NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: September 1 – September 7, 2017

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Things start to pick up after Labor Day, and we’re looking forward to all the happenings in fall.  We ease into the upcoming season this week with: A talk about churches in China, a screening of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail with the director and founder of Abacus Bank, and three new exhibition listings.

The deadline for applications for W.O.W. Project’s and China Residencies’ second Storefront 店面 Residency at Wing on Wo & Co. has been extended to September 7!

Coming up:

September 10 – Chui Wan at Baby’s All Right

September 14 – October 1 – An English-language production of Romance of the Western Chamber 《西廂記》

September 15 – An experimental video and sound art performance that explores everyday life in Queens

September 22 – A talk about artist Pan Yu Liang who lived and studied in Paris during the Jazz Age

September 30 – Modern Sky Festival

Through October – Taipei Cultural Office’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law in Taiwan.

Outside of New York:

On September 14, Cai Guo-Qiang’s public art project Fireflies opens in Philadelphia with a performance of choreographed pedicabs illuminated with lanterns.

The DC Chinese Film Festival  runs from September 21 – 24 and includes a special program that highlights four waves of Chinese language films during the 80s and 90s.

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.  For art, images, and other instances of Chineseness we see, follow our Instagram page.

We’re looking for contributors!  If you’re interested in writing an article, contributing photos or artwork to 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) The Emergence and Resistance of Large House Churches in China – Carsten T. Vala, Associate Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Maryland, lectures as part of Religion and the State in China, a 2017-18 lecture series by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Modern Tibetan Studies Program.

Tuesday, September 5, 1 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918, Columbia University

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2) Abacus – One Immigrant Family’s Fight for Justice – 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 became the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forced the Sung family to defend themselves — and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community — over the course of a five-year legal battle.

The documentary asks fundamental questions about what the purpose of a bank should be in a community — especially an immigrant community — and whether the prosecution of this small financial institution may have much larger implications for the role of banks in our society.

Join for a reception and special screening followed by a discussion with director and producer Steve James and the Sung family moderated by Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski.

Asia Society has provided 10 tickets for our readers! If you’re interested in attending, send an email to beyondchinatown@gmail.com by 6 PM, Monday 9/4 with the subject “Abacus” and whether you would like one or two tickets. We’ll randomly select from the entries and let the winners know Monday night.

Wednesday, September 6, 5:30 PM
Asia Society

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3) Enchanted Formosa – Featuring singer-songwriter Yu-Wei Hsieh, Enchanted Formosa focuses on the evolution of pop music, ranging from folk music before the retrocession to Mandarin and Taiwanese songs during early post-retrocession period, from songs of the Stardust period, banned songs, purified songs, translated songs, and campus folk rock during the martial law period to diverse pop music after the lifting of martial law. In addition to merely appreciating the music itself, audiences experience the social ambience of different eras in Taiwan.

Wednesday, September 6, 7:30 PM
Martin E. Segal Theatre, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue


ONGOING FILMS, SHOWS, AND EVENTS

1) Birth of the Dragon – Young Bruce Lee is trying to make a name for himself while working as a martial arts instructor in 1964 San Francisco. When Lee meets Wong Jack Man, he challenges the kung fu master to a no-holds-barred fight that became the stuff of legend.

At AMC Theatres in and around the New York City area.

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2) Wolf Warrior 2 《战狼2》– The Wolf Warrior is back, bigger and badder than ever, in this action-packed sequel to the 2015 blockbuster hit. With his career in tatters, China’s deadliest Special Forces operative has settled into a quiet life on the sea. But when he crosses paths with a sadistic band of mercenaries terrorizing innocent civilians, he must reaffirm his duty as a soldier and save the day once again. Fists (and bullets, tanks, missiles and much more) will fly in this adrenaline-fueled tour de force of bravura action filmmaking, all culminating into a climactic battle between the Wolf Warrior and the mercenary leader (Frank Grillo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War).

The film is known for its patriotism, some call it the Chinese Rambo, and has become the highest-grossing movie ever in China in the world.

At AMC Empire 25


ART EXHIBITIONS

Opening and New Listed:

1) Referencing Alexander Calder: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art (Klein Sun Gallery, 9/7 – 10/7) – Klein Sun Gallery celebrates its 10th anniversary with this exhibition curated by founder Eli Klein. The exhibition includes selected works by Gao Ludi, Hong Hao, Hong Shaopei, Huang Rui, Jiang Pengyi, Li Jingxiong, Qin Jun, Shen Fan, Vivien Zhang, Yangjiang Group, and Zhao Yao.

For Referencing Alexander Calder: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art, the eleven Chinese contemporary artists chosen are those whose works show substantial influence from the lexicon created by Calder and his peers. Just as Calder amazed the world by ingeniously incorporating kineticism into his works in the 1930s, these Chinese artists showcase a similar degree of innovation. In recent years, they have each shaken the global artistic landscape, applying their unique eastern understanding towards ‘movement’, ‘quiescence’, ‘tendency’, and ‘balance’.

Opening reception; Thursday, September 7, 6 – 8 PM

Zhao Yao – ‘A Painting of thought V-368, 2015’. Acrylic on found fabric, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 x 3 1/8 in, (180 x 180 x 8 cm). © Zhao Yao, Courtesy Klein Sun Gallery.

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2) Yang Jiechang: The Whip (Chambers Fine Art, 9/7 – 10/17) – Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on September 7, 2017 of The Whip by Yang Jiechang. Born in Foshan, Guangdong Province, China in 1956, Yang studied paper mounting, folk art, and traditional Chinese painting at the Foshan Folk Art Research Institute (1974 -1978) and Chinese painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou (1978 -1982). In the early 1980s he also studied Dao at the Daoist temple Chongxu on Mount Luofu, a major influence on his way of life and artistic practice.

Invited to participate in the influential exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 1989, Yang was represented by four large works in which the calligraphic impulse was replaced by concentration on the basic elements of ink painting – ink, water and paper. Known as Hundred Layers of Ink, this series of works was to be his major pre-occupation throughout the 1990s. Since 1989 Yang has been based in Paris and Heidelberg.

Yang has described his first decade in Europe as one of introspection and reinvention. “Reviewing these works now,” he has commented,” I realize that I was immersed in silence in anticipating the arrival of another era.” This exhibition focuses on works in ink executed between 1999 and 2017 that reveal much greater stylistic diversity. Although he has added video, installation, and performance to his repertoire, ink painting remains his core practice, and it is his unmistakable brushwork that underpins these various works. Jiechang now feels free to utilize whichever of the three major disciplines of traditional Chinese painting – calligraphy, ink painting, and meticulous color painting (gongbi) – is most appropriate for his immediate needs, and all three are represented among the works shown here.

Opening reception; Thursday, September 7, 6 – 8 PM

Yang Jiechang – Difficult, 2008. Ink and acrylic on Xuan paper, mounted on canvas,  41 1/4 x 41 1/4 in., 105 x 105 cm

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3) Diaspora, Drifting and Accumulation: Long-Bin Chen Sculptural Works (Frederieke Taylor Gallery, 9/7 – 9/30) – A solo exhibition of works by the Taiwanese artist.

Opening reception: Thursday, September 7, 6 – 8 PM

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Hai-Hsin Huang‘s humorous and insightful observations of people out in the world — including one of the enormous drawings showing a moment at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be on view as part of Revealing Reflected Refractions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid August 4 – September 10.

In addition to an installation at Fully Loaded: Tainan – New York 2017, Lulu Meng‘s will also exhibit her sculpture series Impression in which “softness and movement [of articles of clothing are] frozen in the solidity of the object” is part of the Fourth AIM Biennial at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

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Closing soon:

Liu Wei: Cellar and Garret (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/10 – 9/2)

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)

Fully Loaded: Tainan – New York 2017 (Pfizer Building, 7/20 – 9/10)

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

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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.

NSFW: Female Gaze (group show with Pixy Yijun Liao, Museum of Sex, 6/21 – TBC)

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)

Yi Xin Tong: NYC Fishing Trip (NARS Foundation, 8/4 – 9/1)

Liu Wei: Cellar and Garret (Klein Sun Gallery, 8/10 – 9/2)

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)

Fully Loaded: Tainan – New York 2017 (Pfizer Building, 7/20 – 9/10)

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)

Diaspora, Drifting and Accumulation: Long-Bin Chen Sculptural Works (Frederieke Taylor Gallery, 9/7 – 9/30)

Referencing Alexander Calder: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art (Klein Sun Gallery, 9/7 – 10/7)

Yang Jiechang: The Whip (Chambers Fine Art, 9/7 – 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)

History’s Shadows and Light (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, 8/29 – 10/12)

Heidi Lau: The Primordial Molder (Bronx Museum of the Arts, 7/19 – 10/22)

Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou (China Institute, 5/25 – 11/12/17)

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong – Constellation (Seward Park, June 2017 – June 2018)

Lead image: Taxi pool at Hong Kong International Airport.  Photo by Andrew Shiue