“Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities”. All over the world, female artisans are creating grassroots cooperatives to reach new markets, raise living standards and transform lives. This exhibit looks at ten such enterprises in ten countries including India, Thailand and Mongolia. At the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture on the Seattle UW campus. The “Empowering Women Artisan Market” set for the weekend of July 20-21 gives you a chance to talk with artists from cooperatives featured in the exhibit. Exhibit curator Dr. Suzanne Seriff will speak. On view till Oct. 27, 2013. 17th Ave. NE & NE 45th St. (206) 543-5590 or go to http://burkemuseum.org/empowering.
“Leaves From A Different Tree” brings together three interesting Northwest multi-media artists in dialogue. Encaustic and acrylic paintings by Lucia Enriquez, sculpture and 2D work by Portland artist Kanetaka Ikeda and a modern look at “abstract expressionist” painting by Mark Takamichi Miller. June 27 – Aug. 16 with opening reception for the artists set for June 27 from 6 – 8pm. M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College. Gallery hours are M – TH from 9am to 3pm and Fridays from 9am – noon. Free. (206) 934-4379 or go to www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery. Full disclosure- this show was guest-curated by me.
“Allen Say: An Illustrator of His Life and Ours” is the first exhibit in Portland to highlight Portland children’s writer Allen Say’s original artwork from his many award-winning books. Includes over 30 watercolor paintings and intricate pen-and-ink drawings. The June 9 reception includes a talk and book signing by Say. Multnomah County Central Library in the Collins Gallery at 801 SW 10th Ave. For details, call (503) 988-5123 or go to events.multcolib.com.
Congratulations to Seattle artist Norie Sato, a recipient of the 2013 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. The award goes to a Washington state female artist aged 60 or over who has dedicated 25 or more years to creating art. Videos on her recent public artwork done for universities in Iowa are available for viewing on the web.
“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 with Greg Kono 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.
“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.
“ Future Beauty: Thirty Years of Japanese Fashion” is 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.
“Patti Warashina – wit and wisdom” is a not-to-miss retrospective of this Northwest treasure known for her witty, satiric and immaculately crafted figurative sculpture that looks at the politics and foibles of life. July 12 – Oct. 17th. Bellevue Arts Museum. Go to www.bellevuearts.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. “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.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District has the following – New wood-fired ceramics by Ben Waterman from a residency at Northern Arizona University is on view through June 27th. Reid Ozaki and Ken Allison show new ceramic work from June 29 – July 30th. Opening reception is Sat., June 29 from 5 – 7pm. Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa shows new work with her father Koichi Ichikawa in a show titled “The line that runs through – conversations of father & daughter.” August 24 – 31. 604 S. Jackson. Go to koboseattle.com for updates.
METHOD6/19/13 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 plan monthly shows by contemporary artists. 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.
At the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery they have the following – 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. Early warning- Opening Oct. 15 will be the first solo museum exhibition given to Korean-born artist Haegue Yang who presents “Towers on String”, a series of sculptures constructed with venetian blinds. 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 the following activities. Liao is in a group show entitled “Orchid and Orange” at ArtsWest Gallery through 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
Noted Seattle sculptor Gerard Tsutakawa will create a bronze monument to preserve the legacy of the Tacoma Japanese Language School now on the campus of the University of Washington, Tacoma. It will be installed in a trail site near Pacific Avenue and may possibly link up with Point Defiance Park where a Japanese pagoda sits. Go to http://tacoma.uw.edu/jls for details.
Seattle artist Joe Park teaches a class for Frye Art Museum entitled “Oil Painting with Old Masters and a Camera Obscura” July 16 – 19. Registration is required. For beginning and intermediate levels. Go to fryemuseum.org for details or call (206) 622-9250.
Seattle painter Thuy-van Vu has a show of her works on paper at Courtyard Gallery at the University of Texas at Austin through August 30th. She shows locally at G. Gibson Gallery.
Congratulations to Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu who is a recent recipient of a 2013 Artist Trust Fellowship.
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.
“Light Journey: An Odyssey in Paint” is a retrospective exhibit of the art of Su Kwak on view through July 28th. University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in the Focus Gallery. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. (541-346-3027 or go to jsma.uoregon.edu.
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.
In commemoration of Asian Heritage Month, an exhibit entitled “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” opened in May at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. and remains on view there through June 18. The exhibit celebrates the history of Asian Pacific Americans. The exhibit travels to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in September and continues on a 13-city national tour. Closest Northwest stop will be in Ontario, Oregon. The exhibit was curated by Lawrence-Ming Bui Davis, coordinator of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Initiative. On December 21, it opens at the Four Rivers Cultural Center at 676 SW Fifth Ave. in Ontario, Oregon. Call (541) 889-8191 or go to www.4rcc.com. For information about the exhibit, go to www.apa.si.edu.
“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.
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. 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. “Manifest” is a new show of photography by Seattle Girls’ School students from a workshop taught by Mugi Takei as part of theTeensway Program. Opens June 22 at 11am. Don’t miss the first JAMFEST of the summer on June 20 – good music and good times in the Chinatown/ID.For information on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.
Bryan Ohno, former Pioneer Square gallery owner is back in business. His new gallery is now in the ID at 521 S. Main St. The first show is a group of research-based paintings inspired by time spent in Phnom Penh by Adrianne Smits. Opens June 6 from 6 – 8pm.
Tacoma artist Ellen Ito was a nominee for the 2013 Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Go to www.gtcf.org for details.
The Bellevue Festival of the Arts is an annual outdoor festival with juried art, fine craft, music and food. July 26 – 28. Free. Go to BellevueFest.org for details.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea is sponsoring Korean Cultural Weeks during the month of June in the greater Seattle area in an effort to promote Korean culture and to establish ties between the Korean community and Seattle residents. Free admission. Some events include KAW Art Exhibition June 24 – August 15, Kimchee Workshop on June 29th, Shoreline Art Festival on June 29 – 30th and a K-Pop Contest on June 30th. For details, go to http://usa-seattle.mofa.go.kr.
“Breaking The Silence – Authentic Stories of the Issei & Nisei in America” (see related story in this issue) 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. There will also be another fundraiser at the Japanese Baptist Church on June 29th. For more information, call (206) 860-6005.
Gifted local omposer/musicians couple Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenny perform on Music Night with Jherek Bischoff and Katie Kate at Frye Art Museum on July 24. All are nominees for the Stranger’s Genius Awards. 704 Terry Ave. Go to thestranger.com/genius for details.
Boi Akih is an Amsterdam-based group that combines classical Indian, Indonesian and African forms with Dutch avant-garde jazz. They and dozens of other local, national and international groups perform at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival June 21 – July 1. Go to www.coastaljazz.ca for details.
Seattle Center/Festal presents on June 29 from noon to 7pm, an Seattle Iranian Festival, a celebration of arts, literature, music, and food of Iran. Novelist Meghan Nuttall Sayres and cookbook author Louisa Shafia, non-fiction writer Sahar Delijani & others will also appear. Seattle Center Armory at 305 Harrison St. For details on the Iranian Festival, go to ww.iaca-seattle.org.
“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 (see related story in this issue) 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.
Classical violinist Ray Chen is the featured soloist at the Bellingham Festival of Music’s 20th Anniversary Season on July 9. The festival runs from July 5 – 21. (360) 650-6146 or go to www.bellinghamfestival.org.
The Japanese Garden Advisory Council invites you to the Fourth Annual Japanese Garden Party. Enjoy a light dinner and sake tasting by Hiroshi’s. Stroll the garden and listen to wandering entertainment and bid on live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit pond restoration. July 26 at 5:30pm. Seattle Japanese Garden at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. Go to www.brownpapertickets.com to purchase.
Deems performs jazz piano at the UW Nikkei Alumni Association’s 90th Anniversary. Prominent Nikkei politicians and community leaders will be in attendance. August 24th at the remodeled HUB North Ballroom. On the Seattle UW campus. For tickets, go to [email protected].
Singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata plays the Tractor Tavern in Ballard on June 19th. 21 & over. Got to ticketweb.com for tickets.
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.
Author and singer/songwriter Dao Strom has a new cd release entitled “We were Meant To Be A Gentle People” (East EP). For details, go to www.daostrom.com.
Singer/songwriter Helen Chaya has a new cd entitled “I Am Not Thinking of War Today”.
“People’s Park” is a documentary film by JP Sniadecki and Lebbie Cohn that takes you on a single-take journey through a Chinese city park and its’ residents. June 25 at 8pm. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave.
“Searchlight Serenade” is a new documentary film that looks at the big bands that sprang up in internment camps offering internees a relief from stress, boredom and the salvation of music. It screens on Sunday, July 7 at 2pm at NVC Memorial Hall at 1212 King St. Afterwards there will be a Q and A with former band members and the artist Amy Uyeki who provided woodblock prints of images from camp as used in the film. Free. This event is on the heels of a national conference organized by the Japanese American National Museum entitled “Speaking Up! Democracy Justice Dignity” which commemorates the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. July 4 – 7 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Go to http://.janm.org/conference2013/.
“The Act of Killing” recently played SIFF. Executive producers on this film were noted documentary film directors Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. Director Joshua Oppenheimer goes to Indonesia to interview former death squad leaders who were responsible for the mass murder of over a million people. Instead of sober reflections, these killers re-enact their actions in the form of a surreal musical. Starts a one week run on Friday, August 2 at a Landmark Theatre in Seattle. For a preview, go to drafthousefilms.com/film/the-act-of-killing.
Last chance to catch “Pieta” by Kim Ki-Duk, winner of the Golden Lion at 2012 Venice Film Festival. It also screened at this year’s SIFF. A loan shark changes stripes when a mysterious woman who professes to be his long-los mother appears in his life. June 19 and 20th at the Grand Illusion. 1403 NE 50th St. (206) 523-3935.
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film entitled “After Earth” stars the combination of Will and Jaden Smith playing a father and son who crash land on the planet earth a thousand years after it has been deserted by its’ human inhabitants. The father is injured and it is up to the son to find a way to get them back home. Opens May 31 at AMC Pacific Place II in downtown Seattle as well as several other theatres.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. 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.
Seattle-raised photographer/filmmaker Emily Momohara is working on a new documentary film on longtime Seattle resident May Namba chronicling her life in local history. For information, go to www.ehmomohara.com.
A scene from the novel UW Professor Shawn Wong is currently working on entitled “The Ancient and Occupied Heart of Greg Li” was adapted into a short film and directed by Paula Bennett and produced by Drama Professor Andrew Tsao. It has already screened at several film festivals at Park City, Los Angeles, Tacoma and Brooklyn.
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. ‘You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story” profiles the pioneering actor who became the first Asian American cast in in a lead role in a regular television series. He later starred in “Barney Miller”. Soo was Japanese American but took on the Chinese last name in the wake of of WWII so he could get work more easily. Directed by Jeff Adachi in 2009. For details about the film, go to www.jacksoo.com.
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.
Noted Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai was named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France’s highest cultural honor. He is the director of films like “In The Mood For Love” and most recently, “The Grandmaster” which details the life story of Op Man who trained Bruce Lee.
Filipino director Borinaga Alix Jr. takes on the notorious Battan Death March, one of the worst episodes of World War II in which American and Filipino soldiers were forced to march to their death by the Japanese army.
The Written Arts
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].
Local writer Harold Taw (“Adventures of 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. In his latest project, he is one of the participating writers in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2013/14 Pacific Northwest Writers Group. The writers will go through a two-year development program with the creation of new musicals as its’ ultimate goal. Taw is paired with composer Chris Jeffries. Their one-act musical about love lost and found is scheduled to hit the boards at the 5th Avenue in February 2014.
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. Award-winning novelist Susan Choi reads from her latest one entitled “My Education” on July 22 at 7pm. The Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (206) 624-6600 or visit www.elliottbaybook.com.
Elliott Bay Book Company and the Gardner Center of Asian Art & Ideas in association with Teamwork Productions present “Words as Water: Voices of India” June 26 – 28 at Seattle Asian Art Museum. Writers Sudeep Chakravarti, Sonia Faleiro & Anu Taranath, Sonora Jha (a Seattle-based writer and Seattle University professor- see related article in this issue), Mridula Koshy and Amish Tripathi participate. Chakravarti is a leading novelist (“Tin Fish”, “The Avenue of Kings”) and highly regarded journalist known for his books on political insurgency in India. Sonia Faleiro reads Friday evening with UW Professor Anu Taranath and is the author of “Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars” and the novel, “The Girl.” After a conversation with Seattle U. Prof. Meenakshi Rishi, Saba Dewan’s 2008 film entitled “Naach (Dance)” will be screened. Jha is chair of the Department of Communication at Seattle University and reads from her debut novel, “Foreign”. Koshy is an award-winning Indian fiction writer who has been living in Portland but soon to move back to New Delhi. She reads from her new novel, “Not Only the Things That Have Happened.” Amish Tripathi will engage in conversation with Seattle U. Professor Meenakshi Rishi and is the author of many bestselling narratives including “The Immortals of Meluga” and “The Secrets of the Nagas.” For exact sequence of programs over the three nights, go to www.elliottbaybook.com or www.seattleartmuseum/gardnercenter.
Sanjay Basu, MD is co-author with Dr. David Stuckler of the book entitled “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills” (Basic Books). As part of the TOWN HALL CIVIC LIFE series, Basu will talk about what this book means to those who deliver health care and those who may someday be patients. Wed., June 26 at 7:30pm. Town Hall Seattle. Tickets at the door or by visiting www.townhallseattle.org. Co-presented by Elliott Bay Book Company.
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.
Popular Japanese author and noted runner Haruki Murakami sent a personal message of sympathy and tribute to the people of Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. His article appeared in a recent online edition of the New Yorker.
Featured writers scheduled to appear at the Japanese American National Museum’s traveling conference, this year held in Seattle on July 5 & 6 include the following – Jean Wakatsuki Houston, co-author of “Farewell to Manzanar” will give the keynote address. Naomi Hirahara reads from the latest in her Mas Arai detective series entitled “Taste of Strawberries” on July 8 at 7pm. On July 8 at 7pm, Lane Hirabayashi reads from his book “A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States”. The readings will be held at Elliott Bay Book Company.
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.
“Dyeing Elegance – Asian Modernism and the Art of Kuboku and Hisako Takaku” is the book catalog for this exhibition that was at the San Diego Museum of Art last year. Dyed textiles are used to reflect on Japanese art and identity.
Eminent Indian artist K. G. Subramanyan offers a stinging parable of democracy gone wrong with his clever black and white drawings taking on a satiric tale.
“Readings In World Literature” by Srikanth Reddy is a daybook of academic satire, a survivor’s memoir and a post-modern journey through the underworlds of various cultures.
“Debts & Lessons” is a debut book of poetry by Lynn Xu that travels under the power of history’s illusory engine and tells tales of love, violence and lament.
“The Tall Trees of Tokyo” by Matt Wagner chronicles his personal search for artists in Tokyo for independent and creative artists seen as troublemakers. Framed like a day book, each artist gets a few pages to display his or her work and answer identical questions posed by the author. A refreshing way to take a look at the alternative art scene in Japan.
“Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America” by Kendall H. Brown and photos by David M. Cobb is new, now out on Tuttle books.
The Ke Kukui Foundation leads a tour of Kanaka Village in Ft. Vancouver July 25 & 26th as part of the “3 Days of Aloha” event. Kanaka Village housed a larger number of Hawaiian workers from 1829 – 1850. Go to http://workshop.hawaiianfestivalpnw.com/workshop/choose_classes for details.
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.
Congratulations to UW Professor Steve Sumida for receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award recently from the Association for Asian American Studies.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is accepting applications for the 2014 CityArtist Projects program. Seattle-based individual artists who work in visual, literary (excluding playwriting) and media arts are eligible. Applications are due July 17. Go to www.seattle.gov/arts for details.
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://apiheritage.org. She is presently in production of her next piece entitled “MU” with husband, bassist/sheng player/composer Mark Izu.