NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: March 2 – March 8, 2018

Mobile Picnic Area

This week: Two local jazz musicians and composers who find inspiration in their heritage; Asia Society’s First Friday includes performances by renowned calligrapher Wang Dongling and Kunqu singer Qian Yi; opening for a survey of abstract art in Taiwan; new exhibitions listings for shows by Fou Gallery, Think!Chinatown, Gallery 456; artist Lu Zhang’s social experiment; an Wikipedia edit-a-thon that focuses on providing a presence for female Chinese artists on one of the world’s most visited sites, five Chinese movies at AMC; and more…

Coming up:

3/10 – An afternoon of art and poetry at China Institute

3/12 – Screening of a restored Police Story 《警察故事》

3/15 – 3/24 – Asia Week New York, an annual ten-day celebration of Asian art throughout metropolitan New York, with non-stop exhibitions, auctions and special events presented by leading international Asian art specialists, major auction houses, and world-renowned museums and cultural institutions.

3/16 – 3/22 – Screening of Maineland, a documentary about “parachute students” from China enrolling in US private schools.

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.

Extended Deadline: March 16, 2018
Work-in-Progress Deadline: April 6, 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) Ink in Motion: Calligraphy by Wang Dongling (Sold Out) – Join internationally renowned Chinese contemporary calligrapher Wang Dongling and Asia Society’s John H. Foster Senior Curator for Traditional Asian Art Adriana Proser for a conversation about his art, after which the dynamic artist will create a large-scale calligraphic work with brush and ink on paper.

With the support of Chambers Fine Art

Presented as part of the March edition of First Friday, Asia Society’s unique happy hour, 6:00–9:00 pm, on the first Friday of the month, offering free museum admission, exhibition tours, refreshments, and more.

Friday, March 2, 6:30 PM
Asia Society


2) Moonlight Meditation: Work-in-Progress – Extraordinary Kunqu (Chinese opera) artist Qian Yi shares a work-in-progress exploration of a new work she is creating around Buddhist philosophy. She plays two roles — that of a Buddhist nun and a mischievous student, who find their practice challenged as they seek to find a spiritual essence. Qian Yi believes her art form is a powerful medium for connecting past to future, and in this way, a part of contemporary expression. Her work is accompanied by flute and percussion and is followed by an artist Q&A.

Presented as part of the March edition of First Friday, Asia Society’s unique happy hour, 6:00–9:00 pm, on the first Friday of the month, offering free museum admission, exhibition tours, refreshments, and more.

Friday, March 2, 8 PM
Asia Society


3) Open Studio: Space Painting by Chen Dongfan – New York based artist Dongfan Chen brings his passion to his new studio space in LIC. Born and raised in China, DongFan has spent years exploring figures and colors in his expressive and distinctive paintings. DongFan moved to Brooklyn, New York 4 years ago, his art became a vital representative of the cultural diversity of New York. To celebrate the studio relocation from Brooklyn to LIC, he invites friends to visit and enjoy new works and dance and live performances by friends.

Sunday, March 4, 3 – 6 PM
43-01 21st #232B, Long Island City


4) Art + Feminism Editathon – In this event supported by Columbia University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, you can join others in creating and updating articles covering cis and transgender women and the arts on Wikipedia! Representation matters, especially on one of the world’s most visited websites, and this is a great chance to provide information and documentation on female Chinese artists.

Art+Feminism is a do-it-yourself and do-it-with-others campaign teaching people of all gender identities and expressions to edit Wikipedia. From coffee shops and community centers to the largest museums and universities in the world, there have been 500+ events around the world since March 2014.

Wednesday, March 7, 3- 6 PM
Kent Hall, Room 403, Columbia University


5) Stephanie Chou at Lincoln Center – New York–based saxophonist, singer, and composer Stephanie Chou makes beautiful experimental pop by blending traditional Chinese music with elements of jazz, contemporary classical music, spoken word, folk, and the American singer-songwriter tradition. Among the music on tonight’s setlist, she’ll perform works from her latest album, Asymptote, which includes invigorating arrangements of Chinese classics such as “Kangding Love Song,” “The Moon Represents My Heart,” the tongue-twister “Eating Grapes,” and a setting of one of Li Bai’s most famous poems.

Read our interview with Chou.

Thursday, March 8, 7:30 PM
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W. 62nd St.


6) Francis Hon Quartet – With a profound background in classical music, Taiwanese jazz pianist and composer Francis Hon will bring his original compositions and arrangements along with the brilliant musicians in New York jazz scene to explore this ever-expanding musical vibrancy.

Thursday, March 8, 9 PM
Club Bonafide, 212 E 52nd St.


1) Detective Chinatown 2 《唐人街探案》– A follow up to the Chinese hit “Detective Chinatown,” the new film reunites writer/director Chen Sicheng and stars Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran, who reprise their roles as detectives Tang Ren and Qin Feng, respectively. When the case of New York Chinatown godfather Uncle Qi’s missing son turns into a murder investigation, the detective duo Tang and Qin team up again to hunt down the killer—this time with some help from the International Detective Alliance. The main cast also includes Xiao Yang, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Michael Pitt and Japanese star Tsumabuki Satoshi.

At AMC Empire 25


2) Agent Mr. Chan <棟篤特工> After a mission failure resulting in a 20 year banishment, agent Chan (Dayo Wong) is reluctantly hired back to take on the mysterious case of the Cyber Goddess. Forced to go undercover as the complete opposite of his suave and debonair self, he’s on a mission to prove he’s ready to take back his position as the world’s top secret agent.

At AMC Empire 25


3) Operation Red Sea 《 紅海行動 – Famed action director Dante Lam returns with this explosive follow-up to his 2016 box office smash Operation Mekong. When a terrorist plot to obtain nuclear materials is hidden under the cover of a violent coup, only the Chinese Navyas elite Jiaolong Assault Team have the deadly skill and precision needed to take on the situation.

At AMC Empire 25


4) The Monkey King 3 《西遊記女兒國》– The third installment of the blockbuster fantasy series sees the return of the Monkey King (Aaron Kwok) in his most action-packed adventure yet! While continuing their epic journey to the West, the Monkey King and his companions are taken captive by the Queen of an all-female land, who believes them to be part of an ancient prophecy heralding the fall of her kingdom. With a lot of sorcery and a little bit of charm, the travelers devise a plan to escape. But when their trickery angers the mighty River God, they realize they might just bring about the foretold destruction – unless they can find a way to quell her wrath.

At AMC Empire 25


5) Monster Hunt 2 《捉妖記2》– The story continues with Wuba after he parts way with his human parents Tian (Jing Boran) and Lan (Bai Baihe) for his own journey. Peace has not been restored in the monster world after the death of the evil monster king as a sinister lord has ascended and seized the throne. A heavy bounty is placed on Wuba dead or alive, forcing him to go into hiding again. He encounters an ill-famed gambler Tu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) who’s deep in debt and seemingly up to no good. Together, they form a reluctant alliance in order to escape from their predicament.

At AMC Empire 25


Group Shows and Local Artists:

Lu Zhang’s artist studio during her residency at NARS foundation becomes a dating hotspot through her project It Takes Ten Years Practice to be on the Same Boat.   Inspired by the Chinese proverb “十年修得同船渡” translated as “it takes ten years practice to be on the same boat,” the project builds the concept of yuánfèn in which one’s good deeds in past lives will lead to the “fateful coincidence” of meeting another person in this current life, whether as friends, lovers or acquaintances. The proverb also implies that we be open, patient and appreciative of moments when we encounter each other.  Read more about it here.

Hong Kong artist Wong Ping and Chinese artists Song Ta and Shen Xin will be part of the New Museum’s triennial group show Songs for Sabotage which “questions how individuals and collectives around the world might effectively address the connection of images and culture to the forces that structure our society. Together, the artists in Songs for Sabotage propose a kind of propaganda, engaging with new and traditional media in order to reveal the built systems that construct our reality, images, and truths. The exhibition amounts to a call for action, an active engagement, and an interference in political and social structures urgently requiring them.”

Think!Chinatown’s Everyday Chinatown invites you to call in to listen in on members of the Chinatown community as they share stories of commonly found household items in Chinatown. Window displays of these objects will be scattered around the neighborhood from the Lunar New Year to March 31. This project of cultural translation, self-representation, and inter-generational exchange is funded by the Citizen’s Committee for NYC.

It’s also art fair season this coming week: Spring/Break Art Show (3/6 – 3/12), Volta NY (3/7 – 3/11), NADA (3/8 – 3/11), Art on Paper (3/8 – 3/11)  and the Armory Show (3/8 – 3/11),

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) Art Across Archives (384 Broadway, 2/17 – 3/31) – Art Across Archives re-constitutes the work of the EPOXY Art Group, a collective of artists hailing primarily from Hong Kong and China active in New York during the 1980s and ‘90s. The group experimented with a variety of art forms, including installation, performance, slideshows, and zines, as a collaborative means of exploring and re-framing their cross-cultural experiences in the US.

The featured works, The Decolonization of Hong Kong (1992) and Thirty-Six Tactics (1987), are examples of a research-based approach to art-making. The artists sifted through mass media archives and used Xerox machines to compile their own unofficial histories of global events. Drawing upon resources as disparate as Reagan Era scandals, the Opium Wars, and classical Chinese military stratagems, these artworks piece together far-flung fragments of a world that has already happened. Traversing time and space, they gesture toward a past that both travels and evolves.

The EPOXY Art Group’s core members included Ming Fay (b. 1943), Bing Lee (b. 1948), Jerry Kwan (1934-2008), Kwok Mang Ho (b. 1947), Kang Lok Chung (b. 1947), and Eric Chan (b. 1975), with Esther Liu, and Cissy Pao (b. 1950), Andrew Culver (b. 1953), and Zhang Hongtu (b. 1943) as additional participants. The exhibit includes an archival wall with modules addressing Epoxy’s work as a collaborative group, the significance of downtown New York to their work, and the slideshow as an innovative, hand-drawn medium.

Art Across Archives draws material from three New York collections: the Asian American Arts Centre, the Asia Art Archive in America, and selections by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU of materials from the Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU. Slideshows featuring each collection will be on view 24/7 in the window of 384 Broadway and as a projection indoors. In opening up these archives to fresh perspectives, this exhibition asks us to rethink the archive as a space for play and a source for new ideas in the community.

Produced by Think!Chinatown in collaboration with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Asia Art Archive in America, Asian American Arts Centre, and chashama.


2) Fernando Villela and Zhe Zhu: Time Flies So First Things First (Fou Gallery, 2/16 – 3/18) – Villela and Zhu create a presentation that resembles a stream of consciousness, with photographs of natural and built environments, of abstraction and figuration. Pinned directly on the wall, the images travel in a flow along the parallel walls of the gallery, and explode when they reach the final wall space.

The exhibition reflects upon many aspects of the human condition in the contemporary world: the rapid dissemination of information, the surplus of materials, the isolation of human beings despite increased connectivity, the blurred boundaries between the organic and the inorganic. According to Zhu and Villela: “Technology is eroding geographical borders. Information travels. Money is wired. Knowledge expands. But the human grows isolated – connected to the entire world, yet more alone than ever before. Images are consumed in less time than the shutter opened, and yet are capable of exerting impressive influence in the bigger conversation.”
Zhu rebuilds daily objects into sculptural compositions and documents them in the studio, referencing commercial imagery. He also takes that approach outside of the studio. The works manifest how photographs falls apart and are created for mass consumption in today’s visual environment. The new series is a departure from his previous projects.

Continue reading the press release.

Zhe Zhu, #33, 2017. Archival inkjet print, 30 x 24 in., edition of 3+1AP ©Zhe Zhu, courtesy Fou Gallery


3) Zhen Guo: A Denied Existence (Gallery 456, 2/23 – 3/23) – “I use colorful cloth, expensive silk and humble linens to compose breasts to show women from different social classes, with different personalities and different responsibilities, all with beautiful, graceful, voluptuous breasts. I use ink to draw male and female symbols, barely shown through the tapestries. Sometimes I use huge works to call upon the image of the breasts and their power to alert people’s consciousness to the power of the female gender. These are not only meant for people to recognize the beauty, softness, kindness of the female, but also to shock the viewer with women’s power, resilience, and the limitless flexibility of the value and meaning within their existence.” — Zhen Guo


4) Shifting Momentum: Abstract Art in Taiwan (Taipei Cultural Center at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, 3/8 – 3/30) – The Taipei Cultural Center and Taiwan Academy proudly present Shifting Momentum, a world-premiere exhibition curated by Bor-Jou Kuo and Chung-Fan Chang that features abstract paintings and mixed media works by twelve mid-career and established Taiwanese artists.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan), Shifting Momentum is organized by Taipei National University of Education in Taipei, Taiwan; Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey; and the Taipei Cultural Center, New York. The exhibition will feature fifteen works from eight Taiwan based artists Ming-Xi Chang, Yu-Ju Chen, Bor-Jou Kuo, Shiou-Ping Liao, Wei-Min Lin, Yung-Jen Liu, Rock Chin-Yuan Shen and Wen-Yueh Tao, along with four United State based Taiwanese artists Chung-Fan Chang, Su-Li Hung, Shiao-Ping Wang and Chi-Hung Yang. The exhibition will jointly present works of American artists Lucy Glick and Robert Motherwell from the permanent collection of the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University.

Shifting Momentum presents the development of the constantly changing abstract art in the Taiwanese art world, from the eighties to today. The works in this exhibition spanned a wide range of techniques, styles, and intentions, which has been the kind of self-analysis that required a balance between the rational and the intuited to bond artists in this frequently shifting art domain. Influenced by the Western modernism, artists address Eastern cultural, philosophy and traditions in subjects like ch’i (energy flow), ink calligraphy, Han Dynasty tomb bricks and traditional window frames that often have people’s wishes and blessings engraved onto. Artists reflect the liberal and slowly opened state of Taiwanese society after the lifting of 38 years of martial law (1949-1987) in juxtaposition to the now digitized hyper accelerated life.

Opening reception and gallery talk at 6:30 PM on March 8.


Closing soon:

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

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

Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake, 2009 – 2017 (Queens Museum, 9/17/17 – 3/4/18)

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

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.


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

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

Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake, 2009 – 2017 (Queens Museum, 9/17/17 – 3/4/18)

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

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

Red Envelope Show (Grumpy Bert, 2/23 – 3/11)

Li Wei: Impossible is Not an Option (Galerie Richard, 2/7 – 3/11)

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

Fernando Villela and Zhe Zhu: Time Flies So First Things First (Fou Gallery, 2/16 – 3/18)

Zhen Guo: A Denied Existence (Gallery 456, 2/23 – 3/23)

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)

Shifting Momentum: Abstract Art in Taiwan (Taipei Cultural Center at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, 3/8 – 3/30)

Art Across Archives (384 Broadway, 2/17 – 3/31)

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

Liu Shiyuan: Isolated Above, Connected Down (Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, 2/22 – 4/7)

Wang Dongling: Poetry and Painting (Chambers Fine Art, 2/25 – 4/14)

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: Mobile green picnic areas seen in Kowloon.  Photo by Andrew Shiue