As an afterword to the critically acclaimed recent show on Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi at the Frye Art Museum, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Executive Director of the museum who helped curate the show will present a talk entitled “Noguchi/Baishi Beijing 1930” on Thurs., July 10th at 6pm. The talk is free and given in English with Chinese translation. Besides the museum, sponsors include the Green Lake Association for Chinese Poetry & Painting and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle. To RSVP, call (206) 441-4586 or email [email protected].
“Bellwether 2014: Connect” is Bellevue’s biennial sculpture exhibition featuring more than 30 sculptures and installations all within a three-quarter mile walking route from City Hall to Downtown Park. On view through Oct. 12th, 2014. Artists from the Northwest, Canada and the U.S. are included. Work by Canadian artists Junichiro Iwase, Connie Sabo, Geemon Xin Meng and Lisa Tzu-Ling are in this show. Free guided tours available for groups or eight or more by emailing [email protected], put “Tour” in the subject line. A City of Bellevue Public Art Program.
Printmaker Romson Bustillo’s “Solo Exhibition” is up through Sept. 24th at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. His work is haunted by memories of a childhood in the Philippines and the artist’s travels from S.E. Asia to Spain and Mexico. His layered images capture the texture of folk culture and a very real personal experience. 550 Winslow Way E. Just a ferry ride away from Seattle. (206) 451-4000 or go to biartmuseum.org.
Friends of Asian Art and Gardner Center present “The DunHuang Mogao Grottoes”, a talk by Jianjun Chen who is the current Director/Producer of China’s conservation efforts to preserve one of the greatest repositories of Buddhist art in the world. Takes place on Sat., August 23rd at 2pm in the Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park. For details, email [email protected].
New glass sculptures by Hiroshi Yamano on view through Sept. 4th – 27th. Opening reception is Sept. 4th from 5 – 8pm. 110 Union St. in Suite 200 downtown. (206) 587-6501 or go to travergallery.com.
“American Knockoff” was one of artist Roger Shimomura’s most sharply satiric shows with an autobiographical ring pitting himself against the world of Asian stereotypes and what it means to live as an Asian American in this “land of the free and home of the brave.” It was last seen in the fall of 2013 at Greg Kucera Gallery. Now an expanded version of this show with a new catalog opens with a reception on Sept. 18th from 6 – 8pm at the Museum of Art at Washington State University Gallery in Pullman. On view through Dec. 13th. Shimomura will talk about the show on Sept. 18th at 7pm. The documentary film, “Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain” is screened on Oct. 15th at 7pm in the CUB Auditorium. A performance of “Within the Silence” by Living Voices Theatre takes place on Nov. 13th at 7:30pm in the Jones Theater on campus. (509) 335-1910. This touring exhibit comes to Tacoma Art Museum and Haillie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon in 2015.
The work of Kathy Liao and Vanessa Tran are included in a “Summer Group Show” July 19th through August 16th at Prographica Gallery at 3419 E. Denny Way. Open Wed. – Sat. (206) 322-3851 or go to prographicadrawingroom.com.
“Journey” is the title of new work by Z. Z. Wei Sept. 4th – 30th. Opening reception is Sept. 4th from 6 – 8pm. Patricia Rovzar Gallery at 1225 Second Ave. downtown. Open daily. (206) 223-0273 or go to rovzargallery.com.
“A Cut Above” is a group show that explores hand-cut work in paper, wood, prints and sculpture. Continuing the focus of Asian-inspired art at The Lakeshore, this show presents unique contemporary works in a variety of mediums and perspectives inspired by traditional art practices. Co-curated by MalPina Chan. Includes the work of Betsy Best Spaden, Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw, Julia Harrison, Laureen Iida, Naoko Morisawa and June Sekiguchi. On View till Sept. 14, 2014. 11448 Rainier Ave. S. For details, go to eraliving.com.
New and recent shows due to open at the Wing include the following – “RESIST – Asian American Acts of Struggle” remains on view through Jan. 18th, 2015. Wing Luke also co-sponsors a new exhibition “Voices of Nisei Veterans” at the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) Hall. Oral history testimonies and rare collections tell the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after World War II. A recent show entitled “transit in half-light: Lead Pencil Studio encounters The Wing’s collection” features the work of the art team of Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo. They offer an installation that integrates artifacts from the museum collection into dream-like landscapes that brings up a dialogue about migration, transit, material extraction, and labor. On view till July 14th. A new exhibit entitled “Puppet Power! Asian Traditions Come to Life” opens on Sat. July 19th. See innovative creations from Asian American puppet artists, video performances and hands-on puppet play. Created in partnership with the Northwest Puppet Center and the Valentinetti Puppet Museum. Opening August 24th from 6 – 8pm is “ART IN MOTION: The Evolution of Board Culture” From surf board to skate board, learn how Asian Americans have contributed to this thriving culture. Opening Oct. 4th will be a special exhibition on Bruce Lee’s connection to Seattle. Free Family Fun Day activities coming up. – Sat., July 19th at 1pm will feature Britt Rynearson who will help participants create paper puppets that talk and dance. Sat., August 16th at 1pm will have artist/printmaker Kamla Kakaria teaching the ancient process of hand printing on Japanese papers. On Sat., Sept. 20th at 1pm, artist Liang-Yin Chen will show you how to make your own shadow puppet. Still on view is “#iconic: Power and Pop Culture” which explores how Asian American pop icons are made and what it means to look up to – or challenge – these figures. “Hometown Desi: South Asian Culture in the Pacific Northwest” is a semi-permanent display that opened Oct. 3. It will explore the history of South Asians in this area up to the present. On display through Oct. 19, 2014 is “Grit: Asian Pacific Pioneers Across the Northwest”. Stories of pioneers and trailblazers who persisted through challenges of natural disasters, racial discrimination and violence to carve out a home in this new territory. “Summer Camp @ The Wing” offers the following activities – August 4th & 5th brings “Puppets: Shadows And Light” where participants explore the art of puppetry through storytelling, performance and hands-on workshops. August 11th – 15th is “Moving Art: The Journey” looks at art that moves with us from skateboards to kites and other things. You must register for summer camp activities by July 20th, 2014. Go to wingluke.org/summer-camp or call (206) 623-5124 x 116.The Wing is at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Colored Vases” is the first work by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei acquired by Seattle Art Museum. The artist took ancient earthenware vases and dipped them in buckets of industrial paint allowing them to drip dry. By covering the surfaces with a new paint, what is underneath – like history itself – is “no longer visible, but is still there.” The irony is that they play on the question on and question authenticity issues that the artist likes to raise in today’s market for Chinese Art. Opening July 19th is “Mughal Painting: Power and Piety”. The first exhibition held outside Japan dedicated to Japanese Art Deco entitled “Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920 – 1945” is on view through Oct. 19th. Japanese Kimono Workshop with artist, curator and scholar Yoshiko Wada takes place 10am – 4pm on July 19th as part of the “SAM Creates” series. Purchase tickets online for this. “Deco Night” takes place at the Asian Art Museum & Volunteer Park Amphitheater with a full evening celebration of the “Deco Japan” show on Friday, July 25th from 6:30pm – 10:30pm.. There will be short tours of the exhibition with light refreshments from 6:30 – 8:30pm. At 7pm, Textile artist Yoshiko Wada speaks about Japanese Deco textiles and fashion in partnership with the Volunteer Park Trust with tickets at $10 and $5 for SAM members. From 8:30 – 10:30pm, there will be a short selection of Deco era music from Japan and the U.S. followed by a screening of the 1931 silent film “The Lady and the Beard” by Yasujiro Ozu with an original score performed live by the Aono Jikken Ensemble with live benshi narration. Free admission for this outdoor program. “Asia Arts in Action” program activity for Wed., July 30th at 7pm is a Korean Hanji Paper Fashion Show. Designer Jeon Yang-Bae creates contemporary fashion using traditional handmade papers of Korean hanji. Models working with a crew from Bunsan, Korea show over 60 pieces of clothing. Reception included. In partnership with Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Tickets are $49 and $44 for SAM members. First Free Saturday in August features a “Sumi Landscapes” workshop on August 2nd from 11am – 2pm. As part of a “Deco Era Japanese Film series”, Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Osaka Elegy” is screened on Fri., August 1st at 8:30pm. August 8th brings Yasujiro Ozu’s “Floating Weeds”. Free admission to these films. On Thu., August 21st, enjoy a free performance by the Japanese contemporary group Imeruat at 7pm. The group is composed of contemporary composer Masashi Hamauzu and vocalist Mina who incorporates elements of her Ainu ancestry (indigenous people of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan Reserve your free tickets online. The “Asia Talks” series continues with a program entitled “Kantha: Embroidered Textiles of Bangladesh” on Thurs. , Sept. 18th at 7pm. Niaz Zaman will introduce the katha textile form, design motifs, traditional meanings, and adaptation from domestic use to the global market. Reserve your free tickets online. On Sat., Sept. 27th , a new University Fall Series begins entitled “New Worlds of Science: The Heritage of East Asia”. Tickets go on sale in August for a series of 10 talks on Saturday mornings co-organized by Prof. Christopher Cullen, Needham Research Institute who will give the first two lectures. Topics range from ancient astronomy and cosmology to Chinese medicine and the modernization of Korea and Japan. Opening July 19th and remaining on view until December 7th is “Ink. History. Media” by Chen Shaoxiong. The artist examines the history of protest as a universal political expression. He downloaded images of protest form around the world and did ink drawings from these images, turning them into a video installation. Another video installation consists of ink drawings of historic photos of major events in Chinese history during the 20th century. The artist was a founding member of “Big Tail Elephant Group”, a collective of Guangzhou-based conceptual artists in the 1990’s. Today he works independently and also collaborates as a member of an Asian artist collective known as “Xijing Men” and another Chinese collective known as “Project Without Space.” He is a multi-media artist using painting, photography, collage and conceptual art to realize his ideas. For complete information on all events, go to seattleartmuseum.org.
“Nature and Pattern in Japanese Design” is a related exhibition to “Deco Japan” in two parts that will be shown at Seattle Art Museum downtown. Part 1 is now on view till August 3rd , 2014. Part 2 begins August 16th, 2014 and continues till April 19th, 2015. “Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Mythic and the Mystical” looks at Northwest painters from the 30’s and 40’s whose work was influenced by an Asian aesthetic. Includes work by Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa. Coming August 30th is “City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India” which looks at the shift towards urban centers and the culture and arts of the city. Organized by SAM from the collection of Sanjay Parthasarathy and Malini Balakrishnan. Visit sam.org or call (206) 654-3100.
Bellevue Arts Museum presents the traveling exhibit “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami” from May 16th – September 21st. Though this art form originated in Japan, this exhibit reveals how that form has evolved through the participation of modern artists from around the world. Over 140 works from international artists takes this traditional art form and pushes it into the future. A series of related events throughout the run of the exhibition are planned. Festival Folding with PAPER takes place on Saturdays from 1 – 3pm on July 12th, August 2nd and September 13th. Following the origami show is “The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942 – 1946”, A Smithsonian traveling exhibit curated by Delphine Hirasuna. Most of the work is by untrained artists stuck behind a barbed wire fence fending off boredom by putting creative hands and minds to use. But work by a few professional artists such as Ruth Asawa, Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani, Chiura Obata and Henry Sugimoto is included as well. The show runs from July 3rd to Oct. 12th with many events planned. So far, Curator Delphine Hirasuna talks on Thurs., July 3rd at 7pm. California-based installation artist and sculptor Wendy Maruyama gives a talk about Executive Order 9066 and her work on the subject on September 5th at 7pm. 510 Bellevue Way NE. Go to www.bellevuearts.org.
“Photographic Presence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur’s Project 562” is the first installment of Matika Wilbur’s ambitious project to capture contemporary Native American life by documenting people from all 562 federally recognized tribes in the US. The photography of Seattle photographer Chao-Chen Yang is included in a group show entitled “Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots”. This show explores the distinct identity of Northwest art and how it has adopted, adapted and reacted against its western roots. A theme particularly apt and timely since the museum is building a new wing to house their new collection of Western art. Both shows through the fall of 2015. Tacoma Art Museum is at 1701 Pacific Ave. (253) 272-4258 or go to TacomaArtMuseum.org.
The Washington State Historical Society History Museum presents “In The Spirit – Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit” from June 19th through August 10th, 2014. In addition a “Contemporary Native Arts Market & Festival” will be held on August 9th from 10am – 6pm with free museum admission all day. 1911 Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma. 1-888-Be-There or go to www.InTheSpirit.org.
On view from July 5th – August 2nd at Davidson Galleries. “Recent Etchings, Watercolors, & Drawings” by Japanese artist Shigeki Tomura. 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-6700.
Celebrate with and see presentations from the graduates of Artist Trust’s 2014 EDGE Professional Development Program for Visual Artists on August 1st at 6:30pm. At GGLO Space at the Steps in Seattle. Seattle artist Jennifer Chin is part of this program. The EDGE Program provides artists with a comprehensive survey of professional practices through a hands-on, interactive curriculum that includes instruction by professionals in the field, as well as specialized presentations, panel discussions and assignments. For details, go to [email protected].
Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu keeps busy with the following activities. In Portland she has work in the PDX Contemporary window with Tony Sonnenberg. Presented by Pulliam Fine Arts. Upcoming you can see her work in SAM Party in the Park and in the fall with Maki Tamura at MadArt Uw. Some of her functional work can be found at Sugar Pill behind Blick at 900 E. Broadway on Capitol Hill. She also has a new email at [email protected].
Seattle painter Kathy Liao keeps busy with the following activities. She is part of a group show entitled “Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings” as curated by George Nick at Concord Art Association in Concord, MA at 37 Lexington Road through August 13th. Closer to home, she has work in a group “Summer Show” at Prographica Gallery July 19th – August 16th with opening reception on July 19th from 2 – 4pm. 3419 East Denny Way. Go to www.prographicadrawings.com. She also has work in a group show entitled “Any Day: Artists on Death” at the Steele Gallery at Gage Academy of Art August 14th – Sept. 19th with an opening reception on August 14th from 6 – 9pm. 1501 – 10th Ave. E. Go to www.gageacademy.org. In addition, Liao teaches a few figure drawings at Gage Academy in July. To sign up, go to www.gageacademy.org. She has an artists’s residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Sheridan, WY. From June 15th – July 15th in 2015.
“Mandala” is a group show of world artists who work in diverse media exploring the ancient motif that appears throughout the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. July 3 opening from 5 – 8pm. On view until July 31st. “Mythscapes” includes the work of indigenous artists from Australia including work by Sarrita King. Opening reception is Sept. 5th from 5 – 8pm. On view from August 20 through Nov. 22nd. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. Open Tues. – Sat. (206) 839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org.
Co-curators Ken Matsudaira and Melanie King are working on a show of Japanese art to coincide with the anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings during WW II. On view August 6th – Sept. 21st. Opening reception is Aug. 9th from 5 – 8pm. Regular hours are Wed. – Sunday. Columbia City Gallery at 4864 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 760-9834 or go to columbiacitygallery.com.
The Portland Japanese Garden has announced their exhibitions set for 2014. “Rediscovering Lacquer: 11 Artists Reinvent a Timeless Tradition” on view through July 6th and “Urushi: Materpieces of Lacquer Ware by Kazumi Murose, Living National Treasure of Japan”, on view Oct. 25th – Nov. 16th. For details, go to http://japanesegarden.com/pressroom/50th-anniversary-press-kit/.
“Cobalt Blues”, a regional and chronological variety of Asian Cobalt-glazed ceramics is on view through Oct. 19th taken from the museum collection and on loan from private collections. Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. (503) 226-2811 or go to portlandartmuseum.org
The Museum of Contemporary Craft has a pair of interesting shows. The work of ceramic artist Poh Chap Yeap is included in the group show “Portland Collects: British Ceramics”. The work is drawn from local collections and the museum’s permanent collection. Through August 23rd. The work of “artist-in-residence” Stephanie Syjuco is included in the group show, “Fashion Cascadia – The Social Life of the Garment”. This show looks at how the fashion industry shapes the regional identity of the Pacific Northwest. Through Oct. 11th. 724 NW Davis St. in Portland. (503) 223-2654 or go to mocc.pnca.edu.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District has the following – A show featuring the work of two ceramic artists from New Mexico – Betsy Williams and Birdie Boone opens on June 21st and remains on view till July 13th. Ceramic sculpture by Kathy Yoshihara has an opening reception on Sat., July 19th and continues on view through August 16th. Haejin Lee has a show of ceramic sculpture with opening reception on Sat., August 23rd and continues on view through Sept. 21st. An opening reception for artist Risa Salzberg and her show of drawings takes place Sat., August 23rd and remains on view through Sept. 21st as well. The 8th Simple Cup Show Invitational opens on Sat., Nov. 1st, 2014. Go to koboseattle.com for updates. 604 S. Jackson St. 704 Terry Ave. (206) 622-9250.
“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. At Kobo at Higo, 604 South Jackson. E-mail [email protected] or call (206) 381-3000.
The work of Alice Chew, David Ko, James Kurihara, Naoka Morisawa, Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw, June Sekiguchi and others is included in the group show, “Funny Bone – Humor in Art” at University House at 4400 Stone Way N. in Seattle. Artist talks take place July 13th at 7:30pm. For details, email [email protected].
The “Art of Traditional Japanese Theater” is a curricular rotation emphasizing “Noh” and its comic counterpart, “Kyogen”. The display features prints, paintings, printed books, a noh costume and carved wooden masks. On view till July 6th at the University of Oregon Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene. (541) 346-3027 or visit jsma.uoregon.edu.
It’s worth an occasional trip across the border to catch the artistic riches of our neighbors to the north. Here’s a sampling of recent shows in the Vancouver BC area. In 1914 the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 British Indian passengers, was denied entry into Canada. This history is explored in “Unmoored: Vancouver’s voyage of the Komagata Maru”. Stories, arare artifiacts, images and documents provide new insights into how national policies and racial bias shaped the lives of the passengers and South Asian immigrants. On view at Museum of Vancouver at 1100 Chestnut St. in Vanier Park. Open Tues. – Sun from 10am – 5pm. (604) 736-4431 or go to museumofvancouver.ca. “Gu Xiong: A Journey Exposed” looks at the recent work of “Transcultural” artist Gu Xiong who was born in China but has lived in the Vancouver area since 1990. Recently, he has been examining the impact of globalization and mass food production on the environment and human health. The show features his paintings, drawings and photographs, as well as an installation of 10,000 ceramic pigs – a work that references an incident in which thousands of dead pigs were found floating in the Huangpu River, the source of Shanghai’s water supply. On view through August 23rd at Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art in North Vancouver. 2121 Lonsdale Ave. (604) 998-8562 or go to gordonsmithgallery.ca. “Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth” is a group show that shows “contemporary, conceptual and Native art” that features 25 young artists across Canada, the US, Norway and New Zealand, “to define what it really means to be an urban Aboriginal artist today.” On view Through Jan. 4th, 2015 at Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC. On the UBC campus. 6393 NW Marine Dr. (604) 822-5087 or go to moa.ubc.ca.
The July/August issue of ArtAsiaPacific has coverage on Tansaekhwa, a controversial movement associated with a loosely connected group of South Korean painters active from the late 1060’s. Also there is a feature on Pakistani-British artist Rasheed Araeen who was a pioneering early minimalist and a tribute to the late modern Thai artist Montien Boonma by Thai-Indian artist Navin Rawnchaikul. Go to artasiapacific.com for more.
“Forbidden City, USA – Chinese American Nightclub, 1936 – 1970” is a new exhibition curated by filmmaker Arthur Dong. The material was amassed by Dong as he prepared for his documentary film on the subject which aired in 1989. On view through July 6th. 2014 at Jewett Gallery in the San Francisco Public Library at Civic Center. For details, go to [email protected].
If viewing the work of Chinese brush painter Qi Baishi at the Frye has got you interested in his work, there is another show in the Bay Area that may interest you as well. “The Carved Brush – Calligraphy, Painting and Seal Carving by Qi Baishi” now on view through July 13th, 2014. At the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco at 200 Larkin St. (415) 581-3500.
The Late Walasse Ting (1929-2010) was a beloved artist/poet who grew up in Shanghai. When he was 20 years old, he left China and lived in Paris for a few years and became acquainted with European artists associated with the avant-garde art group called COBRA. He moved again to New York in 1958 at the height of the Abstract Expressionist period. His dripping monochromatic abstractions in the manner of Paris-based Chinese painter, Zao Wouki soon changed in America. His calligraphic strokes were used to make figurative outlines infused with juicy colors and flamboyant rhythms. He worked in theatre, taught and lectured on art. He also authored a number of books of poetry. “A book like hundred flower garden”: Walasse Ting’s 1 Cent Life” was a book of poems he made illustrated with lithographs by second-generation Abstract Expressionist artists such as Sam Francis (also the book’s editor), Joan Mitchell, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and COBRA artists such as Karl Appel and Asger Jorn. A exhibit based on the book is now on view at San Francisco’s De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park through Sept. 7th, 2014. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in the park. For details, call (415) 750-3600 or email [email protected].
The Oakland Museum in the Bay Area has new shows in April worth noting. “SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot” shows the work of 15 artists associated with the groundbreaking magazine Giant Robot. Ahead of its time, this publication led the crest of the wave in interest in anime, manga, Asian American pop and alternative culture. “Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records”. This show delves into the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting and sharing records or vinyl. Both shows continue on until July 27th, 2014. 1000 Oak St. For information, call toll free (888) 625-6873.
Amar Chitra Katha, India’s iconic comic series is now available in digital form. For details, go to http://digital.amarchitrakatha.com/.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a new exhibit entitled “Lost Kingdoms – Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century”. 1000 Fifth Ave. Go to www.metmuseum.org for more information.
“From Barbed Wire to Battlefields – Japanese-American Experiences in World War II” is a new exhibit at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on loan from the Smithsonian. It remains on view through October of this year. For more, visit www.barbedwiretobattlefields.org/home.
“Chewing Gum And Chocolate” (Aperture) is the title of a new book of images that document the work of post-war Japanese photographer Shomei Tomatsu. The title of course refers to the two gifts American G.I.’s bore to Japanese kids when then arrived after WW II.
It’s summer and the traditional Japanese ceremony of visiting the relatives and loved ones who have passed away is celebrated in festivals of music and dance known as “Bon Odori”. The Puget Sound abounds with these festivals. If you are unfamiliar with the dances and want to participate, many of these events have practice sessions where you can learn the dances beforehand. Call for information. The 2014 Seattle Bon Odori takes place July 19th & 20th with traditional street dances, food, cultural activities and a beer garden. Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Church at 1427 S. Main. 4 – 10pm on Sat. and 3 – 8pm on Sun. (206) 329-0800 for more information. White River Buddhist Church Bon Odori takes place in Auburn on Sat., July 26th from 4pm – 9:30pm. 3625 Aubiurn Way N. (253) 833-1442. Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s Bon Odori takes place on Sat., August 2nd from 5 – 9pm. 1717 S. Fawcett Ave. (253) 627-1417.
The sacred music of Mikagura will be presented for the first time ever in the continental United States on July 19th at 7pm in Portland. Miagura is a form of Japanese ceremonial music and dance which originated in ancient ritual performances conducted by Shinto shrine priests for the Imperial Court of Japan. Seldom seen today, this performance brings 24 musicians and dancers from Kamakura Japan, and involves rare traditional musical instruments and a dance that has not changed much from the time of ancient Shinto rituals. Dancers and musicians will appear in full traditional costume with the ceremony presided over by the Head Priest of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. The performance will begin with a talk by Head Priest Shigeho Yoshida at 7pm and the performance at 8pm. Performance takes place at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland. This event is in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Portland Japanese Garden. $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Students free with ID. Reservations required as space is limited. Go to [email protected] for details.
In Portland, the Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival) takes place on July 26th. Portland’s Tachibana Dance School are scheduled to perform. In you are interested in performing or volunteering for this great summer event, call (503) 297-9268. A community art show is also planned. If you are an artist who wants to participate, you can email Koji Akamine at [email protected].
A group fashion show preceded by a marketplace/sake tasting social hour takes place at Keiro on August 17th. Expect to see work and designs by top Asian/ Asian American fashion designers like Anne Namba, Mieko Mintz for KOBO, Gei Chan, Bo Choi, Sandy Lew Boutique, MOMO, Linda Hoshide and others. Event starts with a 3pm wine/sparkling sake tasting and marketplace followed by a 4pm runway fashion show in the garden. Designer Anne Namba will be present. Go to www.nikkeiconcerns.org for information and tickets.
The Undergraduate Theatre Society at UW will present a new production of David Henry Hwang’s play, “Yellow Face” as directed by Eliza Wu from Jan. 22nd – Feb. 1st, 2015.
Early warning for 2015. The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with Myung-Whun Chung conducting and Sunwook Kim on piano take on Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 and Brahms Symphony No. 4 on April 21st at 7:30pm. Noted American cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs with Seattle Symphony on May 3rd at 2pm. At Benaroya Hall downtown at 3rd & Union. (206) 215-4747 or go to seattlesymphony.org.
The Wing hosts the following performances. As we head into June, we are talking about Summer and that means JAMFEST, the annual series of musical concerts in the buildings and streets of Seattle’s Chinatown/ID neighborhood. On Thurs., June 19th at 5:30pm the Wing hosts a cabaret. Prashant Kakad Bollywood Dreams Performance and mini-class, Dirty Ice Cream and Shanghai Pearl. After that, hit the streets to sample performances, food, deals and more. $8 General, $6 Students/Seniors and $5 members. Season passes available. July 17th’s JAMFEST features savory food and live musical and cabaret performances and is dedicated to the late Vera Ing, long-time community supporter. Enjoy Hawaiian music and performances in Canton Alley. With singer/songwriter Rachel Wong, Jannie & Friends and Christian Kang.The final evening of JAMFEST presents community activist and Grammy award-nominee Hollis Wong-Wear , jazz vocalist Tess Guerzon and Bella Jovan. August 21st at 5:30pm. $8 general and $6 for students/seniors and $5 for members. Visit wingluke.org/jamfest for details. In addition, the Museum presents two special historical tours. July 25th and 26th, retrace the steps of the Pacific Northwest’s early Pacific Northwest pioneers with a bus tour to Kanaka Village and easy access to the Hawaiian Festival. Space limited. To register, contact [email protected] or call (206) 523-5124. Sponsored by Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. On Sat., Sept. 6th at 8am, explore the history of early Japnese railroad workers who built the Great Northern Railway. Hike is ADA accessible and the tour is led by U.S. Forest Service guide. Transportation and lunch are provided. $75 general and $50 members. Also new tours starting in July in which you can “Rediscover the Chinatown-ID” neighborhood. Go to wingluke.org for details on all events and programs.
“No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” conveys the stories and lives of Asian Pacific American groups not often highlighted in UW’s program to commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. View the stories online at www.washington.edu/omad/no-longer-invisible/ .
Astridvnje presents “Malam Budaya – A Cultural Night of Indonesian Dance” on Sat., July 26th at 6pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. All ages. For tickets, go to SeattleIndonesianDance.com.
UW Professor Mark Jenkins play about contemporary Cambodia entitled “Red Earth, Gold Gate” won ACT Theatre’s 2013 New Play Award. The full-length production of this play will premiere as part of ACT’s 2015 season with Victor Pappas directing.
Comedian Russell Peters of “Last Comic Standing” fame who bills himself as “#1 comic in the world” comes to the new Seattle branch of Parlor Live Comedy Club on July 10th – 12th. 1522 Sixth Ave. For details, go to parlorlive.com.
Hawai’i-based singer/songwriter Kawahei, a one woman-band with her loop machine, keyboards, guitar and smooth vocals is touring on behalf of her new “Robot Heart” EP. She performs originals and her favorite covers of popular tunes. She sold out a few venues on the East coast and will be in Seattle at Barboza on August 25th. Go to www.kawehi.com to learn more about her music. 925 E. Pike. (206) 709-9442. Tickets online at http://www.elix.com.
Jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani will be performing and teaching at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend Workshop & Music Festival set for July 20th – 27th. Details at www.centrum.org or (360) 385-3102.
ACT Theatre has announced their 2014 season. Appearing Sept. 5 – 28th is “The Invisible Hand” by Ayad Akhtar. The story revolves around an American financial guru who is captured and held by a militant organization in Pakistan who must raise his won 10 million dollar ransom. To be directed by Allen Nause. For details on this play and the upcoming season, go to acttheatre.org/subscriptions or call (206) 292-7676.
For those of you who missed the performances of Jeanne Sakata’s “Hold These Truths”, her one person play on the night Gordon Hirabayashi was arrested for defying the curfew for Japanese Americans in Seattle at the beginning of WWII have another opportunity. ACT Theatre will produce this play again July 31st – August 3rd of this year with Joel de la Fuente in the lead. They are currently entertaining the idea of adapting “The Tale of Heike” and bringing it to the stage in the fall of 2016. Noted playwright Philip Kan Gotanda may be working on the script with local Seattle writers. 700 Union St. (206) 292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org. ACT Theatre and Wing Luke Museum team up for a post-play discussion following a performance of “Hold These Truths” on Fri., August 1st at 7:30pm. Panel discussion with historian/filmmaker Frank Abe and UW Professor Stephen Sumida. With discount show tickets purchased through ACT.
Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. presented “An American Soldier” back in June as part of their American Opera Initiative Program. This world premiere by Huang Ruo featured a libretto by David Henry Hwang. It is based on the true story of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Chinese American soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan, harassed and beaten to death by men in his own unit. Andrew Stenson starred as Pvt. Danny Chen and mezzo-soprano Guang Yang played his mother. Chen’s real-life mother has been instrumental in seeking justice for and keeping her son’s case alive. Most of the soldiers involved in Chen’s death were given paltry sentences and currently, the Army refuses to divulge any additional details in the case. The case of Pvt. Danny Chen has become the impetus for new legislation in the review of military hazing deaths. A road in New York City’s Chinatown was recently renamed Pvt. Danny Chen Way.
Film & Media
Yasujiro Ozu’s classic silent film comedy, “The Lady & The Beard” will be screened outdoors with a new score and benshi narration (delivered in English and Japanese)with the Aono Jikken Ensemble. Fri., July 25th at 9pm with pre-show live music at 8:30pm. Bring a blanket or beach chair for the lawn. Outside at Volunteer Park Amphitheater at 1247 15th Ave. E. on upper Capitol Hill. Admission is free. In the event of rain, the film and performance will take place inside the auditorium of nearby Asian Art Museum. This is a special exhibition event of “Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture 1920 – 1945” now showing at Seattle Asian Art Museum. Aono Jikken’s next project will be a live silent film score with benshi narration for rediscovered director Hiroshi Shimizu’s acclaimed modernist drama entitled “Japanese Girls at the Harbor” (1933), presented at both the Northwest Film Forum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum on Oct. 3rd and 4th, 2014 respectively.
The Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill has the following – “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” by Andreas Johnsen chronicles the life and artistic struggles of this contemporary Chinese artist whose subversive works have resulted in his being placed under “house arrest” by the Chinese authorities. Undaunted, he continues to find new ways to express himself through the internet. June 27th – July 3rd. 1515 – 12th Ave. (206) 329-2629 or go to nwfilmforum.org.
Richie Mehta’s feature film “Siddharth” (see related review in this issue), one of the favorites of this year’s SIFF returns to Seattle for an extended run beginning July 25th at the Varsity Theatre in the University District. When a man who does zipper repairs on the street notices his son doesn’t return from work out of town, he becomes worried. While tracking his son’s whereabouts, he discovers clues that his son may have been abducted. Based on a true story. 4329 University Way NE. (206) 632-6412 or go to landmarktheatres.com.
Based on a popular manga, “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky” is a live action movie directed by Ngai Choi Lam supposedly captures the authentic feel of violent bloodletting found in comics and anime of that genre. Screens July 11th & 12th and 18th & 19th at 9pm. Grand Illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th St. in the University District. (206) 523-3935 or go to grandillusioncinema.org.
“Snowpiercer” as directed by Bong Joon-ho brings together an international cast in a futuristic thriller based on a graphic novel. Civilization’s few survivors are trapped together on a high-speed super train where the tense divide between rich and poor come to a climatic boil. Stars Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Go Ah-sung, Kang-ho Song, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton and others. Opens for a one week run at SIFF Uptown on June 27th. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. (206) 324-9996 or go to siff.net.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. $5 for non-members and $3 for JCCCW members. 1414 S. Weller St. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org. Call (425) 369-1012 for details.
Wing Luke Museum and ACT Theatre present a screening on-site of “Conscience and the Constitution” by Frank Abe about a group of men during WW II who refused to be drafted to protest their unjust incarceration in American concentration camps. Also screening is a short film by Kevin Owyang that compliments the “In Struggle” exhibition currently at the museum. Free. Also on Sat., Sept. 20th at 5pm will be the premier screening of “Passages: The Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West” which documents the 7-day journey in 2010 that followed the uncovered heritage sites of Chinese American pioneers. Filmmaker John D. Pai will be present. Free. Co-produced by Wing Luke Museum and the USFS Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. For information on all museum events, go to wingluke.org.
The Written Arts
PoetsWest is collaborating with the Seattle Chamber Music Society in the first of three programs of poetry and music in the parks. On Monday, July 7th at 7pm in Hing Hay Park at 423 Maynard Ave. S. in Chinatown/ID neighborhood. Poets Bob Flor, Shin Yu Pai and Koon Woon will read and the Seattle Chamber Music Society will perform classical music. Free. (206) 682-1268 or email [email protected].
On Tuesday, July 8th at 7:30pm, Published author and Citizen University’s Eric Liu will speak on “The Chinese American Dream”. He will weave together a personal story, 21st century reflection, and the intertwined histories of China and the U.S. based on his recent book. $5. Town Hall Seattle at 1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 652-4255 or email [email protected].
Photographer/journalist Peggy Kelsey talks about her book, “Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Woman” which consists of photos and interviews done on two separate trips to that country. Wed., July 9th at the University Book Store at 7pm. Free. On University Ave. in Seattle’s University District. 4326 University Way NE. Go to ubookstore.com for details.
Cartoonist/musician Bryan Lee O’Malley who created the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series will talk about his new graphic novel entitled “Seconds” (Ballantine) on Sat., July 19th at 7:30pm at Town Hall Seattle. He is paired with local band Tacocat. $5. Hosted by The Stranger. 1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 652-4255 or go to townhallseattle.org.
The Elliott Bay Book Company hosts and co-hosts literary events at their bookstore and venues around town. Here is a sampling. All readings at the book store unless otherwise noted. July readings at Elliott Bay include the following – Eric Abrahamsen’s “Running Through Beijing – Xu Ze Chen” (Two Lines Press) looks at the street hustle of young vendors in China’s largest city. The author reads on July 3rd at 7pm. Up and coming novelist Celeste Ng reads on July 15th from “Everything I Never Told You” about a Chinese American family in the mid-west and the death of a daughter. David Hsieh’s ReACT Theatre stages readings from Ian Doescher’s three intergalactic parodies on July 20th at 6pm. Go to www.reacttheatre.org for details. On July 31st at 7pm, Prajmal Jarajuly reads from “The Gurkha’s Daughter” (Quercus). Lan Cao reads from “The Lotus and the Storm” (Viking) and how war affects both American and Vietnamese families on August 26th.The bookstore is at 1521 Tenth Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (206) 624-6600 or visit www.elliottbaybook.com.
The Wing hosts a reading in their Tateuchi Story Theatre. Loriene Honda, Ph.D. will read from “The Cat Who Chose to Dream” about a cat’s choice to be incarcerated at a WWII prison camp as a loving gesture to his Japanese American family. Sat., July 19th at 4pm.. Features the artwork of the late Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani. Free. Disocver Nikkei is an international community-based project of the Japanese American National Museum that shares the stories of Nikkei around the world. This year, they are collecting stories that explore the untold tales behind personal Nikkei names. Join this writing workshop to share your own story. Sat., Sept. 20th at 2pm. Pre-registration is required by emailing [email protected]. Free. For more information, on these and more, go to wingluke.org.
L.A. based poet Cathy Linh Che makes a striking debut with her book of poetry entitled “Split” (Alice James Books). Noted Seattle-raised poet/writer Paisley Rekdal had this to say about the book. “In these heartbreaking poems, rape and abuse are not private traumas, but a terrible inheritance that continues through generations. Here, the Vietnam War becomes a psychic backdrop against which one family still struggles to heal, reliving past cultural wounds that traumatize, net never define it.”
Eastwind Books of Berkeley and the Filipino American National Historical Society, East Bay Chapter have joined forces to co-publish a new anthology entitled “Beyond Lumpia, Pansit and Seven Manangs Wild – Stories From the Heart of Filipino Americans”. To order your copy, go to asiabookcenter.com. A reading takes place on Wed., July 26th at 3:30pm at Eastwind Books of Berkeley at 2066 University Way. (510) 548-2350.
Congratulations to the following who received “2014 Distinguished Teaching Awards” at the University of Washington. Associate Professor of History Moon-Ho Jung who teaches on the Seattle campus. Associate Professor of Technology Donald Chinn who teaches at UW Tacoma.
Thuy-van Vu, Seattle painter who is represented locally by G. Gibson Gallery is a 2014 Fellow of The New Foundation, Seattle.
“The Art of Asian Cuisine – A Taste of Asia” is a great opportunity for Seattle foodies to enjoy ethnic Asian cuisine in the intimate surroundings of each chef’s home kitchen. Here is the itinerary. Pakistan is on Sunday, July 13th. Korea is on Friday, August 29th. India is on Saturday, September 20th. Go to www.facebook.com/FriendsofAsianArtAssociation for details.
Northwest Film Forum has exhibition opportunities for Northwest filmmakers. “Children’s Film Festival Seattle” is the largest film festival on the West Coast devoted to families. The deadline for submissions for this is October 1st, 2014. Details can be found at www.nwfilmforum.org.
Congratulations to the following artists working in craft, literary, media and music who all won 2014 Artist Trust Fellowships. Each was granted $7,500 of unrestricted funds. Roberto Ascalon is a local Filipino American poet, writer, arts educator and spoken-word performance artist. Mari Ichimasu is originally from Japan but has lived in Seattle for years doing creative animation under the artist name of “Little Oze”. Donna Miscolta is a mixed race fiction writer (Filipino/Mexican American) whose publishing debut was the award-winning novel “When the de la Cruz Family Danced”.
As part of Frye Art Museum summer art classes, Yoon-Kang O’Higgins will present an art educator workshop entitled “VTS: Practicum” August 8 – 9th from 10am – 4pm. Develop your Visual Thinking Strategies with this introduction to VTS research and theory. There will be practical work in the galleries and ample discussion and reflection. $200 members/ $245 non-members. To register, go to visualthinkingstrategies.org. Some other classes of interest include “Doll Sculptures” taught by Marita Dingus July 29th – August 1st and “Coiled Basketry: Explorations in Color and Design” taught by Gail Tremblay. For details on all summer classes, go to fryemuseum.org/classes.
Rick Barot, published poet and PLU Associate Professor of English has been appointed the new director of the school’s Rainer Writing Workshop. This is part of Pacific Lutheran University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.
The 2014 Tule Lake Pilgrimage takes place July 4th – 7th. There will be a bus leaving from Seattle. To register, email [email protected] .
There is a “Community Reception” for Brad Miyake, new Bellevue City Manger and Andrea Akita, Interim’s new CDA Executive Director on Wed., July 9 at 5:30pm at Nagomi Tea House. To RSVP, email [email protected] or call (206) 623-0100. 519 Sixth Ave. S. in Chinatown/ID.
July 16th is the deadline applications for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s CityArtist Projects Program. The program provides funding for Seattle-based individual artists to develop and present their work. Artists working in dance, music and theater arts are encouraged to apply. Go to seattle.gov/arts to apply.
2014 Seattle Mariners present “Salute to Japanese Baseball Night” on Sat., July 12th There will be a pre-game “Meet and Greet Reception” with Mariners president Kevin Mather at Ellis Pavilion at Safeco Field at 5:15pm. $12 per person with snacks and no host bar. To sign up for this go to http://jassw.info. Besides the game which starts at 7:10pm., enjoy a fun-filled night of Japanese culture. Safeco doors open at 5:10pm. Hisashi Iwakuma bobblehead dolls will be given to the first 20,000 ticketholders, so get there early and get yours. Reserve your tickets by Fri., July 11th by noon by logging on to Mariners.com/Japan.
Saturday, July 26th is the 24th Annual Walk for Rice which takes place from 8am – 12pm. This event supports the ACRS Food Bank. It starts at Seward Park at 5895 Lane Washington Blvd. Call (206) 695-7551 or visit www.walkforrice.com.
Friends Of Asian Art are sponsoring a tour of the arts and cultures of South India Jan. 24th – Feb. 8th, 2015. There is an early registration discount if registered by Sept. 15th, 2014. Detailed information at [email protected] or call (206) 522-5438.
Want to take an improvisation workshop in Amsterdam with masters of Dutch improvisation with Han Bennick and others? Applications are now open for the Dutch Impro Academy class set for Oct. 12 – 19th, 2014. More information at www.dutchimproacademy.com.
There is a petition making the rounds asking the Postal Service to consider a request to create a commemorative stamp honoring Japanese American activist Yuri Kochiyama who recently passed away. For more information on that, go to http://act.engagementlab.org/sign/18mr_yuri_stamp.
The Korea pavilion won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation in the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. Titled “Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula”, the pavilion featured architecture from the two Koreas and how it has transformed both countries.
The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is soliciting calls for the 2014 Audience Engagement Grant Program. The grant recognizes photographers who have gone beyond documenting a human rights or social justice issue to enacting change. For details, go to http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/audience-engagement-grant.
Teresa Chan Seidel, a sixth-grade math teacher at Portland’s Robert Gray Middle School recently received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Seidel is the first teacher to receive the national award since 2008. Seidel, the daughter of Asian immigrants, is committed to closing the achievement gap for students of color with high expectations for all. Milken Educator Awards were created to attract, retain, and motivate outstanding talent in the teaching profession. Teacher Magazine called them the “Oscars of Teaching”.