NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: January 20 – January 26, 2017

Chinese New Year Decoration

This coming week: A speech opera inspired by a pioneering electroacoustic work; a talk about the Grand Canal of China; an oral history workshop; Taiwanese singer-songwriter; Enno Cheng; an opportunity to see Hai-Hsin Huang’s unique perspective on The Met Museum; and more…

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

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

February 3 – From Harlem to Shanghai and Back – Min Xiao-Fen’s Blue Pipa Trio  reinterprets the work of  legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Buck Clayton, Chinese composer Li Jinhui, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

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) Future Host: A Speech Opera – Inspired by Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge and the post-socialist experience, Future Host features spatialized speech recordings and original music performed by a string quartet. Written in Chinese and performed by 19 voice actors, Future Host channels historical patterns of speaking and speech-making in the amorphous form of chorus. Along with live musical performance, fragmented words and unorthodox verbal expressions are digitally composed into a polyphonic soundscape, where the ambulatory audience form their own individual, immersive acoustic experience beyond the limits of comprehensibility.

Friday, January 20, 8 PM
Saturday, January 21, 3 PM
Sunday, January 21, 6 PM
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Queens


2) Lunar New Year Red Envelope & Oral History Workshop – Melissa Liu, inaugural W.O.W. Project artist-in-residence, 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 weeeks leading up to Lunar New Year (January 28, 2017), anyone identified 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.

Saturday, January 21, 10 AM
Wing On Wo & Co, 26 Mott Street


3) The Grand Canal of China – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Grand Canal is the longest canal in the world and a famous tourist destination. Starting in Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou, linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, although the various sections were finally combined during the Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). The canal has been admired by many throughout history including Japanese monk Ennin (794–864), Persian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), Korean official Choe Bu (1454–1504), and Italian missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610).

At this lecture, Mr. Qifeng Cheng, a researcher of the Grand Canal, will relate the history of the canal and its effect on Chinese society and culture. He will also share with the audience new findings through his and other scholars’ research.

Mr. Qifeng Cheng currently works for The National Association of Broadcasters. He also serves as the managing director of Today, a Chinese literary journal.

Saturday, January 21, 2 PM
China Institute


4) Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Lunar New Year Celebration – Year of the Rooster – The prestigious Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company performs an all-new celebration of Chinese arts commemorating the Year of the Rooster, cousin to the mythical Phoenix, whose song awakens the world each morning and whose confidence and loyalty are well regarded. Delightful red lions, golden dragons, and white peacocks frolic and play to the exotic sounds of traditional instruments, while graceful dancers and astounding acrobats showcase the rich culture of one of Brooklyn’s most vibrant communities.

Sunday, January 22, 3 PM
Walt Whitman Theater, Brooklyn Center, 2925 Avenue H, Brooklyn


5) 鄭宜農 Enno Cheng – Taiwanese Waves presents Enno Cheng, a Taiwanese indie singer-songwriter, and actress. In 2011, she published her first personal album Neptune, appreciated for her distinctive personal style. To explore more possibilities in music, she formed the band Chocolate Tiger and later founded another special project Felix Felicis with her friends from other bands. She adopts significantly different styles in various stages, displaying her ambition to develop diverse interests.

Enno has participated in the production of four albums since 2007, and has performed both individually and with her band(s) in major music festivals in Taiwan and overseas, including SXSW (U.S.), Formoz Festival (TW), MegaPort Festival (TW), RockIn Taichung Music Festival (TW), Wake Up Festival (TW), and Simple Life (TW). She opened for Broken Social Scene in their concert in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sunday, January 22, 9 PM
Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St.


6) NYAFF Lunar New Year Party 2017 – Organizers of the New York Asian Film Festival host this party to celebrate the Year of the Rooster with food and drink.

Thursday, January 26, 6 PM
The Warren, 131 Christopher Street


1) Made in China – From the creative talents behind the highly-regarded Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey comes a new darkly comedic puppet musical.

Inspired by true events, Made In China is a fantastical exploration of human rights, consumerism, and morality as told through the unlikely love story between an odd middle-aged American woman and her Chinese ex-pat neighbor. Made In China features 30 puppets, seven puppeteers, music inspired by both American and Chinese traditions, and animated video.

The musical is a New York Times Critic’s Pick.  Reduced price tickets are available during the preview period, January 11 – 22.

January 10 – February 19
59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St.

2) Incident at Hidden Temple – Building on the success of 2015’s ‘Film Chinois’ by Damon Chua, an atmospheric mystery in the genre of film noir, ‘Incident at Hidden Temple’ will focus on China in the 40’s with a narrative inspired by real events. Using the historic Flying Tigers squadron as the setting, and the key presence of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the play throws open a window into the critical role played by American pilots in China during WWII. The mystery hinges upon three Chinese women – two sisters separated by wartime chaos, and the third who unwittingly crosses their paths.

Presented by Pan Asian Repertory Theater

January 21 – February 12
The Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street


Opening and Newly Added:

1) Ref•er•enced (Danese Corey, 1/10 – 2/4) – Hai-Hsin Huang is part of this exhibition consisting of works in a range of mediums by thirteen contemporary artists who, at various times and to differing degrees throughout their careers, have turned to the history of art to reinvigorate and reimagine significant concepts or individual works that have had an impact on their lives and careers.

Hai-Hsin Huang – The Met, 2014. Pencil on paper, 53 x 117 in.


2) Abstract Art in Dialogue (New York School of Interior Design, 1/24 – 1/28) –  Curated by NYSID instructor Dr. Zhijian Qian, this exhibition showcases artworks by artists from different cultural traditions who explore new possibilities in abstract art from a variety of approaches. The exhibition features invited artists Ze Gao, Dongze Huo, Derek Lerner, Yue Liu, Yushan Liu, Chen Shen, Adam Simon, Miljan Suknovic, and Renqian Yang.

Abstract Art in Dialogue is organized by Central Academy of Fine Arts and the New York School of Interior Design in conjunction with Fantastic Art China 2017, an annual event concurring with the Lunar New Year, sponsored by Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).

Renqian Yang, Radial Light, 2013. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

Opening reception: January 23, 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)

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)

Abstract Art in Dialogue (New York School of Interior Design, 1/24 – 1/28)


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)

Abstract Art in Dialogue (New York School of Interior Design, 1/24 – 1/28)

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

Ref•er•enced (Danese Corey, 1/10 – 2/4)

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)

Lead image: Chinese New Year home decoration