China is a country that is waving goodbye to the past at quickly as it is throwing itself into the wave of the future. No more is this better reflected than in their film. The University of Washington’s East Asia Center and China Studies Program presents a fascinating series of documentary films with English subtitles. Their REEL China Documentary Film series runs from Jan. 8 – 11 at 6 p.m. nightly at UW’s Physics-Astronomy Auditorium A-102. (206) 543-6938 or visit: http://jsis.washington.edu/eacenter/events.shtml. Jan. 8 brings “Guarding Shangri-La” and “Song’s Inn,” t look at spectacular natural areas now threatened by the construction of new dams. Jan. 9 is “Villagers’ Documentary Films” a collection of short films made by 10 amateur village filmmakers on the 20th anniversary of democratic elections in village China. Jan. 10 has “Floating Life” which looks at the flood of rural migrants into China’s more prosperous cities as economic disparity grows between rich and poor. Jan. 11 has “Nostalgia” in which filmmaker Haolun Shu visits his family house in old Shanghai before it is demolished for skyscrapers.

The Varsity Theatre also has two films dealing with China. Dec. 22 – 28 brings Zhang Yimou’s latest film, “Curse of the Golden Flower” starring his ex-girlfriend and star of many of his greatest films Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat in a battle of wits, power and intrigue between an imperial court family. Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 brings John Curran’s “The Painted Veil” based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The story set in the 1920s is about an English couple who relocate to Shanghai. As the marriage falls apart, he accepts a job in a Chinese village ravaged by a deadly epidemic and takes her along. Stars Edward Norton and Naomi Watts.

“How the Soy Sauce Was Bottled” is a special exhibition featuring the artwork of Heinrich Toh, James Lawrence Ardena, June Sekiguchi, Saya Moriyasu and Susie Jungune Lee who created new works based on the museum’s permanent collection. This is the last show in the present site before it moves. Opening reception is Jan. 4 from 5 – 7 p.m. On view through Nov. 20, 2007. 409 – 7th Ave. S. (206) 623-5124. A simple disclaimer – I was one of the jurors for this show.

Visual Arts
first American solo show entitled “The Border of Reality and Illusion” in which a surreal landscape plops you down into the solitude of his subconscious world. Opening reception is Jan. 11 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Show runs Jan. 4 – 29. Shoreline Community College Gallery in the Administration Building. At 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. (206) 546-4101 x4433.

“Modern Cave Paintings” is a show of Jason Matsune’s prints of landscapes printed on canvas. Opening reception is Jan. 3 from 6 – 8 p.m. with the First Thursday Art Walk opening on Jan. 4 from 6 – 8 p.m. Through Jan. 27. Gallery 110 at 110 S. Washington. (206) 624-9336.

“Disturbia” features new installation works and take-home art by Amy Lin all dealing with this theme. Opening reception is Jan. 4 from 5 – 8 p.m. On view through Feb. 3. Shift Studio at 306 S. Washington, #105 in the Tashio Kaplan Bldg. [email protected].

KOBO at Higo has two new shows in place. “KOBO Jewels” is a group show highlighting the work of 12 Northwest jewelry artists in a variety of forms from wearable sculpted pieces, gemstones to necklaces make of cloth & felt. Famed former Seattle Times photojournalist Barry Wong has a show of still life images of Asian food and vegetables. Both shows on view through Dec. 30. 604 S. Jackson. (206) 381-3000.

Collograph intaglio prints by Eunice Kim are included in a group show entitled “Introductions 2006” on view at Davidson Galleries Contemporary Prints Gallery through Dec. 23. 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-1324. www.davidsongalleries.com.

Work by Louise Kikuchi and Gerard Tsutakawa is included in the group exhibition entitled “Small Works” on view at Foster/White Gallery in Pioneer Square (220 – 3rd Ave. S.) and Rainier Square (1331 – 5th Ave.) through Dec. 23. (206) 622-2833. www.fosterwhite.com.

Heinrich Toh and Cheryl Toh show their work at Collins Pub through Dec. 30. 506 Second Ave. (206) 623-1016.

Brent Watanabe and Jesse Paul Miller show custom computer applications that create randomly generated drawings with simultaneous accompanying soundscapes. “Malfunction: Sentimental Ghost is Missing” through Dec. 31. SOIL 110 Third Ave. S. (206) 264-8061.

Sandy Lew-Hailer a.k.a. Grrdog Metalworks presents “Tweaking the Edges,” her 25th Annual Party Showing & Sale of Jewelry & Sculpture every Saturday through December from 3 – 8 p.m. 3814 – 4th Ave. S. – Space 14. (206) 903-0222.

Oil paintings by Pham Quoc Hung at Halo Salon through December. 1919 Third Ave. www.halosalon.com.

Self-taught Vietnamese artist Tu Duy evokes memories of village life in “Tu Duy: Empty Space” on view through Dec. 30 at Art Xchange. 512 First Ave. S. (206) 839-0377. www.artexchange.org.

The work of Reid Ozaki is included in “Mingei Tradition in The Northwest – The 8th Annual Pottery Invitational 2006” which features Asian-inspired folk pottery by Northwest artisans. On view through Dec. 30. At Glenn Richards at 964 Denny Way. (206) 287-1877. www.glennrichards.com.

The Children’s Museum of Seattle presents “Festivals of Light” through Dec. 31. The show showcases different cultural festivals and holidays around the world. Through Dec. 22 will highlight Philippine Christmas. Performers, dancers and musicians from each culture will highlight each holiday and activities for children will be available. 305 Harrison St. (206) 441-1768. www.TheChildrensMuseum.org.

Wessel And Lieberman Booksellers Inc. present “Shinsuke Minegishi: An Exhibition of Wood Engravings, Prints & Limited Edition Books.” Through Dec. 30. 208 First Ave. S. (206) 682-3545. www.wlbooks.com.

The work of Yasumasa Morimura is included in “Up to Date: Monsen Collects Contemporary – Photographs from the collection of Joseph and Elaine Monsen” through Feb. 11. “New Works Laboratory” pairs visual artists with digital media artists. The collaboration between Yuki Nakamura and Robert Campbell is on view through Dec. 31 in the Media Gallery. Henry Art Gallery at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st St. on the UW campus. (206) 543-2281. www.henryart.org.

The work of Lun-Yi Tsai is included in the “2006 Student Show” through December at Sev Shoon Arts Center in Ballard. 2862 NW Market. (206) 782-2415.

The work of Emma Oh, Mizu Sugimura, and Miyoshi Tsuji is included in the “Arts Alive Juried Exhibition” through Jan. 8 at the Federal Way City Hall Art Gallery. 33325 – 8th Ave. S. (253) 835-6901. www.cityoffederalway.com.

The work of Gerard Tsutakawa is included in the annual group show of miniature art by Northwest artists. “Honey I Shrunk the Art” at History of the World Fine Arts Gallery through Dec. 31 on Camano Island. 3311 East Camano Drive. (360) 387-5225. Open Friday, Saturday, & Sunday.

Puget Sound Sumi Artists present “Enduring Voices of Sumi Art,” a group show through Dec. 30. Karpeles Manuscript Museum at 407 South “G” St. in Tacoma. (253) 383-2575

An appropriately entitled show, “fresh! – contemporary takes on nature & allegory” curated by Julie Cho Bailer features the work of younger artists from around the world, many making their Seattle or American debut. Through Dec. 31. Museum of Glass/International Center for Contemporary Art in Tacoma, (253) 284-3009.

The work of the late sculptor/painter George Tsutakawa is included in a group show entitled “Retrospective 20: Part 1” through Dec. 30. Port Angeles Fine Art Center at 1203 Lauridsen Blvd. (360) 417-4590.

Performing Arts
Seattle Children’s Theatre presents the world-premiere production of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” inspired by an ancient Greek Fable. Through Jan. 27. Khanh Doan is in the cast as Miss Grapevine. The set design is by Carey Wong. 201 Thomas St. at Seattle Center. (206) 441-3322.

For the holidays REACT presents a special storytime reading of the Chinese folktale, “The Seven Chinese Brothers” as part of Winterfest at the Seattle Center Centerhouse on Dec. 22 at 12:15 p.m., (206) 234-3283.

R.J. Tancioco is part of the cast for ArtsWest’s production of “Voices of Christmas,” a multi-cultural celebration of holiday memories through Dec. 24. 4711 California Ave. S.W. in West Seattle. (206) 938-0339. www.artswest.org.

Two celebrations mark the New Year. Seattle Betsuin New Year Celebration takes place on Jan. 7 starting at noon. 1427 S. Main. (206) 329-0800. The annual Mochi Festival takes place on Jan. 7 on Bainbridge Island. Participants can watch and participate in the annual mochi pounding ceremony. Island Wood at 4450 Blakely Ave. N.E. www.islandwood.org.

Film & Video
Nobuhiro Yamashita (“The Black Ark”) shifts gears from drama to a wacky, delightful comedy entitled “Linda, Linda, Linda” which tells the story of high school girls who form a band for a talent contest. Missing a lead singer, they pick the next girl who walks around the corner who happens to be a Korean exchange student. Dec. 29 – Jan. 11 at the Grand Illusion Cinema in the University District.. 1403 N.E. 50th. (University Way NE & N.E. 50th. (206) 523-3935.

ACRS seeks a single or collaborative art piece that speaks to the mission of this multi-faceted social service agency and represents the diversity of its users. It will be the focal point of the new building. Deadline is Feb. 15. Call Jocelyn Lui at (206) 695-7579 or e-mail [email protected] for information.

Previous articleSeattle “neighbors” talk about their favorite “Cool Tools”
Next articleFrom Iraq to Olympia: Persistence pays off for Hobbs