NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: August 10 – 16, 2018


This week: The final MOCA Music + Mic Night; tributes to Chinese American jazz saxophonist and composer Fred Ho; a pop-up show dedicated to the Asian American experience; sci-fi writer and translator Ken Liu talks about books as artifacts; and more….

Coming up:

August 17 and 19 – Taiwanese Ami musician Chalaw Basiwali and a musician Madagascar perform together

August 17 – 19 – An interactive bubble tea experience

August 18 – An urban farming and mushroom workshop


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


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) MOCA Music + Mic Night – The third and last of MOCA’s wonderful summer series featuring local musical and comedic talents.

Performers include:

  • Taiwanese Musical Theatre Artists: Shan Y Chuang, Alison Chi, Violet Wong, Kui-Fang Tseng
  • Ginger Rice: Chase W. Nelson & Mitch Ming-Hsueh Lin
  • Juliet Ortiz
  • Mandarin Wu & Raul Aranas of The Mandarin Trio
  • Dylan Ladd & Kenny Ladd
  • Laura Oing
  • Christie Clements
  • Priscilla HoRebecca Lee Lerman & Matt Park
  • Grace Ming
  • Cheeyang Ng & Kim Jinhyoung
  • Treya Lam
  • Dominic Wong

August 10, 6 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


2) Fred Ho’s Last Year – Filmmaker Steven De Castro follows jazz saxophonist, revolutionary activist, and award-winning avant-garde composer Fred Ho through the last year of his life as he launches books, gives provocative talks, and stages his final work: an anti-imperialist jazz samurai opera performed on a New York stage. Filmed over the course of 2013, the film provides a glimpse into Ho’s extraordinary life as a musician, mentor, friend, and pioneer who inspired others through his courage and persistence.

Fred Ho’s Last Year won Best Documentary at Asians on Film and the Mt. Hope Award at International Film Festival Manhattan, and was an official selection of the CAAMFest, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Asian Cinevision’s Asian American International Film Festival (NY), and Boston Asian American Film Festival.

Dir. Steven De Castro
2014, United States, 58 mins

Friday, August 10, 7 PM
Museum of the Moving Image


3) Asian AF – NYC! Asian AF NY returns to UCBT Hell’s Kitchen with a great line up of Asian American comics and an improv team.

Improv by the UCBTNY Superteam!
(Donald Chang, Lily Du, Michael Kayne, Dan Lee, Jesse Lee, Shelly Mar, Nicole Pasquale, Curtis Retherford, Alex Song, Achilles Stamatelaky, Erik Tanouye, Jon Wan)

Friday, August 10, 7:30 PM
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 555 W 42nd St.


4) Ethereal: A Snapshot of Asian American Artists – For Asians in America, identity is ever-evolving and ever-changing. Identity is ethereal. To understand ourselves, we seek, we grasp, consciously and unconsciously, and channel our energy into understanding what it means to be human and to be Asian-American.

In the hopes of documenting a facet of Asian-American progress, this pop-up show takes a snapshot of where Asian-American  are today by hosting a multi-medium pop-up art exhibit. The exhibition will feature art from up-and-coming Asian-American artists within the NYC Metropolitan area. Filled with visual arts, live performances, short film screenings, and food, this two-day exhibit will be a celebration of what the Asian-American creative community has to offer.

Saturday, August 11, 11 AM – Sunday, August 12, 6 PM
9 W. 8th Street


5) Second Saturdays Explores Mel Chin: All Over the Place – On Levity’s Wounds and Gravity’s Well – In the final program of a series of public programs that delve into the themes, techniques, and aesthetics of Mel Chin: All Over the Place, Queens Museum will be responding to Levity’s Wounds and Gravity’s Well. Mel Chin’s strategy of altering objects to reveal uncomfortable or disturbing realities is particularly present in this section. Chin often quotes James Baldwin’s statement that “Sentimentality…is the mark of dishonesty…a signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.” Some artworks here make an object of violence into a visual pun that, like sentimentality, momentarily obscures the potential harm it can inflict.

Events will include a tour with Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions, Museum of Chinese in America at 1 PM; a self-defense workshop with the The Center for Anti-Violence Education from 1:45 – 3:30 PM; and a conversation between Jeff Chang and Mel Chin at 3:30 PM.

Saturday, August 11, 12 – 4 PM
Queens Museum


6) Afro Yaqui Music Collective Honors Fred Ho on the Occassion of his 60th Birthday – In honor of women’s history month, join The Afro Yaqui Music Collective for a celebration of women warriors in jazz and new American music. The Collective will be collaborating with the legendary Pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fin, whom the The New York Times has called “a pipa player like no other,” and the Village Voice proclaims has “taken ancient Chinese string music into the future.” Soprano Gizelxanath Rodriguez will be singing repertoire that traverses Peking Opera, Indigenous languages and the jazz-blues tradition, while emcee Nejma Nefertiti will contribute words and rhymes that reflect and challenge the times.

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective will also be performing works by the late, guggenheim award-winning Fred Ho, whose revolutionary Monkey Orchestra combined grooving jazz-funk with Peking Opera styles and wild improvisation. The band includes alumni from Fred Ho’s bands as well as a new generation of musical visionaries.

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 PM
Ginny’s Supper Club, 310 Lenox Ave


7) Yuhan Su Quartet at The Cell – In many ways, Yuhan Su represents the voice of the new generation of jazz musicians. Though she is firmly rooted in jazz tradition, her music is innovative, emotional, cerebral and most importantly, always lyrical. Her compositions and improvisations are uniquely hers, marked with an amalgamation of complexity, intensity and emotional resonance. And though she is capable of blistering technique, she always maintains a sense of melodic lyricism and wonder in her playing.

Since the release of her second record A Room Of One’s Own, the album has been listed on the Best of 2016 on Downbeat magazine and received numerous music awards and nominations including the Best Jazz Album of the Year and Best Instrumentalist Award from 2016 Golden Indie Award in Taiwan. Yuhan Su Quintet will perform at the Cell for the first time presenting a series of new music entitled Viaje and City Animals.

Saturday, August 11, 8 PM
The Cell, 338 W. 23rd Street


8) Guzheng Performance with Traditional Chinese Tea – Enjoy tea and traditional Chinese music from Guzheng performer and teacher Joline Zhu at a delightful East Village tea shop.

Sunday, August 12, 1 PM
Tea Drunk, 123 E. 7th Street


9) American China: A Communal Dinner – American China is porcelain dinnerware inspired by people, objects, and events in Chinese American history.

Art Parley invites local residents, immigrants, and anyone who is interested in learning Chinese American history through the artwork, American China, to this special communal dinner with a multimedia artist, Brian Foo. Foo will bring his new ceramic project, American China, which is a twisted name of BornChina Dinnerware, to Round Robin’s communal conversation table to discuss the history of migration.

Tuesday, August 14, 6 PM
Seward Park


10) Ken Liu: The Bookmaking Species – On the occasion of the SI Reading Room installation, Legal Books (Shanghai), join for a talk by author, translator, lawyer and programmer Ken Liu. Liu will give a presentation on the history of books as artifacts, discussing how the kinds of stories we tell are influenced by the media through which they are transmitted.

Wednesday, August 15, 7 PM
Swiss Institute, 38 St Marks Place


11) Ink Abstraction Demonstration and Talk with Artist Hong Yao – Grab a drink and join renowned Chinese artist Hong Yao, as he demonstrates his expressive painting technique creating abstract compositions using brushes, ink, watercolors, and oil pastels. Hong will also discuss his experience, creative process, and his views on the role of art in our lives.

Hong Yao is a Chinese visual artist who was born in 1939. He graduated from the Department of Painting of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1962, and taught at Hubei Academy of Fine Arts in 1977. As an educator, Hong Yao has taught in Wuhan, China and Taiwan. As an artist, his work has been exhibited all across the globe. Hong Yao is a Teaching Artist in Residence with MOCA this summer.

Thursday, August 16, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese In America, 215 Centre Street


1) The Island 《出好戏》- In this offbeat dramedy from Huang Bo, news of a meteorite bound to strike the earth doesn’t have much effect on Ma Jin’s everyday life; he still gets up and goes to a job where he spends his time daydreaming of a romance with his colleague Shanshan, and of winning the lottery. But when this cataclysmic event occurs during a team-building trip, he finds himself shipwrecked on an island with an odd group of coworkers… and the winning lottery ticket in his pocket.

Review by the Los Angeles Times

At AMC Empire 25


2) Hao Bang-Ah, Dog! – “Hao Bang Ah” is a common Chinese expression meaning “Great!” or “Well done!” This year, Chinese Theatre Works brings to the Bronx Zoo a celebration of the Year of the Dog with a jolly selection of traditional Chinese “budaixi” glove-puppet vignettes that based on popular songs and well-known Chinese sayings celebrating canine wisdom, courage and loyalty.

Audiences will be introduced to traditional Chinese New Year customs and foods (red envelopes, fish and “nian gao”). They will also meet some of other animals of the Chinese zodiac (Tigers, Rabbits, Roosters, Horses, Sheep and Monkeys.) Sing-alongs, games, and a post-show hands-on demonstration will make the Chinese language and cultural experience accessible to even the youngest audience member

Weekends at the Bronx Zoo – July 21, 22, 28, 29, August 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19.  Performances at 12:30 PM and 2 PM


Group Shows, Local Artists, and Other Art Events:

Chen Dongfan’s Doyers Street street mural, The Song of Dragon and Flowers, is a must see.


Opening and Newly Listed:

1) Chinyee – Dances of the Inner Being (Gallery 456, 8/10 – 8/24) – Artist statement: Painting to me is a process of discovering, shaping and reshaping my inner being.

I work spontaneously—starting with a line or a dot, similar to Chinese calligraphy, from left or right. Then I let the drama begin to develop among the colors and lines under my subconscious control. I seek in my work the rhythm, harmony among conflicts, lines with energy and even surprise.

I chose to do abstract painting and it is still the best form of my expression.

The charm of abstract painting is that visually they are vague, uncertain, intuitive. The language utters energetic rhythm, subconscious cries and settle poems (none realistic things).

Chinyee – ‘April I’, 2018, oil on canvas, 2018.


Closing soon:

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)

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.

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)

Huiqi He: The Mysterious Island (Sleepcenter, 7/20 – 7/26, by appointment)

WangLing Chou: High Trash (Gallery 456, 7/13 – 7/27)

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

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)

Chinyee – Dances of the Inner Being (Gallery 456, 8/10 – 8/24)

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

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)

Dingding Hu – Hu is Hungry: An Illustrated Journey of a Starving Artist (Pearl River Mart Gallery, 7/19 – 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)

Liu Chang: The Light of Small Things (Fou Gallery, 7/14 – 9/23)

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: Biking on the edge in Wuhan