Some museums in the state are gradually re-opening. Please check with individual museum websites to see which museums and where.
Greg Kucera Gallery presents their “Semi-occasional Exhibition of Secondary Market Offerings”, a group show in which they sell work on consignment from collections and collectors. This show has work by Roger Shimomura, Guy Anderson, Romare Bearden, George Tsutakawa, Morris Graves and many others. On view through February 27, 2021. Kucera has announced he will gradually retire from the gallery, bringing in staff members Jim Wilcox and Carol Clifford as co-partners. 212 Third Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-0770 or try www.gregkukcera.com.
The work of Michelle Kumata can be seen in a group show entitled “Breathe” which is inspired by Martin Luther King. Also included is work by Carletta Carrington Wilson, Humaira Abid, Cory Bennett Anderson, Eileen Jimenez, Tia Blassingame and Roger Shimomura. Also includes a solo show by Paul Rucker titled “Forever” which pays homage with large postage stamp paintings of unsung heroes in the civil rights struggle. Both shows focus on social justice and human rights issues. A large scroll-like painting by Kumata entitled “Song for Generations” can be seen in the front window of the museum at all hours of the day. “Breathe” is on view until February 22, 2021. “Forever” remains on view until May 9, 2021. Bainbridge Art Museum is at 550 Winslow Way E. by the ferry dock. 206-842-4451 or try biartmuseum.org.
The ceramic work of Akio Takamori is included in a group show entitled “In Search of Lost Time” inspired by a novel by Marcel Proust. Also included is work by ceramic artist Viola Frey and painter Fay Jones. On view through February 27, 2021. James Harris Gallery at 604 Second Avenue in Seattle. 206-903-6220 or go to jamesharrisgallery.com.
Seattle artist Romson Bustillo currently has an installation in a group show entitled “Yellow No. 5” at the Bellevue Art Museum. It includes 8 new large mixed media works on canvas, wall treatments, 21 hand-sewn/applique fabric pieces, audio and video, a repurposed bed, poetry and three hand carved shadow puppets. To take a virtual tour of this exhibit, go to Bellevue Art Museum’s website. The show is curated by artist/curator Tariqa Waters and also includes work by Monyee Chau, ARI Glass, Aramis O. Hamer, Christopher Paul Jordan, Clyde Petersen, Kenji Hamai Stoll and SuttonBeresCuller. Waters says of the show that “it examines the transactional relationship between culture and consumerism and how they often work in tandem to conceal their connection.” It remains up until April 18, 2021. 425-519-0770. In addition, Bustillo also has work on view in the group show entitled “Reflections – 20 Years of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” which can be seen from the street level at the Gates Discovery Center on 5th Avenue between Harrison and Thomas.
“Caring for Humanity” is an apt title for a show of over 120 portraits of Seattle front line healthcare workers painted by Jayashree Krishnan. These intimate portraits reveal the determination, fatigue and caring that these workers bring to the COVID-19 crisis. On view from February 19 – March 21, 2021. Columbia City Gallery at 4864 Rainier Avenue S. Hours are Friday – Sunday from 12 – 5pm or by appointment. 206-760-9843.
Sung I Chun has work in a group show entitled “The Uncertainty Principle” set for the month of February, 2021. Also includes work by Stephanie Krimmel, Peggy Murphy and Sue Springer. The exhibit explores aspects of unpredictability, uncertainty and unease. Various media are used to speak of the personal as well as existential challenges of the unknown and unknowable. At the Shift Gallery at 312 South Washington St. in Seattle. Hours are Fri.-Sat. from 12 – 5pm and by appointment. Email is [email protected] and www.shiftgallery.org.
The Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, Inc. present a zoom virtual program of talks. On Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 10am (PST), Asian art and textile specialist Alan Kennedy will talk about “Kesa in Japan: Patchwork Buddhist Monks’ Robes from the Beginnings to Luxurious”. You must pre-register to attend these virtual talks. Try www.tmasc.org or email [email protected].
Davidson Galleries presents two group shows of international print artists under different themes. “Portraits” includes the work of Yoshio Yanobe, Lu Ke, Sayuri Nishimura, Jun’ichiro Sekino, Hui Zhang, Tomiyuki Sakuta, Koji Ikuta, Keisei Kobayashi, Seiichi Hiroshima, Wai Chirachaisakul, Chin Sheng Lee, Kouki Tsuritani, Atsuo Sakazume. Another group show entitled “Mad World” allows international artists to express their impressions of today’s condition. It includes work by Wai Chirachaisakul, Sohee Kim and many others. On view through March 27, 2021. View online at davidsongalleries.com or in the gallery by appointment (Tuesday – Saturday). 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-7684 or www.davidsongalleries.com.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has the following. Ongoing and on view is the group show “Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei 1920 – 2020” which includes wood sculpture by George Tsutakawa from his “Obos” series. Also on view is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, And Culture in Late Imperial China.” Another show opening March 20, 2021 and ongoing will be “Northwest Modernism: Four Japanese Americans” which takes a look at the work of Kenjiro Nomura, Kamekichi Tokita, Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa. Seattle Art Museum has shifted many of their educational programs online. To find out about the following programs – “The Art of Empathy: Live Virtual Tours”, “Eyes on Asia”, “Art Education Videos”, “Collection Highlights” and “Look & Make Lessons”, try this link. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/programs-and-learning/. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is still closed. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details on all this. The Museum’s Winter 2021 Saturday University Series is curated under the theme of “Art and Renewal in Times of Crisis in Asia.” On Saturday, February 20 at 10am (PST), Middle East art specialist Heghnar Zeitlan Watenpaugh will talk about “The Missing Pages, from Genocide to Justice”. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventid=70990. Also on February 20. 2021 at 10am (PST), Dr. Madhuvani Ghase, a curator from the Art Institute of Chicago will speak “In Service to Krishna: The Artists of the Temple Town of Nathdwara, Rajasthan.” You must register in advance. On Saturday, February 27 at 10 am (PST), photographer and video artist Munem Wasif from Bangladesh will speak on the topic “Jomin o Joban, a tale of the land”. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventid-70991. On Saturday, March 6 at 10 am (PST), Rachmi Diyah Larasati, associate professor of cultural theory and historiography in the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota and Christina Sunardi, associate professor in the Ethnomusicology program in the School of Music at UW will discuss the impact of political genocide in Indonesia in 1965-66 on dance performance in Java. The title of their talk is “Tracing Violent Events and Exploring Resilience: A Conversation on Dance in Java, Indonesia. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventid=70992. If you become a SAM member, you will have access to the enormously popular “Conversations with Curators” series. The series continues on every third Wednesday from February through August. On February 17, catch Natalia Di Pietrantonion, Assistant Curator of South Asian Art as she talks about “Storytelling Redux: South Asian Art” which looks at scroll paintings commissioned in 1843 in Telangana, India as part of a performance space and how two South Asian contemporary artists embody the narrative through their staged video and photographic performances. Curator of American Art Theresa Papanikoles will talk about “Abstract Expressionism: Alternative Histories and Expanding Conversation” on April 21, 2021. On July 21, 2021, Xiaojan Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art will talk about “Some/One: Do Ho Suh’s Dog-Tag Sculpture.”. The Seattle Asian Art Museum will not be celebrating the new year in person this year but they will present a video from Ray Yang that leads families through a new years activities at home. If you would like to receive a free art kit in the mail, send your name and mailing address with the subject line “Lunar New Year” to [email protected] by February 28, 2021. Go to seattleartmuseum.org to see the complete schedule or try [email protected].
The Cascadia Art Museum announces the following shows. “Gifts And Promised Gifts To The Museum’s Permanent Collections” is a group show that includes the late John Matsudaira’s masterpiece “Quiet Motion And Blue” which was featured at the Seattle’s World Fair back in 1962. On view through May 23, 2021. 190 Sunset Ave. S. in Edmonds, WA. Hours are Th. – Sun. from 11am – 6pm. 425-336-4809.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum has the following. Current exhibits include the following – “Hear Us Rise” is an exhibit that highlights Asian Pacific American women and other marginalized genders that have challenged society’s expectation. “Where Beauty Lies” on view through Sept. 19, 2021. Opening Nov. 14, 2020 and on view through Nov. 16, 2021 is “Guilty Party” a group exhibition of multi-media work by various Asian Pacific American artists curated by Justin Hoover. There are many virtual programs now as well. There are virtual tours of the museum on weekday mornings. Pre-booking available for private groups. Contact the museum to sign up. Live virtual tours of the Freeman Hotel on Thursdays at 5pm PDT.Check out what’s in the gift shop with the Museum’s online marketplace. The monthly storytime programs can be watched at www.digitalwingluke.org/programs.
Henry Art Gallery on the Seattle UW campus has the following artists presenting art talks in their “Critical Issues Lecture Series” which is presented in collaboration with the School of Art + Art History + Design. Lectures occur on Fridays. Canadian artist Divya Mehra will present a talk on February 26 at noon (PST). Free but please pre-register. Go to https://henryart.org/programs/all. “Fermented Face” is hosted as a part of the “Bugs & Beasts Before the Law Colloquium.” It is led by Candice Lin on Tuesday, March 2 at 1pm (PST). It is a workshop that uses facial massage and a guided meditation to ask questions about bodily borders, ideas of porosity and contamination, and the importance of touch in these contemporary times. Join the waitlist. Henry Art Gallery is on the Seattle UW campus. 206-543-2280 or email [email protected].
KOBO at Higo is now open on Saturdays from 11am – 5pm. Masks are required and you must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering. 30 minute shopping sessions by appointment only at the KOBO on Capitol Hill will soon be made available through an online booking system. Time slots will be limited to keep everyone safe, plus more protective protocols in place to meet safety guidelines. More information to come. Shipping and curbside pickup is still available by scheduling a Pickup Time at Checkout. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at koboseattle.com. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. Congratulations to KOBO which celebrates its 25th anniversary. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
“World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience” is the title of a show curated by Aarin Packard at Pacific Bonsai Museum. This show tells a history rooted in racism told through the living art of bonsai. It presents the powerful and inspiring untold history of bonsai artists working in the WWII-era and how they changed the course of bonsai art history forever. With 32 bonsai, archival documents and photographs. The exhibition traces the cultural practice of bonsai in the U.S. and Japan immediately before, during and after WWII, amid incarceration and at peace. Artists from the Puget Sound, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Japan are featured including Ben Oki, the Domoto family, Kelly Nishitani, Kenny Hikogawa and Joe Asahara, Ted Tsukiyama, Mas Imazumi, Kyuzo Murata and Yuji Yoshimura. The exhibition also includes a site-specific artwork by Seattle artist Erin Shigaki which includes wheat-pasted images of individuals who played a role in the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. A post-event recording of the “Branch Out” event held in August will be available on Pacific Bonsai Museum’s You Tube channel. On view now through Oct. 10, 2021. 2515 South 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. Admission is by donation. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 4pm. 253-353-7345 or email [email protected].
The Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham is open and accessible to everyone. This is an outdoor collection of major sculptures from the late 20th century to the present and includes work by Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Isamu Noguchi among others. Get a map from the information booth and explore the campus collection for yourself. Call 360-650-3900.
The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane has the following – “Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii” which opens January 23, 2021. Fujii was a Seattle artist and his illustrated diary spans the years from his forced removal in 1942 through his internment in Minidoka which ended on 1945. There are over 200 ink drawings and over 230 watercolors of all aspects of camp life. 2316 W. First Ave. in Spokane. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm with timed tickets purchased only online. 509-456-3931 or go to northwestmuseum.org.
The Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver BC presents “A Future for Memory: Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake” on view through September 5, 2021. March 11, 2021 marks 20 years since Japan experienced a chain reaction that began with a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami and then, a level 7 accident at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima. In commemoration of this “triple disaster,” Fuyubi Nakamura, MOA’s Asia curator, assembled the work of eight Japanese artists, groups and institutions to “consider the effects of natural disasters and reflect on how we are all connected globally.” Artists include Masao Okabe and Atsunobu Katagiri. To complement the exhibition and to give it global connections, a 20-minute documentary film entitled “Tsunami Ladies” follows the daily routines of six Chilean and Japanese women who lived through 2010 and 2011 tsunamis, respectively. Go to moa.ubc.ca for details.
“Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections” is now on view through May 1, 2021 at Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver BC Canada. Featuring 29 artists and organizations, and a range of art and artifacts that includes paintings, drawings, photographs, video, sculpture and architectural blueprints, this exhibition is less a wreath at the feet of these monuments than an overview of Canadian Chinatowns and their various representations – from both within and without. Curator Karen Tam says, “In thinking about the stories, histories and spaces of Chinatowns and their importance to their communities as centres, what are the ways that artists, art collectives and community groups are changing public discourse, planning and perceptions around Chinatowns?” There is an extensive selection of online public programs, from letterpress workshops with contributing artist Marlene Yuen to a screening of Karen Cho’s NFB documentary “In the Shadow of Gold Mountain” (2004), followed by a director’s talk and Q&A. For information on public programs, visit griffinartprojects.ca or call 604-985-0136.
The Chinese Canadian Museum of British Columbia opens its first exhibit in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Entitled “A Seat at the Table”, the exhibition explores historical and contemporary experiences of Chinese Canadians, particularly through the lens of food and restaurants. There are stations for writing and recording videos. Co-curator Viviane Gosselin said “the whole idea is to kind of generate a new body of historical knowledge that the Chinese Canadian Museum can use for future research and programming.” A sister exhibition is set to open at the Museum of Vancouver’s main location in the fall. Both exhibitions are expected to travel across B.C. within a year. This exhibition is at 27 East Pender. For details, go to [email protected].
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 555 Columbia St. in Vancouver B.C. has an ongoing exhibit entitled “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia”. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
Vancouver Art Gallery presents multi-media Chinese artist Sun Xun and his work from February 20 – August 22, 2021. 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. Go to https://ww.vanartgallery.bc.ca/
The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden presents “Luminous Garden, the third installment of artist-in-residence Lam Wong. Done in collaboration with Glenn Lewis, it’s an investigation of the concept of the garden as a sanctuary for spiritual growth. 578 Carrall St. in Vancouver B.C. 604-662-3207 or go to vancouverchinesegarden.com.
“Broken Promises” is a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project that explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Also ongoing is “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following – “Early Ceramics from Southeast Asia: Specimens from Thailand and the Museum Collection. On view through June 13, 2021. “Rhapsody in Blue and Red: Ukiyo-e Prints of the Utagawa School.” On view through July 17, 2021. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Portland Art Museum has a group show entitled “Joryu Hanga Kyokai, 1956-1865: Japan’s Women Printmakers” which looks back at the careers of the founders of the Women’s Print Association, Japan’s first printmaking society for women artists. On view through February, 2021. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or portlandartmuseum.org.
“Shadows From the Past – Sansei Artists And The American Concentration Camps” is a virtual group exhibition presented by Celadon Arts and San Joaquin Delta College and curated by Gail Enns. Artists in the exhibition include Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Wendy Maruyama, Tom Nakashima, No Omi Judy Shintani, Masako Takasashi and Jerry Takigawa. The next venue for this touring exhibit will be at the Monterey Museum of Art from September 9, 2021 through January 9, 2022. 559 Pacific St. 831-372-5477 or montereyart.org.
The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. will present the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020” will feature more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition. The exhibition’s opening coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021. The dates of this exhibition are May 21, 2021 – January 9, 2022.
The Textile Museum in Washington D.C.’s Textile Arts Council presents Cristin McKnight Sethi who will speak on the topic of “Curating Handmade: Textiles from South Asia, Past And Present” on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 10am (PST). This is an online presentation via zoom and admission is $5 – $10. For details, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/curating-handmade-textiles-from-south-asia-past-and-present-registration-1 3 6 9 7 5 3 2 1 8 7 5.
San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art is a virtual show that presents the art of Asia, Africa, Oceania & The Americas February 24 – 28, 2021 from 10am to midnight (PST). To register, go to https://www.virtualtribalandtextileartshows.com/form/.
Pakistani gay artist Salman Toor makes his debut in a show of his figurative paintings at the Whitney Museum of Art in a show entitled “How Will I Know”. On view through April 4, 2021. 99 Gansevoort St. 212-570-3600 or go to whitney.org.
Artists using expanded experimental cinema as an art form was a popular trend in the 1960s around the world and in Japan as well. Now some pioneers of that genre are showing in New York. Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver’s “Cinematic Illumination” is on view through February,2021 at the Museum of Modern Art. 11 West 53rd St. in Manhattan. Timed tickets are required. 212-708-9400 or try moma.org.
“Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment” is a new exhibition that runs from March 12, 2021 – January 3, 2022 at the Rubin Museum of Art curated by Elena Pakhoutova. The show was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit guides visitors on a journey toward enlightenment, showcasing the power of Tibetan Buddhist art to focus and refine awareness. Accompanying the exhibition is an audio guide and a catalog. 150 West 17th St. in New York City. 212-620-5000 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The Robert Klein Gallery presents an exhibition of photographs by New York and Shanghai-based artist and designer Han Feng. The exhibition entitled “The Gift” presents a series of 20 artfully and poetically conceived still life photos , created in her New York City studio during the pandemic using dishes from her collection and vegetables from local markets. On view through March 13, 2021. The gallery is on 38 Newbury St. in Boston. Open by appointment only. Email [email protected] or call 617-267-7997.
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University has become a major player in the reclamation of early Asian American art history as it pertains to California artists. Marci Kwon, assistant professor at Stanford is co-head of a new exhibition and instruction partnership called the Asian American Art Initiative. Besides teaching a course on 20th century Asian American art, she was behind the acquisition of 233 ceramic face masks that once graced the front of Bay Area sculptor/educator Ruth Asawa’s house. In addition, the university has acquired 141 paintings and works on paper from the private collection of the late Michael Donald Brown, a longtime Bay Area dealer and collector of Asian American art. A major display of the masks and the Brown collection is slated for the fall of 2022. That opening will be accompanied by a number of public programs and symposiums that will establish the Cantor as a major repository of art made by Asian Americans. Kwon will run the academic part of the program and Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander will curate the collection at the Cantor.
Canadian artist Divya Mehra has turned heads with a new exhibition entitled “The Funny Things You Do” at Night Gallery in Los Angeles through March 19, 2021. She has constructed 20-foot-tall inflatable versions of Hokusai’s wave and urn emojis to express a “tsunami of Grief” in reaction to the huge numbers of people around the world who have died from the coronavirus. This is the first solo show for her in the U.S. She was shortlisted fro the National Gallery of Canada’s $100,000 Sobey Art Award. Her work was also seen in a group show at MoMA PSI, theQueens Museum and MASS MoCA’s 2012-13 Oh Canada: Contemporary Art From North North America.” Also on view at Night Gallery is work by Christine Wang through March 19, 2021. 2276 East 16th St. 323-589-1135. Excerpted from the New York Times.
Asia Society Texas Center presents “Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power”, the first comprehensive U.S. museum survey of this renowned Bangladeshi photographer, writer, activist, and institution builder and a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018. Through 60+ images and ephemera, the exhibition will show the breath of Alam’s practice and impact throughout his four-decade career. This pioneering exhibition aims to provide visitors with a nuanced view of Bangladesh and South Asia, to explore systems of personal and collective agency, and to underscore the importance of self-representation, empowerment, and truth as embodied in Alam’s life and work. On view through Sunday, July 11, 2021 and admission is free. 1370 Southmore Blvd. in Houston, Texas. Hours are Thursday – Friday from 11am -4pm and weekends from 10am – 4pm. For more information, go to https://asiasociety.org/texas/exhibitions/shahidul-alam-truth-power.
Emerald City Music under the artistic direction of violinist Kristin Lee announces a new spring series of virtual musical experiences with concerts streaming February 26 – May 24, 2021 featuring concerts, Zoom events and backstage insights. All concerts will be available on Emerald City Music’s website and Vimeo platform for one month; at which point the next performance premieres. Listeners have a choice of how to gain access: pay for each performance for $20 (which supports future listening experiences), or share it on social media to gain free access. Go to emeraldcitymusic.org for more information or call 206-250-5510.
A new album “Hankyo” (Reverberation) is now available by Seattle-raised Hanz Araki who continues a shakuhachi tradition dating back generations in his family. Go to arakikodo.com for details.
Seattle Modern Orchestra announces its 2020-2021 season. Founded in 2010, the Seattle Modern Orchestra is the only large ensemble in the Pacific Northwest solely dedicated to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is led by co-artistic directors Julia Tai and Jeremy Jolley. SMO commissions and premieres new works from an international lineup of composers and often presents important pieces from the contemporary repertoire that are rarely if ever heard by Seattle audiences. This season will include six commissions and six concert broadcasts. The lineup of composers includes Iranian composer Anahita Abbasi, Cornish faculty member Tom Baker, saxophonist/composer Darius Jones, cellist/composer Ha-Yang Kim, Brown University assistant professor Wang Lu and SMO co-artistic director, Jeremy Jolley. The decision of whether each event will take place in person or virtually will be based on evolving community health guidelines throughout the season. Concert dates are March 14, May 1, June 6, 2021. Go to http://www.seattlemodernorchestra.org/2020/09/24/2020-2021-season-announcement-press-release/ for details.
Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced an all new virtual lineup for its 2020-2921 season. Some highlights include a world premiere by choreographer Edwaard Liang on June 20, 2021. For complete details, go to PNB.org/DigitalSubscription or call 206-441-2424.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced fall schedule changes with the season opening postponed to January of 2021. Some fall performances have been canceled or rescheduled for late winter or spring. Virtual programming is being developed with many of the artists as an alternative to live performances. For a complete listing, go to https://meanycenter.org/tickets/season. Current ticket holders to canceled events are encouraged to contact the ArtsUW Ticket Office to request a refund, exchange into a later performance or other alternatives.
Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio now located in the CID continues their classes in various aspects of the theatre both virtual and in-person. For a list of current classes, go to freeholdtheatre.org for details or call 206-595-1927.
Even though the Wayward Music Series at Chapel Performance Space is currently closed, go to nonsequiter’s website to listen to free links by local musicians performing original music at wayward music.org or try gscchapel.com. Also listed are live streaming of local concerts by contemporary musicians that you can rent. Local sound artist Susie Kozawa has a piece she did invoking the space at the Chapel in a forthcoming edition.
Vancouver Opera presents the digital premiere of Richard Wargo’s “The Music Shop” from “A Chekhov Trilogy”. In this comic opera, a meek husband desperately searches a music shop for a song requested by his wife whose title he cannot recall. March 13, 2021 at 7:30pm (PST). Luka Kawabata and Amy Seulky Lee are some of the singers in the cast. Go to [email protected] or call 604-683-0222.
Toronto-based Tapestry Opera’s 2020/21 season hopes to “push the boundary of the genre”. The season includes the following – June 17 – 20, 2021 brings “Dragon’s Tale” with music by Ka Nin Chan and libretto by Mark Brownell. This new Canadian opera by the same team that did “Iron Road” explores the relationship between a young Chinese Canadian woman and her immigrant father. Go to tapestryopera.com to learn more.
Bay area storyteller/performer Brenda Wong Aoki appears in “The Process Series: Remembrance & Renewal Storytelling Festival” streaming live February 17 – 21, 2021. Catch Brenda on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 7:30pm and again on Sunday, February 21 at 4:30pm. Visit www.processeries.unc.edu for more festival information. All the recordings by Brenda Wong Aoki and husband/musician/composer Mark Izu are now streaming and available for digital download on various music platforms including Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify.
British actor/rapper Riz Ahmed earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance of a drummer who loses his hearing in “Sound of Metal.” Now he has a show of his own as a rapper entitled “The Long Goodbye” with numbers taken from the album of the same name. It is now available on demand from the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Manchester International Festival who jointly commissioned it.
Film & Media
Pakistani American director Iram Parveen Bilal’s “I’ll Meet You There” explores the relationship between a father and his daughter and the support he gives to her pursuit of a career in dance. Things get complicated when as a member of the Chicago police, he gets asked by the F.B.I to spy on the actions of a local mosque where his visiting father worships. Available via Amazon Prime.
While it is sad that we can’t see films on the big screen in theatres for now, one thing that Covid 19 has done is open access to virtual cinema. One can now view films from major film festivals around the country for rent and viewable in the privacy of your own computer screen. Japan Society presents an online film series highlighting 30 films from the last 20 years of Japanese cinema. Covering a wide range of production styles and genres from small budget independents to major studio releases and features to short films with a showcase on films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and up and coming filmmakers as well. Virtual screening February 5 – 25, 2021. Tickets are $8 – $12 for a 3 day rental per film. All access pass is $99 for a 21 day rental of all films through February 4 only. Japan Society members get 20% off all purchases. Go to film.japansociety.org.
The 16th Annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle goes virtual this year to celebrate “Love & Light.” Screening February 18 – 26. 2021 with online screenings and interactive workshops presented by Northwest Film Forum. Full schedule comes out on January 26, 2021 via childrensfilmfestival.org.
SIFF Vitual Cinema has the following – Opening December 18, 2020 is the documentary film, “Finding Ying Ying” by Jiayan Shi and presented by Kartemquin Films. The film examines the sudden disappearance of a Chinese grad student in the mid-west and looks at her life’s promise and potential. Now all in a virtual screening online courtesy of SIFF. SIFF also has online the documentary film, “The Reason I Jump” based on a memoir by a 13 year old author Naoki Higashida. It chronicles the rich inner lives of five non-speaking autistic people around the world. “76 Days” is a documentary film that chronicles the beginning of the Covid 19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. Go to siff.net for details.
Every February, the Mukai Farm commemorates Executive Order 9066 as a reminder of the impact the incarceration experience had on families, our community and the country. On February 19, they present a free screening of the documentary film, “A Bitter Legacy” which examines the lesser known secret prisons designed to isolate the US citizen “troublemakers” from other prisoners. These Citizen Isolation Centers are they were called are now considered precursors to the Guantanamo Bay Prison. Screens on the Mukai Farm & Garden Facebook page on February , 2021 at 5:30pm.
Cornish College of the Arts offers Continuing Education courses for adult learners. Filmmaker, photographer and writer Phan Tran offers a class entitled “Editing: The Practical Art” with spring classes starting March 23,2021. Students will become familiar with the equipment and technology used to craft film and will be introduced to writing, thinking, music and surgery – skills that are all needed to make film stories. $600 for 6 sessions. Go to [email protected] for details.
“The Social Justice Film Festival” is now accepting submissions for their 2021 Festival. Visit www.socialjusticefilmfestival.org/submit for submission instructions and deadlines.
“Finding Kukan”, a documentary film by Robin Lung about a pioneer Chinese American woman filmmaker which was well received at SIFF a few years back can now be viewed for free in a virtual screening via China Fest until Feb. 14, 2021 with a director’ talk on February 4, 2021. Presented by the University of Richmond, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Rose Chen. It is also a free movie that can be accessed via nationwide public libraries who use the Kanopy system. Just click on the FINDING KUKAN Kanopy link and search for your library. Other related films you can check out on Kanopy include “Forever Chinatown”, “95 and 6 to Go” and “Alternative Facts”.
“Earwig and the Witch” (HBO Max) is the latest studio Ghibli film, this time directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. A head strong orphan girl gets adopted by a witch and a reclusive demon writer. The story is adapted from the novel by Diana Wynne Jones (“Howl’s Moving Castle”). “Earwing” is the studio’s first feature entirely computer-animated foregoing the hand-drawn animation the studio was known for in the past. The younger Miyazaki has pronounced this as a move into the future.
“Ruth – Justice Ginsburg in her own Words” is a documentary film on the late Supreme Court Justice by Freida Lee Mock who also did the documentary film on Maya Lin and her Vietnam Memorial project. It is distributed by Kino Lorber Virgil Films with plans for TV rights by Starz on March 1, 2021.
Eddie Huang, food impresario and creator of the hit TV series “Fresh Off The Boat” has his debut feature film coming out on Focus Features in March, 2021. It is entitled “Boogie” and tells the story of an Asian American high school kid with basketball skills and dreams of making it in the NBA.
“Minamata” is a 2020 drama directed by Andrew Levitas based on the book of the same name by Aileen Mioko Smith and W. Eugene Smith. The film stars Johnny Depp (who also produced) as Smith, an American photographer who documented the effects of mercury poisoning on the citizens of Minamata, Kumamoto, Japan. Hiroyuki Sanada portrays Mitsuo Yamazaki. The film had its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 21, 2020. It was briefly released in the United States on February 5, 2021 by American International Pictures and MGM but has now been pulled for later release due to the pandemic.
“Center Stage” is Stanley Kwan’s landmark film about the legendary Shanghai silent film actress Ruan Lingyu and stars Maggie Cheung as the actress. Praised for her moving and emotive on-screen presence, Ruan had a tumultuous private life culminating in her suicide at the age of 24. This 1991 classic has been digitally restored in 4K from the original negative. It opens Via Metrograph’s Virtual Cinema on March 12, 2021 as presented by Film Movement. Foundry Communications at 212-586-7967.
“Young Rock” is a new NBC comedy created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang (both of “Fresh Off the Boat”) that traces the history of famed action star Dwayne Johnson. The series covers three phases of the star’s life as a preteen, an awkward teenager and an up and coming college football star. The cast includes Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson as the parents and Dwayne Johnson who appears as himself.
MUBI presents the following – “Walking Meditations: A Tsai Ming-Liang Double Bill” has 2012’s “Walker”, the first film in this director’s “Walker” series in which actor Lee Kang-sheng portrays a monk facing the velocity of big cities. His 2015 “No No Sleep” puts the monk in downtown Tokyo. Hong Sang-soo’s 2014 “Hill of Freedom” is a comedy starring Ryo Kase as a Japanese man who comes to rural Korea to propose marriage to a Korean woman he’s been exchanging letters with only to find she’s nowhere to be found. Also screening is a 2006 Hong Sang-Soo film “Woman on the Beach” in which two friends drive to a seaside resort. One brings along his girlfriend. As the days go by the woman in question denies she’s his girlfriend and complications ensue. “Cenote” is a 2019 documentary film by Kaori Oda. The title of the film is a word for sources of water that in ancient Mayan civilization were said to connect the real world and the afterlife. The director swims in these natural sinkholes in Northern Yucatan and films the underwater world of light and dark. “Dead Pigs”, the first feature film by “Birds of Prey” director Cathy Yan is a dark comedy based on a true story when over 16,000 dead pigs were found in the Huangpu river in 2013. It won a Special Jury Prize for ensemble acting at Sundance and will be available for the first time in the U.S. beginning February 12, 2021. Go to [email protected] to find out about this film streaming service where you can rent by the month or by the year.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, EVEN/ODD AND Compound announce the launch of DEFENDER, an art+media project revealing the inequities of the U.S. criminal legal system and the work of The San Francisco Public Defender. The project showcases the power of storytelling through film, photography, art and merchandise, to shift the gaze of traditional journalism about justice and the legal system. The project is inspired by the late San Francisco Public Defender, Jeff Adachi. Go to https://wearredefender.com or https://www.instragram.com/wearredefender/
Town Hall Seattle has digital programming of upcoming events on their live stream page. They also have a media library of hundreds of video and audio free to enjoy. A new addition to that includes Laila Lalami who talks about “What It Means Be An American” and her book, “Conditional Citizens” with fellow author Viet Thanh Nguyen.Go to townhallseattle.org for details.
Most local theaters are doing virtual screening via the internet where you can rent new films and see them at home. Go to the websites for Northwest Film Forum, Grand Illusion Cinema, Siff Uptown, AMC theatre chains and others.
The Written & Spoken Arts
The Writers of Color Alliance has called for the removal of executive director Tree Swenson from Hugo House which runs classes and literary readings since its founding in 1997. The group has argued that the organization has lacked diversity at all levels of the organization and express no confidence that the present director can institute meaningful changes to an anti-racist institution. A key board meeting scheduled for February 16, 2021 was expected to have an announcement of the non-profit’s response to WCA’s demands.
Third Place Books presents the following virtual events at their “Live on ZOOM!” series. Trung Le Nguyen will discuss his graphic novel “The Magic Fish” with fellow writer Tillie Walden, author of “Are You Listening?” on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 6pm (PST). This young adult novel deals with the complexity of family and how stories bring us together. Joe Ide will read from his latest “IQ” detective series book entitled “Smoke” on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6pm. In this volume, IQ loses his sidekick Juaneil Dodson who must go straight or lose his wife and child. He becomes an intern in an L.A. advertising agency but the rules of the street still rule here too, albeit dressed in business casual. On Tuesday, March 2 at 6pm (PST,) investigative journalist Amelia Pang discusses her book “Made in China” which looks at how many items exported from China are made by prisoners in forced labor camps. She will be interviewed by Chen Pokong, a Chinese American columnist who participated in the 1989 China Democracy movement for which he was imprisoned and subsequently exiled to the U.S. Kazuo Ishiguro will discuss his new novel “Klara and the Sun” with fellow novelist Ruth Ozeki (her forthcoming novel “The Book of Form And Emptiness” is due out in September 2021 from Viking). On Saturday, March 13 at 2pm (PST). Tickets are required. Presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company and Village Books. Ticket includes event access, a copy of Ishiguro’s book and a signed bookplate. Books will be shipped after the event (no international shipping is offered). Go to the website www.thirdplacebooks.com for details.
ArtsWest presents “RE:BUILD” which is a series that gives people in the community a chance to read and discuss books on race and an opportunity to build ongoing anti-racist practices into the foundations of our work and life. In four meetings spread out over eight weeks, beginning February 22nd, participants can read and discuss Ijeoma Oluo’s book entitled “So You Want To Talk About Race” in a series of conversations facilitated by Naho Shioya. Besides being a gifted actress (she starred in the well-received ArtsWest production of “Office Hour”), she also does insightful work as a teaching artist and racial equity consultant. Meetings will be held on Mondays from 6:30 – 8pm every two weeks on February 22, March 8, March 22 and April 5, 2021. Due to overwhelming demand, a new session has been added beginning Wednesday February 24 and running bi-weekly for 4 sessions through to April 7, 2021. The book club is free of charge but participants will need to acquire their own copy of the book. You can pick up a copy at Sistah Scifi whose email is [email protected]. If you need assistance in obtaining a book or participating in the workshop, email [email protected]. Go to [email protected] for more details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has a full slate of events in their virtual reading series. Here are a few. Looking forward to March are these events. Poet/writer/curator Kazim Ali appears on behalf of his memoir “Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water” (Milkweed) along with Danielle Geller and her book “Dogflowers” (One World/RH) on Thursday, March 11 at 6pm (PST). On March 15, 2021, Viet Thanh Nguyen appears with a new novel “The Committed” (Grove). On March 31 at 6pm, Seattle author Hannah Kirshner talks about her new book “Water, Wood, and Wild Things: Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town (Viking) with digital artist/ author/educator John Maeda also from Seattle whose parents owned the greatly missed ID landmark, Star Tofu. For this one, go to https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/603783/water-wood-and-wild-things-by-hannah-kirshner/. Finally on April 7, Seattle author /educator Sonora Jha talks about “How to Raise a Feminist Son” (Sasquatch) via Town Hall Virtual. She will be in conversation with Ijeoma Oluo. For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “events” page or call 206-624-6600 or toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Although all events are virtual for the time being, the book store is open.
King County Library System presents the following author events. Charles Yu talks about his National Book Award winning novel “Interior Chinatown” with fellow author Ted Chiang, author of “Exhalation” on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 7:30pm (PST). Register for this virtual event at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/cha. Contact information for this event is Emily Calkins at [email protected]. “Meet the Author: Kawai Washbrun Strong Debut Author Book Chat” on April 17, 2021 at 11am (PST) features this Hawai’i-based novelist talking about his debut novel entitled “Sharks in the Time of Savoirs”. Registration required. Contact information is [email protected]. “Author Voices: Thrity Umrigar” takes place on May 6, 2021 at 7:30pm (PST). Umrigar discusses her many books including “The Secrets Between Us” with Seattle University English Professor Nalini Iyer, a IE contributing writer. For information, email [email protected].
E.J. Koh is the 2021 Jack Straw Writers Program Curator for 2021. She is the author of the award-winning memoir, “The Mystical Language of Others” and the poetry collection entitled “A Lesser Love”. The 2021 Jack Straw Writers selected this year by Koh are S. Rein Batiste, C.E. Glasgow, Patrycja Humienik, Grace Jahng Lee, Jose Luis Montero, Greg November, Tochukwu Okafor, Michael Overa, Paulette Perhach, Abi Pollokoff, Kristie Song and Daniel Tam-Claiborne. They will read in their debut on the first three Fridays in May.
Hugo House presents the following – “Quarantine Write-In” with poet Esther Lin on February 25 at 5:30pm (PST). This is a free weekly write-in via Zoom. You will get writing prompts, time to write and an opportunity to meet with other writers. Lin is a 2020 Fellow at FAWC in Provincetown and author of “The Ghost Wife.” “Ask a Memorist” with Kent Wong takes place on March 10 at noon (PST). This is a free one-hour writing Q&A. Wong will discuss his new book “Swimming For Freedom” and offer tips on the art and craft of writing memoir. Registration is limited for these events so RSVP. “Death” is the theme for the Hugo Literary Series program set for April 2, 2021 at 6pm (PST). Poets and performers include Rebecca Makkai, Layli Long Soldier, Lucy Tan and P. C. Munoz. For more information try [email protected].
“Open A New Window” is the title of Seattle Arts & Lectures new 2020/21 season. Set for June 9, 2021 is poet/fiction writer Ocean Vuong. His novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” in which he writes letters to his immigrant mother which she will never read was an immediate and enduring bestseller. Sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Company. For more details, go to lectures.org.
Eastside raised poet/educator W. Todd Kaneko has a forthcoming collaboration with Amorak Huey entitled “Slash/Slash” which is partly a mythologized biography of heavy metal guitarist Slash and explores identity, masculinity, fame and music. It is due for release in June 2021 as part of Diode Editions collaboratively written poetry chapbook series. Also in this series is “Bright Power, Dark Peace” by Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito. Go to diodeeditions.com for details.
EAST WIND BOOKS in Berkeley, California remains one of the most comprehensive bookstores in the country for Asian American and Asian titles. They are sponsoring the following free virtual events. Aya Rahman reads from “The Unexpected Friend – A Rohingya Children’s Story” on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2pm (PST). A free Zoom event. The Eastwind Book Club Meeting takes place on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 2pm (PST.) Topic of discussion will be “The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata”, a new novel by Gina Apostal. Register at www.asiabookcenter.com. On March 6, 2021, Saturday at 1pm (PST) author Anjuli Sherin talks about her book, “Joyous Resilence” with Shivani Narang and shares excercises. Free Zoom event. Register at www.asiabookcenter.com. On Saturday March 20, 2021 at 2pm (PST), M. T. Vallarta talks to author Gina Apostal about her latest novel “The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata”. Free Zoom event. On March 27, 2021, Saturday at 3pm (PST) there will be a Southeast Asian American Poets Reading with Monica Sok and Krysada Phounsiri and Oakland Youth Poets/Poets from UC Berkeley’s Southeast Asian Student Coalition. A free Zoom event. Register at seapoetry.eventbrite.com. To make a reservation and get more details on these events, email [email protected].
The Manilatown Heritage Foundation presents a “Kommunity Kultura “ presentation with Katuuaran Lyn Pacificar who will discuss “Atin Gamot: Traditional Filipino Plant Medicine – Preparations for Immunity Boosting and Healing.” Part of a 2-part series which will continue in March. Online via ZOOM with registration at EventBrite. Go to [email protected].
The Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley continues its Spring 2021 Speakers Series on Chinese American History with a March 17, 2021 panel talk on “The Effects of the Cold War on Chinese American Families” with William Dere, Jeanie Dere and Alvin Ja who all grew up in San Francisco Chinatown. At 9am (PST). The talk will be about the McCarthy-Cold War repression during the 1950s and 1960s that affected their families and their significance today. You will need a Zoom account to listen in. May 7, 2021 will feature student podcast projects related to Chinese American history on Friday at 1pm (PST). To RSVP for these talks, try https://tinyurl.com/AAADS121. For more information, email [email protected].
The “Imprint: Margarett Root Brown Reading Series” has tickets on sale now. This Houston-based reading series like many events all over the country is now a virtual series. Some of the authors in this series include Chang-Rae Lee & Lily King on Feb. 22, 2021 and Viet Thanh Nguyen on April 12, 2021. To receive a complete series brochure, email [email protected].
“When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller won the 2021 John Newberry Medal, the highest honor given in children’s literature. The book also won the Asian/Pacific American Award for children’s literature. The novel is the story of a girl whose family moves in with her sick grandmother. A magical tiger from Korea folklore offers the girl a deal to help her grandmother get better.
California performing art luminaries Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu are included in a new book entitled “California Elegance – Portraits from the Final Frontier” by portrait photographer Frederic Aranda and writer Christine Suppes. The book has portraits and landscapes accompanied by stories of many Californians across the state in various fields of endeavor. Together, the book presents a definitive and cohesive picture of the state as the leader of change and innovation.
New Directions, Fitzcarraldo Editions and Giramondo are pleased to announce that Jessica Au has won The Novel Prize for her manuscript entitled “Cold Enough for Snow. Au is based in Melbourne and this is her second novel. The Novel Prize is a new, biennial award for an innovative and imaginative book-length work of literary fiction that explores and expands the possibility of the form written in English. A $10,000 prize goes to the winner with simultaneous publication in North America by New Directions, in the UK and Ireland by the London-based Fitzcarraldo Editions, and in Australia and New Zealand by Sydney publisher Giramondo. For details, please go to thenovelprize.com.
Nightboat Books has announced the winners of their 2020 Poetry Prize. Included in the group of four winners are Chia-Lun Chang’s “Prescribee” and Wo Chan’s “Togetherness”. All of the winners will have their books published by Nightboat Books in the future.
The University of Washington Press is seeking writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. UW Press editors are eager to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. Contact them via email of set up a meeting by phone or Zoom. Executive Editor is Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“Ten Little Dumplings” (Tundra) by Larissa Fan and illustrated by Cindy Wume. In a Chinese family, boys are traditionally valued but this quirky children’s book looks behind the ten little boys in the family to reveal a sister who is just as important.
“The Monocle Book of Japan” (Monocle) by Tyler Brule is a culmination of years of reporting on that country by this international magazine. It delivers a unique insight into the people, places and products that define that island nation with cogent text and attractive images.
“A Place at the Table” (Clarion Books) by Saadia Faruqi is a young adult novel about sixth grade girls. One is a Pakistani American girl and the other, a white Jewish girl who meet while taking a South Asian cooking class. They bond as cooking partners then as friends as they compete with others to win a spot on a local food show.
“Foreign Bodies” (Norton) by Kimiko Hahn. Inspired by her encounter with the Jackson Collection of ingested curiosities at the Mutter Museum, this poet investigates the grip that seemingly insignificant objects have on our lives.
Two-time Newberry Medal winner Lois Lowry’s new book “On The Horizon – World War II Reflections” (HMH) is a moving account of the lives lost and forever altered in the bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.
“Monkey – New Writing From Japan” (Monkey Magazine) is the latest volume of that literary magazine that plumbs the depths of new writing from Japan translated by some of the finest translators and illustrators working today. This issue includes work by Hideo Furusawa, Haruki Murakami, Tomoka Shibasaki, Yoko Ogawa, Hiroko Oyamada, Hiromi Ito and many others.
“The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void” (Nightboat Books) by Jackie Wang. These poems emphasize the social dimensions of dreams, particularly the use of dreams to index historical trauma and social processes.
“Buddha – Photographs by Michael Kenna” (Prestel). This British photographer travels all over Asia documenting with a sensitive eye, the image of the Buddha. With essays on the history of the Buddhist image and a personal story by the photographer on his travels.
“Love Without A Storm” (Blood Axe Books) by Arundhathi Subramaniam is filled with poems that celebrate an expanding kinship: of passion and friendship, mythic quest and modern day longing, in a world animated by dialogue and dissent, delirium and silence.
“Heiress Apparently” (Abrams) by Diana Ma is the first book in an epic, romantic young adult series following the fictionalized descendants of the only officially recognized regent of China. When a young Chinese American woman from Illinois embarks on an acting career in Los Angeles having abandoned plans for college – things turn strange. When she gets a role in “M. Butterfly” shooting in Beijing, she uncovers a royal Chinese legacy in her family her parents would rather she never knew.
“Forty Two Greens – Poems of Chonggi Mah” (Forsythia) as translated by Youngshil Cho. Winner of the Korean Literary Award, this poet’s search for the infinite in nature illuminates moments of beauty in the subconscious.
“The Surprising Power of a Dumpling” (Scholastic) by Wai Chin. A teenage girl balances looking after her siblings, working in her dad’s restaurant and taking care of a mother suffering from a debilitating mental illness. A deep true-to-life exploration through the complex crevices of culture, mental illness and family.
“Almond” (Scholastic) is the latest picture book by master storyteller/artist Allen Say. In it he portrays a young girl named Almond who is a victim of self-doubt and is envious of the talented new girl in school who plays the violin. Yet, through trial and error she comes to find her place in the world and a role she can play.
“Instrument” (Fonograf) is the new multi-media project by Dao Strom in which she explores hybridity and contemplates the intersection of personal and collective histories through forms of poetry, music, image, song and sound inside the spaces of a book. Born in Vietnam and growing up in northern California, her book of poems is augmented by an album of songs that cover the wide range of her artistic exploration.
“Ten – A Soccer Story” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Shamini Flint. A good half-Indian girl in 1980’s Malaysia isn’t supposed to play a “boys” sport but Maya is all game as she achieves her goals while placating a bossy Indian grandmother and holding together a mixed race family on the verge of drifting apart. A young adult novel that will inspire.
“The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa” (Modern Library) won the Pen Award for “Poetry in Translation” for translator/poet Sawako Nakayasu. Now it’s brought back in print in the new Modern Library Torchbearers Series that highlights women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity and a spirit of resistance. Sagawa was a turn-of-the-century daringly experimental voice in Tokyo’s avant-garde poetry scene. Her life was cut short by cancer at the age of 24 but the words she left behind linger on.
“Ichiro” (Etch) by Ryan Inzana was a Will Eisner Award nominee, received the Asian/Pacific American Award and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. This graphic novel tells the story of a boy raised by his Japanese mother in Brooklyn who grows up idolizing his American father he never knew who was killed in combat. When he is forced to go to Japan with his mother who is on a work trip, he is left with a grandfather, a stranger to him in a country he doesn’t know. When he finds himself a fugitive in a land of mythic gods, he must figure out who he is and how he can escape.
“Hot Pot Night” (Charlesbridge) by Vincent Chen. In this kid’s picture book, one Taiwanese boy’s enthusiasm for hot pot brings out his diverse apartment neighbors for a night of fun and a delicious communal meal.
“A Nail The Evening Hangs On” (Copper Canyon) by Monica Sok. A strong debut that illuminates the experiences of the Cambodian diaspora and reflects on America’s role in escalating genocide in Cambodia. A travel to war museums around the world re-shapes the imagination of a child of refugees and from these experiences tumble out powerful poems of voice and witness.
Mindy Kim, Class President” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee is part of a series of books on the adventures of a teenage Korean American girl. In this story, she decides to run for class president but first she must overcome her fear of public speaking.
“Sick” (Black Lawrence) by Jody Chan. Erica Dawson says of this book – “poems of history, of beauty, of violence, of grief – will surprise you at every turn of phrase and page. Chan’s work is innovative, her treatment of the universal human condition meticulously unique.”
“Nam June Paik” (Del Monico) edited by Sook-kyung Lee and Rudolf Frieling is the catalog for a recent retrospective on the artist’s work at the Tate Modern in London. Paik was a visionary artist who foresaw the importance of mass media/new technology and its impact on visual culture. This groundbreaking book focuses on Pail’s pioneering role in radical aesthetics and experimental art. Texts elaborate the artist’s collaborations with other artists, musicians and choreographers. Highlights Paik’s global trajectory and impact on digital culture.
“Salat” (Tupelo) marks the poetry debut of Seattle Filipino-Jordanian immigrant Dujie Tahat. As Zeina Hashem Beck notes, “Borrowing their structures from Muslim prayer…these poems remind the reader that poetry is a kind of prayer, that any prayer is a kind of searching.”
“Flowering Tales – Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan” (Columbia University Press) by Takeshi Watanabe. This is the first extensive study of this historical Japanese tale. It unravels 150 years of happenings in Heian era society penned by female writers.
National Book Award-winning poet Arthur Sze in “The Glass Constellation” (Copper Canyon) has his poetry spanning five decades assembled into a book of new and collected poems. Fusing elements of Chinese, Japanese, Native American and various Western experimental traditions, the poems illuminate a concern for our endangered planet and troubled species.
“Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From” (Wave) is a new book by Sawako Nakayasu, an artist working with language, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She, alone is responsible for introducing a wide variety of modern Japanese poets to English readers throughout the years with her fresh and skillful translations. This new volume is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry.
“That Was Now, This Is Then” (Greywolf Press) is the first new collection from Paris Review Editor Vijay Seshadri since his 2014 Pulitzer Prizewinning book, “3 Sections.” Rosanna Warren says of this new book, “These are poems of lacerating self-awareness and stoic compassion. It is a book we need, right now.”
“The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) as translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian is due out January 19, 2021. It is the only complete history of this major event written by an independent scholar based in mainland China. The author witnessed much of this history firsthand, as a student and then as a journalist His previous book “Tombstone”, his definitive history of the Great Famine received the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism presented by the Nieman Fellows at Harvard and Sweden’s Steig Larsson prize. This new book was published in Hong Kong in Chinese in 2016 but has been banned in mainland China.
“My Name Will Grow Wide Like A Tree” (Greywolf) by Yi Lei and translated from the Chinese by Changtai Bi and Tracy K. Smith. Yiyun Li says of this book, “Yi Lei, one of China’s most original and independent poets, documents not only Chinese history in the past four decades, but also more importantly a woman’s private history of rebellion and residence.”
“Disappear Doppelganger Disappear” (Little A) is by the author of “The Hundred-Year Flood”, Matthew Salesses. Laura Van den Berg writes “How to live in a world that refuses to see you? Matt Kim’s intoxicating battle with his mysterious doppelganger moves him deeper and deeper into the vast and urgent sea of this question – and towards a possible answer. Inventive and profound, mordantly hilarious and wildly moving.”
“ACE – What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex” (Beacon) by Angela Chen. “ACE” explores the world of asexuality and those who have found a place in it. Through reportage, cultural criticism, and memoir, this book shows what we can gain from the ACE lens.
“Like Spilled Water” (Carolrhoda LAB) by Jennie Liu. A Chinese family sacrifices all for the son’s education while the daughter is left behind in the countryside. But when the boy dies suddenly, his sister investigates the root cause. A suspenseful and poignant exploration of family dynamic/gender roles in today’s China.
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island” (Coffee House) by Jamie Marina Lau. In her debut novel, shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Stella Prize, old hazy vignettes conjure a multi-faceted world of philosophical angst and lackadaisical violence. A teenage girl drifts through a monotonous existence in a Chinatown apartment until her dad and boyfriend plot a dubious enterprise that requires her involvement.
“Sachiko” (Columbia University Press) by Endo Shusaku as translated by Van C. Gessel. This novel tells the story of two young Japanese Christians in Nagasaki trying to find love in the painful war-time years between 1930 and 1945.
“Bestiary” (One World) by K-Ming Chang. This debut novel brings myth to life, revealing layer by layer origin stories of what becomes of women and girls who carry the spirits of beasts within.
“Other Moons – Vietnamese Short Stories of the American War and Its Aftermath” (Columbia University Press) translated and edited by Quan Manh Ha and Joseph Babcock. In this anthology, Vietnamese writers describe their experience of what they call the American war and its lasting legacy through the lens of their own vital artistic visions.
“Dancing After Ten – A Graphic Memoir” (Fantagraphics) by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber. After the author experiences a severe medical reaction to ibuprofen that leaves her blind, she gets a second chance with a cornea operation that restores her sight only to realize the cure is temporary. She races to complete her memoir before blindness erases it all. With the help of a collaborator, she creates a book that conveys a life lived with an inner strength that inspires.
“Everything I Thought I Knew” (Candlewick) by Shannon Takaoka. A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor when odd things begin to happen. As she searches for answers, what she learns will lead her to question everything she assumed she knew.
“New Deal Art In The Northwest – The WPA And Beyond” (UW) by Margaret Bullock. This book tells the story of hundreds of Northwest artists employed by the U.S. Federal government under the WPA Project and also serves as the catalog for an accompanying exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum. Includes work by Kamekichi Tokita, Kenjiro Nomura and Fay Chong.
“Last Tang Standing” (Putnam) by Lauren Ho. “Crazy Rich Asians” meets “Bridget Jones” in this funny debut novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact and opening one’s self up to love.
“The Uncertainty Mind Set – Innovation Insights From the Frontiers of Food” (Columbia University Press) by Vaughn Tan. The author spent long periods observing some of the world’s most famous chefs at work and tells readers what they do and how they do it.
“Some Are Always Hungry” (University of Nebraska) by Jihyun Yun. This volume won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Ada Limon writes “At once a reckoning with immigration and historical trauma and rooted in the sensorial world, these poems are timeless and ongoing.” It chronicles a family’s wartime survival, immigration and heirloom trauma through the lens of food, or the lack of..
“Paper Peek Animals” (Candlewick) by Chihiro Takeuchi. A die cut book that allows kids to peek through and pick out the animals in this wild search-and-find journey that will engage minds and counting skills as well.
“Sheepish (Wolf Under Cover) by Helen Yoon. This Candlewick Press picture book for children tells the story of a wolf in sheep’s clothing who thinks he’s fooling everyone but is he really?
“My First Book of Haiku Poems – A Picture, A Poem And A Dream – Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters” (Tuttle) by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup. Classic Japanese haiku imaginatively illustrated with bilingual English and Japanese text. Each poem comes with questions for the young reader to think about.
“Sacrificial Metal” (Conduit Books & Ephemera) by Esther Lee. It won the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. Sean Dorsey writes that the book “dances with astute curiosity and deep tenderness across the shifting grounds of grief, touch, bearing witness, memory, and our obstinate human instinct for future planning. With great compassion, Lee’s poems remind us that everything human eventually unravels…”.
Seattle poet Don Mee Choi calls Anna Maria Hong “the genius poet of fairy tale language and conventions in “Fablesque” (Tupelo), a new book by this former Seattle resident. She goes on to say how “Hong explores the grammar of horror and hunger, survival and abuse across the contorted historical, cultural, and familial terrains of the Korean diaspora.”
“Forbidden Memory – Tibet During the Cultural Revolution” (Potomac) by Tsering Dorje. Edited by Robert Barnett and translated by Susan T. Chen. The author uses eyewitness accounts with expert analysis to tell the story of how Tibet was shaken by foreign invasion and cultural obliteration. This book is a long-overdue reckoning of China’s role in Tibet’s tragic past.
“Paper Bells” (The Song Cave) by Phan Nhien Hao and translated by Hai-Dang Phan is a new volume of poems by a poet shaped by the Vietnam War, forced to re-start a life as a teenager in the U.S. His poems bear witness to a delicate balance between two countries and cultures.
“So This Is Love: a Twisted Tale” (Disney) by Elizabeth Lim. A young adult re-telling of the Cinderella story. In this one, Cinderella leaves the house where she works and gets a job as the palace seamstress. Here she becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to overthrow the king. Can she find a way to save the kingdom?
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M. L. Gold and N. V. Fong as illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from a big sister’s point of view, this picture book makes the complicated adoption process clear for the youngest readers and the colorful art shows how many different kinds of families there can be.
“Sonata Ink” (Ellipsis) by Karen An-Hwei Lee imagines Kafka in the city of angles seen through the eyes of a Nisei woman hired to be his interpreter and chauffeur. Los Angeles seen as the epicenter of “The Wasteland.”
“Story Boat” (Tundra) by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. A picture book that tells the story of a little girl and her brother forced to flee home and create a new one out of dreams and stories amidst migration and crisis.
“Territory of Light” (Picador) by Yuko Tsushima as translated by Geraldine Harcout. This novel finds a young woman left by her husband starting a new life in a Tokyo apartment with her two year-old daughter. As the months go by she must confront what she has lost and who she will become..
“Butterfly Sleep” (Tupelo) by Kim Kyung Ju as translated by Jake Levine is a historical drama based in the early Joson Dynasty. With a mixture of magic realism and dark humor, he tells an existentialist allegory of Korean’s rapid development. This play is a modern fable of a rapidly changing country that must confront its ghosts.
“Lion Boys and Fan Girls” (Epigram) by Pauline Loh looks at teenage boys who make a pledge to ban dating and focus on lion dancing. But they must contend with unusual girls and cyberbullying. The rich culture of Singapore and the fascinating history of lion dance make this a compelling young adult read.
“Eat A Bowl of Tea” (UW) by Louis Chu is a classic influential novel that captured the tone and sensibility of everyday life in an American Chinatown. This new edition comes with a foreword by Fae Myenne Ng and an introduction by Jeffrey Paul Chan.
Set in a New England town where accusations led to the Salem witch trials, Quan Berry’s novel “We Ride Upon Sticks” (Pantheon) looks at a 1980’s girls field hockey team who flaunt society’s notions of femininity in order to find their true selves and lasting friendship.
“A Bond Undone” (St. Martin’s Griffin) by Jin Yong is the second volume of “Legends of The Condor Heroes”, one of Asia’s most popular martial arts novels. Translated by Gigi Chang.
“Taiwan In Dynamic Transition – Nation Building And Democratization” (UW) edited by Ryan Dunch and Ashley Esarey. This book provides an up-to-date assessment of contemporary Taiwan highlighting that country’s emergent nationhood and its significance for world politics.
“The Journey of Liu Xiabao – From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate” (Potomac) edited by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Yu Zhang, Jie Li and Tienchi Martin-Liao. Liu Xiabao was more than a dissident poet and this collection of essays capture the intellectual and activist spirit of this late literary critic and democracy icon.
“Harris Bin Potter And The Stoned Philosopher” (Epigram) by Suffian Hakim. This young Singapore-based writer’s parody of Harry Potter bases the story in Malaysia and seasons it with local and pop cultural references.
“Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee and illustrated by Dung Ho. Mindy is excited to go to the annual lunar new year parade but things don’t go as planned. Can she still find a way to celebrate?
“Peach Blossom Paradise” (NYRB) by Ge Fei and translated by Canaan Morse. This novel is the first volume of the award-winning “South of the Yangtze” trilogy. It is a sweeping saga of twentieth-century China that follows a family from a tiny village through three generations of history.
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M.L. Gold and N.V. Fong and illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from the view of an eager older sister, this is an endearing story about adoption from an often-neglected point of view.
“Grievance is Their Sword, Subterfuge Is Their Shield” (OkeyDokeySmokeyPokey Publishing) in the words of former IE staff person Thomas R. Brierly is “an intersectional persuasion to elucidate and educate on matters of race, violence, white supremacy and the United States’ adherence to brutal capitalism…”. Go to vvovnn.bigcartel.com to order.
“Layla and the Bots” (Scholastic) by Vicky Fang and illustrated by Christine Nishiyama is a series meant to empower girls. It’s about a rock star and her team of bots. The books pair science, engineering and math with kid-friendly themes.
“In The Footsteps Of A Thousand Griefs” (Poetry Northwest Editons) is the debut poetry publication by Seattle Young Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee. She is the 2019/2020 Youth Poet Laureate of Seattle as sponsored by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Born in California but raised in Taiwan, she has made Seattle her home for the past few years. Her poems have a beauty of language that pays tribute to both cultures and countries.
The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association is building a Departure Deck component as part of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. They are accepting artwork proposals until February 15, 2021. Award notifications will take place on March 1, 2021 and the hoped for project completion date is June, 2021. For details , questions and more information, contact Val Tollefson at [email protected] or call 206-660-6350.
The University of Washington Press issues a call for writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. The editors at this local press want to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. They invite writers to contact them by email to set up a meeting by phone or zoom. If interested, contact Executive Editor Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Artist Trust is looking for volunteers that bring vital expertise, thought partnership, and community connections to join their Board of Trustees. Also a Mental Health & Wellness Mondays bi-weekly program happens which consists of artist stories, resource sharing and workshops that center self-care and encourage rest and resilence. The goal is to provide a platform for Washington State artists to share the tools and resources they use to better treat mental health and wellness, including how self-care might be incorporated as part of their artistic practice. The Future Ancient public art team has put together a survey and artist roster to create economic empowerment for API creative through an Artist Roster created by and for local API Creatives and cultural workers. Take some time to fill out the survey to move this crucial work ahead. A Washington State Food Bank Map was created by Artist Trust as a resource for finding alternative food sources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is an annual grant that will be awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. Also check out the monthly digest of resources and opportunities for artists. Try [email protected] to find out about all of the above possibilities.
The Center For Asian American Media is accepting submissions for CAAMFEST 2021: May 13-23,2021. Early bird deadline is Jan. 29, 2021. Normal deadline is Feb. 12, 2021 and late deadline is Feb. 26. 2021. Submissions via FilmFreeway. Please email festi[email protected] if you need more information or have questions.
HBO has announced the call for submissions for its annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition. Submissions will open on January 1, 2021 at 9am PST. The top three winners win cash prizes and the opportunity to have their projects premiere on HBO and available to stream on HBO Max following their theatrical screening at the 2021 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. For this year’s competition, HBO is seeking emerging storytellers whose works respond to the theme of “taking the lead.” Serving as the ambassador and spokesperson for the 2021 HBO Vionaries program is Jamie Chung, star of the HBO Original Series “Lovecraft Country.” For complete rules and guidelines, go to www.hbovisionaries.com. All submissions are due by April 1, 2021 at 11:59 PST.
The Asian Contemporary Fine Art Competition aims to discover and celebrate talented Asian, Asian Diaspora artists and artists residing in Asia. With a distinguished panel of jurors and awards valued at over $55,000 and opportunities to give selected artists immense opportunities for exposure in New York and at an art fair Entries are accepted until May 4, 2021. For questions and clarifications, go to [email protected] or go to the website.