The Seattle International Film Festival takes place at various venues around the Puget Sound from May 17 – June 10. See this issue for guide to Asian/Asian American related films. See hundreds of films from around the country and around the world. Online at siff.net.

Looking for a different theatrical experience? “Café Nordo’s Cabinet of Curiosities” is equal parts dinner and theatre. This is a multi-room around-the-world dramatic dining experience set in Washington Hall, an older theatre in Seattle that has seen the likes of Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday performing on its’ stage and was the former home of performing arts organization, On The Boards. Sachie Mikawa is part of the cast. 153 – 14th Ave at East Fir St. Th. – Sat. (206) 579-6215 or go to http://cafenordo.com.

“At Owners Risk” is a site-specific installation by Avantika Bawa with an opening reception scheduled for Fri., May 18 from 5 – 7pm. Her gallery talk is on Sat., May 19 at 12pm. The  installation is on view from May 21 – August 10. The site-responsive installation addresses the current structure and function of the Suyama Space as an architectural firm and gallery, while also reflecting on it’s early history as an auto body shop and livery stable. The artist says that her work “explores combinations of color and anti-monumentality, wholeness and fragmentation, containment and dispersal, to create experiential spaces and interventions. This emerges due, in part, to my relationship with the legacy of Minimalism and its emphasis on reductive from, modularity and literal scale.” In addition Suyama Space and The Text Garage will present an evening of site-specific readings in conjunction with the installation. Poets Nico Vassilakis, James Yeary, Lisa Radon and David Abel will read work devised, arranged,  and repurposed in response to the strategies and character of the installation. 2324 Second Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown between Battery and Bell. Open M – F., 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. (206) 256-0809 or www.suyamapetersondeguchi.com/art.

Spectrum Dance Theater present composer Bela Bartok’s “The Miraculous Mandarin” May 17 – 19 & 24 – 26 at 8 p.m. outside in Hing Hay Park at S. King St. & Maynard Ave. S. in Seattle’s Chinatown/ID neighborhood. A “behind the scenes historic tour” is co-presnted as well by the Wing on Sat., May 19. Call (206) 325-4161.

TOSA & TSA present “One Night in Taiwan Night Market” on Sat., May 19 from 6 – 9pm in Red Square outside on the Seattle UW main campus.  Food,   fun games and live entertainment featuring Jason Chen and others. The night market is a tradition throughout Asia and this should be fun. People are encouraged to purchase advance vouchers for the food to avoid long lines. Go to TOSA & TSA booths located in Red Square by May 18th from 10:30am – 2:30pm. 206) 543-2100.

Ancestral Modern – Australian Aboriginal Art from The Kaplan & Levi Collection” opens May 31 and remains on view through Sept. 2 at Seattle Art Museum downtown.  Over 100 artworks painted from desert to bark and salt lakes. Mesmerizing abstract looking patterns of dots, lines and mazes trace the journey of ancestors.  1st & Union downtown. (206) 654-3100 or visit seattleartmuseum.org.

Noted Northwest photographer Johsel Namkung celebrates his 93rd year with the publication of his long awaited retrospective book entitled “Johsel Namkung/ A Retrospective”. 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. reception to the general public. On Sat., May 26 in the Walker Ames Room of Kane Hall on the Seattle UW campus. For details, email [email protected].

“IDxID: New Identities” is the title of a group show juried by C. Davida Ingram. The work explores identities and identifications and how they shape our world. Featured is work by by Adrian Chesser and Timothy White Eagle, Frederic Moffet, Kat Larson, Kathy Liao, Mihai Coman, Rafael Soldi, Robert Terry II, Zel Brooks, Ilvs Strauss and others.  On view through June 28. Open on Thursdays from 2 – 8 p.m. and Fridays & Saturdays from 12 – 6 p.m. IDEA Odyssey, 666 S. Jackson St., Seattle. For details, go to www.ideaodysseygallery.com.

The Japanese Student Association of Seattle University presents “Haru Matsuri” (Spring Festival) on May 26 from 2 – 6pm. Seattle University’s LeRoux Room/ Student Center 160.  Featuring entertainment, food booths and more. Go to [email protected] for details.

“Seattle’s Nippon Kan: The Discovery of Seattle’s Other History” is a talk by Edward Burke. Burke and his wife, Elizabeth were caretakers of that historical building for many years and they collaborated on this book. Sat., May 19 at 4 p.m. At the Wing, 719 S. King St., Seattle. Call (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org.

SIS Productions  finally brings a regretful closing curtain to her “Sex in Seattle” series, (see related article in this issue) a popular look at the joys and foibles of Asian American single women dancing around those scary words such as “relationship,” “commitment” and “marriage.” See how it plays out as the characters you have known to grow and love walk off into the distance one last time. “Sex in Seattle 20:Happily Ever After…” was written by Hsieh, directed by Lisa Anne Glomb and stars Leilani Berinobis, Audrey Fan, Henry Drew, Tom Falcone or Don Fleming, Gordon Hendrickson, Kathy Hsieh, Mike Premo, Serin Ngai or May Nguyen and Moses Yim.  Runs through May 26 on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. Q & A sessions follow every Friday/Saturday night through May 25. Please note that this last production is at a new venue in Fremont. The West of Lenin space at 203 N. 36th St. Advance tickets at Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or go to www.brownpapertickets.com. For reservations, call (206) 323-9443 or go to [email protected]. Group rates available. More information at (206) 323-9443 or go to www.sis-productions.org.

For those willing to make the trek to Portland, the Northwest Film Center present a month-long retrospective featuring the films of the famed Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. “Fable and Fantasy: The Masters of Studio Ghibli” runs May 4 – 27. All films feature new 35mm prints made especially for the retrospective. Whisell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. Call (503) 221-1156 or visit www.nwfilm.org for details.

Visual Arts

The work of noted Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto is included in a group show entitled ‘Can’t Get There From Here” on view May 17 – June 30. Lawrimore Project at 117 S. Main, Suite 101. Visit http://www.lawrimoreproject.com for details.

Recent natural disasters and “the dispersion of ash, smoke, clouds, wind, and water” fill the surface of Aaliyah Gupta’s work on view through May 26 at CORE Gallery. Open Wed. – Sat. CORE Gallery, 117 Prefontaine Place S. Call (206) 467-4444 or go to www.coregallery.org.

M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College presents an intriguing look at Chinatown through three distinctly different lens. “Three Wongs: Chinatown Photographs” will showcase the work of Dean Wong, Rick Wong and Barry Wong. Through unrelated, these three photographers share the same touchstone of inspiration for their work.  On view  through May 24. Gallery hours are M-F from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with evening hours on T & W from 5 – 7 p.m. M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery, 1701 Broadway on campus across from the cafeteria. Call (206) 934-4379 or go to www.seattlecentral.edu/gallery.

Paintings by Yuriko Miyamoto are on view at Form/Space Atelier at 2407 First Ave. through May. Open Wed. – Sat. (206) 349-2509 or visit www.formspaceatelier.com.

Japanese installation artist Motoi Yamamoto who works with salt, an element associated with death in Japanese culture has work in the group show entitled “Making Mends” which explores the healing power of art. Seattle artist Margot Quan Knight has work in this show as well. On view through May 27. Bellevue Arts Museum at 510 Bellevue Way NE. Call (425) 519-0770 or go to www.bellevuearts.org.

“Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” is a fascinating photo exhibit that takes 10 families from around the world and looks at what they eat, day in and day out. Remains on view through June 10. UW’s Burke Museum at 17th Ave. NE and NE 45th in Seattle. Call (206) 544-5590 or go to www.burkemuseum.org.

“Landscapes – More Than A Single View” is a group show that shows different perspectives through various media. Includes work by Miya Ando, Chou Y. Ching, Don Cole, Mario Diaz, Cora Edmonds, Oksana Perkins and Jonathan Wakuda Fischer. Through June 16.ArtXchange Gallery, 512 First Ave. S. Call (206) 839-0377 or visit: www.artxchange.org.

Aljoya presents an art exhibition featuring the work of ZZ Wei and Alfredo Arreguin. Show will be on view through June 25, 2012. 450 NE 100th St. in Seattle.

Ikebana International’s 53rd Annual “Peace Through Flowers” exhibition takes place May 19 – 20 at Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park. 1400 E. Prospect St. (206) 654-3100 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org

Designer Harriett McNamara creates one-of-a-kind jewelry and adornment from scrap metal, antique hardware vintage discoveries, ceremonial beads and stones.  On view through May 26. “Meet Me At Higo” is part two of a multi-media presentation of the history of Seattle’s original five and dime. Opening reception on Sat., May 19 at 6 p.m. will feature Ken Mochizuki, author of the catalog. Sponsored by the Wing.  Jewelry Design by Christina Goodman on view June 3 – 12 opening on June 2 from 3 – 5pm.  At Kobo at Higo, 604 South Jackson. Email [email protected] or call (206) 381-3000.

Seattle Chinese Garden presents “Peony Display & Workshops” on May 20 from 12 – 4:30pm. 6000 – 16th Ave. SW. (206) 934-5219.

Seattle Art Museum downtown has the following – On the second floor see an offering of ToshikoTakaezu’s large ceramic jars in the “New Acquisitions” show along with Brendan Tang’s send-up of Chinese Ming dynasty vessels meets techno-pop shapes inspired by Japanese anime and manga. On the third floor, explore a new show entitled “The Seattle Art Museum & Seattle Artists in the 1930s and 1940s” which celebrates the work of Northwest artists whose careers were fostered by the director and patrons of the museum. Includes work by Mark Tobey, Morris Graves and Emilio Amero. SAM Next series is Seattle Art Museum’s contemporary art exhibition program intended to shed light on cutting-edge contemporary young artists and the work they are doing. Selected sixth in the series is New York-based multi-media artist Mika Tajima. Tajima combines painting, sculpture, design, performance, video and sound to create immersive installations that expand the possibilities of each medium.  On view through June 17, 2012. SAM,1300 First Ave., Seattle. Call (206) 654-3100 or visit: www.seattleartmuseum.org for details.

On view till August 5, 2012 will be a show entitled “Colors of the Oasis, Central Asian Ikats” which features 40 colorful robes created during the 19th century using the labor intensive process known as ikat.  Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 Prospect Ave., Seattle. For more information, call (206) 654-3100 or visit www.seattleartmuseum.org.

The Wing has a new show “I Am Filipino” which looks at Filipino identity through personal stories and photographs. “Asian American Arcade” is a new exhibition. Follow video games out of the arcade and into the art gallery where related artworks explore questions of identity, community, imagination, learning and the power of play in our lives. Through June 17, 2012. “Meet Me at Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family” is a new show of a famous neighborhood general store on view until May 27, 2012. Accompanied by a catalogue with essay written by Ken Mochizuki. “From Fields to Family: Asian Pacific Americans and Food” is a show which explores the traditions, techniques and mouth-watering stories of food through culture and cooking techniques passed on through home and restaurant over the years. Through July 15, 2012. “New Years All Year Round” on view till July 1. “Vintage Japantown: Through the Lens of the Takano Studio” on view through Sept. 16. Family Fun Day on May 19 features “Rock Paper Sketch” taught by a group of designers on how to make a balloon robot. For information on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.

Photographer Carina del Rosario’s work is included in a group show this spring. “Shadows and Reflections” curated by sculptor June Sekiguchi at Ida Culver House in Seattle through July 16. 12505 Greenwood Ave. N. (206) 452-3206.

Artists Susie J. Lee, Henry Tsang and Jin-Me Yoon were selected to participate in “The 10th Northwest Biennial” which will be on view through May 2012. Work was selected by TAM curator Rock Hushka and independent art curator Renato Rodrigues da Silva. Call (253) 272-4258 or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.

The Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor, Washington has a group show entitled “Tulipieres: The Tulip Vase Revisted” on view through June 10. The work of Makiko Ichiura, Saya Moriyasu and Patti Warashina is included. Also on view is a group show entitled “Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection” which includes the work of Paul Horiuchi, Norie Sato and George Tsutakawa. 121 South First St. in La Conner. Call (360) 466-4446 or go to www.museumofnwart.org.

Roger Shimomura’s work is in a group show at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. entitled “Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter.” Through Oct. 14, 2012. Go to www.npa.sl.edu. After the show closes, it will tour including venues in Washington State.

Coverage of early Japanese American history in the region is included in the permanent exhibit at White River Valley Museum, 918 “H” St. S.E. in Auburn. Call (253) 288-7433 or go www.wrvmuseum.org.

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center preserves the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the area. Their permanent exhibit is “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of a Community.” “Forthcoming shows will be “Kokeshi: From Tradition to Tools,” “Coming Home: Japanese Americans in Portland After WWII” and “Roger Shimomura: Shadows of Minidoka.” Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, 121 NW 2nd Ave. in Portland. Call (503) 224-1458 or e-mail: [email protected].

The Portland Japanese Garden offers the serenity of a Japanese garden plus numerous classes, art shows and workshops year around. Portland Japanese Garden, 611 S.W. Kingston Ave. Call (503) 233-1321.

Performing Arts

A special Goma Fire Ceremony takes place on May 27 at noon. Four priests from the Koyasan Head Temple will perform this ritual at Seattle Koyasan Buddhist Church at 1518 S. Washington St. in Seattle. Visit www.seattlekoyasan.com or call (206) 325-8811 for details.

The Asia Pacific Cultural Center will have an open house for its new center featuring foods and programs on Th., May 24 from 4 – 7:30pm. 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. (253) 383-3900 or visit www.asiapacificculturalcenter.org for details.

Ukelele phenomenon Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Northwest sharing the bill with Leo Kottke as part of the BECU ZooTunes series on June 27. Go to www.zoo.org for details.

Burlesque queen “The Shanghai Pearl” performs in “Rock Me Baby – A Celebration of the Music of Etta James” set for Sat., May 26 with special guest vocalist Duffy Bishop. 2 shows at 7pm & 10pm. Presented by Blue Velvet Rhythm & Blues Dance Revue. At the Triple Door at 216 Union St. downtown Seattle. Go to www.thetripledoor.com for details.

Circus performer/contortionist Ling Rui appears in the new Teatro ZinZanni show, “Caliente!” through June 10, 2012. 222 Mercer St. near Seattle Center. For tickets, call (206) 802-0015 or buy at the box office in front of the theatre.

Pork Filled Players present their  unique form of sketch comedy in a program entitled “Spamorama” with special guests on Wed., May 16 at 7:30 p.m. Theatre Off Jackson at 409 – 7th Ave. Go to http://www.porkfilled.com for details.

Ragamala presents a north Indian classical vocal concert by Aditi Kaikini Upadhya with accompaniment by supporting musicians on harmonium and tabla. Sat., May 19 at 7:30 p.m.  On the Seattle campus of UW in the Music Building’s Brechemin Auditorium. UW students get in free upon proof of current enrollment.  They also present a South Indian classical vocal concert with Amritha Murali on June 1 at 7:30pm at East Shore Unitarian Church at 12700 SE 32nd St. in Bellevue. Go to www.ragamala.org for details.


“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” tells the story of British elderly who take a chance on a senior home in India. Now screening at the Guild 45th at 2115 N. 45th. (206) 781-5755.

Kang Je-gyu’s war drama entitled “My Way” opens in June at the Varsity Theatre at 4329 Un iversity Way NE. (206) 781-5755.

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, the documentary film about one of Japan’s greatest sushi chefs continues its’ Seattle run at the Harvard Exit on Capitol Hill.

“Safe” is a new action thriller starring Jason Statham who is on the run from both Chinese and Russian gangsters as he tries to project a young Chinese girl who knows all the answers as portrayed by Catherine Chan.

Kid’s activities tied in with art shows and a screening of a children’s film take place at the “Free First Saturdays + Kids Flicks” program at Seattle Asian Art Museum every first Sat. of the month from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, 1400 E. Prospect. Visit: www.seattleartmuseum.org for details.

“Lost Years” is a documentary film from Canada that deals with the history of Chinese immigration from Asia to North America. Produced by Kenda Gee and Tom Radford. It has already won a host of awards in Canada and screens May 23 & 24 at this year’s SIFF. Some scenes were shot in Seattle. Go to www.lostyears.ca for a look.

The Written Arts

UW Professor of English and novelist Shawn Wong curated the 2012 Writers Program Reading Series of Jack Straw Productions. Sharon Hashimoto, Mitsu Sundvall and Nick Wong are some of the selected writers. Visit jackstraw.org for details.

VORTEX – Hedgebrook’s Salon for Women Writers present fiction writers Gail Tsukiyama and Ruth Ozeki as part of a weekend writing salon with six renowned women writers at the Whidbey Institute at Chinook. June 1 – 3.  Go to http://bit.ly/hedgebrookcity for details.

Art News/Opportunities

Washington Lawyers for the Arts present a workshop entitled “Copyright Law Fundamentals” on Thurs., May 17 at 5:30pm. K & L GATES at 925 Fourth Ave., Suite 2900 in Seattle. To register call (800) 838-3006. Go to thewla.org  or call (206) 328-7053 for details.

Northwest noted ceramic artist Patti Warashina has a survey of her work found on the West Coast (from early to current) entitled “Wit And Wisdom” opening July 14 at American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California. Art historian Martha Kingsbury will write the catalog essay. Selected work from the show comes to Bellevue Arts Museum sometime in 2013.

Pakistani artist Humaira Abid who shows locally with ArtXchange Gallery won the Community Choice Award for her sculpture piece entitled “Breakdown in the Closet” by the International Museum of Women. The piece addresses the issue of miscarriage.

Politically inspired fine art from Northwest artists (WA., Oregon, Alaska and Idaho) is sought for an exhibition. Go to http://bit.ly/J661WI. Deadline is 12/31/12.

Northwest-raised artist Roger Shimomura gives the Graduation Ceremony address at his alma mater, Garfield High School this June.

Seattle-area teenagers are invited to apply to the YMCA’s Global Teens Program which has programs in Columbia, Japan, Senegal or Taiwan. For details, call Monica Quill Kusakabe at (206) 382-4362.

Noted costume designer Eiko Ishioka passed away recently. The Japanese artist was known for her sensual, surreal sense of design which she brought to film and theater. Her work was featured in films by the late Akira Kurosawa and Cirque du Soleil.

American installation artist Sarah Sze will represent the U.S. at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Her work can be seen  locally at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall.

Poets & Writers’ Readings/Workshops Program offers small grants for literary events taking place in Seattle and covers writers’ fees for public readings and workshops. Go to www.pw.org funding for details.

Novelist Julie Otsuka won the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for her latest novel. It was selected from over 350 submitted works.

NEA Challenge America Fast-Track Grants support small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations – those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. Go to www.bit.ly/zQBw66 for details. Deadline is May 24, 2012.

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