It is a risk and struggle to create while reaching back to my whole lifetime – what it means to grow up in the city where one lives with all the dead bodies that lay below one’s feet” – so writes Hiroshima-born Japanese visual artist Yukiko Kawano, a third generation hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) about her work in the show “Formation” which remains on display through Oct. 14th, 2014. At the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery at 700 Fifth Ave. at 5th & Columbia on the Third Floor Lobby. For details, go to http://www.seattle.gov/ethnicartgallery/. For information on the artist, go to http://yukiyokawano.com. In addition, Kawano is in another show entitled “One Thousand Questions – Hiroshima to Hanford” with Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa at Columbia City Gallery from August 6th – Sept. 21st. 4864 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 760-9843 or go to www.columbiacitygallery.com.
“Act of Drawing” by Etsuko Ichikawa marks this artist’s debut with a new Seattle gallery. It presents the latest work from her series, “Glass Pyrograph and Aquagraph”, a series of drawings of fire and water charcoal stained on paper. Using molten glass above the surface of the paper, she creates marks of expressive gesture captured spontaneously in the act for her glass pyrographs. Her aquagraphs use water as a medium and the way it drops on the page, captured with scorched candle soot to reveal an x-ray of the very act of its’ imprint. Opening reception on Sept. 10th from 6 – 8pm with the artist. On view until Oct. 30th, 2014. Winston Wachter Fine Art at 203 Dexter Ave. N. in the South Lake Union area just off Aurora. Mon. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm or by appointment. (206) 652-5855 or go to www.winstonwachter.com.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District has the following – 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. (206) 381-3000.
“Agong and Ye Ye: Joint Photography Show” shows the work of two landscape photographers from Taiwan, Yao Hwang, M.D. and Shiang Yu Lee, Ph. D. Opening reception is August 30th from 2 – 4pm. Show remains on view until Sept. 6th. At the Cultural Center of TECO at 1008, 140th Ave. NE, Suite 108 in Bellevue, WA. (425) 746-3602. Sponsored by KiangSu ChekKiang Association of Washington, Senior Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle and Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle.
“Kimiko Yoshida: Something Blue” is a series of highly stylized self-portraits in which the photographer dresses up to reflect idealized versions of “the bride” from different cultures. Remains on view through Aug. 30th. M.I.A. Gallery downtown at 1203 Second Ave. (206) 467-4927.
A pair of Japanese quilt exhibits take over the space at La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum through Oct. 5th. On view are “Wishes Through Our Hands – Japanese Quilts” and “Works of Junko Maeda”. For details, call (360) 466-4288 or go to www.laconnerquilts.com.
“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 textiles and a very real personal experience. Finally on Thurs., August 21 at 6:30pm, the artist will give an evening presentation and discuss his work, process and inspiration. Reception with light food and beverage following lecture. Admission is $6 for adults/students admitted free with pre-registration. 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. The Friends of Asian Art Association also present a lecture on the current arts of Myanmar (formerly Burma) by Barry Broman who served for years in that region as a member fo the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. “Arts and Crafts in an Emerging Myanmar” takes place on Sun., Oct. 12th at 1pm at the Burke Museum on the “UW Seattle campus. Free parking. To pre-register for these events or for information, 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 Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon in 2015.
In related news, Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon presents “Roger Shimomura: Works on Paper” which will open Nov. 8th and remain on view through Feb. 1, 2015. Organized by Director John Olbrantz to complement the travelling exhibit, “Roger Shimomura : An American Knockoff” which opens at the museum next January. The exhibition features 29 prints drawn from local and regional collections, including works from his “Minidoka Snapshots” and “Minidoka Identities” suites, both of which deal with internment camp issues. 900 State St. in Salem, Oregon and part of Willamette University. (503) 370-6855 or go to willamette.edu/arts/hfma.
Liz Tran’s mixed media paintings explore the shapes of nature and the psychedelic colors of her imagination. SAM gallery presents a show of her latest work at TASTE next to Seattle art Museum downtown a show of her new work. On view until Nov. 9th. 1300 First Ave. For details, [email protected].
Each summer, Kirkland Arts Center Gallery hosts the KAC Artists’ exhibition to showcase the creativity and talent of KAC’s community of artists. This year, the juror for the 2014 KAC Artists’ Exhibition, Michael Monroe, has selected work from 38 artists in a variety of media. Included in this show is the work of Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam, Vinaya Rao, Cheryll Leo-Gwin, Satoko Pettersson and Flora Ramirez-Bustamante. On view till Sept. 13th. Regular hours are Tues. – Fri. from 11am – 6pm and Saturdays from 11am – 5pm. 620 Market St. in Kirkland. (425) 822-7161.
Colorful paintings that have the patchwork brilliance of quilts by Irene Kubota on view now at Bryan Ohno Gallery in Japantown through Aug. 23rd. 521 S. Main St. (206) 459-6857 or go to bryanohno.com.
Margot Quan Knight turns images of doilies to shadow, texture, and narrative through a series of material experiments. What remains is the beauty of a complex structure celebrating aesthetic labor. On view through August 31st. SOIL Gallery at 112 Third Ave. S. Regular hours are Th. – Sun. from 12 – 5pm. For details, go to www.soilart.org.
“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 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. Curated by Gabriel Goldman of Platform Inc. Includes the work of Wally Inouye, Nhon Nguyen, Nin Truong, Junichi Tsuneoka and Mike Yoshida/ Opening Oct. 4th will be a special exhibition on Bruce Lee’s connection to Seattle. Free Family Fun Day activities coming up. – 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 11th – 15th is “Moving Art: The Journey” looks at art that moves with us from skateboards to kites and other things. A special exhibit on Bruce Lee and his connection to Seattle is in the planning stages and will open Oct. 4th. 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. 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. As part of a “Deco Era Japanese Film series”, 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. 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.” Mughal Painting: Power And Piety” is up through Sept. 7th. The show features works of art made under the Mughals (1526-1857), the most expansive Islam empire in the history of the subcontinent. 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 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” through 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 Saturday from 1 – 3pm on September 13th. Opening July 3rd 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 through Oct. 12th with many events planned. California-based installation artist and sculptor Wendy Maruyama gives a talk about Executive Order 9066 and her work on the subject in her “TAG PROJECT” 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 work of Thu Nguyen and Naoko Morisawa is included in ART PORT TOWNSEND/EXPRESSIONS NORTHWEST, the Northwind Arts Center and Port Townsend Arts Commission’s 16th Annual Juried art Exhibition. On view through August 31st in Port Townsend. For details, go to www.northwindarts.org.
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].
Congratulations to local artist Naoko Morisawa had her work featured at the 2014 Dublin Biennial recently. Morisawa also has work in a group show entitled “Boundaries”. Remains on view through Sept. 10th. At Twilight Art Gallery at 4306 SW Alaska St. in West Seattle. (206) 933-2444.
Seattle painter Kathy Liao keeps busy with the following activities. She has work in a group show entitled “Any Day: Artists on Death” at the Steele Gallery at Gage Academy of Art through Sept. 19th. 1501 – 10th Ave. E. 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.
Opening August 28th is “Mythscapes : Contemporary Art from the World’s Oldest Continuing Culture” which includes the work of indigenous artists from Australia including work by Sarrita King. Co-curated by the gallery and Ann Snell Gallery of Sydney. Snell does a walk through of the show on Thurs., August 28th during the reception from 5 – 8pm. On Friday, Sept. 5th from 5 – 8pn (re-scheduled from “First Thursday because of a Seahawks game), there will be an opening reception and another walk through by Ann Snell from 5 – 8pm. Ann Snell will give a curator’s talk and slideshow on Sat., Sept. 6th from 1 – 3pm. Show remains on view through Nov. 22nd. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. Open Tues. – Sat. (206) 839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org.
The Game Not Fame Artist Collective is working on a 240 foot mural in Little Saigon sponsored by the Jackson Place Community Council. The title of the work “Control What You Can” tries to live up to the saying “be the change you want to see in the world.” The painting takes place from august 22nd – Sept. 1st and donations are needed. To find out more, go to www.gamenotfame.com/cwvc.
The Portland Japanese Garden has announced their exhibitions set for 2014. “Urushi: Masterpieces 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.
“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 Human Touch” is a group show with selections from the BBC Wealth Management Collection. Art by international contemporary artists who explore creative interpretations of the human figure and celebrate people and diversity. Included in the show is work by Dinh Q. Le, Hung Liu, Roger Shimomura and Chen Quilin and others. On view till Sept. 14th 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 1960’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].
Noted American installation artist Sarah Sze represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. She made a series of rooms filled with foraged objects in an exhibition entitled “Triple Point”. Now part of that piece returns to this country. The Bronx Museum of the Arts was the commissioning institution for the US pavilion and will exhibit “Triple Point – Planetarium” in their own museum. It will be on view in the museum’s new North Wing Gallery. 1040 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. (718) 681-6000 or go to http://www.bronxmuseum.org/.
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.
The Korean Artist Project plays an important role in promoting Korean artists overseas. Organized by the Korean Art Museum Association and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, it provides an archive of 75 artists from 27 galleries nationwide in both English and Korean. The directory is updated regularly. For details, go to www.koreanartproject.com.
“The Artistic journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” is a major exhibition about this Japanese-born artist (1889-1953) who came to America as a teenager first landing in Seattle where he worked on the railroads. He came to New York and came to prominence in the 1920’s for his distinctive modern, figurative style. After stints in Paris, his work leaned towards moody portraits of women and still lifes with unusual objects. Classified as an “enemy alien” during WWII, he remained loyal to his adopted country, working with the Office of War Information to create artworks indicting Japanese atrocities. After the war, his work turned bitter and bright. Following his death, the artist’s work and reputation diminished. Some of the work in American collections were sold to foreign collectors and many to Japan where there is a museum in his honor in his home town. This will be the first overview of his work in over twenty-five years. Guest curator is leading Kuniyoshi scholar, Tom Wolf who is a professor of art history at Bard College. The show will be on view April 3rd – August 30th, 2015 at Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., 1st floor West at 8th and F streets, N. W. For details, go to http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/kuniyoshi.
The Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) marked a period of China’s history full of economic strength and a dramatic flourishing of the arts. Two exhibits in Europe showcase this era. “Ming – The Golden Empire” is a collection of original artifacts from the Nanjing Museum that introduce key aspects of the dynasty, focusing on the remarkable cultural, technological and economic achievements of the period. On view till Oct. 19th, 2014 at the National Museum of Scotland. Chambers St. in Edinburgh. Go to http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/. Coming to the British Museum from Sept. 18th to Jan. 5th, 2015 is “Ming: 50 Years that Changed China”. Five years in the making, the show focuses on the dynasty’s early years from 1400 – 50 when China explored the world. Go to britishmuseum.org for more details.
Lacquer has been used throughout Asia for over 7000 years. “Living Lacquer Traditions” explores that legacy and history. The exhibition explores how works are forms and the artistry involved in making each piece. Includes works from Japan, Myanmar, China, Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. On view through Sept. 7th, 2014 at East-West Center Gallery, John Burns Hall, 1601 Eat-West Rd. in Honolulu, Hawai’i. For further information, go to http://arts.EastWestCenter.org.
The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado is the first American museum designed by innovative prize-wining Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. It opened in August in the new building in downtown Aspen. With a woven-wood screen surface, it has triple the exhibition space of its’ former home. Ban has won major awards for his work designing low-cost housing and public buildings in developing countries. Future shows here will include the work of Cai Guo-Qiang and Ban, himself. For more, go to aspenartmuseum.org.
Cellist, composer and Seattle native Loren Kiyoshi Dempster visits home with his NYC-based string trio followed by a contemporary dance performance by 2125 Stanley Street. Trio Tritticali plays one night only on Wed., August 20th at 8pm followed by a dance performance at 9pm by dancers/c0-creators Dahlia Nayar, Margaret Sunghe Paek and cellist/composer Loren Kiyoshi Dempster. At the Chapel at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. in Wallingford. Reserve tickets at [email protected].
Every fall the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association presents “Aki Matsuri (Fall Festival)”, a 2 day program of Japanese cultural, educational, and fun events for all age groups. Sept. 6th hours are 10am – 6pm and Sept. 7th hours are 10am – 4:30pm. Guests include ceramic artist Kubodera Keizabura from Shikoku who will show his work and talk about it and Kita School Noh instructor Richard Emmert who presents an introduction to Noh Theatre and training sessions. Heiando American Inc. will have a display of Japanese lacquer works. There will also be a puppet show, performing arts, martial arts demonstrations, exhibitions, workshops, children’s games, bonsai displays, taiko, shakuhachi and a Japanese style flea market. Participants can dress up in summer kimonos known as yukata and have their pictures taken as well. On Bellevue College’s main campus at the gymnasium and Buildings C & R. 300 Landerholm Circle S.E. Go to http://wwwenma.org/ for details.
“TEDxRainier Salon: Cultures of Community” on Sat., Sept. 6th at 7:30pm downstairs at Town Hall Seattle (enter on Seneca St.). Join Pramila Jayapal and others in a salon-style event asking the question, “How is a culture that shapes a community created?” The Association for India’s Development presents “Articulate Ability, a visually impaired dance troupe that feature a variety of Indian dance styles in their repertory from traditional to folk and ritual dance. Sat. Sept. 13th at 7pm. In Town Hall Seattle’s Great Hall. (Enter on Eighth). Sept. 17th at 7:30pm brings “Environmental Perspectives: Cultural Diversity in the Environment” which is a moderated panel that will talk about the importance of increasing cultural diversity in fields like environmental education and conservation. For this event, enter on Seneca St. Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 8th Ave. (206) 652-4255 for tickets.
“Kawabe Summer Fest 2014” is an annual festival put on by noted Seattle senior home, Kawabe House. With music, food, fun, family activites, dancing and a prize drawing. Takes place Sun., August 24th from 11am – 4pm. 221 – 18th Ave. S.
The Japan Arts Connection Lab (www.jaclab.org) and Cornish College of the Arts (www.cornish.edu/presents) give Seattle audiences a chance to hear masters of Japanese traditional music when they presents a series of musical events. First off, Japanese koto master Sawa Fujii presents a concert of “Contemporary Koto Music” on Fri., Sept. 19 at 7pm. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Auditorium. Although admission is free, you must RSVP if you wish to attend by going to http://jaclab-koto.brownpapertickets.com. Hirokazu Fujii will lead a Jiuta Master Workshop on Sept. 20th at 1pm. This workshop is especially recommended for koto, shamisen & shakuhachi players. $35 admission and reservations are suggested. This all culminates in a final concert involving all these Japanese musicians entitled “Jiuta: Voice of Longing”, a shamisen, koto & Kokyu concert by Hirokazu Fujii & Ginmeikai Members. With Rosyu Kawase and Sawa Fujii. Sunday, Sept. 21 at 7pm. Cornish College of the Arts Poncho Auditorium. Tickets from $15 – $25. For tickets, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/782749.
“The Beauty of Noh – Tomoe and Yoshinaka” offers Seattle audiences a rare chance to see classical Japanese theatre and also how that theatre collaborates with contemporary elements. In a double-bill. First off, “Tomoe” is a love story based on the “Tale of Heike” about a famous 12th century woman samurai warrior not allowed to die on the battlefield with her master. This will be performed by Munenori Takeda, one of Japan’s best-known Noh masters and the Takeda Noh troupe. Seattle composer Garrett Fisher’s “Yoshinaka” is a cross-cultural collaboration between the Fisher Ensemble with Noh master Munenori Takeda as directed by Tikka Sears. It invites audiences to re-imagine the contemporary world through the double lenses of myth and history. Stan Shikuma of Seattle Kokon Taiko is in this production. Performances on Sept. 26th at 7pm, Sept. 27th at 2pm & 7pm and Sept. 28th at 2pm. ACT Theatre in Seattle at 700 Union St. downtown. $35 tickets. For tickets go to http://www.nohandopera.com.
This fall brings the 26th Annual Earshot Jazz Festival. Some welcome returning musical visitors include bassist/composer Linda Oh who will be performing with the Joe Lovano Dave Douglas Sound Prints Quintet. Also Korean American saxophonist/singer/composer Grace Kelly is guest artist with the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchetra. To find out the full line-up of this annual aural feast of great music, go to www.earshot.org. Tickets go on sale on nov. 6th.
Richard Nguyen Sloniker stars in the Strawberry Theatre Workshop production of “Black Comedy” by Peter Shaffer (“Equs”, Amadeus”). Aug. 21st – Sept. 20th. Erickson Theatre off Broadway. 1524 Harvard Ave. 1-800-838-3006 or go to black.brownpapertickets.com.
“A Journey Back in Time” is an event hosted by the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington. Featured guest speakers are Michel Michalak, former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam and Jan Johnson, owner of the Panama Hotel. At the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee Shop. 605 ½ S. Main St. (206) 374-0180 or go to http://jassw.org.
“Songs of Unsung Seattle” is a series of 2 programs presented around Seattle by the Steve Griggs Ensemble. “Panama Hotel Jazz” is a program with original narration and music written around Japanese American endurance of injustice during World War II internment. They perform at the following venues. Sept. 14th at 2pm at Green Lake Branch Library. Sept. 28th at 2pm at Columbia City Branch Library. Oct. 5th at 2pm at Ballard Branch Library. For details, call (206) 386-4636 or go to www.spl.org/jazz.
Local comedian Kermit Apio brings his warm flowing humor to Tacoma Comedy Club for a short run. August 21st – 23rd.
Jazz pianist Keiko Matsui makes her annual visit to Jazz Alley August 28th – 31st. 2033 6th Ave. (206) 441-9729.
Seattle Center Festal – Tibet Fest takes place from 11am – 5pm on August 23rd – 24th. Seattle Center Armory. Performing arts, booths, food and kids activities. Free. For details, call (206) 684-7200.
Seattle Center Festal – Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival takes place Sept. 7th from 11 am – 7pm at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. Free. Go to seattlecenter.com or call (206) 684-7200 for details.
“Celebrate Little Saigon” is an all day festival of Vietnamese culture on Sun., August 24th from 11am – 6pm. 1200 S. Jackson St. in Seattle. Go to [email protected].
“Arts Gumbo 2014: Experience Japan” is an event that combines Japanese music, dance and food. Sat., Sept. 13th at 6pm. Rainier Valley Cultural Center at 3515 S. Alaska St. Visit www.rainiervalleyculturalcenter.org for details.
ReAct Theatre, Seattle’s multi-ethnic and philanthropic theatre presents two Northwest premieres of two recent Broadway hits as part of their 2014 Mainstage Season. “Time Stands Still” by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies opens August 1st and runs through August 24th at UW’s Kelly Ethnic Cultural Theatre at 39th and Brooklyn in the “U” District. Neil Labute’s “The Break of Noon” opens Sept. 5th and runs through Sept. 28th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Deldridge. Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets or call (206) 364-3283 or go to http://www.reacttheatre.org for details.
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. 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 special historical tours. On Sat., Sept. 6th at 8am, explore the history of early Japanese 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.
Hawai’i-based singer/songwriter Kawehi, 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.
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 own 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. Food, live performances, activities for kids and much more.
Thai Festival 2014 takes place on Sat., Sept. 6th from 11am – 6pm at Northgate Mall Parking Lot. Free Admission
Popular slack key guitarist/singer Makana makes a welcome return to Seattle as part of the “Live @ Benaroya Hall” series this fall on Nov. 20th. (206) 215-4747 for ticket information.
Local composer/performance artist Byron Au Yong was an “artist-in-residence” at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven recently with fellow collaborator Aaron Jefferis where they are developing ideas for “Trigger”, a music/theater project based on the Virginia Tech tragedy. “The Orphan of Zhao” of which au Yong did the music ended its’ run at San Francisco’s ACT and opens July 8th – August 2nd at La Jolla Playhouse.
YenFen Wang, originally from Shanghai plays the Chinese classical harp known as the guzheng. She will be opening “The Seattle Guzheng Studio” in September at 14950 S.E. Allen Rd., Suite #A in Bellevue. For details, go to http://www.seattleguzheng.com.
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. Ruo also composed the music for a new opera “Dr. Sun Yat-sen” with a libretto by Hong-Kong-born playwright Candace Mui-ngam Chong that played at Santa Fe Opera in early August. His latest collaboration is with Houston Opera based on a true story about a Vietnamese immigrant student who works so many jobs to support her family that she is jailed for truancy for missing classes.
The results for jazz magazine Downbeat’s 62nd Annual Critics Poll are in and although rankings are composed of so many people’s likes and dislikes, it is heartening to see Asian American and Asian musicians making their mark in the world of music. In the “Established Talent” category, here are the results – pianist/composer Vijay Iyer placed second in the “Jazz Artist” category and also got a mention under the “Jazz Group” category as the Vijay Iyer Trio. Japanese trumpet player Natsuki Tamura got a mention in the “Trumpet” category. Uner the “Alto Saxophone” category, Rudresh Mahanthappa placed high. Under the “Baritone Saxophone” category, the late composer/musician Fred Ho got a mention. Under the “Piano” category, Vijay Iyer took first. In the “Keyboard” category, One-time child prodigy, Hiromi ranked high. Upcoming bassist/composer from Australia, Linda Oh got a mention in the “Bass” category. Under the “Violin” category, veteran New York-based Jason Kao Hwang got a mention as did Seattle’s Eyvind Kang. Under “Percussion”, one finds the names of Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu and Susie Ibarra. Under the “Composer” category, Vijay Iyer and Japan’s Satoko Fujii earn mentions. In the “Beyond Album” category, Ravi Shankar’s talented daughter Anoushka Shankar earned a mention for her “Traces Of You” dedicated to memories of her father. Moving on to the “Rising Star” category which designates up and coming new talent we find the following names – saxophonist/composer Jon Irabagon ranked high in the “Jazz Artist” category. Under “Trumpet”, the talented Taylor Ho Bynum and Takuya Kuroda from Japan both got mentions. Under the “Alto Saxophone” category, Korean American young talent Grace Kelly ranked high. Multi-reedist Ben Kono earned a mention under the “Flute” category. Under “Piano” we again see the name of Hiromi. Under the “Organ” category, two Japanese women placed – Akiko Tsuruga and Atsuko Hashimoto. Under the category of “Guitar”, the Paris-based Nguyen Le earned a mention. Seattle’s own Eyvind Kang took top honors in the “Violin” category. Under “Percussion”, Satoshi Takeishi got a nod. Under the wide-open “Miscellaneious Instrument” category, Okkyung Lee placed on cello, Min Xiao got mentioned for pipa and Dana Leong for cello. Our congratulations to all for keeping the flame of music burning brightly!
Film & Media
Noted Nisei poet, playwright and actor Hiroshi Kashiwagi will read from his latest work entitled “Starting from Loomis and Other Stories”, a short story collection and memoir about his life in California and will also present the Pacific Northwest Film Premiere of “Infinity & Chashu Ramen” in which he plays a 400 year-old spirit who guides the lives of residents of San Francisco’s Japantown. Things get interesting when he takes on a young woman apprenctice. Two local reading/film screening events. On Sat., Sept. 6th, the reading begins at 3pm with the film screening at 4pm at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art on Bainbridge Island. 100 Ravine Lane NE (just a short walk from the ferry). (206) 842-4451 or go to www.biartmuseum.org. The Seattle event at Wing Luke Museum takes place on Sun., Sept. 7th with the reading at noon and the film screening at 1pm. Kashiwagi and the cast will be present with a Q & A session after each screening. 719 S. King St. (206) 623-5124 or go to wingluke.org. For details, go to infinityandchashuramen.com.
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.
“A Letter To Momo” is the second film by Hiroyuki Okiura (director of “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade” and animator on “Ghost in the Shell” and “Akira”). The only memory Momo has of her father is an unfinished letter. She soon learns that goblins in the attic may hold the key to what her father was trying to tell her. Opens Sept. 5th at a Landmark Theatres theatre in Seattle.
“Kundo” is a new film by Korean filmmaker Yoon Jong-bin about the last days of the Joseon Dynasty and a pack of bandits who rise against tyrants, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Screens in the Seattle area starting August 29th at AMC Loews Alderwood Mall 16 in Lynnwood and Starplex Cinemas Gateway 8 in Federal Way.
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.
From a WWII internment camp to Sulu in “Star Trek”, George Takei’s life has been filled with the unexpected. “To Be Takei” a new documentary film that chronicles that life was a hit of this year’s SIFF. It returns for a week at SIFF UPTOWN. Opens August 22nd. Directed by Jennifer Kroot. (206) 324-9996 for tickets.
Wing Luke Museum present a premiere screening Sat., Sept. 20th at 5pm 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 Grand Illusion Cinema is one of Seattle’s longest running independent theatres and they can always be counted on for an eclectic and interesting line-up being that they are volunteer-driven and many hands have their fingers in the pie when it comes to program selection. Here’s sampling of what’s coming up. In the Battle of Okinawa, an event that preceded the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 150,000 Japanese were killed, many by suicide. The late independent filmmaker Chris Marker used this event as the centerpiece for his film entitled “Level Five” in which a young video game developer uses this historical event as the source for a new game. Screens August 22nd – 28th. August 29th – Sept. 5th brings Hayato Date’s “Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie”, a full-length anime feature dubbed in English. Screening August 29th – Sept. 5th is Kim Ki-duk’s “Moebius”, a South Korean film about a twisted family chronicle that is part psychological thriller, grotesque comedy and a look at the pleasures of sado-masochism. 1403 NE 50th St. in the University District. (206) 523-3935 or go to grandillusioncinema.org.
Northwest Film Forum’s “Local Sightings” festival of Northwest new films will be bigger and better than ever this fall when it hit’s the screen Sept. 25th to Oct. 4th. Expect a longer festival with 10 days of local fiction, documentary, experimental and short films as well as the annual Seattle Film Summit and gala opening night party. 1515 – 12th Ave. for details, go to nwfilmforum.org.
Om Puri and Manish Dayal join an international cast including Helen Mirren in a film adaptation of Richard C. Morais’ international bestseller “The Hundred Foot Journey” (Dreamworks). The film is produced by Steven Speilberg, Juliet Blake and Oprah Winfrey and tells the story of a lowly Indian chef who moves to a small French town with his family only to take on the elite world of French haute cuisine by engaging in a rivalry with a star-rated French restaurant. Opens shortly in Seattle at a Landmark Theatre in town. Other films that will screen at a Landmark theatre include the following – “Last Days in Vietnam” is a documentary film by Rory Kennedy that looks at the waning days of the Vietnam war and how some American officials and military took it upon themselves to help many Vietnamese escape before the North took over the South. Opens Oct. 3rd at the Varsity. Opening Oct. 17th also at the Varsity is Hong Khaou’s “Lilting” which tells the story of a Cambodian Chinese mother left alone in London when her immigrant son unexpectedly dies until a British stranger intervenes. A favorite of the recent SIFF.
“The Admiral: Roaring Currents” is a South Korean film currently breaking box office records in its’ own country. It chronicles the epic battle during the 1597 Japanese invasion of Korea in which a small flotilla of just 12 battleships defeats an armada of 330 Japanese battleships charging fearlessly toward the Korean capital. Starring Choi min-sik (“Old Boy”, “Lucy”). Opening in selected American cities now.
Isao Takahata’s (“Grave of the Fireflies”) first film in 14 years is Studio Ghibli’s new feature length animated film. Entitled “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” based on the classic Japanese folk story “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”, the film opened in Japan recently. It will eventually open in the U.S. once it’s been dubbed and sub-titled and picks up a U.S. distributor. A trailer shows the customary care given to hand-drawn images and sumptuous coloring.
The Written Arts
Noted Nisei poet, playwright and actor Hiroshi Kashiwagi reads from his new short story collection and memoir entitled “Starting from Loomis and Other Stories” on Sept. 6th at 3pm at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art on Bainbridge Island and on Sept. 7th at Wing Luke Museum at noon. Book signing after the reading. Following the readings will be the NW Premiere screening of the film, “Infinity & Chashu Ramen” in which Kashiwagi plays a 400 year old spirit guiding the citizens of San Francisco’s Japantown. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s # is (206) 842-4451 or go to www.biartmuseum.org. Wing Luke Museum’s # is (206) 623-5124 or go to wingluke.org.
Kwansei Gakuin’s 125th Year Anniversary event pairs Japanese author and essayist Yoko Kirishima with a concert by harp musician Kaori Otake on Sun., August 24th at 3pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum. 1400 E. Prospect St. Tickets available at http://kwansei125.brownpapertickets.com. A fund-raising dinner follows at 6:30pm at Seattle Yacht Club. Call (425) 836-4635 for details.
Seattle poet and Examiner contributor Shin Yu Pai was nominated for a Stranger Genius Award in the “Literature” category. She will be interviewed on August 27th at 6:15pm in a series that convers all the nominees in all the categories entitled “Five Nights of Genius At The Frye”. The Frye Art Museum is at 704 Terry Ave. (206) 622-9250. On Oct. 18th, the Stranger will host a party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre in which the winners will be announced. Go to thestranger.com/genius for details.
Early warning – Seattle Arts & Lectures brings award-winning novelist Ruth Ozeki to town in a reading billed as “An Evening With Ruth Ozeki” set for Nov. 20th at 7:30pm in the Great Hall at Town Hall Seattle. 1119 – 8th Ave. (Enter on 8th Ave.) She will most likely be reading from “A Tale for the Time Being”, her most recent novel that tells the trans-pacific story of a woman on the Northwest coast who finds the diary of a teenage Japanese girl washed ashore after the tsunami. Nominated for the Man Booker Prize. (206) 652-4255 for Townhall Seattle. To reach Seattle Arts & Lectures, call (206) 621-2230 or go to [email protected].
Seattle poet Kevin Minh Allen’s first book of poetry has just been published. It is entitled “My Proud Sacrifice” and can be ordered at http://myproudsacrifice.tumblr.com/. Watch for upcoming local readings.
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. 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.
Seattle writer Loreen Lilyn Lee joins fellow 2014 Jack Straw Writers in a series of group readings around the area. On Wed., August 20th at 7pm, they read at The Rendezvous/Jewel Box Theater at 2322 2nd Ave. in Seattle. On Friday, August 22nd at 7pm, they read at Old Redmond Schoolhouse at 16600 N.E. 80th St. in Redmond. On Thurs., August 28th at 7pm, Lee and Michelle Penaloza join a group reading at University Bookstore at 4326 University Way N.E.
“Geek Sublime” is a new book of essays at the intersection of art and technology in the modern age in which writer Vikram Chandra tackles topics such as stereotypes like Silicon Valley’s “Indian Mafia” to the “generalized misogyny” of modern coding culture. Chandra comes to town to give a talk entitled “Vikram Chandra: The Art of Coding” on Sept. 11th at 7:30pm. Talk is at the Pub at Town Hall (enter on Eighth Ave.) $5 admission. Over the years, Australian journalist/writer Helen Caldicott has sounded the warning re: the effects of nuclear fallout internationally. Now her latest book “Crisis Without End” (New Press) looks at the ramifications of the nuclear leak at Fukushima and the effect it will have in the world. Caldicott is scheduled to speak on that on Sept. 28th at Town Hall Seattle in a reading co-sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Company. Doors will open at 6:30pm. You can reach Seattle Arts & Lectures at sal.org. Town Hall is at 1111 Eighth Ave. (206) 652-4255 or townhallseattle.org.
Discover 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. Taught by local writer (and Examiner contributor) Tamiko Nimura. 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.
Seattle paper cut artist/activist Lauren Iida and her Antipodes Collective is currently in Cambodia distributing donated books for their children’s library in Prasot village in Cambodia. Donations fund things like pre-class meals for students, library construction and materials. For details on this project, go to www.theantipodescollective.org.
Thai Town Seattle billed as “the first Thai Newspaper in Seattle” came out in August. The paper is mostly in Thai with a couple English articles. For more information, email [email protected].
“The Mountain Rats” (Seoul Selection) is a new collection of short stories by Korean American journalist and novelist Boklim Choi. The book sheds light on the first generation of Korean immigrant men who settled in America. For details, go to seoulselection.com.
“Gaijin – American Prisoner of War” (Disney Hyperion) is a beautifully drawn graphic novel by Matt Faulkner that looks at the internment camps for Japanese Americans during WWII from a different perspective, that of those who were half Japanese and half Caucasian. Inspired by the story of a great Irish American aunt who married a Japanese man and the daughter of that union who was eventually sent to camp with her family.
“The Birth of Korean Cool – How One Nation Is Conquering The World Through Pop Culture” (Picador) by Euny Hong. With lively, in-depth interviews with Koreans working in all areas of culture and culture, the author reveals how a really uncool country became cool in just a few short years.
“Gaysia – Adventures in The Queer East” (Cleis Press) by Benjamin Law follows this young journalist as he spends a year criss-crossing Asia talking to active participants in a quickly growing gay counter-culture from Bangkok ladyboys before their beauty pageants to Tokyo’s superstar drag queens and Mumbai’s fierce queer rights activists.
“The Shadow Hero” (First Second) is a new graphic novel that is an homage to the golden age comics series, “The Green Turtle”, the first Asian American superhero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew.
The examination culture goes back centuries in China and Yanna Gong examines that system in a new book entitled “Gaokao – A Personal Journey Behind China’s Examination Culture” (China Books).
“Brothers under a Same Sky” (University of Hawai’i Press) is the new novel by noted Korean American novelist Gary Pak about the social and psychological turmoil experienced by Korean Americans during and after the war.
New York-based writer Ed Lin (“Waylaid”, “This is a Bust”, “Snakes Can’t Run”, “One Red Bastard”) has a new book entitled “Ghost Month” published in this month on Soho Crime books. It is a murder mystery set in Taipei.
“Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan” and “Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo” are two new exhibition catalogs published by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
“The Terror Factory – Inside The FBI’s Manufactured War On Terrorism” (IG Publishing) by Trevor Aaronson is a new book that details how the FEI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11. Built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the Bureau can then claim it is winning the war on terror.
“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. 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”.
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington has their annual rummage sale called “All Things Japanese Sale” on Sat., August 27th. 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org.
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.
Seattle’s SOIL is currently accepting proposals for shows that will take place between April 2015 – March 2016. Deadline is Sept. 27th, 2014. SOIL is an alternative venue for artists and curators to exhibit, develop, and advance their work. For details, go to http://soilart.org/opportunities/show-proposals/. (206) 264-8061.
ERA Living issues a call for art in two of their facilities around the theme of food. Deadline for both shows is Sept. 8th. For details, contact curator June Sekiguchi at [email protected] or call (206) 713-7819.
Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival issues a call for submissions. Early submission is now open for entries in all 16 categories, including the relatively conventional (short, feature, documentary, animation), the wonderfully wacky (fan fiction, experimental), and the entirely new (emerging technology, new media, video game). For information or to submit a film, weisode, app. or multi-platform interactive narrative to STIFF 2015, visit http://trueindependent.org/stiff/submit/. The festival takes place May 1 – 9 in the University District of Seattle.
James Shigeta , an actor who challenged social boundaries in the late 1950’s when he emerged as one of the first Asian Americans to play leading roles in Hollywood recently passed away at the age of 85. Most people may remember him in the film, “Flower Drum Song” with lyrics by Rogers and Hammerstein but he also took on roles that instead of enhancing stereo-types provided more realistic human portrayals. He debuted in Samuel Fuller’s “The Crimson Kimono” in which he played a detective who falls for a key witness in a case. He was also in “Bridge to the Sun” about an interracial couple during WW II. Shigeta grew up in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Noted writer Maxine Hong Kingston received the 2013 National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House in July. It is the highest award given to artists and art patrons by the U.S. government.