- Seattle-born author Jamie Ford’s novel entitled “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” (Ballantine) gathered quite a following in Seattle due to the locale and intertwining local history of its’ residents. Set in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District and the Panama Hotel just before WW II and Japanese American internment, the book is a bittersweet teenage romance between a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl and the Black American jazz musician who befriends them. Ford will read in Seattle on Feb. 6 at 2pm at the Seattle Main Library Auditorium downtown. Co-sponsored by Washington Center For The Book at Seattle Public Library and Elliott Bay Book Company.1000 Fourth. (206) 386-4636 or go to www.spl.org
- Northwest Film Forum is busy. Rob Lemkin & Thet Sambath’s “Enemies of The People” (see related article elsewhere in this issue) is a compelling personal documentary about the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rogue who were behind Cambodia’s genocide. Includes personal interviews with the masterminds behind this horrific event. It picked up the Special Jury Prize at Sundance and the Grand Jury Award at the Full Frame Documentary Festival. Jan. 21 – 27 (Friday – Thursdays at 7 & 9pm). The annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle, the largest festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest is set for January 28 – February 6. This event will screen more than 100 films from 25 countries. Some highlights include the following – “All Creatures Great And Small” is a program of animated shorts from around the world including Asia. Set for Jan. 28 & 30 at 11am and Feb. 1 at 10am. “Joe Chang and Friends” features the best of Chinese short animation as selected by a noted Chinese animation artist. Screens Jan. 29 at 3pm and Feb. 5 at 3:30pm. “The Azemichi Road” (see related article elsewhere in this issue) by Japanese director Fumie Nishikama. The story is about a shy, hearing-impaired girl who joins a kids dance team, To make it to the competition she must overcome bullies and prove though she can’t hear the beat, she can feel it. Screens Jan. 31 at 7pm and Feb. 5 at 1pm. Joe Chang will teach an animation master class on Jan. 29 from 12 – 5pm. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. The complete schedule is at www.childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org. Teachers and educators who want to book field trips can email [email protected]. The NWFF is located 1515 – 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill. www.nwfilmforum.org
- Seattle artist Jesianne Asagi’s imaginative mixed-media pieces are part of the permanent collection on view at the Black Bottle located in Belltown at 2600 lst. (206) 441-1500.
- For those in Asia, the celebration of the new year has always been an auspicious occasion, a time to cast out the old and welcome in the new. Seattle’s Chinatown/ International District’s Lunar New Year Celebration takes place Jan. 29 from 11am – 4pm in Hing Hay Park. There will be calligraphy, Chinese games, taiko, martial arts demonstrations and a restaurant scavenger hut. Those with pet rabbits can bring them for a live rabbit competition as well. A lion & dragon dance takes place at noon and there will be a children’s costume parade contest from 11:30 – 2pm. Come by and join in the fun. 423 Maynard S. (206) 382-1197 or visit [email protected] Across town, a Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet Festival is celebrated at Seattle Center as part of their “Festal 2011” series. Craft and painting workshops, dance, visual and martial arts, children’s stories and hands-on activities. Jan. 29 – 30. Go to tetinseattle.org for details.
- Japanese Director Kaneto Shindo’s (“The Island”, “Onibaba”) erotic ghost film entitled “Kuroneko” (see related article elsewhere in this issue) gets a new 35mm print and a Seattle theatrical premiere at SIFF Cinema Jan. 21 – 26. Ghosts of a woman and daughter, raped and murdered by marauding samurai re-appear in a house that becomes an seductive trap. Wonderful performance by Otowa Nobuko as the old woman. 321 Mercer St. at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall.(206) 633-7151 or go to www.siff.net.
- The Seattle Modern Orchestra (see related article in this issue) with Co-Artistic Directors Julia Tai and Jeremy Jolley is dedicated to presenting musical masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, both traditional and unconventional. Their forthcoming concert entitled “Strictly Strings” on Jan. 28 at 8pm will feature works by Vivier, Xenakis and Adams. Poncho Hall at Cornish College of the Arts. 710 E. Roy St. Tickets at the door.
- “A Life of Imitation – Ming Wong” is a new exhibition that explores the work of an artist raised in Singapore but now based in Berlin. In 3 major installations, he explores the shifting nature of identity and belonging across cultures through performance and cinema. Guest curated by Tang Fu Kuen and coordinating curator Jo-Anne Birney Danzker, the show opens Jan. 22 and remains on view through Feb. 27. Both curators will talk about the show with the artist on Jan. 22 in the theatre at 2pm. Frye Art Museum. 704 Terry Ave. (206) 622-9250 or visit www.fryeart.org Free.
- In the mood for some Hawaiian music? Check out the Jan. 27 show at the Triple Door that features Ledward Kaapana, Nathan Aweau (of Hapa) and Dennis Kamakahi. 216 Union St. in downtown Seattle. (206) 838-4333
- The legacy of writer/labor activist Carlos Bulosan has deep roots along the west coast where Filipinos worked the fields and Alaskan canneries. Fee-nix Productions presents a developmental multi-media theater piece based on Bulosan’s novel, “America is in the Heart” (UW Press). Jan. 21, 22, 28 7 29 at UW Ethnic Cultural Theatre. 3931 Brooklyn Ave. 7:30pm Go to www.brownpapertickets.com to purchase tickets in advance.
- “INDIGO: Laura Kina and Shelly Jyoti” is a show that features textile-based artwork that explores cross-cultural narratives. Indian artist Shelly Jyoti and US artist Laura Kina use indigo dye, Gujarat-style mirrored dazzle, Jewish tzitzit inspired tassels and traditional Indian fiber arts to tell their contemporary stories. A reception is on First Thursday February 3 from 5 – 8pm. Portland fused-glass artist Kurumi Conley shows in the North Gallery. Both shows through Feb. 19. Artxchange Gallery at 512 First Avenue S. (206) 839-0377 or visit www.artxchange.org
- The art of Tina Koyama is in the group show entitled “Connectivity” on view from Jan. 23 – April 10 at Oasis Gallery. Artist reception is on Jan. 27 from 3 – 6pm. 3644 Wallingford Ave. N. (206) 547-5177 or go to oasisinseattle.com
- “Love Empire” is a show of mixed-media paintings by James Lawrence Ardena through January 30. Shoreline Community College Gallery at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Administration Building 1000 in Shoreline. (206) 546-4101 x 4433 or visit www.shore.ctc.edu
- Sculpture by Harold Hoy on view through January 29 at Gallery IMA. 123 S. Jackson St. in Pioneer Square. (206) 625-0055 or visit galleryima.com
- An exhibit entitled “History of Pacific Northwest Japanese Restaurants” is on view till June 1, 2011 at the Northwest Nikkei Museum in the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. Included are excerpts from interviews with those who owned, worked and grew up with the restaurants. The Japanese Cultural and Community Center, located at 1414 S. Weller. Call (206) 568-7114 or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.jcccw.org” www.jcccw.org.
- KOBO Gallery at HIGO features their annual “Simple Cup” show with hundreds of ceramic cups from artists from the Northwest and Japan. KOBO Gallery at HIGO is located at 604 South Jackson St. Call (206) 381-3000 or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.koboseattle.com” www.koboseattle.com.
- “From Edo To Tacoma – Three Eras of Japanese Woodblock Prints: Edo, Meiji, and 20th Century Works” remains on view through February 13, 2011. The second rotation of new work means what is currently on view is an entirely new show. Events connected to the show include the following – On Third Thursday January 20 from 5 – 8pm will be a program entitled “A Night in Japan” with honored guests from the Consulate-General of Japan. Includes performances by Stadium Taiko group, the Kabuki Academy, a koi kite workshop in the Open Art Studio, Japanese snacks and sake tasting and a screening of the Japanese animated feature film, “Miyori’s Forest” all in the nearby restaurant. Silk Strings will present a koto concert on January 22 at 3pm. Tacoma Art Museum is at 1701 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. Call (253) 272-4258 or visit tacomaartmuseum.org.
- The Burke Museum mounts their first major exhibition of their international textile collection showing work from the peoples of the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands in “Weaving Heritage: Textile Masterpieces From the Burke Collection”. Through February 27, 2012. Call (206) 543-5590 or go to HYPERLINK “http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum” www.washington.edu/burkemuseum.
- “Wang Huaiqing: A Painter’s Painter in Contemporary China” traces the artist’s development through 23 innovative works. Recognized as one of China’s leading contemporary artists for his ability to blur the line between abstract and naturalistic art. Through July 17. Also includes small shows on traditional and modern Japanese woodblock print and a room of work by Northwest artists, Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa. Seattle Asian Art Museum, located at 1400 Prospect in Volunteer Park. Call (206) 654-3100 or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.seattleartmuseum.org” www.seattleartmuseum.org.
- “Born Into Identity: The Asian Pacific American Adoptee Experience” – 13 APA Adoptee artists and oral histories from community members explore the complexities of being an APA adoptee. On view through June 19. “Sacred Seattle” is an exhibit that traces spaces, places and paths where Asian Pacfic Americans both belong to and long for the sacred. On view through March 20. ”Home Revealed: Artists of the Chinatown-International District” remains on view till April 17, 2011. Two recent shows include the following – “Cultural Confluence: Urban People of Asian & Native American Heritages”. The historic legacies and contemporary lives of people who are both Asian and Native come together for the first time in the groundbreaking exhibit. On view through Sept. 18. An exhibit entitled “New Years All Year Round” that looks at Asian traditions for the new year from various Asian cultures. On view through June 26. Join a panel discussion by the Japanese Gardener’s Association on Jan. 29 from 3 – 5pm. Celebrate the lunar new year at the Wing. Feb. 3 from 10 am – 5pm. New years crafts and a special lion dance inside and outside the museum. Plus enter the year of the rabbit coloring contest and win travel for two on Jet Blue airlines. Go to www.wingluke.org/2011newyear For details on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.
- “TAKEN: FBI” is a new exhibit that examines the experiences of Japanese American families in the Portland area imprisoned by the FBI and Department of Justice shortly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. On view at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center through May 30, 2011. A series of monthly programs will be held to accompany the exhibit. For details, go to HYPERLINK “http://www.oregonikkei.org” www.oregonikkei.org.
- “Perimeter: We Live Here Now” is a group exhibit of foreign-born artists. Includes work by Sang-ah Choi, Una Kim, Horatio Law, Akihiko Miyoshi, Motoya Nakamura, Ying Tan and others. This collaborative exhibit shows at five college galleries in the Portland area including Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus and Marylhurst University’s Art Gym. Till Feb. 4 at PCC and March 20 at Marylhurst’s Art Gym. (503) 244-6111 or go to www.spot.pcc.edu/helzerartgallery and (503) 699-6243 or go to www.marylhurst.edu/theartgym
- “Collective” is an installation by Portland ceramic artist Hsin-Yi Huang that explores how individuals blend conformity and individuality to function in an interconnected and independent society. Huang crafted 476 cermaic spheres formed by hand and fired multiple times to make this piece. Through Feb. 11 at the Regional Arts And Culture Council in the Portland Building in downtown Portland. 1120 SW 5th. Go to www.racc.org/installationspace for details.
- “Katsura: The Photography of Ishimoto Yasuhiro” is a show that showcases images of a Japanese imperial villa by one of Japan’s premiere photographers of ancient traditional buildings. On view Jan. 28 – Feb. 20. Portland Japanese Garden. 611 SW Kingston Ave. (503) 323-1321 or visit http://japanesegarden.com/visiting/directions
- Percussionist/composer/instrument maker Paul Kikuchi will perform as part of the Empty Cage Quartet which shares the bill with the Sun Ra Tribute Band as part of the “Is That Jazz” Series set for Jan. 21 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space. On the 4th floor of the Good Shepherd Center located at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. (206) 789-1939.
- The Eye Music Ensemble, a local group of improvising musicians whose members include Esther Sugai and Susie Kozawa have spent the last few weeks recording a new cd at Jack Straw Productions. The group specializes in performing musical scores that are often notated through diagram or picture rather than the traditional notated method. They will perform a free concert with excerpts from the recording on Jan. 22 from 4 – 6pm. Some of the contemporary works are by Japanese composers. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE (206) 634-0919 or go to www.jackstraw.org
- The Killerbees (with Bob Antolin on sax, flute and guitar) continue their weekly stand at Waid’s every Thursday at 8 p.m. $5 cover. Location at 1212 E. Jefferson. Call (206) 328-6483. They also have a new self-titled CD which will be available for purchase at the club.
- Portland State University Center for Japanese Studies will host the only West Coast performance by the prestigious Kashu-juku Noh Theater from Kyoto, Japan set for March 16, 2011. They will be performing one of the centerpieces of their repertoire entitled “Aoi no Ue (Lady Aoi) adapted from Lay Murasaki’s “The Tale of Genji.” For details, go to HYPERLINK “http://www.pdx.edu/cjs” http://www.pdx.edu/cjs.
- Jay Chou plays Kato in the 3D action thriller, “The Green Hornet” (see related article elsewhere in this issue) now playing at the Neptune. 1303 NE 45th at Brooklyn. (206) 781-5755.
- Grand Illusion Cinema, the oldest independent theatre in Seattle continues their interesting yet quirky selection of films screening weekly. Masayuki & Kazuya Tsurumaki’s futuristic Sci-fi animation series about the battle to save planet earth from alien domination plays in two parts. Evangelion 1.0 (YOU ARE NOT ALONE) ends on Jan. 20. Evangelion 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE) screens Jan. 21 – 27. On Jan. 29 for one night only is the following program. “Trailer Wars!!!Grand Illusion Cinema VS Portland Grindhouse Film Fest + Crippled Avengers”. The Grand Illusion and Portland’s Grindhouse Theater compete to see who can show the trashiest, cheesiest film trailers. Following that will be a screening of the Chinese kung-fu epic “Crippled Avengers.” What happens when fighters crippled by a wealthy man’s sadistic whims, unite to form an army of avengers? 1403 NE 50th st. in the “U” District. (206) 523-3935 or go to grandillusioncinema.org
- “Summer Wars” (see related article elsewhere in this issue) by Mamoru Hosoda is an award-winning Japanese animated feature that looks at OZ, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars. When a malicious program begins to hijack these secret accounts, chaos and doom loom ahead. It’s up to Kenji, a teenage math whiz to save the day. Starts soon at the Varsity Theatre. 4329 University Way NE (206) 781-5755 www.gkids.tv/summer for details.
- The new Japanese film “GANTZ” will screen at select theatres on January 20 at 8:30pm with a live interview event. Seattle theatres include AMC Pacific Place 11 and Thornton Place with IMAX in Seattle. For details, go to www.fathomevents.com.
- Noted Chinese Director Zhang Yimou says his next film with the working title of “Nanjing Heroes” will tell the story of the Nanjing massacre through the young prostitutes who helped save the lives of citizens by volunteering as escorts for invading Japanese soldiers. American actor Christian Bale, known for his reputation of really inhabiting every role he takes on will play a Catholic priest who shelters the girls in his church during the massacre. Filming begins this month.
- The Elliott Bay Book Company now situated in their cozy new digs on Capitol Hill has readings on almost every day of the week. Amy Chua, Professor of Law at Yale Law School is a noted scholar with two major works on the global economy. But in her latest book, she gets personal. In “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” (Penguin Press), she details her own upbringing in a traditional Chinese-American home and how she ends up repeating it in raising her own children. January 21 at 7pm. All readings at Elliott Bay unless otherwise noted. Please see HYPERLINK “http://www.elliottbaybook.com” www.elliottbaybook.com for more details.
- The Saturday University Sacred Sites of Asia Lecture Series, presented by the Gardner Center For Asian Art And Ideas, cosponsored by University Of Washington Jackson School Of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company continues with the following. UW Architecture Professor Ken Oshima will speak about “Architecture of Asia Outside of Asia” on Saturday, January 22 at 9:30am. At the Seattle Asian Art Museum located at 1400 E. Prospect in Volunteer Park. For more information, please see www.seattleartmuseum.org
- “Filipinos in the Willamette Valley by Tyrone Lim and Dolly Pangan-Specht was recently published as part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.
- “Listen to The Fragrance” is a new book by Charles Wu that is a personal appreciation of the Portland’s classical Chinese garden with translations and commentary on the literary inscriptions found throughout the garden. To order the book, call (503) 228-8131 or go to www.lansugarden.org
- Ruiyan Xu, web producer of the award-winning P.O.V. documentary series has had her first novel published. “The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai” tells the story of a happily married businessman who loses his ability to speak Chinese after a horrible accident. Visit www.ruiyanxu.com to learn more.
- If you are wondering what interesting books you forgot to read this year, the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. queried some of its’ members and came up with a holiday book list. Log on to http://pawainc.blogspot.com/ to see who’s reading what.
- “Migritude” (Kaya Books) is a new book of poetry by Shailja Patel that served as a template for her performance piece. Patel was born and raised in Kenya but now divides her time between London and and San Francisco. Her book blends poetry, prose and art to tell the story of colonialism and empire and how it effects its’ people in the most personal ways.
- The Winter 2010 issue of the Asia Literary Review is a Special issue on China with stories, photography and poetry by Liu Xiaobo, Jan Morris, Jonathan Fenby, Xiaolu Guo, Zheng Danyi, Liao Yiwu, Duncan Hewitt and Yiyun Li. www.asialiteraryreview.com
- “Flood” (Tia Chucha Press) is an exciting new book of poems by L.A. based Korean American poet Chiwan Choi that tells the story of an immigrant family struggling to survive under the harsh glare of today’s American reality. www.tiachucha.com
Art News/ Opportunites
- The Asian American Journalists Association is accepting scholarship applications from graduating high school seniors. Application deadline is Feb. 1, 2011. Visit www.aaja.org for details.
- NEA Literature Fellowships in Prose offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and crative nonfiction). Deadline is 3.31/11. Go to http://bit.ly/a3KNdg
- Travel & Project Development Grants awarded to U.S. based theaters and individual artists dedicated to fostering new relationships by way of cultural exchange and to further pre-existing international collaborations. Deadline is 2/28/11. Go to http://bit.ly/eUoC8c
- Congratulations to Yoko Ott, Director of Bellevue’s arts space, Open Satellite who was mentioned in CityArts “The Power List – 50 People who Make Seattle Arts Go” (Seattle January 2011 issue of CityArts.
- Kaze Daiko’s Winter 2011 Youth Taiko Workshop takes place Jan. 24 – Feb. 28, 2011. If you are 8 to 17 years old and interested in learning taiko, then e-mail Peter Matsudaira at HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]” [email protected].
- The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission works with the National Endowment for the Arts to sponsor the U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program. Up to five outstanding contemporary and traditional artists from the U.S. from various genres can spend a three-month residency in Japan to pursue their individual and artistic goals. A month stipend and money for transportation and language lesions is provided. Deadline is Feb. 1, 2011. Go to HYPERLINK “http://www.jusfc.gov/creativeartists.asp” http://www.jusfc.gov/creativeartists.asp for details.