“LOST” is a show of new work by artist Mark Takamichi Miller. The work comes from a series he has been working on for the last fifteen years. The paintings are fragmented narratives appropriated from found disposable cameras or undeveloped film. Each roll and each image is a trigger, a jumping off point for the artist to take off from on a fresh, visual journey of his own. Opens on March 7 First Thursday from 6 – 8pm. Remains on view till March 29. Gallery4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. (206) 296-8674 or go to www.4culture.org.
“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. Through 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. Through March 22. 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 girl 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 through 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. Through 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. On the third floor of Lynnwood Hall at Edmonds Community College. Go to http://www.edcc.edu/gallery/ 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.
Azuma Gallery presents an exhibition of “Recent Acquisitions” on view till March 19. Works by Katsunori Hamanishi, Ryohei Tanaka, Joichi Hoshi, Shigeki Kuroda and many more. 530 – 1st Ave. S. in Seattle. (206) 622-5599 or go to www.azumagallery.com.
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 till March 30th. 420 NW 9th Ave. (503) 224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.
“Then is Also Now Lecture Series: D.I.Y. – The Shape of Punk To Come” – Artist/curator/arts administrator Norie Sato participates in a panel discussion about the golden age of alternative spaces, art centers, studio & gallery cooperatives and independent arts publishing during the Seattle of the 1970’s and 80’s with Frye Art Museum Deputy Curator Scott Lawrimore, Anne Focke, writer/editor/arts administrator and artist Ries Niemi. March 21 at 6:30pm. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Frye Art Museum at 704 Terry Ave. (206) 622-9250 or go to http://www.fryemuseum.org.
If your travels take you to the Bay Area and you like Chinese ink painting, then don’t miss this – “The Moment for Ink” is a massive group show designed to promote the awareness of the ink painting tradition in America. One of the curators was struck by a remark made by noted Chinese art historian Michael Sullivan that many of the greatest Chinese painters in the latter half of the 20th century lived in the U.S. Thus the genesis for this show that looks at the history of ink painting in this country as it grew and blossomed and changed. It represents one of the first times so many institutions of art have collaborated on presenting one show. On view through March 23 at the Fine Arts Gallery at San Francisco State University (415-338-6535 or creativestate.sfsu.edu/node/4616) at 1600 Holloway Ave. On view through March 20 at the Silicon Valley Asian Center (408-248-2698 or www.artshu.com) at 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Santa Clara. On view through Oct. 27 at Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (415-581-3500 or www.asianart.org) at 200 Larkin St. On view through June 22 at Chinese Culture Center San Francisco (415-986-1822 or www.c-c-c.org) at 750 Kearny St.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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” – 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. 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.
Thao Nguyen and her Get Down Stay Down Band share the bill with Sallie Ford in a concert on March 7 at Neumos. This folk diva brings new songs that waltz through pop, country and rock influences with nary a scratch. 925 E. Pike. (206) 709-9467 or go to www.neumos.com.
Jessica Kenny (voice) and Eyvind Kang (viola, setar) have released a new lp entitled “The Face of the Earth” (Ideodogic Organ) which includes original music as well as repertoire from the classical Persian tradition and Java. In addition, Kang’s own new release entitled “Grass” (Tzadik) collects new compositions spanning the past five years including music for solo piano and string quartet. This Seattle musician contemplates agricultural poetry, Chinese medicine, the sweat lodge and ikat weaving and brews up some stunning new music.
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.
Catch the legendary Tokyo String Quartet on a final goodbye tour as they perform impeccable chamber music by Mozart, Auerbach and Ravel for one last time. April 17 at 7:30pm. Part of the UW World Series at Meany Hall on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880 or go to uwworldseries.org.
San Francisco’s ACT Theater presents the world premiere of the musical, “Stuck Elevator” with music by Seattle composer/musician Byron Au Yong and librettist Aaron Jafferis. Staged by noted playwright/director Chay Yew, the musical tells the true story of a Chinese deliveryman stuck in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours. April 4 – 28. 415 Geary St. in San Francisco. Tickets online at act-sf.org or call 415-749-2228.
Catch Hollis Wong-Wear in one of the leads in the local musical “These Streets- A Rock ‘n’ Roll Story – Women of the Grunge Era” by Gretta Harley, Elizabeth Kenny and Sarah Rudinoff now playing at ACT Theatre through March 10. 700 Union St. (206) 292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org
JKPOP! is Seattle’s only J-pop and K-pop intergalalactic dance extravaganza and they will perform on March 7 at 9pm. Barboza at 925 E. Pike St. $3. For details, vist www.jkpopnight.com.
If you like Hawaiian slack key guitar, then try the “Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival” set for March 10 at 3pm. Edmonds Center for the Arts at 410 Fourth Ave. N. in Edmonds. (425) 275-9595 or go to www.edmondscenterforthearts.com.
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.
Catch 5,000 years of Chinese music and dance when Shen Yun ensemble performs March 28 – 31 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Go to Ticketmaster.com or 888-998-9961. Tickets in-person at KeyArena Box Office at 312 1st Ave. N. as well.
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.
“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. 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].
Sakura-Con is the Northwest’s largest anime. Comics, gaming and Asian culture convention. Takes place March 29 – 31 at Washington State Convention and Trade Center. For details, go to www.sakuracon.org.
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.
Japanese jazz piano prodigy Hiromi is out with a new release entitled “MOVE” (Telarc) with Anthony Jackson and the powerhouse rock drummer Simon Phillips. A dramatic energy pervades this release.
Rudresh Mahanthappa, jazz saxophonist who invokes the musical forms and traditions of his Indian heritage not as superficial gimmick but as a vital piece of his wide-open approach to music describes his new release “GAMAK”(ACT) thusly, “it incorporates Western forms of jazz, progressive rock, heavy metal, country, American folk, go-go and ambient, while simultaneously engaging the rich traditions of Indian, Chinese, African and Indonesian music.”
Jazz singer Seung-Lee in “Sketches On The Sky” (Sorien) is not afraid of challenges. She fits Korean lyrics to a lyrical tune by jazz bassist/composer Charlie Haden without missing a step and in the title tune in two parts, takes the purity of her voice and just wordlessly skates out notes that haunt and dart through the open spaces.
Violinist/composer Jason Kao Hwang has been a mainstay of the New York Jazz avant-garde scene for years. His new release “Burning Bridge” (Innova) is a five part work that uses elements of jazz, classical and traditional Chinese music in effective fashion.
SIFF presents some interesting new films in both their facilities , the Uptown in Queen Anne and SIFF Film Center in Seattle Center. “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” by Ramona Diaz tell the charming tale of Arnel Pineda, a poor but charismatic young singer in the Philippines. When he post a YouTube video of himself singing along to his favorite rock songs, his life changes overnight. In the video, he sings some songs by Journey, one of the most popular bands of the 70’s. When the band loses its’ lead singer, they search for a replacement for a world tour. Spied on YouTube, the band gives him a live audition which he passes with flying colors. Now Pineda from the slums of Manila is leading a famous band in stadium-sized concerts around the world. Opens March 8 at the Uptown Cinema. “War Witch” was the Academy Award@ nomination from Canada for Best Foreign Language Film. Directed by Kim Nguyen, the film tells the story of a 15 year old girl forced to fight as a child soldier by rebel forces in Africa. When another child soldier convinces her to run away with him, she must resolve the actions of her past. Opens March 15 at the Uptown. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. (206) 464-5830.
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. 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 by putting on spectacular fireworks shows. Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Story” that may be bland by today’s standards as nothing much happens yet everything happens in the moments of stillness between words. An aging couple visits their grown children in the big city but everyone is too busy to pay them much attention. Only the widow of their late son treats them with kindness as time passes by. Always on the top ten lists of critics. Screens March 24. Before Tarentino, that Japanese “bad boy” of kitch and excess, Takashi Miike took this “spaghetti western” and drenched it in MSG and shoyu. “Sukiyaki Western Django” puts two rival gangs and a lone mysterious gunman and plops them all down in ancient Japan. Screens March 31. April 7 and the screen turns to horror as the angry spirit of a murdered child haunts a young couple in Takashi Shimizu’s “Ju-On: The Grudge”. April 14 brings us a Hayao Miyazaki feature-length animated classic, “Princess Momonoke” as humans and animal gods of the forest do battle as the earth burns. April 21 is a re-make of a classic samurai film entitled “13 Assassins” with Yakusho Koji doing a masterful job as the leader of a bunch of wandering samurai brought together to battle corruption and greed. This time Takeshi Miike leaves the kitsch at home and plays it serious in a respectful nod to the great sword fighting tradition of Japanese cinema. 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. “Cherry Blossoms” on April 6 celebrates the newly arrived spring and the Japanese love of cherry blossom viewing. Explore the Japanese art collection in the museum and create your own artwork inspired by artworks that celebrate cherry blossom season. Then at 1:30pm, see the animated feature film entitled “The Tales of Beatrix Potter”. On May 4, “Shadow Puppets” is a program that gets you to design your own shadown puppoets with inspiration from the gods and goddesses in the Asian art collection. Then at 1:30pm see the film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed”. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park at 1400 E. Prospect St. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
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 air on the Independent Lens Series hosted by Stanley Tucci on PBS in early May. Check your local listings for exact schedule.
The Written Arts
“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 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. A photo exhibit entitled “Journeys Ashore: South Asian Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest” in the Allen North Lobby has images complementing what is in the book. On view through 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.
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. Sunday, March 10 at 3:30pm.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.
Lawrence Fong, Associate Director and Curator of Regional Art at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon joins Seattle independent curator/writer Vicki Halper as they discuss a book they co-edited entitled “Morris Graves -Selected Letters” (UW Press). This book sheds new light on this late Northwest artist through his written exchanges with friends, colleagues and museum/gallery staff throughout his whole life. March 24 at 2pm in the WaMu Room on the 4th floor of Seattle Public Central Library downtown. Co-presented by the Northwest Room, the Seattle Public Library, UW Press and Elliott Bay Book Company. Free. 1000 Fourth Ave. (206) 386-4636 or go to www.spl.org.
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 fiction writer Shoson Nagahara published originally in Japanese at the turn of the century for the first generation. In two novellas he captures the raw pulse of immigrants struggling to survive in a strange new land. This year brings the release of “Magnetic Refrain” by Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut and “Water Chasing Water” by Seattle poet Koon Woon. Schildkraut, a Korean adoptee digs deep in the space between two cultures with unflinching honesty, giving voice to so many souls lost to history. Woon’s work has a mathematical clarity to see behind the faces of the homeless , the mentally ill and disenfranchised immigrants living on the margins of life and rescue for us their stories shaped by hardship and a real American blues borne by experience. 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.
“Southern Cross The Dog” (Amistad) is the debut novel by Bill Cheng who blends his love of the blues with a young black character set adrift in the deep South of the 1920’s. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the blues, particularly country/delta blues, and I thought my first full-length work should be a tribute to that kind of music, those stories, those people. I wanted to capture the sense of a country and people that was unsure of itself, that was tenuous about the future. I think that has some resonance with how I think America is today.”
Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara returns with her by now familiar Gardena gardener/detective Mas Arai in “Strawberry Yellow” (Prospect Park Books), the fifth and latest volume in the series. This mystery brings Mas back to the agricultural roots of his younger days as he sets out to solve the death of a good friend in the strawberry fields of Watsonville.
“The Treasures of Bruce Lee – The Official Story of the Legendary Martial Artist” (Applause) by Paul Bowman with a Foreword by Shannon Lee serves as the catalog of sorts for a Bruce Lee Museum set to be built in Seattle’s Chinatown/ID neighborhood. The book is chock full of photos, ephemera and memorabilia designed in the style of a fancy scrapbook with replicas of token souvenirs resembling similar books done for music icons like B. B. King and Jimi Hendrix.
“Abductions” (Writ Large Press) is the latest book of poems by L.A.-based poet Chiwan Choi. His first book, “The Flood” was the impressive debut of a new poetic voice. This new volume is full of longer experimental prose poems. Choi expects to return to Seattle to read from this new book the end of April.
“The Nanjing Massacre: Poems” (Bamboo Ridge) by noted Hawai’i-based poet Wing Tek Lum has been a long work-in-progress that captures the notorious Japanese occupation of Nanjing, China in 1937 from different perspectives and gives a time in history very human faces and personal voices.
March 11 marks the 2nd anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. A number of local events remember this catastrophe – In the wake of the upheaval caused in the quake area, may lives were irrevocably changed. Some people had to change careers overnight. “Hope from Kesennuma” brings several Japanese to Seattle to present new products made from new careers after the tsunami. March 9 from 10am – noon. At Bellevue Children’s Academy at 14600 NE 24th St. in Bellevue. Program in Japanese only. For tickets, go to http://kensennuma.bpt.me. “Shout Out To Japan! – Cheers from Seattle” is an event that will encourage visitors to send cheering messages to Japan. Takes place March 10 from 9am on at Fisher Pavillion in the Seattle Center at 305 Harrison St. (206) 374-0180 or go to http://jassw.org. “Smile for Japan” is a fundraising event at Sake Nomi on March 10 from 3 – 6pm. Proceeds of the event go to the Smile ambassadors Program which will offer assistance to children of the affected areas. Live music by Miho & Diego, Jasper T. and others. Sale of art & handmade crafts. A special selection of sake from the Tohoku area. No cover charge but you must be 21 or older to enter. 76 S. Washington. For more details, go to http://www.facebook.com/events/336507199783949/?fref=ts. The second anniversary memorial service for victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake/tsunami takes place on March 11 at 7:30pm at Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Church at 1427 S. Main St. Call (206) 329-0800 for details.
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.
Congratulations to director Ang Lee who won a second “Best Director” academy award for “Life of Pi”. He had won previously for “Brokeback Mountain”.
Suyama Space is one of the few alternative spaces in Seattle where you can see interesting site-specific art installations by talented local, national and internationally known artists wonderfully curated by Beth Sellars. To keep the space going and the art flowing, come to the “Suyama Space 2013 Benefit Garage Sale” March 22 – 24 . All sales cash only. Featuring furniture, vintage goods, household items, textiles, art items, antiques and much, much more. 9 – 5pm on Friday and 10am – 4pm on Sat. & Sun. 2324 Second Ave. (206) 256-0809 or go to www.suyamaspace.org.
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.