The Seattle Chinatown-International District Street Fair has a new name this year. Now called “Dragon Fest”, the event takes place on July 9 & 10 at Hing Hay Park. Sat. hours are noon – 8 p.m. and Sun. hours are noon – 6 p.m. Includes a “Food Walk” with $2 tasting menu at area restaurants, an Anime Costume Contest and live Dragon Dances. Follow the dragon on twitter and facebook @iheartID or go to www.SeattleDragonFest.com.
Inspired by her grandmother’s journey from China to Guatemala in the 1930’s, Erin Lau will perform and discuss original songs and illustrations as part of the “Gracila Project: Tales of the Chinese Diaspora”. On Wed., July 13 at 7:30 p.m. Jack Straw Productions at 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E. Call (206) 634-0919 or e-mail [email protected].
The Gardner Center partners with Teamwork Productions, Elliott Bay Book Company and Tasveer to present writers and films from India. “Words on Water: A Literary Festival of Indian Writers in the U.S.” takes place July 12 and July 13 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. Four writers from India visit for dialogue with Northwest writers, discussion, book readings and signings. All events at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Tuesday has Shrabani Basu with Miranda Kennedy and Hari Kunzru with David Guterson. Wednesday features Nayantara Sahgal with Lesley Hazelton and Tarun Tejpal with Charles Johnson. Indian Actress Tabu appears on Wed., July 6 “In Conversation” as the kick off event for the India Film Program also at Stimson Auditorium. Tickets for this special program are $10 for SAM members and $15 for non-members. Call (206) 654-3121 or e-mail [email protected] for tickets. It starts off with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. program with Tabu. At 6:45 p.m., see the film “Meenaxi – Tale of Three Cities” as directed by M. F. Hussain and starring Tabu. A writer in a slump encounters a mysterious muse. Shown with English subtitles. The Bollywood Panorama Film Series screens on Fridays from July 15 through August 5 at 9:30 p.m. Shown outdoor at the Volunteer Park Amphitheater (in case of rain, in the SAAM Auditorium). Free with English subtitles. July 15 brings “Chak De India” directed by Shimit Amin in which a Kabir coaches a hopeless women’s hockey team to national glory. July 23 brings “Dor” directed by Nagesh Kukunur in which an unlikely friendship develops between two women whose paths cross after an accident. July 29 brings “Chandni Bar” directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Tabu stars as a displaced village woman forced to become a dancer in a Bombay bar. Finally August 5 brings ‘The Namesake” directed by Mira Nair and starring Kal Penn as the son of Indian immigrants struggling with his parents and his own identity. Visit seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter for more details.
The long awaited grand opening for the IDEA Odyssey Gallery will be on First Thursday, July 7 from 5 – 8 p.m. This collective gallery was founded by Carina del Rosario, SuJ’n Chon and Minh Carrico. The inaugural exhibition “A Sense of Place” guest-curated by Seattle artist Juan Alonzo is on view until August 7, 2011. The International District Engaged in Arts (IDEA) Odyssey, located at 666 South Jackson St., aims to be a collective dedicated to promoting diversity as well as community and economic development through the visual arts. Artist membership applications accepted until July 13, 2011. For more information, go to www.ideaodysseygallery.blogspot.com.
Lu Chuan’s “City of Life and Death” (see review elsewhere in this issue) re-creates the infamous Nanking massacre when the Japanese army laid siege to this city in the December of 1937. Told through the eyes of both victims and occupiers. Opens July 8 for one week at the Varsity theater, located at 4329 University Way N.E. Call (206) 781-5755. Fox Searchlight Pictures production of “Snow Flower And The Secret Fan” adapted from the popular novel by Lisa See and directed by Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”) opens in Seattle at a Landmark Theatre on July 22. Go to www.foxsearchlight.com/snowflowerandthesecretfan/ for details.
The Wing sponsors “Jamfest,” a summer music festival that combines music, discounts on food, outdoor art and cinema all summer long. The July 16 event features music by Miho & Diego Duo blending Japanese and Latin music at the Wing. Soul Kata gets down at the House of Hong. Jannie & Friends Jazz Band does standards and Chinese folk songs at Four Seas. Finally Mary Win plays acoustic pop at KOBO at Higo from 6:30 – 8:30pm. The event runs every third Saturday from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. through August in Chinatown. Tickets are available at the Wing Luke Museum. For full details, go to www.wingluke.org/jamfest. Also later in the month will be Seafair Chinatown Parade on Sun., July 24 at 7pm. Join the Wing as they march alongside their float featuring the fiery guitar of Angelo Pizzaro. For details, call (206) 623-5124×119.
AIA Seattle Design Gallery presents “Tight Urbanism”, an exhibit by Daniel Toole, a 2010 AIA Seattle Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship Recipient. Daniel traveled to Chicago, San Francisco, Melbourne, Osaka and Kyoto to study the potentially vibrant in-between spaces of the built environment. The first display will be in Canton Alley in the International District, on Saturday, July 16. Visit www.aiaseattle.org/node/5601 for more information. The AIA gallery is located on 1911 1st Ave and the event is free.
Etsuko Ichikawa is a local artist known for her large pieces involving the use of glass, fire and smoke to create powerful calligraphic images on paper which she has shown locally, nationally and internationally. Evidently her creative roots run deep up the family tree in the group show, “Tale of a Family”. From July 9 – 30, the whole Ichikawa family will display their art together at KOBO at Higo’s. Father Koichi presents his ceramics while mother Shigeko exhibits her handmade bags alongside the work of daughter, Etsuko. Opening reception on July 9 from 5 – 7 p.m. At 6 p.m., local poet Larry Matsuda honors the family with a new poem inspired by the work. Matsuda will also read some poems from his book, “A Cold Wind From Idaho” (Black Laurence Press). Opening on July 23 from 5 – 7 p.m. is a show of Shigaraki ceramics by husband and wife team, Momoko and Tetsuya Ootani. On view through August 7. KOBO at Higo is at 602-608 South Jackson St., Seattle. Call (206) 381-3000 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.
SAM Next series is Seattle Art Museum’s contemporary art exhibition program intended to shed light on cutting-edge contemporary young artists and the work they are doing. Selected sixth in the series is New York-based multi-media artist Mika Tajima. Tajima combines painting, sculpture, design, performance, video and sound to create immersive installations that expand the possibilities of each medium. She has a record of extensive collaboration with other artists and is also a founding member of Brooklyn-based noise band, New Humans. She will give an “Artist Talk” on July 15 at 7 p.m. at the Nordstrom Lecture Hall at Seattle Art Museum downtown. Her show will be on view at SAM July 16 – June 17, 2012. SAM, located at 1300 First Ave. Seattle. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org for details.
Don’t miss the Seattle Bon Odori on July 16 & 17 at Seattle Buddhist Church, located at 1427 S. Main St., Seattle. Call (206) 329-0800 and join the practice sessions. Also note that White River Buddhist Church has their Bon Odori on July 23 from 4:30 p.m. Located at 3525 Auburn Way N., Auburn, WA. Call (253) 833-1442 or go to www.tacomabt.org for more information.
“Itadakimasu!” introduces the history of local Japanese restaurants through photos and memorabilia at Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. At the turn of the century, over 70 restaurants were owned by Japanese immigrants including one of the oldest still surviving, the much beloved Maneki Restaurant. On view till the end of August. Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays. Call (206) 568-7114 or e-mail [email protected].
Ceramic artist Wanxin Zhang responds to China’s unearthed army of terra cotta soldiers with life-size ceramics of his own. “Warhol/Mao” is just one of many contemporary responses by this artist in “Wanxin Zhang: A Ten Year Survey” at Bellevue Arts Museum located on 510 Bellevue Way N.E. This exhibit runs through August 4. For more information, call (425) 519-0770 or visit www.bellevuearts.org.
“The Talent Show” is a group exhibit that examines a range of relationships between artists, audiences and participants’ competing desires for notoriety and privacy. The exhibit includes work by Tehching Hsieh and Shizuka Yokomizo. Organized by Peter Eleey for the Walker Art Center. The exhibit is on view through August 21 at UW Henry Art Gallery located between 15th Ave. N.E. and NE 41st streets. Go to www.henryart.org for details.
Seattle artist Romson Bustillo’s latest site-specific installation entitled “Dinhi sa Paraiso – Here in Paradise” can be seen through July at Hing Hay Park on the corner of S. King
St. and Maynard Ave. S. Go to www.romson.tumblr.com for more information or visit the Facebook event page.
Tina Koyama has work in a group show entitled “CIRCLES: Artistic Interpretations of this Universal Shape. Remains on view through Oct. 16, 2011. University House Wallingford is located at 4400 Stone Way N., Seattle. Koyama’s work can also be seen in the group show “Connecting Threads” with fiber art work by 55 alumni from the UW Certificate in Fiber Arts. Opens July 15 from 6 – 8 p.m. during the University District Art Walk. Continues on view through Sept. 30, 2011. UW Tower Mezzanine is located at 4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE., Seattle. Go to www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/feiber-arts.html for more information.
“Folding/Unfolding” is a show of new work by Vashon Island fabric artist Joan Wortis with an opening reception on July 7 and a First Thursday event on August 4. The show continues through August 27, 2011. First Ave. S. For more information, call (206) 839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org.
The Cullom Gallery specializes in Japanese prints and modern artists influenced by them.
Their latest show “Walls” features the work of Francesco Lohman and Agata Michalowska. Opens July 7 and remains on view through August 27. Located at 603 S. Main Street. Call (206) 340-8000 for more information or e-mail [email protected].
Local artist Romson Bustillo shows his media print collages in a group show of ten local artists entitled “The Chair Project” now on view at Seattle Design Center located at 5701
Sixth Ave. S. until August. For details go to www.romson.tumblr.com.
Azuma Gallery presents an exceptional collection of works from the estates of Joanne Mearis and the late Dr. Philip Rasic, two long-time patrons of the gallery. A percentage of sales goes to Japan relief efforts. On view till July 12. Azuma Gallery is located at 530 1st Ave. S. Call (206) 622-5599 for more information.
Jessi Li is one of the 16 graduates of Artist Trust’s 2011 Edge Professional Development Program for local visual artists. Recipients will be showing their art and giving presentations on July 29 at 7 p.m. At GGLO Space at the Steps. Go to www.artisttrust.org for details.
The work of Diem Chau is all over the map. She recently did the cover art for Gescha’s new album entitled “Crayon Politics”. Her work is also in Rijswijk Textile Museum Biennale in the Netherlands till Sept. 11, 2011. KSAT is a Paris-based zine that is built upon the idea of collaboration between artistic genres. In the latest issue, Chau responds visually to the music of Biggies Flys Again, a Dublin-based musician. Finally her work is in a show entitled “Textile Tietan: Fresh Thread” up till July 10 at Mighty Tieton Warehouse in Wisconsin.
Together with Nicholas Nyland and Maki Tamura, Saya Moriyasu has created a collaborative installation work entitled “A Clearing in the Clouds”. Works may be viewed at Seattle’s ACT Theatre located at 700 University Street. This event is ongoing.
“Wang Huaiqing: A Painter’s Painter in Contemporary China” traces the artist’s development through 23 innovative works. Recognized as one of China’s leading contemporary artists for his ability to blur the line between abstract and naturalistic art, his work is on view through July 17. “Artful Reproductions” that opened on April 1 looks at how Chinese fabricate complex objects in great quantity. On display are pairs and sets of similar objects that are a result of that productivity. Through September 9 is “Modern Elegance: The Art of Meiji Japan.” All of these events are at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, located at 1400 Prospect Ave., Seattle. For more information, call (206) 654-3100 or visit www.seattleartmuseum.org.
The Wing opens a new exhibit entitled “Vintage Japantown through the lens of the Takano Studio” which looks at portrait photography from one studio active from the 1930’s to the early 40’s. Studios like this once thrived in the neighborhood and captured the everyday life of its’ inhabitants. July 8 through Feb. 12, 2012. On July 7 there is a reception for members and special guests. RSVP to [email protected] or call (206) 623-5124. From 7 – 8 p.m., the reception is open to the general public. Another new exhibit which opens on July 16 during Family Fun Day is “Epic Tails: Legendary Animals and Creatures.” Storyteller Carlos Xavier will be at the opening reception. Participate in an activity entitled “Making Epic Animals” from 1 – 3 p.m. Celebrate the Tanabata Festival, an annual Japanese festival based on the legend of two stars. You can celebrate on July 9 from 1 – 5 p.m. at both the Wing and the Japanese Garden with a shuttle bus available to take you between the two sites. “Dual Nature – Contemporary Glass and Jewelry” with work by Cynthia Toops, Vina Rust, Midori Saito, Ron Ho, Boyd Sugiki, Jeffrey Sarmiento, Masami Koda and Eunsuh Choi continues on view through January 15, 2012. “Born Into Identity: The Asian Pacific American Adoptee Experience” includes 13 APA Adoptee artists and oral histories from community members explore the complexities of being an APA adoptee, which is on view through June 19. “Cultural Confluence: Urban People of Asian & Native American Heritages” will also be on view through September 18. A group show entitled “From The Ground Up” which features artwork of teenagers involved in the Museum’s YouthCAN program will also be on view. For details on all of the above, go to www.wingluke.org or call (206) 623-5124.
The work of Paul Horiuchi is included in a group show of work entitled “Velocity” from the permanent collection on view through Oct. 2, 2011. Opening reception on July 9 from 2 – 5 p.m. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor,WA (360) 466-4446 or go to www.museumofnwart.org.
A retrospective show of Ken Lum, one of Canada’s well-known modern conceptual artists is on view through September 25, 2011 at Vancouver Art Gallery located on 750
Hornby. For more information, call (604) 662-4719 or visit www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.
Asia Society Museum presents an exhibition of 227 photographs taken by Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei, capturing the history, culture, and atmosphere of the 1980’ New York from his unique perspective. This is the first time these photos have been shown outside China. Now on view through August 14, 2011. The artist was recently released by the Chinese government after a 3 month detention. The government charges that the artist was arrested for not paying his taxes but many feel it was a punishment meted out to the artist for his outspoken criticism of government actions. Asia Society Museum, 725 Park Ave., New York, NY. Call (212) 288-6400 or visit www.asiasociety.org.
Mimi Gemini, a New York City-based Japanese singer/songwriter is touring on behalf of her new album entitled “Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose” (Rock Park Records). She plays Seattle on July 10 at the Can Can, located at 94 Pike St., Seattle. Call (206) 652-0832.
“Classical Music of India” is a concert featuring Steve Oda on Sarode and Ty Burhoe on table. Oda is a student of Ali Akbar Khan and Burhoe has studied with Zakir Hussein. Sat., July 9 at 8 p.m. Seattle Unity Church, located at 200 Eighth Ave. N., Seattle. Go to www.tyburhoe.com for details.
Bollywood performer Prashant hosts “Jai Ho! Pure Bollywood Dance Party” on July 23 at 9 p.m. with Bollywood dance lessons at 10 p.m. Location at 1325 E. Madison St., Seattle. Go to www.JaiHoParty.com for details.
The Seattle Children’s Theatre Drama School Student Production of “Disney’s Mulan” takes place July 28 – 30 at 7 p.m. Call (206) 441-3322 or go to www.sct.org for details.
Sonarchy is a series of hour-long broadcasts that feature new music and sound art made in the Pacific Northwest. Programs air every Sunday at midnight on KEXP 90.3 FM Radio. The July 10 broadcast Orkes Manohara which creates experimental Javanese music. Group members include Krunedi Sukaarwanto on cello, Javanese uke and voice and Maegen O’Donoghue-Williams-Sukarwanto on voice, Javanese uke and shruti box. Made possible by Jack Straw Productions where the concerts are taped and performed.
Local reggae group, Kore Ionz with lead singer Daniel Pak have a new EP titled “Love
You Better”. Go to koreionz.com for details.
Seattle native Emi Meyer (and former IE contributing writer) has just released a new CD out full of her own songs entitled “Suitcase Of Stone.” Meyer is currently touring in Japan. For more information, go to www.emimeyer.com.
Trumpeter/composer/educator Cuong Vu has not slowed down a step since returning to Seattle from New York to take a teaching position at the University of Washington’s jazz program. A new CD by his AGOGIC group is just released by new Seattle-based label, Table and Chairs. The group features Seattle native Andrew D’Angelo on sax with local young players Luke Berman on bass and Evan Woodie on drums. For details go to www.tableandchairsmusic.com. The other new release by the Cuong Vu quartet is entitled “Leaps of Faith” (Origin Records) and features unique covers of classics, “Body & Soul” and “My Funny Valentine” with Ted Poor on drums, Stomu Takeshi and Luke Bergman on electric basses and Cuong Vu on trumpet. For details, go to www.origin-records.com.
Seattle jazz group, the Killerbees co-led by Bob Antolin plays weekly on Thursdays at Waid’s Hatian Cuisine at 1212 E. Jefferson., Seattle.
Art Hirahara is a jazz pianist currently based in New York. Originally from the Bay Area, the pianist moved to the East Coast to be challenged by the musical talent there. Honing his craft, he has performed in a wide range of settings. “Noble Path” (Posi-Tone) is his first CD as a leader and sports an impressive set of tasty post-bop originals plus a few re-interpreted classics. Hirahara is ably supported by his regular rhythm section of Yoshi Waki on bass and Dan Aran on drums. Go to www.posi-tone.com for more information.
Bay Area educator/jazz percussionist/composer/ ethnomusicologist and big band leader Anthony Brown wears his multi-cultural influences naturally being the child of a Black father and Japanese American mother. And in his new release, “India & Africa – A Tribute to John Coltrane” (Water Baby Records) by Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, he re-interprets the highly esteemed jazz giant’s explorations into the musical traditions of India and Africa with a band that includes instruments of Asia, Africa and India. Go to www.anthonybrown.org for details.
“Nihonmachi Nites – Seattle’s Japantown, Rising” is a combination community open house/ outdoor movie series all rolled into one. From 6pm to late, enjoy extended evening hours in Japantown’s shops, galleries and restaurants. And at dusk on the corner of S. Main St. and Maynard Ave. S., catch the following films. “Godzilla 2000” on July 9, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams on August 13 and Hayao Miyazaki’s animated classic, “Howl’s Moving Castle”. Go to www.nihonmachinites.com for details.
Cambodian journalist and “Killing Fields” survivor, Thet Sambath, has won the 2011 Knight International Journalism Award for uncovering the secret of the Pol Pot Regime. His film, “Enemies Of The People” was used as evidence at the trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders in Phnom Penh in June 2011. The film took Special Jury Prize for World Cinema at the 3010 Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to air on PBS in July. Check your local listings for your local PBS station’s screening schedule.
As Steinway & Sons chief technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, Stefan Knupfer is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world famous-pianists. “Pianomania” by Lilian Franck & Robert Cibis documents this procedure on film. Rising young virtuoso pianist Lang Lang is part of this elite pianist cast. Opens July 15 for one week at the Varsity theater, located at 4329 University Way N.E., Seattle. Call (206) 781-5755 or go to www.firstrunfeatures.com/pianomania for details.
The recent New York Asian Film Festival revealed some new films that one can only hope will eventually surface here. “Milocrorze: A Love Story” by Yoshimasa Ishibashi not only defies genres in the fantasy story it tells but includes an elaborately staged sword-fight sequence in a brothel. “Reign of Assassins” co-directed by Su Chao-pin and John Woo goes easy on the testosterone and bloodshed by mixing in a romantic comedy involving an assassin and a delivery boy. Jet Li defies expectations by dropping his typical action hero role by playing an elderly maintenance worker concerned about the upbringing of his autistic son in film scholar turned director Xue Xiaolu’s “Ocean Heaven”. “Ninja Kids!!!” is a new hilarious comedy by Miike with a wonderful cast of child actors. Director Noboru Iguchi known for his porno flicks changes up with “Karate-Robo Zaborgar”, his homage to morning cartoons. If time travel is your thing, check out Yoshihiro Nakamura’s “A Boy and His Samurai” in which a samurai finds himself in 21st century Tokyo in which he helps out a single mom and son by doing laundry and strict parenting.
The Written Arts
Former Seattle resident Timothy Wang is the author of a new novel entitled “Slant – A Novel about a Gay Asian American (Lethe Press). Go to www.lethepressbooks.com for more information.
Are you an arts innovator? Then apply for the 2011 Arts Innovator Awards. A $25,000 grant to be given to two artists. Deadline is July 25, 2011. Log on to http://artisttrust.org/index.php/for-artists/money#arts_innovator_awards for complete information on all the grants available from Artist Trust.
Seattle Kokon Taiko offers taiko workshops for beginners on July 10 at SKT Practice Hall from 2 – 6 p.m. Register at www.seattlekokontaiko.org or e-mail [email protected].
In 2012, Seattle Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will have seven months of anniversary programming called the Next Fifty. As part of the activities, the theme of art, culture and design will last from April to October. The Next Fifty will award a total of $500,000 in grants for youth artists 24 years old and younger. Performing artists and performing artist projects are encouraged to apply. Deadline is July 22, 2011. Go to www.TheNextFifty.org for details.
The Northwest Film Forum Fund is a new grant program for Northwest filmmakers of promise and vision. Documentary film projects in the Northwest at any stage of completion are eligible. Includes a $10,000 grant and a package of services. Deadline is August 20, 2011. Go to www.nwfilmforum.org for details.
Eastwind Books of Berkeley announces a new website which is www.AsiaBookCentre.com. This store is one of the few in the U.S. that focuses on books by or about Asian Pacific Americans and new titles on Asia.