NYC Chinese Cultural Events and Art Exhibitions: October 12 – 19, 2018

Two Doors in Chinatown

This week: A King Kong knock-off by Shaw Brothers Studio; films about Singapore; a talk about Bruce Lee; a workshop to assist Chinatown businesses; a symposium about international residencies; a discussion about Taiwanese American identity; and more…

The deadline for contributions to the journal China Perspectives for the topics “Sinophone Musical Worlds and Their Publics” and for papers with the topic “Re-envisioning Gender in China” for the China Academic Network on Gender conference with the topic “Re-envisioning Gender in China” is October 31.


Coming Up

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

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

10/24 – 10/31 – Chinatown Arts Week

10/28 – A symposium about China-US cultural investment


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

1) Sinophone Musical Worlds and Their Publics – A call for submissions the journal China Perspectives 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.

2) Re-Envisioning Gender in China – A call for papers for the Second Conference of the China Academic Network on Gender. How do we re-envision gender in China? Conversely, how does gender allow us to re-envision China? Following feminist theorist bell hooks’ impetus that “There is power in looking” and probing “a critical gaze, one that “looks” to document, one that is oppositional”, the second conference of the China Academic Network on Gender (CHANGE) seeks to examine what new dynamics and power relations are transmitted, focused, defocused or blurred when gender is used as the prism to examine Chinese society and cultural practices.

Read the complete call for papers

Abstracts are due October 31, 2018, and first drafts of articles are due February 1, 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) Digitization Days – Sign up for a time slot where the MOCA Collections team will scan and digitize your most beloved photos, paper documents, and/or 2-D mementos 11″ x 17″ or smaller. Share your objects’ stories and walk away with a copy of your digitized items to show off as you wish!

Digitization will take place at MOCA’s Collections on the 2nd floor of 70 Mulberry Street. Please note: by digitizing your items with MOCA, you are agreeing to sign a Deed of Gift, which assigns the rights of the digital copies of the original items to MOCA. These copies will be included in the MOCA Collections, where they will be publicly available for students and researchers.

Slots will also be available on November 13, December 10, January 11

Friday, October 12, 10 AM – 6 PM
Museum of Chinese in America’ Collections, 70 Mulberry Street


2) International Artist Residencies Symposium – The Asian Cultural Council, the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, and La MaMa E.T.C. are committed to providing support and resources for artists and arts professionals and organize this three panel symposium to promote dialogue and learning to create effective opportunities for the future.

See the event details for the schedule and participating moderators and panelists.

Friday, October 12, 1 – 8 PM
La Mama Galleria, 47 Great Jones Street


3) Shanghai from the Street Level: A Photographer’s View (no link) – A talk by Lu Yuanmin on his current exhibition One Side of my Camera: Shanghai in 1990 and 2010


Friday, October 12, 3:30 PM
NYU China House, 8 Washington Mews


4) 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.

Friday, October 12, 7:30 PM
CARA Vision, 134 W. 29th Street, Suite  709


5) TW American Identities and Politics – How do generations of Taiwanese/American’s various approaches to self-identification differ from and relate to one another? In what way have their cross-national/cultural experiences shape their value systems, and foster their outlooks of the world? For this panel, Cafe Philo invites Taiwanese/American speakers of different backgrounds to share and discuss their experiences.


Wen Liu – Assistant professor at University at Albany
Gloria Hu – Masters student of Public Health at Columbia University
Brian Hioe – Editor at New Bloom
Eason Wu – President of TAANY

Friday, October 12, 7:30 PM
2-26 50th Ave, 3rd floor conference room, Long Island City


6) The Mighty Peking Man 《猩猩王》– Holy mackerel!  This cheap Hong Kong King Kong rip-off is totally out of control.  If an all-star team of the Best Comedy Writers of All-Time got together and wrote a script about a prehistoric ape man and a beautiful blonde jungle woman, it would be just like this movie — only not as funny. 

It’s hard to describe exactly what makes The Mighty Peking Man such a joy; perhaps it’s the cultural disconnect between the Shaw Brothers worldview and the end product (which is clearly designed for export to Western markets.)  The parts just don’t snap together in any normal fashion.  Scenes that would be mild cliches in an American film become towering comic set-pieces here.  Witness Chinese tough guy Danny Lee and wild-girl Evelyn Kraft frolic together with her pet leopard!  I’ve never been so close to throwing up from laughter as when I first saw this film.  You should totally watch it!  From the director of Oily Maniac.”  (Lars Nilsen, Weird Wednesday)

Dir. Ho Meng-hua
1977, Hong Kong, 90 min.

Screens as part of IFC’s Waverly Midnights retrospective, Shaw Brothers Spectaculars: Presented in Glorious Shaw-Scope

Friday, October 12, 11:59 PM
Saturday, October 13, 11:59 PM
IFC Center


7) Volunteer Workshop for the HowToChinatown Project – Do you want to support small businesses in Chinatown?
Volunteer to work with local businesses to establish an online presence for their products and services!

The beautiful stories of Chinatown you help to create will be hosted on HowToChinatown.NYC website, which will feature a map-based narrative about Chinatown.

As a volunteer contributor, you will be trained on how to use the platform to author the web pages with Chinatown businesses. Volunteers will build a relationship with local businesses and be trained to assist businesses in claiming their Yelp or Google Business accounts using the information gathered from creating the HowToChinatown.NYC web page. Volunteers with Cantonese or Mandarin language skills are especially needed.

Sunday, October 14, 11 – 1 PM
219 Park Row


8) NYC: An Evening with Tan Pin Pin, To Singapore, with Love – Filmmaker Tan Pin Pin in-person for post-screening discussion of Moving House and To Singapore, with Love. This conversation is moderated by Ani Maitra, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Colgate University.

This screening is part of Flaherty NYC programmed by Dessane Lopez Cassell. Co-presented with Colgate University.

Equal parts incisive and meditative, the films of Singaporean documentarian Tan Pin Pin offer nuanced and bittersweet accounts of the contradictions that frame life in her home country. In contrasting the mundane with the controversial, the public with the private, Tan’s films shed light on the state of affairs of the ultramodern and rapidly changing city-state. The films presented here consider numerous instances of displacement and exile caused by Singapore’s increasingly authoritarian government – which has affected both the living and the deceased – and in the case of To Singapore with Love, has led to the banning of public screenings in the country.

Moving House
Dir. Tan Pin Pin
2001, Singapore, 22 min.

The Chew family is one of 55,000 Singapore families forced to relocate the remains of their relatives to a columbarium as the gravesite is needed for urban redevelopment. The picnic mood of the family outing to move the remains belies the sadness and confusion everyone feels.

Tan’s Northwestern University thesis film, Moving House is also the first documentary commissioned by Discovery Channel to be entirely conceptualized, initiated, directed by a Singaporean.

To Singapore, With Love
Dir. Tan Pin Pin
2013, Singapore, 70 min.

Singaporean director Tan Pin Pin travels to Malaysia, UK and Thailand to interview long term Singapore political exiles, some of whom have not been back to Singapore for more than 50 years, and fled Singapore in the 1960’s, 1970s and 1980′s to escape the prospect of detention without trial. In discussions with former activists and student leaders and previous members of the communist party, Tan teases out their reasons for leaving and what Singapore still means to them today. Though banned from screening in Singapore for “undermining national security,” To Singapore with Love offers a glimpse of what the country could have been.

Monday, October 15, 7 PM
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave.


9) Matthew Polly author of Bruce Lee – A Life – Author Matthew Polly joins us to talk about his new book Bruce Lee – A Life. Hailed by critics as the most authoritative biography, featuring dozens of rarely seen photographs, of film legend Bruce Lee, who made martial arts a global phenomenon, bridged the divide between Eastern and Western cultures, and smashed long-held stereotypes of Asians and Asian-Americans.

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 PM
Museum of Chinese in America


1) Project Gutenberg 《無雙》– The Hong Kong police is hunting a counterfeiting gang led by a mastermind code-named ‘Painter’ (Chow Yun-fat). The gang possesses exceptional counterfeiting skills which makes it difficult to distinguish the authenticity of its counterfeit currency. The scope of their criminal activities extends globally and greatly attracts the attention of the police. In order to crack the true identity of ‘Painter’, the police recruits a painter named Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) to assist in solving the case.


2) Lost, Found 《我到你》 – Two extraordinary actresses bring emotional depth to Lost, Found, a story of universal horror: the abduction of a small child. Yao Chen portrays an attractive legal eagle whose court uniform is bright red lipstick and gray business tailleur; she is a self-confident professional woman who overplays her hand as career woman and mother. Ma Yili is her daughter’s mousy, apparently perfect nanny who hides a back-tragedy from her employer. In a film that threatens to collapse into a moralizing drama about women’s proper role in society, they push the story onto much richer psychological ground. (The Hollywood Reporter)


3) 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:

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’


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 want to bring 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.”

James Hsieh – ‘The Wanderer’.  Courtesy of RE: ARTISTE


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.

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


Opening and Newly Listed:

1) Wei Jia – A Way of Life (Fou Gallery, 10/13 – 12/23) – An ordinary person, living an ordinary life in his ordinary attitude and doing ordinary things, Wei loves traditional Chinese art but does not follow conventional rules. He interprets the tradition in his own way and gives it a broader meaning. This exhibition presents his daily work in Brooklyn, New York in recent years, including Xuan paper (rice paper) collages on large­-scale canvases, works on paper, hand scrolls, calligraphy albums, small manuscripts, and a site-specific installation. This exhibition showcases Wei’s complete creative process and his creative state to explore the connection between art making and daily life.
Wei began to learn Chinese poetry and landscape painting with the renowned collector Zhang Boju and his wife Pan Su at an early age, which deeply influenced his entire life. Later, he studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1985, he went to the United States to obtain a MFA. After 1993, he settled down in Brooklyn, New York. He uses Xuan paper as primary medium, mixing ink, gouache, acrylic and other pigments on it. He writes calligraphy, then tears off the paper, reorganizes the pieces, and repeats the process to make collages. In such a process of accidental changes and inevitable forces, his life experience and artistic experience are integrated into visual images.

Continue reading the press release.

Artist talk: October 13, 4 – 5 PM; Opening reception: October 13, 5 – 8 PM

Wei Jia – ‘No. 8100’



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)

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)

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)

Wei Jia – A Way of Life (Fou Gallery, 10/13 – 12/23)

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)

Wei Jia – A Way of Life (Fou Gallery, 10/13 – 12/23)

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