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Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema–Season Eight Presents U.S. Premiere of Taiwanese Films SEN SEN and HIGH FLASH, March 27—March 28, 2019
2019/03/20

Taking place from March 12 through April 24, Chicago’s only pan-Asian film organization Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns with its 8th season, featuring two stunning films from Taiwan—SEN SEN and HIGH FLASH, with filmmaker Q&As and cast appearances for both titles on March 27 and 28.


Starring Nina Paw (The Way We Are), one of the most celebrated actresses in Hong Kong, Bon An’s SEN SEN is a film about how to come to terms with death from a lonely boy’s point of view as he meets a granny with terminal cancer (Nina Paw) and develops their unique friendship in the end. FilmInk said this film is “well-performed and written, and is told in a carefully restrained and gently emotive fashion…This is the kind of understated quality film that deserves strong recommendation.”


Engineer-turned-filmmaker Ching-shen Chuang’s HIGH FLASH is a compelling political crime thriller which has been rarely-seen in Taiwanese cinema over the recent decade. Inspired by a news photo and combined social commentary, HIGH FLASH follows a fisherman who is found dead of self-immolation during a protest against a petrochemical plant and whose mysterious death raises questions puzzling the truth-seeking protagonists. Executive produced by Tien-tsung Ma, renowned director Sylvia Chang and veteran editor Ching-sung Liao, this film was selected as the closing film for the Taipei Film Festival and was selected for the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.


Both films screen at Chicago’s AMC River East 21 on March 27 and 28 respectively.  SEN SEN will also screen on March 28 at the Michigan State University and on March 30 at the Kellogg Eye Center Auditorium, University of Michigan, as part of Asian Pop-Up Cinema on Tour.


The Taiwanese feature series is presented in collaboration with the Taipei Cultural Center in New York and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago. For the full lineup and schedule, please visit asianpopupcinema.org/.


About Asian Pop-Up Cinema
Asian Pop-Up Cinema, a semi-annual Asian Film Festival, is the brainchild of Sophia Wong Boccio, founder of Sophia’s Choice, a Chicago-based 501 C (3) not-for-profit incorporated in 2015 with the multi-pronged mission of cultivating an interest in and understanding of Asian cultures via a diverse offering of Asian films; connecting the Asian film industry with local Chicago film professionals, educators and students; and promoting Chicago as a destination for international visitors.


Screening Schedule and Film Description
SEN SEN (生生) | U.S. Premiere


Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 PM @ AMC River East 21
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Bon An & Lead Actress Nina Paw Hee-ching


[Encore screenings on Tour]
Thursday, March 28, 7:00 PM @ 105 S. Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University
Saturday, March 30, 2:00 PM @ Kellogg Eye Center Auditorium, University of Michigan
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Bon An


Taiwan | 2017 | 112 Minutes | In Mandarin w/English subtitles
Director: Bon An  | Starring: Nina Paw Hee-ching, Zhi-xuan Wu, Yi-wen Yen 


After Sen’s brother passes away, he sifts through what’s left behind, discovering that his brother had a unique hobby: following the livestream feed of a cab-driving granny. With only three months left to live, Granny has decided to live her last 100 days as she pleases, live-streaming her journeys and adventures. As Sen and Granny both face the reality of death, they build an online bond even as time ticks away.


HIGH FLASH (引爆點) | U.S. Premiere 
Thursday, March 28, 7:00 PM @ AMC River East 21
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Chuang Ching-shen & Actor Chen Chia-kuei

 

Taiwan | 2018 | 110 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Chuang Ching-shen | Starring: Wu Kang-ren, Yao Yi-ti, Chen Chia-kuei

 

During a large-scale protest again corporate giant TL Petrochemical, a fisherman named Ah-Hai is found dead from self-immolation. The incident instantly makes media headlines, and, Ah-Hai is hailed as a martyr. Medical examiner Chou is assigned to the case with public prosecutor Kim, his ex-fiancée. When the two discover evidence of murder and a major conspiracy, Chou breaks protocol to conduct his own investigation in order to protect Kim. As the truth is gradually revealed, the case and their pasts start to intertwine.

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moCa Cleveland Presents
2019/03/13

As the centerpiece of its 50th anniversary celebration suite of exhibitions, moCa presents a group of seminal works by famed Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei. You Are Not a Stranger continues a dialogue with the artist, who moCa presented in his first solo exhibition in a US museum twenty years ago. From March 15—July 28, 2019, this presentation, which includes sculpture, photography, installation, and performance, offers a series of unique and powerful interactive experiences with art. The exhibition includes four of the artist’s well-known works: Sonic Blossom (2013), The Moving Garden (2009), The Mending Project (2009), and 100 Days of Lily (1995). Each is designed to enchant and inspire audiences, and cultivate giving, reciprocity, and connection among strangers.


Sonic Blossom (2013) is an interactive performance that imparts the gift of song to visitors. On designated days in May, a locally-trained soloist wearing an elaborate costume will select and sing one of Franz Schubert’s lieders (German poems set to music) to a museum guest who is seated in a specially-designed chair. For this participatory work, moCa partnered with the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) to identify student singers to perform. After moCa's performances during Friday, Saturday, and Sundays in May, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) will present the work in the its European painting galleries in July.


The Moving Garden (2009), like Sonic Blossom, is a participatory artwork that features a 45-foot granite table with a central, meandering channel that holds 100 fresh flowers. Visitors are invited to take a flower, which they must give to a stranger upon leaving the Museum. The cycle restarts each day as the table is replenished with new flowers.


The Mending Project (2009), the third interactive and participatory installation in this presentation aims to create meaningful, tangible connections between strangers. The project invites community members to bring a garment or textile in need of repair to moCa. Here, visitors will encounter a volunteer mender seated at a long table before a wall ornamented with spools of colorful thread. Many of these threads are already connected to neatly folded and repaired garments on a nearby table. The visitor will present their garment and the mender will invite them to sit and talk while their garment is mended. The mended items will remain on the table, attached to its thread, until the show’s conclusion. The Mending Project encourages strangers to share in the gift of conversation.


The final work in this exhibition, and the oldest on view also, 100 Days of Lily (1995) is a photographic portrait of a project in which Lee cultivated and raised a single lily from seed to death. In response to grieving his grandmother’s death, Lee spent every moment with this flower until it too died, documented his own activities as the flower moved through its natural life cycle.


About the artist:
Lee Mingwei (1964, Taiwan, lives and works in New York and Paris) is an internationally-acclaimed artist, renowned for his participatory mixed-media installations that explore how acts of generosity can nurture interaction and connection among individuals.


Lee’s work has gained wide recognition through solo shows at major institutions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland; Centre Pompidou Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei. His work has been featured in biennials in Venice, Lyon, Liverpool, New York, and Sydney and Asia Pacific Triennials. Selected recent group exhibitions include: Language of Flowers, Asia University Museum of Modern Art,Taichung, Taiwan (2018); Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA (2018); New Materialism, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2018); Declaration, Institution for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2018); PEACE, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (2017); Person of the Crowd, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (2017); Don't You Think It's Time For Love?, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia (2016); and Guest what?, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan (2015).

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Hong-Kai Wang & Bill Dietz present a four-week proejct
2019/03/13

In “Singing is what makes work possible,” Bill Dietz & Hong-Kai Wang reimagine the time & space of the exhibition as a rehearsal studio for working on & through the relations of labor & aesthetics. Dietz & Wang invite visitors to join them as members of a choral study group for weekly workshops (featuring special guests) & public presentations.
 
Central to Dietz & Wang’s investigation is what they have called, “literacy of the throat” - a privileging of embodied & non-verbal forms of knowledge that exceed hegemonic notions of both aesthetics & labor. As such, the weekly thematic foci of the exhibition insist on attending to non-artistic forms of aesthetic practice as well as all manner of non-waged forms of labor: gender & practices of midwifery, unequal ethnic trajectories of migration in the local context of Philadelphia, the visionary practices of historical religious separatists, and  the question of “art working” in relation to other forms of labor in America.
 
Each week, members of the choral study group assemble to learn a thematically related archival piece of vocal music by ear. The learning & rehearsing process is framed discursively in dialogue with special guests. On Fridays (& one Saturday), the study group presents its “results” in a series of  public receptions. During the week, Dietz & Wang offer participants a score for the introjection of rehearsal into participants’ daily life.
 
Friday, March 15th, 7pm - Opening Meeting by Dietz & Wang
Saturday, March 16th, 1pm to 5pm - Study Session: “Music & Spiritual Labor” with Special Guest: TBA
 
Friday, March 22nd, 7pm - Study Presentation 1
Saturday, March 23rd, 1pm to 5pm - Study Session: “Aesthetics & Reproductive Labor” with Special Guest: Jairo Moreno
 
Friday, March 29th, 7pm - Study Presentation 2
Saturday, March 30th, 1pm to 5pm - Study Session: “Migration & Sound” with Special Guest: TBA

Saturday,  April 6th, 6pm - Final Presentation & Panel Discussion on “The Aesthetics of Non-Productive Labor” with Special Guest: Tiona Nekkia McClodden
 
The title is taken from Dietz & Wang’s late friend, the composer & writer Chris Mann. The exhibition is dedicated to his memory.
 
Bill Dietz is a composer and writer, born in Arizona, and based since 2003 in Berlin. Since 2012, he has been co-chair of Music/Sound in Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. His work on the genealogy of the concert and the performance of listening has brought him to festivals such as MaerzMusik and the Donaueschinger Musiktage, museums such as the Hamburger Bahnhof, the Brooklyn Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and das Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, and into publications such as Performance Research Journal, boundary 2, and the 2014 Whitney Biennial catalogue. Large-scale works have been realized at locations such as Le Corbusier's "Cité radieuse" in Marseille, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, and along the entire length of "Im Stavenhof" in Cologne. He has published two books - one on his "Tutorial Diversions" series, works to be performed at home; and the other, L’école de la claque, made up of "concert pieces." From 2007 to 2015 he was the artistic director of the Berlin-based "Ensemble Zwischentöne," organizing numerous festivals and concert series. From 2012 to 2013 he was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude. From 2016 to 2017 he was Professor of Sound at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.
 
Hong-Kai Wang, Born in Huwei, Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator based in Taipei. The process of Wang’s research-based practice is informed by the unceasing tension between languages, ideologies, identities and knowledge regimes. It is situated at the intersection of aesthetic, discursive and knowledge production, often concerned with politics of missing knowledges resulted by encounters between histories, lived experience and power. Through experimenting with modes of listening, organizing pedagogy as temporary gatherings, mobilizing collaborative sociality as performance, and encouraging alterior bodily interpretations, Wang’s practice often seeks to forge unlikely affiliation and time-space of the transformative beyond received chronologies and geographies. Her works span performance, installation, workshop, publication, sound work, conversation, etc. Wang has presented her practice internationally at Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2019, Documenta 14, Taipei Biennial, Liquid Architecture, Museum of Modern Art New York, among others.

This project is made possible with support from the Taipei Cultural Center in New York.

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Come 2gether – brings US and TW dance companies on one stage
2019/03/05

An evening of eclectic works by Chien-Ying Wang (OcampoWang Dance, USA) and YuChen Pan (JueDai Contemporary Jazz Dance Theatre, Taiwan).

March 30, 2019, 7:30 pm
March 31, 2019, 3:30 pm (Q&A) & 7:30 pm (post-show reception)

The Mark O'Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center
160 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tickets | $15 general; $10 student/senior

Amid the many ways that lives can become separated, the strength of love can hold fast and bind together that which would otherwise fade. Meeting in the early days of their collegiate lives, Chien-Ying and YuChen have maintained their connection across oceans, continents, language barriers; despite the compressed time available to one another from becoming spouses and mothers.  And yet they continued to exist as a duo, held fast to each other through the mysterious bonds of creativity and movement.  And their reunion brings about a celebration of life and heart and movement as they arrive together in New York far away and long after their beginnings together in Taiwan. come 2gether reunites two strong Asian women who have mounted work that express the female artistic experience today; celebrating their common origins and their divergent life experiences - a uniquely powerful performance that is not to be missed on March 30 & 31, 2019 in Actors Fund Arts Center, Brooklyn.

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Taiwanese Artist Featured in Rubin Museum’s Exhibition
2019/02/21

The Rubin Museum of Art’s upcoming group exhibition “The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel” that opens on March 1, 2019 will feature Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai.

“The Power of Intention” brings together traditional and contemporary art to illuminate the relationship between our intentions, commitments, and actions. Inspired by concepts related to Buddhist prayer wheels—ritual objects containing thousands of written prayers and mantras, the show looks at how we can empower ourselves to create positives change within and between us.

Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai’s A Supplication and Spiral Incense with Mantras will be featured in the exhibition.

A Supplication, a water color drawing on rice paper, depicts Guru Rinpoche mantra dispersing into space from a seed syllable at the center, which is how Tibetan prayer wheels are imagined to function. Prayer wheels contain mantras written on paper that are rolled and inserted into cylindrical containers. When rotated in a clockwise motion, the whirling of the wheel releases the mantras and prayers into the world for the benefit of all.

Tsai’s second work Spiral Incense with Mantras reflects the same sentiment. She will inscribe mantras on three large spiral incense pieces that can only be commissioned and made in Taiwan. Tsai will perform the mantra written on the incense for museum visitors before it is hung in the gallery. The work will be located in the same space as Incense Mantra, a video installation by Tsai currently on view that shows the burning of incense inscribed with mantras. This juxtaposition will create a direct visual relationship between the video, the actual incense, and the drawing of the whirling mantras to emphasize the primary ideas of the exhibition and Tsai’s diverse scope of creativity and accomplishment.

On Friday, March 1 at 3pm, Tsai will write the mantras of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche” on spiral incense custom-made in Taiwan before it’s hung in the gallery for the show.

Apart from Tsai, other international artists featured in the show include Monika Bravo (Bogota), Alexandra Dementieva (Russia), Youdhistir Maharjan (Nepal), and Scenocosme (France).

“We may not think of our intentions as sources of power; however, they are the driving force behind each of our actions. This exhibition invites us to change how we think about power and consider that we can use our own intentions to empower ourselves and create change for ourselves and others,” said Elena Pakhoutova, curator of Himalayan Art and organizer of “Power of Intention.” She added, "Commitment, considered an integral component of an intention, powers a person to carry the intention into action, however small it may be. Then, a conscious positive action replaces what might hav been a habit or mindless act. Prayer wheels are a symbolic reference point for visitors' experiences of the contemporary works of art in the exhibition, where each work relates to a specific notion that helps reinforce our individual intentions and spark positive action."


Related programs:

Artist at Work: Charwei Tsai
Inscribing the Spiral Incense Mantra
Friday, March 1, 3-5pm
Free with Admission


Opening Night Celebration
Friday, March 1; 6-11pm
Free

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Huang Pang-Chuan’s Last Year When the Train Passed By Selected for Doc Fortnight 2019
2019/02/15

Taiwanese-born, France-based director Huang Pang-Chuan’s latest short film Last Year When the Train Passed By will be presented at Doc Fortnight 2019, The Museum of Modern Art’s 18th annual showcase of outstanding and innovative nonfiction film. The film recently was awarded the Grand Prize in this year’s Lab competition at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2019.


Last Year When the Train Passed By is Huang’s second film following his debut Return, both of which are based on his experience of traveling by train. “I’m always curious about little houses I see through the window as I pass by. The photography allows me to return to these places, and discover the stories of these peoples,” said Huang.


In his films, Huang is especially interested in the subjects of memory, voyage and film, topics that give him an immensity of themes, including nostalgia, the passing of time, and constant changes in life. Shot on super 8mm and scored by Lim Giong, who composed music for acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-hisen and Jia Zhangke, Last Year When the Train Passed By has been winning prizes on the European short festival circuit.


This film will make its North American premiere on Feb 23 and Feb 27 at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, running from Feb 21 to 28, 2019, which will showcase more than 17 documentary films from around the world, including Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai’s Chinese Portrait. For the full lineup and schedule, visit Doc Fortnight 2019.


ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
HUANG Pang-Chuan was born in 1988 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He graduated with a degree in graphic design, and then has immersed himself in cinema since studying at Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. He is inspired by his diverse practical experiences to create an ambiguity between documentary and fiction. All his work contains three elements: memory, voyage and traditional film technology.


FILM AND DESCRIPTION
Last Year When the Train Passed By
Directed by Huang Pang-Chuan
France / 2018 / 17 min. / In Taiwanese with English subtitles


Huang Pang-Chuan plays with the element of nostalgia that often accompanies the passing of time, revisiting places he had photographed a year earlier and asking the subjects what they were doing then.


Feb. 23, 1:15 pm at Theater 2, Department of Film, MoMA
Feb. 27, 4:30 pm at Theater 1, Department of Film, MoMA

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Taipei Cultural Center Announces Winner of 2019 Triangle Arts Association Residency Grant
2019/01/29

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is pleased to announce that Mr. Ping Sheng WU is the winner of the three-month residency grant at New York's noted Triangle Arts Association (TAA).


During the month-long open call, a total of 21 Taiwanese artists submitted applications for this inaugural residency collaboration between TCC and Triangle. A jury formed by Alaina Claire Feldman, director of CUNY’s Sydney Mishkin Gallery, and TCC representatives convened on Jan. 11, 2019 to review the applications. A short list of five artists was decided based on the artistic quality of their work and quality of the proposed projects. Triangle then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected Wu as the winner of the grant.


"Ping Sheng Wu’s dedication to sound and our perception of it, whether ‘natural’ or artificial, is a unique kind of aesthetic practice which isn’t often afforded generous studio time and space,” said Feldman, who had the opportunity to extensively tour and research contemporary art in Taiwan while working as the exhibition director of Independent Curators International. “Wu’s proposal specifically set out parameters for working within a New York context and researching how sound art is presented and contextualized. I believe he will take full advantage of his experience with Triangle and look forward to what comes of it,” she added.


Nova Benway, executive director of Triangle, is also excited about the new addition of Wu to the organization. “Wu’s work in sound is experimental, exploratory and rigorous. Dealing with the biggest questions—time, space, social and geographical formations, what is ‘real’ and what is ‘virtual’—he produces work in various genres, from installation to live performance to film soundtrack,” she said, noting that Triangle is pleased to support the research and presentation of Wu’s work during the three-month residency.


This residency grant is generously supported by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan). The winner is set to participate in the program March 1 through May 31, 2019.

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