NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: July 6 – 12, 2018

The Either at The Bitter End

This week: Binge at the New York Asian Film Festival; learn about today’s Chinese movie industry; get down with Taiwanese hip hop and rock at Taiwanese Waves; your last chance to see the exhibitions The Mississippi Delta Chinese, James Chan’s Where Are You Really From? and Li Shuang’s If Only the Cloud Knows

Coming up:

July 13 – MOCA Music + Mic Night

July 25 – August 4 – Asian American International Film Festival

July 25 – Chinese Speculative Fiction: Su Wei and Austin Woerner

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

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

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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.

Figure of Guanyin as the Virgin Mary with infant Jesus, standing on what appear to be lion heads and colored in black, yellow and gold cans red, German, c.1720, Height: 41.9 cm (16 1/2 in.) by the Ansbach Factory. Seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (@mfaboston). From the museum description: "This piece epitomizes the tangled back-and-forth of the ceramics trade. The figure Is the Buddhist deity Guanyin, but the piece was made in Germany for the European market. European factories often imitated Chinese forms, but the Chinese figurine hat served as the model for this piece was actually an adaptation of a European Madonna that Christian missionaries had brought to China. Seventeenth-century Chinese potters had made Guanyin/Madonna figures for customers in Fujian province and exported them to Europe" _ #guanyin #buddhism #virgin #virginmary #madonna #babyjesus #virginandchild #catholic #catholicism #ceramic #ceramics #chinese #chineseart #crossculture #figurine #chinesemadonna

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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 beyondchinatown@gmail.com.


UPCOMING EVENTS

1) Moving on! Say Goodbye to Think!Chinatown’s Community Art Space – Celebrate the closing of James Chan’s exhibition, Where Are You REALLY From? and close out Think!Chinatown’s amazing residency at 384 Broadway. But, goodbye is not farewell!  Learn what else Think!Chinatown has going on.

Saturday, July 7, 2 PM
384 Broadway

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2) YWLP’s Asian American Artists and Writers Panel – Join the Young Women’s Leadership Program for the 6th Annual Career forum featuring Asian American Artists and Writers and a discussion on artistic careers and how the panelists have thrived in their respective vocations:

Saturday, July 7, 4 PM
United East Athletics Association, 70 Mulberry Street

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3) Taiwanese Waves – Soft Lipa, Sheng Xiang & Band, Elephant Gym perform at this third annual celebration showcasing the best of Taiwanese tunes from hip-hop to rock.

Rap isn’t a style of music typically associated with softness. But for the Tainan, Taiwan rapper Soft Lipa, comfort is the name of the game: Over ultra-smooth jazz beats, he raps about the likes of teddy bears and small pleasures. He’s joined by the alt-rock folk experimentalists Sheng Xiang & Band, who sing in Hakka, a language spoken in the mountainous regions of Taiwan, and the math rock group Elephant Gym, for a night of Taiwanese Waves.

Saturday, July 7, 5 – 10 PM
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (enter at 5th Ave. and 69th St.)

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4) Across the Span-Dreamland Album Release Concert – An album release concert featuring works and orchestrations by Taiwanese composers Mitch Lin, Chih-Hsien Hsieh, Cai-Jhen Jhu, and Peilin Wu.

Sunday, July 8, 5 PM
OPERA America, 330 7th Avenue, 7th Floor

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5) Taiwanese Waves Afterparty at Mercury Lounge – Afterparty following the Taiwanese Waves show at SummerStage. The line up includes special guests and DJs (all of your favorites, it’s promised)

Sunday, July 8, 8 PM
Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston Street

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6) Chinese Cinema Now – In this panel, three directors with new films screening at the 2018 New York Asian Film Festival—including two making their directorial debuts, Dong Yue (The Looming Storm) and Jiang Jiachen (Looking for Lucky); and Xin Yukun (Wrath of Silence)—are joined by veteran producer Guan Yadi to discuss the state of Mainland Chinese cinema and the rise of a new genre cinema.

Tuesday, July 10, 7 PM
Film Society of Lincoln Center: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 W 65th Street

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7) The Birth of Chinese Cool? Roundtable on Chinese Language Genre Film – Join the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) and China Film Insider (CFI) for their jointly hosted event: a panel discussion on Chinese-language genre film. The event is made possible with generous support from China Institute.

Panelists:
Aliza Ma, Head of Programming, Metrograph
Dylan Marchetti, SVP of Acquisitions and Theatrical Distribution, Well Go USA
Daniel Eagan, Film Critic
Guan Yadi, Film Producer

Wednesday, July 11, 7 PM
China Institute

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8) Wu Fei with Gyan Riley – Eclectic guzheng player and vocalist Wu Fei joins guitarist Gyan Riley for his residency at The Stone.

Wednesday, July 11, 8:30 PM
The Stone, Glass Box Theatre, The New School, 55 W. 13th Street

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ONGOING FILMS, SHOWS, AND EVENTS

1) New York Asian Film Festival – Every year the NYAFF blows us away with an incredible line up of dozens of films from across Asia over 2 1/2 week period.  This year the festival runs June 29 – July 15.  We’re a week into this film extravaganza, and there’s lots and lots still to see!

We’ve listed below the Chinese-language films in the coming week at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.), where the festival has called home since 2010, that caught our eye, but do yourself a favor and check out the full festival line-up.  Of the below, we recommend The Empty HandsOn Happiness Road, and Wrath of Silence.

  • The Ex-File: The Return of the Exes 《 前任3 再见前任》– The latest and allegedly final film in the hugely popular Ex-File series is the first based on an original screenplay. This new creative freedom has resulted in the most mature edition yet, with the perspective of both sexes given equal weight. It again stars Hang Geng and Ryan Zheng as yuppy buddies. The highlight is the practically-silent six-minute breakup scene that opens the film, showing how the cinema of China is exploring the dynamics of romantic relationships with greater sharpness than anywhere else in Asia right now. It’s about how love isn’t always enough, wherever you live in the world.  Friday, July 6, 1:15 PM

  • End of Summer 《西小河的夏天》 It’s 1998 and fifth grader Xiaoyang is caught up in China’s World Cup obsession, but his strict father, who is also the school headmaster, forbids him from playing sports. He soon finds an ally in outspoken neighbor Grandpa Zheng, who secretly trains him for the soccer team tryout. But the summer takes a surprising turn when Xiaoyang sees what looks like a romance brewing between his father and a new teacher. End of Summer beautifully conveys the bittersweet coming-of-age of three different generations through the eyes of an innocent boy, set in the picturesque Venice-like region of Jiangnan.  Friday, July 6, 3:45 PM

  • The Empty Hands 《空手道》– Chapman To (The Mobfathers, Vulgaria) writes, directs and stars in this offbeat and unique karate drama. Stephy Tang won Best actress locally for her portrayal of Mari, a quintessential Hong Kong girl who reluctantly finds purpose and reconciliation by learning to fight again.  Followed by Q&A with actress Stephy Tang.  Friday, July 6, 8:15 PM

  • Missing Johnny 《強尼.凱克》– Three lost souls are brought together by odd happenstance in this elegant reflection on modern life, the award-winning debut from Hou Hsiao-hsien disciple and NYU graduate Huang Xi. A young woman keeps a menagerie of parrots in her Taipei apartment; when one escapes, she gets assistance in tracking it down from her landlady’s autistic son and a shy handyman, and a unique bond develops between them. Meanwhile she keeps receiving strange phone calls looking for someone named Johnny. While no clear answers to these simple mysteries surface, the three start to open up to one another, revealing personal stories and hidden emotions.  Saturday, July 7, 2:20 PM

  • The Last Verse 《最後的詩句》– The Last Verse may prove director Tseng Ying-ting to be one of Taiwan cinema’s freshest voices since Edward Yang. Its radically realistic depiction of a relationship, set against the turmoil of three presidential administrations, resonates with heart-wrenching candor. Young couple Jen-chie and Hsiao-ping start their romance as new hope sweeps Taiwan, only to face physical separation due to military service and economic hardships. But the raw emotions of both love and despair create a deeper chasm, paralleled by Taiwan’s own fragile democracy, real-estate bubbles, and frightening bandit mentality.  Saturday, July 7, 4:30 PM

  • On Happiness Road 《幸福路上》– Forty years of Taiwanese history comes under review in this tender and powerfully nostalgic tale of the search for happiness. After the death of her grandma, a New York-based woman returns to her homeland in Taiwan. Her reunion with family, classmates and forgotten memories triggers a self-introspection about what she left behind. It covers her upbringing during taiwan’s period of instability under martial law to present-day political realities. With a voiceover by actress Gwei Lun-mei and imaginative animation sequences, this charming autobiographic animation by first-time director Sung Hsin-yin is a breath of fresh air.  Sunday, July 8, 12 PM

  • Wrath of Silence 《爆裂無聲》– Searching for his missing son in the rough mountains of Northern China, a fiercely stubborn mute miner (martial arts star Song Yang, Final Master) confronts a world of corruption led by a villainous coal tycoon (Jiang Wu, A Touch of Sin). Caught in between, a blackmailed lawyer whose daughter was abducted, becomes an unwilling partner in their mutual search as the tension thickens. This gripping contemporary mystery thriller is part spaghetti western, part film noir, drawing in the background a fatalistic illustration of the Chinese rural underclass and its fight against oppressive social forces.  Followed by Q&A with director Xin Yukun and actor Jiang Wu; Jiang will receive the NYAFF 2018 Star Asia Award.  Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 PM

  • The Looming Storm 《暴雪将至》 The gritty directorial debut by cinematographer Dong Yue recalls the modern classic Memories of Murder in its depiction of rural life during turbulent times. In 1997, a small industrial town is plagued by a serial killer. Factory worker and amateur sleuth Yu tries to solve the murders, much to the chagrin of the local police captain. He baits the killer into a game of cat and mouse that escalates to surreal proportions. Dong offers a profound neo-noir, while Duan Yihong (NYAFF 2017 Star Asia award recipient) grounds the film as Yu, an everyman struggling to climb out of the gutter.  Tuesday, July 9, 9:30 PM

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2) The Grandmaster: Lau Kar-leung – Many directors and actors have been associated with the kung fu genre, Hong Kong cinema’s most unique creation, but no one compares to Lau Kar-leung (1937–2013), aka Liu Chia-liang, as a purist of the genre and the kung fu form. Trained in the southern Hung Fist tradition, Lau practiced under his father, whose teacher was a direct disciple of Wong Fei-hung (1847–1924), the legendary martial artist and folk hero whose life has been fictionalized in over 100 films. This lineage formed the foundation of Lau’s work as both a director and kung fu practitioner.

Lau began performing stunts and small roles in movies at an early age, and joined the Shaw Brothers film studio in the 1960s as a martial arts instructor, choreographing and directing action scenes. His partnership with director Chang Cheh created such stunning swordplay films as One-Armed Swordsman (1967) and Golden Swallow (1968). The first martial arts instructor ever to become a director, Lau rose to the position with a unique vision. Diverging from Chang’s world of gut-spilling bloodbaths and machismo, Lau used his films to honor the holistic practice of kung fu—a discipline of both the body and mind. And unlike director King Hu (Come Drink with MeA Touch of Zen), who constructed fantastical, impressionistic movements inspired by Peking opera–style acrobatics and theatrics, Lau favored realistic combat, informed by the southern kung fu form that he had practiced all his life.

While many films feature invincible fighters at their pinnacle, Lau had a penchant for a martial artist’s training stage, dedicating ample screen time to the depiction of rigorous practice and the development of humility, kindness, and moral standing—the qualities that make a true master. Some of the training scenes have an almost documentary quality; the actors sometimes underwent grueling physical ordeals on set. Lau often embedded kung fu demonstrations in opening-credit sequences as well, offering moments for the art form to shine in its purest state. Intricately choreographed and performed fight scenes further underline the director’s intimate relationship with his art. Lau’s films are an ultimate ode to kung fu, and earned him the moniker The Grandmaster.

This series includes 10 films Lau made for the Shaw Brothers. The director himself appears in six of the films, in a variety of leading and supporting roles, alongside many of his favorite kung fu stars, including Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Kara Wai, and Hsiao Hao.

All films are listed on our calendar

July 6 – 17 at MoMA


ART EXHIBITIONS

Group Shows, Local Artists, and Other Art Events:

Wai Ying Zhao curated the group show Placing Memory which questions architecture and collective memory in urban environments. The works respond to the altered urban landscape and offers the viewers to travel between the non-place and the place that no longer exists.  At the The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, June 29 – July 28

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Opening and Newly Listed:

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Closing soon:

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

James Chan – Where Are You Really From? (384 Broadway, 6/6 – 7/7 (extended))

Li Shuang: If Only the Cloud Knows (Sleep Center, 6/24 – 7/8)

Hyobin Kwon: Blue and White Impressions II (7 E. 14th Street 6/14 – 7/9)

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

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

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.

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

James Chan – Where Are You Really From? (384 Broadway, 6/6 – 7/7 (extended))

Li Shuang: If Only the Cloud Knows (Sleep Center, 6/24 – 7/8)

Hyobin Kwon: Blue and White Impressions II (7 E. 14th Street 6/14 – 7/9)

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)

Heman Chong & Ken Liu: Legal Books (Shanghai) (Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art New York, 6/23 – 8/19)

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: NYC-based Chinese electrorock trio The Either at Greenwich Village’s iconic venue The Bitter End June 30, 2018.  Photo by Andrew Shiue