The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is excited to be partnering up with the annual 42th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) to celebrate the recent achievements in Taiwanese and Taiwanese American cinema. This year’s festival highlights a compelling lineup that you can’t miss: a special 25th Anniversary 35mm presentation of acclaimed artist Shu Lea Cheang’s seminal debut feature Fresh Kill, Ho Wi-Ding’s TIFF prizewinner Cities of Last Things, alongside Valerie Soe’s provocative documentary Love Boat: Taiwan.
Shu Lea Cheang is a multimedia artist who has been active in experimental video and net art since the early 1980s. As a net art pioneer, Cheang’s Brandon (1998-1999) was the first web art commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She is also the first female artist to represent Taiwan in a solo exhibition at the 2019 Venice Biennale. In her feature debut Fresh Kill she created the term “Cybernoia” to tell a story involving corporate conspiracies, pollution and community activism. In conjunction with this ultra-rare screening since its Berlinale premiere in 1994, a career-spanning conversation event with Cheang will also take place on July 27 at Asia Society in New York.
Valerie Soe’s Love Boat: Taiwan, a documentary about Taiwan’s Overseas Compatriot Youth Formosa Study Tour, traces Chinese diaspora and Taiwanese identities by exploring the history and popularity of this summer camp that has become a legend among diasporic Taiwanese while whose famous alumni include US Congresswoman Judy Chu, buzzfeed’s Justin Tan, and singer Wang Lee-hom. As a Love Boat alumna, Soe will talk about the making of this documentary and share her thoughts on Love Boat at the N.Y. premiere on July 31.
Ho Wi-Ding is a Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based filmmaker who was awarded 2018 TIFF’s Platform Prize for Cities of Last Things, the first Chinese-language film honoree of this award. This arresting tale follows the life of a man at three extraordinary nights, told in reverse-chronological order. Having just been streaming on Netflix, this film will be shown on the big screen in New York for the first time on Aug 2.
This year’s AAIFF will also feature five shorts by filmmakers of Taiwanese descent. Titles include Roxy Shih’s THE VISIT; Serena Kuo’s END OF SUMMER; Eugene Suen’s MASTERS OF DIVINITY; Athena Han’s BUNNY MAN; and Clifford Miu’s AH GONG during the festival’s run.
As the first and longest running Asian film festival in the U.S., the AAIFF is dedicated to showing films by or about Asians and Asian Americans. The 42nd annual festival will take place from July 25 to August 3 mostly at Asia Society (725 Park Avenue) and Regal Essex (129 Delancey Street). For full lineup and schedule please visit asiancinevision.org/AAIFF/
Screening Schedule and Film Description:
Fresh Kill (25th Anniversary 35mm Presentation)
Shu Lea Cheang / 1994 / 80 min / feature
Friday, July 26, 8:30 pm at Asia Society
Described by the director as “Eco-Cyber-Noia,” FRESH KILL centers around a non-nuclear family anchored by mothers Claire (Erin McMurtry,) Shareen (Sarita Choudhury) and their daughter Honey (Nelini Stamp.) A wild ride involving corporate conspiracies, pollution and community activism, Shu Lea Cheang’s debut is a must see.
A Conversation with Shu Lea Cheang
Saturday, July 27, 1:00 pm at Asia Society
Taiwanese artist and filmmaker Shu Lea Cheang will be sitting down with us for a special conversation. Exploring her expansive career, her life in New York City, and her work now; this is an once-in-a-lifetime event.
Love Boat: Taiwan
Valerie Soe / 2018 / 84 min / documentary
Wednesday, July 31, 6:00 pm at Regal Essex Theater A (*Filmmaker in person)
LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN looks at the Taiwan Love Boat, where college-aged Taiwanese Americans get closer to their history, their culture and each other.
Cities of Last Things
Ho Wi-Ding / 2018 / 107 min / feature
Friday, August 2, 8:15 pm at Regal Essex Theater A
CITIES OF LAST THINGS pinpoints three extraordinary nights in the life of a common man, as told with reverse chronology. In the near future, a winter night, Zhang Dong Ling (60s), fueled by the anger he has repressed over the years, takes revenge on a high-ranking officer who has made his life a torment one particular night thirty years ago. In present, a summer night, Zhang Dong Ling a young cop accidentally witnesses his wife having sex with his senior police officer. After a confrontation he chose to repress his anger to keep his family together for the sake of their baby daughter. In the past, a spring night, Lady Wang is ambushed by police. She is handcuffed on the bench at the police station beside a handcuffed 18-year-old Zhang Dong Ling. Through a casual chat, they both realize they share a much larger past then they ever imagined.
The Visit / (Otherly Worlds Genre Shorts Program)
Roxy Shih / Taiwan, USA/ 15 mins
July 28, 2:30pm at Asia Society
A pregnant woman and her husband visit her lonely, aging grandmother in the rural mountains of Taiwan only to witness the older woman's mysterious disappearance.
End of Summer / (Made In NY Shorts Program)
Serena Kuo/ USA/ 14 min 39 sec
July 28, 4:35pm at Asia Society
A teenager's college move-in day takes an unexpected turn when her father is struck by a heart attack in the middle of the desert.
Masters of Divinity / (Laugh Through It Shorts Program)
Eugene Suen/ USA/ 20 mins
August 1, 8:00pm at Regal Essex Theater A
An ex-seminarian and now-struggling filmmaker begins to panic after his wife tells him that God wants her to quit her job.
Bunny Man / (Off the Beaten Path Shorts Program)
Athena Han / Canada / 7 mins 51 sec
August 2, 6:00pm at Regal Essex theater A
Over a meal at a Chinese restaurant, four Taiwanese friends discussion over their similarities and differences as a Taiwanese-Canadians grows heated when a mysterious Bunny mascot enters.
Ah Gong / (Generations Shorts Program)
Clifford Miu / Taiwan /13 min 43 sec
August 3, 12:30pm at Asia Society
Eleven year old Chris arrives at the hospital only to realize that his mother and uncles have decided to pull the plug on his beloved grandfather.
Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese puppetry company - I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre 亦宛然掌中劇團 – tours to Boston, New York, Detroit and Ann Arbor this summer.
Supported by Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and presented by Puppet Showplace Theater (Boston), Flushing Town Hall (New York), Detroit Institute of Arts and Ann Arbor District Library, I Wan Jan will perform Cave of Fire and Cloud (火雲洞), A Chance Encounter (巧遇姻緣) and Wu-Song Fights A Tiger (武松打虎) with intricate puppets, expert manipulation, and lively music and will take your breath away
The traditional Cave of Fire and Cloud story is adapted from Journey to the West (西遊記). The high-energy, non-verbal episode includes exciting martial arts scenes. A Chance Encounter is puppetry version of a hero rescued a beauty drama with exquisite traditional hand puppet techniques. Wu-Song Fights A Tiger is a chapter in Water Margin (水滸傳), a Chinese novel considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
I Wan Jan Puppet Theatre will host puppetry workshops at Sandwich Public Library (Boston) and Flushing Town Hall (New York), as well as participating in the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Puppeteers from I Wan Jan will demonstrate basic techniques of manipulating hand puppets for maximum drama. Participants will have a chance to use intricate hand puppets belonging to the troupe.
I Wan Jan Puppet Theater is an acclaimed hand puppet troupe that led the revival of Bu Dai Xi, a traditional folk art that had declined with the advent of movies and television in Taiwan. Founded in 1931 by the highly-respected Taiwanese puppet master, Li Tien-lu (李天祿), the fourth-generation Taiwanese hand puppet company is best known for its intricate puppet manipulation, which incorporates Peking opera-style techniques and lively classical Chinese music.
In addition to promoting hand puppetry in Taiwan, I Wan Jan also developed a storytelling style without Taiwanese dialogue. This has helped to make hand puppetry more accessible for global audiences, and I Wan Jan has performed in China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, and the United States.
Hand puppet shows, also known as Zhan-zhong-xi (drama of the palm of the hand, 掌中戲) or Bu-dai-xi (cloth bag drama, 布袋戲), have been a tradition in Taiwan for centuries. Traditional hand puppet performances are conducted by two teams: the “front stage” team, who operate the puppets, and the “back stage” team, who perform the music. The plays are typically adaptations from classical novels that incorporate history, mythology, and folk heroes.
July 13, Sat., 19:00
Puppet Showplace Theater
32 Station St, Brookline, MA 02445
July 14, Sun., 15:30
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
July 20, Sat., 14:00
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
July 21, Sun., 14:00
Ann Arbor District Library
343 South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
July 10, Wed., 18:30
Sandwich Public Library
142 Main Street Sandwich MA 02563
July 14, Sun., 16:30
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is partnering with the essential annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) to celebrate its 18th edition with a four-film selection that shines a bright light on Taiwan’s comedy cinema and genre output during the festival’s run from June 28 to July 14, plus audience Q&As following the shows.
Described by the NYAFF as “resolutely pop, accessible, and unapologetically fun in a way not normally associated with productions from the island better known for its art-house and experimental output,” this year’s Taiwan Cinema section will unlock the audiences’ imagination with heartfelt laughter and tears.
Highlight includes Huang Chao-liang’s Taipei Film Award-nominated HAN DAN, starring Cheng Jen-shuo (Gatao 2: Rise of the King); Hung Tzu-hsuan’s action genre circuit hit THE SCOUNDRELS; the madcap comedy based on the popular theater piece with the same title IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD SHOW; and the romantic tale SOMEONE IN THE CLOUDS, featuring a story of searching for the meaning of true love. Director Huang Chao-liang and co-director Mitch Lin and Gary Tseng will appear in person for HAN DAN and SOMEONE IN THE CLOUDS respectively to discuss their films.
As North America's leading festival of Asian cinema, the New York Asian Film Festival is presented by the New York Asian Film Foundation in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center. This year’s Taiwan Cinema section takes place from June 30 through July 4 at FLC’s Walter Reade Theater and July 13 at SVA Theater, presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York. For the full lineup and schedule, please visit nyaff.org/
Screening Schedule and Film Description
Han Dan (寒單) | North American Premiere
Sunday, June 30, 3:30 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
* Q&A with Director Huang Chao-liang
Taiwan | 2019 | 125 Minutes | In Mandarin, Taiwanese w/English subtitles
Director: Huang Chao-liang
An upstanding young man commits a reckless act that ends in life-changing tragedy. His doomed rival becomes his friend, only to become his rival again. Set against the tradition where men seek atonement by submitting themselves to ritualized firecracker attacks (as effigies of the deity Han Dan), this film not only reveals unique aspects of Taiwanese culture but its complex psyche as well. Featuring stunning cinematography and nuanced performances, Han Dan weaves universal themes into a novel, eye-opening moral tale.
The Scoundrels (狂徒) | North American Premiere
Monday, July 1, 6:00 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
Taiwan | 2018 | 104 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Hung Tzu-hsuan
Promising basketball star Rui lost it all when he beat up a spectator in a fit of rage. Now he barely gets by working shady part-time jobs. One night while trying to help an injured woman, he is hijacked and framed for robbery. Inextricably entwined with the real culprit, and haunted by a public that thinks he’s to blame, Rui falls into a downward spiral of crime, treachery, and violence. Known for his intricately choreographed short films, Hung Tzu-Hsuan makes his electrifying feature debut with this taut, action-packed thriller, marking him a talent to watch.
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Show (瘋狂電視台瘋電影) | North American Premiere
Thursday, July 4, 12:30 PM @ Film at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
Taiwan | 2019 | 103 Minutes | In Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Directors: Hsieh Nien-tsu
Mr. Lo, the unscrupulous owner of Crazy TV, sets out to lower the channel’s ratings so he can sell it to mobster Mr. David for cheap and count his losses. He promotes failing producer Yeh to program director, and fires the staff. Yeh, his best friend, an aspiring actress, and a team of interns create inventive DIY programs, from weird kiddie shows to offbeat celebrity homages. Surprisingly viewership grows, but Mr. Lo has something else up his sleeve. And then things get really crazy in this madcap farce, a glorious tribute to the spirit of creativity.
Someone in the Clouds (真愛神出來) | International Premiere
Saturday, July 13, 5:30 PM @ SVA Theater
* Q&A with Director Mitch Lin & Gary Tseng
Taiwan | 2018 | 100 Minutes | In Mandarin, Taiwanese w/ English subtitles
Directors: Mitch Lin and Gary Tseng
Hsiao-pei carries on her family’s fortune telling tradition, almost exclusively giving young women love advice. She also runs her college’s tarot club through which she meets the playfully cocky Chiung-nan, who uses the cards to ask her out. A hilariously rocky romance ensues, replete with a clumsy seduction, an unexpected fire and both figurative and literal ball busting. A host of characters around them add to the fray on their search for the meaning of true love in this hysterical upheaval of the romcom where things are not always as predictable as they may seem.
The special exhibition, "Collection from the Sun Ten Museum: A Homecoming Celebration" co-organized by the Taipei Cultural Center and the Sun Ten Museum in Los Angeles will be on view from May 24th to June 2nd. It brings together 24 pieces of artworks by Ishikawa Kinichiro (石川欽一郎), Chu Ming(朱銘), Chen Cheng-Po(陳澄波), Li Shih-Chiao(李石樵), Li Mei-Shu(李梅樹), Liao Chi-Chun(廖繼春), Hung Jui-Lin(洪瑞麟), Kuo Shue-Whu(郭雪湖), Lin Tzu-Chu(林之助), Lin Iu-San(林玉山), Chen Tsin(陳進), Li Tse-Fan(李澤藩), Yen Shui-Lung(顏水龍), Kuo Po-Chuan(郭柏川), Yang San-Lang(楊三郎), Yao Ching-Chang(姚慶章), Liao Shiou-Ping(廖修平), Chen Chao-Hung(陳昭宏) and Chen Tsin-Fang(陳錦芳), Chin Sung(秦松), Chang Wan-Chuan(張萬傳), Liu Chi-Hsian (劉啟祥), Ran In-Ting(藍蔭鼎) and Hsiao Ju-Sung(蕭如松).
The exhibition will feature selected works from the Sun Ten Museum of which collection is one of the finest comprehensive collections of works by Taiwanese artists in private hands. The Sun Ten Museum was founded by Dr. Hsu Hong-Yen's family after his death. Dr. Hsu Hong-Yen had been an active private collector since forty years ago. In his mind, the works in his collection belongs to all Taiwanese people. Hence, in order to fulfill his dream, the Sun Ten Museum signed a letter of intent for unconditional donation with the Ministry of Culture in September 2018. The promised gift, altogether over 600 works, is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan by the end of 2019. However, considering that most of them have never been seen, the Museum decides to have a major traveling exhibition from East Coast to West Coast, prior to its heading back home, Taiwan.
The exhibition will be accompanied by two special presentations on Taiwanese art and the Museum’s collection, given by Professor Hsiao Chong-Ray from the National Taiwan Cheng-Kung University, Department of History, and Director Chen Fai-Long of the Sun Ten Museum. The presentations are scheduled for the evenings of May 23rd and May 25th. There will also be viewing of documentary films featuring senior artists, such as Lin Iu-San, Chen Tsin, Chen Cheng-Po and Kuo Shue-Whu, during the weekends of May 25th and 26th and June 1st and 2nd, at the auditorium of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office-New York.
It has taken two generations of Dr. Hsu Hong-Yen’s family to build up a collection of artworks spanning a century. The vision and generosity of Dr. Hsu Hong-Yen’s family significantly enhances our ability to tell a more comprehensive art history of Taiwan. The remarkable donation certainly adds great strength to the research of art history and promoting art education. It will have a transformative impact on the Ministry of Culture’s initiated projects to reconstruct art history of Taiwanese
Following the reception, at 7pm Mr. Chong-Ray, Hsiao, Professor of Art History at National Cheng Kung University, and Mr. Fay-Long, Chen, Director of the Sun Ten Museum, will talk on the history and significance of the collection in TECO-NY’s auditorium.
May 25 & 26, June & 2, 2019, 10am-4pm
Four short documentary films featuring monumental artists Lin Iu-san (林玉山), Chen Tsin(陳進), Chen Cheng-po(陳澄波), and Kuo Shue-whu(郭雪湖) will be screened sequentially for 6 hours each date.
Checking in with Taiwanese Treasures
May 26, 2019, 12-5pm
Union Square North
May 25, 2019, 7pm-8pm
Taiwan Center New York (13744 Northern Blvd., Flushing, NY 11354)
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This exhibition is organized by Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Sun Ten Museum and co-Organized by Taiwan Center New York, North America Taiwanese Women's Association–New York and Living Well Club.
Blending old and new, everydayness and edginess, Chi-Wen Gallery renders another showstopper at this year’s Frieze New York! Three Taiwanese photography/video artists—Chieh-Chi Chang, Yuan Goang-Ming, and Su Misu—will be featured at the City’s most prominent art fair.
Both Chang and Yuan, each in their own way, address the issue of conflict and the spectre of a devastating war to win the opposite side over. Chang uses sound and photography to document the tension between North and South Korea, whereas Yuan uses video and drawing to capture similar hostility between Taiwan and China. Chang, a noted Magnum photographer, has extended his creative endeavors into video and sound in recent years. At the 2019 edition of Freize-New York, his work titled “Voice of DPRK: Broadcast by Ri Chun-hee, August 17, 2011, Pyongyang” will be presented. A sound installation, the work features the most notable North Korean TV news presenter Ri Chu-hee announcing the regime’s statement on peaceful reunification in her signature melodramatic style. As to Yuan, his video work “Everyday Maneuver” documents the annual Wan’an Air Raid Drill in Taiwan and captures the moment when the hustle and bustle of Taipei comes to a halt when the air raid sirens sound over the city. From its inception in 1978, the drill is mandatory for all Taiwanese to join. Today this ritual serves as a reminder that the threat of annexation still lurks across the strait. At the same time, this everydayness of warfare conjures a ghost city in modern-day Taiwan that becomes the perfect selfie backdrop for young people.
A Frieze-New York first timer, Taiwanese photographer and performance artist Su Misu will be introduced to art fair visitors through her staged photography works on topics of BDSM and LGBTQ+.
Coming from a medical background, Su’s interested in the “synthetic”, the “unnatural”, and other embodiments, using photography to discuss the struggle between the real and the illusory. Signature pieces from her recent projects “ihategoodbye” and “I am a fake, but my heart is true” will be on view at Frieze this year.
As a special presentation, a video production of London-based artist Victoria Sin’s performance “If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” at Chi-Wen Gallery in Taipei this past January, will also be presented during the art fair. The performance will be restaged at the opening week of the Venice Biennale May 8-12, 2019.
Frieze-New York is scheduled to take place in Randall’s Island Park May 2-5. For more info, please visit: https://frieze.com/fairs/frieze-new-york.
Taipei Culture Center in New York and PEN America proudly invite the renowned Taiwanese writer WU MING-YI (吳明益)to talk about his novel The Stolen Bicycle(單車失竊記), as part of 2019 PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL, from May 6 – May 12.
Co-organized with Albertine Books and presented with The Guardian, the MEDITATIONS ON WAR- A talk on three different writers’ novels shows how we endure the memories of war, how we reclaim what is left after war and how we rebuild ourselves in the wake of ignominious battlefield defeats. Wu Ming-Yi (The Stolen Bicycle, which was long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize 2018) , Sinan Antoon (The Book of Collateral Damage), and Laurent Gaudé (Hear Our Defeats) have all written fiction that explores the wreckage brought by wars of all kinds, in all countries, in stories that echo with urgent philosophical questions. Join them for a riveting discussion and experience how literature illuminates humanity’s ongoing struggle. .
Wu Ming-Yi, an author, artist, designer, photographer, literary professor, and environmental activist, is regarded as one of Taiwan’s most important contemporary writers. Since so much of the history recounted in The Stolen Bicycle is entangled with internecine violence and bloodshed across Southeast Asia, the true subject of Wu’s The Stolen Bicycle is war. Throughout the novel, there is hardly a character unaffected in some way by the horrors of war and thus forms a Taiwanese image of rich in conflict, reconciliation and determined pursuit of peace. Taiwan, an ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse society, enriches itself with many precious memories, tolerated but cherished by those survive now.
To extend the meditation, LITERARY QUEST: WESTBETH EDITION leads us to meet the fellow writers and readers at the Westbeth Gallery. Residents of New York City’s historic Westbeth Center for the Arts open their homes to Festival-goers for this perennial favorite festival event. The intimate, salon-style readings and discussions by Festival authors, including Felicity Castagna, Inês Pedrosa, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Pajtim Statovci, Najat El Hachmi, Wu Ming-Yi, and others will definitely provide you the uniquely immersive literary experience.
MEDITATIONS ON WAR
Date: 07 May 2019
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue: Albertine Book
Address: 972 5th Ave. New York, NY 10075
LITERARY QUEST: WESTBETH EDITION
Date: 09 May 2019
Time: 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Venue: Westbeth Artists Housing and Center for the Arts
Address: 55 Bethune St. New York, NY 10014
The award-winning documentarian Yang Li-chou returns to the U.S. with his new work FATHER to be presented at the first edition of CineCina Film Festival in New York and Taiwan Film Festival in Boston on April 14 and May 26 respectively. Making its international premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, this film also won the award in the features category of the Chinese Documentary Festival 2018.
A decade in the making, FATHER focuses on the life of Taiwanese puppet master Chen Hsi-huang and his strained relationship with his father Li Tian-lu, legendary puppeteer-actor who starred in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s THE PUPPETMASTER. Exhibiting both candor and vulnerability, this revealing documentary not only shows how Chen wrests his identity from his father but also reflects the history of Puppet Theater in Taiwan.
Yang Li-chou graduated from the Graduate Institute of Sound and Image Studies in Documentary of Tainan National University of the Arts. He has been an active documentary filmmaker and won countless awards ever since. He will be in attendance for a Q&A following the N.Y. screening of FATHER, the latest work which took him most time shooting in his career.
Screening Schedule and Film Description
Taiwan | 2017 | 99 Minutes | In Taiwanese and Mandarin w/ Chinese & English subtitles
Chen Hsi-huang is the eldest son of Li Tien-lu, the renowned Taiwanese glove puppeteer, but the father-son relationship had always been strained. In 2009, at the age of 79, Chen left the Li family and set up his own puppeteer troupe, which soon earned recognition all over the world. Nevertheless, as this traditional art declined rapidly, Chen found no one to pass on his great skills...
[New York—CineCina Film Festival] *Q&A with director Yang Li-chou
Sunday, April 14, 6:30 PM
SVA Theater (333 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011)
[Boston—Taiwan Film Festival 2019]
Sunday, May 26, 7:00 PM
Lecture Theatre, Building 26 - Room 100, MIT (60 Vassar St., Cambridge, MA 02139)