bridge intergenerational understanding in Chinatowns and Asian American communities through shared Lunar New Year traditions, and also result in the sharing of stories, experiences, and memories from the Asian Diaspora with locals and street passersby.

Thursday, December 29, 3 – 7 PM
Wing On Wo & Co., 26 Mott Street


1) The Wasted Times  《罗曼蒂克消亡史》– In this espionage drama set in 1930s Shanghai, a Japanese spy must track down the former ally who massacred his family.

Film Journal International says the film “is a poorly digested amalgam of work by art-house filmmakers like Zhang Yimouand Hou Hsiao-hsien. Despite two of Asia’s most accomplished stars and a plot laced with sex and violence, the movie is too confusing and poorly paced to find much of an audience here.”  The New York Times echos these faults, saying it “plays like a movie carved out of a much larger mini-series, whose segments are then shown out of order.”

At AMC Empire 25


2) abC – Art Book in China – Printed Matter presents abC (‘Art Book in China’) a store display of artists’ book made by Chinese artists. abC, the first book fair that gathers and showcases independent publishing organizations and individuals in China, was founded in 2015 by DREAMER FTY (夢廠) in Hangzhou, and traveled to Shanghai and Beijing in 2016. As a continuation of this event, Printed Matter has made a selection of titles featured in abC 2016 alongside selections from the store’s catalogue of drawings, photographs, comics and conceptual book-works that represent the diverse and vibrant energy of Chinese book artists. Books were hand-carried by Chang Yuchen (常羽辰) from Beijing to New York.

November 27 – December 26
Printed Matter, 231 11th Avenue


Opening and Newly Added:

1) Masterpieces from the Asia Society Museum Collection (Asia Society, 12/20/16 – 1/7/17) – Even before John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) established Asia Society in 1956, he was deeply involved with the arts and culture of Asia. He firmly believed that art was an indispensable tool for understanding societies, and thus made culture central to the new multidisciplinary organization that would encompass all aspects and all parts of East, South, and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. From 1963 to 1978, he and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992), worked with art historian Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008) as an advisor to build the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, which was later bequeathed to Asia Society. The group of spectacular historical objects they assembled—including sculpture, painting, and decorative arts—became the core of the Asia Society Museum Collection and is now world renowned. The Collection is distinguished by the high proportion of acclaimed masterpieces, representing the artistic pinnacles of the cultures that produced them, to which additional high-quality gifts and acquisitions have been added since the original bequest to Asia Society.

The selections in the exhibition showcase the breadth and depth of creative expression across Asia created by artists and artisans with extraordinary skill. To this day the objects remain an important means for sharing the talent, imagination, and deep history of the peoples of Asia with audiences all over the world. Masterpieces from the Asia Society Museum Collection explores the specialized artistry of Asian ceramics, metalwork, and stone carving, and the development of Hinduism and Buddhism in Asia through some of the most refined and accomplished examples of the region’s great artistic traditions.

Flask. Ming period, early 15th century (probably Yongle era, 1403 – 1424). China, Jiangxi Province. Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware). 18 1/2 x 14 3/8 x 5 7/8 in. (47 x 36.5 x 25 cm). Asia Scoiety, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.160. Photography by Synthescape, courtesy of Asia Society


Closing soon:

Liu Bolin: Art Hacker (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/17 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei 2016: Roots and Branches (Mary Boone Gallery, 11/5 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei 2016: Roots and Branches (Lisson Gallery, 11/5 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat (Deitch Projects – 18 Wooster St, 11/5 – 12/23)


Current shows:

Visit the exhibition calendar for details for the current shows listed below. Check the museum or gallery’s website for hours of operation.

Liu Bolin: Art Hacker (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/17 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei 2016: Roots and Branches (Mary Boone Gallery, 11/5 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei 2016: Roots and Branches (Lisson Gallery, 11/5 – 12/23)

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat (Deitch Projects – 18 Wooster St, 11/5 – 12/23)

Love Ai Jing (Marlborough Gallery, 11/16 – 12/30)

For a Better Tomorrow (inCube Arts, 12/18 – 12/31)

A Space-Time of Transitional Desires (107 Suffolk Street #413, 12/18 – 12/31)

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant (Museum of Food and Drink Lab, 11/11 – 12/31)

Infinite Compassion: Avalokiteshvara in Asian Art (Staten Island Museum, 10/22 – unknown)

Project Mah Jongg (Museum of Jewish Heritage, 10/15/16 – Jan 2017)

Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman (New Museum, 10/19 /2016 – 1/5/2017)

No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki (Asia Society, 9/9/16 – 1/8/2017)

In Perspective: Lin Yan, Song Xin and Cui Fei (Chambers Fine Art, 11/17 – 1/28/2017)

A Fine Line (Art100 Gallery, 12/8/16 – 2/6/17)

Tales of Our Time 故事新编 (Guggenheim Museum, 11/4/16 – 3/10/17)

Art In a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd – 6th Centuries (China Institute, 9/30/16 – 3/19/17

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America (Museum of Chinese in America, 10/6/2016- 3/26/2017) 

Hung Yi – Fancy Animal Carnival (Garment District pedestrian plazas on Broadway from 36th to 41st Streets, 9/20/16 – 4/15/17)

Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/29/16 – 8/6/17)

Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th – 19th Century (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6/25/16 -10/9/27)

From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6/25/16 – 10/9/17)

Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6/25/16 – 10/9/17)

Lead image –  John Lü Shih-yun (呂奭雲) – The Birth of Jesus 2, The Nativity 《罗曼蒂克消亡史》, 1947 -1948. Chinese watercolor on silk; mounted as hanging scroll, 40 x 74.5 cm (52.5 x 148 cm mounted). The painting is one of 25 that were exhibited in Beijing in the 1930s and 1940s by artists associated with the Beijing Sacred Heart Church Department of Fine Arts.  They were brought to France shortly thereafter. In 1993, they were acquire by the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco. They are viewable in the online collection Celestial Icons – Christian Scroll Paintings from Pre-Revolutionary China