By Alan Chong Lau

Highlights

Pamela Yasutake sings and dances in the role of Mary in Langston Hughes Cultural Center’s production of “Black Nativity” currently on stage at the Intiman Theatre through Dec. 22. 201 Mercer St. (206) 269-1900.

Mochizuki is a traditional Japanese New Year celebration that involves the pounding of sweet rice to make mochi. Celebrations will be held across the Puget Sound. It’s great fun for the whole family. The Japanese International Baptist Church in Tacoma has theirs on Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 7636 S. “A” St. (253) 671-0782. Bainbridge Island Mochi Tsuki takes place on Jan. 3 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. At IslandWood at 4450 Blakely Ave. NE. (206) 855-9038. The JCCCW-NVC-Fukuoka Kenjin Kai Mochi Tsuki takes place Jan. 17 at Nisei Veterans Committee Memorial Hall at 1212 S. King St. (206) 568-7114.

Visual Arts

Noted ceramic sculptor/installation artist Yuki Nakamura makes a welcome return to the gallery scene with a show of new work at Howard House Contemporary Art in January. 604 Second Ave. (206) 656-6399 or visit www.howardhouse.net.

“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. Opening reception for WLAM members Dec. 17 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. features “Shin’m ”, an interactive dance performance with Eunsu Kang and Choreographer/performer Diana Garcia-Snyder. RSVP [email protected] or call (206) 623-5124×106 for reservations. Opening reception to the general public is free and begins from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Show continues through June 19, 2010. www.wingluke.org 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 seattleartmuseum.org.

The life of the late William K. Nakamura is highlighted in the show abnout eight UW Alumni who received the Medal of Honor in “Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Courage” on view through Dec. 18 at UW Odegaard Library on the Seattle campus.

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].

Images from Japanese printmaker Imao Keinen’s (1845-1924) “Bird and Flower Album” are on view through December at Davidson Galleries. 213 Occidental Ave. S.  For more information, visit www.davidsongalleries.com

On view through Dec. 22 is a new show by of ceramic sculpture and installation by UW ceramic professor Akio Takamori entitled “Europeans” in which the artists continues his wry look at world history, colonialism and how different cultures meet and collide. Expect humor and lovely handling of color, glaze and calligraphic lines. On view with a show of new photographs by Danny Lyon famous for his shots of civil rights struggles, work camps and prisons in the deep south. James Harris Gallery at 312 Second Ave. S. Hours are Tues. – Sat. from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (206) 903-6220 or visit jamesharrisgallery.com.

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 http://opensatellite.org/exhibition-2009-11MeiroKoizumi.

“So Long” is a multi-media installation by Brent Watanabe that explores computer controlled generated animations, robotics and sound.  On view through Dec. 30. At Jack Straw Productions at 4361 Roosevelt Way NE (206) 634-0919 or www.jackstraw.org.

KOBO at Higo presents the following. “Enfu” is the artist monker for Japanese artist, Ken Taya whose “Hybrid Nippop” work portrays a parallel world where both Japanese and American worlds co-exist. His latest show entitled “I fart rainbow” showcases his latest projects and characters from his latest comic. Dec. 3 – Jan. 3, 2010. Also Japanese pastry chef Setsuko Agata will be present to offer samples of her special holiday cookies and green tea roll cake on Dec. 19 from 12 – 3pm. Some cookies will be offered for sale but best to pre-order items to avoid dissapointment. Call KOBO or log on to www.setsukopastry.com by Dec. 16. 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 during Jan./Feb. of 2010. 604 S. Jackson. (206) 381-3000 or [email protected].

ArtXchange Gallery  presents  on view through Dec. 31, gouache on paper and paintings on wood panel by Bui Vong Khanh. The exhibit traces the evolution of Khanh’s work from post-graduate to the present through his transition from various media. The artist has a playful take on traditional and modern motifs of Vietnamese culture.  512 – 1st Ave. S. (206) 839-0377. www.artxchange.org. Also during Nov./Dec., the gallery has mini-shows of lacquer paintings by their artists at The Teacup at 2128 Queen Anne Ave. N., The Signature at 530 1st Ave. N., Red Square Yoga at 1911 – 10th Ave. W. and Ummelina Int. Dayspa at 1525 Fourth Ave.

Photo Center northwest Members’ Exhibition on view through Dec.  900 12th Ave. (206) 720-7222.

“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.

“Layers” is the title of a show by glass artist Boyd Sugiki remains on view through Jan. 3. This Northwest artist created a series inspired by Istanbul’s skyline of historic domes and minarets alongside modern buildings. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor, Wash. Call (360) 466-4446 or visit www.museumofnwart.org.

Wing Luke Asian Museum –“Drawing a Story: Asian Pacific Islander Americans, Animation and Comics” is still on view but hurry as the show comes down Dec. 13. “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 will continue next year on Jan. 16, Feb. 20 and March 20. Join YOuthCAN, one of Wing Luke’s youth groups as they lead an art workshop of their choice on Dec. 19 from 1 – 3 p.m.  More info. at www.wingluke.org.

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.

What does graffiti inscribed on canvas beds by American military on ships heading towards Vietnam during the war era tell us about that time in history? Find out by seeing “Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam”, a new show opening Sept. 17 and on view through Dec. 13. Washington State History Museum. 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma. (253) 272-3500 or www.washingtonhistory.org.

Traver Gallery Tacoma presents its first ever Holiday Salon Sale featuring original works ranging from glass to painting to mixed media from more than thirty of their artists. Through Dec. 24. 1821 East Dock St., #100. (253)383-3685 or www.travergallery.com.

“Superheroes in Japan: Nineteenth Century Ukiyoe” looks at how 18th century Japanese woodblock prints and how they realte to comic books. On view through Jan. 3. Jordan Schnitzer museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. (541) 346-3027 or visit jsma.uoregon.edu.

Performing Arts

Jazz musician Bob Antolin appears with Global Heat at Seattle Center on Dec. 19 at 1pm as part of Winterfest. http://www.seattlecenter.com. He also appears with Eckaman & Super Mokako Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine’s Sunday African Music Series. 2000 S. Jackson. http://www.hidmo.org/hidmo.html.

Singer Yang Yen performs at Snoqualmie Casino on Dec. 24. 37500 SE North Bend Way in Snoqualmie. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Film/Media

Senhil Ramamurthy is part of the ensemble cast in the Broken Lizard production of “The Slammin’ Salmon”, a satiric comedy. On view at various local theatres such as the Uptown 3 on Queen Anne (888) AMC-4FUN.

Seattle filmmaker Gabriel Miller has spent the last few years doing short features on local artists but his latest film, “Degress of Inspiration” is his first attempt to trace in depth the lives of three featured artists and how their lives intersect. Profiled are Lori Goldston, Britta Johnson and sound artist Susie Kozawa. Look out for public screenings and appearances at local film festivals and public television.

Hong Kong director Jingie Ma is making a live-action version of Mulan, one of China’s best known female folk heroes. The film opened in Asia last month starring Chinese actress Zhao Wei.

“Aoki” is a documentary film that chronicles the life of Richard Aoki (1938 – 2009), a Japanese American who became one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. View the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOB-mzSnK-k.

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 . Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. www.nwfilmforum.org

Written Arts

Dr. Greg Mortenson is the author of the bestselling “Three Cups of Tea”, his story of efforts to build schools in the most remote parts of Pakistan and Afganistan. Now Elliott Bay Book Company presents Mortenson talking about his new book entitled “Stones Into Schools” on Dec. 15 at 7pm at Seattle Pacific University’s Royal Brougham Pavillion. For details, call (206) 624-6600.

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]

Bay Area writer/editor/artist Patricia Wakida does an annual letterpress linoleum block calendar that is always a collector’s item. This year’s calendar honors the tragic histories of extinct animals. Printed in a limited edition of 50. Visit http://www.etsy.com/view_listing_id_35451940 to see images and order.

Philip Lee, formerly of Lee & Low Children’s Book Publishing Company, has started a new foundation called “Readers to Eaters – food literacy from the ground up.” Their aim is to provide books to the community that will give us a basic knowledge of where our food comes from so we can make better food choices and make a more positive impact on our body, mind, community and the world. Plans include displays around area events and eventually, a permanent bookstore.  For details, email [email protected] or call (206) 849-1962.

Noted Chinese American prose writer Ha Jin is back with another strong collection of short stories entitled “A Good Fall: Stories by Ha Jin” (Pantheon Books) that looks at Chinese American characters facing life in unusual circumstances in America. Set for national release on Nov. 24 with a book tour to follow.

Arts News/Opportunities

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.

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). www.uiowapress.org

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture presents a residency program for emerging visual artists set for the summer of 2010.  Dinh Q. Le is part of the facultuy. For more information on how to apply, go to www.skowheganart.org Deadline is Feb. 1, 2010.

Artist Trust continues to provide Washington State artists with news of opportunities, events, jobs, space, and resources. They are also seeking donations of art from area artists for their annual fundraiser. There will be free grant writing workshops for artists of all disciplines coming to Ellensburg, Hoquiam, Seattle and Tacoma. The deadline is Dec.7 for the next EDGE Program for writers. Uninsured or under insured low-income artists can receive vouchers up to $150 for healthcare at Seattle’s Country Doctor Community Clinic. Artist Trust’s 2010 Benefit Art Auction takes place Feb. 20, 2010 at Seattle Center. For more information on all this and more, log on to www.artisttrust.org.

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

Bellevue Arts Museum issues a call for artists for the 2010 Bam Biennial entitled “Clay Throwdown!”.  Northwest artists (AK, BC, ID, MT, OR & WA) working in clay are encouraged to apply. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, 2009. For details, go to www.bellevuearts.org.

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