The work of craft artists Adam Chau and Tammy Young Eun Kim is included in the group show entitled “Atoms + Bytes – Redefining Craft in the Digital Age” now on view through June 26, 2016 at Bellevue Arts Museum. Organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken. 510 Bellevue Way NE. 425-519-0770 or go to www.bellevuearts.org.
The Friends of Asian Art are sponsoring an artist tour and talk with Charan Sachar entitled “Creative with Clay – Handcrafted Pottery by Charan Bachar” set for May 7 at 10:30am in Federal Way. Meet Sachar in his studio as he talks about his unique creations inspired by Indian folk art as found in fabric, embroidery, colors and designs. $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Pre-registration required. Participation limited to 15 people. Go to www.friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer.html for details.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is a new exhibit that tells the story of the Hunt Hotel’s role in the resettling of the Japanese community in Seattle after WW II. Within the walls of the present-day historic buildings at 1414 S. Weller St. now known as the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, the site served as temporary housing for Seattle Japanese and Japanese Americans during resettlement. Most residents were returning from the Minidoka Incarceration Camp in Hunt, Idaho. In the wake of WWII, over thirty families began to rebuild their lives. Here, children were raised and loved ones were lost until gradually the rooms were vacated to give way to community organizations and classroom as families moved out and resettled. This exhibit will help raise awareness of the long-lasting consequences of Executive Order 9066. Organized by Elisa Law, there will be a traveling exhibit and book coming in March, 2016 as well. Free. Open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For details, go to www.jcccw.org.
Koplin Del Rio, previously a gallery in Southern California, relocates to Seattle and will share space with Madrona neighborhood gallery, Prographica. Eleana Del Rio will join Co-Director Norman Lundin in curating exhibitions jointly and independently within its establishment of Prographica/KDR. The first exhibition in this new configuration is a group show by Koplin Del Rio entitled “Identity” and includes the work of of local UW art professor/artist Zhi Lin. Other artists shown include Sandow Birk, Melissa Cooke, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laurie Hogin, Kerry James Marshall and Robert Pruitt. Through April 30, 2016. Prographica/KDR is at 3419 East Denny Way. (206) 322-3851. Prographica is at prographicagallery.com. Koplin Del Rio is at koplindelrio.com.
The work of Jaeeun Lee is included in a group show of installation art featuring video and sound entitled “I Wasn’t Just Saying What You Wanted To Hear” at The Alice through April 9. 6007 -12th Ave. S. Go to thealicegallery.com for details.
“Complete” is the title of David Lu’s first solo show which features ink washes on pleated paper. May 4 – 28 at CORE Gallery at 117 Prefontaine Place S. Open Wednesday – Saturday. 206-467-4444 or go to coregallery.org.
“Three Grains of Rice” is the title of a group show featuring the work of three local Korean American women artists at Asian Pacific Cultural Center through April 29. Includes watercolors by Jade Choe and paintings by Jennifer Kwon and Matilda Kim. 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900.
One of the first museum exhibitions of work by noted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the Northwest is now on view through April 11 at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. “Ai Weiwei: Fault Line” presents three pieces from his ongoing investigation into the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 quake that killed over 60,000 people including 5,196 schoolchildren in Sichuan province, China. Seattle multi-media artist Etsuko Ichikawa will have a show of new work here beginning in July 2016. 540 Spring St. Friday Harbor, WA. 360-370-5050.
The Cascadia Art Museum is a new museum in Edmonds dedicated to the legacy of the Northwest from the late 19th century to the mid-modernist period of the 1960’s. Their current show up till May 1 is “Looking back, Moving Forward – A Centennial Tribute To The Cornish College of The Arts with historic paintings, sculptures, photographs, costumes, videos and selected ephemera that document the significant impact the school has made both nationally and internationally. Coming in May are two shows – “Re-discovered Northwest Photographers, 1930 – 1960” and “The Art of John Matsudaira (1922-2007)”, one of the forgotten members of the “Northwest School”. 190 Sunset Ave. #E in Edmonds. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Artwalk Edmonds Third Thursdays from 5 – 8 p.m. 425-336-4809.
Yours truly, Alan Lau, has a show of new work entitled “Beauty In The Decay” through April 30. The art in this show was supported in part by the Esther & Adolph Gottlieb Foundation. The artist will be at the First Thursday event on April 7 from 5 p.m. – 8pm. Lau reads poetry with sound artist Susie Kozawa on Friday, April 22 from 6 p.m.– 8 p.m. Lauren Iida has a show of her paper cuts during the month of April in the North Gallery and she will also teach a workshop at the gallery on Saturday, May 7 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. for adults 16 or older. She will be present at the First Thursday event as well. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org. Additional cut paper workshops with Lauren Iida include one set for Sun., May 22 from 1p.m. – 4 p.m. at Artist & Craftsman Supply in the University District at 4350 8th Ave. NE. This is also for adults 16 or older. Two final workshops take place on Sunday, June 5 in Twisp, WA. The 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. workshop is for teens from ages 12 – 17 and the second one for adults age 18 and over takes place from 2- 5pm. Location is at TwispWorks at 502 Glover St. in Twisp, WA. All workshops are $65. Participants are encouraged to bring or have digital access to their own photos or drawings which will be formatted and printed in 8 x 10 inch size. Materials provided. To register for all workshops, email [email protected].
During the month of April, “Logic of Chance”, a group show featuring the work of Romson Bustillo, Rachel Kirk and June Sekiguchi will be on view at Gallery One at 408 N. Pearl St. in Ellensburg,WA. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 509-925-2670 or go to www.gallery-one.org.
“MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture” is the largest exhibition ever attempted at Vancouver Art Gallery and it will trace the evolution and development of art production known as “mashup”, collage or remix. Includes found images, objects, sound work from the turn of the twentieth century and examines how it has become a dominant force in our world today. With work by dozens of world artists working in a broad range of media including video, architecture, film sculpture, graphic design, industrial design, drawing, music, digital media, illustration and fashion design. Remains on view until June 12, 2016. 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca for details.
KOBO at Higo presents Azumi Hosoda’s exhibit of “Modern Japanese Wax Resist Dyeing” April 30 – May 14, 2016. Hosoda leads a workshop on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Call to sign up. She also gives a lecture and kimono presentation at 5:30 p.m. on the same day. 604 S. Jackson. 206-726-0704 or email [email protected]. A sister store is on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy as well.
“Contemporary Australian and Aboriginal Printmakers” is a group show done in collaboration with Cicada Press, a custom printing workshop in Sydney. On view from April 7 – 30. The show “Rikio Takahashi (1917-1999): Sosaku Hanga” is on view April 7 – 30 and features the work of this print artist known for his depictions of Kyoto’s classic Japanese gardens. Also the gallery has commissioned Vancouver artist Mariko Ando to do an etching with hand-coloring and chine colle which will be on sale for $250 as a benefit for long-time Japanese print gallery owner Beth Cullom who is recovering from cancer. If you are interested in this print, you can call or email Miranda at 206-624-1324 or [email protected]. Davidson Galleries is at 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-624-1324 or go to www.davidsongalleries.com.
The Ethnic Heritage Gallery has the following show. Now on view through April 15 is “What’s Left Behind” by Satpreet Kahlon. In this show, the artist addresses her personal history with the broader cultural understandings of sexual violence, especially as they are experienced by women of color. In the Seattle Municipal Tower on the Third floor at 700 Fifth Ave. Open Monday – Friday. 206-684-7132 or go to seattle.gov/arts.
“Suitcase” is the title of a decade-old traveling exhibit of visual art that has grown along the way, bringing together contemporary artists from across the globe. April 7 – 30 at Gallery 110 at 110 Third Ave. S. 206-624-9336. Go to gallery110.com. Open Wednesday – Saturday.
Gallery IMA celebrates its 10th anniversary with their “10th Anniversary Group Exhibition” April 7 – 30. Tuesday through Saturday. 123 S. Jackson St. 206-625-0055 or go to galleryima.com.
“Marigold Mesh” is the title of an immersive mixed-media installation of delicate pigmented wax, wire and paper by Kamla Kakaria on view from May 5 – 26. Gallery4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. in Pioneer Square. Open Monday – Friday. 206-296-7580.
Until June 15, 2016 you can view Naoko Morisawa’s public art piece entitled “Liberated Octopus” at Frances Anderson Center at 700 Main St. in Edmonds. For details, go to edmondswa.gov/arts-comission.
In “Running Race Ragged” artist Yoona Lee uses mixed media and collage to discuss contemporary race relations. May 12 – June 5. Ghost Gallery at 504 E. Denny Way. 206-832-6063 or go to ghostgallery.com. Open daily.
Jueqian Fang (also known as Ripple, or one half of Mystical Orchid) has a solo show at Interstitial from April 9 – May 22. 6007 – 12th Ave. S. Go to Interstitialtheatre.com for details.
“Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” is a show that should prove to be a family favorite. On loan from the Japanese American National Museum, the show lands in Seattle at the EMP Museum at Seattle Center through May 15, 2016. The show looks on the history of the Japanese icon and her influence on popular culture. Includes an extensive product survey, with rare and unique items from the Sanrio archives, alongside a selection of innovative contemporary artworks inspired by Hello Kitty and her world. 5th Ave. N. (206) 770-2700. $25 general admission ($20 for EMP members), $10 or youth 5 – 17. Free for kids 4 and under.
“Sites of Meaning: Caring for Asia’s Cultural Heritage” is the title of the Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas new Winter Saturday University Series. April 9, Neville Agnew will talk about “Dimensions of Conservation at the Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang”. Individual tickets sold at the door on a fist-come, first-served basis, Held in partnership with the Dunhuang Foundation and the UW Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company. Tickets available in person at the Seattle Art Museum or the Asian Art Museum. You can also purchase online at visitsam.org/tickets or by calling 206-654-3210. 206-442-8480 or go to [email protected].
Internationally known metal smith/jewelry artist Sayumi Yokouchi comes to Pratt Fine Arts Center this spring to teach a class entitled “MA-TERIAL: The Poetics Of Hidden Space from May 27 – 29. 1902 South Main St. in Seattle. 206-328-2200 or go to www.pratt.org for information on classes.
“Project 562” is a series by Matika Wilbur that looks to document the lives of Native Americans today. Through June 11. The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve at 6410 23rd Ave. NE in Tulalip. 360-716-2600 or go to hibulbculturalcenter.org.
The Yakima Valley Museum has the current exhibit, “Land of Joy and Sorrow – Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” up until 2018. It tells the history of Japanese families who created a community there before the war. Only 10% of families returned to re-settle there after the war. 2105 Teton Dr. (509) 248-0741. In related news, a softball from this collection that saw play at Heart Mountain internment camp and owned by George Hirahara has been given to the Smithsonian and was on display in the incarceration section of the exhibit, “The Price of Freedom – Americans at War”. (As reported in the North American Post.) In other news, Hirahara’s Oregon photographs of the Japanese American post-WWII experience in the Pacific Northwest are now available online at Densho. To see his documentation of Nikkei Oregon life in “New Partner Collection: Frank C. Hirahara Photographs From The Oregon Nikkei Endowment”, go to http://www.densho.org/new-partner-collection-frank-c-hirahara-photographs-from-the-oregon-nikkei-endowment/. Also a profile of the Washington State University Hirahara Collection of photos from Heart Mountain is now featured on the Japanese American History Not For Sale Facebook Page by going to https://www.facebook.com/japaneseamericanhistorynotforsale.
“Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion” is on view through June 1 at Oregon Historical Society Museum in Portland. This traveling exhibit chronicles the complex history of Chinese in America. On loan from the New York Historical Society. A second exhibit entitled “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns” remains on view through June 21, 2016. Free. 1200 AW Park Ave. 503-222-1741 or visit www.ohs.org or go to www.chineseamerican.nyhistory.org.
The Portland Japanese Garden recently reopened after a six-month closure for construction on the Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project. For details, go to japanesegarden.com.
Opening March 1 is “In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man – Contemporary Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology at 6393 NW Marine Drive. Vancouver, BC. Go to moa.ubc.ca for details.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “Nanga – Literati Painting of Old Japan” from April 9 – June 26, 2016. “Modernization in Meiji Japan (1868-1912) – Images of Changing Architecture, Transportation and War” from April 22 – August 28, 2016. “China’s Favourite Pottery for Tea, Yixing Ware” from July 1 – Oct. 18, 2016. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
Japanese Canadian artist Takao Tanabe is primarily known for his landscape painting but for two years he studied brush painting in Tokyo. The results of that residency can be seen in “Sumie: Ink Brush Paintings” now on view through May 8 at Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Center. 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby BC. 604-777-7000.
Seattle ceramic artist Akio Takamori and Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han & Daniel Milhayo) were both recipients of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards given by the Portland Art Museum which will give all winners a group show which has been re-scheduled to run through May 8 in 2016. The extension will allow some artists to do brand-new work site-specific to the PAM space. The Portland Art Museum is at 1219 SW Park Ave. Go to www.portlandartmuseum.org for details.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following –Remaining on view until July 24, 2016 is “‘True’ Korean Landscapes & Virtuous Scholars” and “Benevolence & Loyalty: Filial Piety in Chinese Art” up until July 31, 2016. 1430 Johnson Lane. (541) 346-3027.
Seattle artist Lauren Iida now has a website where all her recent work can be seen at http://www.laureniida.com/currently-available.html. Currently her work can be seen in the Mayor’s Gallery at Seattle City Hall. In related news, the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture has purchased a cut paper/sumi ink portrait of her great grandmother Asa. Iida is teaching paper cutting through Gage Academy at Sanctuary Arts to homeless youth. She will be part of “Strange Coupling”, a juried collaborative art project between working professional artists and UW students. Her work can be seen in person at ArtXchange Gallery with a show throughout the month of April and the artist’s own website is www.laureniida.com.
Photographer/artist/educator Carina del Rosario has the following projects and activities. Seattle Art Museum’s New Republic Community Portraits” is presented in conjunction with the museum’s Kehinde Wiley exhibition and features 40 portraits by Zorn B. Taylor and Carina del Rosario. Taylor and del Rosario continue the project with “Public Portrait Sessions” at SAM through April. The Museum of Culture and the Environment at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. presents a show entitled “Liberty Denied: Migration, Detention, Deportation” from April 2 – June 1. Carina del Rosario’s Passport Series is part of this exhibit.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “New Years All Year Round” opens on Sat., Jan. 16. See how the New Year is celebrated in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hmong cultures in this interactive and kid-friendly exhibit.
Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity.
“Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia.
“Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books is a recent show to open at the museum.
“CONSTRUCT/S” (see related story in this issue) is a group show that presents a diverse group of six international, national and local female artists who will transform The Wing’s art gallery into a multi-sensory, interactive exploration of identity, subjectivity, history, culture and gender. It is curated by Dr. Stacey Uradomo-Barre. It remains on view through April 17th, 2016. Artists include the following – Terry Acebo Davis from California recreates her mother’s bedroom drawing upon the fact that she is suffering from dementia. This room is a place she yearns to return to and the piece deals with a fragmented narrative of memory, loss, identity, and Filipino American culture. Kaili Chun from Hawai’I has an interactive installation of man-made steel bars that unlock to grapple with issues of subjectivity and community and reflect the continuous socio-political negotiation of Native Hawaiians with the mainstream society. Yong Soon Min from California, after a career exploring Korean American Identity and colonialism now examines her own personal struggle of pain and trauma as she tries to recover from a cerebral hemorrhage that affected her ability to form language and memories. Min has shown previously in Seattle with temporary art installations. Tamiko Thiel (Germany) & Midori Kono Thiel (Seattle) present a mother-daughter collaboration combining traditional calligraphy with mobile technology. Their augmented reality installation virtually links art and culture with physical landmarks significant to the local Japanese American community. Lynne Yamamoto from Massachusetts went to Evergreen College in Olympia as a student. She has shown here previously with an installation at Suyama Space and a show at Greg Kucera Gallery. Her new piece here was inspired by the early 20th century tent houses of Japanese immigrant farmers. This work interweaves family memories and community history, evoking the migratory nature of the Japanese American farming community. She also has a public art commission at the Seattle Public Library planned as well. A catalog for this show is available.
“Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. Opens Oct. 4th with the full support of the Lee Family. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. Year 2 of the exhibition opens Oct. 3rd, 2015 and digs deeper into the significance of Bruce Lee and his impact in media during a time of racial stereotypes and barriers. Includes text panels by national blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) plus Green Hornet toys, personal letters, behind-the-scenes photos from the sets of “Way of the Dragon” and “Enter the Dragon”, hand-written film notes, rare photos inside his early Chinatown studio and much much more. A new set of Bruce Lee’s Chinatown Tours begin Oct. 6th. YouthCAN is a teen arts group at the Wing and their new exhibit entitled “Imprint: Identity through Art” done under the guidance of teaching artist Raj Makker is up for all to see until March 25, 2016. “The International Dumpling Crawl” is back by popular demand. Try a variety of the neighborhood’s delicious dumplings. Starts Jan. 23 (every last two Saturdays of the month) until March. Go to wingluke.org/tours for details. The museum is offering two week-long Landmarks of American History & Culture workshops that focus on the hidden histories of Asian Pacific pioneers, from the early 1800s to WWII. Session 1 is July 17 – 23. Session 2 is July 31 – August 6. Application deadline is March 1, 2016. These 2016 NEH Workshops are for K – 12 School Teachers. For details, go to [email protected] or try http://wingluke.org/teachers-institute. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. First Thursday of each month is free from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10 a.m – 8 p.m.
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
“Pacific Voices” is an ongoing exhibit that celebrates the language, teachings, art, and cultural ceremonies of seventeen cultures from the Pacific Rim. Burke Museum at the University of Washington. 17th Ave. NE & E 45th Streets. (206) 543-5590 or try washington.edu/burkemuseum.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Journey to Dunhuang – Buddhist Art of the Silk Road Caves” opens March 5 and stays on view through June 12, 2016 in the Foster Galleries. Discovered in 1943 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the caves are a treasure trove of Buddhist sculptures, manuscripts, painted scrolls, and wall paintings. The photographs of James and Lucy Lo, the couple who first discovered the caves will be on view as well as ancient manuscripts and artist renderings. To complement the show, there will be an installation of Buddhist art drawn from the SAM collection. Organized in cooperation with the Princeton University Art Museum and the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art. For details on this show, go to visitsam.org/dunhuang. First Free Saturday family activity takes place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Opening April 9 and staying on view through October 9 in the Tateuchi Galleries is “Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World.” The show looks at how the color blue creates so many moods in cloth around the world. Drawn primarily from SAM’s global textile collection, the show illuminates the historic scope of this vibrant pigment. On view will be tapestries from Belgium, a Chinese silk court robe, kimonos from Japan, batiks and ikats from Indonesia and Africa, and ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt. An immersive contemporary installation devoted to indigo by Rowland Ricketts with a soundtrack by sound artist Nobert Herber will also be on view. On April 27, there will be an “Art Beyond Sight Tour – Undercover: Textiles from the Past and Present.” May 7 is the “Free First Saturday” event for this show. A related activity for this show on May 20 is “Art Globally: Indigo Workshop” with master dyer Sophena Kwon who will help you create patterns and dye your own cloth and indigo. All materials and refreshments included in the $75 ticket, SAM members, $65. Under the “Asia Talks” series you will find the following events. Reserve your free tickets at visitsam.org/tickets. Yuji Yamada, Professor at Mie University Department of Humanities will talk about “Skills of the Ninjas” on Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. You may have seen ninjas invested with superhuman powers and impressive skills in films and animated movies but Yamada cuts to the chase and talks about the real ninjas who actually existed. Attired in personal ninja attire, Yamada will tell you what ninjas were really like based on his research. In Japanese with English interpretation. $10 general and $5 for SAM members. “Yoni Ki Baat: A South Asian Adaptation of the Vagina Monologues”(see related article in this issue) is an annual and always popular performance piece which features vivid monologues by local South Asian Women based on their own personal experiences. The cast changes yearly. Directed by Afrose Fatima Ahmed and presented with Tasveer as part of the full weekend Aaina Festival at the Asian Art Museum. On Friday, April 15 & Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Reserve your free tickets at visitsam.org/tickets. Seattle Asian Art Museum is at 1400 Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. 206-442-8480 or go to seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter or [email protected].
Dick Benlow of Puget Sound Bonsai Association gives a talk about bonsai on Sat., April 16 at 10am. Oriental Garden Center at 30650 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way. Pre-registration at $65 and walk-in for $85. (253) 839-1639 or email [email protected].
Local sculptor Robert Rhee’s past show at Glassbox Gallery entitled “Winter Wheat” was nominated for the City Arts Winter Art Walk Award. He is also part of a group show entitled MDF Blog at Planthouse in New York in March. 55 West 28th St. or go to planthouse.net.
Congratulations to local multi-media artist Jason Hirata who won the Brink Award from Henry Art Gallery in 2015. Established in 2008, the award goes to a younger artist on “the brink” of an outstanding professional career. The winner receives $12,500, a solo exhibition at the Henry and an accompanying publication. The Henry will also buy a piece from the artist for their permanent collection. The award comes from Seattle philanthropists John and Shari Behnke. Hirata’s solo show at the Henry entitled “The Brink: Jason Hirata” explores the dynamics of the corporate state and food industry that shapes contemporary life. Hirata will talk about his work on April 9 at 1pm. Free but you must RSVP. On view now through Sept. 11, 2016. 15th Ave. NE & NE 41st St. 206-543-2280 or go to www.henryart.org.
Art from the East and West intersect in an exhibition of works by Burmese artist Tun Kyi and Vashon Island artist Ann Leda Shapiro. “East And West: The Art Of Tun Kyi And Ann Leda Shapiro” opens on Wed., March 16 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Aljoya Thornton Place located at 450 NE 100th St. in Seattle. Kyi was a medic on the Thai Burmese border in a refugee camp. He now paints the struggles of refugees in realistic, detailed and intimate views of people displaced by the internal conflicts within Burma. Ann Leda Shapiro is an acupuncturist who creates a variety of painted explorations of healing both in physical and spiritual realms. 206-306-7920.
Ceramic artist Patti Warashina has been experimenting with lasers and glass in an effort to incorporate new media elements into her fanciful creations. See the fruits of her labors in a show of new work set for Abmeyer + Wood Gallery opening in May, 2016. 1210 2nd Ave. (206) 628-9501 or go to www.abmeyerwood.com.
Akio Takamori has been experimenting with larger-than-life ceramic figures, so large that he’ll bake them in the kiln section by section and then re-assemble them in pieces. He’s also interested in adding a more abstract spin to his work. Expect to see his new work Feb./March of 2017 at James Harris Gallery. 604 – 2nd Ave. 206-903-6220.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland has “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community” a show that celebrates the lives and contributions of Oregon’s Nikkei community, and evokes memories of shared experiences – from early settlement through the trials and tribulations of WWII and into the 21st century. Current show is “Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II” which looks at the work Japanese Americans in the camps did for farmers in the area. Hours for the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center are Tuesday – Saturday 11a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sundays, noon – 3 p.m. 121 NW 2nd Ave. (503) 224-1458 or email [email protected].
“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.
“New Stories from the Edge of Asia: Tabaimo” marks the first solo museum exhibition of this amazing Japanese artist who uses alluring large-scale surreal animations that combine everyday objects and experiences. Opens February 5, 2016 at the San Jose Museum of Art. 110 South Market St. (408) 271-6840.
The state of Hawai’i does not have many museums or art venues dedicated to contemporary art except for part of the Honolulu Museum of Art. That’s about to change when the first Honolulu Biennial opens in the spring of 2017 in Honolulu and locations throughout the islands. Both local talents as well as national and international contemporary artists will be highlighted, many for the first time in Hawai’i. The curatorial director is Fumio Nanjo, also director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Social, political and geographic issues of state and colonial cultures will be emphasized. Some of the artists already selected to exhibit include Yayoi Kusama of Japan, MAP Office of Hong Kong, Mohammed Kazem of the United Arab Emirates, Brett Graham, Fiona Pardington and Yuki Kihara of New Zealand as well as local artists such as Les Filter Feeders, sculptor Charlton Kupa’a Hee and Oahu artist Andrew Binkley. Excerpted from ArtsBeat.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum opens their exhibition “Royal Taste: The Art of Princely Courts in 15th Century China”. On view through June 26, 2016. Recent archaeological finds, jewelry, devotional statues, textiles and porcelains – many on display in the U.S. for the first time are included. 46 Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-449-2742 or email [email protected].
Ceramic artist Keiko Fukazawa’s latest show “Made In China” subverts her media to produce playful, tongue-in-cheek jabs at society. Her pieces are made of cast-off pieces of porcelain salvaged from a mass-production factory in China with a working history going back 1,500 years. A row of porcelain spoons with portraits of Mao in various stages of his life appear in the cavity of the spoon where one slurps up the soup. Craft And Folk Art Museum. On view through May 8, 2016. At 5814 Wilshire in Los Angeles. 323-937-4230. Or go to www.cafam.org.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following current and upcoming exhibitions. Ongoing is “Common Ground: The Heart of Community” is a historical group show that incorporates hundreds of objects, documents and photographs collected by the Museum on over 130 years of Japanese American history. Looking further down the road is an important photography show entitled “Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920 – 1940” tentatively set for Feb. 28 – June 26 of 2016 and curated by Southern California photography historian Dennis Reed who has curated a previous excellent show of the Japanese Camera Club of Los Angeles. 100 North Central Ave. (213) 625-0414.
“Asian Art at 100: A History in Photographs” is a survey of the Met’s Asian galleries photographed from 1907 – 19 45. Through May 22, 2016. “Celebrating The Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection”. Over 300 items from what many consider the best Japanese art collection outside of Japan are on view through July 31, 2016. 1000 – 5th Ave. (212) 535-7710 or go to www.metmuseum.org.
“Reopening Of The Renwick Gallery”. The first building in the nation designed specifically as an art museum officially reopens after a two year renovation with “Wonder” in which nine contemporary artists were invited to create room-size installations inspired by the building itself. Maya Lin is one of them. Opens Nov. 13 and remains on view until July 10, 2016. The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery are along the museum mall in Washington, D.C.
Coming in 2016 is “Kamakura: Realism And Spirituality In The Sculpture Of Japan” More than 40 sculptures which show the relationship between realism and sacred use of the objects. The Kamakura era is often regarded as a period similar to the Renaissance in Europe. Feb. 9 through May 8, 2016. Asia Society Museum at 725 Park Ave. in New York City. Go to AsiaSociety.org/museum for details.
In March of 2016, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will take over the building designed by Marcel Breuer that was once the Whitney Museum. A retrospective of the Indian modernist painter Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) will be one of three opening exhibits in this building. The Met’s current artist-in-residence, jazz composter/pianist Vjay Iyer will do a number of appearances as well. The building will now be known as the Met Breuer. Madison Ave. and 75th St. in New York or go to metmuseum.org for details. In the Museum’s efforts to widen its coverage of global art, they have hired Shanay Jhaveri as Assistant Curator of South Asian Art, a newly created position.
On view through May 8, 2016 is the first retrospective exhibition on the artist Pen Varlen. Varlen is a Goryeoin (Koreans in Russia and Central Asia) artist and educator who was born in Russia, studied art in Saint Petersburg and spent most of his life in the city. Born outside the national border when Korea lost its national sovereignty Pen belongs to a minority group who could not be protected even in the land he and his family migrated to. Though living most of his life in Russia, he spent a pivotal year or so establishing the foundation of North Korean art after WW II. The National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul. 02-2022-0600.
Rui Sasaki is a Japanese artist and educators working mainly in transparent materials. She works at Toyama City Institute of Glass Art. This summer from July 5 – 22, she will be teaching at Pilchuck a class in glassblowing entitled “Wonder bubbles”. Exploring the infinite possibilities that glass presents, students will find their own paths of expression. For this and other classes, you can apply online at pilchuck.com.
The Smithsonian Museum of American History has an exhibition planned on Japanese American experiences during WW II, following the passage of Executive Order 9066 in 1942. The museum is seeking possible donations of items for inclusion in the exhibition. For details, contact Noriko Sanefuji at [email protected] or call 202-633-3340.
Another show that originated from Para-Site is now on view in Mexico City.”Great Crescent – Art And Agitation in the 1960’s – Japan, South Korea and Taiwan”. On view through May 26, 2016. Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, MUAC – National Autonomous University of Mexico.
The March/April issue of ArtAsiaPacific looks at the labor-intensive works of Hong Kong painter Au Hoi Lam; the work of Turkish video/performance artist Inci Eviner, artist Kwao Young-woo who was part of Korea’s postwar abstract-monochrome Dansaekhwa movement; and contemporary Chinese ink painter Zheng Chongbbin. You can buy a digital issue at iTunes, Google Play, Zinio and Magzter.
Shamsia Hassani, a painter who teaches at Kabul University is a graffiti artist by night. Using the walls of abandoned buildings damaged by bombs, she paints murals of women in traditional garb joyfully playing musical instruments. It’s her way of beautifying a city torn asunder by war. L.A.-based Hammer Museum curator Ali Subotnik gave her a two-month residency at the Hammer. She has crated a national graffiti festival in Afghanistan to share the art with people. Go to http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/museums/la-et-cm-afghan-graffiti-artist-shamsia-hassani-20160301-html-snap-htmistory.html to read more.
The work of photographer Tomoko Sawada has always involved self-examination. Her latest work entitled “Facial Signature” was inspired by a stay in New York where the Japanese artist was often mistaken for Korean, Chinese or other racial groups. Her current show at Rosegallery fills the walls with over 300 self-portraits and examines the question of what exactly does it Asian woman look like. 2525 Michigan Ave. #G-5 in Santa Monica, CA through April 9. Go to www.rosegallery.net for details.
Noted Japanese artist Kikuo Saito died at age 76 in February in New York where he had lived for the past 50 years. He was known for his abstract color field paitnings, Butoh-influenced set designs and wordless performance-plays.
At the Dhaka Art Summit, photographer Rasel Chowdhury received this year’s Samdani Art Award. The award is given to emerging artists between 22 and 40 who live in Bangladesh. Chowdhury a three-month residency at the Delfina Foundation in London.
Pakistani artist Rashid Rana has been appointed artistic director of the inaugural Lahore Biennale set for November 2017.
The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology awarded artist Takashi Murakami the Art Encouragement Prize of Fine Arts for his recent solo show at Mori Art Museum entitled “The 500 Arhats.”
“Silent For a While” was a group show recently seen at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Hong Kong that highlighted the changes in Myanmar as reflected in work by contemporary Burmese artists.
Pioneer Iraqi-born British architect, Zaha Hadid who changed the way we look at buildings with her soaring angular monuments to the skyline died suddenly of a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. From an interview comes this quote. “I am non-European, I don’t do conventional work and I am a woman.” She became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture and the first woman to get the RIBA Gold Medal which is Britain’s top award.
The Ringling (of circus fame) has opened a new Center for Asian Art on the grounds of their campus in Sarasota, Florida. The center will foster the exploration of historical and contemporary Asian art through exhibits, researched programs and cultural activities. Visitors who pay admission to the grounds can visit the Center as well. For details, email [email protected] or call 941-359-5700×2803.
ON The Boards has another exciting season of performance art in all genres. Tanya Tagaq is an amazing Inuit throat singer who digs into past, present and future with a flexible, powerful voice that will have you on your feet as she blends native tradition with electronica, industrial and metal influences to tear apart the walls of the silent movie, “Nanook of the North” projected behind her as she sings. One night only on April 6, 2016. 100 Roy St. (206) 217-9888.
Keiko Green stars as Mash in the new comedy “Stupid F—king Bird” by Aaron Posner set to open April 8 and run till May 8 at ACT Allen Theatre at 700 Union St. 206-292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.com for details.
AOMG (Above Ordinary Music Group) featuring DJ Pumkin, Loco, Seattle born Jay Park, Simon Dominic and Gray are on their “Follow The Movement 2016 Tour” perform Sun., April 17 at 8pm. This group is a major player in the transformation of the South Korean hip-hop scene. Presented by Showbox & Siva Group. Showbox SoDo. 1-888-9-axs-tix for tickets.
“To Savor Tomorrow” is noted Seattle food theatre artist group Café Nordo’s latest presentation. A comedy of international intrigue in the style of the classic James Bond films. The Nordo’s Culinarium in Pioneer Square will be transformed into the retro cabin of a Boeing 707 where global superpowers will fight over the food of the 21st century. The cast includes Sara Porkalob and Richard Nguyen Sloniker and is directed by Keira McDonald. Cuisine inspired by the food of 50 years ago will be served. Music by Annastasia Workman inspired by Henry Mancini. April 7 – June 5. Go to www.cafenordo.com or call 1-800-838-3006. Tickets at brownpapertickets.com”.
“Open Studio: An Evening of Performance, Poetry & Song” celebrates National Poetry Month through song, contemporary forays into poetic performance and collaborations between sound artists and writers in this event curated by Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu Pai. With Jessika Kenny, Sierra Nelson & Rachel Kessler known as Vis a Vis Society, Alan Chong Lau & Susie Kozawa, Srivani Jade, Levi Fuller and Michael Dylan Welch. Sun., April 17 at 5:30 p.m. VALA Art Center at Redmond Town Center. 7303 – 164th Ave. NE in Redmond. Got to Redmond.gov/poetlaureate for details.
The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival takes place at Seattle Center April 22 – 24. This year’s theme is “American and Japanese Milestones in History”. Includes a series of events and performances in the areas of visual art, traditional dance, music and the martial arts. Kanariya Eiraku and his troupe will perform Rakugo, a form of Japanese comedic storytelling in English at the festival as well as at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center. Festival performances include a brief excerpt at Opening Ceremony on April 22 at 6pm, April 23 at 2:30 – 3 p.m. and April 24 at 2:30 – 3 p.m. For details and exact showtimes, go to http://www.cherryblossomfest.org or call 206-723-2003. The JCCC appearance takes place on April 23 at 7pm.
“Puny Humans” is a new play by Bret Fetzer and Keiko Green that looks at game nerds at Comicon and how their lives and relationships interact. April 22 – May 14 at Annex Theatre at 1100 E. Pike. 206-728-0933 or go to annextheatre.org.
The classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical about love on a south seas island entitled “South Pacific” is on stage April 8 – May 1 at Magnuson Park Theatre. 7110 – 62nd Ave. NE. 206-684-7026.
Choreographer Sheetal Gandhi presents “Bahu-Beti-Biwi (Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife) featuring North Indian music and a series of complicated, funny portraits of family characters. May 19 at Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia. 360-753-8586 or go to washingtoncenter.org.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the programs Seattle Symphony has to offer under the baton of Music Director Ludovic Morlot later this year going into 2016/2017. Seattle Symphony under the baton of guest conductor Emanuel Krivine with George Li on piano perform Tchaikovsy Piano Concerto No. 1 on April 27 and 29. Bass vocalist Jonathan Lemalu is part of the choir performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ludovic Morlot conducting January 5 and 7. Kevin Ahfat is featured pianist during the Symphony’s “Shostakovich Concerto Festival”. He’s perform with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting the following. On Thurs., Januanry 19 – Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2 and Cello Concerto No. 1. On Friday, January 20 – Cello Concerto No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 2 and Violin Concerto No. 1. Cellist Yo Yo Ma makes what seems to be one of annual Seattle visits when he performs a program of Bartok, Mozart and Haydn with Seattle Pymphony under the baton of Pablo Rus Broseta on Friday, October 14 at 8pm. On Sunday, March 26 at 4pm, the annual “Celebrate Asia” concert returns featuring movie music by famous Chinese and Indian composers including Grammy and Academy Award winners Tan Dun and A. R. Rahman. Finally on Friday, February 10 at 8pm, catch violinist Leonidas Kavakos & pianist Yuja Wang in a program featuring Medtner’s “Two Canzonas with Dances for Violin and Piano and other works by Schubert, Debussy and Bartok. For details on tickets, go to seattlesymphony.org or call (206) 215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown every Third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and every third Sunday at 2:10 p.m. Free with admission.
The UW World Series season for 2015/2016 has some extraordinary performances booked from around the world at their UW Seattle Meany Hall location. The Daedalus Quartet plays Friday, April 29th, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. with work by Beethoven and the world premiere of a new work by UW Music composer Huck Hodge. In the “Special Events” category, sitarist Anoushka Shankar makes an appearance. Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of the late virtuoso sitar master, Ravi Shankar brings her own genre-defying mix to the instrument with Indian music, electronica, jazz, flamenco and Western classical music all playing a part. She performs on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at 8 p.m. (206) 543-4880 or go to uwworldseries.org or get tickets in-person at 1313 NE 4lst St.
Shen Yun 2016 brings their new production of Chinese music and dance April 8 – 10 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. 321 Mercer St. Tickets at 800-880-0188 or go to ShenYun.com/seattle or try Ticketmaster.
Noted local playwright Maggie Lee has written the third play in her well-received trilogy of steampunk plays entitled “Hand of Talons”. Presented by Pork Filled Productions, it will run from April 29 – May 21 with a multi-racial cast. Directed by Amy Poisson. At the Theatre off Jackson at 409 – 7th Ave. S. For details, go to [email protected]
“The Frye Art Museum Guitar Series” presents Connie Sheu on Sat., April 16, 2016. Sheu teaches at Pasadena Conservatory of Music. She specializes in performing original music for guitar by female composers.
“Caught”, a play by Christopher Chen gets a production by Seattle Public Theater as part of their 2015-16 Mainstage Season. It runs May 20th – June 12th, 2016 with a preview on May 19th. The play is a mind-bending satire about truth, art, and deception. When an art gallery hosts a retrospective of the work of a legendary Chinese dissident artist, the artist himself appears and shares with patrons the details of his ordeal that explores truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation.7312 W. Green Lake Drive N. Go to www.seattlepublictheater.org for details.
“Ethnomusicology Visiting Artists Concert: Ade Suparman; Sudanese Music of Indonesia” takes place on June 2, 2016 at 7:30pm at Meany Hall on the Seattle UW campus. Go to www.music.washington.edu or call Arts UW Ticket Office at (206) 543-4880.
The Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Music Festival takes place July 5 – 20 at Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya downtown. Some leading soloists scheduled to perform in recital and concert include Violinist Andrew Wan, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Bion Tsang, pianist Jee Won Park and pianist George Li. 206-283-8710 or go to [email protected].
Seattle composer Byron Au Yong and librettist Aaron Jafferis will be in residency at Westminster Choir College where they will work on the choral initiative “Trigger.” This new piece was created in response to the Virgina Tech tragedy where a student shot 49 people, killing 32, and then himself. “Trigger” premieres in 2017, ten years after the massacre.
“The Dream Of The Red Chamber” by Cao Xueqin ranks as one of China’s greatest classical novels that recounts the love triangle between a young nobleman and two very different women: one his spiritual soulmate and the other, a beautiful heiress. As well known in China as “Romeo and Juliet” in the West, this book will have its world premiere as an opera with music by Bright Sheng and a libretto by David Henry Hwang and Sheng. It is commissioned by San Francisco Opera. On stage Sept. 1 – 29. Presently, it is only available as a package to season ticket holders. Individual tickets go on sale on June 27, 2016. 415-864-3330. Go to http://sfopera.com/discover-opera/201617-season/dream-of-the-red-chamber/.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters 2016 Music Awards were recently given out. Liliya Ugay received a Charles Ives Scholarship which goes out to composition students of great promise. The Lakondu Award in Music Composition went to Chia-Yu Hsu. The Goddard Lieberson Fellowship award going out to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts went to Huang Ruo.
George Takei and Lilly Singh are two of the internationally known speakers and performers that will be in attendance at WE Day Seattle set for April 20 at Key Arena. The event is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities.
Xian Zhang was selected as the first female director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Born in China, she started her career conducting “The Marriage of Figaro” at age 20. Her career gained traction when she shared first prize in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition” in 2002. She will juggle her duties in New Jersey with guest conducting jobs in Europe where she is in much demand.
Film & Media
“Mei Ren Yu” or “The Mermaid” is a new comedy by Stephen Chow opening April 8 at the Varsity in the University District.
”The First Monday in May” is a documentary film that follows the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history entitled “China: Through The Looking Glass”. It explores Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. Director Andrew Rossi tries to capture the collusion of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala and looks at the Western conception of China in fashion versus contemporary work by Chinese fashion designers themselves. Opens April 15 at Landmark Theatres Seven Gables Theater in the University District.
“Documenting Inequality” is a SIFF Education Workshop at SIFF Film Center set for April 18 at 7pm. Participants will discover how documentary films reveal a deeper truth about inequality in America through exploring three Sundance award-winning documentaries and discussing the impact of social issue filmmaking. Go to siff.net/education for details.
Opening April 19 at the Guild 45th in Wallingford is Ryotaro Makihara’s animated feature film, “The Empire of Corpses”. This is a historical action thriller based on the Phillip K. Dick Award-winning novel by Project Itoh which is an alternate, steampunk version of 19th century London. In English. 2115 North 45th.
Coming to the Grand Illusion Cinema May 13 – 19 is “Mad Tiger” by Jonathan Yi and Michael Haertlein. The film follows band mates Yello and Red, the primary creative forces behind Peelander-Z, a New York-based “Japanese Action Comic Punk Band”. 1403 NE 50th in the University District. 206-523-3935.
A free screening on May 2nd of “Project Fukushima”, a film documenting an arts festival with festival organizer/musician Otomo Yoshihide. But this was no ordinary arts festival. Organized just five months after the 3/11 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear melt-down that hit northern Japan, it brought together a stellar group of Japanese artists and musicians in Fukushima. The festival was a great success and boasted the morale of devastated residents. May 20 – 26 sees a new restoration of “Belladona of Sadness”, a feature-length animated film never before released in the U.S. by Eichi Yamamoto, considered the grandfather of Japanese Anime. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
Opening April 9 at both the Northwest Film Forum (Wednesdays) and Grand Illusion (Sundays) is a “Seijun Suzuki Retrospective”. A look at the career of this eccentric Japanese filmmaker who turned any genre he filmed on its head with a surreal, quirky vision. The schedule for the NWFF screenings are as follows. April 13 is the 1963 film, “Youth of the Beast” about a disgraced ex-cop pitting to yakuza gangs against each other to extract revenge for a police friend’s murder. April 27 is the 1965 feature “Tattooed Life”. An older brother works for the Japanese mob to put his younger artist brother through school. When a hit goes wrong, they have to flee together and end up working in a mine where the elder brother has an affair with the boss’s wife and the younger brother falls in love with the daughter. “Tokyo Drifter” comes May 4 and is a surreal romp with a reformed a yakuza trying to go straight on the run from his former comrades in a story peppered with musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. May 4 also brings the 1966 film “Carmen from Kawachi”, the director’s version of the famous opera, “Carmen” which has our heroine leaving the provinces to try and make it big in the city. On May 11, the 1967 “Branded to Kill” traces the escape of a would-be assassin for the Japanese mob who must flee when he fails in his mission. Northwest Film Forum is at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
Seattle artist/performer/filmmaker Etsuko Ichikawa screens her latest film that deals with the aftermath of Japan’s massive 2011 earthquake and subsequent nuclear meltdown in “Radiating Echoes – What is Beautiful?” set for April 29 at Jack Straw New Media Gallery at 7pm. Free. In addition, glass pyrographs by the artist will be displayed with a video detailing the process in the front gallery. 4261 Roosevelt NE in the University District.
“Trans/lations” is the title of the 11th Seattle Transgender Film Festival held May 12 – 15 at Northwest Film Forum. Go to www.translationsfilmfest.org for details.
Get ready for the 42nd annual Seattle International Film Festival which begins on May 19 all over the Puget Sound. More than 450 films from over 90 countries in 25 days.
The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, an annual event showcasing the best in Lesbian/Gay cinema world-wide has a name change. Now it is called “TWIST-Seattle Queer Film Festival”. It screens Oct. 13 – 23 later this year.
“The Empty Chair” is a documentary film by filmmaker Greg Chaney that looks at Juneau’s Japanese American community who were unjustly incarcerated during WW II.
Other new films with dates not yet set for release but probably due by 2016 are the following – Jia Zhangke of all of China’s directors seems to have his pulse on a China evolving so quickly that its own people can barely keep up. “Mountains May Depart” is a dark portrait of a capitalist-era family through the decades as they struggle to survive in China and abroad. Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” opened at Cannes and was picked up by Roadside/Lionsgate for distribution. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe who meet on Mr. Fuji bent on suicide. Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s newest entitled “Journey to the Shore” has a piano teacher going on a second honeymoon with her missing husband who returns as a ghost. Adapted from the novel by Kazumi Yumoto Stars Eri Fukatsu and Tadanobu Asano. Due out next year is the long-awaited new project by Martin Scorsese in which he adapts Shusaku Endo’s historical novel on Christians in Japan in a period when Christianity was not allowed. A priest played by Andrew Garfield travels to Japan to confront rumors that his mentor has abandoned the church. Shot on location in Taiwan. The director remarked that “The subject matter presented by Endo was in my life since I was very, very young.” Kazuhiro Soda’s 21/2 hour documentary entitled “Oyster Factory” was a Locarno Film Festival Official Selection and takes a close look as globalization comes to a small Japanese village whose sole industry is the harvesting of oysters. July Jung’s “A Girl at My Door” played the Cannes Film Festival and has received numerous awards on the festival circuit. Donna Bae plays a police officer removed from her post in Seoul following a sex-related scandal. She is re-assigned to a remote seaside town until the controversy dies down. The quiet town is struggling economically and run by an exploitive owner of the local fishing industry. When the police officer assists his shy stepdaughter who is being bullied at school and abused at home, things began to erupt. “A documentary film with the working titled of “Honokaa Hero: The Story of Katsu Goto” is busy trying to raise funds to complete production. Goto was an early Japanese immigrant who came to Hawai’i in 1885. He worked as a laborer along the Hamakua coast of Hawai’i island and then became a successful businessman and labor leader. He was lynched and killed in Honoka’a in 1889 while helping Japanese sugar plantation workers. Project Lead and Executive Producer is Patsy Iwasaki. “Afternoon” is the title of a new documentary film by noted Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang in which the director engages actor Lee Kang-sheng in a lengthy conversation. Mr. Tsai has appeared in nearly every film the director has made including “Goodbye Dragon Inn” and “What Time Is It There?”. The topics range from family, sexuality and art-making. New to the Honolulu International Film Festival are these recent entries from Asia – “Chongqing Hotpop” looks at how three high school students efforts to open a restaurant in an old bomb shelter turns into more than just a financial fiasco. “Mr. Six”, based on a true story, looks at a crime-filled underworld in Beijing and how a retired gangster returns to bring justice to the streets. Directed by Guan Hu and stars writer-director Feng Xiaogang. “Something Or Something Like It” is a new Japanese comedy. Vietnam’s blockbuster hit “Sweet 20” is an adaptation of the Korean comedy, “Miss Grannie.” “Yayoi Kusama: I Love Me” is a documentary film on the famed Japanese artist and designer who lives in a mental institution and whose manic, obsessive work has made her an icon. The Hong Kong Film Awards gave “Ten Years”, a controversial film depicting a bleak future for that city under Chinese control their “Best Film Prize.” The film cost only $70,000 and many of the staff worked for free. Set in 2025, it shows authorities persecuting locals for speaking Cantonese and not Mandarin. China’s state-controlled newspaper called the film as “thought virus” and it has not been shown in that country and many theatres in Hong Kong have stopped showing it.
Lu Chuan, Chinese director of such well-received international documentary films such as “Kekexili: Mountain Patrol” (a favorite of a past SIFF) and “Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe” will direct and produce an adaptation of New York Times best-selling author Peter Hessler’s first book “River Town”. Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts of Fugitive Films will also help produce the film and Tristine Skyler will do the script. The book is a memoir of an American and his years teaching English literature to Chinese college students at a time when China was on the brink of unprecedented change. Lu is finishing up postproduction on his English-language debut, the documentary film “Born in China” for Disneynature which will be released this summer in China and in April 2017 in the U.S.
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. On April 6 at 7pm at Hugo House is a program entitled “Near & Far: Four Poets Read”. Mumbai-based poet Scherazade Siobhan reads from “Father, Husband” (Salo Press) along with Maged Zaher, Ryan Eckes and Hailey Higdon. Hugo House is at 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill. “The Siren Call of Ambition” is another group reading of women writers co-presented with the Women’s National Book Association – Seattle Chapter. Set for Thursday, April 7 at 7pm, it introduces Danielle Dutton and her novel Margaret the First (Catapult), Seattle writer Tara Atkinson reads from her chapbook, “Bedtime Stories” (Alice Blue) and local poet Jane Wong whose first book “OVERPOUR” (Action Books) is due out in 2016. Sonny Liew, comic artist/illustrator reads from “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” which is simultaneously a graphic novel history of a comic book artist as well as a history of Singapore’s road to independence on April 11 at 7pm. On April 19 at 7pm, food writer & food activist Saru Jayaraman returns to read from “Forked: A New Standard for American Dining” (Oxford University Press) in which she spells out issues related to the wages and working conditions of restaurant workers employed by fast food chains to fine dining establishments. Asian American activist Karen L. Ishizuka appears on Wed., April 20 at 7pm with the book, “Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties” (Verso) in which she’ll talk about that movement’s history of activists on both coasts. She will appear with some of the local activists that she covers in her book. Two distinguished Northwest poets, Tess Gallagher and Lawrence Matsuda have collaborated on a wonderful new book of poems entitled “Boogie-Woogie Crisscross” (MadHat Press). The book documents a playful poetic exchange over the years with Gallagher in Ireland and Matsuda in Seattle. Thursday, April 21 at 7pm. Omar Musa is a Malaysian Australian rapper and poet with his debut novel out called “Here Come the Dogs” (New Press) about three boys in smalltown Australia coming from different ethnic backgrounds finding their way. Tishani Doshi is a poet hailing from Southern India with a new book of poetry “Everything Begins Elsewhere” out on the wonderful Northwest publisher, Copper Canyon Press. Catch this reading of multi-ethnic riches with Musa and Doshi on Friday, April 22 at 7pm. On Monday, April 25 at Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Gardner Center For Asian Art & Ideas with EBBC co-presents Sri Lankan writer Leila S. Chudori as she reads from “Home” (Deep Vellum), a story of political turmoil and intrigue. Drawn from over fifteen years of on-the-ground coverage in Syria, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami’s “Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War” (Pluto) lifts the cover off that conflict and reveals the names and faces of the people. Thursday, April 28 at 7pm at Seattle Public Central Library (Level 4, Room 1). Co-presented by The Seattle Public Central Library and EBBC. One of the most talked about new novels is “Shelter” (Picador) by Jung Yun. It looks at family relationships over a passage of time and how they are torn asunder and repaired through time. Alexander Chee call Yun “a necessary new voice in American fiction.” Catch Yun on Friday, April 29 at 7pm. Northwest writer Ruth Ozeki returns to Seattle to talk about her latest book in “The Face” series, a personal exploration of how the author’s face has been shaped by her life. Free on June 5 at 3 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
Those book lovers with burning, seemingly unanswerable questions need not consult Dear Abby any longer – now there’s Hugo House’s program “Ask the Oracle” where a panel of writers will light the proverbial path using passages from their respective books. Beginning in February and continuing monthly, Hugo House, Seattle’s place for writers, will partner with Hotel Sorrento to present this series taking place in the hotel’s cozy Hunt Club fireside room. Participating writers include Imani Sims, Ramon Isao, Sonora Jha, Jane Wong and many others. Dates include May 10 and June 6 all at 7pm. For details, contact Kristen Steenbeeke at [email protected]. In related news, Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details.
Hugo House’s new Literary Series entitled “All’s Fair In Love And War” features spoken word performer/ poet Roberto Ascalon and others. April 15 at 7:30 p.m. $25. 1634 – 11th Ave. 206-322-7030 or go to [email protected].
Duncan Clark reads from his new book entitled “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built” (Ecco) detailing how a Chinese teacher took a little start-up and make it into an international company. Friday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. Third Place Books at 17171 Bothell Way NE in Lake Forest Park. 206-366-3333.
In the 20th edition of the Jack Straw Writers, Curator Karen Finneyfrock has made her final 12 selections from over 100 submissions. Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Shin Yu Pai are some of the writers who form the 2016 Jack Straw writers. Be on the lookout for a series of readings by these fine writers throughout the year. For details, go to [email protected].
Actor Dustin Nguyen of “Descender” fame is just one of the many guest stars at the Emerald City Comicon, the premier comic book and pop culture convention in the Northwest. April 7 – 10 at Washington State Convention Center. Go to emeraldcitycomicon.com for tickets and information.
The Bagley Wright Lecture Series present poet Hoa Nguyen who will explore the idea of ‘teaching poetics’ and consider the meaning of creative writing studies. April 21 at 7pm. Hugo House.
May 18 – 22 is time for the Skagit River Poetry Festival in La Connor. Readings, music, interviews, panel discussions and storytelling are offered. Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil is among the invited poets and performers included.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has added a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning medical author Siddhartha Mukherjee (“The Emperor of All Maladies”) on May 23. He will be talking about his new book entitled “The Gene: An Intimate History”. Go to lectures.org for more details.
“Elmer Ogawa: After Hours with Seattle’s Forgotten Photographer” is a new book by journalist Todd Matthews about a man who worked part-time on assignment as the photographer for Pacific Citizen and SCENE Magazine. His photos capture life in the Japanese American community at social events. More information can be found at http://www.wahmee.com/elmer.html.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling –
Local author Sharon H. Chang is the author of “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge). It is one of the first books to look at the difficulties of raising mixed-race Asian children in a system that neither embraces or welcomes their participation.
“What Lies Between Us” (St. Martin’s) by Nayomi Munaweera looks at the struggles a daughter and mother must go through leaving war-town Sri Lanka for the promise of America. The author’s first novel won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013.
In Alexander Chee’s “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a sprawling epic of a novel looks at the career of a true diva – an opera singer that through continual self-reinvention ascends to the role of a lifetime.
“A Girl on the Shore” (Vertical) is a book of yearning and teenage romance by Inio Asano. Asano is the author of “Solanin” and “Nijigahara Holography” and has been nominated for the Eisner Award.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri sets the bar even higher by writing “In Other Words” (Knopf) in Italian. She bumps up the limitations of a newly acquired language and takes us along in her search for those words that can express what she has to say. Translated into English by Ann Goldstein.
The New York Times bestseller “Without You, There Is No Us – My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite” (Broadway Books) is a memoir by Suki Kim now in a new paperback edition.
“Speak Now, Marriage Equality On Trail – The Story of Hollingsworth v. Perry” (Crown) by Kenji Yoshino details the personal and legal aspects of the struggle for marriage equality and the real meaning of same-sex marriage.
Chinese fiction writer Yan Lianke, winner of the Franz Kafka Prize has a new novel translated by Carlos Rojas. The Four Books (Grove/Atlantic) is a mythical tale that portrays the absurd and grotesque oppression of the Great Leap Forward.
“Midnight in Broad Daylight – A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds” (Harper) by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto looks at the war-time agony of a family struggling to maintain their American loyalty while simultaneously facing discrimination with one son in the US Army and two other sons in the Japanese Imperial Army.
In “We Too Sing America” (The New Press), journalist Deepa Iyer looks at the effects of post-911 racism and violence on South Asian, Arab and Muslim American communities.
O. Henry Prize-winning author Viet Dinh’s new novel “After Disasters” (Little A) looks at four characters in the aftermath of an earthquake in India and what they do to impose order in a chaotic city.
“Picture Man – The Legacy of Southeast Alaska Photographer Shoki Kayamori” (Snowy Owl Books – University of Alaska Press) by local Olympia writer Margaret Thomas tells the little known tale of this Japanese photographer who made his home amongst a native population in southeast Alaska at the turn of the century. His images document the changes in their lives at a crucial period. But the book also gives us much more, delving into immigration policies, the cannery trade and anti-Japanese hysteria after Pearl Harbor leading to the suicide of Kayamori himself.
The latest book by Jeff Chang (“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History Of The Hip-Hop Generation”) entitled “Who We Be – A Cultural History Of Race In Post Civil Rights America” (Picador) is now out in a new paperback edition.
“The End of Karma – Hope And Fury Among India’s Young” (Norton) by award-winning New York Times reporter Somini Sengupta. Returning to India after thirty years, Sengupta looks at the India of today through the lens of today’s youth from every class and every situation and finds the illusion of possibility blocked by structures of sex and class.
“The Silent Dead” (Minotaur) by Tetsuya Honda pits a young woman detective with a penchant for solving crimes in a Tokyo police department rife with a male structure filled with political and family connections. Overcoming these obstacles and doing her job are a day to day rite of passage. When a dead body wrapped in plastic points to a serial killer, it’s a race to the finish as killer chases detective. The first in a best-selling series in Japan that has spawned a movie and TV mini-series.
Tetsuya Tsutsui’s “Prophecy 03” (Vertical Comics) is the concluding volume of a graphic novel series dealing with cyber crime, social media and revenge.
“Advertsing Diversity – Ad agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers” (Duke) by Shalini Shankar explores how racial and ethnic differences are created and commodified through advertisements, marketing and public relations. In other words, Madison Avenue wants your money.
Ji Xianlin’s “The Cowshed – Memories Of The Cultural Revolution” (NYRB) was a bestseller in China that calls attention to the injustices of Mao-era violence during that tumultuous time. Translated by Chenxin Jiang.
“The Wages Of Guilt – Memoirs Of War In Germany And Japan’ (NYRB) is another insightful look at the borders of history by Ian Buruma.
“Shelter” (Picador) by Jung Yun is a debut novel with a story about a dysfunctional mixed-race family caught in the vice-grip of today’s times.
In the Spring 2016 issue of Rain Taxi Review of Books, poet Sun Young-Shin is interviewed. She has a prose collection forthcoming from Coffee House Press entitled “Unbearable Splendor” and has edited an anthology of essays entitled “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Poet/editor Ravi Shankar has edited a new collection entitled “What Else Could It Be: Ekphrastics and Collaborations” (Carolina Wren Press) which features the voices of contemporary painters and contemporary poets divided into three sections like dance steps.
The Jack Straw Memorial Foundation has a steadily growing archive of programs that were aired by the late, great local independent radio station KRAB. Recently donated to the archive are a significant collection of recordings of Northwest and visiting poets and writers reading from their works. Noteworthy in the collection are 22 recordings from the 1976 Pacific Northwest Asian American Writer’s Conference held at the University of Washington. Recorded by Karen Berge who as a student covered many public literary events in the Puget Sound, had her own radio program “Poetry Windows” and co-published a monthly newsletter and calendar of Seattle literary events called “Poetry Exchange”. This conference brought together writers, academics and others in the Asian American literary community, many from outside the Seattle area. Writers included Frank Chin, Lawson Inada, Garrett Hongo, Bienvinido Santos, Toshio Mori, Milton Murayama, Momoko Iko, Hisaye Yamamoto, Wakako Yamauchi, N.V. M. Gonzalez, Alan Chong Lau, Laureen Mar, James Mitsui, Jessica Hagedorn, Shawn Wong, and Lonny Kaneko. Panel discussion participants included Conference Organizer Professor Stephen Sumida, Dr. Sam Solberg, Dr. Jesse Hiraoka, Fred Cordova and Ray Tsuchiyama. The collection also features an audio of a live performance of Garrett Hongo’s play “Nisei Bar & Grill,” which premiered during the conference. The tapes are now being cataloged and digitized. Over the next year, these programs will be shared in the online KRAB Archive. For news of when, try going to www.krab.fm.
Susan Southard is an author, actress and artistic director of a theater group in Tempe, Arizona. In March, she was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.” Judges cited “her unflinching historical narrative of the bombing of Nagasaki and the aftermath as told through the lives of those who survived it.”
Hmong American poet Mai Der Vang won the Walt Whitman Award for outstanding debut book by the Academy of American Poets. Her book entitled “Afterland” will be published by Greywolf Press in 2017.
Pilchuk Glass School offers the John H. Hauberg Fellowship to encourage collaboration among a group of outstanding artists. Groups of up to six are invited to submit proposals for utilizing the studios and campus environment for research and development of artwork based on a common theme or a collaborative project. Residency dates are April 27 – May 13, 2016 and applications are due Oct. 26, 2016. Visit Pilchuck.com for application and instructions. If you have further questions, contact the registrar at [email protected] or call 360-445-3111, ext 29.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Go to FriendsOfAsianArt@earthlink or call (206) 522-5438. Their latest newsletter is a tasty and informative look at Asian cuisine. Check it out by going to http://friendsofasianart.org. Also the organization’s upcoming fundraiser will be an “Asian And Global Arts Treasures Sale” on Sat., April 9 from 11am – 3pm at Phinney Neighborhood Center’s Community Hall. Find unique treasures of antiques, artifacts and craft items from Asia, Central/South America and Africa. Purchases via cash or check only. 6532 Phinney Ave. N. north of woodland Park Zoo. For details, go to [email protected]. Those who wish to participate in this event as a vendor and have questions can email Vendor Chair Ron Ho at [email protected].
Ken Matsudaira seeks ghost stories but not just any ghost stories. Let me have him tell you. Minidoka Ghost Stories is an oral history of ghost stories from the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and is an opportunity to hear and to share a unique aspect of the internment experience. The stories of ghosts, hauntings, and the strange not only provide an alternative inroad to Japanese American history, but also, in the analysis of their telling, provides insights into our culture, our values, and our legacy. Though Minidoka is specified in the project’s title, we are interested in hearing stories associated with ANY of the camps.
We are losing the generation of internees who were adults during the war. With their passing goes our access to a grown-up’s perspective of the internment. Fortunately, projects like Densho have been preserving many of their stories for future generations. What has been missing, however, is a look at how children created meaning out of their experience. For Minidoka Ghost Stories, I am seeking stories from Nikkei who were children during the war and who may have been too young to grasp the complexity of what was going on at the time, but who may easily be able to remember the things that scared them. I see Minidoka Ghost Stories as a unique access point to our history. I hope to give people a novel way of entering into dialogue about the larger Internment Experience through which they can connect with the history in unexpected ways.
I am hoping that inquiries about ghost stories can provide a playful. “less heavy” way for younger Nikkei to begin conversations with camp survivors, providing a way to encourage storytelling in general between generations. This, in fact, is the underlying “secret” goal of the project: fostering inter-generational communication and sharing. I hope that Minidoka ghost Stories will become an undertaking that is adopted by the community at large, inspiring Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei to ask their grandparents, parents, and relatives for stories about the internment in a way that has the possibility of bypassing decades of reluctance. It is my hope that Minidoka Ghost Stories inspires families to share stories and that it will provide a rich, inter-generational site of inquiry providing insights into how, collectively and individually, we have made meaning out of our experiences and storytelling.
The National Endowment for the Arts awarded a $10,000 Art Works award to Seattle non-profit, Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla Seattle. The funding will help bring four Indian maestros to Western Washington for a series of workshops and performances.
Actress Lucy Liu of “Kill Bill” and Charlie’s Angels” fame, currently starring in the CBS series “Elementary” was named artist of the year for Intercultural and Race Relations by the Harvard Foundation. Liu is a UNICEF Ambassador and has been a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. Harvard cited her for having “worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the plight of women and children in some of the world’s most impoverished countries.”