“Under My Skin – Artists Explore Race in the 21st Century” is now at the Wing. Work was selected from 27 artists after months of discussions and viewing. Artists in this show include John Armstrong, Jenny Asamow, Wanda Benvenutti, Jasmine Brown, Kathy Budway, Minh Carrico, Lemuel Charley, Ling Chun, May Coss, Carina del Rosario, Tatiana Garmendia, Erin Genia, Ronald Hall, Chau Huynh, Akiko Jackson, Laura Kina, Naima Lowe, Fumi Matsumoto, Kathleen McHugh, Darius Morrison, Cahn Nguyen, Polly Purvis, Jennifer Smith, Joseph Songco and Tim Stensland. On view till Nov. 17, 2013.
“Isamu Noguchi: We Are the Landscape of All We Know” is an exhibit of 22 works by the acclaimed sculptor created in the late-1940’s to the mid-1980’s. On loan from the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum. On view through July 21 at Portland Japanese Garden at 611 SW Kingston Ave. (503) 223-1321 or visit www.japanesegarden.com.
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. The show remains on view through July 28. Activities connected with the show include the following – 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. There will be a silent art auction of work by prominent Asian American artists as well as food, music and talks. $100 donation fee.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.
“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.
SAM Gallery’s 40th Anniversary Celebration show is entitled “Artists’ Choice” and runs through June 8. Five regular gallery artists have invited another guest artist who will be showing in the gallery for the first time. Junko Yamamoto has selected Rumi Koshino. 1220 Third Ave. downtown. (206) 343-1101.
Seattle “IE Community Voice Award –winning” artist Carina del Rosario has new work in a group show of Artist Trust EDGE graduates at Tashiro Kaplan’s Corridor Gallery entitled “Archetypes: Universal Touchstones, Patterns, Place and Space” through June 3. The “Edge” program tutors upcoming artists on the whole process of building a portfolio of work and exhibiting professionally. Go to www.artisttrust.org for details.
“Mo-sa-ic” is a group show that shows five contemporary artists whose artworks present alternatives to the traditional Western-European conception of mosaic art. Naoko Morisawa uses hundreds of slices of oil-dyed wood chips on board to build her abstractions that draw from the I-Ching and cell movement. Jongsook Lee has paintings that combine the Korean lacquer tradition with a contemporary design aesthetic, Bui Cong Khanh and the Le Brothers from Vietnam show lacquer paintings with a use of traditional eggshell inlay. Show is on view till June 1. 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
Artist Trung Pham is Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Fine Arts at Seattle University who has recently moved here from California. There are two shows by this artist currently on view. “Creation” is on view at St. James Cathedral through June 13th at 804 Ninth Ave. “Mother” is a solo show on view through July 15th at the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery on the 3rd floor of Seattle municipal Tower at 700 Fifth Ave. Go to www.trungpham.com for details.
METHOD5/14/13 is a new collaborative project committed to exhibiting challenging contemporary art established by a group of four Seattle based artists. Founders Mary Coss, Paul D. McKee, June Sekiguchi and Paula Stokes will exhibit work in the first show during the month of May. METHOD is housed at Project 106 at 106 Third Ave. S. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 12 – 5pm. Go to www.facebook.com/METHODGallery for details.
“Four Shin Hanga Masters” presents a collection of Shin-hanga woodblock prints by Kawse Hasui (1883-1957), Hiroshi Yoshiada (1875-1950), Shiro Ksamatsu (1898-1991) and Ishwata Koitsu (1876-1987). Shin-hanga (‘new prints”) was a Japanese print movment that continued the traditional collaboration method rooted in the Ukiyo-e printmaking (using a designer, create a printing matrix and then pulling the final impression from that matrix) yet was influenced by the West, Impressionism and other European centered art. On view through May at Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-6700.
Saturday, May 18 is Art Museum Day which means the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery is free for everyone all day. Opening on May 24 from 7 – 8:45pm is the opening reception to the UW School of Art MFA and Master of Design Thesis Exhibition. Free and open to the public. The show includes the work of Melanie Wang. Remains on view till June 23. The “VIEWPOINTS” series highlights select works from the permanent collection and offers diverse perspectives of UW faculty members. On view through June 16 are drawings and performance documentation of artist Elizabeth Jameson. 15th Ave. NE & NE 4lst St. on the UW Seattle campus. (206) 543-2280 or go to [email protected]
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.
“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 (whose work was recently seen at an Artxchange Gallery show on women artists) has a solo show of new oil paintings entitled “We Are Close” at Blindfold Gallery at 1718 E. Olive Way, Suite A in Seattle. On view through June 9 with a closing reception/poetry reading on Sunday, June 9th from 3 – 5pm. Liao gives an artist talk on May 15 at 7:30pm. On May 21 at 8pm, experimental cellist Philip Arnautoff perfroms. Hours are Wed. – Fri. from 1pm – 7pm and Sat. – Sun. from 1pm – 5pm. (206) 328-5100 or go to blindfoldgallery.com for details. Liao is also in a group show entitled “Orchid and Orange” at ArtsWest Gallery from June 11th – August 3rd. Reception with Artist Talk on Th., June 13th from 6 – 7:30pm. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Go to http://www.artswest.org. In June, she will be Artist-in-Residence at Weir Farm Arts Center in Wilton Connecticut. Go to http://www.weirfarmartcenter.org/ for details. She will be teaching two classes on figure drawing using acrylics and ink and collage at Gage Academy in Seattle in July. To sign up, go to www.gageacademy.org
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.
“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.
The late Alfonso Ossorio, one of the first Filipino American modern abstract painters and a contemporary and friend of Jackson Pollock will have a show of his work from September to October, 2013 in New York at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery at 100 Eleventh Ave. at 19th. (212) 247-0082 or go to michaelrosenfeldart.com.
“My Minidoka” is a series of photographs by Johnny Valdez y Uno that reflects his deep emotional connection to the incarceration camp in Idaho, where his grandparents were held during WW II. The artist first learned about the Japanese American internment experience after losing his grandfather and relatives in a tragic car accident as they were returning from a Minidoka pilgrimage. The show came about from conversations with family and his own personal pilgrimage to Minidoka. On view through July 17 at the Northwest Nikkei Museum at the Japanese Cultural Community Center at 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle. Go to www.jccw.org for details. The show will also be exhibited as part of the Minidoka Pilgrimage in Twin Falls, Idaho June 20 – 23.
Ceramics by Barb Campbell and Javier Cervantes are on view through May 30. Campbell, based in Oregon has new work in both functional and sculptural hand built ceramics. Cervantes originally from Oaxaca and now based in Oregon will present an exploration of organic ceramic sculpture that combines clay, wood and metal to create evocative forms. 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. “Under My Skin: Exploring Race in the 21st Century” is a new group show of 27 artists chosen after dozens of meetings and thoughtful discussions. Show remains on view through Nov. 17. “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 on June 8 at 11am. 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 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.
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.
“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. Through May. Island Gallery at 400 Winslow Way E. #120 on Bainbridge Island. (206) 780-9500 or go to www.theislandgallery.net.
Since retiring, Bob Flor has had more time to devote to his writing. See the latest fruit of his labor as his short play entitled “The Injury”, inspired by the Seattle-area Filipino softball team “Pinoy” that played in the early 70’s will be performed in the Eclectic Theatre Festival on Friday, June 7 at 2pm. The cast includes Ryan Floresca, Matt Dela Cruz and Fernando Argosino. Directed by Maria Batayola. Plans are for a full-length drama entitled “Pinoys Play Baseball” based on the same team to be ready in a year or so. The Eclectic Theatre presents a “One Act Play Festival” on June 7 & 8 that should be a feast for any theatre lover. A party follows on Saturday night. $10 donation. One ticket sees all plays. 1214 Tenth Ave. on Capitol Hill. For reservations, call 206-679-3271 or go to electrictheatrecompany.org for details.
“Breaking The Silence – Authentic Stories of the Issei & Nisei in America”” was the title of a play that playwright Nikki Nojima Louis wrote in the 1980’s in Seattle based on interviews and oral histories of Japanese Americans from the first and second generations. They performed around the area and also took it to schools. Now that group is being revived since a non-profit group in Hiroshima had invited them to perform during the anniversary of the “A” bomb this August. To raise money for the trip, the troupe will do a “Seattle-to-Hiroshima Fundraiser” on Sat., June 8 at 7pm. Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church Sanctuary. The group consists of Steve Sumida, Nikki Nojima Louis, Herb Tsuchiya, Joyce Nakamura, Chisao Hata and the music of Mike Stern. For more information, call (206) 860-6005.
UW music professor/musician Cuong Vu performs with musical guests and will discuss the avant-garde, free improvisation, and the experimentation/innovation he uses to create his forward-looking music. Part of the “Music of Today Series”, a component of the Rite of Spring Centennial Celebration on campus. May 16 at 7pm in Henry Art Gallery’s Henry Auditorium. 15th Ave. NE & NE 41st St. on the UW Seattle campus. (206) 543-2280 or email [email protected]
Seattle Center/Festal presents Pagdiriwang Festival with the theme of “Phillippines: One People, Diverse Cultures” on June 8 – 9. Go to http://www.festalpagdiriwang.com/.
Versatile local actor Ray Tagavila is part of the cast of “Smoked!”, Café Nordo’s latest food/theatre production with themed cocktails which is billed as a “Spaghetti Western” about local farmers fighting the “overbearing company-town oppression of Monsanto-style agribusiness.” Performed at a new Pioneer Square space, The Kitchen by Delicatus through June 16. 103 First Ave. S. (206) 623-3780. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets or go to www.cafenordo.com.
Seattle Public Theater at The Bathhouse presents “The Language Archive” by Julia Cho from May 17th – June 9th. The play looks at the complexities of language and love and the dying art of communication. (206) 524-1300 or go to [email protected].
Seattle Chinese Garden at South Seattle Community College presents the Seattle-Luoyang Peony Festival and Seattle Bamboo Festival, a double event focused on two prized plants in Chinese horticulture. This free event takes place May 18-19 from 10am – 4pm. There will be plant displays, bamboo sales, educational displays, talks, demonstrations, arts & crafts and more. Call (206) 934-5219 or go to www.seattlechinesegarden.org.
Local jazz musician Bob Antolin plays in the Seattle group known as Comfort Food which explores the grooves between Miles David “Bitches Brew” period and Fela Kuti’s political Afro-funk. Catch them opening for Taina Asili from New York at the Nectar Lounge on May 30. 412 N. 36th St. (206) 632-2020 or go to www.nectarlounge.com.
Lakewood Sister Cities presents Lakewood International Festival honoring the city of Gimhae, Korea. Entertainment, food, and arts & crafts. A visiting Korean traditional arts troupe will perform. Free. May 18 from 1pm – 5pm. Pierce College in Ft. Steilacoom.
“Sounds of Hawai’i” featuring Kauma Kaiwa Kanaka’ole & Ke’ola o Kamailelauli’ili’I performing a tribute to King Kamehameha 1 on May 18 at 7pn. Green River Community College’s Lindbloom Center. (253) 833-9111×2400.
Taiwanese Student Association presents the 13th Annual UW Night Market with entertainment provided by Joseph Vincent & The Fung Brothers. This year’s theme is “Life of Night Market” which is a parody (and homage) to the Oscar-winning film “Life of Pi” by Director and fellow Taiwanese Ang Lee. Come to experience the food delicacies of Taiwan in a night market atmosphere with performances and fun activities. Free parking at Central Plaza Parking Garage. On Sat., May 11th from 5:30pm – 10:30pm and May 18 from 5:30 – 10:30pm. At UW’s Seattle campus in Red Square. In addition, to celebrate Ang Lee’s recent Oscar for Best Director, TSA will present a free screening of “Life of Pi” on May 14 at 7pm on the Seattle UW campus in a location to be announced. Go to www.UWNightMarket.com for details.
Seattle University Japanese Student Association presents “Haru Matsuri”, a spring festival featuring games, cultural booths, food and performances to celebrate Japanese cultural heritage at Seattle University. May 25 from 1 – 5pm. Seattle University Student Center at 901 – 12th Ave. $6 admission including food tickets. For details contact [email protected]
Early warning –
“Rock For Rice” is a “Walk for Rice” event designed to raise money for the ACRS Food Bank and is part of “jamfest”. The party features futuristic rock and dance band, Sometimes Astronaurts and local guitarist Angelo Pizarro who mixes traditional Filipino songs with electrified funk and rock. Thursday, June 20th from 7 – 10pm at The Four Seas in Chinatown/ID. Tickets available at the Wing. For details, go to WINGLUKE.ORG/JAMFEST.
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.
Contemporary Korean jazz singer Youn Sun Nah now based in Paris, has been garnering praise from live dates all over Europe and Asia. Now she comes to this area in a rare appearance at Kirkland Center for the Performing Arts on June 24 at 7:30pm. Go to kpc.org for details.
Munemori Takeda is a young Japanese Noh performer who will present a traditional play, “The Samurai Warrior on the Noh Stage” at three different venues in the Northwest. On June 26, he will perform at the Jewel Box Theatre at 225 Iverson St. in Poulsbo, Wash. On June 28, he will appear at 5:30pm at Nikkei Place in Vancouver B.C. On June 29 he will perform at 1:30pm at ACT Theatre at 700 Union St. in Seattle. Finally on June 30, he will be Bainbridge Island Museum of Art at 5:30pm. 100 Ravine Lane NE on Bainbridge Island. Tickets from $30 – $35. Proceeds benefit the Japan earthquake relief. For details, go to www.sugoiexperiencejapan.com.
Trusted Advocates in White Center present another insightful forum as part of their “Our Stories, Our Voices” program. Stacy Kitahata and Diakonda Gurning present a closer look at US immigration history in a talk entitled “236 Years as ‘The Land of the Free’.” Kitahata is Program Director with the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship (www.kristafoundation.org) and Diakonda Gurning is a mission developer with the Indonesian Lutheran Fellowship and co-founder of the Washington New Sanctuary Movement (www.washingtonsanctuary.webs.com). On Friday, May 17th at White Center Community Cultural Center at 9421 – 18th Ave. SW in the Hillborn Room. Light meal at 6pm with the program set for 6:30pm. Questions? Call Nancy Calos-Nakano at (206) 795-0833 or go to [email protected]
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 May 16 at 6:30pm, May 19 at 2:30pm, June 16 at 2:30pm and June 20 at 6:30pm.
Otonowa/Sound Circle is a jazz group formed by California-based drummer Akira Tana composed of Japanese American and Japanese musicians. Akira recently took this group on a good will tour of Japan visiting people in the hardest hit areas of the tsunami to bring them these jazz versions of traditional folk and pop songs from the Japanese songbook. “Otonowa” is now available as a recording in CD form. A portion of all sales will be donated to the continuing rebuilding efforts in the communities of Northern Japan. You can find it on CD Baby, iTUNES, Amazon or by going to the following websites – http://www.akiratana.com/tanacds.html and www.otonow-usa.com.
The Seattle International Film Festival is back with more than 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 70 countries annually. May 16 – June 9 at various venues around the state including SIFF Cinema Uptown, Egyptian Theatre, Harvard Exit, Pacific Place, The Triple Door in Seattle and places in Renton and Kirkland as well. Go to siff.net for all the details.
The new animated feature from Studio Ghibli, “From Up on Poppy Hill” has moved to the Varsity Theatre at 4329 University Way. At last look, they were screening both a dubbed in English version and a Japanese version with sub-titles. Check for showtimes by calling (206) 632-6412.
“Eden” by Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths looks at domestic sex trafficking in the Northwest and won a best actress award for Jamie Chung in the lead role at last year’s SIFF. Now it receives national distribution, on view till May 15 (unless it is extended) at Uptown Cinema in Queen Anne. Go to www.siff.net for details.
Deepa Mehta (“Water”) directs “Midnight’s Children” based on the Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie (he serves as narrator in the film). Exclusive engagement at the Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill. 801 East Pine St. (206) 720-4560.
“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. At last glance, has moved to the Seven Gables Theatre at 911 NE 50th. (206) 632-8821.
Parkchan Wook’s (“Old Boy”) new thriller “Stoker”, his first film in English has moved to the Crest 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.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. May 19 brings “Rashomon”. May 26 “Letters from Iwo Jima”. June 2 is “Dororo”. June 9 is “Ikiru”. June 16 is documentary film, “Great Grandfather’s Drum”. June 23 is “Kagemusha”. June 30 is “Zatoichi”. July 7 is “Love.com.” July 14 is “Ponyo”. $5 for non-members and $3 for JCCCW members. 1414 S. Weller St. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org. 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., 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. 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.
“Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” is fashion central and this documentary film takes you behind the scenes where designers, models, fashion idols, buyers and shoppers intersect. Directed by Matthew Miele. Naeem Khan, Thakoon Panichgul and Jason Wu make appearances. Opening May 24 at the Varsity. Go to www.Bergdorf-Movie.com for a glimpse.
Noted local director Frank Abe’s documentary film on Japanese American resisters during WW II entitled “Conscience and the Constitution” has been picked up by Comcast video-on-demand. For more on the film, go to http://www.resisters.com/epk.htm. To see an interview with Abe, go to http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/2013/04/30/interview-conscience-and-the-constitution-talking-with-frank-abe/.
“Leonie”, a film about Leonie Gilmour, the woman who bore, raised and nurtured the talent of her now world famous artist son, Isamu Noguchi came out in 2012 and was directed by Hisako Matsui. Visit www.leoniemovie.com for details about the film.
Some recent documentary films that recently aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting Plus include the following – “Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the WWII Japanese-American Incarceration Camps” with interviews with former musicians and singers and archival footage in black-and-white animation taken from original woodblock prints and drawings by Amy Uyeki. “Heart Mountain: An All American Town” which tells the story of children who were detained at Wyoming’s Heart Mountain Internment Camp during WWII. With interviews with these former prisoners and shared photos as well as archival government footage.” “One Voice: The Kamehameha Schools Song Contest” documents the story of this school’s song contest through the eyes of the student song leaders who directed classmates in Hawaiian songs with eight-part harmony, a capella. For more on the film, go to www.lehuafilms.com/pages/onevoice.html. “Pidgin: the Voice of Hawai’i” chronicles the use of Pidgin, a language born on sugar plantations and spoken by more than half of Hawai’i’s population. “In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee” is from the POV series and is an adoption story that follows a Korean adoptee who came to the U.S. with a false identity. The film follows her return to Korea and the search for the girl whose name she assumed. For more on the film, go to www.mufilms.org/films/matter-ofcha-jung-h.
The Filipino dancing inmates who created a YouTube sensation a few years ago with their prison yard dance set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will be back in a movie drama about redemption and corruption behind prison bars. The film stars Patrick Bergin and Dingdong Dantes and is funded by Dubai-based Portfolio Films. Co-directed by Marnie Manicad and Cesar Apolinario with a screenplay by Cris Lim. “Dance of the Steel Bars” opens in the Philippines June 12 and will be entered in international film festivals abroad.
The cop thriller “Cold War” took most of the honors at the recent Hong Kong Film Awards. The film won nine awards out of 12 nominations. Tony Leung Ka Fai took the best actor award and first-time directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk nabbed awards in the best director and best screenplay categories. Alex Tsui won for best new performer.
The Written Arts
Noted Bay Area journalist/writer Andrew Lam reads from his new book of short stories entitled “Birds of Paradise Lost” which chronicles the experiences of Vietnamese immigrants who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in San Francisco. Part of a World Café 2013 event entitled “All Lines Come Together, Tell a Story”. Thursday, May 23 with reception at 5:30pm with refreshments and the program at 6pm. Free but RSVP is encouraged. Go to http://www.vfaseattle.org/worldcafe/ for details. New Holly Gathering Hall at 7054 – 32nd Ave. S. in Seattle. The World Café is hosted by the Vietnamese Friendship Association, PeaceTrees Vietnam and the Seattle Public Library. Sponsored by Humanities Washington.
Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Seattle has published a revealing book on the incredible but little known story of Chinese Americans, the fastest and largest Asian American group in the State. “The Chinese in Washington State” by Art and Doug Chin provides a comprehensive history of these people from their earliest appearance in Washington to their most recent activities. The authors have written extensively on the history of Chinese Americans in Seattle and the state and this is their latest volume. For more information on this book, email [email protected]
“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 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.
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.
Local writer Harold Taw (“The Karaoke King”) is writing an original short story for the annual Humanities Washington Benefit Dinner “Bedtime Stories” set to debut on October 4, 2013. He is also dipping into musical theater as a collaborator with Seattle band Poland on a romance about an early 20th century inventor in England.
Elliott Bay Book Company sponsors and co-presents fascinating readings by authors in venues across the city and in their own bookstore as well. Events take place at the bookstore unless otherwise noted. Noted Chinese writer Anchee Min reads from “The Cooked Seed: A Memoir” (Bloomsbury)” which tells the story of her coming to America. May 30 at 7pm. Afghani novelist Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”) reads from “And The Mountains Echoed” (Riverhead) at Seattle Town Hall (1119 Eighth Ave., (206) 652-4255) in an event co-sponsored with Washington Center for The Book on June 4. Ruth Ozeki appears with fellow fiction writer Karen Joy Fowler and reads from her new novel entitled “A Tale For The Time Being” (Viking) on June 4. Co-presented with Hedgebrook. Ru Freeman reads from “On Sal Mal Lane” (Graywolf Press) on June 6. This is a highly anticipated novel of a child’s perspective on the beginning of civil war in Sri Lanka. Other dates include Cathy Tashiro on June 14 and Malaysian novelist Tao Lin on June 17th. The 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 – Elliott Bay Book Company and the Gardner Center of Asian Art & Ideas present “Words as Water: Voices of India” June 26 – 28 at Seattle Asian Art Museum. Writers Sonia Faleiro, Sonora Jha (a Seattle-based writer and Seattle University professor), Mridula Koshy, Jeet Thayil and Amish Tripathi participate.
Seattle poet Larry Matsuda has a poetry duel with his mentor, noted Northwest poet Tess Gallagher in an exchange of poems full of wit, humor and sass. Go to http://plumepoetry.com to access it.
Contemporary Korean poet Ko Un has led a remarkable life as a political prisoner in his own country, as a Buddhist monk and as a sharp observer of life with a whimsical sense of humor still intact that has produced over 150 volumes of poems, essays and fiction in his own country. Bloodaxe Books of England has recently published a selected poems edition entitled “Ko Un – First Person Sorrowful” as translated by Brother Anthony of Taize & Lee Sang-wha. Distributed by Dufour Editions in the US.
“The Children of 1965 – On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American” (Duke University Press) is a new book by Min Hyoung Song that looks at a new group of Asian American writers who are children of Asians who came to the US after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 lifted long standing restrictions on immigration. Song argues collectively that the work produced by this group pushes against existing ways of thinking about race, even as they demonstrate how race can facilitate creativity. The cover art is a lovely painting by Northwest artist Frank Okada taken from the collection of the Museum of Northwest Art.
“The Art of Haiku – Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters” (Shambhala) by Stephen Addiss is more than a translation of Japanese haiku. It goes behind the scenes to discuss the history of haiku and how it is combined often with whimsical artwork that illustrates and combines prose and poetry.
“Diary of Use” (Tinfish Press) marks the debut of Honolulu poet J. Vera Lee. Seattle poet/translator Don Mee Choi has called the book “a tiny world of curious beauty and intoxicating chatter, a crystallized world of incompleteness”. Lee is currently at work on a novel about translating Emily Dickinson’s poetry into Korean. You can find this book at www.tinfishpress.com or www.spd.books.org. To read a sample poem, go to http://tinfishpress.com/?projects=diary-of-use.
“Contemporary Art In Asia – A Critical Reader” (New Press) is a collection of essays Edited by Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society in New York and Benjamin Genocchio. This is one of the first books to take a look at the shift in interest in contemporary Asian art in the last twenty years.
“The Dance That Makes You Vanish-Cultural Reconstruction In Post-Genocide Indonesa” (Univ. of Minnesota) by Rachmi Diyah Larasati looks at how the tradition of Indonesian court dance was abused by the Suharto dictatorship in a systematic genocide of its practitioners and replaced by “replicas”. This chilling book looks at the pervasive use of culture as a vehicle for state repression and the global mass-marketing of national identity.
Shaun Tan, the remarkably imaginative graphic novel artist from Australia has a new book out that lets you peek into his creative process. It is entitled “The Bird King – an artist’s notebook” (Arthur A. Levine Books).
“A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief – The Island Civilization of Ancinet Hawai’i” (University of California) by Patrick Vinton Kirch combines a captivating history of the origins of native Hawaiians and Polynesians with a personal story of self-discovery. Go to www.ucpress.edu for details.
“Going for Broke – Japanese American Soldiers In The War Against Nazi Germany (University of Oklahoma Press) by James M. McCaffrey is a comprehensive history of one of the army’s most renowned combat units of WW II. Go to oupress.com for details.
“On Freedom – Spirit Art And State” is a special issue of Manoa, a literary magazine from Hawai’i that examines issues and themes in literature and art that help define this theme. Edited by Frank Stewart and Fiona Sze-Lorrain. With contributions by Mutsuo Takahashi, Woeser Tsering, Phil Choy, Catherine Filloux, A Yi & Zhang Yihe, Sukrita Paul Kumar, Quan Berry and many others. Go to http://manoajournal.hawaii.edu/ for details.
“Hanji Unfurled – One Journey into Korean Papermaking” (The Legacy Press) by Aimee Lee shares the story of a Korean American artist and her journey and search to find a traditional Korean papermaking teacher. From temples to island outposts, she travelled the width and breath of the country to find teachers of traditional skills almost forgotten.
“Tiger Babies Strike Back – How I Was Raised by a Tiger Mom But Could Not Be Turned to the Dark Side” (Morrow) is a memoir by Kim Wong Keltner about how she resisted the rules of a Tiger Mother and a response to the best-selling book. For more, go to www.kimwongkeltner.com.
“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.”
Haruki Murakami’s first novel in three years is entitled “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the Year of His Pilgrimage” has been published in Japan and is selling fast. Murakami has been a steadfast critic of Japan’s pro-nuclear policies ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Here’s hoping an English translation of this new novel will appear soon.
SOIL is a gallery that is artist-established, operated and supported. It is a cooperative of around 24 members that has been dedicated to supporting emerging artists in Seattle since 1995. They are issuing a call for new members. Deadline is June 29th at midnight. For details, go to http://soilart.org/calls/call_member.htm.
Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han/Daniel Mihalyo) is an artist/architectural team who are Seattle-based and University of Oregon educated. They are currently working on Plus Minus, a 60 foot high sculpture. The first two pieces of this project are complete and stand in Central Eastside at Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge. The final piece will be completed this summer near the Morrison Bridge. This is Lead Pencil Studio’s largest project ever. Oregon Arts Commission wanted the piece to memorialize the controversial unclaimed remains of one-time patients, long left at Oregon State Hospital. The completed section stands at the site of two now gone buildings originally on the site. The artistic team hopes the piece will not stand as an homage to the past alone but really a glimpse of the possibilities of the past and the future.
Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts (PWEKA) is curating a June 8 – 9 Pagdiriwang Filipino American Art display at Seattle Center Armory. For details, artists can contact [email protected].
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.
Beau Sia, award-winning slam poet who appeared on Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry” has a new book out entitled “The Undisputed Greatest Writer of All Time” (Write Bloody Books). For details, go to http://beausia.com.
Japanese architect Toyo Ito received the 2013 Pritzker Prize. This Tokyo-based architect is known for buildings like the Sendai Mediatheque and the Kaohsiung National Stadium in Taiwan.
The 20th Anniversary May/June issue of ArtAsiaPacific magazine is now out. Stories in this issue include studio visits with Ai Weiwei in Beijing, Yayoi Kusama in Tokyo and an interview with Kimsooja at her New York studio. Plus coverage of art scens in Karachi, Lahore and Yogyakarta. Go to artasiapacific.com for details.
Seattle-raised writer/poet Paisley Rekdal who now teaches at the University of Utah has won a Pushcart Prize for her poem, “W.C. Fields Takes a Walk” which will appear in the next Pushcart Prize Anthology edited by Bill Henderson.
The Yakima Valley Grand Reunion is the first formal gathering of Yakima Valley Japanese pioneers and their descendants since 1973. Before being forced into Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming, there were more than 1,000 Japanese Americans living and farming in the Yakima Valley. All descendants of these pioneers are invited to attend this event to be held at Yakima Valley Museum on May 25th & 26th. There will be historic presentations, a tour of the museum’s exhibit, a banquet and a memorial ceremony at Tahoma Cemetery. Museum staff members are available to scan and copy documents and photos for historic preservation. On Sunday, participants return to Wapato, the town most called home. The museum is located on 2105 Tieton Dr. in Yakima, Wash. For more information on this event, call (509) 248-0747 or go to www.yakimavalleymuseum.org.
The Sharjah Biennial Prize was given out to seven winners at the opening of their 11th biennial in March. Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chai Siri received recognition for their video entitled “Dilbar”. Recognition for exceptional work went to Vietnam’s Tiffany Chung for her installations and cartographic drawings. Younger artist Fumito Urabe was recognized for the significant promise of his work.
Dave Bown Projects 6th Semiannual Competition for artists with prizes up to $10,000. Jurors include curators from Boca Raton Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Open to all visual artists who are 18 years or older. All styles and media are eligible. Deadline is May 30, 2013. For a prospectus, go to davebownprojects.com/submissions.html. For information, email [email protected]
One of Cambodia’s most contemporary artists, Sopheap Pich whose work was recently seen at UW’s Henry Art Gallery now has his work on view in two places at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “Buddha 2” (2009) , a handwoven, rattan and bamboo sculpture is displayed in a courtly installation of Angkor empire sculpture. In adjoining rooms is “Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich”, a show organized by senior departmental curator John Guy. It’s part of a city-wide event celebrating contemporary Khmer art and culture to the general public. On view through July 7, 2013. Pich’s “Reliefs”, a solo show of wall grids is at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in New York through June 13.
Maya Lin, known for her public sculptural works such as the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. has a show of new work entitled “Here and There” at PACE Galleries through June 22 in New York and through May 11 in London. Go to pacegallery.com.
The Black River Chapbook Competition has a deadline of May 31, 2013. This semi-annual prize from Black Lawrence Press is for a chapbook of short stories or poems 16 – 36 pages in length. The winner receives $500 and publication. Go to www.blacklawrencepress.com for details.
Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin’s second show at Eli Klein Fine Art in New York on view till June 2 is entitled “I Touched the Voice of God”. In it, his hyperrealistic sculptures illustrate the potential and metaphorical consequences of a world which is over-developed and despoiled. 426 West Broadway. 212-255-4388.
Congratulations to Portland-based award-winning children’s author/illustrator Allen Say who received an Oregon Book Award this spring, the “Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children’s Literature” for his latest memoir entitled “Drawing from Memory.”
Vashon Allied Arts invites proposals from Northwest artists for art work in any media for 2014 Vashon Allied Arts Gallery monthly exhibitions. Go to http://bit.ly/178Y6Q7 for details. Deadline is August 15, 2013.
Congratulations to Bay Area performance artist and arts advocate Brenda Wong Aoki who received the Inspirational Leadership Award from the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the City and County of San Francisco on the occasion of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. For details, go to http://http://apiheritage.com/. She is presently in production of her next piece entitled “MU” with husband, bassist/sheng player/composer Mark Izu.