NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: January 5 – January 11, 2018

Ly. H. Flickr

Happy New Year!  We’re excited that this inaugural event and exhibition listing of 2018 includes screenings of Feng Xiaogang’s Youth, a re-interpretation of a masterpiece of Chinese theater written in the early 20th century; a comedy show by China Institute and Kung Fu Komedy; Shanghai Film Week, the annual Shanghai/New York Future Histories; and a sneak peak at an upcoming documentary about the Chinese Exclusion Act.

This weekend is your last chance to see the HK artist collective show at Gallery 456, Cai Dongdong’s innovative photography at Klein Sun Gallery, and the essential Chinese contemporary art survey at the Guggenheim.

Coming up:

Exhibitions by Macau-born artist Crystal W.M. Chan and one about Soviet influence on Chinese artists and talks about music in Chinese literature and the next generation of Chinese chefs in New York.

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 us on Instagram.

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) God of War 《荡寇风云》 – During the sixteenth century, Japanese pirates proliferate along the Chinese coastline. After months of battle, a Ming Dynasty commander goes head-to-head against the marauders, risking everything to bring lasting peace to the coastal cities. One of China’s most successful filmmakers, Gordon Chan (Fist of Legend, The Medallion) returns with this lavish, detailed, and action-filled historical war epic.

Dir. Gordon Chan
2017, China, 128 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles.

Friday, January 5, 7:30 PM
Museum of the Moving Image


2) Thunderstorm 2.0 《雷雨 2.0》– Cao Yu’s early 20th-century drama Thunderstorm, regarded as a masterpiece in Chinese theater, is dismantled and reassembled in this new interpretation helmed by internationally acclaimed director Wang Chong and performed by the Beijing-based experimental theater company Théatre du Rêve Expérimental. Using real-time video editing and sound mixing from action occurring on stage, a hypnotic, near-silent movie unfolds to tell the explicit story of two female characters discovering that they have been cheated on by the same womanizing playboy.

Updating the story to a Beijing official’s home in the 1990s, Wang and his company of Beijing performers reinvent the classic play to reflect the complexities of contemporary capitalist-communist society, the ubiquity of technology and the sex-obsessed global landscape. Chong incorporates live pingtan players, a centuries-old form of traditional Chinese musical storytelling, to create the dialogue and soundtrack onstage.

Presented as part of the Under the Radar Festival

The January 7 performance will feature a post-show talkback moderated by Claire Conceison and presented by China Institute. Performed in Chinese with English supertitles.

Saturday, January 6, 7:30 PM
Sunday, January 7, 4 PM
NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place


3) CAAM’s & PBS’s: Who is American? The Chinese Exclusion Act Part 2 – Join for a free screening of the preview of Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) & PBS’s Who is American? The Chinese Exclusion Act set to debut in 2018.

Sunday, January 7, 3 PM
21 Pell Street


4) Think!Chinatown presents Community Day: Between Here and Home – What does it mean to be Chinese in the contemporary moment of technological transformation as well as dangerous nationalist imagery? In Between Here and Home, seven photographers — one Chinese, three American-born-Chinese, one who emigrated to Queens from China as a young child, a Taiwanese Canadian, and a Filipina who has worked in Hong Kong — share their perspectives on various aspects of Chinese life and culture, both in China and in the diaspora, including New York City’s Chinatowns. They document traditional communities facing tremendous change, personal journeys of discovery, and political conflict. 

5 PM – artist talk by Alan Chin
6 PM – artist talk by Corky Lee
Reception to follow
Tours will be offered in Mandarin and Toisanese.

Sunday, January 7, 5 PM
384 Broadway


4) Chinese Traditional Culture Performances – Under the direction of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, teacher-student arts exhibition teams from various universities in Shanghai invite New York audiences to witness and personally experience the unique and vibrant charm of Chinese folk arts and traditional culture through demonstrations, performances, and interactive cultural exchange activities. Visitors can sample ingredients making up the event’s rich “Chinese New Year flavor,” which include demonstrations of Chinese classical music, folk dance, traditional opera, and martial arts and interactive lessons in acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, and opera makeup.

Precedes the opening of Shanghai Film Week

Tuesday, January 9, 10:30 AM (RSVP requested)
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place


5) “The Present and Future State of the U.S. and China Film Collaboration” Panel Discussion  – The Chinese film industry began in Shanghai, and was projected to become the world’s largest and — despite hitting a plateau in growth in 2016 — may still surpass Hollywood in the coming years. Reuters has reported that 2017 will see three times 2016’s rate of growth, for a total Chinese box office take of 55 billion yuan ($8.31 U.S. billion). Six of China’s 2017 top-10 box office performers were Hollywood-made, highlighting the fact that, as ScreenDaily points out, the relationship between the Chinese and American film markets is “mutually dependent.”

With this in mind, Shanghai Film Week’s opening day Industry Panel, moderated by New York Film Academy President Michael Young, will investigate the theme of the “The Present and Future State of the U.S. and China Film Collaboration.”

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and NYFA Instructor Peter Rainer
  • NYFA Chair of the Broadcast Journalism Bill Einreinhofer
  • NYU’s Tisch Undergraduate Film & Television Associate Professor and award winning textbook author David Irving
  • Film Director Sherwood Hu (胡雪桦)(“Amazing”)
  • Vice President of the Shanghai Film Group Corporation Xiaojun Wang (王小军)

Part of Shanghai Film Week

Tuesday, January 9, 1:30 PM (RSVP requested)
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place


6) Amazing 《神奇》 – The 2013 Chinese sci-fi basketball film Amazing directed by Sherwood Hu, brings together acclaimed NBA and Chinese basketball stars with famous actors from the United States, China, and South Korea to form a diverse cast of characters in a story about video games, basketball, and life set in Shanghai. It was the first Chinese movie made in collaboration with a United States sports events brand. The film’s cast features appearances by American and Chinese basketball stars Scottie Pippen, Dwight David Howard, Carmelo Kyam Anthony, Yi Jianlian, and Wang Zhizhi, actor and former basketball player Blackie Chen and actors Huang Yi, Amber Kuo, Kim Ah-jung (200 Pounds Beauty) Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty, The L Word, Cruel Intentions, Resident Evil) and actor and director Stephen Fung.

Screens as part of Shanghai Film Week

Tuesday, January 9, 4 PM
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place


7) A Night of Comedy with China Institute, Hosted by Turner Sparks – China Institute and Kung Fu Komedy present a night featuring some of New York’s hottest stand-up comedians talking about all things China. Taking place at Stand Up NY, one of New York’ s signature clubs, featured comics will include Turner Sparks, Gus Tate, Joe Schaefer, and more. Profits from ticket sales will benefit China Institute’s free educational programs to underserved schools in New York City.

Register at using promo code CHINA.

Tuesday, January 9, 8 PM
Stand Up NY, 236 W. 78th Street


8) Shanghai Week at Grand Central Terminal – The “Shanghai Flavor” ​intangible cultural heritage fair gathers together a vast array of Shanghainese cultural treasures for appreciation in a feast for the senses in a setting inspired by and featuring photographs of celebrated city sights.To fully immerse audiences in the “Shanghai Flavor” experience, the Grand CentralStation exhibition space will be transformed to evoke the feeling of being in Shanghai throughthe incorporation of Haipai (“Shanghainese style”) elements, such as Shikumen (a traditional Shanghainese architectural style) and the zigzagging Jiuqu Bridge of the City God Temple.

Shanghai folk culture, cuisine, tourism, brands, and intangible cultural heritage through photos, videos, performances, and a variety of interactive activities will also be presented. 7 craftsmen skilled in various Chinese folk arts will each demonstrate unique contributions to the rich and distinct flavor of Shanghai’s cultural heritage through paper cutting, Chinese knot tying, Chinese opera masks, aluminum paintings, and dough sculptures. Chefs from Shanghai Hengshan (Group) Corp. and pastry chefs from Shanghai Qibao Ancient Town will be on site to introduce quintessential Shanghainese snacks, such as steamed soup dumplings, wonton and glutinous rice balls. Visitors can take it one step further and enjoy a3D experience with traditional Chinese cuisine through augmented reality (AR) technology.

The “Amazing Shanghai” ​photo exhibition features more than 40 photos selected from over 3000 that together render a vibrant,exciting, and multidimensional portrait of contemporary Shanghai, “the East’s City ofModernity, Charm, Innovation, Culture and Ecology”–capturing everything from its culture,architecture, environment, and customs to fashion and food trends, lifestyle, and travel as observed by photographers and photojournalists from around the globe, including Pulitzer Prize winner and photographer for the Associated Press Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut (known for his 1973photo “The Terror of War,” depicting South Vietnamese children fleeing a napalm attack on North Vietnamese troops occupying their village during the Vietnam War)

Wednesday, January 10, 10 AM – 3 PM
Thursday, January 11, 10 AM – 3 PM
Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall


9) The Lost Tomb (aka Time Raiders) 《盗墓笔记》  – Raised by his Uncle Wu Sanxing (Wang Jingchun), Wu Xie (Luhan) is fascinated by old architecture and antiques. Once, his family had got a very special piece of bronze by accident, but when they dug deeper, they traced and found a lost kingdom buried in the basin of north-west China named Xiwangmu Dynasty. Thus, Wu’s family recruited a group of expert raiders, including a mysterious stranger by the name of Zhang Qiling (Jing Boran), and went deep into the ruins of the ancient city.

Based on a popular online novel series and screens as part of Shanghai Film Week

Wednesday, January 10, 1:30 PM
New York Film Academy, 17 Battery Place


10) The Monkey King aka Havoc in Heaven《大闹天宫》– This 3D update of the 1961 classic Chinese animated film is based on the earliest chapters of the Ming Dynasty shenmo novel Journey to the West. The main character is Sun Wukong, aka the Monkey King, who rebels against the Jade Emperor of heaven.

Screens as part of Shanghai Film Week

Wednesday, January 10, 3:30 PM
New York Film Academy, 17 Battery Place


11) Overlord: A Music Theater Work by Yu Bin and Ensemble – Asia Society and the China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) come together again for the annual showcase presenting emerging talent from RAW (Rising Artists Works), a platform developed by CSIAF to present new ideas and bright young artists from across China.

Overlord, a performance by the Yu Bin Ensemble, is a music-focused, interdisciplinary performance created by the pipa (traditional Chinese 4-stringed lute) player Yu Bin, who will be joined by an ensemble of some of the most talented young musicians in China, playing both Chinese and western instruments.

Overlord is inspired by two traditional Chinese pipa masterpieces: Ambush on All Sides and King Doffs His ArmorOverlord is based on historical facts, portraying the Chinese warlord Xiang Yu, using music to explore his inner world at different moments in his life. Unlike other film and traditional Chinese opera adaptations, Overlord avoids focusing on the retelling the story, and instead attempts to find the humanity inside this complex figure — who has often been portrayed as a ruthless leader, a notorious killer and a gruesome enemy — and explore the emotional connection he had to humanity as he led the rebel forces into battle against the Qian Dynasty. Yu Bin’s work uses music and theater to portray a nuanced character with a complex inner life.

Part of the annual Shanghai/New York: Future Histories program co-presented with the China Shanghai International Arts Festival

Wednesday, January 10, 7 PM (preceded by a reception at 6 PM)
Thursday, January 11, 3 PM
Asia Society


12) I Wish I Knew 《海上传奇》 Jia Zhangke’s undervalued I Wish I Knew charts history through actual emigrations, physical and cultural displacements. Jia uses a World Expo commission as an occasion to dig deeper into the vein he discovered in Useless and 24 City, and Shanghai becomes an epicenter of historical change…. Far more than 24 City, Jia’s film is a delicate web of associations between interviews and clips…. For instance, Jia shoots an interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien on a train moving through the mountains, an evocation of one of his finest films, Goodbye South, Goodbye. It is also an evocation of flight, one of the central preoccupations of this film, and of a fellow artist’s particular cinematic language, another side of which is revealed with the clip from Flowers of Shanghai, which prompts Hou to reflect on the eary 20th-century ‘innovation’ of falling in love, which in turn evokes the many tender romances alluded to throughout I Wish I Knew and the secrecy prompted by a century of political tumult. Jia’s cinematic language is always polyvalent, and his juxtapositions flower gradually across the span of the entire film. – Kent Jones, Film Comment July/August 2010

Screens as part of Shanghai Film Week

Thursday, January 11, 1:30 PM
New York Film Academy, 17 Battery Place


13) Phurbu & Tenzin 《西藏天空》 – Tenzin, the young master of a feudal land, and Phurbu the serf have been good friends since childhood. Their mutual love and hate have oscillated along with the rise and fall in the development of Tibet. Set against such a background, the film traces the social changes in Tibet, from the British occupation, through the rule of the Dalai Lama and his exile to India, to the emancipation of Tibet, the Cultural Revolution, and the opening-up and reforming of China. Filled with blood and tears, struggles and fights, the film does not aim to depict class or religious conflicts, but to portray people’s awakening to freedom, equality, human rights and self-identity. The director scrutinizes and queries the complex issues from a human angle, not from a policy-first perspective. With a dramatic storyline and an out-of-ordinary rendition of scenes, the film is a colourful and inspiring epic. (Film Programmes Office, The Government of the Hong Kong SAR of the PRC)

Screens as part of Shanghai Film Week

Thursday, January 11, 4 PM
New York Film Academy, 17 Battery Place


1) Youth《芳华》 Following his acclaimed comedy I Am Not Madame Bovary, popular Mainland director Feng Xiaogang plunges into the still-painful memory of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, telling a decades-spanning tale that begins with a People’s Liberation Army arts troupe touring the provinces. The ensemble’s outcast and scapegoat, dancer He Xiaoping (Miao Miao), is at the center of this emotional, intimate epic, which charts a history of heartbreak and everyday heroism through stunning widescreen photography and the music of Teresa Teng. (Metrograph)

The film was abruptly shelved in China in September, halting its release worldwide, but purportedly with a few changes, it hit the theaters.  The LA Times calls the film an “imperfect but stirring drama”.

At AMC Empire 25 and Metrograph


2) Goldbuster 《妖铃铃》 – In this comedy directed by legend Sandra Ng, a quirky internet star, a pair of retired gangsters, and the black sheep of a prolific family of herbalists are a few of the oddball tenants that call the dilapidated apartments of Humble Grove home. Fearful of being locked out by a ruthless property developer with his eye on the building, they’ve stayed inside for years. So, when supernatural incidents befall them all on one night, instead of running, they turn to flamboyant ghost hunter Golden Ling to perform a most unusual exorcism.

Opens at AMC Empire 25 January 5


3) Ex Files 3 《前任3: 再见前任》 – Buddies Meng Yun and Yu Fei break up with their girlfriends and indulge themselves in living the bachelor lifestyle again. However, as their ex-girlfriends reemerge in their lives, their “Single Plan” starts to unravel.

At AMC Empire 25


Group Shows and Local Artists:

Wang Xu is one of the artists at The 2017 Socrates AnnualThe Socrates Annual – formerly known as The Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition – is an annual exhibition of new public art that addresses the most urgent issues of today.

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.

Additionally, during the month of January, FX Harsono’s Writing in the Rain is Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment, a wonderful public art program that replaces the banal ads on a number of giant displays at the Crossroads of the World with worthwhile art.


Opening and Newly Listed:

1) Selected works from AAAC Archive and Permanent Collection (384 Broadway, 1/8 – March) – A video presentation on – an Asian American Artists Archive – will be showing 24/7 in the widow of 384 Broadway. Inside where its warm this short 20 minute video can also be seen & heard. Two score and ten artists works are brought together, presented as an introduction to the creative side of Asia America from the post-WWII era to the present.

Since 1983 after thirty plus years of exhibitions, the AAAC has accumulated a research archive of over 1,600 file entries touching on the history of Asian American art in the United States dating back to 1945. In 2009, the AAAC transformed a portion of this material into a professional archive for long-term preservation. The digital archive contains a selection of nearly 200 artists and can be viewed online at AAAC Blog and Permanent Collection reflects more recent artist developments.


Closing soon:

Infinite Narratives – Tomato Grey Artist Collective Exhibition (Chinese American Arts Council, 12/16 – 1/5/18)

Cai Dongdong: Photography Autocracy (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/30/17 – 1/6/18)

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World (Guggenheim Museum, 10/6/17 – 1/8/18)

REN Studio: Extraordinary Ordinary (Biggercode Gallery, 12/10/17 – 1/17/18)

Current shows:

Visit the exhibition calendar for details for the current shows listed below. Check the museum’s or gallery’s website for hours of operation.

Infinite Narratives – Tomato Grey Artist Collective Exhibition (Chinese American Arts Council, 12/16 – 1/5/18)

Cai Dongdong: Photography Autocracy (Klein Sun Gallery, 11/30/17 – 1/6/18)

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World (Guggenheim Museum, 10/6/17 – 1/8/18)

REN Studio: Extraordinary Ordinary (Biggercode Gallery, 12/10/17 – 1/17/18)

Lin Yan: Gateway (Fou Gallery, 12/2 – 1/21/18)

What do you see?—Contemporary Art from Taiwan (Taipei Cultural and Economic Center, 11/30/17 – 1/26/18)

[.Zip:Unzp the Future 释放未来] (3LD Art & Technology Center, 12/9/17 – 1/26/18)

Roadside Picnic – The Zone (Chambers Fine Art, 12/14 – 1/27/18)

Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (multiple sites NYC, 10/12/17 – 2/1/18)

Re-Re-positioning the Present (International Studio & Curatorial Program Project Space, 12/5 – 2/16/18)

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

chin(A)frica: an interface (NYU, Institute of Fine Arts, 10/27/17 – 2/18/18)

Selected works from AAAC Archive and Permanent Collection (384 Broadway, 1/8 – March)

FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures (Museum of Chinese in America, 10/5 /17 – 3/25/18)

In Focus: An Assembly of Gods (Asia Society Museum, 9/26/17 – 3/25/18)

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

Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/21/17 – 7/22/18)

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

Lead image: Photo by Ly. H. licensed through Creative Commons: