“Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cats – From Talisman to Pop Icon” comes from the massive collection of collector Billie Moffitt. Over 150 of her collected cat figures from all over Japan are on view. Feb. 22 – August 4. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE. (425) 519-0770 or go to www.bellevuearts.org.
The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College presents a show entitled “War is Trauma”. The show consists of handmade prints that transpired out of the Chicago-based street-poster project, “Operation Recovery,” a veteran’s campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops. Feb. 26 – March 22. The Feb. 27 reception features speakers from GI Voice/Coffee Strong which is a veteran-run resource center near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 1701 Broadway on campus across from the cafeteria. (206) 934-4379 or go to www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery.
There is a round, plump, down-to-earth solidity to Akio Takamori’s ceramic figures. I would never imagine them as characters in an Ozu film, rather more as vulnerable yet strong-willed protagonists come alive in one of Shohei Imamura’s passionate odes to life. This is the impression I’m getting as I stare at this housewife with orange hair looking straight back at me from the exhibition card in a relaxed squatting position. Everything about her is rounded and direct from her strong face, curved elbows to her strong, squat ankles fitting snugly into a pair of blue slippers. Takamori teaches in the ceramic department at the University of Washington and each new show is an event. “Ground” is the title of his new show on view at James Harris Gallery from Feb. 21 – March 30. 312 Second Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. Open Tues. – Sat. from 11am – 5pm. (206) 903-6220 or go to jamesharrisgallery.com.
Paul Horiuchi was a master of subtle shadings and soft faded color patiently torn from sheets of Japanese handmade paper. It’s been said that his inspiration was taken from looking at the tattered, torn surface of a message board still extent on a sidewalk in our own Chinatown/ID neighborhood. Wing Luke Museum curator Jessica Rubenacker has taken this foundation as a rallying cry and gathered together a new generation of artists working with paper. What we get to see are the delightful results of today’s artists carrying Horiuchi’s tradition into new and different directions. “Paper Unbound: Horiuchi And Beyond” is on view through July 14, 2013. Besides Horiuchi’s classic pieces, there are other works on paper by Romson Bustillo, Etsuko Ichikawa, Yuri Kinoshita, Bovey Lee, Taiko Suzuki, Jeong Han Yun and Choon Hyang Yun. 719 S. King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org.
“Women’s Work- Culture and the Feminine” is a group show that brings together six artists with global perspective to examine the role culture plays in constructing and deconstructing femininity. Through painting, sculpture, installation, video and printmaking, these artists bring fresh perspectives on feminist identity throughout different cultures. Includes work by Humaira Abid, Judy Shintani, Kathy Liao, Maura Donegan, Beni O’Donnell and Gazelle Samizay. Feb. 7 – March 16. Artxchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. in Seattle. Open Tues. – Sat. from 11am – 5:30pm. (206)839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org
Portland-based artist Robert Dozono shows his “Clackamas River Series” from March 8 – 31 at Francine Seders Gallery. Opening reception with the artist is on Sun., March 10 from 2 – 4pm. Dozono grew up in Japan after WW II, a time where everything was reused and nothing was wasted. Coming to America when he was 13, he found a country in which almost everything is disposable and trash spills out of landfills and accumulates in wilderness areas. Appalled by the situation, the artist has sorted his trash for years and frequently uses recycled material as the first layer in paintings. Dozono helped found Portland’s Blackfish Gallery, an art cooperative and one of the oldest galleries in the city. 6701 Greenwood Ave. N. in Seattle. For details, go to http://www.sedersgallery.com or call (206) 782-0355.
“Interpolated Spheres” features work by Puget Sound Korean adoptees Nari Baker, Darius Morrison and Christina Seong. Each artist will deconstruct commonly held misconceptions about the Korean adoptee experience through various media while addressing themes of race, identity and adoption. Curated by artist/gallery owner and Edmonds CC visual arts instructor Minh Carrico. On view through March 12. A “meet the artists” event takes place on Friday, March 1 from 4:30 – 6:30pm. On the third floor of Lynnwood Hall at Edmonds Community College. Go to http://www.edcc.edu/gallery/ for details.
“Noh – Dance Drama of the Samurai” is a show currently at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland on view till Feb. 24. Go to www.portlandartmuseum.org for details.
Seattle Asian Art Museum has a new exhibit entitled “Legends, Tales, Poetry: Visual Narrative in Japanese Art” which includes scrolls, screens and photos from the 13th century to modern times. Through July 21. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
Sculptor Kanetaka Ikeda has a show of new work entitled “Tree of Life for All Seasons” a series of mixed media assemblages that consist of branches of wood and cloth with leaves of cotton fabric and blooming flowers of ‘petal faces’. The artist has worked on this series for over 20 years and it is not only a visual manifestation of the tree of life in myths and scriptures, but also represents the whole universe with its consciousness. On view March 5th through 30th. 420 NW 9th Ave. (503) 224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.
UW Department of Architecture Winter 2013 Lecture Series presents architect Sunil Bald of New York/New Haven’s Studio Sumo who gives a talk entitled “Big in Japan” on Feb. 21 at 6:30pm in the UW Architectural Hall 147. Go to http://arch.be.washington.edu for details.
Seattle photographer Carina del Rosario has new work out. “Fiction” features a new body of work on view at Centennial Gallery at 400 W. Gowe St. in Kent through March 1. For details on her work, go to cadelrosario.com.
“My Minidoka” is a series of photographs by Johnny Valdez y Uno that reflects his deep emotional connection to the incarceration camp in Idaho, where his grandparents were held during WW II. The artist first learned about the Japanese American internment experience after losing his grandfather and relatives in a tragic car accident as they were returning from a Minidoka pilgrimage. The show came about from conversations with family and his own personal pilgrimage to Minidoka. On view through July 17 at the Northwest Nikkei Museum at the Japanese Cultural Community Center at 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle. Go to www.jccw.org for details. The show will also be exhibited as part of the Minidoka Pilgrimage in Twin Falls, Idaho June 20 – 23.
The work of Eugenie Tung is included in a group show entitled “Gallery Artists – Storytelling” through Feb. 28. Foster/White Gallery at 220 Third Ave. S. (206) 622-2833 or go to www.fosterwhite.com.
Sogetsu Mercer Island Branch 23rd Ikebana Annual Exhibition takes place March 16 & 17 at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center from 11am – 5pm on Sat. and 11:30am – 4pm on Sunday with demonstrations planned for 2pm on both days. Free. 8236 – SE 24th St. on Mercer Island. Go to www.misogetsu.org for details.
“Sumi-e: East Meets West” features work by members of the Puget Sound Sumi Artists group on view through March 3. 4864 Rainier Ave. S. in Seattle. Go to www.ColumbiaCityGallery.com.
The 18th Annual Candlelight Vigil, “Breaking the Silence through Art” takes place on March 7 from 4 – 6pm on the King County Courthouse Lawn and 9th floor. For details, call (206) 467-9976 or go to www.apichaya.org.
“Visions of the Seattle Chinese Garden” is a juried group show that presents images of photographers who captured the Garden’s architectural and natural elements from early morning light to moonlight. The show continues on view through March 15, 2013. ArtsNow Gallery at 201 4th Ave. N. in the Edmonds Conference Center in Edmonds. Gallery hours are 10 am – 5pm weekdays. For details, call (425) 640-1234 or email [email protected].
Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa will have her work presented by Waterhouse & Dodd at both two art fairs – Art Wynwood Miami from Feb. 18 – 24 (www.art-wynwood.com) and Scope New York (http://www.scope-art.com) March 6 – 10. For details on Etsuko’s art projects, go to www.etsukoichikawa.com.
Asian Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma presents a gallery exhibition entitled “The Last Queen of Korea” by Lorraine Toler. The series of paintings is about the Empress Myecngseong (Queen Min), 1851 – 1896. Queen Min was an unlikely political power and responsible for opening Korea to the west and the modern Korea that exists today. On view through Feb. 26, 2013 at 4851 S. Tacoma Way. (253) 383-3900.
On view now till Feb. 23 is “Nostalgia and Progress: 20th Century Japanese Prints” that looks at Japanese prints made just before WW II. “Air and Mist” is a series of woodblock prints by Nuni Sauret up from Feb. 2 – March 2. Cullom Gallery at 603 S. Main St. (206) 919-8278 or go to cullomgallery.com. Open Wed. – Sat.
“BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet” is a group show that features more than 40 contemporary fiber artists including work by Jisean Lee Isbara, Paul Komada and Jan Hopkins. Through Feb. 24, 2013. Bellevue Arts Museum. (425) 519-0770 or go to www.bellevuearts.org.
Ceramic artist Akio Takamori is the subject of one of photographer Eduardo Calderon’s “Portraits of 20 Northwest Artists”. The work of sculptor Gerard Tsutakawa is included in the group show entitled “Black and White Color Study”. Both shows on view till March 13. Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor. 121 S. First St. (360) 466-4446 or go to museumofnwart.org.
Tacoma Art Museum’s “Best of the Northwest” exhibition (on view through March 17, 2013) features work by Paul Horiuchi, Mark Takamichi Miller, Kenjiro Nomura, Frank Okada and Roger Shimomura. “Memories And Meditations: A Retrospective of Michael Kenna’s Photography” remains on view through March 24, 2013. This British photographer’s series on Japan is sublime, with evocative images of the snowy landscapes of Hokkaido. Tacoma Art Museum. (253) 272-4258 or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. (206) 839-0377 or try [email protected].
Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu’s work is featured in the following places. A group entitled “SOIL@SeaTac” at SeaTac Airport’s Concourse A (ongoing). The group show entitled “Japan’s Beckoning Cats – From Talisman to Pop Icon” at Bellevue Arts Museum opening Feb. 22 and on view till August 4, 2013.
Ceramics by Haruko Nakazato and Betsey Williams as well as sculpture by Nicky Falkenhayn on view. Also“Meet Me at Higo” permanent exhibit- Part Two” presented and sponsored by the Wing is a multi-media presentation and self-guided tour that tells the origins and history of the store as a Japanese American five and dime. All at Kobo at Higo, 604 South Jackson. E-mail [email protected] or call (206) 381-3000.
The Wing has the following shows and activities. “Paper Unbound: Horiuchi and Beyond” opens Feb. 21 from 6 – 8pm. The show celebrates Northwest artist and master of collage, Paul Horiuchi and shows his works along side the work of 7 contemporary paper artists including Romson Bustillo, Etsuko Ichikawa, Yuri Kinoshita, Bovey Lee, Taiko Suzuki and Jeong Hay Yun/Choon Hyang Yun. On view through July 14, 2013. “Fashion: Workroom to Runway” is on view till April 21, 2013. It shows how the fashion world has been touched by Asian Pacific Americans.Work and contributions by local and nationally known designers. An on-going exhibit “I Am Filipino” continues and offers a gateway of history through the telling of personal stories from Filipino American local families. Also small exhibits examine the identity and culture of Sikhs in America and the history of the “Killing Fields” in Cambodia. “Vietnam in the Rear View Mirror” explores the complex, interwoven identity of Vietnamese Americans as seen through the eyes of a younger generation. A YouthCAN exhibit entitled “Ghosts in The Field”. “HomeLessness” continues through August 18, 2013. “New Years ALL YEAR ROUND” remains on view till June 30, 2013. Family Fun Day activity on Sat., March 16 from 1 – 3pm will be “Create Korean Paper Magic” with Aimee Lee. Free in the Community Hall. Shirley Karasawa gives a Japanese Noodle Cooking Demo on Sat. , Feb. 23 at 3pm. She will show you how to make udon and soba. Space is limited. In the Community Hall at the Wing. Part of the Tateuchi Story Theatre Performing Arts Series. For more on Shirley Karasawa, go to www.lovelylanvin.com. For information on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.
Maria T. D. Inocencio’s new installation “Fold Here” will be on view in the Nine Gallery room of Blue Sky Gallery at 122 NW 8th Ave. in Portland’s Pearl District. The artist will be collecting clothes, sheets, towels and other domestic fabrics which will be donated to Innovative Housing Incorporated after the show. Show is up from March 7 – 31 with First Thursday Opening on March 7 from 5 – 8pm. Artist’s reception is March 16 from 3 – 5pm. A Dance Performance takes place on March 16 at 4pm. To contact the artist about donating items, go to [email protected]. Call (503) 225-0210 for details.
New Zealand’s Black Grace Dance Company directed by Neil Ieremia invokes Maori and Samoan native cultural history into their choreography. Feb. 21 – 23 at UW’s Meany Hall on the Seattle campus. Go to uwworldseries.org for details.
Japanese violinist/songwriter Kishi Bashi performs with Shugo Tokumaru at the Crocodile on Sat., Feb. 23 at 8pm. 2290 – 2nd Ave. in Seattle. National Public Radio selected Bashi as one of 2012’s best new artists. Go to www.thecrocodile.com.
Jessica Kenny (voice) and Eyvind Kang (viola, setar) play original music from their new lp entitled “The Face of the Earth” (Ideodogic Organ) as well as repertoire from the classical Persian tradition. Sat., Feb. 23 at 8pm. Seattle improvising composer/pianists Victor Noriega and Gust Burns perform and talk about “2 Trios”, their latest recording project. The pianists lead two separate ensembles but share the same rhythm section. March 6 at 8pm. Both concerts are part of Wayward Music Series at the Chapel Performance Space. 4th floor of the Good Shepherd Center. 4649 Sunnyside N. (206) 789-1930.
Legendary performer/dancer/singer/activist Nobuko Miyamoto headlines a dynamic line-up of artists, filmmakers, musicians, scholars and community to help celebrate “Women Who Rock – Making Scenes, Building Communities – 2013 (Un)Conference and Film Festival”. Sat., March 9 from noon – 10pm at Washington Hall. Highlights include a community bazaar, art, music and dialogue. Miyamoto who started out in Seattle as a jazz singer makes a welcome return to give the keynote address at 4:30pm. Miyamoto danced in the film, “West Side Story”, advised on a documentary film on the Black Panthers and co-founded the group Yellow Pearl who recorded the first Asian American folk rock album entitled “A Grain of Sand”. She coordinated Great Leap which helped produce music, theatre and video. Go to mottainai.greatleap.org, cycles.greatleap.org and byoc.greatleap.org to see her work. Miyamoto conducts a children’s dance workshop at 12:30pm. Participants will perform with her during her talk. To make reservations for this free event, go to https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/mhabellp/188773. All ages, children welcome. 153 – 14th Ave. in Seattle. Go to womenwhorockcommunity.org for details.
“THE BURDEN OF PURPOSE” is a 49 day, 2-person study with two separate but complimentary cycles performed by A. K. Mimi Allin and Haruko Nishimura at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. Witnesses and participants are requested. Questions asked during this performance piece are – How does labor lead to stillness? How does silence build to song? What does work solve? What does rest allow? How does one state fuel another? Does the cycle itself make meaning? Mimi will be in a work/rest cycle while Haruko performs the silence/song cycle. Witnesses and participants are requested to bring burdens for Haruko to hold and to bury something with Mimi. To contact the artists to coordinate a visit, email Mimi at [email protected] and Haruko at [email protected]. For detailed information on this performance, go to www.acontinuouscycle.blogspot.com.
The 9th Annual Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition sponsored by the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association takes place on Mon., Feb. 25 from 6:30 – 9:30pm. Come discover some young talent and cheer your favorites on. Winners will be selected to perform at a Kobe jazz club. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley at 2033 6th Ave. in downtown Seattle. Suggested $5-$10 donation. (206) 619-1951 or go to www.seattlekobe.org
Tacoma Little Theatre presents Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” adapted and directed by David Hsieh of React Theatre. March 15 – April 7. 7:30pm on Fri. & Sat. and 2pm on Sun. (253) 272-2281 or go to www.tacomalittletheatre.com. 210 N. 1 St. in the Historic Stadium District.
Can Can Cabaret presents their current show entitled “Tune in Tokyo” that tries to catch the energy of today’s Japan pop dance. Through March 30 at 94 Pike St. (206) 652-0832×2 or go to thecancan.com.
Artist Trust, the non-profit organization that supports the arts in Washington State have their annual benefit art auction set for Feb. 23, 2013. For details, go to www.artisttrust.org.
“ASIA CROSSINGS – Travel Accounts Through Asia’s History” is the title for the upcoming Saturday University Lecture Series set for Seattle Asia Art Museum on Saturdays from 9:30 – 11am through April 13. Tansen Sen will talk about “The Politics of Pilgrimage: Xuanzang and His Meetings with Indian Kings” on Feb. 23. On March 2, James Hargett speaks on “How and Why Did Mt. Emei in China Become a ‘Buddhist Mountain’.” Stewart Gordon speaks on “When Asia Was the World” on March 9. Geoffrey Wade speaks on “Ming China Goes Abroad: The Zheng He Voyages of the 15th Century” on March 16. Ross Dunn speaks about “Ibn Battuta and the World of the 14th Century” on March 23. Christina Laffin speaks on “Women on the Road: Pilgrims, Puppeteers, and Prostitutes from 11th to 14th Century Japan” on March 30. Catherine Becker speaks on “Pathways to Bliss: Reinventing Buddhist Pilgrimage in Andhra Pradesh” on April 6. The series concludes on April 13 with Ellen Widmer speaking on “Gentility on the Move: Travelogues and Fictions of Foreign Travel by Chinese Women Circa 1900”.Presented in partnership with UW’s Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company. For more details, go to [email protected].
Some new releases in the music world include the following –
Jazz guitarist Miles Okazaki grew up in Port Townsend. Based in New York, he was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk competition. His latest offering on Sunnyside is “Figurations” which is his third and final installment of a compositional cycle that is meant to mirror the method by which improvising musicians approach their music from conception to performance. Go to www.sunnysiderecords.com for details.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. $5 for non-members and $3 for JCCCW members. Feb. 24 brings “Kikujiro” directed by Takeshi Kitano. March 3 is Hayao Miyazaki’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. March 10 is Sang-il Lee’s “Hulu Girls”. March 17 is “Light up Nippon” that looks at today’s youth who try to help the people in the devastated areas around the 2011 earthquake/tsunami. 1414 S. Weller St. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org.
“Free First Saturdays” is a children’s program that connects with the arts and culture of Asian on the first Saturday of each month from 11am – 2pm.. Free and open to the public. No registration required. “Girl Power!” on March 2 celebrates the Japanese holiday Hinamatsuri or Girls Day. Explore the Japanese art collection in the museum and create your own artwork from the Doll Display in the Garden Court. Then at 1:30pm, see the animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki entitled “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park at 1400 E. Prospect St. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
The “First South Asian International Documentary Film Festival” takes place at SIFF Film Center at 305 Harrison St. in Seattle Center on Feb. 23 & 24. Thought Tasveer has produced film festivals and arts events in the past, this is their first event to focus on documentary films exclusively. Highlights include Deepa Dhanraj’s “Invoking Justice” which follows the work of an all-female group that tries to resolve family disputes in reaction to the ignorance and contempt that traditional male groups show towards women’s issues. Pankaj Johar’s “Still Standing” looks at the director’s father who was an activist and advocate for the handicapped in India even while being paralyzed from the neck down. “The Nymphs of Hindu Kush” by Anneta Papathanasiou looks at the women of a native tribe in Pakistan struggling to maintain their own culture in this world of globalization. “The Rat Race” by Miriam Menacherry explores the rats of the city of Mumbai’s underbelly and the thankless job that city workers must do to keep them at bay. For more details, go to www.tasveer.org.
Join local director and cinematographer Nandan Rao (“Men Of Dodge City”) as he does a show and tell, exploring cinematic images and collaborations all in a talk entitled “A Cinematographer’s Frame of Mind” on Sat., March 23 from 12 – 3pm. $15 for members and $20 general admission. Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. Go to http://www.nwfilmforum.org for details.
Congratulations to Masanobu Takayanagi whose crisp, jabbing cinematography perfectly captures the frenetic rhythm of a working class Philadelphia family in David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Now playing at select Seattle theatres.
“JUN-AI” (Pure Love) is a Japanese-Chinese collaboration and will have a Seattle screening on Saturday, March 16 at 6pm with doors opening up at 5:15pm. Special guests include Keiko Kobayashi who was lead actress, Executive producer and script writer on the film and Project Manager Shogo Kobayashi. They will give a brief talk and answer questions after the screening. Donations will be sought for production costs, tsunami relief and various other causes. The movie is subtitled in English, Chinese and Japanese. Advance tickets are available or can be picked up at the door. Nisei Vets Hall at 1212 South King St. To purchase tickets, go to http://www.ticketriver.com/event/5790 or contact Midori Kikuchi at [email protected]
Master Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (“Taste of Cherry”) returns with a new project filmed abroad. “Like Someone in Love” is a romantic drama set in Japan. The story revolves a brief encounter between an elderly professor (Tadashi Okuno) and a beautiful sociology student (Rin Takanashi) who moonlights as a high-end escort. What’s on his mind is not so much sex as cooking her soup and playing her his Ella Fitzgerald records. Screens at a Landmark Theatre in Seattle for one week starting on March 15. Go to www.ifcfilms.com/films/like-someone-in-love for details.
“Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality” is an event that includes a film screening and workshop on March 13 & 14 at Seattle University’s Campion Ballroom. For details, call (206) 296-2678 or got to www.crackingthecodes.org/seattle
Some new films bound to surface in Seattle eventually include the following – “The Taste of Money” by noted South Korean director Im Sang-soo (“The President’s Last Bang”, “The Housemaid”) looks at the lap of luxury and an indulgence in sex and power through the eyes of a powerhouse family. “Vishwaroopam” is a new film by Indian actor/director Kamal Haasan. Recently the film has faced controversy in India over how he was distributing the film. His goal is to break the Bollywood mold and make more mainstream films and to bring the films to everyone in India and the world. The film premieres in Los Angeles on Jan. 24th. For more details, go to http://tribune.com.pk/story/490576/dth-face-off-deepens-kamal-to-premier-vishwaroop-in-la/ Acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook (“oldboy”, “Lady Vengeance”, “Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance”) presents his first English-language psychological thriller “Stoker” which tells the story of a young woman who loses both father and best friend in a car accident and how she finds herself drawn to her father’s long-lost brother when arrives for the funeral. Stars Mia Wiasikowska, Dermont Mulroney, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman. Release date is scheduled for March. “Our Homeland” directed by Yong-hi Yang is an unusual film in that it details the experience of life in North Korea as contrasted by life in Japan. The director was born in Japan of a North Korean family and the film is said to be based on her own experience. Recently played the 36th Annual Portland International Film Festival. “Seeking Asian Female” is a new film by Debbie Lum that tells the story of a aging white American man obsessed with the idea of marrying an Asian woman. Lum has assisted Bay Area documentary filmmaker Spenser Nakasako on a number of projects but this film marks her feature film debut. The film will aire on the Independent Lens Series hosted by Stanley Tucci on PBS in early May. Check your local listings for exact schedule.
“Lost Years _ A People’s Struggle For Justice” is a Chinese Canadian documentary film created by Kenda Gee for the Canadian Broadcasting Company. This award-winning film screened at last year’s SIFF in Seattle and is now available in a DVD edition. Go to www.lostyears.ca/vip for details.
The Written Arts
For years now, a small press from New York has published some fine translations of poetry from around the world (some volumes from Asia) and poetry in the United States. Local poet and Examiner contributor Shin Yu Pai joins publisher/poet/translator Dennis Maloney and fellow White Pine poets/translators Carolyne Wright, Andrew Schelling Kelli Agodon and Susan Rich in a 40th anniversary celebratory reading on Feb. 26 at 7pm. At Hugo House located at 1634 – 11th Ave. in Seattle (206) 322-7030.
A book launch event for “Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest” (UW Press) edited by Dr. Nalini Iyer and Dr. Amy Bhatt based on the South Asian Oral History Project coordinated by South Asian Studies Librarian Deepa Banerjee of UW Libraries takes place on March 1st from 6 – 8pm at Suzzallo Library Room 102 on the Seattle campus. This is a major project that finally sheds light on the long history of South Asians living in the Northwest drawing on direct oral history, archival material and popular cultural representations. The editors and the Director of UW Press will talk about the book as well. Another highlight of this event will be a photo exhibit entitled “Journeys Ashore: South Asian Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest” in the Allen North Lobby that has images complementing what is in the book. On view from Feb. 25 – March 31. (206) 685-1433.
UW poet Jane Wong joins writers Bill Carty and Willie Fitzgerald as they read selections from their work at Prographica, a gallery that exhibits fine works on paper. March 6 at 7pm. 3419 E. Denny Way in the Madrona neighborhood. For more details on this event, go to http://www.prographicadrawings.com
“MIGHTY SILENCE: IMAGES OF DESTRUCTION” (Rizzoli New York) is the title of a powerful new book published on the second anniversary of the tsunami in Japan by photographer Yasushi Handa.
For lovers of contemporary fashion, Taschen Books has just published a series of monographs on noted fashion designers. Included in the series are books devoted to the work of Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. For details, go to www.taschen.com.
“Becoming Mexipino” is a new book by Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. that traces the earliest interactions of both Filipinos and Mexicans and their relationships with Spanish Colonialism particularly in the San Diego area. For details, go to www.asiabookcenter.com.
Seattle poet/editor Koon Woon reads with Keith Holyoak on Feb. 22 at 7pm. Woon reads from his much awaited second book “Water Chasing Water” (Kaya Press). He has written about his struggles with mental illness, homelessness and life on the margins in immigrant culture. His first book was a finalist for the PEN Oakland Award. Holyoak is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology and a translator and poet in the classical Chinese style. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. (206) 624-6600.
Elliott Bay Book Company sponsors and co-presents fascinating readings by authors in venues across the city and in their own bookstore as well. Some not-to-miss events include the following. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (206) 624-6600 or visit www.elliottbaybook.com. Early warning- Coming to the store in the spring are the following authors and new books. Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid (“Moth Smoke”, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”) reads from his new novel entitled “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” (Riverhead) on March 13 at 7pm. Noted novelist Gish Jen (“Typical American”, “Mona in the Promised Land”, “World and Town”) will have her fist non-fiction book published by Harvard University Press entitled “Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self”. Drawing on a rich array of sources, including her father’s account of childhood in China, “Tiger Writing” explores the aesthetic and psychic roots of the independent and interdependent self- each mode yielding a distinct way of observing, remembering and narrating the world. Northwest author/filmmaker Ruth Ozeki (“My Year of Meats”, “All Over Creation”) comes out with her latest novel entitled “A Tale For The Time Being” (Viking) in which a novelist on a remote Northwest island finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox, debris from the tsunami washed ashore. Inside, the contents tell another story of another life somewhere across the Pacific. How these two lives intertwine in a shared humanity comes alive in this sparkling new novel. Ozeki appears at two events. With author Karen Joy Fowler, she will speak at an 11am fundraiser for Hedgebrook at Herban Feast at 3200 1st Ave. S. in Seattle on March 17. Go to www.hedgebrook.org for details. She reads at Elliott Bay on March 18 at 7pm. Co-presented by Hedgebrook.
Seattle-based award-winning translators of contemporary Korean fiction, Bruce & Ju-chan Fulton read from and talk about their latest translation entitled “River of Fire and Other Stories” by Ochonghui, one of the most respected contemporary writers in South Korea today. This free event is at the Montlake Branch of Seattle Public Library at 2401 – 24th Ave. E. (206) 386-4636 or go to www.spl.org.
“Japanese Eyes, American Heart – Vol. II: Voices from The Home Front in World War II Hawaii Islanders of Japanese Ancestry” collected by the Hawaii Nikkei History Editorial Board covers the period of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of Japanese living on the islands during that dramatic time. For details, go to www.bookshawaii.net.
“Debts & Lessons” is a forthcoming new poetry book by Lynn Xu on Omnidawn books.
“Ashulia” (Tavern Books) is a new chapbook of poetry by Zubair Ahmed who was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 2005 his family won the DV (Diversity Visa Program) lottery, which enabled them to immigrate to the United States. He currently studies Mechanical Engineering and Creative Writing at Stanford University. His first full-length collection entitled “Dhaka City” is forthcoming from McSweeney’s Poetry Series. Go to www.tavernbooks.com for details.
Kaya Press is a small press that publishes new titles and re-prints of books by contemporary Asian American and Asian authors. For years, they have consistently released a variety of fascinating titles out of New York. After a brief hiatus, they have re-located to the West Coast . Under the sponsorship of the University of Southern California, they are back with several new titles released in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Last year saw the release of “Lament in the Night” by first generation Japanese American writer fiction writer.Shoson Nagahara published originally in Japanese at the turn of the century. This year brings the release of “Magnetic Refrain” by Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut and “Water Chasing Water” by Seattle poet Koon Woon. Both of the latter two writers will be reading at the upcoming Association for Asian American Studies Conference scheduled for Seattle in April. For details on these titles and more, go to www.kaya.com.
Congratulations to the Wing Luke Museum which was designated an “affiliated area” of the National Park Service. This designation will bring more visitors to a museum already touted for being a living cultural showcase for the Asian Pacific American community. It is the 25th affiliated site designated by the National Park Service.
Congratulations to Seattle’s Degenerate Arts Ensemble co-founded by Haruko Nishimura and Joshua Kohl. The performing arts group won a 2013 grant in the category of “Emerging Fields- Literature And the Performing Arts” from Creative Capital in New York. They will embark on a series of multi-disciplinary site-transforming portraits revealing six anti-heroines inspired by historical, mythical and contemporary women. Other Asian Americans across the country to receive this award were Taylor Ho Bynum and Dohee Lee.
Seattle Art Museum has appointed Dr. Xiaojin Wu as its’ new Associate Curator of Japanese and Korean Art. Wu grew up in Hangzhou, China and is a specialist in Japanese painting with a Ph.D from Princeton University. Her first SAM installation on view now is a reinstalling of the Japanese art galleries at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.
Asian American poets are encourage to submit new work to a special issue of the Malpais Review, a respected Southwest literary magazine. For details, go to malpaisreview.com.