Honolulu-based fashion designer Anne Namba will be in Seattle on July 31 for a trunk show of her latest designs. Born in Hawai’i, she spent her youth in Thailand and Iran. After graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with honors, she stayed in the city honing her craft in the costume department of the famed Radio City Music Hall. Returning to Hawai’i, she started her own fashion line out of her mother’s home. She was one of the first Asian Americans to establish a fashion business using vintage Japanese fabrics and obi sashes for her collections of one-of-a-kind pieces as well as ready-to-wear clothing. She will be at Japanese Cultural & Community Center from 10am – 6pm. 1414 S. Weller St. (206) 568-7114.
“Gen Hayashida: Handled With Care”. In a world of emails, bills and junk mail, it’s a rare event to get a handwritten postcard. Santa Fe-based artist Gen Hayashida makes sculptural postcards which he sends to friends. Laced with humor and made from a variety of materials that take into account texture and sound, the cards will be on display from August 1 – Sept. 28th. The artist comes from New Mexico for the opening reception on August 1 from 5 – 7pm. At Paper Hammer downtown at 1400 – 2nd Ave. Hours are M – Sat. from 11am – 6pm. Go to http://paper-hammer.com/ for details.
“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. Through Aug. 16. 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.
Though IDEA Odyssey Collective lost their physical gallery space in the ID, they continue to do interesting projects all over town. Here are a couple. “This Place Called Home” is a collaborative art project with Asian elders from Legacy House, an assisted living care facility. Artists Kathy Liao and Darius Morrison worked with the elderly to use their memories to create art. On view during regular business hours from M – F. SCIDpda’s IDEA Space is at 409 Maynard Ave. S., Plaza Level. “History X, Contemporary Y” is a group show juried by Seattle artist Mark Takamichi Miller on view through July 31 at Tougo Coffee in the Central District. The theme is exploring how our histories shape the contemporary understanding of representation and identity. Open during regular business hours. Tougo Coffee is at 1410 – 8th Ave. Their # is (206)860-3518. Want to know more about what IDEA Odyssey Collective is up to? Log on to http://ideaodysseygallery.com/blog.
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.
New and recent shows due to open at the Wing include the following – “SWEET” opens July 20 during Family Fun Day and explores the role of sweets in the traditions and celebrations of Asian cultures. Definitely a kid-friendly exhibit. Julia Harrison leads the Family Fun Day activity “Sweet Shapes!” where participants get to make fun sweets from styles found in Japan, Korea, China and Tibet. Saturday, July 20 from 1 – 3pm. Free. Opening August 8 is “War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art”. Preview for members is 6 – 7pm. To RSVP, contact [email protected] or call (206) 623-5124×107. 7 – 8pm will be open to the general public with free admission. The curators for the exhibit give a lecture on Sat., August 10 at 1pm. Join Laura Kina and Wei Ming Dariotis as they talk about their project that incudes a book on UW Press, a traveling exhibit, website and blog. Book signing to follow. $10 General and $7 for members. “Under My Skin – Artists Explore Race in the 21st Century” continues 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. “Under My Skin” artist Kathleen McHugh leads a workshop on creating your own stationary on Family Fun Day set for August 17 from 1 – 3pm. Free and good for ages 5 and up. 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. Registration required. White River Valley Museum is at 918 “H” St. S.E. in Auburn, WA. Regular hours are Wed. – Sat. 12 – 4pm. (253) 288-7433.
The work of Romson Bustillo and Patti Warashina is included in “First Light”, a regional group exhibition curated by 7 local curators including Norie Sato. It is just one of the many exhibitions in the sparkling new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, the most recent addition to our Northwest museums and just a walk away from the ferry. 550 Winslow Way East. Open daily from 10am – 6pm. Free admission. Go to www.biartmuseum.org for details.
A selection of prints by Walla Walla artist Keiko Hara are on view. “Sumi” is a group show featuring works on paper by Puget Sound sumi artists including Fumiko Kimura, Chizuko Nicholas, Midori Kono-Thiel, Lois Yoshida and Yuming Zhu. “The Vase” is a group show that features elegant Japanese-inspired vessels and includes the work of Reid Ozaki. All of the above shows open on July 4 and remain on view through July 29. Scheduled to open in August and run through Sept. 2 is a group show entitled “The Big (bad) Bug Show” featuring the work of Gregory Kono and Shu-Ju Wang. Bainbridge Arts & Crafts at 151 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island via ferry. M-Sat. from 10am – 6pm and Sun. from 11am – 5pm. (206) 842-3132 or go to www.bacart.org.
The work of Paul Horiuchi, Joseph Park and Akio Takamori is included in “For the Love of Art: Creating the New Northwest – Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection” currently on view at Tacoma Art Museum through Oct. 6. 1701 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma. Open Wed. – Sun. from 10am – 5pm and Third Thursdays from 10am – 8pm. For details, go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
An exhibit of traditional Chinese medicine is on view from July 18 – 20th at Saint Martin’s University’s Cebula Hall at 5000 Abbey Way S.E. in Lacey. Go to stmartin.edu/TCM2013 for details.
“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 on view through September 8 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 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. The artist also gives a talk on her work. “A Night With Patti Warashina” takes place on Friday, July 12 at 6:30pm. RSVP. Call (425) 519-0770 for tickets. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way N.E. Go to www.bellevuearts.org for details.
Internationally known painter Zao Wou-Ki died at 92 in April. He was one of the most famous Chinese artists of the 20th century. His work combined elements of calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism. He was born in Beijing but left China and moved to France in 1948 just before the Chinese revolution. He was regarded as a major figure in the School of Paris in the 1950’s.
Early warning – Talented, young artists Yun Hong Chang, Roldy Aguero Ablao and Spar Wilson are in a show entitled “Forecast” set for August 7 – Sept. 22. Guest-curated by sculptor /curator June Sekiguchi. Columbia City Gallery at 4864 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 760-9843. Open Wed. – Sun. Go to columbiacitygallery.com for details.
“Samurai!” is an exhibit of ancient pieces of armor and weaponry from the 14th-19th centuries in Japan. This exhibition highlights the functionality, variety and evolution that came with the increased demand during wartime. Opens Oct. 5 at Portland Art Museum and runs through Jan. 12, 2014. This is the only West Coast stop for this show. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. (503) 226-2811. Closed Mondays. Go to www.portlandartmuseum.org for details.
Z.Z. Wei’s paintings capture the spirit of western Washington landscape and a whimsical, rural America. His new work opens Sept. 5 from 6 – 8pm and remains on view through Sept. 30. Patricia Rovzar Gallery. 1225 Second Ave. in Seattle. (206) 223-0273 or go to www.rozargallery.com for details.
Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa collected sound samples at Satsop nuclear plant that will be incorporated into an evocative installation entitled “Echo at Satsop” set to open Sept. 20 at Davidson Galleries. 313 Occidental S. (206) 624-7684.
The Art Stop features handmade American craft representing Northwest artists as well as those from around the country. “Vases and Vessels” is a solo show featuring new work by Reid Ozaki complete with his own floral arrangements to compliment his stoneware vases. Opens Sept. 7 and remains on view through Oct. 31. 940 Broadway in Tacoma. (253) 274-1630 or go to www.artstoptacoma.com.
Paul Komada’s work is included in a group show entitled “Stitchery”. The show highlights objects made by artists whose work incorporates the mediums of crocheting, knitting, quilting and stitching. July 18 – Aug. 17. Opening reception is July 18 from 5 – 7pm. SAM Gallery is at 1220 3rd Ave. . Hours are Wed. – Sat. from 10:30am – 5pm. (206) 343-1101.
Seattle sculptor Akiko Jackson is in a group show of Artist Trust/EDGE Artists Grand Finale Presentations on August 2 from 5:30 – 10:30pm. This program is an intensive course that teaches visual artists who to present and market their art. One night only at Olson Kundig Architects at 406 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Free but call (206) 467-8734×20 for tickets.
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 through July 30th. 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.
METHOD7/8/13 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 – 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. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Go to http://www.artswest.org. 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 artist Saya Moriyasu has a new website. To see what she’s up to, go to SayaMoriyasu.com.
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.
Seattle-raised artist Roger Shimomura has a show of new work entitled “An American Knockoff” scheduled from Aug. 22 – Sept. 28 at Greg Kucera Gallery at 212 Third Ave. S. Go to http://ww.gregkucera.com for details. Shimomura’s work is included in a group show entitled “I, You, We” now at Whitney Museum in New York through September 1.
“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.
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.
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. “Manifest” is a new show of photography by Seattle Girls’ School students from a workshop taught by Mugi Takei as part of the Teensway Program. 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.
With summer, come the festivals. Here’s sampling – The Tanabata Festival is a traditional Japanese summer festival celebrated at two venues in Seattle. Sun. July 7 from 10 am – 5pm, you can celebrate at the Wing and Seattle Japanese Garden. At the Wing enjoy lunch, paper craft, star-gazing inside a giant planetarium on loan from Pacific Science Center and storytelling from award-winning Bay Area group Eth-No-tec. In the Japanese Garden you will find calligraphy, tea and traditional dance. Admission to one gets you free admission to both (not including tea tickets). Wing Luke members get in free if they start at the Wing. Free shuttle takes you to both places. 10am – 5pm. For details, visit www.seattlejapanesegarden.com or www.wingluke.org. The NVC/NVCF Summer cookout takes place at NVC Memorial Hall on July 13 from 5 – 7pm and features steak or salmon or hot dogs. This is an annual benefit for this non-profit. RSVP by July 7. 1212 S. King St. Call (206) 725-8715. The annual Seattle Chinatown/International District street festival takes place July 13 & 14 with Asian cultural activities and performances in the neighborhood. 12 – 8pm on Sat. and 12 – 6pm on Sun. For details, go to www.seattledragonfest.com. A Japanese Summer Beer Garden hosted by the North American Post and Hokubei Hochi Foundation will be held in the parking lot at 6th Ave. and King St. 12 pm – 12am on Sat. and 12 – 6pm on Sun. July 13 & 14. Seattle Bon Odori takes place July 20 from 4pm – 10pm and July 21 from 3 – 8pm. Come learn Japanese dance and celebrate summer. At Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Church at 1427 S. Main St. (206) 329-0800. On July 20, Natsu Matsui takes place at Beaverton Uwajimaya featuring TV stars, pop singers, Taiko, Karate Do and more. Members of the support team who went to Japan for tsunami aid will report on the progress being made there.Admission is free and there will be food, entertainment, games and activities for all. In the parking lot of Beaverton Uwajimaya at 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. White River Buddhist Church in Auburn has their Bon Odori on July 27 from 4 – 9:30pm. There are dance practices to prepare for the event throughout July. 3625 Auburn Way W. (253) 833-1442 or go to www.WRBT.org. Tacoma Buddhist Church Bon Odori takes place Aug. 3 from 5 – 9pm. Dance lessons are July 16 – 18 from 7:30pm – 9pm. 1717 Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma. Go to tacomabt.org for details. Bainbridge Island Matsuri takes place on August 4th at Islandwood. Go to http://www,sugoiexperiencejapan.com/events/matsuri-summer-festival/. Seattle once was home to a bustling Japantown before the war and internment came. Nihonmachi Night is an annual summer festival by local merchants to re-vitalize the area that was Japantown. On August 10 from 4 – 8pm, enjoy food, entertainment and visit local merchants. Such as Kobo at Higo’s, Panama Tea House, Momo’s and many more. On hand will be the Kimochi Band, an all ukulele group of seniors ready to perform your favorites as well as demonstrations by the Cascade Kendo group and traditional Japanese sweets by Umai Do available for purchase. At the corner of 6th Ave. S. & S. Main. Go to [email protected] for details. Tsukimi Chakai/Moon Viewing/Tea Gathering takes place at Everett Community College Nippon Business Institute Aug. 17th. 905 Wetmore Ave. in Everett. (425) 388-9195.
ReAct Theatre, Seattle’s only Multi-ethnic Philanthropic Theatre Company opens their 20th anniversary season with the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Picnic” (see related story in this issue) by William Inge. Some will remember the prize-winning movie with William Holden that came out years ago. The story is about a labor day picnic in the mid-west and how a handsome young drifter’s arrival stirs up issues of love, mortality, morality and beauty. July 6 – August 3 at Hugo House. Hours are 8pm on Fridays and 2pm and 8pm on Saturdays. 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill. For information and tickets, call (206) 364-3283 or go to www.reacttheatre.org.
Porkfilled Players newest production takes on science fiction with a steampunk twist with Maggie Lee’s new play entitled “The Clockwork Professor”. From romance to royal airships to roving inter-dimensional portals, join the professor on his adventures through a fantastic world. July 12 – august 3rd at Theatre Off Jackson at 409-7th Ave. S. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets and “Teen Tix” are also available as walk up only. For information, go to [email protected]
Local musician Bob Antolin is a member for the group Comfort Food who specializes in playing music that ranges from Fela Kuti to Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”. They kick off the summer concert series at Olympic Sculptural Garden Park on Th., July 11 from 6 – 8pm. Food trucks will be there so come out and enjoy the weather, the music and the art. At the Gates Amphitheater near Broad St. and Elliott. Presented by Seattle Art Museum and Earshot Jazz. Go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/default.asp for details.
Shanghai Pearl and Nickolai kick off jamfest on Thursday, July 18 at the Wing at 5:30pm. Festivities continue till 9:30pm out in the neighborhood with the Chinatown dance-rock group , The Slants and food and drink specials at many local businesses. Visit www.wingluke.org/jamfest for details. Tickets are $8 with $6 for students and seniors. Discount passes available.
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.
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].
For Jazz, New York seems to be the place to play and be heard. Many musicians from around the world flock to this city to test their musical mettle. New recordings attest to this. Miho Hazama has a new release entitled “Journey to Journey” (Sunnyside) in which she flaunts unconventional arrangements and a big band centered around a string quartet. “Bloom” (Nineteen-Eight Records) is the title of a new release by the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra with compositions and arrangements by Kakitani. For a few years, her orchestra has had a steady gig at Brooklyn’s Tea Lounge. Tatsuya Nakatani has performed hundreds of percussion solo pieces throughout the country but in recent years, he has gravitated towards producing, directing and conducting large gong orchestras. His new recording “Nakatani Gong Orchestra” (Taiga) documents these encounters.
“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/.
“Out on a Limb” is a documentary film on David “Squirrelman” Csaky who lived in a treehouse for two years on city property. Screens Thursday, August 1 at 6:15pm at the Wing. Stay for Q & A with Seattle/King County Coalition of Homelessness. Free. Part of the programming for the exhibit, “Uprooted and Invisible: Asian American Homelessness” currentliy on view at the Wing through August 18.
“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.
Early warning – “Shintoho Schlock: Girls, Guns & Ghosts” takes a look at B-grade schlock pumped out by the Japanese studio Shintoho in the 1950’s that covered subjects like women behind bars, ghost cats and vampires. Somehow these films have endured and influenced filmmakers world-wide. Find out why by viewing them yourselves. August 2 – 9. Northwest Film forum at 1515 12th Ave. (206) 829-7863 or go to nwfilmforum.org. Seattle Asian American Film Festival’s Outdoor Movies Series returns to the ID’s Hing Hay Park for some summer fun. Festivities began at 6:30pm and the movies screen at sunset. “Shaolin Soccer” is on Aug. 10, Mulan is on Aug. 17 and Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings” is on August 24th. 423 Maynard Ave. S. go to seattleaaff.org for details.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. 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.
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
Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai has a new poetry collection out entitled “AUX ARCS” (La Alameda Press) which documents her years working in Texas and Arkansas. Since Asian Americans are a distinct minority in the South, her poems reflect that experience and a longing for place that stretches beyond boundaries. The book features over a dozen photographs by the author as well reminding us of her dual interests in art and the word. Pai reads from the book on Sept. 4 at 7pm at Hugo House and again on Dec. 5 at the Wing. Both events are free. The book is available at local stores or by mail order from the publisher or Small Press Distribution.
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.
“Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp” is a new book by Teresa Tamura on Caxton Press. This is where many Japanese Americans from the Northwest were interned during WW II. Tamura reads from her book on Sat., Sept. 21 at 4pm at the Wing.
Tacoma author Cathy J. Tashiro is the author of a new book entitled “Standing on both Feet: Voices of Older Mixed Race Americans” which highlights the experiences of older Americans of mixed race who broke the color line. Tashiro reads at the Wing on Sat., August 17 at 4pm. Free.
“Everything I Never Told You” is a new work of fiction by Celeste Ng due out early next year on Penguin Books.
“In The Shadow Of The Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner was critically acclaimed when it first came out last year. It marked the debut of this Cambodian American writer who wrote of the aftermath of the “killing fields” and how it tore apart families. Her story is a testimony of the survival of the human spirit. The book is now available in a new paperback edition on Simon & Schuster.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
The Celeste Prize is an international contemporary arts prize open to emerging and mid-career artists worldwide without limits of age, sex or experience. Jurors are international curators and critics. Deadline is July 31, 2013. Got to http://bit.ly/1956Tnh.
40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival is a showcase of new work by regional filmmakers from Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Deadline is August 1, 2013. Go to http://bit.ly/12GWdMX.