Visual Arts

Highlights

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 from  April 7 – May 9.  Artist’s reception is on Sun., April 14 from 11am – noon. 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.

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.   First Thursday artist reception on April 4 from 5 – 8pm. 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 April 4 – 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. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.

The work of Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa is included in a group show entitled “Spring Salon : 52nd Annual Exhibition” through April 13 which is a nutshell look at important Northwest art from the last 60 years. Woodside/Braseth Gallery at 2101 Ninth Ave. (206) 622-7243 or go to woodside-brasethgallery.com 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. April 4 – 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. April 16- May 6. At Seattle Center Pavillion at 350 Harrison St. (206) 684-7200 for details.

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.

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.  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 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.

Taiko Suzuki whose work can be seen in “Paper Unbound: Horiuchi and Beyond” currently at the Wing will be teaching a class at Seattle Central Community College entitled “Introduction To Papermaking” in two sessions starting April 6. For details, go to www.learnatcentral.org or call (2060 934-5448.

Performing Arts

Highlights

“A Grain of Sand Reunion Concert” with Nobuko Miyamoto and Charlie Chin takes place 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.  $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.

A show about  gender politics that has no words?  Leave it up to Young Jean Lee’s Theatre Company from New York (though Lee herself grew up in Eastern Washington) when they present “Untitled Feminist Show” (see related article in this issue) at On The Boards April 4 – 7. 100 W. Roy. (206) 217-9888.

“Jessica Kenny and Friends” presents a concert of Javanese court music with this Seattle vocalist and Gamelan Pacifica and Eyvind Kang. April 7. Kiran Ahluwalia is an Indo-Canadian singer who performs her own arrangements of ancient Persian and Punjabi Ghazal poetry on April 21. All at Cornish College of The Arts’ Poncho Concert Hall at 710 E. Roy St. Call (800) 838-3006 or go to Cornish.edu/news/events 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.

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.

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. 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.

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

Tacoma Little Theatre presents Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” adapted and directed by David Hsieh of React Theatre.  Until April 7.  7:30pm on Fri. & Sat. and 2pm on Sun. (253) 272-2281 or go to www.tacomalittletheatre.com. 210 N. 1st St. in the Historic Stadium District.

Okinawan singer/songwriter Kochihira Takane performs Tues., April 9 at 2pm. Musician and aquatic photojournalist Hiroshi Takano performs on Fri., April 26 at 2pm. Free but reservations are required. Seattle Keiro at 1601 E. Yesler Way. (206) 726-6501.

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.

“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. 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].

“Ryukyu Charm” features music and dances by Okinawan students at Star Center at 12:30pm. 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 vibist 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

“A Village Called Versailles” by S. Leo Chiang is an Emmy-nominated documentary film about  an isolated community in New Orleans settled by Vietnamese “boat people”.  It screens at 6pm on April 4 with reception starting at 5:30pm. To request tickets, visit www.vfaseattle.org/movienight. In the Wing’s Tateuchi Story 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 latest film from Japan’s famed Ghibli Studios “Up On Poppy Hill” opens March 29 at the Harvard Exit for an extended run. This feature-length animated film has a script by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa and is directed by the Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki (“Tales From Earthsea”). Based on the Japanese comic of the same name, the movie set in 1960’s Kobe during the time of the Olympics tells the story of the blooming relationship between two teenagers who vow to save their school’s clubhouse from demolition. In other studio news, Hayao Miyazaki is reportedly working on a new project entitled “Kaze Ta Chinu” (The Wind Rises) which tells the story of the man who designed the Zero fighter plane for Japan based on a Japanese comic book in which all the characters are portrayed as pigs much like the director did in his film, “Porco Rosso”. Isao Takahata is reportedly working on a new film project entitled “Kaguya-Hime No Monogatari (Princess Kaguya Story) based on the Japanese folk tale, “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”. Takahata’s classic “Grave of the Fireflies” that tells the heartbreaking tale of a brother and sister struggling to survive in the aftermath of WW II is also scheduled for re-release this year by GKIDS.

No doubt you’ve heard the worries about sustainability and how the world is fishing our oceans into extinction just to supply restaurants around the world. For an update, see the documentary film entitled “Sushi: The Global Catch” March 29 – April 4 at Grand Illusion Cinema. 1403 NE 50th St. (206) 523-3935 or go to grandillusioncinema.org 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. 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.

“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

Seattle poet Koon Woon 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 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 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 April 26 at 7pm at Elliott Bay Book Company at 1521 – 10th Ave. (206) 624-6600.

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 and  a question and answer period.  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]

“Tohoku” (Hatje Cantz) is a new book by photographer Hans-Christian Schink that looks at the area in Japan hardest hit by the tsunami and compares familiar still shots of the area before the catastrophe and images he has taken a year after the event. The startling contrast is dramatic.

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.

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”) on Thursday, April 18 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.

“Silk Fish Opium” is a new novel by Jaina Sanga about a young woman’s journey from imagination to reality as India transitions from feudal aristocracy to industrial democracy.

“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

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].

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.

GAP (Grants for Artist Projects) Grants for up to $1,500 are now available for individual artist projects. Deadline is April 15, 2013. Got to www.artisttrust.org for details.

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

Seattle Kokon Taiko is holding an open audition for new apprentice members. Previous taiko experience is a plus but not a necessity. Group audition session takes place April 15. Go to www.seattlekokontaiko.org and then click on “classes/auditions” for complete details.

Blackfish Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in Portland and is an artists cooperative. It is now seeking new members. Artists accepted must sit at the gallery on a monthly basis, attend meetings and pay dues. Deadline is April 15, 2013 to apply. If interested, go to http://bit.ly/Xd4dyp for details.

 

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