By Alan Chong Lau


Noted New York Times science writer Carol Kaesuk Yoon travels from her Bellingham home to Seattle to read from her new book “Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science” (W. W. Norton & Co.)  in which she shares her observations on how animals (including humans) perceive the world in a way that’s “idiosyncratic to each species.”  Named as one of the best books of 2009 by New Scientist. Sat., Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Company. 101 South Main in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. (206) 624-6600 or visit

“New Old and New New: Recent Acquisitions of Asian Art” is a new show that responds to recent interest in contemporary Asian art showcasing new acquisitions from the museum’s growing collection. The show presents the work of Asian and Asian American artists such as Miwa Yanagi, Tomoko Takahashi and Joseph Park. A concurrent exhibition of new acquisitions of Chinese painting and calligraphy is also on view. Through July 4. Also a 60-minute tour on the “Arts of Asia” is given every Sat. & Sun. at 1 p.m. starting at the Fuller Garden Court. Free with museum admission. Seattle Asian Art Museum. 1400 E. Prospect. (206) 654-3100 or log on to

Award-winning children’s author/illustrator Alley Say (see elsewhere in this issue for a related article) will read from his new book entitled “Erika-san” (Houghton Mifflin) about a young American woman’s relationship with Japan on Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. Seattle Central Library auditorium. Co-presented by Washington Center For The Book. 1000 Fourth Ave. (206) 624-6600. Say will also give a talk at Wing Luke Asian Museum on Jan. 16 at 4pm. (206) 623-5124.

“Celebrate Asia!” is the annual concert by Seattle Symphony that highlights Asian composers and music. Conducted by Carolyn Kuan and hosted by Lori Matsukawa. Soloists include Chuanyun Li on violin and Li Bo on Mongolian morin khuur with Farmaaish. Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Pre-concert activities include a Chinese Lion Dance. Post-concert presentation features Japanese Taiko Drummers. Benaroya Hall. (206) 215-4747 or

“This Old Piano- You’re Too Big, You’re so Old, You Sound Funny!” is a project headed by pianist Tiffany Lin in which instrument designers, composers and the pianist will collaborate to design, develop, compose for, and exhibit four new instruments. Each instrument will be a reconstruction, built from the constituent parts of a single piano that has been deemed valueless and relinquished by its previous owner. Assisting Lin will be designers Colin Ernst and Hugo Solls and Master Woods-smith Joel Kikuchi. New original music will be created by composers Jherek Bischoff and Tom Baker and performed by Tiffany Lin. A public performance will be staged by Jack Straw Studios and New Media Gallery in Spring 2010. This project is supported by the Jack Straw Foundation, the City of Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Allied Arts Foundation. For more information on this musical project, visit

Acclaimed author Raj Patel (“Stuffed And Starved”) gives a talk entitled “Looking Beyond Price Tags” based on his latest book, “The Value of Nothing-How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy” (Picador Books) in which he explains why the price we pay for everything is systematically distorted. Presented by the Town Hall Center for Civic Life with Elliott Bay Book Company.  Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. downstairs (enter on Seneca St.). You can catch Patel on You Tube as a preview of this event. Seattle Town Hall located at 1119 Eighth. (206) 652-4255 or email [email protected].

Ralina Joseph teaches a “Wednesday University” class on “Mixed Race in the United States” starting Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at UW’s Kane Hall 220. Visit for details.

Wing Luke Asian Museum presents a new exhibit entitled “Return Home From War- Remnants of war through recent Asian Pacific American veterans’ perspective.” Opening reception is Jan. 7 at 5:30pm. Extended hours on this day from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Show is on view through August 15. (206) 623-5124 or visit

Seattle composer/musician Byron Au Yong has composed his own version of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” giving it a “21st Century baroque sensibility: ornate, fearful, absurd and sweet.”  The score is for the debut performance of WhimWhim’s performance of “3Seasons” at On The Boards Jan. 15 – 17 at 8pm.Musicians include Quinton Morris, Tiffany Lin and Stuart McLeod. 100 W. Roy St. (206) 217-9888.

Visual Arts

Pratt Fine Arts Center’s Winter 2010 classes feature the following instructors. Mark Takamich Miller teaches “Experimental Acrylic Figure Painting.” Lisa Hasegawa teaches “Letterpress Gift Tags”, “Letterpress Fundamentals” and “Continuing Letterpress Printing.” Kamla Kakaria teaches “Printmaking Fundamentals” with Shaun Doll. Romson Regarde Bustillo teaches a workshop entitled “Intuitive Paths – Printmaking and Collage.” 1902 South Main St. (206) 328-2200 or visit

Noted ceramic sculptor/installation artist Yuki Nakamura makes a welcome return to the gallery scene with “Illuminant”, a show of new work at Howard House Contemporary Art.Opening reception is Jan. 7 from 6 – 8 p.m. Nakamura gives an artist talk on Jan. 9 at noon.  On view January 7 – 30. 604 Second Ave. (206) 656-6399 or visit

“Cultural Transcendence is a new group show at Wing Luke Asian Museum curated by Lele Barnett that “explores the importance of technology in our modern experience and technology’s influence on contemporary installation art.” Features the work of Robert Hodgin, Eunsu Kang, Heidi Kumao, Horatio Law and Brent Watanabe. Show continues through June 19, 2010. or call (206) 623-5124.

A new gallery installation of fifteen Chinese artworks produced between 1629 and 2009 (many donated in honor of Director Emerita Mimi Gates) opens Dec. 16 at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. 1400 E. Prospect St. (206) 654-3100 or

Ming’s Asian Gallery has a show entitled “China: From Red To Rock Then Mao & Now” which combines antiquities, the provocative art of Mao’s Red China and transitioning to the new world of contemporary Chinese art. Shown through Dec. at two locations. In Old Bellevue at 10217 Main St. (425) 462-4008 and in Seattle at 519 – 6th Ave. S. (206) 748-7889. Through December.

There will be an Ikebana Workshop by Sogetsu School teacher, Mitsuko Hakomori Jan. 15 – March 5 at the Community Center at Mercer View on Mercer Island. To pre-register for this eight week class, call Shirley Hill at (425) 558-0889 or [email protected].

Meiro Koizumi is a contemporary Japanese artist who will be in residency in Puget Sound in the fall. Viewers have a chance to see various aspects of his work around the area as curated by independent curator Yoko Ott. The show at Hedreen Gallery/Lee Center for the Arts at Seattle University is a career retrospective of his video work on view through Jan. 9.  901 – 12th Ave. Call (206) 296-2244. This show runs concurrently with a new installation the artist is contemplating on Japanese American agriculture and the internment experience entitled “The Corner of Sweet and Bitter”. On view through Jan. at Open Satellite in Bellevue located at 989 – 112th Ave. NE #102. (425) 454-7355.  For complete details, go to

KOBO at Higo presents the following. There will also be an Ikebana Workshop (Japanese flower arragement) on Jan. 10 from 1 – 3 p.m. To pre-register for that, email KOBO in advance. Ceramic artist John Dix now based in Japan will be showing his wood-fired ceramics. Opening is Feb. 13 with a gallery talk at 5pm and a reception from 6 – 8 p.m. 604 S. Jackson. (206) 381-3000 or [email protected].

ArtXchange Gallery presents “News Year/Fresh Eyes”, a group show remix of ArtXchange artists from past shows. Includes work by Miya Ando, June Sekiguchi, Deborah Kapoor, Oksana Perkins, Yang Chun Hua, Chou Yi Ching, Elaine Hanowell and Tu Duy & Sun Zhe Zheng. Opens Jan. 7 from 5 – 8 p.m. and remains on view through January.  512 – 1st Ave. S. (206) 839-0377.

“Surface, Dot, Line: Puget Sound Sumi Artists” is a new group show  on view through Jan. 17 of 1010. Columbia City Gallery at 4864 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 760-9843.

Cora Edmonds, owner of ArtXchange Gallery has a show of her photos of rural Nepal at Swirl Wine Bar at 3217 W. McGraw in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Through Jan. 26. (206) 282-4161.

Wing Luke Asian Museum – “Across the Spectrum: Stories from Queer Asian Pacific America” will be on view through Feb. 14 of 2010 in the Boeing Company Community Portrait Gallery.  “Yellow Terror: The Collection and Paintings of Roger Shimomura” is ongoing through April 18, 2010 in the Special Exhibition Hall. The Family Day activity at the Museum on Jan. 16 with Anne Milan showing you how to make art from recycled plastic bottles. Materials will be provided.  1- 3 p.m. Later that same day, Calecott-Award winning children’s author/illustrator Allen Say  (“Grandfather’s Journey”) makes a special appearance for a book signing at 4 p.m. as part of his Seattle visit. Extended hours at the museum on this day from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Celebrate “Oshogatsu: Japanese New Years” on Jan. 30 from 3 – 5 p.m. Tea ceremony and flower arrangement are just some of the activities planned. 719 King St. (206) 623-5124. More info. at

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) features the exhibit, “The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest on view till Jan. 16, 2020. 2700 – 24th E. (206) 324-1126.

Sol Hashemi & Jason Hirata present “To be like that which you have” Jan. 7 – Feb. 13 on the gallery’s sculpture deck. The art team will create an ongoing installation of light based sculptures that will change over time. Roger Shimomura has a show of “Recent Work” forthcoming inside the gallery Feb. 18 – March 27. Greg Kucera Gallery at 212 Third Ave. S. (206) 624-4031 or visit

“One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Woodcuts by Yoshitoshi Tsukiioka” is on display through Jan. 29 at Pacific Northwest College of Art at 1241 N. W. Johnson St. in Portland. Free admission. (503) 226-4391 or visit

“Everyday Scenes from Leaves and Branches of the Tree of Life” is an exhibit of mixed media sculptures and ink drawings by Kanetaka Ikeda. A group exhibit of drawings by gallery artists including Robert Dozono and Ikeda is also on view. Through Jan. 30. 420 NW Ninth Ave. in Portland. (503) 224-2634 or visit

Performing Arts

Seattle musician Tomo Nakayama joins Damien Jurado, Jesse Sykes and Macklemore iin the concert series: Spotlight” on Jan. 6 at the Triple Door. The series is Seattle’s showcase for talented local songwriters to perform a few songs solo. Nakayama formerly of The Maldives now leads his own band, Grand Hallway. Their new release “Promenade” garnered good reviews. The Triple Door is at 216 Union. (206) 838-4333.

Japanese pianist Sachi Hirakouji plays with violinist Miodrag Veselinovic on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. at University Temple United Methodist Church. 1415 NE 43rd St. Free.

“Omoide Project: The Hunt Hotel” is the title of a feature program about this place that was once called by the community as a residency for the Japanese American returnees from incarceration camps. Jan. 10 from 1 – 3 p.m. Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. 1414 S. Weller. Call (206) 568-7114 to RSVP or email [email protected].

Seattle Youth Symphony and Broadway Bound will perform a joint concert to benefit the Scholarship Funds for both groups. The program will consist of landmark works from the American Musical Theater repertoire. Jan. 15 at 7:30pm at the Moore Theatre. (206) 362-2300 or visit

Seattle Symphony under the baton of conductor Thomas Hong will give two free community concerts with Amber Archibald as guest soloist on viola. They play South Seattle Community College on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. and Asa Mercer Middle School on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. (206)

A stage adaptation of Seattle writer David Guterson’s novel, “Snow Falling on Cedars” will be performed Jan. 12 – Feb. 7 at the Gerding Theatre at the Armory at 128 NW 11th Ave. in Portland. Set in Washington State, the story looks back to the internment of Japanese Americans during WW II and follows the murder trial of a Japanese American charged with killing a follow fisherman. For tickets/info., call (503) 445-3700 or visit

Advance warning – Seattle Chamber Music Society presents their annual “Winter Festival” featuring a host of international and national classical musicians including Richard O’Neill on viola. Jan. 28 -31. Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. (206) 283-8808 or visit   The 5th Avenue Theatre presents the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific”, winner of 7 2008 Tony Awards for “Best Musical Revival” to their venue from Jan. 29 – Feb. 21. 1308 Fifth Ave. (206) 625-1900.  Shantala Shivalingappa bring her unique blend of classical Indian “Jkuchipudi” storytelling through dance with live musical accompaniment to the UW World Series at Meany Hall on Feb. 11 – 13 at 8pm. (206) 543-4880 or visit


The World Cinema Series at Seattle Central Community College presents Japanese director Kore-eda’s “Still Walking” is a powerful look at the dynamics of relationships and memory in a family meeting up for an annual reunion. Jan. 11 at noon. “White Silk Dress” from Vietnam is screened Jan. 14 at noon. All films shown in room BE1110. For more information, go to [email protected].

Alexander Sokurov’s “The Sun” is a new documentary film on the fall of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito following the end of WW II when he renounced his status as divine ruler during the American occupation  in 1945. Set for Jan. 8 – 14. ”Animated Art” presents a program of assorted works by local filmmakers that rethink the boundaries of animation, visual art and experimental filmmaking. The work of visual artist/filmmaker Brent Watanabe is included. Screens only once on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave.

Written Arts

Author Robert Hellyer presents a talk about Japan during the Edo period entitled “Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640 – 1868”. 3:30pm at UW Seattle Campus, 202 Communications Building.

“Words Expressed – Emerging Writers” showcases promising Filipino writers from the Northwest  in two events.Jan. 14 at 7pm at Seattle University’s Le roux Room in Student Center 160. 12th & Cherry st. and again on Jan. 15 at 7pm  at the Filipino Community Center at 7pm located at 5740 ML King Jr. Way. (206) 722-9372 or visit

UW Creative Writing Professor Pimone Triplett reads from her new book of poetry entitled “Rumor” (Northwest University Press) on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Open Books: A Poem Emporium. 2414 N. 45th St. (206) 633-0811 or [email protected].

Local poet Sibyl James reads from her newest book entitled “China Beats” (Egress Studio Press) about her experience living and working in China on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Company. 101 South Main. (206) 624-6600.

“The Power of The Checklist”  (Metropolitan Books)is the title for a talk by New Yorker columnist/surgeon/bestselling writer Atul Gawande presented through Town Hall’s Future of Health Lecture Series with University Book Store. Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall’s Great Hall. 1119 Eighth. (206) 652-4255 or visit

The Daesan Culture Foundation of Korea gave Seattle couple, Bruce & Ju Chan Fulton their Translation Award for a translation of “There A Petal Silently Falls: Three Stories by Choe Yun (Columbia University Press, 2008). For decades, the Fultons have collaborated with each other and others to produce volume after volume of superb translations of Korean literature from Korean to English.

Advance warning – Seattle Arts & Lectures presents writer Dr. Abraham Verghese speaking on Feb. 10. Co-presented by University Bookstore. At Benaroya Hall. (206) 621-2230 or visit

Art News/Opportunities

Register now for training to become a volunteer guide at the Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. Classes take place in March. Please register by Feb. 1. Go to gardensignup@gmailccom for details.

Seattle artist Diem Chau has opened a new business with her husband in Ballard. MiMi Gelato is at 2315 NW Market St. and is open Wed. – Sun. from noon to 8pm. Try flavors like blood orange or matcha & black sesame. Visit for details.

Congratulations to the following who received 2009 Grants for Artist Projects from Artist Trust. Writer/poet Donna Miscolta to do in-depth research on family history such as her Filipino grandfather’s boxing career in California or a visit to an expatriate uncle in Spain. Filmmaker Lucy Ostrander to cover rights in incorporating archival footage into her documentary, “Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol”.  Lead Pencil – (Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo) for equipment to produce detailed animations and video. Margot Quan Knight to complete her photographic quilt project, “Mirror Quilts”. Kini Watanabe to purchase a camera to document her clay work installations. Congratulations to the 2009 Artist Trust Fellowship winners. Poet Rick Barot in the “Literary Arts” category and Paul Kikuchi in the “Music Arts” category. Log on to for details.

Kathryn Ma became the first Asian American author to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award with the publication of her book of short stories entitled “All That Work and Still No Boys” (University of Iowa Press).

Artists Ellen Ito and Yuki Nakamura were nominated for The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s 2009 Foundation of Art Award.

Register now for ID/Chinatown Girl’s Basketball at ID/Chinatown Community Center. (206) 233-0042.

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