NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: February 10 – February 16, 2017

Taiwan Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival on February 11 marks the end of the Chinese New Year.  Buy or make your own tangyuan for a sweet end to the holiday!

This week: An artist-led tour of an exhibition featuring works inspired and informed by horror films and cinema; family festival at Museum of Chinese in America; a documentary about minorities in the New York’s public school system; a film that evokes Jia Zhangke;  China Residencies invites you over for dumplings; two exhibition openings, including one that reconstruct incomplete or lost works from Taiwan and Korea and contemplates originality versus reproducibility and the idea of authorship.

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

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

February 20 – A conference on global histories of music theory which includes music from China

February 22 and 23 – Plastic China, a film about the human and environmental costs of plastic waste screens as part of Doc Fortnight 2017: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media

February 24 – Kevin Chu, Research Manager at the Museum of Chinese in America, talks about the work of Emile Bocian, a photographer who photographed the Chinese community for The China Post in the 1970s and 1980s, and how his collection came to the museum.

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) Life after Life 《枝繁叶茂》– Presented in conjunction with Tales of Our Time, this film program features documentary and narrative works that explore topics shared with the exhibition, investigating concepts such as boundaries, territory, migration, and place.

Revolving around the tortuous attempt of a man and his son to salvage a tree from their now deserted rural commune in northwestern China, Life after Life (2016) is a slow, heavily stylized yet incredibly poised deadpan drama combining producer Jia Zhangke’s characteristic wry commentary about social alienation and the quietly seething static imagery of Pedro Costa.

Slant calls the film “graceful” and a “austere, auspicious debut” for the director Zhang Hangyi.

Dir.  Zhang Hanyi
2016, 80 min.
Mandarin with English subtitles

Friday, February 10, 1 PM
Saturday, February 11, 1 PM
Guggenheim Musem


2) Chinese Brush Painting Workshop – This workshop, led by multidisciplinary artist, Jun Gao, PhD, is presented in conjunction with Tales of Our Time, an exhibition of contemporary art from China.

After a short gallery tour, participants will head to our art studio to create their own work inspired by traditional Chinese techniques using ink, calligraphy brushes, and rice paper.

Saturday, February 11, 10 AM – 1 PM
Guggenheim Museum


3) Tested Film Screening and Q&A with filmmaker Curtis Chin – The gap in opportunities for different races in America remains extreme. Nowhere is this more evident than our nation’s top public schools. In New York City, where blacks and Hispanics make up 70% of the city’s school-aged population, they represent less than 5% at the city’s most elite public high schools. Meanwhile Asian Americans make up as much as 73%. This documentary follows a dozen racially and socio-economically diverse 8th graders as they fight for a seat at one of these schools. Their only way in: to ace a single standardized test. Tested includes the voices of such education experts as Pedro Noguera and Diane Ravitch as it explores such issues as access to a high-quality public education, affirmative action, and the model-minority myth.

Writer/Producer/Director Curtis Chin will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Saturday, February 11, 2 – 4:30 PM
Chatham Square, 33 E. Broadway


6) Ho Sintung: Surfaced – A Private Gallery Tour & Film Screening – A special private gathering celebrating the opening of the exhibition Ho Sintung: Surfaced at Chambers Fine Art, featuring Hong Kong artist Ho Sintung’s newest drawings, mixed-media and installation works. This event includes an exclusive gallery tour led by Ho Sintung, followed by a screening of a humorous horror film handpicked by the artist – with popcorn served of course! A unique experience of the eccentric reimaginations and tongue-in-cheek hommages that Ho Sintung: Surfaced pays to the world of cinema, visual arts and literature. Co-hosted by the Gallery and CURRENT 川.

Saturday,February 11, 2-5 PM
Chambers Fine Art, 522 West 19th Street.


7) Lunar New Year Family Festival – Ring in the Year of the Rooster with MOCA! Celebrate Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts with tons of zodiac themed arts & crafts, lively dance performances, festive food sampling, storytelling, and much more- Strut on over!

Sunday, February 12, 11 AM – 4 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


8) WOW Dumpling Art Party – Come craft your very own art dumplings and discover the work created by Melissa Liu during her 店面 residency, reflecting oral histories from the Asian diaspora.

All proceeds go towards supporting China Residencies’ nonprofit mission to help artists & activists do important things in China, Chinatown & beyond.

Sunday, February 12, 6 – 9 PM
Wing On Wo & Co, 26 Mott Street


1) Duckweed乘风破浪》– An emotional story by popular blogger Han Han about the reconciliation between a father and his son. Ah Lang, a youth from a small town, thinks that his father Ah Zheng never understood his occupation and life. In a fateful occurrence, he is able to experience his father’s legendary and interesting life in the past.

Review by Variety

Opens at AMC Empire 25 February 10


2) Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back 《西遊伏妖篇》  – After killing Miss Duan in the last story, Monkey King is now tamed by Tang Sanzang and has become one of his disciples. Tang continues his journey to the West with Monkey King, Sandy and Pigsy. They encounter and flight with many demons during their treacherous journey. These demon battles enable them to grow and learn how to become a better person.

Tsui Hark’s sequel to Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was the top grossing film in China in the first weekend of the Chinese New Year.

The Hollywood Reporter says the film is undemanding but notes Tsui and Chow’s imaginative treatment of classic Chinese stories.

At AMC Empire 25


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.

Visit Wakka Wakka Productions’ Facebook page for information on ticket discounts.

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) Celebrating the Year of the Rooster (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1/25 – 7/4) – Each of the 12 animals in the zodiac corresponds to a year in a repeating 12-year cycle that makes up the traditional East Asian lunar calendar. The association of these zodiac animals with the Chinese calendar first appeared in the third century B.C., and became firmly established by the first century. The rooster is also an auspicious figure, because its crowing brings out the sun and dispels the darkness. Consequently, roosters have been a popular motif in Chinese art since ancient times. A few choice examples from the Metropolitan Museum collection are featured in its Asian galleries. 

Incense Burner in the Shape of a Rooster, 18th century, China. Image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art


2) Su Yu-Hsien and Cici Wu: A Disappearing Act (Triangle, 20 Jay Street, #317, Brooklyn, 2/16 – 2/27) – Curated by Xiaofei Mo, A Disappearing Act presents two newly commissioned projects by Su Yu-Hsien and Cici Wu, both developed from archival research in an effort to reconstruct historical works that were either lost, fragmented, never realized, or inherently ephemeral. Thinking of archives as constructive and active catalysts that generate new meanings and spur artistic imagination, the exhibition aims to reflect on the boundary between originality and reproducibility, and to explore questions surrounding the notion of authorship: What does it mean to sign one’s name, or to withdraw it? What happens when images begin to circulate in absence of ‘the artist’?

Opening reception: Thursday, February 16, 7 – 9 PM

Public Programs:

Conversation with Howie Chen, Su Yu-Hsien, and Cici Wu
February 23, 7 PM

Das Blut, im Fruchtfleisch gerinnend beim Birnenbiss: Screening and Conversation with Tobias Madison
February 27, 7 PM


3) Construction and Contemplation: Noa Charuvi, Li Gang (Art100 Gallery, 2/16 – 3/31/2017) – Art100 Gallery will open its second exhibition Construction and Contemplation featuring two remarkable painters who have developed individuated, contemporary means of expressiveness that grow from distinct classical foundations: the Israeli artist Noa Charuvi , and Chinese artist Li Gang.

Opening reception: Thursday, February 16, 6 – 8 PM

Li Gang, Ink Element No. 20161017, 19 x 19 in. (49 x 49 cm.), 2016. Courtesy of Art 100 Gallery and the artist

Closing soon:

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)


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.

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)

Pauline Benton and the Red Gate Exhibition (Flushing Town Hall, 2/3 – 2/26)

Su Yu-Hsien and Cici Wu: A Disappearing Act (Triangle, 2/16 – 2/27/2017)

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)

David Diao: HongKong Boyhood (Postmasters Gallery, 2/4 – 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)

Construction and Contemplation: Noa Charuvi, Li Gang (Art100 Gallery, 2/16 – 3/31/2017)

Ho Sintung: Surfaced (Chambers Fine Arts, 2/2 – 4/1)

Celebrating the Year of the Rooster (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1/25 – 7/4/2017)

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: 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival.  From Flickr user Mark Kao