Visual Arts

Highlights

Auburn educator Greg Watson has guest-curated a show entitled “NIHON/WA – Japanese Heritage – Washington Artists” in order to honor artists of Japanese heritage and their ancestors who helped develop the White River Valley before World War II. The exhibition includes work by Paul Horiuchi, Etsuko Ichikawa, Nadine Kariya, Cark Kishida, Greg Kono, Rumi Koshino, Saya Moriyasu, Frank Okada, June Sekiguchi, Roger Shimomura, Aki Sogabe, Boyd Sugiki, Akio Takamura, Ken Taya,  Gerard Tsutakawa, Junko Yamamoto, Lois Yoshida and Patti Warashina. Opening reception with the curator and artists is April 23 from 5 – 7pm. The show remains on view through July 28. Activities connected with the show include the following – April 30 Asian Brush Calligraphy showcase at 6pm. Registration required. May 11 Family Day activities from noon to 4pm (cost included with museum admission). June 15 Japanese Kite-making workshop at 1pm. Registration required. White River Valley Museum is at 918 “H” St. S.E. in Auburn, WA. Regular hours are Wed. – Sat. 12 – 4pm. (253) 288-7433.

The fountain at Seattle Central Community College created by Seattle sculptor/artist/educator George Tsutakawa was a landmark on campus for decades. In recent times it has fallen into disrepair and there has been talk by the administration of getting rid of it altogether. When students, staff and faculty heard about this, they rallied to form the Tsutakawa Fountain Committee. The administration agreed to fund half of the funds for repair and maintenance if the committee could raise the money to fund the other half. On Friday, May 17 from 5:30 – 7pm, there will be a fundraising rally in the Artrium by the cafeteria on the SCCC main campus on Broadway. To donate online, go to https://sccd.ejoinme.org/?Tabid=450084 or you can write a check to the Seattle Central Community College Foundation indicating it is for the “Tsutakawa Fountain Fund.” If you have questions or need more information, go to [email protected]

Seattle artist Jill Beppu’s primeval paintings/monotypes of fish and fowl  explode with a mystic, dark power and grace.   On view at Magnolia United Church of Christ through May.   Gallery hours are 9 – 3pm from Mon. to Thurs. 3555 W. McGraw. (206) 283-1788.

Noted Portland sculptor  Michihiro Kosuge has a show  of his work at Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) through May 11. (503) 242-1419 or go to pica.org for details.

“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. Local artists Diem Chau,  Saya Moriyasu, Yuki Nakamura, Akio Takamori,  Maki Tamura and Patti Warashina also contribute their “cat” visions. Through August 4. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE. (425) 519-0770 or go to www.bellevuearts.org.

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.

Early warning – Don’t miss Future Beauty: Thirty Years of Japanese Fashion” set to open June 27 at Seattle Art Museum. Three decades of innovative design on display with a “Who’s Who” listing of designers like Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Rei Kawakubu, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahasi and others.  Akiko Fukai, Director of KCI and curator of the show will give a talk on June 27 at 7pm in the SAM Museum Downtown Plestcheeff Auditorium. Tickets for nonmembers at $10, students & seniors $8 and SAM members $5. Conceived by the Kyoto Costume Institute and Barbican Art Gallery, London. The Seattle show organized by Kyoto Costume Institute and Seattle Art Museum with support from Wacoal Corporation and 4Culture. Get your tickets online starting May 1 at seattleartmuseum.org/Future Beauty.

HiiH Lights is the Portland-based team of Lam Quang and his wife Kestrel Gates. Their new show entitled “Indigo” presents a new series of dramatic lighted sculptures through April 27.   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

“Hana: Japanese Flower Prints and Drawings” is a show to welcome in spring and will be on view  through April 27. Robert Hargrove presents new sumi paintings in his gallery debut. Cullom Gallery. 603 S. Main St. (206) 919-8278 or go to cullomgallery.com.

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. Lectures here include the following – Professor Nargis Virani of The New School in New York talks about “Sacred Poetry and Music in Muslim Culture” on Sun., April 21 at 2pm. The talk will be accompanied by a screening of Simon Broughton’s “Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam”. Noted Professor Emeritus Yoshiaki Shimizu of Princeton University and an authority on Japanese art comes to Seattle to give two talks. “Art and Nuclear Disaster in the Pacific: Response by Two Painters” looks at how Japanese artist Ikuo Hirayama responded to the WWII bombing of Hiroshima and how American artist Ben Shahn responded to the 1956 Bikini atoll hydrogen bomb experiment. Thurs., April 25 at 7pm. The second talk is  “Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800): A Peacetime Painter of Kyoto”  and looks at this eccentric Japanese artist who retired at 40 to devote himself to art and Zen Buddhism. Sun., April 28 at 3pm. All talks take place at the Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.

“One in a Million” is a show about the genocides and humanitarian crises in Sudan, the Democratic  Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma. Through April 28 at {Storefront} Olson Kundig Architects at 406 Occidental Ave. S. Go to olsonkundigarchitects.com for details.

“Tohoku: Through the Eyes of Japanese Photographers” is a show that takes a look at the remote northern region of Japan known for its harsh climate and tsunami.  Now  through  May 6. At Seattle  Center Pavilion at 350 Harrison St. (206) 684-7200 for details.

“Art Behind Barbed Wire – A Pacific Northwest Explanation of Japanese American Arts And Crafts Created in World War II Incarceration Camps” is on view through July 17 at Northwest Nikkei Museum at Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington, 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle. (206) 568-7114.

Kathy Liao  has a solo show of new oil paintings at Blindfold Gallery at 1718 E. Olive Way, Suite A in Seattle coming May 8 – June 7. (206) 328-5100 or go to blindfoldgallery.com for details.

The work of Tacoma jewelry artist Lisa Kinoshita can now be found at the Seattle Art Museum’s SAM Shop. She uses found objects and earthly materials and/or metal and glass pieces that she fabricates herself. 1300 First Ave. in downtown Seattle. Go to seattleartmuseum.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 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.

Naiza Khan is one of Pakistan’s most influential contemporary artists. Her work captures the experience of living and working in Karachi, where everyday life is affected by natural disaster, urban migration and political struggle.  Working in painting, sculpture, wall drawings, performance and video, the art is informed by her surroundings. Now ArtAsiaPacific Magazine has published the first major monograph on this artist that examiners over 25 years of her work and accompanies her first US solo exhibition on view now at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University through May 26, 2013. For details, go to artasiapacific.com.

Early warning – The Friends of Asian Art Association presents  ‘Three Contemporary Asian Ceramic Artists”.  Enjoy an opportunity to meet three distinguished global artists who will discuss and share their work. Barbi Lock Lee from Australia, Sachiko Furuya from Japan and Charan Sacher from India will give presentations on Sat., May 11 from 1 – 5pm. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 – lst Ave. S. RSVP at (206) 839-0377. Suggested donation is $10 to benefit FAAA.

“Summoning Ghosts- The Art of Hung Liu” is a new retrospective show of this noted Bay Area figurative artist now on view at Oakland Museum of California through June 30, 2013.  Organized by Rene de Guzman.  Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said this about her work – “Hung Liu’s life experience, complex personal history, understanding of female identity, sensitivity to immigrant culture, and vigorous powers of expression have made her a one-of-a-kind artist.” Catalog published by University of California Press. Go to museumca.org for details.

“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.

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.  Historian Barbara Johns leads a tour of the show with exhibit developer Jessica Rubenacker on Sat., April 27 at 1pm and again on Sat., June 8 at 11am. “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.  Opening May 9 from 6 – 8pm will be a  group show entitled “Under My Skin – Exploring Race in the 21st Century” where artists deal with race and racism through their own work. 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., April 20 from 1 – 3pm will  be “Decorative Moveable Cards for Mother’s Day” with Candie Schulz. Family Fun Day for May 18 at lpm will have Chiyo Sanada showing people who to make a Daruma doll out of a paper plate.  Family Fun Day activity on Sat., June 15 at 1pm will be how to make a “Paul Horiuchi Paper Collage” with Mizu Sugimura. Free in the Community Hall. For information on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.

A glass installation by Keunae Song is on view at CORE Gallery through April 27. 117 Prefontaine Place S. (206) 467-4444 or go to www.coregallery.org

The work of contemporary photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki is included in a group show of new work at G. Gibson Gallery. Through May 18. 300 S. Washington St. (206) 587-4033 or go to www.ggibsongallery.com.

A selection of shin-hanga woodblock prints by Kawase Hasui and Hiroshi Yoshida are on view May 3 – June 1. Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. (206) 624-7684.

“Pacific Voices” highlights the art, ceremonies and stories of 17 different cultures from around the Pacific. Through May 29. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.  On the UW campus at 17th Ave. NE & NE 45th. (206) 543-5590 or go to www.burkemuseum.org.

“Symbols of Nature & Man: A Journey of 40,000 Years” features work by Indonesian textile artists Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam with the collaboration of Australian aboriginal communities. Opens April 26 through May with  artists reception on May 10 from 6 – 8pm. Island Gallery at 400 Winslow Way E. #120 on Bainbridge Island. (206) 780-9500 or go to www.theislandgallery.net.

Performing Arts

Highlights

The On Ensemble is a young group of musicians who play taiko but they push the tradition into the future adding a fusion of hip-hop, rock and electronica. They haven’t been here for years  so now’s a good chance to see how they’ve evolved. There is some taiko lineage here as the two Japanese Americans in this group grew up in Mt. Shasta and trained and performed with Shasta Taiko (former Bay Area jazz/taiko veterans of San Francisco Taiko, Russel Baba and Jeanne Aiko Mercer).  The group will be in residency from April 15 – 19, doing workshop/demonstrations at 4 elementary schools and offer a hands-on Japanese drumming workshop to music teachers in the area as well. They perform a concert on Friday, April 19 at 7:30pm at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. (425) 275-9595 or go to www.ec4arts.org.

Korean American jazz saxophonist/singer/songwriter Grace Kelly has been performing and recording since she was 12. Now at the ripe old age of 20, she leads her own quintet and will perform at Kirkland Performance Center on May 11 at 8pm. Seasoned jazz veterans such as Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods and Monty Alexander have sung her praises. Come and see for yourself.  As an added bonus, brilliant Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma opens  with her quartet. Kirkland Performance Center is at 350 Kirkland Ave. (425) 893-9900 for tickets.

“A Grain of Sand Reunion Concert” with Nobuko Miyamoto and Charlie Chin takes place  on Friday, April 19 at 6:30pm at the Wing’s Community Hall. The two along with the late Chris Iijima were founding members of one of the Asian American movement’s first activist folk groups to emerge in the 70’s. They will perform songs from the original album plus share new music.  Excerpts from Tadashi Nakamura’s award-winning documentary, “A Song For Ourselves” will be included to honor the life and music of  Chris Iijima.  $35 for museum members and $45 for non-members. Includes dinner reception and museum admittance. Go to www.wingluke.org.

“Harmony” is the title of an upcoming concert by local chamber group Simple Measures led by Rajan Krishnaswami. The concert explores the sense of harmony through the centuries with a complete rendition of Beethoven’s “Archduke Trio.” April 19 at the Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.  (go to chapelspace.blogspot.com) and April 21 at Seattle Town Hall at 1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 624-4255  (go to townhallseattle.org.)

What happens to two teenage Filipino siblings abandoned by their father and forced to confront an adult world? Find out in A. Rey Pamatmat’s play entitled “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” on stage through April 21 at Seattle Public Theater at Bathhouse Theater at 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N. (206) 524-1300 or go to seattlepublictheater.org.

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.

When jazz trumpeter and Bellevue native Cuong Vu was offered a teaching job at UW that lured him away from New York, some might have thought he’d become lethargic in his new academic digs. He’s been anything but, bringing the energy he felt in the Big Apple and stirring up the local jazz and improvising scene. Recently Seattle Met named him one of the 50 Most Influential People in Seattle Right Now. But more than that, he’s served as a catalyst for change, encouraging students and young local musicians to take chances and perform and record. Some fruits of that effort can be seen in the Fifth Annual UW Improvised Music Project April 25 – 27 at 7:30pm at the Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center. Vu joins fellow faculty member, drummer Ted Poor with bassist Eric Revis in the trio known as Triggerfish and also joins Bill Frisell and Poor with a UW student ensemble. Young players from the local label Table & Chairs, King Tears Bat Trip also perform. Chris Icasiano is part of this group.  For all the details, go to www.improvisedmusicproject.com. $5-$15 suggested donation at the door for each concert.

Renowned jazz pianist Sumi Tonooka plays the Seattle Women in Jazz Festival on Sat., April 27 at Egan’s Ballard Jam House at 1707 NW Market. This first ever festival runs from April 26 – 28 at various venues around town and was organized by Examiner contributing writer, Jessica Davis (“Way to go, Jessica!”). Other performers include Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra with New York singer/songwriter Elizabeth Charles, Rochelle House, Stephanie Porter, Jacqueline Tabor, Leah Natale, Dawn Clement, Kate Olsen, Cynthia Mullis, Beth Fleenor, Susan Pascal, Samantha Boshnack and Ann Reynold’s Clave Gringa. More information can be found at www.seattlewomeninjazz.com

The Eighth AAINA Festival: A South Asian Women’s Focus” takes place May 10 – 12. Tasveer presents this annual festival of creative work of South Asian women through performance, film and art. A key component of this festival is Yoni Ki Baat (YKB, a South Asian adaptation of The Vagina Monologues) set for May 10  & 11 at 7pm and May 12 at 3pm. For a full festival schedule, go to seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter or tasveer.org. Yoni Ki Baat tickets can be purchased through the SAM Box Office. Non members are $20 and SAM members are $15. Film tickets will be available at the door with nonmembers paying $10 and SAM members paying $5. All other festival events are free.

Early warning – The East/West Collective, an international composite of   musicians comes to Seattle with some interesting instrumentation.  Saxophonist Larry Ochs (Rova), French bass clarinetist Sylvain Kassap and French cellist Didier Petit are paired with Miya Masaoka on Japanese koto and Xu Feng Xia on Chinese Guzheng and voice. They perform on Sat., June 22 at 8pm at the Chapel Performance Space. Part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series. Check earshot.org for concert updates.

Get your groove on with Seattle pianist Deems Tsutakawa on Friday, April 19  at 7pm.Lakeside Bistro at 11425 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 772-6891.

Chinese American composer Austin Huang, Seattle Asian Choir and musicians from Canada, China, South Korea and the US participate in a concert entitled “A Colorful Musical Journey” set for April 21 at 7pm. Benaroya Hall at 3rd and Union. Go to (206) 215-4747 or ChineseCulturalFestival.org for details.

Daejeon Yeonjeng Municipal Orchestra’s “Korea Fantasy” brings a full panorama of Korean music, folk songs and traditional dance to the stage of Benaroya Hall on April 22 at 7:30pm.  200 University St. in downtown Seattle. Free but registration suggested. Go to koreafantasy.eventbrite.com or www.morningstarkcc.org or call (425) 743-1004 or (206) 251-5659 for details and more information.

A “Bellydance Spectacular” featuring Nath Keo and the Scared Dance Company of Victoria BC takes place on Sat., May 4 at 6pm at Renton’s Carco Theatre. 1717 SE Maple Valley Highway.  Keo will also teach dance workshops on May 3, 4 & 5.  Tickets to  the show available through BrownPaperTickets.com. All proceeds from sales go to support Refugee Women’s Alliance. For details, call (206) 351-4740.

It’s spring and time for tea ceremony demonstrations to start up again at the Teahouse on the third floor of the Seattle Art Museum downtown. Free with museum admission but you must register at seattleartmuseum.org/calendar for the day you want to attend. Times include April 18 at 6:30pm, April 21 at 2:30pm, May 16 at 6:30pm, May 19 at 2:30pm, June 16 at 2:30pm and June 20 at 6:30pm.

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. Through April 28. 415 Geary St. in San Francisco. Tickets online at act-sf.org or call 415-749-2228. Go to  http://www.act-sf.org/site/news2?page=NewsArticle&id=6634 for details.

Bay Area-based jazz drummer Akira Tana leads his group Otonawa on a series of concerts for tsunami/earthquake relief in Japan. The group consists of Asian American musicians as well as Japanese musicians presently living in the U.S. The group consists of Saki Kono on vocals, Masaru Koga on woodwinds, Ken Okada on bass, Art Hirahara on piano and Akira Tana on drums.  A cd  of traditional Japanese folk and pop melodies given the “jazz” treatment is expected soon. For complete details, go to www.otonowa-usa.com.

Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival comes to Seattle Center April 26 – 28. (206) 684-7200 or go to seattlecenter.com/festal.

Concert violinist Hilary Hahn plays Sibelius April 25 – 27 with Seattle Symphony conducted by Xian Zhang. Benaroya Hall at 200 University St. (206) 215-4747 or go to seattlesymphony.org.

Tomoko Sugawara performs on Asian Kugo Harp in a concert entitled “Early Music from the Silk Road “ on Sat., April 27 at 7pm. Trinity Parish Church at 609 – 8th Ave. in Seattle. (206) 920-3822 or email [email protected] for details.

The Anthony Cordova Dance Party Band  perform at the Filipino American National Historical Society’s gala benefit party titled “Swing to Spring”.  April 20 at 8pm.  Free dance lessons provided from 8 – 9pm. $15 for FANHS members and $20 general admission. 153 – 14th Ave. (206) 972-8664.

“Ryukyu Charm” features music and dances by Okinawan students at Star Center at 12:30pm.  Sunday, April 28th. 3873 S. 66th St. in Tacoma. (425) 308-1878.

Jayanthi Raman Dance Company present a concert of new work entitled “Gurubyo Namaha: Salutation To The Guru” on April 21 in Portland. (503) 690-5906 or go to jayanthiraman.com for details.

Some new releases in the music world include the following –

“Flying Alone” (Inner Circle Music) is the debut recording of Taiwanese jazz vibes player and singer Yuhan Su now based in New York.  She studied with Latin Grammy winner Dave Samuels.  With Su on vibraphone, malletkat and vocals, Ragael Aguiar on also sax, Cesar Joaniquet on tenor and soprano sax, Pueblio Delgado on guitar, Christian Li on Piano, Jeong Lim Yang on acoustic bass and Deepak Gpinath on drums. Go to www.yuhansu.com for details.

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.

Film/Media

Highlights

“Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings” is a documentary film that traces the life and musical development of   this ukulele virtuoso. If you missed it on PBS or the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, here’s a second chance. Screens April 20 at 2 and 7pm. Nisei Vets Hall at 1212 South King St. Buy tickets in advance  to avoid disappointment at http:www.brownpapertickets.com/event/332223.

“My Brother The Devil” marks the debut of British director Sally El Hosani (Welch/Egyptian). It tells the story of a traditional Arab family in one of London’s most ethnically-mixed and volatile neighborhoods. A younger brother idolizes his older brother for his command of life on the streets and wants to follow in his footsteps but his brother envisions a different life. Opens on Friday, April 19 at the Varsity Theatre. (206) 632-6412.

“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” directed by Mira Nair and based on the book of the same name by Mohsin Hamid tells the story of a Pakistani man living the American dream as a successful businessman on Wall Street only to have his life changed by 9/11. Treated as a scapegoat and perceived enemy by his own country, he finds his life takes a sudden extreme turn of direction. Opens May 3 at a Seattle Landmark/Seven Gables theatre.

Early warning – The award-winning documentary on homeless artist Jimmie Mirikitani entitled “The Cats of Mirikitani” by Linda Hattendorf will be screened on June 15 at 6:30pm. Also in the Wing’s Tateuchi Story Theatre.  Go to www.wingluke.org for details.

As one segment of the multi-dimensional Chinese American Heritage Society convention in Seattle April 19 – 21 organized by UW Professor Connie So, there is a film sequence that is particularly interesting.  On Sunday, April 21 at Bush-Asia Center the following films screen. Chinese Canadian Kenda Gee’s festival award-winning documentary on Chinese immigration/discrimination in North America entitled “The Lost Years” screens at 8am. At 10:15am is Bay Area filmmaker Valerie Soe’s “Chinese Gardens”. When one thinks of today’s Port Townsed, the word “Chinatown” doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet they were a vital presence in that community until they were violently forced out of town.  Soe tells their story. Finally at 11:30am, there will be a screening of the feature film “Americanese” based upon Seattle author/UW Professor Shawn Wong’s popular novel “American Knees”.  Wong will be in attendance to answer questions. Go to http://cahsseattle.wordpress.com/ for more 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. 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. Also at the JCCCW on April 21 is a screening of “Giving Voce: The Japanese War Brides”, a documentary film featuring the Japanese women immigrants who married American soldiers after WWII. Directed by Miki Crawford from Ohio University. There will be a presentation about how the film was made at 3pm and the film screens at 4:30pm. Call (425) 369-1012 for details.

The series entitled “Second Thursdays: Japanese Films” at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium has the following – On Thurs., May 8 will be “Kwaidan- The Woman of The Snow and Hoichi The Earless”, two chilling Japanese ghost tales by Masaki Kobayashi. On Thurs., June 13 see Gisaburo Sigi’s version of “The Tale of Genji”. All screenings at 7pm. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details. If screening falls on the day of the Capitol Hill Art Walk, it’s free.

“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. On May 4, “Shadow Puppets” is a program that gets you to design your own shadow puppets with inspiration from the gods and goddesses in the Asian art collection. Then at 1:30pm see the film,  “The Adventures of Prince Achmed”. June 1 brings “Calligraphy Creations” where kids explore traditional and modern Chinese calligraphy and then create their own drawings with bamboo and ink. There is no kids film with this activity. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park at 1400 E. Prospect St.  Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.

“Memory of Forgotten War” conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War by four Korean American survivors. It will screen as part of the Association for Asian Americans Conference on April 20 at 1pm in the Baker Room of Seattle’s Westin hotel. The film is produced by Ramsay Liem and Deann Borshay Liem. For information on the film, go to www.mufilms.org. For details on the conference, go to www.aaastudies.org/content/index.php/conference.

The Written Arts

Highlights

David Yamaguchi, author of “The Orphan Tsunami of 1700” (UW Press) gives a talk based on that book entitled “How The Samurai Saved Us” on Thurs., April 30 at 7pm. At Nagomi Tea House located in the old Uwajimaya building. 519 Sixth Ave. S. Free but RSVP required. E-mail [email protected] or call (206) 623-0100 if you plan on attending. Parking available in front lot for $5.00.

Seattle poet Koon Woon  (scroll down to see even more Koon Woon events) reads from “Water Chasing Water” (Kaya Books) on Friday, April 19 at 7pm. Like John Okada’s “No-No Boy”, Woon’s  telling poems bear witness and slice open the psychological underbelly of the poor and disenfranchised denizens of an ethnic neighborhood facing life on the streets and alleyways of this city by the sound. This book includes a selection of earlier poems from his first volume and some new poems as well. Open Books at 2414 North 45th St. in the Wallingford neighborhood. Free. (206) 633-0811 or go to www.openpoetrybooks.com.

Chinese American Heritage Society holds their convention in Seattle April 19 – 21 and their itinerary is filled with interesting lectures and cultural events. For full details, go to http://cahsseattle.wordpress.com/.  A small sampling is scattered throughout this column under each category. On Sat. April 20 at Chong Wa Hall – At 1:45pm, Chinese Canadian writers/historians Judy Lam Maxwell and David Wong will speak. Maxwell leads tours of Vancouver B.C.’s Chinatown and Wong has written and illustrated a book in graphic novel form of the history of Chinese immigration in North America. At 3:15pm in a panel entitled “Chinese American Family & Community History”,  historian/writers John Jung, Seattle’s Ron Chew and noted local jewelry artist Ron Ho address the topic. At 4:45pm, a panel entitled “The Yellow Artist” has famed pioneer writer Frank Chin and respected Honolulu-based poet Wing Tek Lum reading their work.

The national conference for the Association for Asian American Studies is held in Seattle April 17 – 20. This will bring scholars and writers and many events are planned. One will be a group poetry reading on Thursday, April 18 at 7pm at Washington Hall  at 153 – 14th Ave. in the Central District. A cross-generational line-up of poets from around the country and locally will read. Line up includes Bao Phi and Juliana Hu Pegues from the Twin Cities, Emily Porcincula Lawsin from “Sheattle”/Detroit, an exciting new crop of  talented hip hop/slam poets like Troy Osaki, Hollis Wong-Wear, Prometheus Brown (Geologic of Blue Scholars, members of Isangmahal Collective, Chiwan Choi from L.A. and  UW Prof. Shawn Wong. Also a bus tour to Asian American local historical sites takes place on April 18. Tour starts at noon at the Westin Hotel downtown and ends up at the Wing at 5pm. The hotel is at 1900 – 5th Ave. Tickets at 206-623-5124×125 or [email protected]. Two panel presentations take place on April 20 at the Wing. The first is “Richard Aoki & His Legacy” at 1pm about the only Asian American member of the Black Panther Party  and the second is “Seattle’s Asian American Movement – Pan-Ethnicity, Afro-Asian Solidarity and Labor Organizing  1960’s-70’s” at 2:45pm with panelists like Prof. Tracy Lai and Seattle Black Panther founder, Aaron Dixon.  Both panels at Tateuchi Story Theatre at the Wing. Go to www.aaastudies.org for details.

“Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan” (ChinMusic Press) by Seattle writer Leslie Helm tells a family history but also touches on the political, cultural, economic and racial interactions between our two countries for over a century. Helm reads and talks about the book  on Friday, April 26 at 7pm at Elliott Bay Book Company at 1521 – 10th Ave. (206) 624-6600.  Helm also reads on Sat., May 18 at 4pm at the Wing’s Tateuchi Story Theatre.  Call (206) 623-5124 or go to   www.wingluke.org for details.

Japanese author Fuminori Nakamura reads and does a book signing on April 25 at 7pm. Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House at 605 S. Main. For details, go to fuminorinakamura.com.

Two special reading events at Kobo at Higo include the following (and a disclaimer, I’m organizing both). “Words And Kimchee” is an informal get-together of some of Seattle’s most interesting Korean American writers with special guest, L.A.-based poet, playwright, novelist, independent publisher and teacher – Chiwan Choi. With Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton,  Don Mee Choi,  Soyon Im,   Soya Jung,  Arlene Kim,  Larissa Min and others. Besides a potluck of words, after the reading there will be a potluck of shared Korean goodies for all of us, time for questions and booksigning.  Sunday, April 21 at 4pm. Linda Lau Anusasananan talks about her book entitled “The Hakka Cookbook – Chinese Soul Food from Around the World” (University of California Press) with a foreword by Martin Yan. & artwork by Alan Lau.  At  noon on Sat., April 27 – ( http://TheHakkaCookbook.com) . Kobo at Higo is at 602-608 South Jackson. (206) 381-3000 or email [email protected].

Noted British author William Dalrymple who has made a career of writing books on the effects of Western colonialism in South Asia hits the mark again in “The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-41”. It’s an account of the British Empire’s disastrous first Afghan war with telling similarities to current events.  Thurs., May 2 at 7pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Free but an RSVP is needed by going to [email protected]. Sponsored by the Gardner Center.

Early warning – Marivi Soliven Blanco reads from her new novel, “The Mango Bride” (Penguin) in two readings co-sponsored by Hedgebrook, The Sisterhood of Pi Nu Lota and the Filipino Community of Seattle. The book traces the journey of two Filipino young women who leave behind their families to forge new lives and new identities in America, but not without costs. The first reading takes place on May 23 at 6pm and is co-hosted by UWF Students Association. Poet Michelle Penaloza will open. UW Ethnic Cultural Center at 3931 – Brooklyn Ave. N.E. The second reading by Ms. Blanco takes place on May 24 at 7pm at Elliott Bay Book Company. The co-host for this event is United Filipino Club of Seattle University. Noted Seattle novelist Donna Miscolta will open. 1521 – 10th Ave. on Capitol Hill. (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.  Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (206) 624-6600 or visit www.elliottbaybook.com. Noted novelist Gish Jen (“Typical American”, “Mona in the Promised Land”, “World and Town”) will have her first 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. April 19 at 7pm.  Jaina Sangra reads from her novel “Silk Fish Opium” on Sat., April 20 at 5pm. This coming-of-age story follows the trials and tribulations of a young woman in India as that country shifts from a feudal aristocracy to a democratic industrial state. Ramez Naam reads from “Infinite Resource”, a book about the power of the imagination on April 23 at 7pm.

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. They read with another Kaya author, Thaddeus Rutkowski (“ROUGHOUSE”) plus special guest poets Chiwan Choi from L.A. and Seattle poet Kevin Minh-Allen twice on the same day. The series is entitled “Fists of Kaya: Asian American Authors Storm Seattle.” On Thursday, April 18 they will do a reading at the Bruce Lee Gravesite Picnic from 3:15 – 4:30pm.  At Lakeview Cemetery at 1554 – 15th E. Then later that night, they appear at 5pm at Elliott Bay Book Company at 1521 – 10th Ave. Go to www.elliottbaybook.com. For details on these titles and more, go to www.kaya.com.

Seattle poet Larry Matsuda has a poem published in an online poetry magazine. Go to http://plumepoetry.com to access it.

“A Country of Cities – A Manifesto For An Urban America” (Metropolis Books) by Vishan Chakrabarti argues that well designed cities can very well be the key to solving America’s great national challenges

“The Crooked Street” is the latest installment in her memoir by Chinese writer Anchee Min and picks up from “Red Azalea” left off. Due in  May, 2013.

“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. Ken Chen of The Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York had this to say about the book – “Lum writes not just as a poet of witness but as an ascetic seeking to evidence the torment of the world…fact and opinion fall out of Lum’s deeply historical poems like light falling through a pane of glass.”

News/Opportunities

The UW Ethnomusicology department presents “A Hands-On Family Gamelan Workshop” at the UW School of Music Building on April 20 from 11 am – 2pm. On the Main Campus of the University of Washington in Seattle. To register, call (206) 616-1709 or email [email protected]

Washington Lawyers for the Arts presents a panel discussion entitled “Legal Protection in Fashion” on Thurs., April 25. Registration begins at 11am and the program starts at 11:15am. At Cornish College of the Arts on the 7th floor Board Room. 1000 Lenora St. $40 fee for attorneys and $15 fee for artists & others. For tickets go to Brown Paper Tickets or call 800-838-3006. For more information, go to thewla.org or call (206) 328-7053.

A Japanese introductory cultural workshop on Minyo dancing takes place Sun., April 21 from 2 – 3:30pm. Japanese Cultural and Community Center. To register, go to www.jcccw.org/events-programs/spring-workshop-registration-2013.html or by calling (206) 568-7114.

Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts (PWEKA) is curating a June 8 – 9 Pagdiriwang Filipino American Art display at Seattle Center Armory. Deadline is April 19, 2013. For details, artists can contact [email protected].

The annual “Chinatown-ID Spring Roll” takes place on April 25 at 6pm at Georgetown Ballroom at 5623 Airport Way S. For details, go to idspringroll.org.

The Japanese Baptist Church holds their annual Sukiyaki Dinner on April 27 from 2 – 7pm. 160 Broadway. For more information, call (206) 622-7351 or go to www.jbcseattle.org.

International District Engaged in the Arts (IDEA) is organizing a mid-June to July 31 art show at Tougo Coffee in the Central District. The theme is “History X, Contemporary Y” and will be juried by artist Mark Takamichi Miller. Deadline is April 22. Submission guidelines at  [email protected]

Cartoonist Fernando Argosino won an artist grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs to produce a map highlighting important Filipino American historical, cultural and social sites in Seattle. He wants feedback from the public to ensure accurate information. He’ll be at Seattle Center during May 6 Asian Pacific Heritage Month and June 8 – 9 at Pagdiriwang also at Seattle Center. In July he’ll be at Pista Sa Nayon in Seward Park. So come meet Fernanado and give him some feedback on his map and project. For details on this and other projects, go to http://ideaodysseygallery.com.

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.

White River Buddhist Temple has their annual  “Chicken Teriyaki Dinner and Bake Sale” from 11am – 3pm. Sunday, April 21. 3625 Auburn Way N. in Auburn, WA. $12. Call (253) 833-1442 or go to www.wrbt.org.

“Kodomo No Hi/Children’s Day Festival” takes place on Sunday, May 5 from 11am – 5pm. Lots of fun, games, food and related cultural activities. Free. Japanese Cultural & Community Center at 1414 S. Weller. (206) 568-7114.

King County artists sought to make art for food bank recipe cards. Deadline is April 26. Go to www.junesekiguchi.com for details.

 

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