NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: September 22 – September 28, 2017

Relaxing in Wuhan

Lots this week: Two versions of the Peking opera Farewell My Concubine; a talk about a Chinese artist in Jazz Age France; new noir Chinese crime films; Wong Kar-wai’s choreographer’s homage to Hong Kong; David Henry Hwang; a musical adaptation of the classic Chinese story Romance of the Western Chamber; a bubble tea festival; Taiwanese horror film; a scholarly comparison of the Roman and Han empires; the Chinese American roots of craft beer; a book fair; and more….

The Creative China Festival which features art, film, and design programs from September – November kicks of on September 20 at LES indie theater Metrograph with a screening of The Conformist 《冰之下》 followed by a Q&A with director Cai Shangjun and screenwriter Gu Xiaobai.

Neo-noir not your thing? The same day, Quad Cinema screens 1963 HK musical film The Love Eterne《梁山伯与祝英台》which won big at the 2nd Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan and broke box office records at the time.

Coming up:

The film series, Martial Law and After: Reflection of the 30th Anniversary of the End of Martial Law in Taiwan Cinema, which examines how the martial law period affected life in Taiwan, continues.

September 30 – Modern Sky Festival with Edison Chen (陈冠希), RE-TROS (重塑雕像的权利), A SI (阿肆), HHH (红花会), Calvin Love, Brian Hill and the Noh Starrs, and 9m88

September 30 and October 1, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York’s first film festival

October 6 – Release concert for Min Xiao Fen’s new solo album Mao, Monk, and Me which combines her Chinese roots and influence by and immersion in jazz.

October 6 – The highly anticipated Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World opens at the Guggenheim.

Outside of New York:

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


1) Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair – The world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines features over 370 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions and independent publishers from twenty-eight countries, including Hong Kong’s Lik Ink and Same Paper from Shanghai, and nos:books from Taiwan who will release six titles by Lee Yung Mei, Son Ni, and Il Chihoi with launch events on 9/22 from 4 – 5 PM, 9/23 from 2 – 3 PM, and 9/23 from 3 – 4 PM, respectively.

Friday, September 22 – Sunday, September 24


2) Pan Yu Liang’s Adventures in Jazz Age Paris – Among many art, music and literature lovers, particularly devotees of Modernism, the expatriate community in France during the Jazz Age represents a remarkable convergence of genius in one place and period—one of the most glorious in history. Drawn by the presence of such avant-garde figures as Joyce and Picasso, artists and writers fled the censorious cultures of their homes in China, Russia and the United States to head for the free-wheeling scene in Paris, where they made contact with rivals, collaborators, and a sophisticated audience of collectors and patrons.

The outpouring of boundary-pushing novels, paintings, ballets, music, and design was so profuse that it belies the brevity of the era (1918–1929). Among them was the fascinating and supremely talented painter Pan Yu Liang, the first woman from China selected for a scholarship at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. This talk, based on Prof. Charles Riley’s book, Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism, will frame Liang’s achievement as an artist and teacher, including her tempestuous return to teach in Nanjing and Shanghai, with stories of other notable talents in the creative community of Paris between the wars.

Friday, September 22, 6 PM
Asian American / Asian Research Institute – City University of New York, Room 1000, 25 West 43rd Street


3) Black Coal Thin Ice《白日焰火》– Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival, Yinan’s stylish, daring, neon-lit tour-de-force is a mystery epic which begins with the discovery of a severed hand amid the coal on a factory conveyor belt. Cop Zhang (Liao Fan) follows the case, but five years later, when he’s drinking heavily and working as a security guard, the body parts are still showing up. A sumptuous nocturnal noir which has drawn comparison to David Fincher’s Zodiac, and a landmark in the Chinese crime film.

Dir. Diao Yinan
China, 2014
Mandarin with English subtitles, 110 min.

Screens as part of the series New Noir Chinese Crime Films, part of the Creative China Festival which features art, film, and design programs from September – November.

Friday, September 22, 7 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


4) Farewell My Concubine 《霸王别姬》- Live Performance – The Shanghai Peking Opera presents this classic tale of love and suicide in a dramatic one-hour performance starring Shi Yihong, the “first lady of Chinese opera.” Staged in The Met’s intimate Astor Court, this production will let you feel the wind of the sword and witness the tragedy and sacrifice in unforgettable intimacy.

Friday, September 22, 7 PM
Saturday, September 23, 3 PM, 7 PM
Sunday, September 24, 12 PM, 3 PM
Astor Court, Metropolitan Museum of Art


5) Farewell My Concubine 《霸王别姬》- Peking Opera 3D Film – Peking Opera film ‘Farewell My Concubine‘ is Directed by China’s respected director Junjie Teng and starring China’s most famous Peking Opera masters Changrong Shang and Yihong Shi, Peking Opera film Farewell My Concubine translates stage performance onto the big screen and showcases  a classic Beijing Opera masterpiece beams with new vigor when meets modern-day technology,

When we saw it last year, we were captivated by the vivid color and movement (not to mention the acting and story). Most 3D movies, which have their 3D effects added in post-production, are gimmicky and done solely for higher ticket revenue. Here, director Junjie Teng filmed a modified stage performance in 3D, and his film reminds us of Wim Wenders’ Pina, with the visual effects not only preserving the sense of theater but also adding an otherworldly tone to its storytelling.

The film ranked first on the list of China’s Best 3D Feature Films in 2014, the highest recognition for 3D films in China. The film also won the ‘Golden Lumiere Award’ in Los Angeles in 2015, the first time for a Chinese film. In September 2016, the film won the ‘Tripod Award’ in Hong Kong.

The play tells the story of Xiang Yu, the self-styled “Hegemon-King of Western Chu” who battled for the unification of China with Liu Bang, the eventual founder of the Han Dynasty. In the play, Xiang Yu is surrounded by Liu Bang’s forces and on the verge of total defeat, so he calls forth his horse and begs it to run away for the sake of its own safety. The horse refuses, against his wishes. He then calls for the company of his favorite concubine, Consort Yu. Realizing the dire situation that has befallen them, she begs to die alongside her master, but he strongly refuses this wish. Afterwards, as he is distracted, Yu commits suicide with Xiang Yu’s sword. (Wikipedia)

Dir. Junjie Teng
China, 2015
Mandarin with English subtitles, 102 min.

Friday, September 22, 8 PM
Saturday, September 23, 3 PM,
Crosby Street Hotel, 79 Crosby Street


6) Romance of the Western Chamber – This musical adaptation of the classic Romance of the Western Chamber 《西廂記》has an English book and lyrics by Howard Rubenstein, music based on Chinese folk melodies by Max Lee. The story dates from the 13th century, with authorship attributed to Wang Shifu and/or Guan Hanqing. The play has held the Chinese stage almost continuously for eight centuries in spite of intermittent condemnations for “obscenity.” It is a “rich girl, poor boy” love story, with almost insurmountable obstacles in the way of the lovers, many of them overcome with the help of the heroine’s devoted attendant and friend.

All performances at 8 PM
Friday – Sunday , September 22 – 24
Thursday, September 21
TADA! Theater, 15 W. 28th Street


7) Meditation + Multimedia Concert: Shades of Green in the Light – Shades of Green in the Light is an immersive multi-media dialogue between sound, video, space and stillness improvised by Center for Remembering and Sharing healer and crystal singing bowl player Miyoko Satoh followed by musicians Seungmin Cha and JunYi Chow with video artist Karen Y. Chan.

Though often fleeting, the awareness of stillness is like entering the wilderness, where time melts away and the senses are awakened by subtleties that become magnified. There is clarity and spaciousness in stillness that encourages the mind to wander into unexplored regions. It is an opportunity to observe, question, or just be present with what is there, or more importantly, what is not there. Some instruments that will be heard include the daegum, a traditional Korean bamboo flute, played by Cha, who will also incorporate electronic sounds, and the cello and melodion, played by Chow. The musicians will live-score Chan’s video collage during a 60-minute improvisational set that will include moments of stillness.

Saturday, September 23, 6 PM
Center for Remembering & Sharing, 123 4th Avenue


8) The Coffin in the Mountain《心迷宫》 – When a burnt body is discovered in the vicinity of a mountain village, the search is on to discover how it got there. Xin employs a chopped-up timeline to deepen the mystery in his riddle of a film, an unflinching depiction of provincial imprisonment which begins with Zongyao (Wang Xiaotian), the son of the village chief, struggling to free himself from family ties before opening up to multiple perspective in a series of surprising metamorphosis.

Dir. Xin Yukun
China, 2014.
Mandarin with English subtitles, 119 min.

Screens as part of the series New Noir Chinese Crime Films, part of the Creative China Festival which features art, film, and design programs from September – November.

Saturday, September 23, 7 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


9) Hello Taiwan Bubble Tea Festival – The first celebration of its kind in NYC for the irresistible drink includes samples from chain and boutique tea shops as well as night market style food, a Hakka Pestle tea experience, artisans, workshops, and stage performances by the Chio-Tian Folk Drum and Arts Group, The Chairman Band, Taiwanese Musical Theatre Artists, and New York Taiwanese American Artists.

Sunday, September 24, 10 AM –  6 PM
Times Square Fall Festival, 1651 Broadway, Broadway Between 51st and 52nd Streets


10) Origins of Chinatown Walking Tour – Chinatown Partnership has teamed up with Big Onion Walking Tours to offer complimentary walking tours as part of our “Origins on Chinatown” series.

Come explore the historic streets of Old Chinatown. Centered around Doyers, Pell and Mott Streets, this area has been home to Chinese residents for well over 150 years. We will discuss the historic evolution of the neighborhood as we contextualize the contemporary community. Stops could include: the Lee Family Association, “Mulberry Bend”, Church of the Transfiguration, Callahans, the former Mott Street General Store, as well as sites associated with Dr. Sun Yat Sen, George Washington “Chuck” Connors and others.

Sunday, September 24, 11 AM
Doyers Street & Pell Street


11) Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese – An enlightening documentary about the Chinese community in the heart of the Deep South. This film not only highlights the contributions of the Chinese Delta families, but also reveals the immigrant experience in America.

This three-part documentary highlights several generations of the Chinese population in the Mississippi Delta starting from the mid-1800s to the present day. The film tells a story of the early Chinese immigrants to the Mississippi Delta and explores how the community steadily grew in the early part of the 20th century. Chinese families across the Delta opened grocery stores that served both the black and white populations. Subsequently, it reveals how 182 Chinese men from the Delta participated in all aspects of the US war effort in WWII, shows the transformational nature of their participation in the war for the development of the community in the decades immediately after the war, and concludes by documenting the contributions of the Chinese Delta families to the state of Mississippi and beyond as their children became doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and many other types of professionals in the contemporary era. (San Diego Chinese Historical Museum)

Sunday, September 24, 3 PM
21 Pell Street


12) The Dead End《 烈日灼心》– Based on a novel by Xu Yigua, nail-biting morality play The Dead End focuses on three men—cop Deng Chao, cab driver Guo Tao, and recluse Gao Hu—haunted by shared guilt over their role in an unsolved crime. When Deng’s new boss revives the cold case, however, they find they have more to worry about than their consciences, and the co-conspirators will have to try to maintain their composure as the net of the investigation draws tighter and tighter. An acute study of men under impossible pressure, with Dostoevskian undertones.

Dir. Cao Baoping
China, 2015.
Mandarin with English subtitles, 139 min.

Screens as part of the series New Noir Chinese Crime Films, part of the Creative China Festival which features art, film, and design programs from September – November.

Sunday, September 24, 7 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


13) M. Butterfly’s Broadway Revival: A Conversation with David Henry Hwang – This fall, visionary director Julie Taymor presents a Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. Inspired by the true scandal that captivated the world, this is a story about an illicit affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera diva whose secrets lie deep beneath the surface. At this conversation between Mr. Hwang and NY1’s Frank DiLella we will delve into the story behind M. Butterfly, explore its themes, and discuss the artistic approach behind this new production.

Email us at if you’re interested in a ticket to the event.

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 PM
China Institute


14) Connection by Fate 《超級公民》 – Ma Le, a young aboriginal man, came to Taipei alone to earn a living on construction sites. However, unable to bear the exploitation, Ma Le accidentally killed a site superintendent and was sentenced to death. A-Te, a taxi driver used to be a social movement fanatic, gave Ma Le a ride in his taxi on the night that Ma Le committed the killing and their two fates were thereafter intertwined.

Dir. Wan Jen
China, 1998
Mandarin with English subtitles, 113 min.

Followed by a panel discussion with the director, curators, moderated by Fang Dai, Associate Professor of Dept. of Classical and Oriental Studies, Hunter College and Joel Zuker, Professor of Dept. of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College

Part of the series Martial Law and After: Reflection of the 30th Anniversary of the End of Martial Law in Taiwan Cinema

Wednesday, September 27, 12:30 PM (RSVP required)
Room B126, Chanin Center Insdorf Screening Room, Hunter West Building, Hunter College, 912 Lexington Avenue


15) Annie Chen Quartet at Cornelia Street Cafe – Jazz singer Annie Chen reunites with her China tour band for a concert in the Village’s famed cafe.

Wednesday, September 27, 6 PM
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street


16) The Roman and Han Empires – Recent exhibitions devoted to China’s early empires provides an excellent opportunity to explore the early empires in Han (and Rome) from the perspective of comparative archaeology. This lecture by Michael Nylan, Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, will focus on several new finds (including the tomb of Haihun hou), with spectacular implications for our picture of the distant past.

Part 2 of the 5-week lecture series The Glories of the Han Dynasty

Email us at if you’re interested in a ticket.  We have two to offer.

Wednesday, September 27, 6:30 PM
China Institute


17) Wawa No Cidal (Children of the Sun)《太陽的孩子》 Panay worked in the city as a journalist. One day, she found her tribe had been overdeveloped and changed by tourism. They were losing their land and their culture, so she decided to return home to bring back the abandon terrace. In this process, she found it’s not only about the land, but also about who she really is.

Dir Yu-chieh Cheng, Lekal Sumi
Taiwan, 2015, 99 min.

Followed by a talk on “Minorities’ Self-representation and Identity Construction: Indigenous People as a Case Study” by curators, moderated by Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Thursday, September 28, 2 – 5:10 PM
Room 203 Butler Library, Columbia University


18) Bitter Harvest: The Chinese American Roots of Craft Beer – Portland, Oregon is widely known as the craft beer capital, but did you know that Chinese immigrant workers helped launch the craft beer industry? Join MOCA for a screening of Bitter Harvest, a short documentary in three parts, each telling the story of the Chinese immigrant workers who helped found Oregon’s craft beer industry. Each video will be accompanied by commentary from the documentary maker, Ivy Lin, who will offer further insights on the role of Chinese workers in the creation of the West Coast wine and beer industry.

Thursday, September 28, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America

19) Independent Publisher Panel with nos:books and Passenger Pigeon Press – Despite the surge in digital publishing, the print platform remains appealing to many artists, writers, curators and designers for its unique aesthetic, archival, and discursive potential. Please join us for presentations by two independent publishers, nos:books, run by artists Son Ni and Chihoi, and Passenger Pigeon Press, started by artist Tammy Nguyen, on the history and output of their respective presses. The presentations will be followed by a discussion moderated by Meghan Forbes, a New York based researcher, writer, and editor, focused on questions of materiality, distribution, politics of translation, and the capacity of publishing platforms to enact transnational networks.

Thursday, September 28, 7 PM (RSVP required)
Asia Art Archive in America, 43 Remsen Street


20) Yuhan Su at the Inner Circle Music Festival – Vibraphonist Yuhan Su is part of this three-day festival celebrating Inner Circle Music record label’s compelling composer-bandleaders.  Artist Poyen Wang also provides media arts for the set with Omurasu.

Thursday, September 28, 7 PM with Roots Quintet, The Way the Light Falls, and Omurasu
Shapeshifter Lab


1) Hong Kong Trilogy – For years Hong Kong was the beating heart of Chinese pop cinema, but reunification with the Mainland in 1997 upset the delicate balance that had fostered the city’s genius, and it has been a city in transition ever since. Who better to track that transition than Christopher Doyle, longtime resident, Wong Kar-wai’s frequent cinematographer, and a man with a sure-shot eye for the telling detail? In three docufiction segments, Doyle looks at three generations of Hong Kongers: School children, young “Umbrella Movement” activists, and the elderly. Overlaying audio from interview recordings onto loose narrative vignettes, Doyle creates sweet, richly textured, free-flowing portraits of a bevy of unforgettable characters, here just in time for the Umbrella Movement’s anniversary.

September 22 – September 27 at Metrograph


2) Tag Along 2 《紅衣小女孩2》– When social worker Shu-fen discovers that her pregnant teenage daughter Ya-ting has disappeared, her search for Ya-ting ends her with many horrifying mysteries…

Meeting the mysterious Mei-hua who imprisons her own daughter inside her house covered with papers written with spells and encountering the missing and pregnant Yi-chun in an abandoned hospital, the trio returns to the Red Forest to rescue Ya-ting and Shu-fen finally realizes that the deepest fear arises from love… (Wikipedia)

The story is adapted from the Taiwanese urban legend of the Little Girl in Red. Read about its star, Rainie Yang in the South China Morning Post

Opens at AMC Empire 25 September 22


3) Rumble in the Bronx The 1995 film that brought Jackie Chan to the American consciousness sees him as a Hong Kong police officer visiting New York to celebrate his uncle’s wedding but runs into trouble with the criminal underworld.

At Sunshine Cinema September 22 and 23


4) Twenty Two 《二十二》- Twenty Two follows the lives of the elderly survivors who were forced into sex slavery as ‘Comfort Women’ by the Japanese during World War II. At the time of filming, only 22 of these women were still alive to tell their story; through their own personal histories and perspectives, they tell a tale that should never be forgotten to generations unaware of the brutalization that occurred.

Read about the film here.

At AMC Empire 25


If you missed it previously, Body, Self, Society – Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s was extended at The Walther Collection through September 30.

Dongze Huo will be part of the group shows Live – Work – Play NYC which opens September 21 and Interactive which will be on view September 23 – October 15.

Fina Yeung will exhibit her mixed-media cardboard installations at ARTISTS CO-OP at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning which runs rom September 21 – November 11.

Chinese Indonesian artist FX Harsono is one of the artists in Asia Society’s After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History which runs from September 8, 2017 – January 21, 2018.  A frequent theme in his work is about being part of the ethnic Chinese minority in the country.  From the exhibition page:

“FX Harsono is one of the foremost contemporary artists from Indonesia. His artistic practice, spanning four decades, takes the country’s contentious socio-political history as its primary subject. His art has been a consistent call to give voice to those who have been silenced by history and power. The artist began his formative period as part of the Group of Five (Kelompok 5) in the mid-1970s. This collective and their contemporaries rejected traditional modes of high art-making practices in favor of performance, site-specific installations, and video art that incorporated local imagery better suited to illuminating social issues relevant to a domestic audience. This shift toward a social intention liberated Harsono’s practice and allowed him to engage more directly with sociopolitical themes, including the legacy of Reformasi, and the rediscovery of minority ethnic identity within Indonesian culture. “

Lulu Meng exhibits her sculpture series Impression in which “softness and movement [of articles of clothing are] frozen in the solidity of the object” as part of the Fourth AIM Biennial at the Bronx Museum of the Arts which is on view through October 22

Fou Gallery shows the fecund botany-themed works of Michael Eade which invoke a certain Chinese aesthetic in Realms of Soil.

Bushwick Open Studios runs September 22 – 24.  Let us know if you come across any artists of Chinese descent.

Opening and New Listed:

1) Zheng Chongbin: Asymmetric Emergence (Ink Studio pop-up at Sundaram Tagore Gallery) – New works from Zheng Chongbin’s current series of abstract land-art paintings. This exhibition follows his selection by curators Raqs Media Collective as a core artist of the 2016-2017 Shanghai biennale, and his acclaimed solo exhibition at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017. Inspired by the writings of American earthworks artist Robert Smithson, Zheng Chongbin’s work uses his indexical abstraction not to picture but to instantiate – at physical and temporal scales perceivable by humans – the entropic dynamics and resulting fractal geometries of the earth’s geological processes.


Closing soon:

China through Chinese Eyes (Photoville, 9/13 – 9/24)

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)

Body, Self, Society – Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s (The Walther Collection 4/14 – 9/30)


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.

China through Chinese Eyes (Photoville, 9/13 – 9/24)

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)

Body, Self, Society – Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s (The Walther Collection 4/14 – 9/30)

Maya Lin: Ebb and Flow (Pace Gallery, 9/8 – 10/7)

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)

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao: Central Park New York: 24 Solar Terms (Foley Gallery, 9/6 – 10/15)

Sun Xun: Time Spy (Sean Kelly Gallery, 9/8 – 10/21)

Lin Tianmiao: Protruding Patterns (Galerie Lelong, 9/7 – 10/21)

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)

Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8/26/17 – 1/9/19)

Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake, 2009 – 2017 (Queens Museum, 9/17/17 – 2/18/18)

Lead image: Comfortable in Wuhan. Photo by Andrew Shiue