The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College presents “Stitching Rupture: Works by Chau Huynh and Trung Pham” April 3 – May 4, 2017 with an artist reception on Wed. April 5 from 5 – 7pm. Chau Huynh’s quilted works are both literal and figurative letters to what she left behind in Vietnam. Trung Pham’s abstract oil paintings convey a sense of breaking open, of bursting, perhaps as transformation or perhaps as rupture. Regular hours are 9:30am – 3:30pm from M. – F. Evening hours on Tues. & Wed. as well from 5 – 7pm. Free and open to the public. Located at the north end of Seattle Central’s cafeteria in the main campus building on Broadway & Pine. 206-934-4379 or visit www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery.
Fay Chong and Yoko Ono have work in the new group show entitled “All American – Three Generations of Printmaking by American Immigrant Artists” on view April 6 – 29, 2017. Upcoming shows include the following – Artemio Rodriguez Kriangkrai Kongkhanun in May, Contemporary Japanese Art in June, Lee Chul Soo in July and Reduction Woodcuts in August. Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Go to www.davidsongalleries.com.
The work of local artist/writer Leena Joshi is featured during April in the Prophet/Profit TV Series in the window space of 4 Culture. Her writing and art practice explore relationships between the changing self and its environment. 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. 206-296-7580.
The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Pioneer Square is hosting the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington’s traveling exhibition “Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” through May 5, 2017. The show explores the role the Japanese Language School Building played in the resettlement of Seattle residents o Japanese ancestry who were forcibly removed from Seattle on May 1, 1942 and incarcerated for the duration of World War II. 319 2nd Ave. S. 206-220-4240.
“Kanu Kaho’olawe: Replanting, Rebirth” is a documentation on the reclamation of Native land on Kaho’olawe Island, Hawai’i by Jan Becket and Carl Pao offering an artistic mixture of ecology, politics and cultural traditions with the use of photography and mixed-media. On view through May 7, 2017 at the Burke Museum on the Seattle UW campus at 17th Ave. NE & NE 45th St. 206-543-5590 or visit washington.edu/burkemuseum.
“In Ferment” is the title of a Kim Chi Workshop with Hardar Iron, a local ceramic artist and fermenter. The $85 workshop includes organic ingredients and information on the origin, history and culture of fermentation, the benefits of probiotics in the diet and the craft of preparing fermented foods. Ceramic vessels made by the artist are available for sale. Buy workshop tickets at inferment.co or at Kobo locations by April 19, 2017. Ann Chikahisa Jewelry Studio Showcase takes place on Sat. May 6 and Sun., May 14. Puget Sound Sumi Artists Group Show “Ink Studies on Basho’s Pond” opens May 13 from 12pm – 4pm and remains on view through June 10, 2017. All the above activities take place at KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson. 206-381-3000 or [email protected] There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
The Cornish College of the Arts annual Visual Arts 2017 BFA Exhibition is on view April 29 – May 14, 2017. Open Wed. –n Sun. from 1 – 6pm. 1000 Lenora St. or go to [email protected]
The work of photographer Frank Asakichi Kunishige and painter Yasushi Tanaka is included in the group show entitled “Botanical Exuberance: Trees & Flowers in Northwest Art” at Cascadia Art Museum. Opens April 6 and remains on view through June 25, 2017. 190 Sunset Ave. in Edmonds, WA. 425-336-4809.
Noted Seattle artist/educator Romson Regarde Bustillo joins dancer/choreographer Etienne Cakpo as part of the “Migrations Series Talks” centered around the current Jacob Lawrence exhibition at Seattle Art Museum downtown. They will share their stories on immigration, migration, displacement and community. Thursday, April 6 at SAM on the Third Floor Galleries at 6:30pm. 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3100. In related news, Bustillo has a show of new work inspired by a recent residency in Mexico. He utilizes the techniques of printmaking, mixed media and spacecoding in his work, many of which are monoprints pulled from diverse surfaces. Opening on April 2 from 2 – 4pm. Artist’s talk on April 9 from 5 – 7pm. Tacoma Art Walk on April 20 from 6-9pm. Regular gallery hours are on Saturdays from 12 – 5pm or by appointment. At Feast Arts Center in Tacoma. 1402 South 11th St. 303-601-5040 or go to www.feastarts.com.
Red Scarf Revolution presents “Scars & Stripes”, a group exhibition on view through April 20, 2017. This show explores the impact of war, genocide, resettlement, and deportation of Cambodian Americans today (featuring photos & text from “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin” currently on view at Wing Luke Asian Museum). Spaceworks Gallery. 950 Pacific ave. (entrance on 11th St.). 253-682-1722 or go to https://spaceworkstacoma.com.
“Filled With Grace – Japanese Americans in the South Sound” is a new exhibit that covers the history of early Japanese Americans in the South Sound prior to World War II. Presented in partnership with Asia Pacific Cultural Center. The exhibit runs through May 21, 2017 at Washington State Historical Society at 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma. 1-888-238-4373.
Lauren Iida’s debut solo exhibition entitled “How to Trap a Memory” uses intricate cut paper cutaway works to create an intimate portrait of metaphorical objects traversing a decade living between the U.S. and Cambodia. Her new work illustrates how stories and memories accumulate in the corners of our mind and ultimately become a structure we carry with us. Memories become both a burden and a safe place of refuge, forming our history and identity. Through April 29, 2017. Opening reception on First Thursday on April 6 from 5 – 8pm. An artist-led tour of the show takes place also on April 6 at 4pm. Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me and I will be there on First Thursdays on April 6 and May 4 from 5 – 8pm) has a show in the North Gallery through May 27, 2017 entitled “Farmer’s Market/Harvesting Peaches From The Other Planet.” I will do a gallery talk on Friday, April 14 at 6:30pm. On Friday, May 5 at 6:30pm, esteemed local composer/musician Stuart Dempster will improvise with his favorite paintings and collaborate with Lau who will read some poetry. All events are free and open to the public. Artxchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-839-0377 or [email protected]
Local sculptor June Sekiguchi is a recipient of a 2016 4Culture grant and a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship. She will travel to Southeast Asia and Morocco. She and Leslie Wu also have work in a group show of Puget Sound artists entitled Revering Nature at Bainbridge Island Museum Of Art at 550 Winslow Way. 206-842-4451 or go to biartmuseum.org. For details on all this, go to www.junesekiguchi.com.
In December of last year, a painting depicting Gordon Hirabayashi’s legacy by Roger Shimomura was installed at Hirabayashi Place. The piece faces the front lobby window and will greet visitors as they enter explaining his life and legacy.442 South Main St. in downtown Seattle.
“Fiber Fusion” is a group show of sculptural fiber works by members of Surface Design Association of Washington which will include workshops taught by the artists. Through April 15. Schack Art Center at 2921 Hoyt Ave. in Everett. 425-259-5050 or go to schack.org.
“March of the Kaiju” features Kaiju art or the Japanese monster genre with the likes of Mothra and Godzilla. In a variety of media including prints and sculpture. Through April 18. Push/Pull Gallery at 5484 Shilshole Ave. NW. 206-384-3124 or try facebook.com/pushpullseattle.
Stacya Silverman Gallery presents “Portraits from Prewar Japan”, a collection of prints made from found glass dry plate negatives featuring everyday life in the 1920s and 30s chosen and printed by artist Ron Reeder and master printer Tyler Boley. Also includes some photos by Reeder. Now through April 15, 2017. 614 West McGraw on Queen Anne Hill. 206-270-9645 or try www.stacyasilverman.com.
Pacific Galleries Auction House hold their “Asian Collection Auction” April 8. 241 South Lander St. or go to pacgal.com for details.
The Henry Art Gallery located on the campus of the University of Washington joins MOTHRA and Chris E. Vargas in presenting the group show “TRANS HISTORY in 99 Objects” through June 4, 2017. This show gathers archival materials and works by contemporary artists that narrate an expansive and critical history of transgender communities. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to henryart.org for details.
The PCNW 21st Juried Exhibition of photography as juried by Sandra Phillips former curator at SFMOMA is an annual group show of local photographers. On view through June 11. Photographic Center Northwest at 900 – 12th Ave. 206-720-7222 or go to pcnw.org.
“Lingering Presence” is a new series of portrait paintings by Kathy Liao on view May 4 – July 1. Liao’s portraits go deep into the soul with vibrant color and disturbing truths about the human condition. This series catches anonymous poses of people in transit, starring at cellphones or facebook pages and catches her grandmother behind the curtain of her memory loss. Opening reception on May 4 from 6 – 8pm. Prographica Gallery at 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-999-0849 or go to prographicadrawings.com.
From May 4 – 27, Lisa Kinoshita and Susan Surface (S. Surface) explore ideas related to their Japanese American identities, inheritance, freedom and the American West. SOIL Art Collective at 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
Seattle artist Paul Komada is a multi-media artist whose latest work features paintings layered with chroma-key technology and audio pieces which “preemptively memorialize” the Alaskan Way Viaduct before it meets the wrecking ball. A profile of him is in the April 2017, 2017 issue of CityArts. He also has work in April at the Napolean Gallery in Philadelphia. The local show entitled “Monument in Memory: Abstract Alaskan Way” is up from June 1 – 29 at Gallery 4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. 206-296-7580 or go to 4culture.org. Open M – F.
“Re-examining Identity Through Art in the Modern World” is a community forum hosted by artist Qin Tan + The Culture Shock Collective. On Sat. April 29 from 4 – 7pm. This event is free and refreshments will be served. At Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. Also local Asian American artists are encouraged to apply for shows in their exhibition space. 4851 South Tacoma Way. 253-226-2742
The work of local jewelry artist Ron Ho has been recognized by the Northwest Designer Craftsmen and he has been deemed a “living cultural treasure.” A documentary film on his life and career is in the works. The organization was founded in 1954 (Maya Lin’s father than teaching at UW was one of the original members) to promote the excellence of design in the Northwest. Congratulations, Ron!
Seattle artist Junko Yamamoto’s delicious color-popping abstract paintings are in a solo show of new work at Taste at SAM next to the Seattle Art Museum downtown May 10 – August 6, 2017. 1300 First Ave. 206-903-5291 or go to tasteart.com.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Out in the Open” is the new YouthCAN group exhibition opening April 6 from 5 – 6pm. From street writing to installations, students explored their neighborhoods and looked at ways art is able to influence the places you live. On view through June at the Frank Fujii Youth Gallery. “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity.Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon. Opening Thursday, May 11 from 6 – 8pm. “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show up until February 11, 2018. “We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change” explores how indigenous communities are responding to the ways climate change is affecting waters and lives. Through Nov. 12, 2017.“Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” is a new group exhibition on textiles and how they move through history and myth, commodity culture and art, linking women’s hands and machines to Asian American identities.” It features the work of Surabhi Ghosh, Stephanie Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books” is a recent show to open at the museum. “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? opened on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. Toddler Story Time for Thursday, April 6 looks at a book about baseball and the early Seattle Rainiers. May 4 is about the kid’s book, “Mr. Wani.” June 1 features “Morning With Grandpa”. All story time’s start at 11am.“Feminism and War in the Asian Pacific” is a panel discussion with feminist activists such As Christine Ahn, Don Mee Choi and Cindy Domingo. Moderated by Soya Jung. Thursday, April 6 from 6 – 8pm. Free. Sunday, April 30 at 2pm is a panel discussion on “Executive Order 9066”, the Wing’s groundbreaking exhibition on Japanese American internment held 25 years ago. Panelists talk about the exhibition and its relevance in light of today’s Muslim American experience. May 6 from 10:30 am – 12:30pm is “Member Appreciation Day.” Members are invited to a free tour of the Seattle Immigration and Naturalization Service Building with audio guide by artist Morgan Dusatko and a talk with Annie Polland from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Reception with food and refreshments. Email [email protected] for questions. May 20th’s “Family Fun Day” on Sat. from 10 am – 5pm brings free admission with face painting, story time and art workshops for the entire family. On Tuesday, May 23 at 2pm, the Wing and the US Citizenship Field Office host a special ceremony where the public is invited to witness the swearing in of new U.S. citizens. Free although seating priority to the families of those being sworn in. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. Starting in 2017, The Wing offers four seasons of food tours where participants not only get a taste of a variety of food but also hear about the people and the stories behind the food. “The Rice Stuff” tours are on April 21, 28/May 5, 12, 26/June 2, 9, 16 & 23.To book a tour, go to wingluke.org/tours quickly as spots fill up fast. In other news, two week-long sessions of day camps for kids aged 6 – 12 will be offered. August 7 – 11 is “Playtime: Games and Toys from Around the World” and August 14 – 19 will be a storytelling session with world-renowned storytelling duo Eth-No-Tec. To sign up, go to wingluke.org/summercamp. If you have questions you can email [email protected] or call 206-623-5124×116. More activities for teens include these – “Second Life” explores sustainability through art by working with trash and making treasured art pieces. For ages 10 – 14. Register online at wingluke.org/teensway by April 22, 2017. “Finding Voices: Art Portfolios and More” is for teens ages 15 – 19. Learn how to create and polish up your art portfolios. Contact [email protected] for an application by July 2, 2017. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
Steven Young Lee and Zemer Peled have work in a group show of ceramic sculptures entitled “Form Over Function” through April 18, 2017. Winston Wachter Gallery at 203 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle. Opening March 4 at from 4 -7pm. [email protected]
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected] Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
Artist Yuka Petz leads a group in “Creating Tunnel Books” at Seattle Art Museum. A tunnel book or peephole book is an artist book form that opens to reveal a multilayered world. Ages 14 and up. Ticket includes materials. $75 general and $65 for Sam members. Sun., April 23 and 30 from 11am – 3pm.
Later this year will see a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens June 30 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. The exhibit comes from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. where it will be exhibited Feb. 23 – May 14, 2017. Other dates for this touring exhibit TBA. Seattle Art Museum downtown at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3100.
Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.
The exclusive West Coast premiere of “Terrcotta Warriors of the First Emperor” comes to Pacific Science Center April 8 – Sept. 4, 2017. This one-of-a-kind exhibition is a joint project between PSC and The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It is limited to a two-city tour. These warriors tell the story of the First Emperor of China and the literal formation of the China that we know today. Also “Mysteries of China” is a new IMAX documentary film that tells the story of the warriors and how they were accidentally discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974 in Xian. This film opens on March 10, 2017. 200 Second Ave. at Seattle Center. 206-443-2001.
Jarod Lew, Thu Nguyen and Tim Okamura all have work in the group show “The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today” from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. It showcases finalists from the Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and is on view through May 14, 2017. “In Search of the Lost History of Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroads” is the title of a new exhibition by UW Professor and internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin who looks at the thousands of Chinese men who came to California to work on the railroads and mine for gold. He travelled extensively to historic sites and painted at these locations to evoke the contributions of Chinese to the history of the American west. This multi-media work on view from June 27 – Feb. 4, 2018. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected]
Seattle installation artist/performance artist Etsuko Ichikawa keeps busy. “Jomon Vitrified” is a new project in progress. It looks at the radioactive decay of uranium glass. The project combines the artist’s love for Jomon pottery (she traveled all around Japan viewing Jomon sites and museum collections) with her concerns over nuclear disaster both in Japan and the U.S. This project supported by a 4 Culture Art Projects Grant. A newly commissioned Glass Pyrograph has been installed at the Alexandria at Torrey Pines, a multi-purpose facility in San Diego. The project was supported by Gensler and Fresh Paint Art Advisors. In collaboration with Washington State Arts Commission, Ichikawa is completing a permanent interior installation for Pullman High School in Pullman, WA. The work incorporates the natural elements of the local landscape. “Traces of the Molten State”, a large glass pyrography has been re-installed back in the foyer of the Bellevue Arts Museum.
“Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II” tells the story of Japanese Americans who worked as seasonal farm laborers during WW II. Includes interpretive text panels and a short documentary film. On view through May 25, 2017 at Lane County Historical Museum at 740 W. 13th Ave. in Eugene, Oregon. 541-682-4242 or go to www.lchm.org.
Now on view through July 16, 2017 is “Yellow Terror: The Collections and Paintings of Roger Shimomura” which includes not only his artwork but his collections of memorabilia and objects depicting racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans accumulated during the last 20 years. Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center at 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
Portland Japanese Garden collaborates with architect Kengo Kuma on the launch of a major expansion opening April 2, 2017. The Cultural Village expansion provides additional space and will enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture. Three new Japanese gardens will be added as part of this. The garden will host three major art exhibitions this year with related lectures, demonstrations and activities. “Hosokawa Morihiro: The Art of Life, A Rebirth in Clay” is a celebration of tea culture and opens in the spring. “KABUKI: A Revolution in Color and Design” looks at Japan’s most flamboyant performance art through elaborate kimonos and opens in summer. “Mirrors of the Mind: The Noh Masks of Otsuki Koukun” is a display of hand-carved masks by a master artisan and elegant brocade costumes from the traditional silk looms of Orinasu-kan in Kyoto. Also in development is the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts & culture which will offer classes in traditional garden arts such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. This opens to the public in 2018. For more information, go to japanesegarden.com.
Tokyo-based artist Ken Matsubara is in a group show entitled “Convergence: Digital Media And Technology” from April 5 – May 27, 2017. The Schneider Museum of Art on the Southern Oregon University campus on the corner of Indiana St. & Siskiyou Blvd. M – F from 10am – 4pm. 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. 541-552-6245 or go to sma.sou.edu.
On view through May 17, 2017 is “Kitsuke: The Art of Wearing Kimono” with a demonstration set for April 8 at 2pm. The display explores the art and craftsmanship of this Japanese garment. World Beat Gallery in the Reed Opera House at 189 Liberty St. S.E. on the second floor. Salem, Oregon. 503-581-2004 or go to www.salemmulticultural.org.
The UBC Museum of Anthropology presents “Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth across Cultures” showcasing more than 130 handmade textiles from around the world, drawn from the museum’s collection. On view through April 9, 2017. Opening May 11, 2017 and on view until Oct. 9, 2017 is “Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia”, a survey of writing throughout Asia over a span of different time periods. Curated by Fuyubi Nakamura. 6393 NW Marine Dr. in Vancouver BC. 604-822-5087 or moa.ubc.ca.
Canadian multi-media artist Paul Wong and 2016 Audain Prize winner presents a new work entitled “Five Octave Range” designed specifically for the 2017 Vancouver Opera Festival. It will be unveiled as the opening event on April 27, 2017 at the Festival Tent on Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza in Vancouver B.C. 604-683-0222.
“Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver” runs from March 4 – May 28, 2017. Twenty years ago when the transfer of Hong Kong sovereignty from the United Kingdom to mainland China occurred, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada, many choosing to settle in Vancouver, and among them a significant number of artists. This show looks at those artist who stayed and continue their art making in this city. “Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy” is a solo exhibition on view through May 28, 2017. Tsui considers wuxia as a narrative tool for dissidence and resistance. It is a traditional form of martial arts literature that expanded into 20th century popular film ad television creative out of narratives and characters from lower social classes that uphold chivalric ideals against oppressive forces during unstable times. Tsui’s scroll-like video installation sets the narrative in Kowloon’s walled city, an ungoverned tenement of disenfranchised refugees in Hong Kong demolished in 1994. In the gallery’s “Offsite” series of public installations, Vancouver artist Khan Lee’s “Red, Green and Blue” is a sculptural installation that used filtered light to animate nature. Drawing on broad references of horizon lines and landscape art, Lee enables passers-by to visualize the wind. This series is funded by the city of Vancouver and is on view through April 17, 2017 at 1100 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
“Rock, Paper, Scissors” is a multi-media installation comprised of radio drama, video, animation and sculpture by Cindy Mochizuki. This 60 minute installation of a trilogy of short stories bridges a connection between Canada and Japan via Japanese migration and the natural resources of coal, lumber and iron. Through April 30, 2017. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre at 6688 South Oak Crescent in Burnaby, BC Canada. 1-604-777-7000.
Jacob Hashimoto is known for his massive installations using tiny bamboo kites strung with fishing wire. He has five site-specific installations (public and private commissions) around Los Angeles. His latest sculpture will be part of the Metro Transport Authority Building set to open in 2020. “Another Cautionary Tale Comes To Mind (but immediately vanishes)” is his latest show through March 7 at Mixografia Gallery at 1419 E. Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles. 323-232-1158 or go to www.mixografia.com for details. Sourced from the L.A. Times. Locally you can see his piece “Altadena”, a nod to his then home sky where he created this work (2002-2004) in Tacoma Art Museum’s café. His most recent work here is in the Penrose Library at Whitman College in Walla Walla completed in 2016.
Grace Kook-Anderson, a Northwest native who last served as curator of contemporary art at Laguna Art Museum in Southern California was appointed as Portland Art Museum’s third curator of Northwest Art as of January 9, 2017.
The first Honolulu Biennial looks at Hawai’i not as a remote outpost but more like the crossroads of the Pacific Rim showcasing arts of the whole region. Opens March 8, 2017 and on view until May 8, 2017 at various venues. To get the whole schedule, go to honolulubiennial.org.
The Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90’s” gives you a look at 70 works by avant-garde designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Kansai Yamamoto and Yohji Yamamoto. On view now through May 28, 2017. 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver. 720-865-5000.
The Silicon Valley Asian Art Center presents “Da Feng Tang, A Studio with Great Tradition: Collection from Chang Dai-Chien Family” from Feb. 18 – March 8. 2017. 3777 Stevens Creek #400 in Santa Clara, California. 408-248-2698 or go to www.artshu.com.
Craft in America Center in Los Angeles has the following – Upcoming May 20 – July 1, 2017 is “Kazuki Takizawa: Catharsis Contained.” This LA-based artist puts human emotions in the shimmering, fragile form of glass. Of his work, he says “The harmonization of the radically different, such as violence and meditation, spontaneity and meticulousness, and destruction and repair is found in the process, as well as the result of my work.” Craft in America Center is at 1120 South Robertson Blvd. #301 in Los Angels. Go to 310-659-9022 or [email protected]
The San Diego Museum of Art has a new exhibition opening April 7 and running through August 13, 2017 that showcases the work of important Japanese artists from the museum collection for the first time. “Modern Japan: Prints from the Taisho Era (1912 – 26) and Beyond” highlights Shinhanga (New Prints) and Sosaku Hanga (Creative Prints). These prints document the Japanese response to the political & cultural transformation during the 1900s-1960s, themes include modernity, scenic tranquility and Japanese romantic fantasy. 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park. 619-232-7931.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows –Opening March 12, 2017 and remaining on view until August 20, 2017 will be “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” which looks at the life and career of Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents from through June 4 the show, “Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in China, Southeast Asia and the Islamic Middle East” which features 76 items from the wreck of an Arab merchant ship discovered in Southeast Asian water. It will be on view for the first time in the U.S. The exhibition explores the robust exchange of goods, ideas and culture among ancient China, Southeast Asia and the Islamic Middle East. A symposium entitled “The Belitung Shipwreck: Sojourns in Tang Dynasty History and Art” takes place April 22 at the Tang Center for Early China at Columbia University. Stephen Murph, curator at Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore gives a talk on March 7. There will also be special family day activities for the museum’s youngest visitors to give them a chance to explore the show as well.725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
“Minidoka And Beyond” is the title of a show of new work by Seattle-raised artist Roger Shimomura. April 13 – June 3, 2017. Artist reception on April 13 from 6 – 8pm. Flomenhaft gallery at 547 West 27th St, Suite 200 in New York City.
“Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin & Han Dynasties (221 B.C. – A.D. 220)” on view April 3 – July 16, 2017. This show examines the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting cultural identity and China’s relationship with the rest of the world. “An Artist of Her Time: Y. G. Srimati and the Indian Style” looks at the work of this early modern Indian artist. On view through June 18, 2017. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1000 Fifth Ave. in New York City. 1800-662-3397 or go to www.metmuseum.org.
“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” is the title of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s latest project which will build over 100 fences around New York City. Inspired by the international migration crisis and political turmoil facing the US government’s policy on immigration. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund.
“Self-Interned, 1942” tells the story of American artist Isamu Noguchi who voluntarily went to Poston War Relocation Center where Japanese Americans were interned during WW II with the idea to improve conditions with art and design. He made small pieces of driftwood sculpture. His efforts came to naught and he petitioned to be released. His time spent here however may have proven to be a catalyst for future work. On view through January 7, 2018. Noguchi Museum in New York. 718-204-7088 or go to nogiuchi.org for details.
Opening in the Spring of 2017 will be the Whitney Biennial which was started in 1932 and is still considered one of the pre-eminent biennials in the country. This 2017 edition is co-curated by Asian Americans, Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. 99 Gansevoort St. in New York City. Go to www.whitney.org.
“Isamu Noguchi – Archaic/Modern” explores how pyramids, burial mounds, temples and the gardens of the ancient world shaped one of America’s most innovative sculptors. Through March 19, 2017. Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Free and open daily. 8th and G Streets NW. Go to AmericanArt.si.edu for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “Provoke”: Photography in Japan Between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975.” On view through April 30, 2017. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
Internationally known installation artist Do Ho Suh has a show entitled “Passages/s” at the Hong Kong branch of Lehmann Maupin from March 20 – May 13, 2017. 407 Pedder Building on 12 Pedder St. Opening reception is March 20 from 6 – 8pm. +852-2530-0025. Stateside, you can see “Do Ho Suh”, a multi-media installation that presents large-scale architectural structures, documentary films, illuminated sculptures and works on paper by the artist through May 14, 2017 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The centerpiece is a full- scale replica of the artist’s New York City apartment and studio created by translucent colored fabric. Organized by the Contemporary Austin with support from Lehmann Maupin Gallery. 227 State St. in Madison, Wisconsin. 608-257-0158.
The work of contemporary Chinese architect Wang Shu is profiled in “The Architect’s Studio II”, a series that focuses on a new generation of pace-setting architects from around the world. GL. Strandvej 13, 3050 HunLebaek. +45) 49 (19) (07) 19. Louisiana Museum outside Copenhagen, Denmark.
A new cache of photographs by Dorothea Lange that documented the imprisonment of all people of Japanese on the West Coast has surfaced. The 20 prints are being sold by Anchor Editions. Half the proceeds are earmarked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which sued to stop the Government’s mass incarceration. Although commissioned by the Federal government, they were suppressed during WW II. At war’s end they were deposited in the National Archives where they were unseen for decades. Historian Linda Gordon in “Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment” writes “Ms. Lange’s critique is especially impressive given the political mood of the time. They also unequivocally denounce an unjustified, unnecessary and racist policy.”
Noted British sculptor Anish Kapoor won the $1 million Genesis Prize for his work. He announced that the money would go toward helping the Syrian refugee crisis.
The March/April issue of ArtAsia Pacific looks at the late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, Pakistani interdisciplinary artist Lula Rukh, Hong Kong’s Kingsley Ngard and conceptual artist Ho Siu Kee. Digital edition available on iTunes, google Play, Zunio and Magzter. Go to www.artasiapacific.com for details.
Noted Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto known for his contemplative monochrome photographs of everything from frand theatres to seascapes has embarked on a new career – architecture. As early as 2008, he formed the New Material Research Laboratory with architect Tomoyuki Sakakida. Commissions include the Hirschorn Musem, the Japan Society and a private residence in Manhattan. His biggest project, the Enoura Observatory on the Eastern coast of Japan will be a complex that houses exhibition spaces, noh stages, a tea house and his own offices. It is scheduled to oped this fall.
Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang committed suicide at 29. In a conservative country, his photographs of friends with themes of explicit sexuality and queerness pushed the envelope. His shows were often censored or closed by authorities. His work however was getting exposure in the West via publication and exhibition. Taschen Books published a monograph of his work in January.
“Color Is A Boundary” is an article by William S. Smith on Byron Kim’s paintings that combine Color Field aesthetics with social awareness in the March 2017 issue of “Art in America.” His major work “Synecdoche” was recently re-installed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
In the March, 2017 issue of “Art in America”, shows by Jiro Takamatsu at Fergus McCaffrey in New York and Yuki Kimura at the CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts in San Francisco were reviewed. The April 2017 issue profiled Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh who was chosen to represent Taiwan in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Also on the cover and inside the issue is an in-depth interview with Korean scent-performance artist Anicka Yi. Also reviewed is a show of new work at Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York by New York-based artist Ken Okiishi.
Aki Sasamoto received a grant from the New York-based Foundation for Contemporary Arts which gave out grants to artists working in dance, sound, performance, poetry and the visual arts in 2017.
The Shigeru Ban-designed Aspen Art Museum received the 2017 Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects. This environmentally sustainable building was completed in 2014.
DAIPANbutoh Collective return with their annual Seattle International Butoh Festival 2017 with Compania Ruta de la Memoria from Chile, Japanese Butoh artist Ken Mai now based in Helsinki and local butoh dancer Kaoru Okumura. The festival will also include an art show of dancer images and many workshops. An exhibition will feature the dance photography of Bruce Clayton Tom & others plus paintings of dancer Kaoru Okumura by Ruthie V. March 6 – April 14 at Shoreline Community Art College Gallery at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Building 1000, Lobby in Shoreline, WA. The exhibition opens on March 7 with performances by DAIPAN to follow on March 14, 21 & April 4 at 4pm.There will be a workshop with Compania Ruta de la Memoria March 31 – April 2 at Taoist Studies Institute at 225 N. 70th St. in Seattle. Workshop information/registration, call Helen Thorsen at 206-723-2315. Ken Mai conducts a workshop on April 8 from 1 – 5pm at UW Dance Program at 256 Meany Hall. 4000 15th Ave. NE in Seattle. For details, call Helen Thorsen at 206-723-2315. April 7 & 8 at 8pm will feature performances of Compania Ruta de la Memoria & DAIPAN at Shoreline Community College Theater at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Building 1600 in Shoreline. April 9 at 3pm features a performance by Ken Mai and Kaoru Okumura also at Shoreline Community College Theater at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N., Building 1600 in Shoreline. Go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2851548 for tickets or go to www.daipanbutoh.com for more information.
Local actor Richard Nguyen Sloniker has a major role in the West Coast premiere of the popular Off-Broadway dark comedy “Dry Powder” by Sarah Burgess. The play looks at the world of those who have the power to manipulate the American economy. It also marks the directorial debut of Seattle Rep Associate Artistic Director Maya Sea Kaminski. Through April 15. At Seattle Center between Second St. and Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org.
Sakura-Con, the yearly annual festival for cosplaying anime and manga lovers convenes April 14 – 16 at Washington State Convention & Trade Center downtown.
Seattle Symphony and Conductor Ludovic Morlot have issued the schedule for their 2017-2018 season. Some highlights include the following – Pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin, Jessica Choe, Li Tan Hsu and Cristina Valdez are part of an April month of Stravinsky. They perform Los Nocer with the Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble. “Celebrate Asia” this time around is conducted by DaYe Lin with sitar player Nishat Khan and Seattle erhu virtuoso Warren Chang. Kazuki Yamada will make a Seattle debut as guest conductor. A two-concert festival of Prokofiev features rising star pianists Nathan Lee, Charlie Albright and Conrad Tao with violinists Sophie Lee & William Hagen. Subscription packages available now and single tickets on sale August 5, 2017. Go to www.seattlesymphony.org for details.
Some annual events at Seattle Center not to miss – The Cherry Blossom Festival April 21 – 23 brings a celebration of Japanese arts and culture with crafts, games, ikebana, tea ceremony, martial arts and Japanese music. April 28 – 30 brings the 24th Annual World Rhythm Festival with world percussion performances, music and dance workshops and a focus on rhythm. May 7 is a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration which celebrates the arts, culture and food of the region. June 3 & 4 is the Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival which celebrates the arts and culture of the Philippines. All events at the Seattle Center Armory.
Carey Wong does the scenic design for the musical comedy “Murder for Two”, a collaboration between 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT. Runs March 25 – June 11 at ACT. 700 Union St. 206-292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org.
In a “world music” match-up made in heaven, Cambodian & American rock band Dengue Fever (with Cambodian songstress Chhom Nimol) share the bill with Tinariwen from the Sahara on April 4 at 7:30pm. Benaroya Hall at 200 University St. downtown Seattle. 206-215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details.
The teenage jazz pianist sensation from Indonesia, Joey Alexander plays Jazz Alley with his trio on April 6 – 9. 7:30pm nightly. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
Experimental musician/composer C. Spencer Yeh appears with John Krausbauer and Greg Kelly on April 7 at 8pm as part of the Wayward Music Series. Chapel Performance Space at Good Shelherd Center, 4th floor. 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. in Seattle. Go to [email protected] for details.
A touring production of Shen Yun which brings China’s ancient music and dance to the world stage makes a stop in Seattle at McCaw Hall April 7 – 9. 321 Mercer St. 206-684-7200 or go to mccawhall.com.
“Master of Sitar”, Shahid Parvez Khan performs on Sunday, April 9 at 7pm. At Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. Tickets at www.acitseattle.org. UW students are free.
On April 15 there will be the 2017 Suzuki Celebration Concert dedicated to music educator/philosopher Shinichi Suzuki. Local children come together to make music at 2pm at Benaroya Hall downtown.
“An Evening With Violinist Jinjoo Cho” presents the internationally touring violinist as a guest in an evening of music at Resonance with her performance partner Hyun Soo Kim on the Eastside at Resonance at SOMA Towers on April 22 at 8pm. $20 admission. 288 106th Ave. N.E. #203 in Bellevue. 425-443-2585 or try [email protected]
The Third Annual Seattle Boylesque Festival takes place April 21 -22 and features male and genderqueer burlesque dancers from across the country and from Japan and Mexico as well. Each night, a different show. TheTriple Door at 216 Union St. 206-838-4333 or thetripledoor.net.
Nabilah Ahmed stars in “ACME”, a new comedy by Andrew Shanks directed by Mary Hubert. This satire on technology runs from April 25 – May 20. Annex Theatre at 11th & Pike on Capitol Hill. Go to annextheatre.org for tickets.
The great Indian writer/artist/poet/playwright Rabindranath Tagore’s play, “Chitrangada – The Warrior Princess” as directed by Moumita Bhattacharya hits the stage of ACT Theatre as a joint production between ACT LAB and Pratidhwani. April 28 – May 20, 2017. 206-292-7676 or go to actheatre.org.
Conductor Julia Tai leads the Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra in a season-ending concert entitled “In Nature’s Realm” with guest soprano Melanie Henley. April 30 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 2:30pm. $20 admission.
New York-based jazz composer/pianist Helen Sung plays new selections from a recent recording as part of the EARSHOT Jazz Spring Series on May 4 at PONCO Concert Hall at 8pm at Cornish College campus on Capitol Hill. Go to earshot.org or call 206-547-6763.
“Frequency: Bach Refractions” is the title of a concert by new chamber ensemble Frequency made up of UW faculty Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Melia Watras and Michael Jinsoo Lim. They will perform “Goldberg Variations” arranged for string trio. May 13 at 7:30pm. Free. UW Seattle campus at Brechimin Auditorium located in the Music Building.
Local actress/performance artist/curator Sara Porkalob co-curates Intiman’s “Barbecue”, a play by Robert O’Hara about two families, one black and one white who must work together to convince family members into a rehabilitation program. June 1 – 25 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. 104 – 17th Ave. S. 206-684-4757 or go to langstoninstitute.org.
UW’s very active jazz program presents Jazz Innovations, a concert workshop in which UW students will tackle new and innovative orchestral jazz works accompanied by trumpeter Cuong Vu, pianist Marc Seales, saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi and drummer Ted Poor. At Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. 7:30pm on May 17 & 18. Free.
“Persuasion” is a new musical based on Jane Austen’s novel. Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Harold Taw wrote the book and Chris Jeffries supplied the music & lyrics. It had a staged reading at The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Next Fest Festival of New Work and a workshop reading at Texas Musical Theatre Workshop. It will have its world premiere at Taproot Theatre July 12 – August 19. 204 N. 85th St. in Seattle. 206-781-9707.
Seattle Gamelan Pacifica perform traditional and contemporary works composed for this instrument prevalent in Indonesia. In 2017, they celebrate the centenary of great American composer Lou Harrison who wrote many modern compositions for gamelan on Sat., May 13 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. (4th floor) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
ReAct presents the Seattle premiere of the hit new play “Sex With Strangers” by Laura Eason as directed by David Hsieh. When thrown into a room together, an obscure novelist and a famous blogger have little in common except the passion they bring to their writing. This comedic drama plays March 28 – April 12, 2017. “Perfect Arrangement” by Topher Payne gets its Seattle premiere March 24 – April 15. Set in 1950, this screwball comedy and provocative drama tells the story of state department employees tasked with identifying sexual deviants amonst their ranks. The catch is that both of them are secretly gay. 206-364-3283 or www.reacttheatre.org. Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets. At 12th Ave. Arts located at 1620 – 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill. In other news, React’s 2016 production of “Aliens” received the Seattle Times Footlight Award for best production. Congratulations!
Actress, arts community organizator, writer. producer and director Kathy Hsieh of SIS Productions is profiled by Sheila Farr in the article “The Dramatic Dynamics Of One Asian American Artist” in the March issue of “Columns”, the University of Washington Alumni Magazine.
Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theatre will be transformed into a gigantic disco dance floor for the musical “Here Lies Love” by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. Fresh from New York’s Public Theater, the production tells the story of Imelda Marcos and her Filipino dictator husband Ferdinand Marcos and how they were toppled by a non-violent restoration of democracy in 1986. Directed by Alex Timbers and starring Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda and Mark Bautista as Ferdinand Marcos. Conrad Ricamora and Melody Butiu are also in the cast. Opens April 7, 2018. The theatre is located at Seattle Center at the corner of Second Ave. and Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org.
International storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung will perform the life of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara in the second of three events entitled “The Holocaust and Japanese American Connections.” A panel discussion follows. Sunday, April 9 at 2pm. Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church in Seattle at 3001 24th Ave. S.
Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.
The Hiroshima Junior Marimba Ensemble perform a peace charity concert entitled “Magical Mallets – Melodies for World Peace” on Sat. April 15, 2017 at 2pm. At University of Washington’s Kane Hall on the Seattle campus. Go to www.hiroshimajuniormarimba.org for details.
Local actress/playwright Keiko Green’s “Nadeshiko” tackles issues of race and gender. Developed in collaboration with the Umbrella Project, it will receive its premiere as part of Sound Theatre Company’s new season. The company features exclusively female playwrights and directors. April 13 – May 7 at the Center Theatre at the Armory in Seattle Center. 305 Harrison St. 206-856-5520 or try [email protected]recompany.org.
The Cathedral Trio composed of Naomi Kato, Brian Fairbanks and Joyce Ramee perform at McCaw Chapel at St. Mark’s Cathedral on May 19 at 7:30pm.
The Corda Quartet composed of Heather Borror, Judith Kim, Emmeran Pokorny and Yang Lu perform on May 27 at 7:30pm on the UW campus in Seattle at the Brechemin Auditorium. Free.
Book-It Repertory presents their adaptation of the novel “Welcome to Braggsville” by Geronimo Johnson from June 7 – July 2, 2017. When a southern good ol’ boy at UC Berkeley lets it slip that he’s going home, some of his classmates elect to tag along and decide to demonstrate their stereotypical assumptions of the racist South with mixed results. In the cast, Justin Huertas stars as a Malaysian student who wants to be “the next Lenny Bruce Lee, kung-fu comedian”. 206-428-6319×19 or go to www.book-it.org.
Catch comedian Bobby Lee of “MAD TV”fame on June 8 – 10 at Parlor Live Bellevue. 700 Bellevue Way NE #300 in Bellevue. 206-602-1441.
Seattle International Dance Festival takes place June 19 – 24. Performers come from around the country, around the world and from the Northwest. Indian choreographer Sudarshan Chakravorty and his company will be one of the guests. In tandem with the festival is the Seattle International Dance Festival Education:Summer Dance Program. The Threshold Institute for Dancers offers students a chance to learn with Seattle choreographers and the Advanced Master Classes will bring visiting international choreographers. For an application for a scholarship, email [email protected]
Cellist Nathan Chan begins his tenure with Seattle Symphony as third chair cello starting March, 2017. Chan has a Masters in Music from Juilliard and has performed as soloist with San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic and many others.
Seattle local reggae/rock group Kore Ionz led by Daniel Pak has a new music video entitled “Superhero”. The video features a young band of superheroes who fight against the evils of society. Go to https://youtu.be/6Cqnmaz5auM to see it. Seattle Magazine recently chose the group as their “Band of the Week.” Go to http://www.seattlemag.com/arts-and-culture/band-week-kore-ionz to read about it.
Jonathan Zwickel’s column in the April 2017 issue of CityArts entitled “Northern Natives – A Collective Updating Neo-soul, Streamlining Hip-hop and Funkiying EDM” profiled local favorites Kyo Ken, Cidi and Sendai Era amongst others.
Slam poet Troy Osaki was profiled in a recent issue of The Stranger.
Jessica Estrada, creator of local blog “Fresh Jess” which profiles her Seattle adventures and encounters with small business owners, makers, chefs and mixologists got some coverage in the “Taste Test” column of the April 2017 issue of CityArts.
Portland-based composer Kenji Bunch has had his works performed by more than 50 orchestras including the Oregon Symphony. He has just completed a modern score for Eugene Ballet Company’s new adaptation of Hans Christian Anerson’s “The Snow Queen.” Though he has worked with dancers before, this constitutes his first full-scale ballet. “The Snow Queen” debuts at the Hult Center in Eugene on April 8 & 9, 2017.
Actress/performance artist Minita Gandhi is touring her one-woman show “Muthaland” which looks at her travels through her ancestral homeland with both eyes open documenting cultural discovery, sexual assault and a father’s unconditional love. She recently appeared at the Age & Gender Equity Foundation for the Arts Symposium at Portland State and was interviewed nationally on NPR. A documentary short on the making of her performance by Yining Zhou, Avinash Chak and A.C. Fowler won a regional Emmy.
Houston Grand Opera’s use of white actors for Asian roles in “Nixon in China” has raised the ire of the local community. Cecil Fong, President of the local branch of the Organization of Chinese Americans remarked, “This is not ok. It’s a negative stereotype of Asian Americans. I’m surprised this still happens nowadays.” Excerpted from Slipped Disc.
Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana is a sheep and cattle ranch halfway between Billings and Bozeman and north of Yellowstone. It also hosts classical chamber music recitals besides exhibiting large-scale outside sculptures. Classical pianist Jenny Chen has a solo piano recital on July 21 at 6:30pm in the Olivier Music Barn, a duo piano recital with Uiacheng Xiong on July 22 at 10:30am in the Sculpture Site: The Dome. She has another solo concert on Sat., July 22 at 6:30pm in the Olivier Music Barn with a pre-concert talk at 5pm in the Tiara Acoustic Shell. Pianist Vicky Chow performs with Doug Perkins on percussion with Timothy Feeney, Todd Mehar and Stephen Versaevel on Sat., Sept. 16 at 10;30 am in the Sculpture Site: The Domo. 96 South Grove Creek Rd. in Fishtail, MT. For details, try [email protected]
The Kupferberg Center for the Arts and CERRU in New York presented a First Arts New Plays Showcase and a staged reading and discussion of “The Imperial Image”, a play by Alvin Eng in late March. This is the third work of Eng’s “Portrait” plays cycle of historical dramas about artists and portraiture.
Port Townsend-raised jazz guitarist Miles Okazaki now based in New York City has a new release out on PI Recordings entitled “Trickster”.The music is inspired by ancient trickster figures who use mischief and magic to disrupt the state of things. With pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman. Call 917-748-5214 for details.
The full playscript of Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone” (staged in Seattle last year) will appear in print in the February 2017 issue of American Theatre magazine.
Asian American/Asian Research Institute, The City University of New York’s “Evening Lecture Series” presents “Creating Auto-Ethnography For The Stage And Page”, a reading and talk by playwright/performer Alvin Eng and author/choreographer Muna Tseng. Eng’s work is from his prose expansion of his memoir monologue about growing up in the shadows of the cold war in a 1970s Chinese hand laundry in Flushing, Queens. Tseng’s piece is from her “Family Portrait” series about her paternal grandfather and 300 years of an East-West legacy. On Friday, April 28 at 6pm. 25 West 43rd St. in Room 1000 in New York. Go to www.aaari.info for details.
Japanese sound engineer Yasuhisa Toyota is known for his skill at getting natural sound in concert halls. Toyota says for acoustics to be right, you need a thorough knowledge of building materials, close collaboration with architects, a comprehension of musicians’ needs, computerized simulations, use of scale models of halls and analysis of reverberating sound. Toyota’s Nagata Acoustics has designed acoustics for orchestras in L.A., Helsinki, Paris, Shanghai and more recently the Elbephilharmonie Concert Hall in Hamburg. Sourced from a report by Yuri Kageyama filed for A. P. wire service.
The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles announced their 2017-18 season. It will feature “Soft Power”, a world premiere in the form of a Chinese musical about present-day America by Tony-Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang. Set to open in May, 2018. 213-972-4444 or go to centertheatregroup.org/ahmanson.
The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera has extended the contract of current Music Director, Kayoko Dan for another five years. Dan remains one of the few female classical conductors in the country.
Film & Media
Seattle Cinerama announces its first anime movie festival. Twenty-three anime movies including genre favorites “Akira”, “Ghost in the Shell”, “Paprika”, “Cowboy Bebop” and many Ghilbi Studio classics will be screened from Tues., April 25 – Wed., May 3, 2017. Tickets are $16 and can be bought at www.cinerama.com. All movies will be shown in Japanese with subtitles except for “Ponyo” which is dubbed in English.
Commemorating 35 years since the murder of Vincent Chin, the Academy-Award-nominated documentary by Renee Tajima-Pena entitled “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” will be screened on Saturday, May 13 at 1:30pm. The filmmaker will be present at the screening. Presented by Wing Luke Asian Museum. Go to wingluke.org for details on location and tickets. Space is limited.
Landmark Theatres & Photosynthesis Productions present the exclusive Seattle engagement of the film, “Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia”, a new documentary film by Robert H. Lieberman. This film is an eye-opening portrait of a nation engaged in work to recover their culture and history in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime. Opens May 26 at Landmark’s Seven Gables Theatre at 911 NE 50th St. at Roosevelt in the University District. 206-632-8821.
Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa will be co-curating with NWFF, a collection of short films by NOddln, a Tokyo-based filmmakers collective set for August 18, 2017.Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-829-7863.
Portland filmmaker Chris Pankhurst received a 2016 Regional Arts & Culture Council grant to make “Fumi’s Floral Shoppe”, a documentary film about 93 year old Fumi Itami and her family flower shop which she and her family have run in Portland for the last 70 years. The film depicts Portland’s history and transformation through the challenges and change Fumi and her flower shop experienced, including Fumi’s forced placement in an internment camp during WW II. Sourced from RACC’s “Art Notes.”
Kimi Takasue’s “95 and 6 To Go” is a story of the filmmaker and her recently widowed grandfather in Honolulu finding common ground within the shaping of the director’s unproduced feature screenplay. Plays CAAM Festival in San Francisco in March and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in April.
“Family Circle: The Films of Yasujiro Ozu” screens March 23 – May 18 at Seattle art Museum downtown. With “Late Spring”, “An Autumn Afternoon” and many other classics by this great Japanese film director who turned silence into another character and used his lens to look into the poetic soul of ordinary middle-class people. Go to visitsam.org/tickets or call 206-654-3260.
Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori was recently honored with a retrospective of her documentary films at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.Her documentary on family history and Japanese American internment entitled “Rabbit in the Moon” which aired as part of the POV documentary film series on PBS won an Emmy. The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco also screened her moving homage to early Japanese Americans entitled “When Rabbit Left The Moon” in a program commemorating the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. Plans are under way to bring this film to the Wing.
The American version of Masamuni Shirow’s “Ghost in the Shell” based on a popular manga that looks at the future and cyborg identity opens March 31 at various theatres minus many of the Japanese characters replaced by a Hollywood cast.
A new Japanese feature length animated feature film “Your Name” by Makoto Shinkai has the premise of two teens exchanging genders in their dreams and falling in love in their waking lives. It has captured the imaginations of viewers both in Japan and China becoming a mega-hit. It has garnered praise at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe as well as generating Oscar talk. The lead of Shinkai’s animation team is Masahi Ando who was one of master animator Hayao Miyazaki’s greatest disciples. His other lead artist is Masayoshi Tanaka. Though Shinkai is mentioned sometimes as the “new Miyazaki”, the 43 year old filmmaker gets uncomfortable hearing it. “Of course I’m happy when people mention his name and mine in the same breath. It’s like a dream. But I know they are overpraising because I am absolutely not at his level. Honestly, I don’t want Miyazaki to see it because he will see all its flaws.” Shinkai’s next project will be about teched-up Japanese teens. “Your Name” has been picked up by Funimation Entertainment for distribution in the U.S. Opens April 7 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.
Haven’t got your tickets yet? Well, the Seattle International Film Festival (more than 400 films over 25 days) will be here before you know it. May 18 – June 11, 2017. Go to siff.net/festival2017 for tickets.
New York-based Janus Films has acquired North American rights to the late Japanese filmmaker Junzo Itami’s entire catalog. A new 4K digital version of “Tampopo” about a woman on the ultimate quest for the perfect bowl of ramen flopped in Japan but was a big hit abroad has already been released in the U.S. and Criterion will provide a home video version. Look for the rest of his films to be re-distributed in the U.S. soon.
Japanese director Seijun Suzuki has died at the age of 93. His quirky, surreal style that paired pop art visuals with Yakuza assasins (“Tokyo Drifter”, “Branded to Kill”) eventually endeared him to Western directors like Quentin Tarationo and Jim Jarmusch.
The Written Arts
National Book Award winner Terrence Hayes and his former student, Seattle poet Jane Wong, read their work as a “living anthology” with a format that weaves the ideas and images of each poet’s work into a one-time-only performance of enriched connections. Presented by WordsWest Literary Series as “A Poetry Month Celebration” on Wed., April 19 at 7pm. At C & P Coffee at 5612 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Go to http://WordsWestLiterary.com for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. April 10 brings popular novelist Lisa See reading from “Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane” (Simon & Schuster). April 13 Hari Kunzru reads from his latest book entitled “White Tears” (Knopf) at 7pm. April 11 brings local editor Jaimee Garbacik and friends reading from “Ghosts of Seattle (Chin Music) in which writers remember people and places of historical Seattle no longer in existence. At 7pm and first stop of a walking tour. April 17 Omar El Akkad reads from “American War” (Knopf). April 22 local Palestinian American poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha reads from her striking debut collection of poetry “Water & Salt” (Red Hen). On either April 24 or 26 you will find Cambodian American writer Vaddey Ratner reading from “Music of The Ghosts” (Simon & Schuster) about her return to Cambodia as an adult. This is at the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch downtown. June 7 at the bookstore, Lisa Ko reads from “The Leavers” (Algonquin), a debut novel about the disappearance of an undocumented Chinese immigrant and how her son left behind discovers the difficult choices she was forced to make. Finally the great Indian writer Arundhati Roy returns to Seattle with her first novel in 20 years entitled “Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Knopf). Tentatively scheduled for June 28. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
Prose writer Siel Ju reads from her debut “novel-in-stories” book entitled “Cake Time” with Seattle writers Corinne Manning and Tara Atkinson. And yes, cake will be served. Hugo House on First Hill at 7pm. April 13.
April 29 is Independent Bookstore Day. Nearly 20 bookstores in the region participate with events and discounts everywhere including the “Passport Romp” that rewards avid readers all year around with discounts. All you have to do is visit very participating bookstore and purchase a book. Some stores will have noted Northwest writers clerking at the counter as well.
Former Seatle Times Pulitzer Prize-winning writher Alex Tizon died unexpectedly in late March, 2017 at his home in Eugene, Oregon. He was known as a deep listener who worked hard on deep, complicated longer stories. He is the author of a memoir entitled “Big Little Man:In Search of My Asian Self.” He was assistant professor of Journalism at the University of Oregon.
The Best Translated Book Award for 2017 Longlists were recently announced. In the “fiction” category, “Moshi Moshi” by Banana Yoshimoto as translated by Asa Yoneda on Counterpoint and “Memoirs of a Polar Bear” by Yoko Tawada on New Directions made the list. For the “poetry” category, “Cheer Up, Femme Fatale” by Yideum Kim on Action Books as co-translated by Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi (Seattle-based award-winning poet/translator) and Johannes Goransson was chosen.
Local writer Bharti Kirchner’s sixth novel “Goddess of Fire” was shortlisted for the Nancy Pearl Award. It’s now available in both hard cover and paperback editions. Her seventh novel “Season of Sacrafice: A Maya Mallick Mystery” comes out in hardcover in September, 2017. First in a series and set in Seattle, it tells the story of a young, brilliant, dedicated scientist killed in a violent street protest, leaving behind her questions for a new sleuth to solve. Go to www.bhartikirchner.com for full details.
Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details. Spoken word artist Anis Mojgani who spins sublime tales of the imagination from personal encounters and childhood memories of the deep South comes in from Portland to perform on April 7, 2017 along with award-winning local poet Rick Barot & others in the popular series of new work commissioned around a specific theme. At Fred Wildlife. Hugo House now adds manuscript consultations to its long list for resources for writers. There are currently five consultants for short fiction, novels, memoirs, essays, poetry, young adult and literary journalism and more to be added as the program continues. For details on this, go to hugohouse.org/manuscript-consultants. Hugo House plans “Scribes Summer Writing Camps for Teens” between July 10 – August 18 at MoPOP, Mohai and Henry Art Gallery. Instructors include Roberto Ascalon, Michelle Penaloza, Jane Wong and many others. To sign up or ask questions, email or call Jiuliann Petkov at [email protected] or call 206-322-7030. For general information, try 206-453-1937. Hugo House is at 1021 Columbia St. in Seattle.
“Poetry On Buses” launches on Monday, April 24 with an event at the Moore Theater downtown. Doors open 6:30pm and the program begins at 7:30pm. Free. 365 poems will be published online at KC Metro Transit, Sound Transit Lightrail and Seattle Streetcar. April 2017 – April 2018. Among the poets included are ten year old Helen Zhang and Seattle Attorney Dennis Lam. For more info., call 206-263-1588 or 206-684-4337.
“Sherman Alexie Loves” is a new series that Seattle Arts & Lectures has started with the noted Northwest writer. It features three evenings of conversation with authors that the author loves. Of special note is the evening entitled “First Loves: Debut Novelists Alexie Loves” on Thurs., May 11, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Includes a conversation with Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag and Sunil Yapa. For tickets & information, go to lectures.org.
Actor George Takei has signed with IDW Publishing to create a graphic novel about the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WW II. The book is expected to come out in 2018.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling. Please contact me if anyone is interested in reviewing any of the below titles for the International Examiner. Thanks!
“Harmless Like You” (Norton) marks the fictional debut of Rowan Hisayo Buchanan in a book about multiracial identity, motherhood, familial bonds and the struggle to be an artist.
“Pandemic – Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” (FS&G) by Sonia Shah covers outbreaks of disease throughout recent history.
“Things That Happen and Other Poems” (Seagull) by Bhaskar Chakrabarti as translated by Arunava Sinha. This late poet-laureate of Calcutta writes with urban angst expressing the spirit of sadness and alienation in delicate metaphors wrapped inn deceptively lucid language.
Like to sip imaginative, refreshing drinks but can’t take alcohol? Then Vikas Khanna’s “Mocktails, Punches & Shrubs: (DK Books) is the perfect tonic as the author shows you over 80 non-alcoholic drinks to savor and enjoy. Drink down a Grapefruit & Guava Squeeze or a Cucumberade or a Goji Berry Shakeratto. You’ll find these and dozens more in this thirst-quenching book perfect for summer.
It’s 1970s Seoul and some people hope for change while others demand it. Yoojn Grace Wuertz’s characters in her novel “Everything Belongs to Us” (Random House) navigate politics and romance in this dynamic era with some raising to the top, others sinking to the bottom but no one just standing still.
“Fighting For Justice – Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” (Heyday Books) by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. Illustrated by Yutaka Houlette. Heyday Books’ “Fighting For Justice” series gets off with a strong start with this volume on Fred Korematsu who dared to question the constitutionality of the government’s order to put all Japanese on the West Coast into prison camps and won. With clear and moving illustrations and a straight-forward narrative, the book is enhanced with numerous historical asides that provoke important questions of its young readers.
“Afterland” (Graywolf) by Mai Der Vang recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the rate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award for The American Academy of American Poets as selected by Carolyn Forche.
“The Great Derangement – Climate Change And The Unthinkable” (Chicago) by Amitav Ghosh. In this wake-up call against the world’s slow reaction to climate change, the novelist shows his range by outlining our inability at the levels of literature, history and politics to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. This articulate criticism is the author’s call to action.
“God’s Will for Monsters”(Inlandia Institute) by Rachelle Cruz contests, demolishes and remixes the bizarre, early 20th century colonial and classic ethnographic summations of the Philippines of its peoples and culture but also circles across countries and mythical landscapes. Regional winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Prize in poetry for 2016.
The Mozhai Foundation has published the first two volumes in their “Modern Ink” monograph series witch focuses on the late 19th to early 20th century Chinese ink painters. “Modern InkL The Art of Qi Baishi” and “Modern Ink: The Art of Xugu” are co-written by scholars booth in China and the US and feature illuminating essays on each artist’s work and technique with profuse color illustrations. The third volume on Wu Changshi is due out in the Spring of 2018. Published in association with the University of Hawai’I Press. Go to www.mozhaifoundation.org for details.
“Among The Ruins” (Minotaur) by Ausma Zehanant Khan follows on the heels of the author’s widely-praised novels “The Unquiet Dead” (Barry Award winner) and “The Language of Secrets” and returns to the world of Detective Esa Khattuck and his Partner in “Among The Ruins” which takes the officers away from their Toronto beat to the politically precarious land of today’s Iran.
“EFG – A Trilogy” (Action Books) by Valerie Hsiung is a book of experimental poetry that CD Wright says, “She is one of those poets you wish were more populous for they pull you up by the hair roots and remind you living is a serious business, and the whole world is in our dirty little hands.”
“New Expressions in Origami Art – Masterworks from 25 Leading Paper Artists” (Tuttle) by Meher McArthur shows the contemporary reach and imaginative vision of today’s artists in once was a more traditional craft medium. Includes the work of Giang Dinh, Tomoko Fuse, Maomoiselle Maurice, Linda Tomoko Mihara, Jun Mitani, Yuko Nishimura, Hoang Tien Quyet, Jiangmei Wu and many others.
Han Yujoo makes a disturbing debut in “The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf Press) as she examines the world of children, the rich & spoiled, the marginal and the violence that manifests itself in the widening gap of this disparity. Translated by Janet Hong.
“Community Garden For Lonely Girls” (Gramma) is Christine Shan Shan Hou’s newest collection of poetry that depicts a journey that traverses imagined histories and various states of consciousness.
“Dispelling The Darkness – A Jesuit’s Quest For the Soul of Tibet” (Harvard) by Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Thupten Jinpa looks at a Jesuit missionary who mastered Tibetan well enough to write a critique of Buddhism from a Christian perspective.
“Strange Fruit Of The Black Pacific – Imperialism’s Racial Justice and Its Fugitives ” (NYU) by Vince Schleitwiler plows through new ground in tracing the interrelated migrations of African American, Japanese Americans and Filipinos across U.S. domains. Through studies in literature, blues & jazz culture, film, theater, journalism and private correspondence, Schleitwiler considers how the collective yearnings and speculative destinies of these groups were bound together. Invokes the voices of James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Toshio Mori, Carlos Bulosan, Robert Johnson and Eulalie Spence.
“Retracing Our Steps – Fukushima Exclusion Zone 2011 – 2016” (Kehrer Verlag) by Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bression bring to light the area around the stricken power station of Fukushima Daiichi after the tsunami and nuclear disaster. What remains in a region where 80,000 people were evacuated from one day to the next? What do former residents think about going back to their ghost towns? In a surreal episode, they ask former residents to come back to their shops and homes and talk about how it was and what it is like for them now. With text and photographs.
Lonely Planet, the famous travel guidebook publisher expands their imprint with their “Lonely Planet Food” series. They will examine each country’s cuisine through the eyes of their creators “From the Source: Japan – Authentic Recipes From The People Who Know Them Best” by Tienlon Ho, Rebecca Milner and Ippo Nakahara with photographs by Junichi Miyazaki goes from steaming soups and silky ramen noodles to fresh, hand-rolled sushi and visits Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa, Nagano and Osaka.
Xiaolu Guo, a Chinese writer and filmmaker is based in London. She was listed as one of Granta’s best young British novelist and has been shortlistd for the Orange Prize. Her memoir entitled “Once Upon A Time in the East” (Chatto & Windus) came out this January.
“Becoming Misako Kikuchi: The Story of a Japanese American Adoptee’s Journey to Japan and Back to Find Her Family” by local author Lynn Hammonds has been published by Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.
The late Xu Hongci, acused of being a “rightist” spent 20 years in China’s gulag archipelago. He is the only person known to have escaped and lived to write about it in his newly translated memoir “No Wall Too High” (Farrar Straus & Giroux). It was originally published in Hong Kong in 2008 but makes its American debut now.
Han Kang, author of the award-winning novel, “The Vegetarian” has a new novel also translated by Deborah Smith entitled “Human Acts” (Hogarth Books). She takes on South Korea’s violent past by re-visting Gwangju, a city in which a revolt by protestors resulted in the brutal slaughter of protestors and bystanders alike by the then Korean President, General Chun Doo-huan.
“A Separation” (Riverhead Books) by Katie Kitamura is an explosive fiction debut that lays bare the emotions of a failing marriage and the secrets that we all carry.
“Sushi – Jiro Gastronomy” (Viz Media) by Jiro Ono & Yoshikazu Ono is a neat little primer that introduces readers to the sushi varieties served at his famed Tokyo establishment and offers tips on how best to fully enjoy Edo-style sushi.
“Frontier” (Open Letter) by Can Xue translated by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping is a multi-layered novel about a young woman living in a surreal town and the dozen different characters who populate the place. This Chinese master storyteller looks at life’s opposites in dreams of finding hope.
“The Crane Girl” (Lee & Low) is a retelling of an ancient Japanese folktale for children by Curtis Manley with watercolor illustrations by Lin Wang. Told in alternating prose and haiku, this tale takes readers to a magical world where characters struggle with the temptation of greed and the power of love.
“Monstress – Volume One – Awakening” (Image Comics) is a manga illustrated story by Marjorie Liu with images by Sana Tanaka. Set in an alternate world of art deco beauty and steampunk horror, it tells the story of a teenager caught in a world of the hunter and the hunted searching for answers to her past.
“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” (Scribners) is the latest novel by Lisa See that explores the bonds between a Chinese woman from the Akha ethnic minority, the daughter she gives up for adoption and the tea that connects them throughout the years of separation.
“Be The Change – A Grandfather Gandhi Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Arvn Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus with illustrations by Evan Turk. This children’s book shares the lessons of wastefulness as learned by a grandson of the Indian leader.
“The Ruler’s Guide” (Scribners) by Chinghua Tang tells the story of China’s greatest ruler and his timeless secrets of success in life.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel – The Secret History of the Japanese Language School 1945 – 1959” (Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington) is the companion volume to the exhibition curated by Elisa Law with illustrations by Aki Sogabe. It tells a missing part of Seattle history and gives a moving account of how returning Japanese Americans picked up the pieces to transition to regular life after their imprisonment in WWII internment camps.
“Heroine Complex” (DAW) by Sarah Kuhn tells the story of Evie Tanaka, the stressed out personal assistant to her childhood best friend who just happens to be San Francisco’s most beloved superhero. One night the assistant poses as her glamorous boss and her whole life changes when she too, has magical powers. A teenage fantasy.
“Leftover Women – The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China” (Zed) by Leta Hong Fincher exposes the level of structural discrimination against women, and the broader damage this has caused Chinese society as a whole.
“The End of Imagination” (Haymarket) brings together the five of Arundhati Roy’s acclaimed books of essays with a new introduction by the author. Essays written with charm, wit and a powerful commitment to social justice.
“Music of the Ghosts” (Touchstone) by Vaddey Ratner tells the story of an adult Cambodian woman who lives in America and her return to the country she knew as a child refugee with a letter from a man who knew her father in a Khmer Rouge prison.
“17” (Zuban) is a collection of short stories by Indian master storyteller Anita Agnihotri as translated by Arunava Sinha. These stories bring out the different faces of human hardship and explore a largely unknown slice of India from cities to suburbs and villages.
Didn’t read Marie Kondo and your room is still a cluttered mess and feeling guilty? Relax and check out “Goodbye Things – The New Japanese Minimalism” (Norton) by Fumio Sasaki. This Japanese bestseller tells the tale of an ordinary guy stressed at work and insecure. One day he decides to change his life by eliminating things to a bare minimum.
“Southeast Asian Plays” (Aurora Metro) is an anthology edited by Cheryl Robson & Aubrey Mellor that brings new theatre from Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia where profound change is taking place.
“Ghachar Ghochar” (Penguin) is a novel from South Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag who unpeels the layers of a family who start out impoverished and gain overnight riches only to face a melt-down. A striking debut in English.
Best-selling author Nalini Singh is back with “Allegiance of Honor” (Berkeley), a psy-changeling novel that continues the sci-fi fantasy.
“The Amazing Story of a Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love” (One World) by Per J. Anderson tells the true story of a New Delhi street artist whose fortuitous meeting with a Swedish tourist will change his life.
“China on Strike – Narratives of Workers’ Resistance” (Haymarket) Edited by Hao Ren chronicles case studies of Chinese workers who fight today for a better tomorrow.
“ha Ha Ho ho – Selected Rhymes of Annada Shankar Ray (Seagull) translated by Sukanta Chaudhuri illustrates the playful genius of this Indian poet who takes a child’s rhyme to make fun of a messy adult world.
Author Christine Hywg-Oak Lee in her memoir “Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember” (Harpercollins) uses her journals to reconstruct her memory loss from a stroke and the unexpected grief that came with her recovery.
“Recitation” (Deep Vellum) is a novel by Bae Suah that traces the intermingling lives of a mysterious wandering actress and a chorus of emigrants who meet by chance at train stations late at night. Translated from the Korean by the prolific British translator Deborah Smith.
“Infinity Mirrors – Yayoi Kusama” (Hirschorn) edited by Mika Yoshitake explores internationally known Japanese woman artist’s best known series and its influence on the course of contemporary art over the past 50 years. This exhibition comes to Seattle Art Museum later this year.
“Lucky Boy” (Putnam) is a novel by Shanthi Sekaran about two unforgettable women in Northern California, an undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian American wife. Both are bound together by their love for the same boy.
“The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf) is a novel of literary horror from Han Yujoo, a major new voice from South Korea as translated by Janet Hong.
“Still Out of Place” (Bamboo Ridge) by Christy Passion opens a window to blue-collar life in the Hawaiian Islands with unflinching honesty and pain and yes, a hard-won beauty.
“Tropical Renditions – Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America” (Duke) by Christine Bacareza Balance looks at the music and performing arts to reveal dimensions of Filipino American history and cultural expressions.
“Mr. Iyer Goes to War” (Bloomsbury) is the debut novel by Ryan Lobo, an award-winning photographer/filmmaker/writer who creates a modern interpretation of “Don Quixote” set in modern India.
“Pachinko” (Grand Central) by Min Jin Lee tells the story of a Korean family through generations who end up living in Japan and running a pachinko parlor. Opens a window on the long and troubled history of legal and social discrimination against Koreans who live in Japan.
In her debut essay collection “One Day We’ll Be Dead And None of This Will Matter” (Picador) Scaachi Koul (a senior writer for BuzzFeed) pulls no punches as she tackles racism, misogyny and toxic masculinity with grace, wit, and a wicked self-deprecating humor.
“Load Poems Like Guns – Women’s Poetry from Heart, Afghanistan” (Holy Cow! Press) by Farzana Marie opens a window onto the Persian poetic tradition and gives voice and bears witness to another culture.
“Mama And Papa Have a Store” (Lee & Low) by Amelia Lau Carling is a reprint of a popular picture book for children about a young girl who describes a typical day in her parents’ Chinese store in Guatemala City.
Hideo Yokoyama/s “Six Four” (FS&G) is an international bestseller which gets its first English translation by Jonathan Lloyd Davies here. It’s a dark, elaborately constructed police drama about an investigation into a chilling kidnapping. The London Sunday Express called him the “James Ellroy of Tokyo.”
“Spiral Staircase: Collected Poems” by Hirato Renkichi” (Ugly Duckling) as translated by Sho Sugita. This late Japanese poet produced a unique brand of Futurism from the late 1910s and early 1920s through poetry, criticism and guerilla performance. This early work would later influence Dadaist and Surrealist writers in pre-war Japan. This is the first definitive volume of his poems to appear in English.
“No One Can Pronounce My Name” (Picador) is a new novel by Rakesh Satyal (“Blue Boy”) that is a humorous multigenerational novel about immigrants and outsiders – those trying to find their place in American society and within their own families.
“The End Of The Dark Era” (Phoneme Media) by Tseveendorjin Oidov translated from the Mongolian by Simon Wickhamsmith is the first book of Mongolian poetry to be published in the United States and is one of the few avant-garde poetry collections to have come from that country. The poet is also one of Mongolia’s renowned painters and his drawings appear in this book.
“Lotus” (Henry Holt) is the debut novel by Lijia Zhang and was inspired by the secret life of the author’s grandmother and follows a young prostitute caught between past traditions and modern life in urban China.
“House A” (Omnidawn) by Jennifer S. Cheng is the winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize as chosen by Claudia Rankine. Rankine writes, “These tender epistolary prose poems embody the constant sense of dislocation for the immigrant, while redefining affiliation nonetheless.” Cheng reads shortly at Seattle’s Open Books in Wallingford (206-633-0811 or [email protected]).
“Exit West” (Riverhead) is the new novel by Man Booker Prize finalist Mohsin Hamid. It follows a young couple in an unnamed country as their city collapses and they are forced to join a wave of migrants fleeing for their lives.
“Iep Jaltok – Poems From a Marshallese Daughter” (University of Arizona Press) by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner provides a much needed Pacific Islander perspective on contemporary life, indigenous rights, climate change and the troubling history of American involvement including Atomic-bomb testing in the Pacific.
“Hokusai’s Lost Manga” (MFA Boston) is the catalog for a rare Hokusai sketchbook curated by Sarah E. Thompson. In 1823 an advertisement was placed for “Master Iitsu’s Chicken Rib Picture Book” but the book never appeared. This volume might well have been that unpublished volume and the last evidence of the Japanese master artist’s work.
“Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh” (Lee & Low) by Uma Krishnaswami. A nine-year old girl wants to play softball for a girl’s team but the year is 1945 in Yuba City, CA. and her dad is from India and her mom is from Mexico and discriminatory laws still rule the land. How does she find a way to step up to the plate?
“The Malaysian Kitchen – 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking” (HMH) by Seattle author Christina Arokiasamy looks at Malaysian recipes adapted for the American kitchen.
“Blue Light Yokohama” (Minotaur) is a crime novel by Nicolas Obregon that covers a quiet, troubled detective who tries to fight corruption in the gritty glitter of Tokyo with all odds against him.
“Swimming in Hong Kong” (Willow Springs) is a collection of short stories by Stephanie Han that cross borders and boundaries of Hong Kong and the U.S and looks at characters struggling with the politics of race, sex class, gender and culture.
“Everything Under the Heavens – How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power” (Knopf) is a new book by Howard French that looks unflinchingly at the issues facing China and its perception of today’s world.
“The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf) is a chilling novel by Korean author Han Yujoo translated by Janet Hong about the cruelty of children in the classroom and the stinging consequences of neglect.
Prolific graphic novelist/artist Gengorah Tagame tackles a new topic in “My Brother’s Husband – Volume 1” (Pantheon). When a single Japanese dad is forced to confront his painful past, it opens a window on a largely still-closed Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
In “The Girl At The Baggage Claim – Explaining the East-West Culture Gap” (Knopf), noted novelist Gish Jen tackles the study of East-West differences in the idea of self and what this means for our art, education, geopolitics, and business.
Cao Wen Xuan, winner of the 2016 Hans Christain Andersen Award has his classic Chinese young adult novel, “Bronze and Sunflower” (Candlewick Press) translated into English by Helen Wang. When an only child loses her father to an accident, she is taken in by the poorest family in the village also with an only child. How the two kids forge an inseparable bond as closest friends is the story here.
“The Stakes of Exposure – Anxious Bodies in Postwar Japanese Art” (Minnesota) by Namiko Kunimoto focuses on four artists of Japanese postwar art and what their work meant in the anxiety and confusions surrounding Japan’s new democracy as manifested in representations of gender and nationhood in modern art.
“The Souls of China – The Return of Religion After Mao” (Pantheon) by Ian Johnson looks at the spiritual traditions of its eastern and western faiths, and the ways in which its influencing China’s future.
Columbia & Hillman cities host an “Arts Hackathon & Salon” at the Columbia City Theatre on April 29, 2017 from 11am – 4pm. They are looking for community volunteers with skills in sound design, graphic design, website development, photography, catography, marketing, project management and story telling to break into 5 teams with three hours to accomplish their goals. The public is invited to drop in to provide additional content for the Arts Walking tour at various stations during the Arts Salon from noon – 3pm in the lobby of the theatre. All these activities are a way to brainstorm ideas to construct an arts district in the neighborhood. RSVP at [email protected] The theater is at 4916 Rainier Ave. S. Go to seedseattle.org/arts-cultural-district for details on all this.
Karen Maeda Allman of Elliott Bay Book Company received the 2017 Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award from Seattle Arts & Lectures for her pivotal role in promoting literature in Seattle. Congratulations, Karen!
Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell and his wife Joanne Harrell, a UW Regent and Microsoft executive have received the Charles Odegaard Award for those community leaders who exemplify a commitment to diversity. They will be honored at the UW EOP celebration set for May of this year.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Some upcoming program events include the following –Thomas Batty will talk about “Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach” on April 23 at Nagomi Tea House at 1pm. FA3 Asian & Global Arts & Treasure Sale May 27 at St. Mark’s Cathedral’s Bloedel Hall on Capitol Hill from 9:30am – 3pm. This event is free. Marilyn Rowlatka and Courtney Nevitt will talk about “Textiles of Gujurat” on June 11 at 1pm at Phinney Community Center. September 27 brings “Explore India” with Shelly Krishnamurty, Ram Prasad and Nona Dhawan. On Sunday from 2 – 4pm at the Mountaineers Center in Magnuson Park. October 19 from 1 – 3pm, Barry Broman will talk about “Up the Chindwin River to Nagaland” at the Phinney Center. Go to FriendsOfAsianArt.org or call (206) 522-5438 for details on all these events.
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is creating a Public Art Roster of 160 emerging, mid-career and established artists who will be pre-qualified for future art projects around the city. This is an open call to professional artists in the U.S. who will be considered. Deadline is Wed., April 12 by 11pm (pacific standard time). For questions about the Public Artist Roster, call Elisheba Johnson at 206-840-0182 or Marcia Iwasaki at 206-233-3946. For assistance with café online application, call 888-562-7232 or café@westaf.org M – F from 7:30am – 4pm (pacific standard time).
White River Buddhist Church holds their Spring Bazaar from 11am – 3pm on Sun., April 23. 3625 Auburn Way N. in Auburn. 253-833-1442 or visit www.wrbt.org.
As part of the UW Graduate School’s public lecture events – “Equity & Difference Series: Privilege”, UW Associate Professor Ralina Joseph will moderate a panel entitled “History, Culture and Promise: Civil Rights at the UW.” Joining the illustrious panel will be Sharon Maeda, President of Spectra Communications and community activist. May 3 at 7:30pm on the Seattle UW campus in Kane Hall. All lectures in this series are free. For details and registration, go to uwalum.com/lectures or call 206-543-0540.
Congratulations to Harold Taw & Chris Jeffries, Miyo Aoki and Rituja Indapure who all received funding from the 2017 Artist Support Program from the Jack Straw Foundation.
The late civil rights and community activist Al Sugiyama and UW alumni is included in an article “Two Giants, One Legacy” which also incudes the late Willis Konick in the March issue of “Columns”, a UW Alumni magazine.
Artist Trust’s 2017 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) are now available to Washington artists of all disciplines. Deadline is May 15, 2017 at midnight. Apply online at https://artisttrust.submittable.com/submit.
Each year the Neddy Awards are given out to deserving artists. Two $25,000 unrestricted awards are given in painting and any other medium grounded in the visual arts to artists living in the Puget Sound. Six finalists receive $1,500 each as well. Deadline is April 24, 2017. Go to www.cornish.edu/neddy for details.