For those of you who love Japanese textiles, there are two interesting shows you might want to explore.  “Threads Of Hope – Art As Social Practice In The Textile Work Of Horoshi Saito”  shows the work of this Kyoto artist and his background in traditional kimono dyeing.  Beautifully designed garments, scarves and wall-hangings in varied hues and colors reflect the artist’s belief that art can provide solace and inspiration. He has worked with AIDS groups, the disabled and tsunami victims. Through July 1 as part of “The Art in the Garden” series at Portland Japanese Garden. Go to www.japanesegarden.com or call (503) 223-1321 for details. “The 8th Biennial Japanese Quilt Exhibition – At Play – Asobi” is a group show of quilts by instructors and members of Hanatsunagi-Kai Quilt Club of Japan now on view at La Connor Quilt & Textile Museum through Oct. 7, 2012. Opening reception is June 17 at 10 a.m. with Japanese quilt workshops following on June 27 and 28. 703 Second St. in La Connor, WA. Call (360) 466-4288  or go to www.laconnerquilts.com.

The Wing has two interesting yet vastly different shows this summer. Currently on view is “Inside/Out: APA Girls And Suicide”. Asian American and Pacific Islander women have the highest suicide rate among women ages 15 – 24. A lack of comprehensive data hinders efforts to understand and treat this alarming statistic. This exhibit attempts to explore a much needed dialogue around this difficult topic. Opening July 12 is “George Nakashima: A Master’s Furniture and Philosophy.” The late, internationally known master furniture maker made his name from a studio in Pennslyvania  but not every one knows that he spend his early days in Seattle before the war   until  life after internment would scatter him and other families across the country.  Go to www.wingluke.org for details.

The work of Romson Regarde Bustillo and June Sekiguchi is included in a group show entitled “The Material Calls: Artists-in-Residence at the James and Janie Washington Cultural Center” at the Hedreen Gallery. The show is a tribute to  noted Northwest  sculptor/painter James Washington and the many artists who participated in residencies at the Washington Foundation  (Washington’s actual studio) in the Central District during the last five years. June 20 – Sept. 29. Artist’s talks on June 20 and poetry and music on August 11. There will also be a lecture on the history of the Central District July 28 (this single event held at Northwest African American Museum). Exhibition and events (except where noted) are all at  Hedreen Gallery at Lee Center for the Arts at Seattle University. 901 12th Ave. Call (206) 296-2244 or go to www.hedreengallery.us. Open Wed. – Sat.

“CASTLES IN THE SKY: Miyazaki, Takahata & the Masters of Studio Ghibli” is a touring series that brings animated film classics from a major Japanese studio in new 35mm prints with many titles in both subtitled and English versions. Includes some films from the studio never seen in the US before. June 22 – July 5. SIFF Cinema Uptown at 511 Queen Ave. N. See complete schedule and buy tickets at www.siff.net.

“Japanese Impressions” is the title of a group show showcasing three contemporary print artists. “Origins” by Seiko Tachibana. “Homeward Bound” by Seiichi Hiroshima and “Japanese Beauties” by Kaoru Saito. Through June. Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. Call (206) 624-1324 or www.davidsongalleries.com.

“At Owners Risk” is a site-specific installation by Avantika Bawa. The installation is on view through 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 its 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 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call (206) 256-0809.

As the older generation of Japanese filmmakers like Kurosawa and Ozu passed away, one began to wonder if the torch would be passed on to a new generation. One director who answered the call was Hirokazu Kore-eda. His new film “I Wish” (see related review in this issue) again shows his deft and knowing way in portraying the complexities and emotional richness in the lives of children as two boys of divorced parents plot to get them back together. Opens June 22 at the Varsity theater, 4329 University Way NE. Call (206) 781-5755 or go to www.landmarktheatres.com.

“Through Our Eyes: Filipino American Artists” is a group show guest curated by Pweka Olivia Zapata for Columbia City Gallery. It features the work of James Lawrence Ardena, Weng Gavino and Ricky Montilla. June 20 – August 5. 4864 Rainier Ave. S. Call (206) 760-9843.

Ancestral Modern – Australian Aboriginal Art from The Kaplan & Levi Collection” 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.  Seattle Art Museum, 1st & Union St.

“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.

Elizabeth Jameson and Junko Yamamoto at Fetherston Gallery through July 14. This is an interesting pairing of two artists influenced by Japanese cultural aesthetics in different ways. Long-time gallery artist Jameson’s “Spring Collection” continues her depiction of medieval gowns done in pastel and enlivened by vivid color, movement and depth. Yamamoto, though new to this gallery, has a local following for her abstract  paintings  inspired  by Japanese pop culture and a post-modern  sense of abstract expressionism. Her work usually bubbles over with joy and punchy color. A new series entitled “clusters and a drop” are on view here. 818 E. Pike St. Open Wed. – Sat. Call (206) 322-9440 or go to www.fetherstongallery.com.

Visual Arts

As part of their summer  “Solutions” series, the Project room presents “Speeding Dating at the Project Room” in which artist Susie Lee has developed a speed dating event for artists and technology workers to investigate the nature of problem solving across different fields. Catch both sessions on June 27 and July 11 from 7 – 9 p.m. 1315 E. Pine St. Go to www.projectroomseattle.org for details.

A “New Members Show” which includes the work of Paul Komada is now on view through June 30 at SOIL.  Opening July 5 – 28 is a solo exhibition by artist Soya Moriyasu whose work always exudes joy and quirky delights.  “Verdant” features paintings and sculpture inspired by the rich abundance of nature. 112 Third Ave. S. Call (206) 264-8061 or go to www.soilart.org. Open Wed. – Sat.

German artist Eva Pietzcker’s “Washington Project” is her hanga-inspired work based on sketches of places around the state. On view through June at Cullom Gallery at 603 S. Main St. Call (206) 340-8000.

A group show features the work of four Japanese artists, Naomi Schneider (woodcarving), Mika Sullivan (pottery), Yumiko Furuyama (temari) and Sachi Tanimoto Palermo (senga) is on view until June 30 at Gallery North located at 508 Main St. in Edmonds. Call (206) 380-6759.

Join friends in Chinatown/International District’s own “First Thursday/Artwalk” every month from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit various galleries in the neighborhood. For details, go to SeattleChinatownID.com.

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

“Skin” is a show of encaustic sculptures by Deborah Kapoor now on view through June. 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.

“Meet Me At Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family” is  a  history of Seattle’s original five and dime now on view at Asia Pacific Cultural Center through June 28. 4851 S. Tacoma Way in Tacoma. (253) 383-3900 or visit www.asiapacificculturalcenter.org.

“Meet Me at Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family” is a new permanent exhibition here created through a National Park Service grant to preserve the history of Japanese American internment with assistance from Wing Luke Museum. Also look out later this summer for a book-signing/reading  for “Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic” (Lee & Low Books) by Oregon-based children’s writer Ginnie Lo  and her sister, Beth Lo who did the illustrations.  Beth Lo is a nationally-known ceramic artist based in Montana. At Kobo at Higo, 604 South Jackson. Email [email protected] or call (206) 381-3000.

Seattle Art Museum downtown has the following – On the second floor see an offering of Toshiko Takaezu’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. 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”  (see related article in this issue) 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.  A new exhibition exploring the complex topic of young Asian Pacific American women and suicide – providing a place for dialogue around this important issue. Opens June 7 from 6 – 8 p.m.  Also experience the museum’s “Historic Hotel Tour” on July 5 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. at a discount. “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.  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. Call (206) 452-3206.

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.

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

Butoh, the avant-garde dance theatre that surfaced out of Japan from the ruins of WW II continues as a global influence. One of the mainstays on the Seattle dance scene continuing and expanding on this tradition is DAIPANbutoh and they premiere new work by their choreographers (Sheri Brown, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Joan Laage, and Helen Thorsen) in a program entitled “30/30” on June 22 & 23. At Velocity Dance Center at 1621 12th Ave. (206) 325-8773 or go to www.velocitydancecenter.org. Kaoru Okumura (see related article in this issue)  is a Seattle-based dancer who once studied with Akiko Motofuji (widow of Butoh pioneer Hijikata). She performs in the “30/30” concert on June 22 as well as at the Taoist Studies Institute on July 7 (225 – N. 70th St.) and a performance entitled “Wandering and Wondering” at Highline Botanical Garden in SeaTac on July 14. Go to www.kaoruokumura.com/

“Pride ASIA Pride” is the first event to celebrate LGBQT API diversity and culture. Sat., June 23 from noon to 6pm. With music, performances and entertainment.  Free. At High Hay Park at Maynard Ave. and S. King. Hosted by Aleska Manila and sponsored in part by ACRS and the Pride Foundation.

Local photographer Subhankar Banerjee whose photo documentation of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge did much to draw attention to that fragile eco-structure will talk about the passion that drives his creative work. June 21 at 7:30pm. Town Hall. Presented by Seattle Arts & Lectures.  1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 621-2230 or go to www.lectures.org.

A social dance class held on Fridays from June 22, July 13 and August 3 at 6:30 p.m. NVC Memorial Hall at 1212 S. King St. For details, email [email protected]

Catch “Chinatown-ID Jamfest” Third Thursday Series from June – August from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. You’ll find different bands and performers in concert throughout the district. Go to WingLuke.org/Jamfest 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.

Film/Media

Comic Aziz Ansari best known as the character Tom Haverford on the TV series, “Parks and Recreation” brings his stand-up routine to Seattle when he performs live in concert on June 29 at the Paramount. Go to www.stgpresents.org for details.

The Written Arts

Elliott Bay Book Company and Gardner Center For Asian Art & Ideas co-sponsor a reading by  award-winning Sri Lankan novelist Shehan Karunatilaka who will read from his debut novel “The Legend of Pradeep Mathew” (Graywolf), a rollicking look at the life of a legendary bowler/cricket player. Thu., June 21 at 7 p.m. Seattle Asian Art Museum at 1400 East Prospect in Volunteer Park.

“Angel Island – Immigrant Gateway To America” (Oxford) by Erika Lee & Judy Yung and winner of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Adult Non-Fiction is now out in a new paperback edition. This book on the immigrant history of the West Coast’s version of New York’s Ellis Island will stand as the definitive resource for years to come.

Art News/Opportunities

“Walk for Rice” is the annual fundraising event for ACRS Food Bank. Sat., June 30 from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. At Seward Park in Seattle. Visit www.walkforrice.com for details.

Noted Korean sculptor/installation artist Do Ho Suh whose work is part of Seattle Art Museum’s permanent collection has created a new piece entitled “Cause and Effect” for Western Washington University’s distinguished outdoor sculpture collection.

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 (Wash., 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.

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