NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: March 17 – March 23, 2017

Nanjing University

Beyond Chinatown is heading to Hong Kong and Taiwan, March 19 – April 2!  We’ll be visiting Art Basel and Art Central in Hong Kong, and in both places we’ll be visiting cultural institutions and looking for arts, culture, and history.  If you have any places you think we should go, send us a message.

This week: A documentary about the difficulties of parents of autistic children in finding services and educational resources; a restored version of Edward Yang’s Taipei Story, a Chinese director at the New Directors/New Films 2017 series; a talk on how to appreciate Chinese paintings; an opening reception at the Taipei Cultural Center; a closing at Fou Gallery; and five new exhibition listings.

[Updated to correct an omitted listing]

Don’t forget Asia Week New York continues through March 18.

Also, the Queens World Film Festival screens Patrick Chen’s short film The Last Tip on March 19.

March 29 – A talk, continued from last fall, with Artist, Curator, and Managing Editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art  Zheng Shengtian about art and theater during the Cultural Revolution

April 3 – Major international loan exhibition Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220) opens at The Metropolitan Museum 

April 5 – Nanfu Wang’s daring documentary about activist Ye Haiyan, aka Hooligan Sparrow screens at BAM.

April 13 – Ian Johnson talks about his new book about China’s spiritual revival.

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) The Summer is Gone 《八月》– Dalei Zhang’s atmospheric debut feature is a portrait of a family in Inner Mongolia in the early 1990s that doubles as a snapshot of a pivotal moment in recent Chinese history. As the country settles into its new market economy, 12-year-old Xiaolei stretches out his final summer before beginning middle school, while his father contends with the possibility of losing his job as a filmmaker for a state-run studio, and his mother, a teacher, worries about her son’s grades and future. Beautifully shot in shimmering black-and-white, The Summer Is Gone is intimate and far-reaching, creating ripples of uncertainty from the microcosm of one family’s everyday life.

Screens as part of the New Directors/New Films 2017 series.

Friday, March 17, 9 PM


2) Destiny  《喜禾》Destiny follows a mother on her journey to find services and educational resources for her autistic child. Inspired by his own experiences as the father of an autistic boy, Director Zhang Wei, the film is amongst the first of its kind to take a hard look at the devastating effects of autism on Chinese families – a problem not widely appreciated by many.

Followed by a Q&A with the director.

Friday, March 17, 9:15 PM
Cinépolis Chelsea, 260 West 23rd Street


3) An Afternoon of Peking Opera – The New York Chinese Opera Society performs arias and opera in this free concert.

Saturday, March 18, 2 – 4 PM
Flushing Library


4) Considerate Creations: Chameleons Opening Reception – Opening for the first installment of an exhibition featuring three female Taiwanese artists, curated by the art manager of Taipei Artist Village.

See the description of the exhibition below.

Saturday, March 18 2 – 4 PM
Taipei Cultural Center, 1 E. 42nd St.


5) Reading Paintings – The Intricacies and Essence of Chinese Painting – In this special lecture, Ms. Hu Yanyan, President of China Guardian Auctions, the premier auction house that specializes in Chinese antiques and art, and a senior specialist in Chinese calligraphy and painting, will examine the Chinese masterworks from ancient, modern, and contemporary, to lead the appreciation of Chinese paintings from the form, brush work, significance and its collection value.

Saturday, March 18, 2 PM
China Institute


6) Artist Talk with Renqian Yang and Closing Reception – Renqian Yang will do a walkthrough and talk about her ceramic and painted works for the closing reception of her first New York solo show.

Saturday, March 18, 2 PM
Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave, #1, Brooklyn


7) Lucky – Join local author Henry Chang at MOCA for a reading and discussion of his latest novel, Lucky.

Thursday, March 23, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


1) Taipei Story 《青梅竹馬》 This touchstone of the Taiwanese New Wave, master director Edward Yang’s (Yi Yi, A Brighter Summer Day) long unavailable second feature, is a ghostly, profound portrait of urban alienation. Amid the high-rise wonderland of boom-time 1980s Taipei, a multitude of characters struggle to keep pace with the country’s rapid modernization, including a corporate ladder-climbing office worker (Tsai) and her boyfriend (filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien), a former baseball player who escapes reality by endlessly watching taped baseball games.

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna/L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

At BAM 3/17 – 3/23


2) Tea Drunk at The Met – The Metropolitan Museum of Art and East Village tea shop host a new sit-down café with a Chinese tea house theme.

This three-month pop-up café is located on the second-floor balcony overlooking the Museum’s majestic Great Hall, with its soaring domes supported by colossal limestone arches and piers. This new café serves a selection of authentic Chinese teas harvested from renowned tea-growing mountains in China, as well as small plates featuring light delicacies. Surrounded by antique Asian ceramics in long wall cases, the café offers guests an opportunity to experience a tea-drinking culture that emerged in medieval China around the eighth century and continues to the present day.

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 AM. to 4:30 PM; Friday and Saturday, 10 AM to 3:30 PM.

2nd Floor balcony of the Great Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through June


3) The Great Wall -In this action-fantasy epic set in 11th century China, two mercenaries from the West (Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal) are captured by a military organization that are headquartered in a fortress on the Great Wall. In time, the duo get caught up in a battle between the Chinese warriors and a supernatural menace that the Great Wall was built to repel. Jing Tian, Andy Lau, Zhang Hanyu, Willem Dafoe, and Eddie Peng co-star. Directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), this collaboration with Hollywood is the most expensive Chinese film to date. (Jack Rodgers, Rovi)

The film is accused of white washing or white knighting (spoiler alert) and having a threadbare story but is beautiful and a lot of fun.

At multiple theaters


Opening and Newly Added:

1)  Crys Yin: If You Were Home, You’d Be Here By Now (Amy Li Projects, 2/16 – 3/20) – Crys Yin’s still life paintings include objects and references from her Taiwanese background and American upbringing, a duality which informs her work. The flat acrylic paintings features a series of nostalgic and everyday objects presented on plain wooden tabletops, which Yin contrasts by employing them with an emotional quality. The softness of the shapes against the bright palette gives each work a unique depth with the unexpected, yet intentional, juxtaposition of mundane items. The artist pairs these sentimental and cultural objects with false shadows, perhaps to convey cultural misconnections and the struggle to feel a sense of belonging. The series continues with figure-based paintings, which loosely depict the comedic side of the artist’s personal and often tragic or awkward experiences. Similar to the still-life paintings, the figures also offer a glimpse into Yin’s experience of being an “other.”

Crys Yin, “Goober Slipper Coaster Spoon, Everything Is Exactly the Same”, 2017, 47 x 57 inches. Images courtesy of Amy Li Projects and the artist.


2) Considerate Creations: Chameleons (Taipei Cultural Center, 3/17 – 4/28) – Curated by I-Hua Lee of Taipei Artist Village, Taipei Culture Center in New York presents a group show of female artists CHIU Yu-Chen, HU Nung-Hsin and WONG Kit-Yi.


3) Kenneth Tin-kin Hung: In God We Trust (2009) (Postmasters Gallery, 3/18 – 4/22) – Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s 2009 series In G.O.D. We Trust will be shown in its entirety for the first time. G.O.D., in this case, stands for Global Obama Domination. The series comprises a video animation and a group of digital collages addressing the global and domestic challenges that faced the Obama administration early in his presidency. In an attempt to heal the world, Obama The Savior reincarnates into various prophets, spiritual leaders and deities: Jesus Christ, Krishna, Abraham, Mohammad, the Yoruba Orisha God Elugua/Eshu, Buddha, and the Virgin of Guadalupe. The series remixes the theological pillars of the various belief systems, substituting key elements of the holy texts with references to the political and economical climate when Obama took office.

Born in 1977 in Hong Kong, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung has been called “the John Heartfield of the digital era.” Like Heartfield, who developed photomontage technique and turned it into a form of social critique, Hung’s meticulously researched collages, animations and video games (composed entirely of imagery sourced from the web) deliver a biting satire and hit hard at the hypocrisies of political rhetoric.

Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung,“In G.O.D. We Trust: Krishna”, 2009, digital print, 40 x 72 inches


4) Ming-Jer Kuo: Suburban Form (Chashama, 3/23 – 4/5) – Engineer-turned-artist Ming-Jer Kuo brings life to the windows of 1351 Amsterdam Ave. (126th St. and Martin Luther King Blvd.) with his most recent Suburban Form installation. With their development of urban areas, humans not only overlaid their living patterns onto nature, but saw this phenomenon as an extension of nature. Suburban Form plays with this idea, suggesting a system of suburban constructions that mimic natural systems. Composed with acetate images of suburban construction, the installation is an environment in which the natural and man-made co-exist, creating a physical and emotional experience for the viewer.


5) Jes Fan: No Clearance in Niche (Museum of Arts and Design, 3/2 – 4/30) – Reflecting on the intersections of many identities, Canada-born, Hong Kong-raised, and now Brooklyn-based artist Jes Fan questions the concept of “otherness” by creatively exploring materials and substances with social, political, and erotic connotations. Working with latex, silicone, glycerin, and injectable Depo-Testosterone, Fan’s playful, poetic objects and drawings explore transgender identity, body modification, and self-determination. Critical of stereotypes and hierarchies, Fan’s paradoxical creations (a limp pink silicone dumbbell, testosterone-scented candles) greet viewers as riddles, inspiring complex meditations on the conventions and inventions of gender.

Jes Fan – ‘Wedged I, II, III’, 2016. Resin, Silicone, Glass


Closing soon:

Vestigial Future (Gallery 456, 2/17 – 3/17)

The Endless and Mobile Beautiful Collapsible Labyrinth (Flux Factory, 3/3 – 3/17)

China Now: New Literati Art (Ink Studio, 3/9 – 3/18)

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)

Crys Yin: If You Were Home, You’d Be Here By Now (Amy Li Projects, 2/16 – 3/20)

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

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


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.

Vestigial Future (Gallery 456, 2/17 – 3/17)

The Endless and Mobile Beautiful Collapsible Labyrinth (Flux Factory, 3/3 – 3/17)

China Now: New Literati Art (Ink Studio, 3/9 – 3/18)

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)

Crys Yin: If You Were Home, You’d Be Here By Now (Amy Li Projects, 2/16 – 3/20)

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

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

Ming-Jer Kuo: Suburban Form (Chashama, 3/23 – 4/5)

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant (Museum of Food and Drink Lab, 11/11/16 – 4/2/17)

Shen Wei: Between Blossoms (Flower Gallery, 3/2 – 4/22)

Considerate Creations: Chameleons (Taipei Cultural Center, 3/17 – 4/28)

Shen Shaomin: Keep Upright (Klein Sun Gallery, 3/6 – 4/29)

Red Attack (Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, 2/25 – 4/29)

REWOVEN: Innovative Fiber Art (QCC Art Gallery CUNY, 3/16 -6/20) 

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

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

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)

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America (Museum of Chinese in America, 10/6/2016- 9/10/17) 

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: Nanjing University’s North Administration Building.  Photo by Flickr user Nemetz33, licensed through Creative Commons.