NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: February 9 – February 15, 2018


This week: Documentaries about Filipino workers in Taiwan and about three siblings from Harlem who search for their family roots; artist talk with Joyce Yu-Jean Lee; opening reception at Wing On Wo & Co. for the 店面 Residency; a talk about the Jewish population in China; three new exhibition listings and last chances to see four exhibitions; and more…

Coming up:

2/16 – Chinese New Year!

2/16 – Edge of Heaven, a live concert with Gary Lucas, Feifei Yang, and Jason Candler that revisits Lucas’ salute to 30s Chinese pop

2/17 – Pipa player Min Xiao-Fen and guitarist Rez Abbasi provide a live accompaniment to the classic film The Goddess

Our weekly listing now includes open calls and other opportunities for artists, filmmakers, and others involved with Chinese culture in this intro section.

41st Asian American International Film Festival – Asian Cinevision is accepting entries for the 41st Asian American International Film Festival to be held July 25 – August 4, 2018 in New York.  The festival the longest running and, with over 100 features and shorts, largest Asian/Asian American film festival.

Early bird entry deadline: January 19, 2018.
Regular deadline: February 16, 2018.
Extended Deadline: March 16, 2018
Work-in-Progress Deadline: April 6, 2018

Sixth Tone Fellowship – The English-language news website is partnering with the Fudan Development Institute to support eight young scholars for a six week research trip to conduct fieldwork.  This year’s topic is “Technological Innovation and Rural China” which asks “How can China use technology and innovative thinking to change the impoverished appearance of its vast countryside, improve the lives of its rural population, and close the gap between urban and rural areas?” Deadline: March 1, 2018

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) Legend of the Mountain 《山中传奇》-Always the maverick, Hu was working entirely independently on Legend of the Mountain, heading into rugged terrain in South Korea to film this atmospheric, hypnotic work suffused with supernatural overtones, which tells the story of a secluded scholar confronted by two seductive specters who threaten to draw his attention away from the sutra he’s struggling to transcribe. One of the purest expressions of Hu’s ethos, in which philosophy and action merge as one, in a new restoration which reveals it to be one of his most gorgeous films as well.

Dir. King Hu
1979, Taiwan, 191 min.
Mandarin with English subtitles

Screens as part of the series Martial / Art

Friday, February 9, 11:45 AM
Monday, February 12, 12 PM
February 15, 1:15 PM
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street


2) Money and Honey – A documentary about immigrant workers’ struggle between dreams and reality, spanning 13 years of filming in Taiwan and the Philippines. Living away from their loved ones, both the caregivers and the elderly residents in the nursing home suffer from homesickness. Stories of joy and sorrow take place between them. The Filipino caregivers sing a self-mocking song, “No Money, No Honey!” to comfort themselves. As mothers, these women know how to survive. But the road home seems longer. What price do they have to pay for love and livelihood? Will their dreams ever come true?

Dir. Jasmine Ching-Hui Lee
2015, Taiwan, 101 min.

Presented by the Asian Film and Media Initiative.

Screening followed by a discussion with the director, Jasmine Ching-Hui Lee (Associate Professor, Day-Yeh University) and a preview trailer of Lee’s work in progress Come Back My Child.

Friday, February 9, 2:30 PM
Michelson Theater, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway, 6th Floor


3) What NYC’s E-Bike Ban Means for Delivery Workers – As part of the final weekend for the show Thank You, Enjoy which includes photographs by Katie Salisbury of delivery men in China, Think!Chinatown hosts this thought-provoking and informative panel discussion about New York City’s e-bike ban and how it affects delivery workers. Panelists will include Helen Ho, co-founder of Biking Public Project (BPP), Xiaodeng Chen, a former delivery worker and BPP member, Chelsea Yamada, Manhattan organizer for Transportation Alternatives, and Persephone Tan, associate director of immigration & policy at Asian American Federation, moderated by artist Katie Salisbury. 

 Friday, February 9, 6:30 PM
384 Broadway


4) Finding Samuel Lowe from Harlem to China – Screening of a film about Tthree successful black siblings from Harlem discover their heritage while searching for clues about their long-lost grandfather, Samuel Lowe. Their emotional journey spans from Toronto to Jamaica to China, reuniting them with hundreds of Chinese relatives they never imagined existed.

Dir. Jeannette Kong
2014, United States, 88 min.

Friday, February 9, 7:30 PM
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY


5) Abacus: Small Enough to Jail –  Screened five out of six times for a purported retrospective six-film series of works by director Steve James, this Oscar short-listed film 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.

Preceded by Edith+Eddie

Friday, February 9, 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 11, 3 PM, 6 PM
Museum of the Moving Image


6) Madison Street to Madison Avenue – Join the Chinatown Partnership Local Development CorporationEast Midtown PartnershipThe Grand Central PartnershipMadison Avenue Business Improvement District, and Confucius Institute for Business at SUNY  to celebrate Lunar New Year on Madison Avenue!

 To honor the Year of the Dog, join 50 Madison Avenue retailers in this unprecedented opportunity to shop with your dog and support the work of The Animal Medical Center, which is dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education. Additionally, join for free family and dog-friendly activities on Madison Avenue at East 54th Street, including face paintingcalligraphy, a lunar new year-themed photo booth, and a special Animal Medical Center doggy-health tent and performances in the Harman Store, 527 Madison Ave.
Saturday, February 10, 11 AM – 3 PM
Along Madison Avenue

7) Taiwanese Cultural Festival – Children’s Museum of the Arts will host workshops inspired by Taiwanese artistic traditions, including opera storytelling, calligraphy, and illustrated animations, along with a San Tai Zi performance by the Taiwanese American Council of Greater New York at 12 PM and 3 PM.

Sunday February 11, 10 AM – 5 PM
Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St.


8) 2nd Annual NYAFF Lunar New Year Party – Celebrate with the Subway Cinema team and friends, old and new,with an open bar and food.  Price of admission is $55 per person, $100 for two! Tickets can be purchased at

All proceeds will support the 2018 New York Asian Film Festival (June 29 – July 15)

Sunday, February 11, 6 PM
The Warren, 131 Christopher St.


9) 店面 Residency: Storefront Window Opening Reception – Join Wing On Wo & Co.’s second Lunar New Year 店面 Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock for the opening reception of her window display project, and celebrate the Lunar New Year early with light snacks and drinks.

Emily Mock is the second participant in the 店面 Residency, a joint initiative by Wing on Wo & Co.’s The W.O.W Project and China Residencies to launch a six-month residency in NYC’s Chinatown to create storefront displays for the Lunar New Year.

W.O.W. Shadow Puppet Theater is a community project centered on the question “what do you do to sweep away evil?” From October through January, 店面Storefront Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock held workshops in the Wing On Wo studio and Columbus Park, teaching paper cutting and shadow puppetry. Participants made their own puppets and devised short plays based on a memory, practice, tradition, or imaginary about how they sweep away evil for themselves and their communities. These recorded plays will be featured in a month-long window installation at Wing on Wo & Co.

Tuesday, February 13, 7 PM
Wing On Wo & Co, 26 Mott St.


10) Joyce Yu-Jean Lee Artist Talk – Artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee will provide an artist talk regarding her current exhibition, State of the DysUnion.

In the Trumpian age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” diverse truths prompt Joyce Yu-Jean Lee to ask: How can individuals exert agency over their media consumption and personal psychic space? Through abstract animation, she explores the dissonance of the media landscape today.

Daily headlines and photographs are indexed and projected onto a suspended cylindrical screen which streams a wide spectrum of social and political perspectives. Experimenting with sculptural video projection and intervention of the gallery architecture, State of the DysUnion calls audiences to examine their contemporary visual language, its documentation, distribution, and role in developing culture and history.

Tuesday, February 13, 7 PM
NJCU Visual Arts Gallery 100 Culver Avenue (Visual Arts Building, basement) Jersey City, NJ


11) In Search of a Jewish Story in China – Examining the Silk Road and six cities in China, art and travel writer Irene Shaland discusses why the Jewish population of China nearly disappeared and the ways in which their history overlaps with the Jews of Europe and America. Co-presented by China Institute and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Thursday, February 15, 3 PM
Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl.


None this week


Group Shows and Local Artists:

Wang Xu is one of the artists at The 2017 Socrates Annual (Oct 1, 2017 – March 11, 2018). The 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.


Opening and Newly Listed:

1) The Unscene (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/1 – 3/11) – An exhibition consisting of works from the Gallery’s roster of artists over the past decade, all being presented in our Chelsea space for the first time.  The show includes selected works by Chen Wenbo, Gao Rong, Han Yajuan, Li Hongbo, Li Liao, Liu Bolin, Tang Yongxiang, Yang Mian, Zhang Gong and Zhang Peng.

Li Hongbo – ‘Absorption- Forward’, 2017. Books, 29 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 11 3/4 (75 x 20 x 30)


2) The Costume Art of Imperial Peking Opera (Flushing Town Hall, 2/17 – 3/11) – Peking Opera is recognized as the most important Chinese theater in China. Known as the “Imperial Theater” because emperors and queens were deeply in love with it during the Qing Dynasty, these opera costumes are considered to be an important achievement in theater art. This exhibition presents carefully selected pieces from some of the most famous episodes in Peking Opera. These charming yet stunning works of art will provide many surprises.


3) Dyspepsia: A techno-existential intrusion into the human body (Areté Venue and Gallery, 2/15 – 2/28) – In an era that is simultaneously riddled with the magnificent potentials of cutting-edge technology and the dystopian anxieties that come along with them, we witness the collapse of sciential and sensual systems as well as the blurring of tangible and intangible boundaries. The intruders in our fantasies spill out from our own bodies and minds, inducing gradual corrosion to the very basis of human cognition: the notion of “self”.

Areté Venue and Gallery presents Dyspepsia, a duo exhibition by Mattia Casalegno and Frank Yefeng Wang. Both of their art practices involve the anachronistic juxtaposition of high technology and human bodies. For the 3D-printed sculptures, Casalegno uses Soylent as the material to mold classical statues: the prototype of human physicality; while Wang adopts Oculus Touch as a tool to redefine the relationship between everyday objects and disjointed body parts. The video works of both artists experiment even more with such transmutation of existing forms, questioning the line between human and machine, organics and inorganics, body and foreign objects, and ultimately, self and others.

Opening reception: 2/17, 6 – 10 PM


Closing soon:

Lin Yan: Gateway (Fou Gallery, 12/2 – 2/10)

[.Zip:Unzp the Future 释放未来] (3LD Art & Technology Center, 12/9/17 – 2/15/18)

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

Roadside Picnic – The Zone (Chambers Fine Art, 12/14 – 2/17/18)

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.

Roadside Picnic – The Zone (Chambers Fine Art, 12/14 – 2/17)

Crystal w.m. Chan – I Am My Own Landscape (Gallery 456, 1/12 – 2/9)

[.Zip:Unzp the Future 释放未来] (3LD Art & Technology Center, 12/9/17 – 2/15/18)

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

Wang Ningde: Form of Light  (Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, 1/11 – 2/17)

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)

Jizi: Journey of the Spirit (WhiteBox, 1/17 – 2/24)

Dyspepsia: A techno-existential intrusion into the human body (Areté Venue and Gallery, 2/15 – 2/28)

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

The Fuck Off Generation: Chinese Art in the Post-Mao Era, Part 1 (Ethan Cohen Gallery, 1/31 – ??)

Joyce Yu-Jean Lee – State of the DysUnion (New Jersey City University Galleries, 1/25 – 3/1)

Qiu Anxiong – Of Mountains and Sea (Boers-Li Gallery, 1/28 – 3/3)

Figurative Diaspora (New York Academy of Art, 1/16 – 3/4)

The Unscene (Klein Sun Gallery, 2/1 – 3/11)

The Costume Art of Imperial Peking Opera (Flushing Town Hall, 2/17 – 3/11)

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)

Zhang Engli – The Garden (Hauser & Wirth, 1/25 – 4/7)

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: A walkway over East Lake in Wuhan, Hubei Province