NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: June 15 – June 21, 2018

Sea and Sky at Sunrise (detail)

This week:  Yangtze Repertory Theatre’s Romulus the Great; basketball meets the Cultural Revolution in the well-reviewed play, The Great Leap; a talk about writing about Asian American food; and more…

Coming up:

June 26 – 28 – Taipei Cultural Center presents LGBTQ-themed films and play readings for Pride Month

June 29 – Think!Chinatown’s Summer Moon Party

June 29 – July 15 – New York Asian Film Festival


Step 1) Let everyone know you are GOING to the “Summer Moon Party – Think!Chinatown Benefit Party” on the event page:

Step 2) Finish this sentence in a post on the event page. “I love Chinatown because…” and tag a friend you want to bring to the party!

Prize for best post: VIP tickets for you and your friend to the T!C Summer Moon Party

Winner will be announced Fri, June 22 before midnight.


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

1) Lotus Lee Foundation Travel Fellowship – Through the Travel Fellowship, Lotus Lee Foundation hopes to stimulate an in-depth discussion on the future development of the theater and performing arts industry. The fellowship aim to encourage students and young professionals to exam this topic from different perspectives including business model, the market expands, art & technology integration, investment, cross-cultural communication, etc.

The fellowship will provide its recipients an opportunity to explore the theater industry in Shanghai, China; to broaden their experience and knowledge on the cultural exchange; to deepen their insights on the future of international performing arts field.

Submission deadline: August 28, 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) Catch and Release Cao 《捉放曹– The New York Chinese Opera society performs this Peking opera classic.

Saturday, June 16, 2 PM
Hudson Guild Theater, 441 W 26th Street


2) The Great Buddha + 《大佛普拉斯》– Provincial friends Pickle and Belly Button idle away their nights in the security booth of a Buddha statue factory, where Pickle works as a guard. One evening, when the TV is on the fritz, they put on video from the boss’s dashcam—only to discover illicit trysts and a mysterious act of violence. Expanded from a short, Huang Hsin-yao’s fiction feature debut The Great Buddha + (the plus sign cheekily nodding to the smartphone model) is a stylish, rip-roaring satire on class and corruption in contemporary Taiwanese society. (MoMA)

Dir. Huang Hsin-yao
Taiwan, 2017, 104 min.
Taiwanese and Mandarin with English subtitles

Sunday, June 17, 1 PM
Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen, 40 Bogart Street, Brooklyn


3) From Plate to Page: Writing Asian American Food – Join the Asian American Writers’ Workshop for an event that uses food as a starting point to explore the world of the restaurant, Asian American immigrant life, and how histories of migration and colonialism shape our plates. We’ll hear from Lillian Li, whose debut novel Number One Chinese Restaurant delves into the world of family drama behind the Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland; New York Times Hungry City columnist Ligaya Mishan, whose essential piece on the rise of Asian American food in the restaurant industry investigates its newfound critical embrace, and its effect on Asian American chefs; and Toronto-based Naben Ruthnum, whose funny and sharp memoir-essay Curry analyses the canon of “currybooks,” unraveling the nostalgic sentimentality around one of the most iconic staples of Asian food and its connection to the Indian diasporic experience. Moderated by chef and Tiffin editor Rohan Kamicheril.

Wednesday, June 20, 7 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 112 W 27th Street, #600


4) Shen Xin’s Forms Escape: Prologue + Jen Liu’s Pink Slime Caesar Shift – Join Asia Art Archive in America for a screening of Shen Xin‘s Forms Escape: Prologue (2016, Color & Sound SD Video, 36’22”) and Jen Liu‘s Pink Slime Caesar Shift (2018, Color & Sound 4K Video, 24’20″), followed by discussion with artist Jen Liu and scientist Sam Hart.

Pink Slime Caesar Shift is the name of Liu’s body of work that posits the use of stem-cell hamburgers as a vehicle to covertly transmit messages of labor insurrection for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) factory workers in China. Part of this on-going project is a 2018 prospectus video, in which her speculative proposal is connected to the lived realities of SEZ workers through interweaving appropriated texts: Chinese labor activist manuals, NGO white paper reports, science equipment advertisements and documentary recordings, amongst others. The speculative is used to elucidate the legal, environmental, and safety concerns surrounding factory labor today.

Shen Xin’s Forms Escape: Prologue, on the other hand, examines the afflictions of contemporary capitalism’s relationship with power, specifically appropriation, objectification, and exploitation. Shen addresses each affliction or ‘suffering’ in three connected videos compiled from an array of online footage. The film explores these intertwining conditions as symptoms of political as well as spiritual crisis. The viewer is invited to navigate the work as a guide to the three ‘sufferings’.

Thursday, June 21, 7 PM
Asia Art Archive In America, 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn


1)The Great Leap – San Francisco, spring 1989. Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a “friendship” game. When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history. Inspired by events from her father’s life and (short-lived) basketball career, playwright Lauren Yee (The Hatmaker’s Wife) makes her Atlantic debut with this tender and fearless new play.

Review by The New York Times

May 23 – June 24
Atlantic Theater Company


2) Romulus the Great – Yangtze Repertory Theater presents this play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Set in a fictional Roman Empire, emperor Romulus the Great chose not to be “great.” Facing the increasing peril of the Germanic invasion and the demise of the Empire, Romulus prefers to stay at home breeding chickens. Is his refusal of responsibility to govern stupidity? Or does he have other plans?

Scene from ‘Romulus the Great’ Courtesy of Yangtze Repertory Theatre

June 7 – 23
TBG Mainstage Theatre, 312 W. 36th Street, 3F


3) China Salesman 《中国推销员》– Based on a true story, China Salesman takes us on a dangerous and epic adventure to Africa where a Chinese salesman comes face-to-face with a corrupt competitor over a prized telecom deal. Local tribesman Kabbah (Mike Tyson) and mercenary Lauder (Steven Seagal) take up opposite sides in a brutal hand-to-hand fight while the entire region threatens to explode in a dangerous civil war.

At Cinema Village


4) How Long Will I Love You 《超時空同居》- In this rollicking romantic comedy, a man and a woman living in the same apartment nearly twenty years apart wake one day to find their timelines have merged. Now they’re stuck with one another, unless they can work together long enough to find a way back to their normal lives… if destiny will allow it.

At AMC Empire 25


Group Shows, Local Artists, and Other Art Events:

Lulu Meng is part of Tailbone at 47 Canal on view through June 29.

Opening and Newly Listed:

1) Mu Pan: Bright Moon Shines on the River Ping Zheng (Joshua Liner Gallery, 6/7 – 7/6) – Mu Pan’s work tells stories, which the artist attributes to his own childhood creating stories and narratives for comfort, while his parents were away. Instead of asking questions about his world and human nature, the artist began developing his own answers with characters and allegories, a tool he uses today in his compositions. For Bright Moon Shines on the River, Mu Pan explores the violence and humor that drives us all, through a fictional universe that combines elements of Japanese culture with an embattled, nautical world.

With their common ocean backdrop and a shared set of characters, collectively the works all seem to combine to tell a larger story. However, each painting is a unique and separate battle in this war between the animals we recognize and other monsters we don’t. Morphed figures serve as visual adaptations of the artist’s influences: deadly and powerful dolphins morph with woman, sharks with Yakuza-tattooed warriors in their geta shoes. It is exactly this absurdity, woven amid the graphic scenes of blood and limbs, that crystallize Mu Pan’s belief that all humor is based in cruelty. A theme we see again and again in Mu Pan’s practice. Pulling from his memories of Looney Tunes characters endlessly hurting one another for laughter, this connection had a powerful influence on the artist. Exploring this connection in his work, the artist comments on our human nature, and considers the frequent violence in his work to be cute and comical.

Read the full press release.

‘Moby’, 2018, acrylic on wood, 24″ x 48″


2) Monica Cook & Ye Qin Zhu: Accumulations (Postmasters, 5/19 – 6/30) – An exhibition of sculptural works by Monica Cook and Ye Qin Zhu. The two artists share a proclivity to employ and accumulate materials of almost any kind. Combining flora, fauna, detritus, craft supplies, and found objects, among more traditional media, Cook and Zhu treat matter with visceral consideration, and instill it with poetic formalism.

New works by Monica Cook highlight her attentiveness to the organic, as a concept and medium. Shards of glass and vintage gold-veined mirror coalesce with tree stumps and their roots. Desiccated branches flower with blown glass blossoms, glass globes, feathers, and starfish. Corn cobs are formal elements in an abstract painting as much as phallic figures or clouds. All of the biomaterial in these pieces are by definition dead, but Cook reanimates them with her dexterous, idiosyncratic sculptural sensibility.

Ye Qin Zhu’s wall sculptures often begin with a multi-layered plywood surface, providing the substrate for dense and spiritual material accumulations. Peacock feathers, coyote teeth, glitter glue, glow-in-the-dark-stars, keyboard keys, electrical wiring, batteries, coral, crayons, beeswax, headphones — among hundreds of other objects, ranging from obscure to banal — are deeply personal to him, or simply compelling enough to collect. This is true of the mail and paperwork he uses for the pulp in his handmade paper, another foundational material to the work. Intently repurposing the meaningful yet arbitrary things that somehow come to define us, Zhu’s works have undeniable psychic charge.

Ye Qin Zhu – ‘Arriving at Something Other Than’,
2017, paper, checkbook, conk mushroom, mini cd, adhesive caulk, asphalt, beech dowels, Sky screen mount, ambrosia maple burl, 1/100 scale model people, furniture pad, crayon, screws, coral, plywood, 17 x 21 x 7 inches


Closing soon:

Yun-Fei Ji – Rumor Ridicules and Retributions (James Cohan Gallery (Grand Street), 4/28 – 6/17)

Hao Liang – Portraits and Wonders (Gagosian, 5/8 – 6/23)

James Chan – Where Are You Really From? (384 Broadway, 6/6 – 6/23)

Chen Dongfan: Nevermore (昨夜星辰昨夜风) (Fou Gallery, 4/14 – 6/24)

Chewing Theory – Chewing Monster (Red Brick Space, 198 Allen Street, 6/14 – 6/24)

The Fuck Off Generation Chinese Avant Garde in the Post-Mao Era, Part 2 (Ethan Cohen, 5/10 – ??)

Liu Wei –180 Faces (Sean Kelly Gallery, 5/5 – 6/16)

[和hé] (Taiwan Academy in New York (TECO), 5/18 – 6/22)

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

Monica Cook & Ye Qin Zhu: Accumulations (Postmasters, 5/19 – 6/30)

Current shows:

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

Yun-Fei Ji – Rumor Ridicules and Retributions (James Cohan Gallery (Grand Street), 4/28 – 6/17)

Hao Liang – Portraits and Wonders (Gagosian, 5/8 – 6/23)

James Chan – Where Are You Really From? (384 Broadway, 6/6 – 6/23)

Chen Dongfan: Nevermore (昨夜星辰昨夜风) (Fou Gallery, 4/14 – 6/24)

Chewing Theory – Chewing Monster (Red Brick Space, 198 Allen Street, 6/14 – 6/24)

The Fuck Off Generation Chinese Avant Garde in the Post-Mao Era, Part 2 (Ethan Cohen, 5/10 – ??)

Liu Wei –180 Faces (Sean Kelly Gallery, 5/5 – 6/16)

[和hé] (Taiwan Academy in New York (TECO), 5/18 – 6/22)

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

Monica Cook & Ye Qin Zhu: Accumulations (Postmasters, 5/19 – 6/30)

Mu Pan: Bright Moon Shines on the RiverPing Zheng (Joshua Liner Gallery, 6/7 – 7/6)

The Mississippi Delta Chinese (Pearl River Mart Gallery, 5/18 – 7/7)

Ping Zheng (Gallery 456, 6/8 – 7/6)

The Sentinels (The Geary, 5/31 – 7/14)

Outside the Palace of Heavenly Purity (bitforms gallery, 6/7 – 7/22)

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

Mel Chin: All Over the Place (Queens Museum, 4/8 – 8/12)

SPF (Special Special, 5/30 – 8/26) – Current exhibition: Lu Zhang and her Boat Date social experiment from It Takes Ten Years Practice to Be on the Same Boat

Fu Xiaotong – Proliferation (Chambers Fine Art, 6/7 – 8/18)

Land: Zhang Huan and Li Binyuan (MoMA PS1, 4/15 – 9/3)

Chinese Medicine in America: Converging Ideas, People, and Practices (Museum of Chinese in America, 4/26 – 9/9)

On the Shelves of Kam Wah Chung & Co.: General Store and Apothecary in John Day, Oregon(Museum of Chinese in America, 4/26 – 9/9)

Kang Muxiang – Rebirth (5/17 – 9/15, Garment District Plazas, Broadway btwn 41st and 36th Streets)

Cecile Chong – El Dorado / The New 49ers (Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, 5/12 – 10/14)

One Hand Clapping (Guggenheim Museum, 5/4 – 10/21)

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

Lead image: Sea and Sky at Sunrise (明/清 佚名 海天旭日圖 卷), Unknown artist, Ming dynasty,  20 1/4 x 83 1/4 in. (51.4 x 211.5 cm).  H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929.  On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the exhibition Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China