NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: September 28 – October 5, 2018

Monkey King at Union Square Park

This week: A musical comedy about an early Chinese American vaudeville performer; an excellent animated film that captures the excitement and anxieties of international students while showing a glimpse of Taiwanese culture and history; author talks at MOCA and Asian American Writers’ Workshop; open studios featuring Chinese American artists; and more…


If you’re in the DC or have friends there, tell them about the DC Chinese Film Festival, which from 9/27 – 9/30 screens over three dozen short and feature length films by or about Chinese or the Chinese diaspora about contemporary China and current issues like immigration, LGBTQ rights, and identity.


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

1) Books from Taiwan Translation Grant A grant opportunity for publishers or persons engaged in translation interested in translating works from Taiwan to obtaining funding for their projects.  Applications are due September 30, 2018.

2) Sinophone Musical Worlds and Their Publics – A call for papers that discuss how cooperation amongst individuals constitute musical worlds, the approach and paradox of political management of popular music, and the role of music in Chinese society.  Read the complete call for submissions. Abstracts are due October 31, 2018, and full articles are due February 15, 2019.


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) Symposium: Technology is History – This day-long symposium explores notions of the future through the lenses of technology, politics, and art, and culminates the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, which aims to expand the discourse on contemporary Chinese art and supports the acquisition of commission based works by contemporary artists born in Greater China.

Featured speakers include Dawn Chan, Ho Rui An, Reza Negarestani, and Gala Porras-Kim. The day will be punctuated with films by Jesse Lerner, Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, Fransisco Camacho Herrera, and Liu Chuang, as well as performances by Samson Young with Gamelan Dharma Swara and Qasim Naqvi. Yuk Hui, a contributor to the exhibition catalogue for One Hand Clapping, delivers the keynote presentation. Co-organized by exhibition curator Xiaoyu Weng and Brian Kuan Wood, founding editor of e-flux, the symposium is followed by a reception and viewing of One Hand Clapping.

Friday, September 28, 1 – 6 PM
Guggenheim Museum


2) MOFAD at Night: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival – Join the Museum of Food and Drink, Ming River, and Junzi Kitchen to taste, experience, and celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival! Held each year on the full moon of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the bounties of the harvest and reunion of families.

In ancient times it was common to make offerings to the moon, the most important of which was the alcohol offering. In some parts of China and Vietnam, a ritual is made of drinking alcohol while gazing at the moon.

Come enjoy Ming River baijiu and bites under the moonlight while reciting Li Bai’s classic, “Drinking Alone by Moonlight.”

Friday, September 28, 6 PM
Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St, Brooklyn


3) Debunking Myths About the Chinese Railroad Workers – Join Richard Cheu on a journey of discovery as he explains the origin of several xenophobic myths created to denigrate migrant Chinese workers in nineteenth century America which persist and underly the unending “perpetual foreigner” image of Asian Americans. Richard has developed a fact-based narrative which demonstrates the fallacy of the myths and replaces them with historically-correct evidence.

Friday, September 28, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


4) One Day in Old Chinatown – A staged reading of a new musical comedy written and directed by Marcus Yi and hosted by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, One Day In Old Chinatown follows the first Asian-American singer/comedian, Frank Lee Tung Foo through his first year in vaudeville. Sprinkle in runaways slave girls, crazy Chinese gangs, and a couple of sharpshooters you get a musical showbiz comedy you won’t forget!

Friday, September 28, 7 PM
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Bruce Mitchell Room


5) Chinese American Citizens Alliance of New York Mid-Autumn Film Festival – CACAGNY’s Mid-Autumn Film Festival seeks to showcase the efforts of Chinese American filmmakers and to promote their creativity and talent to a broader audience while making inroads into the mainstream media industry where Asian Americans have found it to be a challenge.

The expression of the Chinese American experience is also important in helping those in the Chinese community see their identity in new ways and to expose others to a way of life that they may not be familiar with.

Films to be screened: Abode of IllusionRandom Acts of LegacyThe Road to FameChinaman’s ChanceHollywood Chinese9 ManHonor & DutyWe Are American Soldiers, and a shorts program.

Saturday, September 29
Sunday, September 30
DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street


6) Grandma Mamie’s Chinese Medicinal Chicken Soup – Just as you start feeling the sniffles from seasonal changes, Think!Chinatown brings you Grandma Mamie’s Chinese Medicinal Chicken Soup! It’s based on a recipe that’s been in her family for generations. Come learn about the different herbs that go into it along with the cultural stories that bring this dish to life and puts the immigrant grandmother in her much-deserved spotlight. Grandma Mamie will show a few other herbal remedies relevant to the change in weather in autumn. Learn about Chinese concepts of food as medicine and a way of connecting to our natural environment.

Saturday, September 29, 3 PM
The Cactus Store, 5 Essex Street


7) Silk and Bamboo (sizhu): Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival – Traditions and legends associated with moon worship go back for millennia in Chinese culture and are central to the Mid-Autumn Festival: an annual harvest festival that gained popularity during the Tang dynasty and remains one of the most important dates on the Chinese calendar today. China Institute will celebrate this year’s Festival with an afternoon of sizhu music which is being introduced and performed by the renowned Chinese musician Chen Tao. Hear examples of both Chinese and Western “moon music” while sampling traditional Chinese mooncakes! Attendees can also lose themselves in the spectacular vistas depicted in the China Institute Gallery exhibition Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens.

Saturday, September 29, 3 PM
China Institute


8) On Happiness Road 《幸福路上》 – What is Happiness? A Taiwanese-American woman comes to a crossroad in life when she returns home to attend her grandmother’s funeral. As she reconnects with family and childhood friends and reflects on her life so far, the film recounts the recent history of Taiwan and that of New York City in the early 2000’s. Where will she find true Happiness?

Developed from her short animated film “Happiness Road”, this semi-autobiographical feature by first-time director Hsin-Yin Sung (宋欣穎) has achieved unexpected commercial success in Taiwan and has gone on to win accolades and awards globally

This was one of our favorite films at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival.  Beautifully animated, it encapsulates the excitement and anxieties of many international students who study here in New York and also presents many facets of Taiwan.

Saturday, September 29, 6 PM
Taiwan Center, 137-44 Northern Boulevard, Queens

Monday, October 1, 6 PM
New Design High School, 4, 350 Grand St


9) Mouth Waters Earth – A Talk on Food & Culture with Taiwanese Writer Chien-fang Chang – Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) hosts an evening for language, food, art, & place to come together on a shared table. Situating her writing from the perspective of food, author Chien-fang Chang will share pieces of her recent work at the Vermont Studio Center as well as engage in a guided tasting & reading of aiyu, a plant indigenous to the mountains of Taiwan, with chef Pyna Yang. We will lead guests through the process of preparing aiyu following local tradition and discussions will follow the roots of how food opens a space for both cultural exchange and social justice. Seats limited to 50 people, so everyone can try aiyu!

Monday, October 1, 7 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 112 W. 27th St. Suite 600


10) Ash is Purest White 《江湖儿女》– Jia Zhangke’s extraordinary body of work has doubled as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations. A tragicomedy in the fullest sense, Ash Is Purest White is at once his funniest and saddest film, portraying the passage of time through narrative ellipses and, like his Mountains May Depart (NYFF53), a three-part structure. Despite its jianghu—criminal underworld—setting, Ash is less a gangster movie than a melodrama, beginning by following Qiao and her mobster boyfriend Bin as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives. As the formidable, quick-witted Qiao, a never better Zhao Tao has fashioned a heroine for the ages. A Cohen Media Group release.

Dir. Jia Zhangke
2018, China, 136 min.
In Chinese with English subittles

Followed by a Q&A with director Jia Zhangke

Screens as part of the New York Film Festival

Monday, October 1, 9 PM
Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway


11) ACAW Open Studios – Christopher K. Ho – Join Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) for a compelling walkthrough with artist Christopher K. Ho for his solo exhibition Aloha to the World at the Don Ho Terrace.

An imagined and meandering return to Hong Kong, this solo exhibition grapples with reverse diasporic aspirations and the shift from being an ethnic minority in the United States to rejoining the Han majority in China. Comprising of a 35-foot tall banner, artifacts from a defunct family hotel in Hawaii, and signage from the museum, the exhibition inquires what happens when an artist disconnects psychically and ideologically from the margins. Can those in the majority responsibly self-acknowledge and harness their status toward progressive art in the U.S. and elsewhere, and how?

Wednesday, October 3, 6 PM
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx


12) 88 Rising: 88 Degrees and Rising Tour – Hip hop artists Rich Brian, Joji, Keith Ape, Higher Brothers, Kohh, Nii, August 08, and Don Krez perform.

Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 PM
Pier 17, 89 South St.


13) #MeToo and Big Brother in China – A dialogue between journalist Leta Hong Fincher and activist Lu Pin on the past strategies and future prospects of the feminist movement in China.

Thursday, October 4, 5 PM
International Affairs Buildings, Room 918, Columbia University


13) Goong-Goong: From Tuscany to Shanghai – Author Patrizia Chen joins us to recount her remarkable journey of discovery about her in-laws’ family and their remarkable patriarch. Goong-Goong is a remarkable book that is not exactly a memoir, or history, and not really even about its author, Chen, who grew up with all the traditions of an Italian family.

Book signing and wine to follow Q&A. Books will be available for purchase.

Thursday, October 4, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


1) Golden Job 《黄金兄弟》– A group of former mercenaries reunite to plan an epic heist: boosting a truck full of medicine held by a foreign intelligence agency to supply a refugee camp in need. But when they find the truck is actually filled with stolen gold, the band of brothers realize theyave been double-crossed by one of their own – and putting the situation right will be all out war.

At AMC Empire 25


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


Group Shows, Local Artists, and Other Art Events:

Smack Mellon Open Studios – Jia Sung and Beatrice Glow among the six artists who are taking part of the Smack Mellon fellowship program.  Sung’s most recent work is a set of watercolor-painted tarot card with imagery and story inspired by Journey to the West.  Glow’s will introduce her book Aromérica Parfumeur.  She says “ creative production in past years has been about challenging the invisible and forgotten social history of plants eclipsed by commercial allure through experimenting with art and olfaction”

Be sure to visit Chen Dongfan’s Doyers Street street mural, The Song of Dragon and Flowers


Opening and Newly Listed:

Let us know if there is anything we should add to our calendar.


Closing soon:

Yuanyuan Yang: Theater of Crossroads (Gallery 456, 8/31- 9/28)

Betty Yu: (Dis)Placed in Sunset Park (Open Source Gallery, 9/6 – 9/29)

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.

Yuanyuan Yang: Theater of Crossroads (Gallery 456, 8/31- 9/28)

Betty Yu: (Dis)Placed in Sunset Park (Open Source Gallery, 9/6 – 9/29)

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

The Impossibility of Form (Cuchifritos Gallery, 9/15 – 10/14)

Liao Guohe: Burn Witches (Boers-Li Gallery, 9/8 – 10/20)

Zhang Xioagang: Recent Works (9/7 – 10/20)

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

Shang Yang: New Works (Chambers Fine Art, 9/15 – 11/3)

Chow Chun Fai (Eli Klein Gallery, 9/8 – 11/17)

Shen Chen – Tradition and the Individual Talent (Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, 9/21 – 11/21)

Metamorphosis: Liu Dan’s Fantastic Landscape and the Renaissance (Nicholas Hall, 9/13 – 11/23)

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

Lead image: Monkey King posing for a photo at Union Square Park in NYC