Haroshi “Still Pushing Despite the Odds” exhibition @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Revered for the particular way he wields recycled wood, Japanese craftsman Haroshi brings his talents stateside with his third solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City. Fans of Haroshi’s style will be particularly excited to hear that the artist is expanding on the motifs expressed in previous works; for Still Pushing Despite The OddsHaroshi focused on various found objects of the early and mid-20th century – neon signs, roller skates, toy horses, dental tools and more – iterating the objects in gloriously disparate ply colors to evoke the connection between plaything and person.

The artist achieves this by virtue of the material, as skateboards were the impetus for this train of thought. A neat take on our everyday toys, be sure to stop by Jonathan LeVine Gallery if in the New York area. Still Pushing Despite The Odds runs from February 19 through March 21.

Jonathan LeVine Gallery
557C W. 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
United States

Apple Store SoHo presents “Meet The Designer: Hiroshi Fujiwara”- event recap

Chinese buy Waldorf Astoria Hotel and other properties in NYC

Waldorf Astoria
Beyond Chinatown:

Last month, it was announced that Chinese insurance company Anbang Insurance Group (安邦保险集團 /安邦保險集團) purchased luxury hotel Waldorf Astoria New York  for a 1.95 billion USD, the largest ever paid for a hotel and the largest single-asset transaction in New York this year.  Did they seal the deal over WeChat?

The seller, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. will operate the hotel under its current name for the next 100 years.  The new owner plans a “major renovation to restore the property to its historic grandeur”.

The US government, who has accused the Chinese government of spying (and been accused themselves), has espionage concerns over the sale.  It’s not just that Anbang’s founder and chairman Wu Xiaohui (吴小辉  / 吴小辉) is Deng Xiaoping’s grandson and its directors include Xiaolu Chen (陈小鲁 / 陳小魯) whose father, Chen Yi (陈毅 / 陳毅), was one of the Ten Marshals of the People’s Liberation Army, former Mayor of Shanghai, and former Foreign Minister and Zhu Yunlai (朱云来 / 朱雲來), son of former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji (朱镕基 / 朱鎔基).  The Waldorf Astoria is the home of the US Ambassador to the United Nations and hosts leaders and diplomats from around the world.  Of course the Chinese know this.  Deng Xiaoping himself stayed and met with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the hotel in 1974.

The acquisition of the property is part of a trend of Chinese real estate investment in United States that sees Chinese nationals as the top foreign buyers of property in the United States by value:

According to the National Realtors Association (NAR) survey, the Chinese spent $22 billion on U.S. housing in the 12 months through March — 72 percent more than they spent the year before. Among foreign buyers, Canadians ranked highest in the share of transactions, at 19 percent, but the Chinese bought by far the most expensive homes, with a median price of over half a million dollars. That’s compared to the $213,000 spent by the average Canadian buyer of U.S. real estate, $141,000 spent by the average Mexican, and about $200,000 spent by the average American.

In 44 states, they are in the top 5 of all foreign buyers.  The boom in foreign real estate investment is due in part to growing wealth, government restrictions back home to tamp down corruption and property speculation, a desire to diversify investments, and a belief in the stability foreign investments.  According to The Wall Street Journal,

Real-estate agents typically divide buyers into four distinct groups: the super-wealthy buying properties upward of $15 million for personal use; those buying homes for a few million dollars, also for personal use; those purchasing investment properties, usually in the $1 million to $2 million range, to lease out; and those buying in bulk, as a commercial strategy.

A Chinese woman is reported to have bought a 6.5 million USD apartment in the shadow-casting ultra-luxury tower One57 for her two-year old daughter.

In New York City, high-profile properties in which Chinese have taken a significant stake include 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, the General Motors Building (home of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store), and Park Avenue Plaza.   Chinese developers, who have learned to manage large projects from experience at home, are involved with ground-up construction of properties such as a luxury condo buildings in Williamsburg at 429 Kent Avenue (with listings on China’s leading Chinese real estate site fang.com) and in Midtown Manhattan at 610 Lexington Avenue. The Greenland Group Co. will own a 70% part of the Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park), a controversial development project in Brooklyn that began with the Barclays Center.

Queens, where you may have noticed a lot of Chinese people live, has also seen significant Chinese real estate investment.

“Ai Wei Wei: The Seed”- A new multimedia spoken word performance mash-up at the Brooklyn Museum

Angry Asian Man:

If you’re in New York City, you’re invited to a new multimedia performance next week in Brooklyn… Ai Wei Wei: The Seed is a live music, video, dance and spoken word performance mash-up about the early roots of political artist Ai Wei Wei and his emergence as one of the world’s foremost artists and thinkers. 

The show goes up Thursday, July 24 at the Brooklyn Museum. The creative team behind the performance includes some of our friends, like Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (Creative Direction, Spoken Word, Video), Jessica Chen (Choreography), Jason Kao Hwang (Music), Adriel Luis (Spoken Word, Video, Music), and Kit Yan (Spoken Word).

Here are some more details about the performance:

 

Ai Wei Wei: The Seed

Thursday, July 24
7:00pm – 9:30 pm

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy
Brooklyn, New York 11238

AI WEI WEI: THE SEED is a live music, video, dance and spoken word performance mash-up about the early roots of political artist Ai Weiwei and his emergence as one of the world’s foremost artists and thinkers. The show tracks the artist’s life from his childhood in exile with his political poet father Ai Qing to his formative decade in NYC (1981-1993) as a street artist in Williamsburg and the East Village, where he also befriended poet Allen Ginsberg.

by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai (Creative Direction, Spoken Word, Video), Jessica Chen (Choreography), Jason Kao Hwang (Music), Adriel Luis (Spoken Word, Video, Music), and Kit Yan (Spoken Word)

Tickets $18 available via Museum Tix (http://bit.ly/TBZTLK) or Visitor Center. Free for Museum Members.

Doors 6:30 PM. Show 7:30 PM. AI WEI WEI: THE SEED will be performed in the Iris B. & Gerald Cantor Auditorium.

Ticket includes admission to AI WEI WEI: THE SEED performance, Ai Wei Wei exhibit, and all Art Off the Wall events throughout the museum including Asian American Oral History Collective workshop, Wildcat! dance performance, and a calligraphy workshop. 

For more information about the show, visit the Facebook event and the Brooklyn Museum website.

37TH ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (July 24 – August 2 in New York City)

Angry Asian Man:

New York film fans! Here’s what’s up. Mark your calendars, because the 37th Asian American International Film Festival, presented by Asian CineVision, will soon be upon us. AAIFF is the nation’s longest running festival of its kind and the premier showcase for the best in independent Asian and Asian American cinema. This year’s lineup includes a total of 18 features and 33 shorts, ranging over 21 countries and regions.

The festivities kick off on July 24 with the Opening Night Gala screening of the documentary Sold at Asia Society, and continues through August 2 at venues throughout New York City. Here’s a sampling of some of the festival’s spotlight presentations:

 

AAIFF’14 OPENING PRESENTATION:

SOLD

Jeffrey D. Brown | 95min | USA | English, Hindu w/ES
Asia Society | 7:00PM | Thursday July 24, 2014

Directed by Academy and Emmy award-winner, Jeffrey D. Brown and Executive Produced by two-time Academy Awards winner, Emma Thompson, SOLD follows Lakshmi (by the stunning Niyar Saikia), a thirteen-year-old girl who travels from rural Nepal to the “Happiness House,” a sordid brothel in Kolkata, India. There she bonds with the other residents with incredible optimism, tenacity and camaraderie that enable her to survive. Adapted from Patricia McCormick’s globally acclaimed book and based on true events, SOLD sheds light on the brutality of the global crime of child and sex trafficking and seeks to raise pertinent dialogues.

 

AAIFF’14 CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION:

TRANSIT

Feature | Hannah Espia | 93min | The Philippines | English, Hebrew w/ES, Tagalog w/ES
City Cinema Village East | 7:30PM | Sunday July 27, 2014

When Moises, a Filipino caregiver comes home to Tel Aviv for his son, Joshua’s fourth birthday, his world is turned upside down by the unnerving political news: the Israeli government is deporting children of all foreign workers. An earthy portrait of the displaced – refugees, immigrants and foreign workers, TRANSIT poses the problem of subject identity, home and national identity in question that is distinctively relevant to the globalization of the present world. TRANSIT was the Filipino entry for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

 

AAIFF’14 CLOSING NIGHT PRESENTATION:

HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS

Feature | Ham Tran | 90min | USA, Vietnam | English, Vietnamese w/ES
City Cinema Village East | 7:30PM | Saturday August 2, 2014

Anne is a flourishing New York-based fashion designer with a seemingly perfect love life. But she suspects that her fiancé Kiet, relocated to Vietnam for business, has a supermodel mistress. Now Anne has made her cunning plan to infiltrate the Vietnamese fashion industry, and battle for the truth. The uproariously comedic HOW TO FIGHT IN SIX INCH HEELS not only satiates the haute couture appetites, but is also spiced up with hearty moments of love and friendship. Vietnamese American director Ham Tran and writer/producer/star Kathy Uyen team up to create this vibrant box-office hit that demonstrates the best of Vietnam’s film industry today.

Looks like Asian CineVision has put together another really solid program. For further information, including tickets, venues and the full slate of screenings and events, visit the AAIFF website.

Link

China’s most pompous millionaire just threw a ridiculously fancy lunch for homeless New Yorkers

 

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers

RocketNews 24:

 

Multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao, the self-proclaimed “most influential person of China,” held a massive event in New York City on Wednesday during which he handed out $100 bills to 200 homeless people at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

He’s the man! He’s the man!” one man shouted, throwing his arm around Guangbiao and waving the three $100 bills in the air.

I wish and hope that you will put the money into good use,” Guangbiao said in remarks delivered through a translator.

I hope that you will use this money as seed money for whatever job training or job education you will receive so that you can help yourself,” he said.

Guangbiao, 46, then told the crowd that he would like to do this every year. They began to cheer and whistle.

Along with the cash, Guangbiao’s homeless guests were treated to a lunch of seared sesame-crusted tuna with an Asian slaw and steak with mashed potatoes and green beans by a white-gloved waitstaff.

 

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers2The meal Guangbiao had served for his guests.

They’re not feeding the press?” one of the many members of the media in attendance quipped beforehand.

Guangbiao began his New York City adventure Tuesday when he strolled through the streets of Tribeca with a photographer and reporter from the New York Postattempting to hand out $100 bills to passersby. That effort didn’t exactly go as planned as many of the New Yorkers Guangbiao tried to hand money to ignore his entreaties.

The lunch also didn’t go off without a hitch. According to the event’s invitation, the lunch was for 300 “poverty-stricken people.” But only 200 people from the New York City Rescue Mission were able to attend.

At least 100 other homeless community members were left outside the event.

 

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers3Homeless people waiting outside the lunch.

Duwell, one of the men who found himself barred from the luncheon, called the event “the worst fraud [he] has ever seen perpetrated against the homeless community.”

I am handicapped, and I have been waiting here for 10 and a half hours,” he said. “I have been chased by the police and treated with disrespect after we were promised a gourmet meal and $300. This is a publicity stunt.”

Another woman, Tammy, claimed she waited three hours and said she “was going to stay as long as [she] had to, to get her good meal.”

Tammy questioned the method used to invite people to the event.

Why would you send an invitation by email to homeless people? If I had a computer, I would have a home!

Tammy never made it inside.

An Anti-Chinese Communist Party group also gathered in protest outside the venue, repeating a chant of “Chinese Communist Party is evil! Chinese Communist Party is terrible!” throughout the day.

The Anti-CCP presence was not surprising, though, since CCP supporters clad in military fatigues turned out in huge numbers to volunteer for the event.

Despite the controversy, Guangbiao seemed to remain confident in his philanthropic efforts.

 

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers4Chinese Communist Party supporters outside the lunch.

I have helped millions of people and would like to encourage the press to interview the people who actually received help from me today — instead of listening to those people who might be jealous who might have a lot of negative things to say about what I have to offer,” Guangbiao said at the lunch.

The reason why folks were left out wasn’t exactly clear.

Guangbiao is a recycling magnate with a reported wealth of $740 million. He is infamously eccentric and, according to Reuters, “something of a celebrity in China.”

One of Guangbiao’s trademarks is singing the song “We Are The World.” He mentioned the song repeatedly during the lunch. He also performed some magic tricks for the crowd.

 

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers5Guangbiao’s DVD.

China's Most Pompous Millionaire Just Threw A Ridiculously Fancy Lunch For Homeless New Yorkers6Guangbiao performing magic.

On his business card, Guangbiao describes himself as the “Most Influential Person of China, Most Prominent Philanthropist of China, China Moral Leader, China Earthquake Rescue Hero, Most Well-known and Beloved Chinese Role Model, Most Charismatic Philanthropist of China,” among many other self-proclaimed accolades.

During the Central Park event, a DVD played in the background that constantly referred to Guangbiao as “the No. 1″ this and “the No. 1″ that in China. We eventually lost count.

Guangbiao is one of the 400 richest people in China. At the event, he explained his rationale for giving cash away.

Some people [say] that money is almost like human waste — you don’t come to this earth with it and you cannot carry it to your next life.”

 

Check out this link:

 China’s most pompous millionaire just threw a ridiculously fancy lunch for homeless New Yorkers

 

Link

New York City’s Barcade is all about the classic Japanese games

 

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RocketNews 24/Japan Culture NYC:

 

Nostalgic for Japanese video games from the late 1970s and ‘80s? Barcade, a combination bar and arcade, recently opened in Chelsea, Manhattan with about a dozen classics from Japanese game developers such as Taito, Nintendo, Namco, and Konami.

The games are still only a quarter (there are change machines on site), and the machines are in great condition. Marvel at the old-school graphics of Space Invaders, Galaga, Mappy, Crazy Climber, and Frogger.

 

▼ Space Invaders

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▼ Galaga

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▼ Mappy

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▼ Crazy Climber

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Box against Piston Hurricane in Nintendo’s Punch-Out, and test your strength in that game’s spin-off, Arm Wrestling, which was released only in North America in 1985.

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You won’t find Pac-Man, but Ms. Pac-Man is here. There’s generally a crowd of people around that console.

But who needs Pac-Man when there’s one of the most popular arcade games in the history of arcade games: Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong, with its barrel-throwing ape and barrrel-jumping carpenter, was one of the first video games to be a narrative. Rather than simply shooting at things, video game players could follow a storyline that was the precursor to the wildly popular Mario franchise.

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▼ Jumpman, the original Mario

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“Newer” Japanese games are Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989) and X-Men (1992).

 

There are a host of non-Japanese games as well; click here for a full list.

The best part of Barcade is that it’s a game room for adults. There are shelves between each machine on which patrons can rest their beers. It’s important to have both hands free while playing games, of course.

The original Barcade opened in Williamsburg in 2004 and has locations in Jersey City and Philadelphia. The Chelsea location is reportedly twice as large as the Barcade in Brooklyn, with 24 American beers and tap and pub food on the menu.

Barcade’s next location will be on St. Mark’s, in the space formerly occupied by Mondo Kim’s.

 

Check out this link:

New York City’s Barcade is all about the classic Japanese games