NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: October 5 – 11, 2018

Overlooking the track at Wuhan University

This week: New exhibitions and works by local artists on view at Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, Gallery MC, Gallery 456, and the S Train between Times Square and Grand Central; workshop that teaches you to improve your singing skills so you can rock at karaoke; a talk about development of a national park system in China; and more…

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Coming Up

10/13 – Wei Jia’s new exhibition at Fou Gallery

10/17 – 10/21 – Avant garde films from 1960s Taiwan

10/20 – 11/18 – China Art x Film series at Asia Society

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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.

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.

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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.

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) Touch 《觸摸》– A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a cataloguer and recorder, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we look at them and share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.

Touch is an essay narrated from one man’s point of view. But it is also fiction, for this man is a made-up person, an amalgam of research, interviews, off-the-record comments, secrets, improbabilities, and free-floating desires. This man, who never tells us his name, returns as both insider and outsider to a neighborhood from which he escaped, as a teenager, as fast as he could.

Dir. Shelly Silver
2013, United States, 68 min.

Followed by Q&A with director Shelly Silver and actor Lu Yu.

Saturday, October 6, 2 PM
Chatham Square Library, 33 E. Broadway

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2) A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella 《大话西游之大圣娶亲》 – After using Pandora’s Box in an attempt to save his wife, Joker (Stephen Chow) finds himself hurtled five hundred years back into the past. There he meets Zixia the Immortal (Athena Chu), a strong swordswoman with a split personality who begins to make his life a living hell. While Joker struggles, in vain, to get back to his wife, he stumbles upon his old master, the Longevity monk. This reunion gives him the opportunity to return to his original form as the Monkey King, but doing so will mean leaving behind all human desires and forgetting about the woman he loves. (Far East Films)

Listed in the 100 Greatest Chinese Films by the Hong Kong Film Awards and 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films by the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

Dir. Jeffrey Lau
1995, Hong Kong, 95 min.
In Cantonese with English subtitles

Screens as part of the CineCina Fall Season Screening

Monday, October 8, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue

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3) Farewell My Concubine 《霸王别姬》– The story begins in the 1920s, and continues through to the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. The early part of the film focuses on the training and adolescent relationships of two young men who are destined to perform in the famed Peking Opera. Due to the arduous and complex nature of their training, the story begins when one of them (nicknamed Douzi) (played as an adult by Hong Kong singer Leslie Cheung) is deposited at the school by his mother when he is quite a young boy. He becomes friends with a lad called Shitou (Zhang Fengyi as an adult), and their friendship goes through a variety of ups and downs occasioned by the fact that Douzi is homosexual, and Shitou is married. They do not ever appear to have had a sexual romance, but Douzi certainly resents his reduced access to his friend after he marries. Ironically, given the cooperative nature of this film’s production, it was banned in Taiwan because too many of its stars were mainland Chinese. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Recognitions:

Two Oscars nominations including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography
Winner of Palm d’Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival
Winner of BAFTA Best Film not in the English Language
The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made by New York Times
All-Time 100 Movies by Time magazine
The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema by Empire magazine

Dir. Kaige Chen
1993, China, 171 min.

Screens as part of the CineCina Fall Season Screening

Tuesday, October 9, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue

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4) 店面 Residency: Intro to Calligraphy Workshop – Kai Script – W.O.W. Project’s third 店面 artist in residence, Vincent Chong is a queer mixed race Chinese American artist, offering workshops in Chinese calligraphy throughout the fall. Vincent is interested in representation through art on paper and how we can use these materials to express the complexities of our identities – queerness, transnationalism, etc. On one hand these workshops will function as introductory courses, introducing participants to the traditional tools and strategies used to study Chinese calligraphy. And on the other, they will function as spaces of discussion to chat about how we carry traditions as young people — how we acknowledge and imagine the narratives of those erased through history, and how we establish agency and ownership within these traditions.

This first workshop will focus on an intro to Kai (standard) script. Want to know how to make your handwriting beautiful? In this class we will focus on a few varieties of the standard script we use in modern chinese. Topics include, brushstrokes, stroke order, practice and choosing a copy book.

Tuesday, October 9, 7 PM
Wing On Wo & Co., 26 Mott Street

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5) 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

Screens as part of the New York Film Festival

Wednesday, October 10, 8:30 PM
Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway

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6) Book Release Party with Ed Lin – 99 Ways to Die– Grab a drink, enjoy the sounds from the DJ, and join MOCA for an evening of Taiwanese street snacks (小吃) , book signing, music, and fun, in celebration of Ed Lin’s latest mystery, 99 Ways to Die, set in a Taipei Night Market during Double Ninth Festival.

In addition, those purchasing a combo ticket for food and a book will be entered in a raffle to win and receive that night an extremely limited-edition action figure of the protagonist of the book, Chen Jing-nan, specially created for the occasion by The Sucklord, the famous New York City pop artist and television personality, who will make an appearance.

Music by DJ will be to Jing-nan’s (the protagonist) playlist. “He’s a music snob, and Joy Division’s his favorite band. Also: Velvet Underground, Taiwan band Manic Sheep, early New Order, early Psychedelic Furs, Bad Brains, etc…”

Thursday, October 11, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America

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7) China’s Best Idea: Building National Parks – After rapid development and economic progress, China is now turning its attention to preserving its magnificent natural beauty. The country is committed to creating an “eco-civilization,” with plans to create its first system of national parks. But will China be able to protect the environment while growing the economy? And will China’s national parks be “loved” to death? Two top environmentalists will share their insights on China’s new drive to save its natural environment.

Thursday, October 11, 6 PM
China Institute, 40 Rector Street

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8) CARA Vision Pop Singing Workshop (English Session) – Struggling to sing well in karaoke? CARA Vision studio and accomplished vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator Yun Huang will help you to find your voice at its this free pop singing workshop to learn about singing techniques such as breathing, phrasing, expression, diction.

Thursday, October 11, 7:30 PM
CARA Vision, 134 W. 29th Street, Suite  709


ONGOING FILMS, SHOWS, AND EVENTS

1) 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


ART EXHIBITIONS

Group Shows, Local Artists, and Other Art Events:

Artist Qiren Hu‘s installation American Ginseng which “further[s] the dialogue about value, belief systems, notions of meaning, authenticity, and consumer desire that evolve from market constructs”; science and tech inspired artist Ani Liu; Mo Kong who talks about politics in coded geologic form and weather narratives; photographer Arthur Ou; and Christine Wong Yap will be part of Queens International 2018 at the Queens Museum which runs from October 7, 2018 – February 24, 2019.

Qiren Hu – ‘American Ginseng’

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Artists Yu Cao and James Hsieh are part of RE:ARTISTE’s and Gallery MC’s juried 2018 Show Your World Exhibition which runs through October 14.  RE:ARTISTE has been a champion of international and thought-provoking artists, and the shows they’ve put together have always been excellent.

Cao exhibits her durational drawing of her life-death vision.  She says, “I’ve been thinking about “death” throughout my childhood. I always cried alone for the frustration of not understanding death and the fear of death. I even believed that I will die before I grow up. But nobody knew it. I quietly live with “death” throughout my childhood and treasured so much the joy of life and simply being alive.”

“Of course I grew up and didn’t die as I expected. It was such a relief and like being reborn. Drawing is my way of constructing a world I want to live for my whole life.”

Yu Cao – ‘LIfe Death’ Courtesy of RE: ARTISTE

Hiseh says of the soft sculpture he has on view, “I wantbring my dream world and wild imagination into the reality and let others see the world I have seen. Thus, I transformed soft felt and fabric into solid sculptures to create an immersive environment and strived to re-activate the viewer’s childhood memories and childlike wonderment by investigating through their body in a sensorial way.”

Alien ant sculpture by James Hsieh

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Next time you’re in the Times Square or Grand Central subway stations, take the S Train shuttle and see artist MengChih Chiang‘s (孟芝江) Taiwan-themed design for the train done for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and possibly win roundtrip tickets to Taiwan by taking a photo of yourself with the wrapped S train and post the photo on Instagram between Monday, October 1 – Sunday, October 28 with the hashtags #taiwanstrain and @ttb_na.

View this post on Instagram

Taiwanese artist and designer MengChih Chiang (江孟芝, @mengchih) brings Taiwan to New York with her vibrant transformation of the shuttle train that runs between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. Her design completely envelopes the exterior and interior of the three-car train with eye-catching colors, images, and symbols that evoke the island nation. On the outside of the cars, a unique shade of red and blue-green mountains serve as the backdrop for recreations of oil painting portraits of aboriginal Taiwanese by contemporary aboriginal artist Yosifu (優席夫). The inside walls are covered a floral pattern associated with Chinese textiles which in fact come from Hakka culture and were popularized by Taiwan's textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The seats have also been made to resemble rattan furniture. The design will be up until 10/28 and is tied to a promotion by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (@ttb_na) in which Eva Airways (@evaairways) and China Airlines (@chinaairlines.usa) are giving away two round trip tickets to those who 1) take a photo of the train, 2) post on Instagram and tag with #taiwanstrain and @ttb_na, and 3) make their feed public. Official rules: http://goog.gl/TDLKhL _ #mengchihchiang #mengchih #yosifu #taiwan #heartofasia #theheartofasia #taiwantourism #grandcentral #grandcentralterminal #timessquare #mta #subway #nyc #travel #publicart #travel #travelblogger #traveladdict #tourism

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Visit Chen Dongfan’s Doyers Street street mural, The Song of Dragon and Flowers

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Opening and Newly Listed:

1) Christopher K. Ho: Aloha to the World (Bronx Museum, 10/3/18 – 1/6/19)- What happens when an artist disengages, psychically if not ideologically, from the margins? Can those in the mainstream responsibly acknowledge and harness their status toward progressive art in the US and elsewhere? These pressing questions inform the narrative structure of  the installation Aloha to the World at the Don Ho Terrace, an imagined meandering to and from Hong Kong (and possibly back in time) from where Christopher K. Ho emigrated at age four. This solo exhibition, which includes a 35-foot tall banner, artifacts from a defunct Hawaiian hotel co-owned by Ho’s grandfather, and signage mimicking the hotel’s grand entrance, grapples with reverse diasporic aspirations, and, particularly, the affective shift from being a part of ethnic minority in the United States to rejoining the Han majority.

Photo credit © Mario Babbio. Courtesy Bronx Museum

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2) Furen Dai: The Institute of Marriage (Gallery 456, 10/5 – 10/26) – Marriage has always been one of the most important topics among Chinese of various age groups. Numerous fairytales, sayings, and metaphors related to marriage and women exist. Some examples are “It is better for a woman to have a good marriage than a good job” and “filial piety is one of the virtues to be held above all else.” “Three forms of unfilial conduct exist, of which no posterity is the greatest.” All of the sayings that are learnt by heart since Chinese people were children become heavily infused into their bodies and become a part of their consciousness, which is even more true for elder generations.

This body of work comes out of an on-going research project I began in 2017 around the marriage market in China. I have been examining closely the different social phenomenon and industries associated with marriage. Examples include commercial matchmaking agents and companies, blind date TV shows, online dating apps and matchmaking corners in both metropolitan and secondary cities, where unmarried adults’ parents are gathered together to trade their children’s information. During this examination I attempted to study the social cause behind this collective anxiety around marriage, and how it existed across generations in China.

Aside from the study of this contemporary issue in society, I’m also looking through a rational lens by using a mathematic algorithm to calculate the possibility of getting married. Even though there is a huge gender imbalance in China, the male is still the ‘hot product’ in the marriage market. I’m comparing the male to the art object, and the marriage market to the art market, in asking what makes the art, or males, valuable and desirable.

Opening reception: Friday, October 5, 6 – 8 PM

Furen Dai – ‘Win the Perfect Partner’, inkjet print

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3) One Side of My Camera: Shanghai in the 1990s and 2010s (NYU China House, 10/9 – 10/30) – As one of the most influential street photographers in modern China, Lu has used his lens to document street scenes throughout Shanghai. In One Side of My Camera: Shanghai in 1990s and 2010s, on display will be photographs taken by Lu during two distinct time periods, 30 years apart.

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Closing soon:

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)

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.

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)

Furen Dai: The Institute of Marriage (Gallery 456, 10/5 – 10/26)

One Side of My Camera: Shanghai in the 1990s and 2010s (NYU China House, 10/9 – 10/30)

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)

Christopher K. Ho: Aloha to the World (Bronx Museum, 10/3/18 – 1/6/19)

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

Qiren Hu AniLiu; Mo KongArthur Ou; and Christine Wong Yap at Queens International 2018  (Queens Museum, (10/7 /18 – 2/24/19)


Lead image: Overlooking the track at Wuhan University