The North American Post’s Nagomi Teahouse Space has in a few short months, become an exciting new venue presenting Asian American arts and culture. Famed mystery novelist Naomi Hirahara, known for her unique  character, Kibei landscaper/detective Mas Hirai will talk about how she created her protagonist and the inspiration behind her books. Sat. Dec. 10 at 10:30am. Local aspiring and published Japanese American writers will also want to attend a “Writer’s Salon” the same day at 2pm  where Naomi and others will swap stories about the publishing world and trade information. Also noted is the North American Post Holiday Art and Craft Sale set for Sat., Dec. 11 from 10am – 5pm. Come enjoy handcrafted works of art by local artists and artisans. 519 – 6th Ave. S. (206) 623-0100 or go to www.hokubeihochi.org

Local filmmaker Vince Matsudaira comes from a large Seattle  family. He worked early in Hollywood and taught film studies at Seattle Central Community College. Now he presents a new documentary film entitled “KASH _ The Legend And Legacy of Shiro Kashino.” Sat., Dec. 10 at 2pm.  Kashino was a leader for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and leader who was unjustly convicted of starting a fight in a bar. A panel composed of Director Matsudaira, colleagues as well as members of the Kashino family will discuss the making of the film after the screening. Admission is free and the DVD of the film will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the Nisei Veterans foundation. NVC Memorial Hall at 1212 S. King. (206) 322-1122

“(DE) CYPHER – A Night of Meaning Through the World of Performance” takes place on Sat., Dec. 10 from 5 – 10pm. If you like  hip-hop, spoken world, singing and break dancing, then this event is for you.  With food and Happy Hour Specials. Free. All Ages. 5101 – 25th Ave. N.E.  A Bo Leong Production. For details, go to [email protected].

The Garfield High School Orchestra under the baton of Marcus Tsutakawa presents the Sanyo High School Band, a prize-winning ensemble from Japan with director Masafumi Matsumoto in a joint  friendship concert set for UW’s Meany Hall on Dec. 13 at 7pm.  15th Ave. NE at 41st St. in Seattle.For ticket information, go to www.garfieldorchestra.org/shop/sanyo-tickets.

Visual Arts

The work of Jason Hirata and Rumi Koshino is included in a group show at SOIL entitled “11 Most Dangerous Toys of 2011” curated by Klara Glosova. On view through Dec. SOIL Gallery at 112 – 3rd Ave. S., Seattle.

Cambodian-born artist Soheap Pich immigrated to the US with his family to escape the Khmer Rogue and attended art school here, earning an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After a few years of meaningless jobs less than conducive to making art, he returned to his home country where he transitioned to sculpture using rattan and bamboo which suggests Cambodia’s basket-weaving tradition. He comes to Seattle’s Henry art Gallery to construct an installation entitled “Compound.” On view till April 1, 2012. Henry Art Gallery on the UW campus located at 15th Ave. NE & NE 41st. Call (206) 543-2280 or visit www.henryart.org for details.

“Luminous: The Art of Asia” showcases the jewels of SAM’s Asian art collections.  On view till Jan. 8, 2012. Fresh from a tour of Japan, the show includes Chinese bronzes, Japanese lacquers, Korean ceramics and Indian sculpture. Noted contemporary artist Do Ho Suh, who created SAM’s famous “dog-tag,” sculpture will create  “Gate,” a new multimedia installation that responds to the collection and explores the movement of objects and people from the past to the present.  Activities surrounding the show include the following – Enjoy tours of “Luminous” Wed. – Friday at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. and Sat.- Sun. at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 2 p.m., all on the fourth floor . On the third floor, explore a new show entitled “The Seattle Art Museum & Seattle Artists in the 1930s and 1940s” which celebrates the work of Northwest artists whose careers were fostered by the director and patrons of the museum. Includes work by Mark Tobey, Morris Graves and Emilio Amero. SAM Next series is Seattle Art Museum’s contemporary art exhibition program intended to shed light on cutting-edge contemporary young artists and the work they are doing. Selected sixth in the series is New York-based multi-media artist Mika Tajima. Tajima combines painting, sculpture, design, performance, video and sound to create immersive installations that expand the possibilities of each medium. On view through June 17, 2012. SAM is located at 1300 First Ave. in Seattle. Call (206) 654-3100 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org for details. For advance tickets, call (206) 654-3121.

On view through January 2012 is “The Safeco Gift And New Acquisitions: Collecting for the Future.” The work of Tram Bui, Diem Chau, Fay Chong, Saya Moriyasu, Norie Sato, Chang-ae Song and Chao-Chen Yang are included in this show. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. Call (253) 272-4258 or go to www.tacomaartmuseum.org more details.

“North, South, East, West” is a group show curated by June Sekiguchi at University House in the Wallingford neighborhood. It looks at the multicultural fabric of America as exemplified by Seattle artists from Ethiopia, Poland, Vietnam, Iraq etc. Includes work by Carina del Rosario Minh Carrico, Tina Koyama and others. The show will be on display until Feb. 13, 2012. University House, 4400 Stone Way N. at N. 45th, Seattle. Call (206) 545-8400.

“Buoyancy” is a new installation by Jay Antherton and Cy Keener on view through Dec. 16. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave., Seattle. Call (206) 256-0809 or go www.suyamapetersondeguchi.com/art.

 A “Members Studio Sale” helps to celebrate the newest gallery in Seattle’s historic International District. Find the perfect gift of art  at this sale. Hours are Dec. 11 from 12:oo – 4pm or by appointment. IDEA Odysssey Gallery, 66 S. Jackson St., Seattle. Go to www.ideaodysseygallery.com.

The work of Etsuko Ichikawa, Jennifer Le, Tram Bui, Ying Yueh Chuang, Miki Lee and Xiaoze Xie is included in a group show entitled ”New Contemporary Works” on view through Jan. 28, 2012. Davidson Galleries. 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-7684.

Megumi Schacher teaches a one time workshop for Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement of Sogetsu Ikebana Seattle Chapter) in this Christmas season on Dec. 11 from 10am – 12:30pm. $30 fee includes flowers and ikebana tools. At North Bellevue Community Center. 4063 – 148th Ave. She also has a workshop set for KOBO at Higo in Seattle on Jan. 22 from 1 – 3pm. Advance registration required. Call (425) 744-9751 or visit www.ikebanabymegumi.com

Opening Sept. 15 as part of the art galleries at The Seattle Design Center is a group show of artists associated with ArtXchange Gallery. Open until 8 p.m. on Third Thursdays. Regular hours are M – F from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. E-mail [email protected] for more details. 

“Paintings from Vietnam” is a group show of five artists in today’s Vietnam. Work by Phong, Hai & Thanh, To Duy and Bui Cong Khanh.   Remains on view till Dec. 23.  On Jan. 5, “New Work” by sculptor June Sekiguchi inspired by a 4-Culture-supported residency in Laos. Modular collaborative body of scroll-cut wood sculpture, a 3-D and wall hung sculpture and an immersive sound and light collaborative installation (done with Rob Mills and Spar Wilson). ArtXchange Gallery, 512 First Ave. S. For more information, call (206) 839-0377 or go www.artxchange.org.

A show of new illustrations by Junichi Tsuneoka runs from through Dec. 3. The artist teaches at Cornish and has received numerous awards from Print magazine. The 6th Annual Simple Cup Show showcases over 200 cups from the Northwest & Japan.  Runs through December. Co-sponsored by Seward Park Clay Studio. This year, a portion of the profits will go to benefit the potters at Mashiko who lost kilns/studios during the recent earthquake.  KOBO Gallery at Higo, 604 S. Jackson St., Seattle. Call (206) 381-3000 or go to www.koboseattle.com.

The Cullom Gallery specializes in Japanese prints and modern artists influenced by them. Located at 603 S. Main St., Seattle. Call (206) 340-8000 for more information or e-mail: [email protected].

British photographer Michael Kenna has a new series on Huangshan Province in China which will be up till Jan. 7, 2012.  In the back gallery is work by Diem Chau and the team of  Saya Moriyasu +Rachel Max also through Jan. 7, 2012. All shows at G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S. Washington St., Seattle. Call (206) 587-4033 or go www.ggibsongallery.com.

A new show opening Oct. 22 is “Painting Seattle: Kamekichi Tokita & Kenjiro Nomura.” The show remains on view till Feb. 19, 2012. In the 1930’s these two artists documented the landscape of the city and the farmland on weekends and ran their day job of sign-painting on the weekdays. You can still find evidence of their daily labor in signs around Japantown and ID/Chinatown from the “Blue Funnel Line” sign on a door near the Wing to the curtain of painted ads of neighborhood businesses once in the Nippon Kan and now in the Wing’s little theatre. But their own painting of cityscapes and landscapes won recognition in the 1930’s as well. Tokita died too young from poor health after getting out of an internment camp but Nomura would live long enough to see his work turn abstract and receive the honor of being the first Seattle artist to get a one-person show at Seattle Art Museum. Tours of the show will begin on weekends at noon starting at the Fuller Garden Court. Coming March 15 and on view till August 5, 2012 will be a show entitled “Colors of the Oasis, Central Asian Ikats” which features 40 colorful robes created during the 19th century using the labor intensive process known as ikat. All at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 Prospect Ave., Seattle. For more information, call (206) 654-3100 or visit www.seattleartmuseum.org.

“Meet Me at Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family” is a new show of a famous neighborhood general store that just opened. On view till Spring, 2012. Accompanied by a catalogue with essay written by Ken Mochizuki. Also new is “From Fields to Family: Asian Pacific Americans and Food” which explores the traditions, techniques and mouth-watering stories of food through culture and cooking techniques passed on through home and restaurant over the years “Schooled” is a new show which is an interactive exhibit that explores education within the Asian Pacific American communities and how it continues to be a diverse and varied experience. “Vintage Japantown through the lens of the Takano Studio” is another show which looks at portrait photography from one studio active from the 1930’s to the early 1940’s. Studios like this once thrived in the neighborhood and captured the everyday life of its inhabitants. Through Feb. 12, 2012. Another new exhibit is “Epic Tails: Legendary Animals and Creatures” through Dec. 23. “Dual Nature – Contemporary Glass and Jewelry” with work by Cynthia Toops, Vina Rust, Midori Saito, Ron Ho, Boyd Sugiki, Jeffrey Sarmiento, Masami Koda and Eunsuh Choi continues on view through January 15, 2012. Watch artist Aki Sogabe create papercut designs fro 1 – 3pm on Dec. 10. With 15% off all puchases and complimentary gift wrapping. Dec. 17   is Family Fun Day with YouthCAN & artist mentors teaching kids and family how to make art from 1 – 3 p.m.  For details on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.

Had a chance to see the Chinese Garden in Seattle yet? If not, there are activities to check out such as weekend workshops, mixed media workshop, chrysanthemum Festival and docent tours. Go to www.seattlechinesegarden.org  for more details.

Coverage of early Japanese American history in the region is included in the permanent exhibit at White River Valley Museum, 918 “H” St. S.E. in Auburn. Call (253) 288-7433 or go www.wrvmuseum.org.

Portland Art Museum has a large collection of over 2500 Japanese prints dating from the late 17th century to the present day. In “The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand: Three Decades of Japanese Prints from the Portland Art Museum” on view through Jan. 22, 2012, viewers can see the first major show of this extensive collection. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave. Call (503) 226-2811 or go www.portlandartmuseum.org.

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center preserves the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the area. Their permanent exhibit is “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of a Community.” “Kip Fulbeck: Part Asian, 100% Hapa” is a photo show on mixed race people on view through Dec. 31. Forthcoming shows will be “Kokeshi: From Tradition to Tools,” “Coming Home: Japanese Americans in Portland After WWII” and “Roger Shimomura: Shadows of Minidoka.” Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, 121 Nw 2nd Ave. in Portland. Call (503) 224-1458 or e-mail: [email protected].

The Portland Japanese Garden offers the serenity of a Japanese garden plus numerous classes, art shows and workshops year around. Portland Japanese Garden, 611 S.W. Kingston Ave. Call (503) 233-1321.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene has the following exhibits. On view now till Dec. 31 is “Xiaoze Xie: Amplified Moments, 1993 – 2008”. Born in Guangdong China, Xie is a prominent Chinese contemporary artist teaching at Stanford. His ink wash paintings focus on news images buried under the immersion of time and memory. Also on view till Jan. 15 is a group show of Chinese artists who merge Eastern and Western visual languages entitled, “East-West, Visually Speaking”.  Coming next spring is a show entitled “Visions of the Orient: Western Women artists in Asia, 1900 – 1940”. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, 1430 Johnson Lane, Seattle. Call (541) 346-3027.

“Hiroshima: Photographs by Miyako Ishiuchi” on view through Feb. 12. This noted Japanese photographer chose the objects she photographed from more than 19,000 personal effects left behind by those who perished in the bombings. Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr., Vancouver, B.C. Call (604) 822-5087 or go to www.moa.ubc.ca.

“Waterscapes: Migration along the Vancouver Island, Fraser and Yangzi Rivers” by Gu Xiong on view till Jan. 7. This is the work of a Vancouver-based mixed media and installation artist originally from China. During the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the countryside for “re-education.” In the shadow of Tianamen, he fled China. As a former refugee, Xiong address questions of identity and mixed-culture paradoxes generated by globalization.  Nanaimo Art Gallery (Campus Gallery), 900 Fifth St., Seattle. Call (250) 740-6350 or go www.nanaimoartgallery.com.

“Collected Resonance: Shelly Bahl, Sarindar Dhaliwal and Farheen HaQ” brings together the work of three prominent Canadian artists who have created multi-media installations that explore their South Asian traditions and the mythologies of their Punjabi, Sikh and Muslim cultures. On view through Jan. 8, 2012. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss St., Victoria, Canada. Call (250) 384-4171 or go www.aggv.ca for details.

Performing Arts

Local singer/actress Jennifoer Paz takes the lead role in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” on on stage through Dec. 31. (206) 625-1900 or go to www.5thavenue.org

The Seattle Symphony’s new season comes with a new conductor, Ludovic Morlot and some surprises. Some highlights include the following –Mei Ann Chen guest conducts the symphony in the annual “Celebrate Asia” program with guests Jie Ma on pipa, Hahn-Bin on violin and Cuong Vu on trumpet. Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Jennifer Koh is violin soloist on March 22, 24 & 25 performing Brahms’ Violin Concerto under the baton of Morlot. On April 16 at 7:30 p.m., Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra come into town with Wu Wei on sheng performing a mix of Eastern and Western compositions. For a complete schedule, call (206) 215-4747 or go to www.seattlesymphony.org.


Christina Yao’s “Empire of Silver” (see related article in this issue) examines a powerful banking family in late Imperial China as the pressure of family forces a young man to follow tradition or do what’s right for him. Now at AMC Pacific Place 11. 600 Pine St. (888) 262-4386.

Takeshi Kitano returns to the genre in which he became known when he directs and acts in “Outrage”, his new film about a war between two clashing yakuza clans. Set for December 16 at the Varsity Theatre. 4329 University Way NE. (206) 781-5755.

The Written Arts

UBC Law Professor Shi-ling Hsu talks about his new , insightful book entitled “The Case for Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy” (Island Books) on Dec. 7 at 7:30pm. Dec. 8 at 7:30pm brings local visionairies  Eric Liu and Nick Hanaueur who come to talk about their new book “The Gardens of Democracy” (Sasquatch Books) in which they envision  how the government can play a more vital role in  a dynamic society. Both readings co-sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Company. At Town Hall Seattle at 1119 – Eighth Ave. (206) 624-6600 or visit www.townhallseattle.org

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, human rights leader will speak during International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 at the Filipino Community Center at 5740 ML King Jr. Way S. in Seattle. 6:30pm. For details go to [email protected]

Art News/Opportunities

Poets & Writers’ Readings/Workshops Program offers small grants for literary events taking place in Seattle and covers writers’ fees for public readings and workshops. Go to www.pw.org/funding for details.

 The Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery showcases emerging and established artists of color from ethnic and cultural communities. For details and deadlines, e-mail: [email protected].

Applications for artists to have shows next year at Gallery4Culture opens Dec. 1 and the deadline is Jan. 9, 2012. Go to www.galleries.4culture.org.

Congratulations to the following who received 2011 Artist Trust Grants for artist projects (GAP Grants). Writer Bharti Kirchner, composer/performer/musician Paul Kikuchi and visual artist Saya Moriyasu. Winners of  2011 Artist Trust Fellowships include the following – Brent Watanabe in the “Emerging & Cross-Disciplinary Arts” category, Choreographer/dancer Hengda Li in the “Performing Arts” category and UW Art Professor/visual artist Zhi Lin in the “Visual Arts” category. Go to www.artisttrust.org for more details.

Congratulations to local poet Don Mee Choi who  nabbed a Whiting Award for her refreshingly original, ground breaking poetry and translations. Go out and get a copy of her book of poetry entitled “The Morning News Is Exciting” or pick up a copy of her translations of contemporary Korean woman poet Kim Hyesoon.

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