NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: January 13 – January 19, 2017

This coming week: A rock singer influenced by her Dong ethnic minority background; Stephen Spielberg’s epic film of Japanese occupation of China during WWII; Chinese American jazz composer and vocalist Stephanie Chou plays Joe’s Pub; book release of the Guggenheim Museum’s Tales of Our Time exhibition catalog; seven new exhibitions.

Here’s a peek at what’s further ahead:

January 20 – 22 – Future Host: A Speech Opera – a polyphonic soundscape created by combining fragmented words and unorthodox verbal expressions drawn from historical patterns of speaking and speech-making

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

January 27 – February 4 – Eternal Bruce Lee film series at MoMA brings five of his films in 4k restorations.

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) Wu Hongfei, Red Phantom of Chinese Rock Concert – Wu Hongfei, a legendary Chinese rock singer, a researcher of Grand Chorus of The Dong Minority, a magazine journalist, and a published novelist.

Originally from the southern Chinese province of Guangxi and a member of the Dong ethnic minority, Wu has the distinction of being China’s best-known female rock singer. Her music is eclectic, and generally unclassifiable by genre, though occasionally somewhat reminiscent of such avant-garde groups of Talking Heads. Songs range from quirky, upbeat, and sardonic to somber and brooding, the latter style leading some reviewers to describe her music as gothic. Wu says, “We never, ever let’ common taste’ influence our music. We do what we like”

Wu’s melodies are catchy, with her often pentatonic vocal melodies showing the influence of Chinese folk singing. In some songs, Wu’s expansive melodies extend to the highest register of her voice in a manner reminiscent of opera, while others are rather lullaby-like (“Knife”). Her albums often utilize vocal overdubbing to create an angelic choral effect. In a few songs (“Daughter”), Wu sings in a more unorthodox manner, using abrupt sliding tones, whispering, and even screaming, displaying a wide range of emotions. Her often consciously edgy vocals, thus, contrast considerably with those of the sweeter and more formulaic styles.

Friday, January 13, 7 PM
The Studio at Webster Hall


2) Empire of the Sun – The events of World War II, which ended the year before his birth, have exercised an enormous influence on Spielberg throughout his career. He turned to the Pacific theater with this ravishing adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s semi-autobiographical account of life among Western expats in a Japanese internment camp in China, starring a preternaturally talented thirteen-year-old Christian Bale.

Molly Haskell, author of the recent Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films, will introduce the film, with a book signing to follow.

Saturday, January 14, 2:30 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


3) Playback  Theater – New York Mandarin Playback – If you are a Mandarin speaker interested in theatrical performances and are concerned about the exploration of the mind, join this group of interesting, dynamic group who aim to aid Chinese community through sharing of personal stories and improvisational acting.

Saturday, January 14, 5 PM
Maggie Studio, 80 Bowery, Suite 302


4) Stephanie Chou at Joe’s Pub – Jazz musician and composer Stephanie Chou celebrates the release of her third album, Asymptote in this concert co-presented by China Institute. Her music combines classical and Chinese influences with jazz and pop harmony and rhythm. Asymptote features fresh arrangements of Chinese classics including “The Moon Represents My Heart” and “Kangding Love Song.” Chou’s goal is to create global music that is artistically challenging, bold and fearless, and which presents a unique musical perspective.

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the concert.  The winner of our drawing will also receive a copy of Asymptote.  Email by 11:59 PM Thursday, and pick a winner.

Saturday, January 14, 7 PM
Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street


5) Art and the Chinese New Year: Celebrating the Rooster! – Celebrate the Lunar New Year by exploring the meaning of roosters in Chinese art with Dr. Susan L. Beningson, Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, as she discusses objects in the Gallery’s current exhibition and other famous examples of this auspicious zodiac animal.

Wednesday, January 18, 6:30 PM
China Institute


6) The Guggenheim Presents: The Making of Tales of Our Time – This panel discussion on the conceptual, editorial, design, and production processes behind the exhibition catalogue Tales of Our Time at the Gugghenheim features exhibition curator Xiaoyu Weng; Julian Myers-Szupinska, California College of the Arts; Brian Kuan Wood, e-flux; and Chris Wu, Project Projects. It is moderated by Lisa Naftolin, Creative Director, Publishing and Digital Media at the Guggenheim. The evening includes a reading from the catalogue by Brian Kuan Wood, book signing, and light reception.

Wednesday, January 18, 6:30 PM
Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway


1) Some Like It Hot 《 情圣》- After the unexpected death of his best friend, a man examines his life and finds it incredibly lonely. Inspired by an encounter with a beautiful and sexy model, he embarks with his three friends on what turns out to be a crazy (and slightly stupid) endeavor on a path towards fulfillment.

Opens at AMC Empire 25 January 13.


Opening and Newly Added:

1) Ye Funa and Liang Ban: Self-Created Universe (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/12 – 2/25) – “Self-Created Universe” is a two person exhibition featuring Ye Funa and Liang Ban. Curated by Beili Wang, the exhibition showcases a body of comical and unique multimedia works by the two artists. Collectively, they speak to our increasingly image-saturated world through producing and fabricating visual materials drawn from mass media, pop culture, and everyday life.

Ye Funa, Two FriNA, 2015. C-print on acrylic sheet, 49 1/4 x 41 7/8 inches (125 x 106.5 cm). Edition of 5. Image Courtesy of Klein SunGallery and the artist, © Ye Funa.


2) Mosquitoes, Dusts, and Thieves (47 Canal Gallery, 1/12 – 2/12) – This exhibition features Ho King Man, Cici Wu, and Wang Xu, three founders of PRACTICE — an independent art project space located on the top floor of a Cantonese building in Chinatown. PRACTICE acts as an artist’s studio, exhibition space, and residency program. 47 Canal is an artist run gallery located in Chinatown.


3) Renqian Yang: Complementary Colors (Fou Gallery, 1/14 – 3/19) – Fou Gallery presents artist Renqian Yang’s first solo show in New York. The show features her recent practices with ceramics, paintings, and prints. Interested in the concept of interdependent binaries, Yang attempts to present sets of complementary colors in mixed materials, including clay, thread, acrylic, ink and paper. By revealing various contradictions that exist in the color field and in natural world, Yang’s work addresses the unity and the contradiction of dichotomies—restriction and freedom, complexity and simplicity, representation and abstraction.

Opening reception: Saturday, 1/14, 5 PM

Renqian Yang, Urban Sprawl 3, 8.5 x 10 x 7.5 inch, stoneware, underglaze, acrylic, 2016. ©2016 Renqian Yang, courtesy Fou Gallery


4) Chinese Export Art (Christie’s, 1/14 – 1/18) – With approximately 200 lots, this annual sale of China Trade porcelain and paintings features richly enameled wares made-to-order for 18th century Europeans and Americans, rare European subject-decorated pieces, armorial wares and large, decorative ‘country house’ porcelains such as pairs of massive jars, garnitures and punchbowls.

A pair of recumbent spaniels, 18th Century, 9 ½ in. (24.1 cm.) long. Image courtesy of Christie’s.


5) Willem de Kooning | Zao Wou-ki (Lévy Gorvy Gallery, 1/19 – 3/11) – Willem de Kooning|Zao Wou-Ki will pair two 20th century titans — the French-Chinese Zao and the Dutch-American de Kooning — for the first time. Featuring works on loan from major museums, the exhibition presents the first ever pairing of abstract landscapes by two 20th century titans whose lives, careers, and extraordinary artistic achievements suggest heretofore unexplored affinities with resonance in contemporary art. In particular, Zao’s bridging of Chinese painting traditions and Western postwar aesthetic breakthroughs, ambushes all expectation.


6) TimeLine – 2017 Lunar New Year Art Show (Rogue Space Chelsea, 1/19 – 1/20) – This artist-organized show presents an important view on how Chinese contemporary artists expound their views on society, nature, information, and beliefs. Participating artists: Dongze Huo, Finchy Meng, Han Qin, Junli Chen, Star Li, Ziyang Wu, Zhen Yu, Jiayang Li.

Han Qin, Home, 2016. Video projection on silk.


7) Anqi Huang: riKEA (Hollows Art Space, 1/19 – 1/22) – Furniture usually produces the itineraries and behaviors of those residing with it. iKEA coincides with the highly cost-effective contemporary ways of living by turning furniture into disposable consumables, yearly updated and abandoned. The promise of “democratic design” has insidiously turned us into free delegated labor mechanically yet readily assembling those flat packs according to the given instructions. “riKEA” is a personal interrogation of this industrialized, mass-produced lifestyle we unconsciously become complicit with. The artist reconstructs iKEA furniture pieces in traditional Chinese styles and techniques, with an attempt to evoke the ancient Eastern philosophy and an awing affect with qualities opposing to our current predominating conduct—endurance, uniqueness, and craftsmanship. This exhibition is curated by Yangxingyue Wang.

Opening reception: Thursday, 1/19, 6 PM


Closing soon:

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

Chinese Export Art (Christie’s, 1/14 – 1/18)

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


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.

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

Chinese Export Art (Christie’s, 1/14 – 1/18)

TimeLine – 2017 Lunar New Year Art Show (Rogue Space Chelsea, 1/19 – 1/20)

Anqi Huang: riKEA (Hollows Art Space, 1/19 – 1/22)

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

Phantom Pains (Gallery 456, 1/6 – 2/3)

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

Mosquitoes, Dusts, and Thieves (47 Canal Gallery, 1/12 – 2/12)

Ye Funa and Liang Ban: Self-Created Universe (Klein Sun Gallery, 1/12 – 2/25)

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant (Museum of Food and Drink Lab, 11/11/16 – 2/26/17)

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

Willem de Kooning | Zao Wou-ki (Lévy Gorvy Gallery, 1/19 – 3/11)

Renqian Yang: Complementary Colors (Fou Gallery, 1/14 – 3/19)

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

Infinite Compassion: Avalokiteshvara in Asian Art (Staten Island Museum, 10/22/16 – 9/25/17)

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America (Museum of Chinese in America, 10/6/2016- 3/26/17) 

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 -10/9/17)

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)