NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: August 17 – 23, 2018

Tauno Tohk – Wuhan

This week: An interactive, design-focused bubble tea festival; performances by a Taiwanese Ami musician; new exhibition listings at Usagi NY, RESOBOX, WhiteBox; Bing Liu’s documentary on skateboarding culture which The NY Times calls “astonishing” at Metrograph; and more…


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) Lab B – Taiwanese Bubble Tea Festival – A Taiwanese art and design collective has teamed up to create an immersive exhibition for the senses called Lab B to explore the countries most popular culinary — bubble tea.  Learn about the history of Taiwanese bubble tea, bounce in a bubble tea cup ball pit, concoct your own creations, sample beverages from local vendors, and pose in an augmented reality photo booth at this weekend festival!

Think of Lab B as part funhouse, part exhibition and part tea shop. Lab B is a multisensory playground where you can come create, play and learn while sipping on your favorite flavors of bubble tea.

Friday, August 17, 7 – 10 PM
Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19, 11 AM – 8 PM
107 Grand St


2) Dongfeng Liu Band – Pianist Dongfeng Liu leads a sextet of musicians in a concert of Chinese traditional music fused with Latin Jazz.

Friday, August 17, 7 PM
Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn


3) Basiwali featuring Chalaw & Kilema – A collaboration between Chalaw Basiwali, a Native Taiwanese singer/songwriter, and Kilema, a Malagasy roots music master. The two musicians share their indigenous Austronesian roots, and the collaboration is a fusion of folk music with Bossa Nova rhythms. The clean sound of the acoustic guitar and driving percussion traverse an emotional spectrum from intense, deep expression and light-hearted joy.

Basiwali is the music of the natural world. It’s made with a clean classical guitar sound and enthusiastic drumming, and vocals that move audiences wherever they’re from, with their Amis melodies and Latin rhymes. It’s truly a unique vision, a fusion of cultures that are deeply related.

It feels like being hugged by both ends of the Pacific – sometimes stormy, sometimes calm – but you’re always in safe hands in the good ship Basiwali, and sailing on the wide, beautiful ocean.


Friday, August 17, 8 PM
Flushing Town Hall

Sunday, August 19, 7 PM
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street


4) Urban Farming and Mushroom Workshop at Fou Gallery – Artist Liu Chang, who’s exhibition, The Light of Small Things is currently on view at Fou Gallery has invited educator Jin Jie to lead a workshop about cultivating mushrooms at home.

Saturday, August 18, 3 – 6 PM
Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave, #1, Brooklyn


5) Chinese Feminist Struggles in a Changing China – Since late 2017, #MeToo has created a new assembly of feminists from different social contexts. While some want to equip every individual woman with more tools to get a seat at the table and to navigate the status quo, others want to take apart this table and rebuild a society that is better and more inclusive for all. What should a feminist agenda be for combating sexual harassment? What does #MeToo or feminist struggles mean for a changing China? How can we better contextualize sexual violence in one nation-state while accounting for the interlocking systems of oppression, like heterosexism and racism, that usually operate transnationally? To kick off the Chinese Feminist Summer Camp, Chinese Feminist Collective (CFC) brings together panelists of three different generations to discuss #MeTooInChina from sociolegal and historical perspectives. Panelists will share their reflections on Chinese feminist movements based on their scholarship and advocacy. Prof. Wang Zheng will mainly focus on three cohorts of feminists in the People’s Republic of China to illuminate various feminist concerns and strategies in the shifting historical contexts from state socialism to state capitalism. Huang Rong will first introduce impact litigation cases on gender discrimination in China and then discuss challenges and opportunities she faces as a China-based activist. Reflecting on #MeTooInChina, Qiqi will explore how social media platforms and technology can be used to mobilize social movements, especially for combating sexual harassment on campuses in China. In the following Q&A session, CFC will invite the audience to collectively brainstorm strategies and methods to carry on our own struggles.

Wang Zheng is professor of Women’s Studies and History and Research Scientist of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan. She has authored serval award-wining books in both Chinese and English that have since shaped the landscape of China studies and feminist scholarship.

Huang Rong is the plaintiff of China’s first successful gender discrimination case. She is the co-founder of the 074 hotline – the first feminist legal aid hotline for women at work.

Qiqi is a Chinese feminist activist. She was the first person to put the #Metoo在中国 (#MeTooInChina) and #米兔在中国 (#RicebunnyinChina) on Weibo and Twitter and to host both hashtag topic pages on Weibo.

Thursday, August 23, 7:30 PM
CAI Conference and Event Center, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1900


1) NY100 – The core content of “New York 100” is to live like a money hostage for 100 hours.

Song Yongping, whose exhibition Money Hostage is currently on view at WhiteBox Gallery, will live in a limited space working for an uninterrupted period of time of 100 hours, 100 hours of fasting and restricting of freedom. During the 100 hours, he will paint the blank part of those 100 dollar bills with black carbon till the pattern disappear completely: the US dollar bill will be painted with black and the Chinese RMB red.

The idea behind is that though the disappearance of the pattern, the concept of money will be liberated from the monetary rule. It is a sabotage at micro and personal level, in which the relationship between people and money forms a limited romantic dynamic with strings attached. The ending however, is somehow a gloomy one.

At WhiteBox and viewable via Facebook livestream, August 16 8 PM – August 21, 12 AM


2) Crazy Rich Asians – The first film since The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast is a rom-com based on Singaporean American writer Kevin Kwan’s best-selling book of the same name.

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse — Nick’s disapproving mother.

At local multiple theaters in the New York area


3) Minding the Gap – Minding the Gap boldly collides 12 years of fast-paced, gravity-defying cinematography with intimate, patient verite from the deceivingly quotidian lives of three young skateboarders in Rockford, Illinois—23-year old new father, Zack; jobless teenager Keire; and Bing Liu, the film’s director. As each subject strives to become a better man over the years, they must overcome the realities of race, class, abuse, and relationships with mothers in their lives. This intuitively made and deeply felt observational documentary is a showcase of physical fearlessness and emotional bravery that wowed in its Sundance debut.

The New York Times calls the film “astonishing” and named it Critic’s Pick.

Bing Liu in person to introduce and for a Q&A following these screenings, moderated by Joe Neumaier on Saturday and Sunday:

Friday, August 17 at 7:00pm
Saturday, August 18 at 5:30pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, August 19 at 1:00pm

At Metrograph, 8/17 – 8/23


4) 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


5) 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) Just Us (New York Gallery of Chinese Art, 8/15 – 8/24) – A group exhibition of works by five female artists who all have experience living abroad but each has followed their own distinct path.

Cao Nan and Wang Jingyi came over as students to further their studies in their respective fields of illustration and oil painting. For Liu Sijie, after working at a tech company in Silicon Valley, she decided to quit her job and become an artist. Wu Minmin came to the U.S. to be reunited with her husband, bringing along her two young daughters. Though a full-time mom, she still finds time to make art for herself. During the day, Shi Jingyu works at a media outlet in Midtown. In her spare time, she draws in her “tiny studio” (her bedroom)

Instead of presenting a homogenized female voice, Just Us takes a look into the unique landscape of each artist’s inner mind by juxtaposing their works along with their writings to combine “what they see” and “how they see” with “what they think” and “how they think”.


2) Ripples: New Painting & Illustration (Usagi NY, 8/16 – 9/10) – As a part of Usagi NY’s mission to provide exhibition space to young artists, presents Ripples: New Painting and Illustration. Consisting of work by Will Chen, Hui Ma, Amber Ma, Wenkai Mao, and Xiao Hua Yang – five artists who hail from China but now call New York their home, the exhibit explores new modes of storytelling and search for identity in painting, illustration, and printmaking.

Xiao Hua Yang is originally from Shanghai and is now based in Queens, New York. His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustrations, Association of Illustrators, 3×3 Magazine, Creative Quarterly, Applied Arts Magazine.

Will (Yunshu) Chen is deeply influenced by manga and mainly uses ink brushes to create illustrations. Further production techniques include risograph and silkscreen to create zines, art prints, and wearable merchandise. Growing up in Asia and spending adulthood in America, Will’s work often depicts themes such as Chinese cultures, immigrants, LGBTQ, and science fiction. Will also incorporates common household objects and comic zines into 3D installations for an immersive reading experience.

Wenkai Mao is an illustrator who have multiple interests, including illustration, comics and painting. His works focus on the relationship between human beings and the realm of the unknown.


3) Amphibian (RESOBOX LIC, 8/12 – 9/1) – Amphibian has been transformed from the artist, Nung-Hsin Hu’s, on-going performance SUSHI. To extend the idea of identity confusion into her current circumstances, Nung-Hsin performed SUSHI in her working environment, a museum, wearing her regular working clothes while the space was closed to the public. The photographic and video documentation reveal the contradiction and affinity between the two roles as an artist and art administrator, and the invisible creative contribution provided through the supporting admin role.

The Amphibian exhibition at RESOBOX will include stereoscope photographic installations, one single channel video, and site specific fake food installations that will also reflect the artist’s confusion of identity.


4) Song Yongping: Money Hostage (WhiteBox, 8/16 – 9/2) – WhiteBoxLab is pleased to present Money Hostage by Song Yongping with a participatory performance by Jon Tsoi as one more chapter of a collaborative performance program between New York based Chinese artists and their mainland based counterparts. Inspired by the current state of accelerating money worship culture in China, Song Yongping seeks to communicate the idea of dollars being at once unusable and achingly desirable. He makes a statement about our relationship with money by turning the bills into aluminum prints, swapping the original American historical portraits by those of Mao, Karl Marx, a busty Passerby Woman and a grimacing Barak Obama adding verbiage, and eventually, wallpapering walls and floors with them.


Closing soon:

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)

Just Us (New York Gallery of Chinese Art, 8/15 – 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

Amphibian (RESOBOX LIC, 8/12 – 9/1)

Song Yongping: Money Hostage (WhiteBox, 8/16 – 9/2)

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

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.

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)

Just Us (New York Gallery of Chinese Art, 8/15 – 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

Amphibian (RESOBOX LIC, 8/12 – 9/1)

Song Yongping: Money Hostage (WhiteBox, 8/16 – 9/2)

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)

Ripples: New Painting & Illustration (Usagi NY, 8/16 – 9/10)

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: From Flickr userTauno Tõhk / 陶诺, licensed through Creative Commons