Events at the Wang Center
There are no more events for this semester.
Please check back later for upcoming Fall 2023 events.
Past Spring 2023 Programs
Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Tangyuan (Teaching Kitchen with SBU Chef)
Friday, February 3, 2023 at 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Teaching Kitchen is an in-person culinary event for students. Rooted Fare will share a family recipe that the FSA chef will teach participants how to make. In this event, attendees will learn how to make tangyuan (sweet glutinous rice balls with black sesame filling), a signature dessert served at the Lunar New Year.
Lecture & Tasting
Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Black Sesame Butter
Presented by Rooted Fare
Friday, February 3, 2023 at 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in China and is celebrated over the course of 16 days. The last day of festivities is known as the Lantern Festival (Yuan xiao jie), which marks the first full moon of the new year. It's the final day to celebrate, so people light lanterns and firecrackers, lion dance, and eat tangyuan, a round glutinous rice ball usually filled with a sweet filling like black sesame paste. Tangyuan is an special staple of the Lunar New Year since it symbolizes togetherness, reunion, and fortune.
Second-generation Chinese Americans Ashley Xie and Hedy Yu are the co-founders of Rooted Fare, a company that sells black sesame butter, a Chinese pantry staple inspired by their favorite dessert, sweet tangyuan. They will talk about their Chinese heritage, culinary culture, and how a new generation of Chinese Americans maintains and enlivens their culture in America.
This special program will also offer a tasting session with black sesame paste to hopefully bring good fortune this year!
Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come
Friday, March 3, 2022 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Evoking mythography and ancestry, Let the Crows Come focuses on the symbolism of crows as messengers for the living and guides for the departed. This 60-minute performance explores how memory and homeland channel guidance and dislocation. Featuring Ramaswamy (Bharatanatyam technique), Alanna Morris (Afro-Modern technique), and Berit Ahlgren (Gaga technique), a dance is deconstructed and recontextualized to recall a shared memory remembered differently from person to person.
The Curious Case of the Camel in Modern Japan: [De]Colonialism, Orientalism, and Imagining Asia
By Ayelet Zohar
Monday, March 20, 2023 at 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Ayelet Zohar will discuss the camel in Japanese art and visual culture, from early depictions in the Nara period to Edo era, until the first living pair arrived in Japan in 1821. The arrival of the giraffes created a boom of hundreds of misemono roadshows, as well as numerous images in paintings and prints. However, the most intriguing examples come from the 20th century, after Japan became a leading power in Asia. Camels became trophies, living symbols of Japan's military success on the mainland. They were displayed prominently in scientific zoological gardens, served as beasts of burden in tourist venues, and recruited by the Japanese military to carry its arsenal and supplies. Zohar then moves to discuss images of camels in the postwar period, where they were transformed into Buddhist messengers of peace and harmony, crossing the deserts of Central Asia in yet another imaginary projection of Japan's relations with Asia. The camel—whether as a mythical beast, a wartime trophy, or a beast of burden—is an ever shifting icon of attitudes toward Asia in the Japanese imagination.
About the Presenter
Ayelet Zohar is an independent curator, artist, and researcher of Asian art, specializing in Japanese visual culture, photography, and postcolonial theory. Currently, she is the head of the Program in Museology and Curatorial Studies at Tel-Aviv University. She has curated several exhibitions, and she is the author of The Curious Case of the Camel in Modern Japan (De)Colonialism, Orientalism, and Imagining Asia (Brill, 2022), The Visual Culture of Meiji Japan: Negotiating the Transition to Modernity (Routledge Research in Art History, 2021), and Postgender: Gender, Sexuality and Performativity in Japanese Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2009).
Listening to Bamboo
By Rob Coffland
Friday, March 24, 2023 at 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Rob Coffland traces the development of Japanese bamboo art from a folk craft to a sculptural art form. The abundance of bamboo in Japan naturally led to its widespread usage in everything, including building materials, fences, fish traps, musical instruments, weapons, boxes, and baskets. When Japan was closed to trade during the Edo Period, the import of goods from China—including bamboo baskets—was drastically restricted. This gave rise to the domestic fabrication of high-quality copies. As Japan began reopening in the middle of the 19th century, Hayakawa Shokosai I began to incorporate his own ideas into these Chinese-style baskets, eventually signing his baskets and declaring himself an artist. Others followed his lead, sparking a rapid evolution that continues to this day. There are fewer than 100 bamboo artists in Japan today. Despite this, contemporary bamboo art remains an exciting and vibrant art form.
About the Presenter
Rob T. Coffland is one of the world’s leading experts on Japanese bamboo. He is the author of Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Arts, The Bamboo Basket Art of Higashi Takesonsai, and Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Bamboo Art, and he is a contributor to numerous other books and publications on the subject. Coffland has curated exhibitions at museums and public spaces around the United States. He has lectured at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as well as at museums in Japan and Mexico. Coffland founded TAI Gallery, which aims to showcase contemporary Japanese art to the American public. He was the chair of the New Mexico Arts Commission for two terms and is currently on the Spanish Colonial Arts Society board.
Friday, March 31, 2023 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(2015 | 90 minutes | Animation | Directed by Keiichi Hara)
Miss Hokusai is a movie based on the Japanese manga series of the same name by Hinako Sugiura. It tells the story of O-Ei Katsushika, an artist who worked in the shadow of her father, the revered painter Hokusai. The film is filled with yōkai, spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her demanding father and her blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this sumptuously animated coming-of-age tale.
Weaving Workshop: Woven Coasters
By Heechan Kim
Please note the date change:
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 and
Thursday, April 13, 2023
at 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Join us to learn the basics of weaving! In conjunction with the Wang Center’s current exhibition featuring Japanese baskets, the artist Heechan Kim will offer a hands-on weaving workshop for beginners. You’ll weave a flat reed coaster using simple tools and naturally grown materials that will be right at home with your most modern decor. By the end of class, you’ll have completed a five-inch coaster in a timeless design that’s perfect for holding a small object or a drink. No basket-weaving experience is necessary and all materials and equipment will be provided.
About the Presenter
Heechan Kim applies traditional craft techniques in new contexts to reimagine and explore outcomes, and he enjoys challenging art’s visual potential. Kim is currently a resident artist at Monira Foundation in New Jersey and is an adjunct faculty member at Parsons School of Design and the City College of New York. He received an MFA in woodworking and furniture design from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA in metal arts and jewelry from Seoul National University.
The Art of Bonsai
By Robert Mahler
Friday, April 14, 2023 at 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Bonsai is the ancient Japanese art of growing and cultivating miniature trees in pots. It is a subtle and elegant form that helps connect us to nature. Learn the artistic, philosophical, horticultural, and technical techniques to design, plant, and maintain your own bonsai.
Robert Mahler will lead a hands-on workshop where participants will be able to shape their own bonsai tree and learn about how to prune, shape, maintain, and re-pot bonsai trees.
Co-presented by the Long Island Bonsai Society
About the presenter
Robert Mahler is the president of the Pennsylvania Bonsai Society, and oversees the bonsai exhibit at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Philadelphia Flower Show. He discovered his passion for bonsai early in life and apprenticed under the exclusive direction of world-renowned bonsai artist Susumo Sudo. He served as the curator of bonsai at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, New York (1994-2005) and currently runs Kifu Bonsai and continues to consult for horticultural institutions.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko
Friday, April 14, 2023 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(2022 | 96 minutes | Animation | Directed by Ayumu Watanabe)
Brash single mother Nikuko is well-known for her bold spirit, much to the embarrassment of Kikuko, her pensive yet imaginative daughter. In contrast to her mother, Kikuko wants nothing more than to fit in as she navigates the everyday social dramas of middle school. Life in their harbor town is peaceful until a shocking revelation from the past threatens to uproot the pair’s tender relationship.
The Deer King
Friday, April 21, 2023 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(2022 | 113 minutes | Animation | Directed by Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji)
In the aftermath of a brutal war, a former soldier named Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. His solitary existence is upended, however, when a pack of wild dogs carrying a mysterious and fatal disease attacks the mine, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.
Weathering with You
Friday, April 28, 2023 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(2002 | 111 minutes | Animation | Directed by Makoto Shinkai)
During the summer of his high-school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy, almost as if predicting a bleak future. He lives his days in isolation, but he eventually finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then, one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky...
Playing with Cable Ties
By Sui Park
Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
In conjunction with the Wang Center’s current exhibition featuring Japanese baskets, the New York–based artist Sui Park introduces her signature sculptures made of cable ties and demonstrates various ways of making art out of such everyday materials. Participants will have a chance to explore and create their own artwork to take home when finished. The workshop will provide cable ties in various colors that participants can weave and craft in multiple ways.
About the Presenter
Sui Park is a Korean American artist based in New York. Her work involves creating three-dimensional flexible forms in a comfortable ambiance that is dynamic yet illusionary. These organic forms are often made with mass-produced industrial materials, particularly cable ties.
ADG7: Korean Shamanic Folk-Pop
Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Ak Dan Gwang Chil (ADG7) presents a rich repertoire rooted in sacred, shamanic ritual music (gut) and beloved folk songs (minyo) of Hwanghae Province, South Korea, with a dash of modern K-pop stylings. The band’s charismatic and fashionably dressed trio of folk singers are backed by master musicians playing traditional Korean instruments.
About the Performers
ADG7 was organized in 2015, the year Korea commemorated its 70th anniversary of national liberation. By reconnecting with shared Korean cultural roots, ADG7 expresses this ideal of liberation and the desire for unification. The group's recognitions include Best Group at the 2018 KBS Korean Traditional Music Awards and the Sori Frontier Award at the 2017 Jeongju International Sori Festival, plus recent performances at World Music Expo 2019 and globalFEST 2020 and members on the Mid-Atlantic Tours' artist roster in 2021–2022.
Band Members: Kim Yak Dae (Daeguem), Lee Man Wol (Piri & Saenghwang), Donghoon Kim (Ajaeng), Won Meondongmaru (Gayaguem), Chun Gung Dal (Percussion), Sunwoo Barabarabarabam (Percussion), Hong Ok (Singer), Myeong Wol (Singer), and Yoo Wol (Singer).
Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival
Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Rain or Shine)
Charles B. Wang Center
Admission includes all film viewings, workshops, and theater presentations.
Welcome spring to Long Island with the blooming of sakura (cherry blossoms), the sounds of taiko drums, and a wondrous array of Japanese cultural exhibits at the Wang Center! The Wang Center will provide many exciting activities, including Koto plays, Japanese traditional dances, martial arts demonstrations, calligraphy workshops, ikebana flower arrangement, tea workshops, manga drawing, origami paper folding, kimono dress-ups, and cosplay (costumed role-play of a Japanese manga character) for all ages. Please join us in your favorite manga character costume.
This festival is co-produced by the Japan Center at Stony Brook University and the Ryu Shu Kan Japanese Arts Center.