As Arts Editor at the Examiner, I help assign stories on the arts but the wide-ranging coverage of all the arts is made possible by dozens of hard-working knowledgeable volunteer writers who rally behind their passion and love of the arts with well-written stories issue after issue. We couldn’t do it without them. I would like to acknowledge one of them, Jon Gierlich who died a few months back. Jon was a respected instructor at Cornish College of the Arts and he believed in the power of community and the arts and how they helped to cross over borders real and imagined. Thanks Jon for your continued presence and the wonderful stories you contributed to our newspaper. Without volunteers like this, we wouldn’t exist. We owe them all a deep debt of gratitude.

Mochi Tsuki is an annual Japanese New Year’s event commemorated with the pounding of mochi or rice cakes. The Seattle event takes place Thurs., Dec. 29 from 10am – 3pm. At NVC Memorial Hall at 1212 S. King in Seattle, (206) 568-7114 or email [email protected]. The 23rd Annual Bainbridge Island Mochi Tsuki takes place Sun., Jan.8 from 11am – 3pm. Includes a performance by Seattle Kokon Taiko and displays of local Japanese American history. At Islandwood at 4450 Blakley Ave. NE on Bainbridge Isalnd. (206) 842-4772 or email [email protected].

“O(PA)PERA” is a live music-installation co-created by composer/performer Byron Au Yong and director/conceptual/installation artist Roger Benington. The piece   investigates ephemera and responds to the current SAM show, “Luminous: The Art of Asia” amidst the earthquakes and tsunamis around the Pacific Rim. Jan. 6, 2012 from 8 – 8:30pm in Seattle Art Museum’s Arnold Board Room. Call the Box Office at (206) 654-3121 for tickets.

Perennial Northwest favorite, ukulele player extraordinaire Jake Shimabukuro   returns for two engagements in  the Puget Sound. His first show is Jan. 19 at 7:30m at Edmonds Center for the Arts at 410 Fourth Ave. N. (425) 275-9595 or edmondscenterforthearts.org. His second show is on Jan. 20 at Tacoma’s Rialto Theatre at 7:30pm. 310 S. Ninth St. (253-591-5984 or visit www.broadwaycenter.org

Singer/songwriter Emi Meyer has generated quite a following in Japan but she was raised in Seattle. Catch her in a local free performance at Seattle’s Sorrento Hotel at 900 Madison St. On Friday, Jan. 20, 2012.  Visit http:/emi-meyer.com/index.html for details.

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. 23. Talented ceramic/installation artist Yuki Nakamura returns with a new piece entitled “Kukai: Sea and Sky” done in collaboration with digital media artist Robert Campbell. Show runs Jan. 4 – 28 with reception scheduled for Jan. 5 from 6 – 8pm. The two artists live directly across from one another between Vashon Island and Tacoma. So “Sea and Sky” is part of everyday just as the sea between the Northwest and Japan and the parts and pieces houses washed away in the tsunami drifting towards our shores. The installation evokes this bond.  The focus is in part inspired by Japanese wood joinery. SOIL Gallery at 112 – 3rd Ave. S. in 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.

 IDEA Odyssey Gallery show through Dec. is a special “Members Studio Sale”. Hours by appointment.  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. Call (206) 624-7684.

Megumi Schacher  has a workshop set for KOBO at Higo in Seattle on Jan. 22 from 1 – 3 p.m. 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.

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. Currently on view is “Made By Elves”, a group show of gallery artists that feature work made by hand including kites, stencils, artist books and woodblock prints. The work of Alison Fujino is included. Through Jan. 14, 2012. 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. 14, 2012.  In the back gallery is work by Diem Chau and the team of Saya Moriyasu +Rachel Max also through Jan. 14, 2012. All shows at G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S. Washington St., Seattle. Call (206) 587-4033 or go www.ggibsongallery.com.

“Painting Seattle: Kamekichi Tokita & Kenjiro Nomura” curated by Barbara Johns 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 until 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.  “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.    Experience the Historic Hotel Tour at a discount with free gallery admission on First Thursday, Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. For details on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.

The work of Z. Z. Wei is included in a 19th Anniversary Group Show at Patricia Rovzar Gallery through Dec. 31. 1225 Second Ave. in downtown Seattle. (206) 223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com

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 

The Hokubei Houchi Foundation’s The North American Post Nagomi Teahouse Space is at 519 – 6th Ave. S. Call (206) 623-0100 or e-mail: [email protected].

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.


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

 At Town Hall Seattle, 111 Eighth. Call (206) 624-6600 or visit www.townhallseattle.org.

Art News/Opportunities

 Columbia City Gallery is an artist-run collective that represents over 30 local multi-media artists. The space has a Guest Gallery whick showcases artists that reflect an ethnically diverse neighborhood. Do you have a great exhibit idea to propose or need more information? Go to  [email protected] or email Lauren Davis at [email protected]

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 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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