NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: June 16 – June 22, 2017

electric-power-lines-1954

This week: Composer Hung-Ping Chang presents two performances, one at a casual venue and the other that partners with Whale and Dolphin Conservation to promote conservation; a block party celebrating the ethnic diversity of the LES and Chinatown; a Taiwanese film that won the audience award at the Singapore International Film Festival; a documentary on a successful dancer who is the first transgender woman officially recognized by the Chinese government; a conversation between artists I-Hua Lee and Margaret Lee; five new exhibition listings; and more…

If you’re a designer of Chinese descent, you might be interested in submitting your design to the Taiwan’s Golden Pin Design Award for review by recognized leaders in the design field and for the opportunity to attract commercial interest.  Submissions are being accepted through June 30, 2017.

Coming up:

June 30 – July 15 – New York Asian Film Festival. We’ll have coverage soon, but check out the full line up. Tickets are on sale now!

July 14 and 15 – Cloud River Mountain – Gong Linna and the Bang on a Can All-Stars explore the world of the gods, spirits, and shamans of ancient Chinese myths and poetry in this evening-length work co-composed by Lao Luo and Bang on a Can Co-Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.

July 29 – Taiwanese bands Fire Ex, Dadado Huang + Berry j, and Sangpuy at Taiwanese Waves.

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.

We’re looking for contributors!  If you’re interested in writing an article, contributing photos or artworkto be featured with our weekly events and exhibitions listing, letting us know about an event, send a pitch at beyondchinatown@gmail.com.


UPCOMING EVENTS

1) A Thousand Years of Good Prayers – Mr. Shi, a Chinese man , travels to America to visit his American-resident daughter after her recent divorce. Though his trip starts off as a mission to see his daughter remarry, he realizes a generational and geographical divide has developed between them preventing him from completing the journey he set out for. In turn, Mr. Shi ends up exploring human relationships and communication barriers. (Amazon)

Dir. Wayne Wang
2008, 83 min.

Made possible by NYC Parks and the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).  RSVP is requested.

Friday, June 16, 8 PM
Columbus Park, 67 Mulberry St.

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2) Colonel Jin Xing: A Unique Destiny: A Film Screening and Talk on Transgender Rights –  Jin Xing is a ballerina, modern dancer, choreographer, and actress from the People’s Republic of China, and owner of the contemporary dance company “Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theatre.” She is one of the first, and few, transgender women officially recognized by the Chinese government. ‘Colonel Jin Xing: A Unique Destiny’ is a candid documentary on this extraordinary woman’s journey.

After the screening, Pauline Park (co-founder and chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy [NYAGRA] and president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House) will give a talk on the life of Jin Xing and the implications for the development of a transgender community and movement and for LGBT rights in the People’s Republic of China and the Asia/Pacific region more broadly.

A trailer doesn’t seem to be available online, but here’s a short video about her:

Saturday, June 17, 2 PM
Chatham Square Library, 33 East Broadway

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3) The Wind Walk – The Wind Walk features Taiwanese composer Hung-Ping Chang’s Eastern-influenced music with a revised here with jazz flavor. Joined by pianist Yi-Hsuan (Sobina) Chi and violinist Yu-Wei (YoYo) Hsiao, the concert also presents Sobina’s new works, Schoenfield’s Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano, Piazzolla Oblivion for Violin and Piano, and other classical works. Eschewing the formality of a stuffy concert hall, they encourage you to bring an adult beverage while enjoying the music in the intimate venue.

Saturday, June 17, 4 PM
The Duplex Piano Bar and Cabaret Theater, 61 Christopher Street

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4) Complicit – Shot below the radar, Complicit follows the journey of Chinese factory migrant worker-turned-activist Yi Yeting, who takes his fight against the global electronic industry from his hospital bed to the international stage. While battling his own work-induced leukemia, Yi Yeting teaches himself labour law in order to prepare a legal challenge against his former employers. But the struggle to defend the lives of millions of Chinese people from becoming terminally ill due to working conditions necessitates confrontation with some of the world’s largest brands including Apple and Samsung. Unfortunately, neither powerful businesses nor the government are willing to have such scandals exposed.

Dirs. Heather White and Lynn Zhang
2017, 90 min.
In Mandarin with English subtitles and English

Screens as part of the Human Rights Watch Festival.

Screening followed by panel discussion with filmmaker Heather White and Todd Larsen, Executive Co-Director, Consumer and Corporate Engagement, Green America

Saturday, June 17, 7 PM
IFC Center

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5) Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival – Celebrate the diverse ethnic communities of the Museum’s Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood. This block party, which began as a celebration of Jewish and Chinese culture, has become the Museum at Eldridge Street’s signature event with thousands of people joining us every year. By popular demand we have expanded the festival to also showcase the contributions of the neighborhood’s Puerto Rican community. What to expect? Lots of fun, including klezmer, cantorial, Chinese opera, Puerto Rican folk music, Hebrew and Chinese scribal arts, yarmulke making, Puerto Rican mask and lace making, mah jongg, and other types of arts and crafts. Kosher egg rolls, egg creams and empanadas will be sold.

Sunday, June 18, 12 – 4 PM
Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street

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6) Absent Without Leave 《不即不离》 – The debut film by Lau Kek-Huat, Absent Without Leave navigates the murky waters of Malayan history that appears far removed from the present as Lau attempts to reconnect with his absent father. What follows is the gradual unravelling of his grandfather’s forgotten story: an absent father to the filmmaker’s own absent father, but also a guerrilla Communist soldier, a protector, a martyr of Malaya during WWII. (Variety)

Dir. Lau Kek-Huat, Chen Jing-Lian
2016, 84 min.

The film won the Audience Award at the 27th Singapore International Film Festival.  It screens as part of Taipei Cultural Center’s Taiwan Culture Month activities.

Sunday, June 18, 2 PM
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 5th Ave

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7) An Afternoon Of Peking Opera – The New York Chamber Opera Society performs areas and operas:

1. Peking Opera Arias: Students of Qingyi class 《旦角班学员》
2. Peking Opera Arias: Expunging the evidence of a treacherous act 《摘缨会》
Peking Opera Arias: War at Fan City 《战樊城 》
3. Opera: The Town of Bai Di 《白帝城》
4. Opera: Chasing after General Han Xin 《追韩信》
5. Opera: Pinggui Bidding His Farewell 《平贵別窑》
6. Opera: Scouting the Enemy’s Troop Formation 《秦琼观阵》

Saturday, June 18, 2 PM
Queens Library at Flushing, 41-17 Main St., Flushing

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8) Pan Asian Repertory Theatre: Lost in Shanghai – Lost in Shanghai is a play with music, written and composed by Angel Lam, and directed by Chongren Fan. An adventure love story set in 1940’s Shanghai of a young man trying to make his fortune during war time, it shows a glimpse into the lavish and mysterious city called “Paris of the East.” It uses original songs with an innovative blend of classical music, contemporary sounds, and East Asian musical aesthetics.

Sunday, June 18, 4 PM
Flushing Town Hall

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9) Vincent Chin: Dead or Alive? A Panel Discussion – On June 19, 1982, in Detroit, a young man named Vincent Chin was enjoying his bachelor party with friends when they were accosted by two white men, who blamed them for the success of Japan’s auto industry. “It’s because of you we’re out of work,” they were said to have shouted. The men bludgeoned Vincent, 27, with a baseball bat. He died from his injuries four days later. The assailants served no jail time.

On the 35th anniversary of this horrific hate crime, we continue the discussions that this event triggered, and honor Vincent Chin’s life and legacy with a panel discussion entitled Vincent Chin: Dead or Alive? Four panelists will discuss what has and has not changed since Vincent’s murder, what the current state of civic participation and advocacy in API communities is, and more.

Panelists: Elizabeth R. OuYang, Jason Wu, Cathy Dang, Naved Husain
Moderator: Shirley L. Ng

Monday, June 19, 6 PM
Chatham Square Library, 33 East Broadway

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10) Mighty Peking Man 《猩猩王》 – The Shaw Brothers’ attempt to capitalize on the success of 1976’s King Kong resulted in Mighty Peking Man – an astonishing ensemble thriller lodged somewhere between envious knockoff and loving spoof. Danny Lee (of Inframan infamy) stars as an anthropologist hired by a slimy promoter to find the legendary Himalayan gorilla monster known as Utam, or Mighty Peking Man; even he fails to account for the possibility of the giant monkey’s partner, an orphaned bombshell named Samantha (Evelyn Craft, clad from start to finish in a primordial Ursula Andress-style leather bikini). ‘Mighty Peking Man’is a dazzling showcase of optical effects: rear-projected animal attacks, gushing prosthetic limbs, and more than a few matte-enabled civilian casualties – to say nothing of the Peking Man himself, yet another lovelorn ape whose charisma handily surpasses the puny interlopers on the ground.

Dir: Meng Hua Ho
1977, 86 min.

Screens as part of the series, Simian Verité

Monday, June 19, 9 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue

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11) Chameleon Artists in Conversation: I-Hua Lee and Margaret Lee – The global phenomenon of “Chameleon Artists”, or artists who hold multiple roles, as curator, administrator or art space organizer, is well known throughout the art world and can be both a boon and a hindrance to an artists’ creative life. Often, these multiple roles inspire different and unexpected perspectives, such that the organizational work can become entwined in and even inseparable from the art practice itself.

Join for a presentation and discussion by two such ‘Chameleon Artists’: I-Hua Lee, a visual artist based in Taiwan and the manager of the curatorial and residency program Taipei Artist Village, and Margaret Lee, a New York-based multi-media artist and a partner in the gallery 47 Canal. In addition to discussing their many professional roles, the conversation will also address family issues such as marital and parental relations.

Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 PM
Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn

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12) Bumming in Beijing 《流浪北京》– In 1990, Chinese documentaries were almost exclusively stodgy, didactic talking head affairs broadcast on state-run media. Then Bumming in Beijing came out, kicking off an entire independent documentary scene in the country. Shot directly before and after the Tiananmen Square Massacre on cameras taken from a government TV station, Bumming in Beijing follows five broke bohemians (including future art stars like Zhang Dali, long before they found fame) in grimy late 80s Beijing. Shot in a vérité style thatwould soon be adopted by a new generation of Chinese filmmakers, the movie includes an onscreen mental breakdown, a time-capsule view of the emergence of the country’s avant-garde, and proof that the hippest place in China used to be KFC.

Dir. Wu Wenguang
1990, 70 min.
In Mandarin with English subtitles

Introduced by Time Out Beijing Film Editor Aaron Fox-Lerner.

Wednesday, June 21, 7:30 PM
124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn

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13) Southeast the Peacocks Fly (Session 2) – In this two-session series, China Institute Senior Lecturer Ben Wang will delve into the epic narrative poem Southeast the Peacocks Fly 《孔雀东南飞》. Written by an anonymous poet at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, it is a tale in which love soars above death to defy destiny and ultimately triumphs over the strict feudal and social confines of its era. The blending of its unique theme of feminism, depicted poignantly for the first time in Chinese literature, and surpassing poetic writing technique has evoked deep sympathy in readers and has been passionately praised by generations of Chinese over the centuries.

This series is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou. The lecture will be conducted in English. No previous knowledge of the Chinese language is required.

Thursday, June 22, 6:30 PM
China Institute

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14) The Fragrance – A Concert For Environmental Protection – Composer and arranger Hung Ping Chang partners with Whale and Dolphin Conservation to bring this concert dedicated to increasing awareness of environmental issues.

The pieces in the concert are depictions of nature and animals. Artists Pei Jung Wang, Henry Minata, Yuan Liu, Chen Liang, Roy Pan, Danyang Pang, and Jingyi Wang will display their works inspired by nature at the venue. The displayed artworks will be for sale and part of the profit will be a donation to Whale and Dolphin Conservation for their mission of conservation and research.

Thursday, June 22, 8:30 PM
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13th Street


ONGOING FILMS, SHOWS, AND EVENTS

1) 410[Gone] – The Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America presents the New York premiere of 410[GONE] by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, the prize-winning author of The World of Extreme Happiness.  The dark and dazzling play uses comedy, Chinese mythology and cyber-imagery to explore how we release loved ones when they are gone.  The play will be acted in English with Chinese subtitles.

Read our review here

Where do we go when we die? In Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s dark and dazzling play, a boy named Seventeen has committed suicide and wanders into the Chinese Land of the Dead, a dominion ruled by Goddess of Mercy and Monkey King. His elder sister, Twenty-One, has been reliving the night of the suicide in order to find her lost brother. Between the lines of life and death, the siblings reflect on identity and explore heritage, but in the end, they must face the ultimate question: if there is no love without pain, what does it mean to love?

The play combines references to Chinese mythology and Chinese Opera with a wide variety of pop culture references, including the Dance Dance Revolution arcade game and pachinko arcades.  The title, 410[GONE],  refers to the http 410 status error code, “Gone,” which indicates that the requested resource has been intentionally removed and will not be available again.  We’re offered a multicultural take on the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, with death portrayed as something of a video game.  Seventeen is moving through a digitally-enanced version of the traditional Chinese underworld, encountering the Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey God, who struggle to process the impact this intruder has in their ordered world. Meanwhile, his sister is searching for a meaningful solution to the mystery of his death.  After a series of hilarious events between the lands of the living and the dead, Twenty-One finally meets Seventeen again only to realize she has to set him free.

June 2 – 18
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave.

The Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey King in ‘410[Gone]’. Photo by Hunter Canning

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2) Abacus: Small Enough to Jail – From acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, Life Itself), Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.

At IFC Center through June 22.

At IFC Center


ART EXHIBITIONS

Ceramicist Heidi Lau is part of Morph, a group show at Asya Geisberg Gallery of contemporary ceramic sculpture.  The artists in “Morph” paint expressionistically with glaze, weave in hair, inlay surfaces, squash perfect forms, recombine tchotchkes, and subvert genres heedless of strict boundaries.  The exhibition runs through August 11.

Asia Society hosts Inspired by Zao Wou-Ki as part of a series of exhibitions that presents the work of New York City students created in response to the great artistic traditions of Asia.  This year the exhibition presents student artwork inspired by the Asia Society fall 2016 exhibition No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki.  The exhibition runs through August 6.

Read our review of Geng Xue’s Mount Sumeru at Klein Sun Gallery which closes on June 17.

Opening and New Listed:

1) Considerate Creations: Chameleons – Part II (Gallery 456, 6/16 – 7/14) –  Taipei Cultural Center in New York and Gallery 456 are delighted to co-present the second part of a female group show Considerate Creations: Chameleons. Curated by art manager I-Hua Lee of Taipei Artist Village, the exhibition implies that the hard work done behind the scenes allows art projects to successfully come to fruition. Artworks on display are in various forms, including video, photograph and installations, yet all focus on the female artists’ common experience of playing multiple roles. Apart from discussing the subject of women’s multiple roles, the exhibition also addresses family issues such as marital and parental relations. Artists: Chen Hui-Chiao, Hu Nung-Hsin, Tsai Hai-Ru, Wang Te-Yu, Ali Wong/ Wong Kit-Yi

Opening: Friday, June 16, 6:00-8:00pm, Gallery 456, 456 Broadway 3rd Fl.

WANG Te-Yu, NO.84, fabric, fan, trampoline, 2016, dimensions variable. Photo by LIN Wei-Lung, courtesy of the artist.

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2) Summer Selections (Art Projects International, 6/21 – 7/22) – Summer Selections featuring Meditation series by Zheng Xuewu along with a selection of works by gallery artists, opens on June 21. Zheng Xuewu has become celebrated for creating an art of unorthodox methods that is in unique dialogue with quotidian Chinese imagery and language. His often large works on paper are striking and labor intensive. On a single work’s surfaces, he makes thousands of markings from woodblocks he has carved, printing type and found stamps. He carefully orchestrates the characters positions and works in the negative spaces, between the characters, by hand.

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3) Transitions: Dong Yuan, Lam Tung-pang and Lao Tongli (Chambers Fine Art, 6/22 – 9/2) – 

Chambers Fine Art presents Transitions, an exhibition featuring three young artists whose works illustrate the way in which transitional periods within their lives have informed their art practice. The gallery will present the work of Dong Yuan, Lam Tung-pang and Lao Tongli, with each artist submitting works that correspond with significant changes in their personal and professional lives.

For Dong Yuan, the accelerated pace of change in contemporary China causes her to retreat from time to into periods of self-reflection.  Although her paintings are small in scale, their abundance of detail sets up an immersive experience.

Turning the title of the exhibition on its head, Lam Tung-pang argued that the artist’s soul was in fact constantly being put up for sale, no matter the venue, going so far as to ‘question whether the independent art space is as independent as it always claims to be’.

Lao Tongli’s series of ink paintings began as a way to cope with his father’s long battle with heart disease, to which he succumbed after several surgeries and numerous hospital stays. Constantly conversing with doctors, and poring over charts and illustrations of human arteries and veins, Tongli began to incorporate the imagery of blood vessels into his artwork, where they evolved into a dense, layered labyrinth of interweaving colored lines.

Opening reception: 6pm – 8pm, Thursday, June 22, 2017, 522 West 19th St.

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4) Ji Zhou: Real Illusion (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/22 – 8/5) – Klein Sun Gallery presents Ji Zhou’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Using photography as his main medium, Beijing-based artist Ji Zhou’s most recent series of works chronicles the daily changes of light, texture, and activity within natural and urban scenes. By documenting instances of a place throughout the day and recompiling them, the circadian rhythm is collapsed creating a single atemporal image. As a result, we are presented with information that is both factual and illusory.

Greenhouse 3, 2017, Archival pigment print. 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 inches. Image courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery and the artist, © Ji Zhou.

Opening reception: 6pm – 8pm, Thursday, June 22, 2017, 525 West 22nd St.

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5) Mountain River Jump! (山河跳) – Reality Check 《鬥法》(Sleep Center, 6/10 – 6/26)

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Closing soon:

Endurance: New Works by Xie Xiaoze (Chambers Fine Art, 4/6 – 6/17)

Geng Xue – Mount Sumeru (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/4 – 6/17)

Rewoven: Innovative Fiber Art (QCC Art Gallery CUNY, 3/16 – 6/20) 

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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.

Endurance: New Works by Xie Xiaoze (Chambers Fine Art, 4/6 – 6/17)

Geng Xue – Mount Sumeru (Klein Sun Gallery, 5/4 – 6/17)

Rewoven: Innovative Fiber Art (QCC Art Gallery CUNY, 3/16 – 6/20) 

ountain River Jump! (山河跳) – Reality Check 《鬥法》(Sleep Center, 6/10 – 6/26)

Rewoven: Innovative Fiber Art – Part III (El Museo de Los Sures, 4/18 – 6/30)

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

Considerate Creations: Chameleons – Part II (Gallery 456, 6/16 – 7/14)

Age of Empires: Chinese Art of Qin and Han Dynasties (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 4/3 – 7/16)

Summer Selections (Art Projects International, 6/21 – 7/22)

Jennifer Wen Ma: Eight Views of Paradise Interrupted (Sandra Gering Inc, 5/11 – 7/28)

Ji Zhou: Real Illusion (Klein Sun Gallery, 6/22 – 8/5)

Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/29/16 – 8/6/17)

Hansel and Gretel (Park Avenue Armory, 6/7 – 8/6)

Body, Self, Society – Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s (The Walther Collection, 4/14 – 8/19)

Jennifer Wen Ma: Entry Niches (Van Doren Waxter, 5/11 – 8/25)

Informality (group show with Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, NYFA Gallery, 5/4 – 9/1)

Transitions: Dong Yuan, Lam Tung-pang and Lao Tongli (Chambers Fine Art, 6/22 – 9/2)

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant (Museum of Food and Drink Lab, 11/11/16 – 9/3/17)

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

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

Ian Cheng (MoMA PS1, 4/9 – 9/25)

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: Fu Baoshi – Electric Power Lines, 1954