NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: January 27 – February 2, 2017


The Year of the Rooster begins on Saturday, January 28, and naturally most events this week are Chinese New Year related.  As they’ve done in past years, China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts has organized events in New York: in addition to the below, there are fireworks over the Hudson River (1/26) and a Empire State Building light installation (1/26 and 1/27), and Min Xiao-Fen mixes jazz and early 20th century Chinese popular music.  Local artists and organizations, including Asia Society, Wing On Wo & Co., Chop Suey Club, are also hosting activities.  MoMA screens 4k restoration of essential Bruce Lee films, and Metrograph screens a stunning documentary of the cost and broken promises of coal mining in China.

If you’re looking to celebrate as some do in China, tune into the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala live on YouTube at 7 AM on Friday, 1/27.  Need to go to work and aren’t celebrating until the evening?  No worries, this year’s show will available to view afterwards.  Past shows are available to watch now, if you want to get in the mood early.

Word to the wise, restaurants and stores in Chinatown and Flushing are probably going to be closed beginning Friday afternoon, so don’t plan on eating there or doing last minute shopping for decorations and hongbao.  Maybe you can try having a party with friends and family?  Instead of hotpot, impress them and bring in prosperity with yusheng?

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

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.

February 3 – 26 – A rare vintage shadow puppet exhibition

February 17 – Lunar New Year Shadow Puppet Slam hosted by Chinese Theatre Works

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) LNY Oral History Window Display Opening – Join Wing On Wo & Co.’s inaugural Lunar New Year 店面 Artist-in-Residence Melissa Liu for the opening launch of her window display project, and celebrate the Lunar New Year early with light snacks and drinks.

Thursday, January 26, 7 PM
Wing On Wo & Co., 26 Mott Street


2) Panel Discussion on Art and New Urban Culture  – A panel discussion presented as part of CAFA’s Lunar New Year events in NYC.

Friday, January 27, 2 PM
Arthur Satz Auditorium, New York School of Interior, 170 E 70th St.


3) Experimental Film Screening – CAFA presents experimental films by Chinese artists.

Friday, January 27, 4 PM
Saturday, January 28, 6 PM
Arthur Satz Auditorium, New York School of Interior Design, 170 E 70th St


4) The Spell of Spring – To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, the International Chamber Orchestra of America Brass Quintet brings wonderful Chinese folk tunes to Manhattan.  Join for a festive night with drinks, Chinese traditional candies and music.

Friday, January 27, 7 PM
Blender Workspace, 135 Madison Avenue


5) Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival 2017  – Annual firecracker lighting event in Chinatown.

Saturday, January 28
Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Chrystie Street, Chinatown


6) Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar – Following the Chinese tradition of temple fairs, Flushing Town Hall’s 3rd annual Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar returns with performances, martial arts, crafts, and food to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.

Saturday, January 28, 11 AM – 1 PM; 2 PM – 4 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing


7) Family Day: Moon Over Manhattan! Celebrate Lunar New Year – Asia Society rings in the Year of the Rooster with performances and traditional craft activities inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia. Activities will include a Lion Dance and kung fu demonstration, musical performances, and more.

Saturday, January 28, 1 PM
Asia Society


8) The Egg Came First – Contemporary Chinese design store Chop Suey Club celebrates the Chinese New Year in their expanded upstairs space with red envelopes, drinks, dumplings, snacks, and sweets. 50 unique fortune envelopes by artist Ashley Yang Thompson will be available.

Proceeds from the evening will support Planned Parenthood.

Saturday, January 28, 4 PM – 11 PM
Chop Suey Club, 81 Hester Street


9) Year of the Rooster! with Min Xiao-Fen and Gizelxanath – Come celebrate Chinese New Year as we enter the Year of the Rooster–at the Red Rooster Harlem. The Afro Yaqui Music Collective will be collaborating with the legendary Pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen whom the The New York Times has called “a pipa player like no other,” and the Village Voice proclaims has “taken ancient Chinese string music into the future.” With The Afro Yaqui Music Collective, Min Xiao-Fen will be performing her “Satin Doll and Shanghai Doll,” a tribute to the influence of jazz on the development of Chinese popular music.

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective will also be performing works by the late, guggenheim award-winning Fred Ho, whose revolutionary Monkey Orchestra combined grooving jazz-funk with Peking Opera styles and wild improvisation. Soprano Gizelxanath will be singing a fusion between Peking Opera, Indigenous Yaqui music and the jazz-blues tradition that will bring 2017 in swinging.

Saturday, January 28, 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM
Ginny’s Supper Club at Red Rooster Harlem, 310 Malcolm X Boulevard


10) New York Philharmonic Chinese New Year Celebration – The New York Philharmonic ushers in the Year of the Rooster with a festive concert featuring Puccini’s ravishing Turandot; beloved Chinese folk and art songs; a new trumpet concerto, Joie Éternelle (Eternal Joy); and Ravel’s immortal Boléro — which crescendos into an auspicious new year of good fortune.

Tuesday, January 31, 7:30 PM
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center


1) Behemoth 《悲兮魔兽》 – Zhao Liang (Petition) is at the forefront of a generation of fearless mainland Chinese documentarians, braving censorship and worse to tell the story of their country’s hyperspeed “progress.” His latest, shot in coal mines in Inner Mongolia, is a mythic-realist film of harrowing close-up and infernal long shots that beggar belief, evoking both Dante and Bosch en route to a haunting climax in an ultramodern pre-fab labyrinth.

Zhao said to the New York Times, “All we know is that this is a group of people who’ve been tossed about on earth and in the end they didn’t get anything. Their bodies are worn out and the environment is damaged. That’s all.”

The Guardian calls the film “masterly” as it channels Sebastião Salgado, Dante, Edward Burtynsky, and Hieronymous Bosch.  The Director

January 27 – February 2
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


2) Eternal Bruce Lee – This series features all five films Lee starred in at his prime. It includes the North American premieres of new 4k restorations of The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972), and Game of Death (1978). Enter the Dragon(1973) is also featured, in a weeklong run.

January 27 – February 4


3) 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.

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

4) 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) Image of the Mind: Contemporary Chinese Art and Cross-Cultural Dialogue: China-America Young Artists (Metropolitan Pavilion, 1/26 – 1/29) – For the third year, China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts presents two exhibitions as part of its Chinese New Year festivities in New York.

Image of the Mind: Contemporary Chinese Art

Works by sixteen pioneering contemporary Chinese artists, including Shang Yang, Hong Yao, Ma Lu, Su Xinping, Zhan Wang, Lyu Pinchang, Miao Xiaochun, Zhang Fangbai, Huang Yong, Qiu Ting, Feng Fang and more, who utilize different media and artistic languages to incorporate the Chinese ink painting technique “freehand” into contemporary Chinese art, forming new outlooks on contemporary Chinese art and treading new paths in its development.

Cross-Cultural Dialogue: China-America Young Artists & China-America Art Students

This exhibition focuses on cross-cultural dialogue, and showcase the latest works of Chinese and American art students and young artists, presenting concerns, creative perspectives, and varying approaches from new generations of artists.

Opening reception: January 26, 6 – 9 PM


2) +1 Year of the Rooster (The Clemente, 1/26 – 2/25) – In a contemporary art world where trends are transnational and works reflect a distinct provenance that can be critically and commercially sidelined, how do artists from a country with such a long standing art-making tradition handle tensions between heritage and international projection?

Curator: Miguel Trelles, Ora Xu
Participant Artists: Yinan Cheng, Yu Jin, Shelia Liu, Yiduo Li, Cathy Sun, Anyu Wu, Ora Xu, Vanessa Xu, Apple Zhou
Special Guest: Jueyuan Shen

Opening reception: January 26, 6 – 9 PM


Closing soon:

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

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)


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)

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: Title screen of the first Chinese New Year broadcast by Beijing Television, a predecessor of the CCTV New Year’s Gala, in 1956

The post was updated to include Min Xiao-Fen’s concert.