Artists For Japan present “A Tribute to Kikuko Dewa” on view now through August 17th. Dewa was a Seattle-based Japanese fabric artist who was inspired by the Japanese fashion avant garde (see the current show at SAM) and in turn inspired the Seattle Japanese artistic community with her “shibori” dye-resist fabric creations. She created costimes for Aono Jikken, Degenerate Art Ensemble and composer/musician Byron Au Yong. KOBO at Higo at 604 S. Jackson. Visit koboseattle.com for details.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center exhibits two displays addressing the use of atomic weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese conceptual artist Yukiyo Kawano, a Hiroshima native and a third generation hibakusha (nuclear bomb survivor) created a piece entitled “Black Rain”. Anna Daedalus and Kerry Davis display body-length photograms captured through a shadow box. On view through August 11th. 121 Second Ave. in Portland. 11 am – 3pm (Tues. – Sat.) and noon – 3pm (Sun.). (503) 224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkei.org.
Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa does a “Glass Pyrograph on the Beach” on Thursday, August 8th from 6 – 8:30pm. After the performance at 7pm, a short film of her recent residency at Satsop Nuclear Base entitled “Echo at Satsop” will be screened. This event celebrates the artist’s 50th birthday (Happy Birthday, Etsuko!), her 20th year here since she moved from Tokyo and her tenth year as a working artist. Event is free but advance reservations are strongly suggested. Go to www.etsukoichikawa.com for details. Shilshole Bay Beach Club at 6413 Seaview Ave. N.W. (206) 728-1980. Free parking available.
“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 through Sept. 28th. 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. 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. “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. Want to know more about what IDEA Odyssey Collective is up to? Log on to http://ideaodysseygallery.com/blog.
New and recent shows due to open at the Wing include the following – “SWEET” explores the role of sweets in the traditions. On view through Jan. 5, 2014. There will be an “Asian Sweet Tour” of the neighborhood. Offered at 3pm on August 17, Sept. 21 and Oct. 19th. RSVP required. Call (206) 623-5124 to purchase tickets. 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. Opening Sept. 5 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. Opening reception for museum members is 6 – 7pm. To RSVP, email or call [email protected] or (206) 623-5124×107. Free and open to the general public from 7 – 8pm. Shoro Harda Roshi, Rinzai sect Zen Master will give a demonstration and talk about the long and rich history of Zen calligraphy. His calligraphy will be on sale. Tickets are $5. Space is limited. For tickets, call (206) 623-5124. Artist Mizu Sugimura shows you how to make grandma/grandpa kokeshi dolls as part of “Family Fun Day” set for Sat., Sept. 21 from 1 – 3pm. Free. Sat., Sept. 28th is “Mix It Up”, a workshop for artists from 2 – 5pm. Maria Villafrance from the New York Foundation of the Arts will discuss strategies for sustaining your artistic practice, including an overview of opportunities available to artists in Washington and nationwide. Geared toward individual artists across disciplines at all stages in their careers. “Q &
A” session follows. $10 general and $7 for members & students. To purchase tickets for this event, call (206) 623-5124. 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.
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.
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.
“ 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. Special Exhibition Tours take place Wed. – Sun. through Sept. 8 at 1pm & 2pm. Also “My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Public Tours” brings artists, cultural producers and community figures into the galleries to discuss their favorite works of art in “Future Beauty”. Every Thursday from July 11 – Sept. 5 at 6:30pm. Free with museum admission. Check seattleartmuseum.org on who’s speaking. Family Fun Workshop activities with this show include the following – “Funky Fashion” takes place on Sat., August 10 from 10am – noon at SAM downtown. In this workshop you will create wearable fashion that tells the story of your moment in time taking inspiration from “Future Fashion.” “Future Beauty:Community Night Out” takes place on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6 – 9pm at SAM downtown. An evening of free live musc, art making, tours, performances and workshops all inspired by “Future Beauty”. Something for everyone and free with museum admission. “Future Beauty” related items by Yasuyuki Machia, Barbara & Michael Pickett, Kosuke Tsumura, Issey Miyake and others available in the SAM Shop. Groups of ten or more get discounted tickets and 10% off in the shop and restaurant. Also private guided tours are available and last one hour. A flat-rate tour fee charged in addition to tickets. For information of the above 2 items, call (206) 344-5260. This exhibition 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” (see review in this issue) 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. Through Oct. 17th. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way N.E. Go to www.bellevuearts.org for details.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park –Opening August 10 and on view through April 13, 2014 is “A Fuller View of China, Japan And Korea” shows how museum founding director Dr. Richard Fuller, his family and friends built up SAM’s celebrated Asian art collection. Opening Aug. 31 and on view through June 29, 2014 is “INKED – Wan Qingli”. This artist trained during the Cultural Revolution, uses a sharp wit and brush to match to address contemporary social ills with playful brush strokes full of humor and universal themes. Also opening August 31 and on view till June 28, 2014 is “Hometown Boy: Liu Xiaodong”. Now heralded as one of China’s renowned contemporary artists, Lui grew up in a small industrial town before moving to Beijing. As a mature artist he returns to his hometown to find childhood friends still struggling, undeveloped rice paddies and his parents’ house still the same. Now an outsider, he captures the nuances of small town life in a typical Chinese town. SAM members get an up-close look at these exhibitions on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 10am – 9pm. At lpm, Japanese Art Curator Xiaojin Wu gives a tour of “A Fuller View”. At 5:30pm, artist Liu Xiaodong will give a personal tour of his show, “Hometown Boy”. Liu will give a talk at 7pm. $5 tickets for the talk. The Gardner Center presents Dutch historian Jeroen Duindam from Leiden University speaking on the topic, “Comparing Dynastic Courts of Europe & Asia” on Tues., August 13th at 7pm. Chinese sculpture scholar Derek Gilman speaks about “The Imperial Luohans of Zhongdu” on Thurs., Oct. 3 at 7pm. And a Fall Saturday University Lecture Series entitled “Empires That Changed Asia” runs from Oct. 5 – Dec. 7th. Nine speakers investigate empires from ancient to 20th century Asia. Series tickets on sale from August 20th. (206) 654-3210 or visit tickets.seattleartmuseum.org/public. 1400 E. Prospect St. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays. (206) 654-3100 for general information.
Early warning – Always a splashy, fun event is the annual Bunka Gakuen University Fashion Show with the latest creations from Japanese fashion students. It takes place Sept. 22. At 1pm & 3pm. Yohji Yamamoto whose work is in SAM’s current “Future Beauty” show studied at this school. To advance reserve your free tickets to this event, go to http://bellevue.patch.com/groups/annoucements/p/bunka-gakuen-university-fashion-show-2013 OR email Tomoko at [email protected] or call her at (425) 483-5974.
New work by Tran Nguyen entitled “A Place Procured From Our Yesteryears” is on view at Roq La Rue Gallery in Pioneer Square through August 31st. 532 – 1st Ave. S. (206) 347-8977 or go to roqlarue.com.
“Harmonics”, a meditative exploration of color, light and energy is presented in the layered paintings of Seattle artists William Song and Ullie De Osu on view till Sept. 28th. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S. (206) 839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org.
Seattle artist Elizabeth Jameson is now represented by G. Gibson Gallery. Her work and that of Thuy-Van Vu are included in a group show of gallery artists on view Through August 10th before the gallery takes a two week vacation. G. Gibson Gallery at 300 S. Washington in Pioneer Square. (206) 587-4033 or go to www.ggibsongallery.com.
“LUMINASIA – The Larger-Than-Life Lantern Festival” is an exclusive new attraction at the Washington State Fair from Sept. 6 – 22 and weekends Sept. 27 – Oct. 13th. The traditional form of Chinese lantern making has been modernized, using high tech materials with state-of-the-art lighting and production. Designed for the entire family. Tickets start at $10. Information & tickets at thefair.com.
Roldy Aguero Ablao, Yun Hong Chang, 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.
Blackfish Gallery of Portland has a show entitled “rePLACING” which features the work of Yoonhee Choi and Roya Motamedi. Choi’s work includes wall installations made of unexpected materials and Motamedi shows abstract oil paintings. These two immigrant artists subtly process their displacement from faraway homes through their work. 420 NW Ninth Ave. (503) 224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.
“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.
“LIKE – A Socially Interactive Exhibition” is basically Davidson Galleries summer group shows from each specialized department. Tram Bui and Patti Warashina have work in the “Paintings & Sculpture” exhibit. The work of Wuon-Gean Ho, Eunice Kim, Tomiyuki Sakata, Seiko Tachibana and Akiko Taniguchi is included in “Contemporary Prints & Drawings”. The work of Ajay Garg, Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Junichiro Sekino and Yoshitoshi Tsukioka are represented in the “Antique Print Department” show. All three shows remain on view through August 31st. Looking ahead, 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. Davidson Galleries at 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. Through 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.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District has the following –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.
The Friends of Asian Art present Dr. David Paly speaking on the topic of “Textiles of the Li, Minority Ethnic Group of China” on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1pm. Paly will also present samples of the textile weaving of this Chinese ethnic group. Email [email protected] for more details.
METHOD8/7/13 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].
Congratulations to ceramic artist and UW Professor Akio Takamori who was selected by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma for their 2nd Annual “Fuel Their Fire” Residency Program. While there, Takamori will have the use of the facility and assistance from the staff. The museum is at 1801 Dock St. in Tacoma. (866) 468-7368.
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.
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.
“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 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. 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. 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.
San Diego-based artist Wendy Murayama’s “Tag Project” is currently touring the country as part of a “Executive Order 9066” exhibition. She and volunteers replicated the tags used to identify each Japanese American internee from every camp and constructed an art installation. Maruyama is a U.S. – Japan Creative Artist fellow and recently concluded a two- week residency at Pilchuck School of Glass. Here, glass tusks were constructed for her USA Project Proposal, The WildLIFE Project.
Seattle Chinese Garden, Boeing Asian American Professional Association and Microsoft CHIME present a Kite Festival on Sat., August 10th from 2 – 6pm. There will be kite flying, demonstrations and contests. Kite painting, music and artist demos. 6000 – 16th S.W. at South Seattle Community College. At the North Entrance. (206) 934-5219 or go to www.seattlechinesegarden.org.
Friends of Little Saigon are hosting “Celebrate Little Saigon 2013” on Sat., August 17th all day long at 12th Ave. & S. King St. There will be food, a beer garden, performances, activities for family & kids and a Pho eating contest. The event will highlight the three regions of Vietnam, north, central and south. For details, go to www.friendsoflittlesaigon.org or email friendsoflittlesaigon.com.
With summer, come the festivals. Here’s sampling – 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.
Don’t miss the last JamFest for the summer as Chinatown-ID lights up with all kinds of music on Thursday, August 15th from 5:30pm – 9:30pm. Dance & rock out to the Sometimes Astronauts in Canton Alley. Cello and guitar duo Sidewalk Symphony jazz it up with Broadway classics at World Pizza. Tess Guerzon, jazz songstress is at the Four Seas and Dirty Ice Cream jazz band wails away at Phnom Penh. Visit www.wingluke.org/jamfest for details. $8 general and $6 for students/seniors.
2013 is the 50th year celebration of friendship between Washington State and Japan. To commemorate this relationship, the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center with the co-sponsorship of the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle has three events planned. The Internationally known Awaji Ningyo Joruri/Japanese Puppet Theatre will be performing on Sat., August 17th at ACT Theatre at 7pm. All Tickets at $10. For details, go to (206) 292-7660. There will be a Joint Public Administration Seminar discussing Japan/U.S. disaster prevention strategies on August 20 from 9am – noon. Special guests will include experts who worked on Hurricane Sandy in the U.S. and tsunami relief in Japan. This informative program will be held at St. Martin’s University’s Washington Conference Center in Lacey, WA. (360) 902-0631 for more information. Sunshine Katsura is the stage name for a Canadian performer who is the first foreigner who studied Rakugo, the art of Japanese comic storytelling in Japan under a teacher and now performs in Japan and internationally in English and Japanese. He will introduce the puppet theatre on August 17 and perform his own show on August 29th at 1:30pm. Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington’s Conference Room, Bldg. #1 (this room only holds around 75 people) at 1414 South Weller. Free but you must register at http://www.hyogobcc.org/sunshine. (206) 816-1882. For more information on all these events, call (206) 828-0610 or go to www.hyogobcc.org.
Daipan Butoh is a local dance groups that practices Butoh, a unique form of theatre, dance and improvisation that originated in Japan in the 1950’s in reaction to Western dance and Japanese traditional dance. They present “Butoh Festival 2013” which is a series of improvised events around the Puget Sound during the month of August. Some highlights include the following –August 9 at 7pm – A Butoh Parade at Greenwood Street Fair at 7pm along Greenwood starting at 70th St. “Wondering & Wandering” is a site specific performance directed by Joan Laage on August 10th at Seattle Japanese Garden at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. from 2 – 5pm. August 16 – 18th, a nature-based Butoh training and performance festival entitled “Butopia” on Whidbey Island. To register for this workship, go to [email protected]. “Suitcases Project” is a performance set for August 24 – 25th at Snoqualmie Depot at 38625 S.E. King St. from 11 – 3pm in Snoqualmie,WA. Free. August 31st is “Split-Brain”, a site-specific performance at Olympic Sculpture Park at 2901 Western at 1:30pm. Free. For details on all these events, go to daipanbutoh.com.
Kawabe Memorial House Summer Fest takes place on Sunday, August 25th from 11am – 3pm. There will be cultural performances and booths. 221 – 18th Ave. S. in Seattle. (206) 322-4550.
“Festal: Tibet Fest” celebrates aspects of Tibetan culture and arts through performance, music, food and demonstrations with activities for kids. August 24 – 25 in the Armory at Seattle Center. 11 am – 5pm. (206) 684-7200.
The Seattle Amateur Band Festival presents the Big Brothers Band, the Small Brothers Band, the Kims and others. August 24th at 6pm. Asian Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma at 4851 South Tacoma Way.
China National Acrobatic Troupe performs “The Dream Of The Golden Crown” on Sept. 20 & 21 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. (206) 684-7200.
Portland Japanese Garden Moonviewing Festival takes place from Wed. – Fri, Sept. 18 – 20th from 7 – 9pm. 611 SW Kingston Ave. in Portland. (503) 542-0280 or go to www.japanesegarden.com.
Margaret Cho’s new stand-up comedy tour entitled “Nothing Is Sacred Least Of All This MOTHER” comes to Seattle’s Moore Theatre on Sat., Nov. 16th. Tickets at STGPRESENTS.ORG or call (877) 784-4849. Tickets on sale at the Paramount Theatre Box Office 7 24 hour kiosk.
If you want to learn how to break, pop or lick or just need some help with your moves, go to The Beacon, the Massive Monkees Dance Studio where world famous dance instructors can teach you hip-hop choreography, creative movement and more. All ages and skill levels welcome. 664 S. King St. Go to MASSIVEMONKEES.COM and facebook.com/MassiveMonkeesStudio for information.
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].
Local singer/songwriter Rachel Wong has a new second release just out entitled “Letters To You”. Go to RachelWongMusic.com for details.
As part of ARCADE’s Seattle Design Festival, UW Visual Communications instructor Karen Cheng gives a talk entitled “On Design Education” on Thursday, Sept. 19 at Seattle Art Museum. 1300 First Ave. downtown.
Singer/songwriter Vienna Teng has a loyal following in the Northwest. She’s be venturing out from Michigan to tour in support of a new album and performs Nov. 20th at the Neptune. Tickets at stgpresents.org.
Degenerate Art Ensemble’s next production promises to be a whopper. It’s a collaboration with Kronos String Quartet in a performance of DAE’s Predator’s Songstress. Haruko Nishimura will do the choreography and dance. Six singers will be involved including the very talented Dohee Lee. Nov. 16 at the Neptune. Tickets at stgpresents.org.
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.
The 61st Annual Critic’s Poll for Downbeat, a monthly jazz magazine is out in their August 2013 and Asian and Asian American musicians fared well. Rudresh Mahanthappa won in the “Alto Saxophone” category, Jon Irabagon won in the “Tenor Saxophone” category and Rez Abbasi took the “Rising Star, Guitar” category. Vijay Iyer ranked second in the “Piano” category. Other musicians who critics voted for included pianist Hiromi who rated mention in the “Rising Star, Piano” category along with Helen Sung. Hiromi got another mention as did Mamiko Watanabe in the “Rising Star, Keyboard” category. Paris-based Nguyen Le earned a mention in the “Rising Star, Guitar” category. Linda Oh and David Wong both earned mention under the “Rising Star, Bass” category. Oh also charted in the “Bass” category. Jason Kao Hwang earned a mention under the “Violin” category.For “Rising Star, Electric Bass” category, the always in-demand Stomu Takeishi earned a nod. Seattle’s Eyvind Kang ranked second in the “Rising Star, Violin” category. Satoshi Takeishi rated in the “Rising Star, Percussion” category. Jen Shyu rated under the “Rising Star, Female Vocalist” category. Rudresh Mahanthappa rated second in the “Rising Star, Composer” category. Taylor Ho Bynum got mention in the “Rising Star, Producer” category. Grace Kelly ranked third under the category of “Rising Star, Alto Saxophone”. Under “Rising Star, Big Band”, the Satoko Fujii Orchestra earned mention. Hiromi also got a mention under the “Rising Star, Jazz Artist” while Jon Irabagon ranked second. Zakir Hussain, Susie Ibarra and Trilok Gurtu all were ranked under the “Percussion” category. Congratulations to all! Keep an eye on their music, readers!
“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.
“Shintoho Schlock: Girls, Guns & Ghosts” (see related article this issue) 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.
“Monster Attack! Japanese Creature Feature Classics” is the theme of the outdoor films series in Volunteer Park. There will be music performed starting at 8:45pm and the films screen at 9:15pm on Fridays. August 23 is Shusuke Kaneko’s “Gamera 3: The Awakening of Iris” Two monsters battle it out in Kyoto manipulated by a young girl bent on revenge. Will anything be left standing? If it rains, the film will be moved inside to Seattle Asian Art Musem. August 30 bring Shuseki Kaneko’s “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack”. A female TV reporter helps to awaken a giant moth and dragon in order to combat another monster with atomic breath. If it rains, this fill will be cancelled. All films with English subtitles. Out doors at the Volunteer Park Amphitheater.
Zachary Heinzerliner’s documentary film “Cutie And The Boxer” won him the “Best Director Award” for a documentary film at Sundance and recently screened at SIFF. It opens August 27th for a one week run at the Varsity Theatre in the “U” district. This honest New York story explores the chaotic, stormy relationship between famed Japanese “action” painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife, Noriko. Shinohara known for his “action” paintings done with boxing gloves soaked in paint in 1950’s Japan decided to make the leap and move to New York. He would later meet his younger wife Noriko when she visited New York. The film follows their lives together as his wife emerges on her own as an artist while he seems to be living in the past. 4329 University Way N.E. (206) 632-6412.
“Cine Insomnia” is the title of a new midnight movie series at the Harvard Exit. Playing on Sat., August 24th is Nobuhiko Obayashi’s thriller, “House”. A girl stays at her aunt’s creaky country house and invites her friends along as evil spirits , blood thirsty pianos and demonic house cats come out to haunt them. 807 E. Roy. (206) 323-0587.
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.
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.
The Written Arts
Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai has a new book of poetry out entitled (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.
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. Two local cookbook authors talk about their books on August 16th at 6pm. Shauna Ahern speaks about “Gluten Free Girl Everyday” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Matthew Amster Burton presents “Pretty Good, Number 1: An American Family Eats Tokyo” (Manster Books) which tells the story of his family living and eating in Tokyo. Snacks and tastes from both books will be provided as well. “Cruz” (Angry Robot) is the second book in the Nexus Saga by Ramez Naam. The author reads from the book on August 27th at 7pm. Seattle fiction writer Richard Chiem reads from “You Private Person” (Scrumbler Books) in a group reading of several Seattle writers on August 31st at 7pm. Sudhir Venkatesch reads from “Floating City: A Rogue Lost And Found in New York’s Underground Economy” (Penguin Books) on Sept. 19th at 7pm. Noted fiction writer Jhumpa Lahiri reads from her latest book entitled “The Lowland” (Knopf) on Oot. 10th at Townhall Seattle in a reading co-sponsored by Seattle Public Library. On Nov. 7th, noted California peach farmer /author David Mas Masumoto reads with Nikiko Masumoto from a new book entitled “Perfect Peach” (Ten Speed Books). Cookbook recipes and a performance are part of the event. 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” (see related article in this issue) 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. 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org
Julie Wu’s debut novel entitled “The Third Son” (Algonquin Books) tells the love story of her parents. Set in embattled midcentury Japanese-occupied Taiwan and transported to a search for freedom in the U.S., this immigrant tale rings true.
“Barn Cat” (Gemma Open Door) by Kyoko Mori is a slim young adult novel that tells the story of a young girl who leaves Tokyo with her mother to a new home, a new father and sister on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Thirty years later, the mother leaves without as much as a note. The latest book by the award-winning author of “Shizuko’s Daughter”.
“Enigma of China” (Minotaur Books) is the latest installment in the popular “Inspector Chen” series by Qiu Xiaolong and continues the perilous journey of being an ethical cop in a police state. When he’s brought in to sign off on a suicide case of a major party member, his investigation shows that the facts don’t add up.
For those of you studying foreign languages, Penguin books has updated their “Parallel Text” series with new volumes of short stories in Chinese and Japanese. “New Parallel Text Short Stories In Chinese edited by John Balcom and “New Penguin Parallel Text Short Stories In Japanese” edited by Michael Emmerich have choice, timely selections with some new translations included as well.
Kaya Books is at it again. Just as they unearthed an early historical Japanese American novel last year, they’ve done the same this year with “The Hanging On Union Square”, an experimental “stream-of-consciousness” novel of leftist politics in Depression-era New York by H.T. Hsiang .
“Almost Home – The Asian Search of a Geographic Trollop” (ThingsAsian Press) is the second book of travel essays by Janet Brown (an Examiner contributor) that comes on the heels of her popular first book. Again, she serves up the observations of a foreigner living in another land. A book laced with wit, humor , wisdom and all too mindful of our common human condition.
“Everything I Never Told You” is a new work of fiction by Celeste Ng due out early next year on Penguin Books.
“New Cathy – Contemporary Chinese Poetry” (Tupelo Press) is a new anthology edited by Ming Di that takes us past the “Misty” school of poets into the present.
“Light And Heavy Things” (Boa Editions) is a new translation of a contemporary Pakistani poet, the late Zeeshan Sahil as translated by Faisal Siddiqui, Christopher Kennedy, and Mi Ditmar. In these poems, there is a purity and innocence offset by the weary worldliness of a country shattered by constant conflict.
The widely acclaimed novel, “The Zenith” (Penguin) by Duong Thu Huong that looks at the toll a communist revolution took on the individual lives of people in Vietnam is just out in a new paperback edition.
“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.
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of WA present their “All Things Japanese Sale!” set for August 24 & 25 from 10am – 3pm. A sneak peek preview night is on Fri., August 23rd from 6:30 – 8:30pm with an early buyers fee of $25 for JCCCW Members and $50 General Admission. This is not your average rummage sale as a variety of new & used quality Japanese antiques, collectibles will be available. Hosted by Hosekibako. 1414 S. Weller St. All proceeds benefit JCCCW. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org.
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.
“Kidz Dharma Summer Camp” August 12 – 16th at Enkyoji Nichiren Buddhist Temple at 501 S. Jackson St. in Seattle. To apply call (206) 446-0365 or visit www.seattlebuddhist.org