“Art Beasties – Time Difference: Seattle-New York-Tokyo” is an intriguing idea for a group show. It started with a Japanese artist collective based in New York and then became a collaboration between Japanese artists in different cities exploring time, locations, and surroundings from various perspectives. The projects include live music performance, photography, installation, video and painting. The Seattle contingent includes Paul Komada, Akiko Master and Yuki Nakamura. Participating artists from Tokyo include MAHO HIKINO, Saki Kitamura, Mayu Kuroda and Noriyo Yasunaga. The New York artists are Kakeru Asai, Ko Lrkt and Tokio Kuniyoshi. At SOIL April 2nd – May 2nd with the opening reception set for First Thursday, April 2nd from 6 – 8pm. 112 3rd Ave. S. in Seattle (206) 264-8061 or go to www.soilart.org. A concurrent pop-up show will be at Prole Drift Gallery from April 2nd – 4th with a special reception there on Saturday, April 4th from 6 – 9pm. 523 S. Main St. (206) 399-5506 or try [email protected].
“HAKONIWA Project – to touch & to be touched” is a new show by artist Etsuko Ichikawa which explores the notion of not only a boxed garden but Sandplay therapy developed by Koa Kalff, a Jungian therapist. The artist explores the personal significance that hands play in our lives and our interactions with others. In this exhibit, narrow sandboxes are placed in the middle of the gallery and miniature hand figures are displayed on shelves on the walls. Visitors are encouraged to take the hand figures displayed and bring them to the sandbox to arrange. On view March 21th – June 14th. Opening reception March 21st from 2 – 5pm. Ichikawa will make a presentation on April 4th at 1pm. A group show from the permanent collection entitled “Study In Green” features the work of Boyd Sugiki and other Northwest artists. On view March 21st – June 14th. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor, WA. (360) 466-4446 or go to www.museumofnwart.org for details.
A group show of “Contemporary Japanese Printmakers” includes the work of Kozo Inoue, Fumiko Suzuki, Akiko Taniguchi, Mariko Ando, Akira Kurosaki, Tomiyuki Sakata, Fumiaki Fukita, Kana Nemoto and Yosho Yamanobe. Through March 28th. Chinese woodcut artist Zha Sai lives in Hubei Province surrounded by water and trees which provide inspiration for her finely detailed work. Opens June 2nd and remains on view until June 27th. Davidson Galleries in Pioneer Square. 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-1324 for details.
The world of printmaking in Japan has been dominated by men but after World War II, all that would change. “Breaking Barriers – Japanese Women Print Artists 1950 – 2000” focuses on the work of five exceptional women who were pioneers of printmaking in the postwar decades. Features the work by Minami Keiko, Shinoda Toko, Yoshida Chizuko, Matsubara Naoko and Oda Mayumi. Curated by Maribeth Graybill. On view through April 12, 2015. Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. (503) 226-2811.
“Change-Seed: Art from Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution” is a group show of work generated by protests in Hong Kong last fall/winter against the Chinese Government for elections and democratic rule. March 19th – May 15th. CoCA Georgetown at 5701 Sixth Ave. S. in Suite 158. (206) 728-1980 or go to cocaseattle.org. Open Mon. – Fri.
South Korean glass artist Keunae Song has a show of blown glass mirrors on view April 1st – 25th. Aaliyah Gupta shows abstract compositions April 29th – May 30th. CORE Gallery. 117 Prefontaine Place S. (206) 467-4444 or go to coregallery.org. Open Wed. – Sat.
The work of April Higashi is included in a group show entitled “So Fine” which highlights works by nine contemporary jewelry artists who push the boundaries of what we know conventionally as jewelry with their experimentation. April 22nd – May 12th. Facere Jewelry Art Gallery at 420 Fifth Ave., Suite 108. (206) 624-6768 or go to facerejewelryart.com. Open Mon. – Sat.
The whimsical, funky charm of Saya Moriyasu’s ceramic installations will be on display in a show of new work at G. Gibson Gallery April 24th – June 6th. 303 South Washington St. (206) 587-4033 or go to ggibsongallery.com. Open Wed. – Sat.
“Woven Woods” is the title of a show by local Japanese artist Naoko Morisawa. She uses hundreds of slices of natural and oil- dyed wood chips on board to create an unusual mosaic/textural feel. April 30th – July 14th. Artist’s reception is on May 7th from noon – 1:30pm. Ethnic Heritage Gallery at Seattle Municipal Tower at 700 Fifth Ave. on the third floor. (206) 684-7132. Go to seattle.gov/arts for details. Open Mon. – Fri.
“@ Large: Ai Wei Wei on Alcatraz” is the name of a new series of installations that this Chinese artist and political activist has put together. For someone who has been under house arrest for years and unable to leave the country, this artist has been amazingly busy producing work through the tools of the internet. This latest installation has seven pieces in four locations, offering a new cultural lens through which to experience the notorious military and federal penitentiary turned national park. Presented by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the exhibition explores urgent questions about human rights and freedom of expression and responds to the potent and layered history of Alcatraz as a place of detainment and protest. To order advance tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/large-. For more information about the project, visit http://www.for-site.org/. On view through April 26th.
“Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali’I” presents the first exhibition of Hawaiian featherwork on the U.S. mainland developed in partnership with the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu. Around 75 rare and stunning examples of the finest featherwork capes and cloaks in existence will be shown as well as royal staffs of feathers, feather lei, helmets, feathered god images and related paintings and works on paper. Opens August 29th, 2015 and remains on view through Feb. 28th, 2016. De Young
Seattle ceramic artist Akio Takamori has been traveling. A solo show entitled “Eros” in Switzerland and residencies where he worked out his skills in printmaking/drawing. So let’s see what new work he has produced since his UW retirement at this show of new work at James Harris Gallery set for May 14th – June 20th. 604 Second Ave. (206) 903-6220 or go to jamesharrisgallery.com for details. Open Wed. – Sat.
The work of Canh Nguyen is included in a group show entitled “Low Res”. Artists in the Waterfront Art Program were asked to work on short residencies along the waterfront. The works produced will be digitally archived and used throughout the city as posters, performances or other ephemeral forms. March 23rd – May 13th. Seattle Presents Gallery in the Seattle Municipal Tower located at 700 Fifth Ave. Open Wed. – Thurs.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – The Young Family Collection of Qing Dynasty robes opened Jan. 15th . “Who Gets To Belong?” is an exhibit that looks at the Immigration Act of 1965 that lifted the quotas for Asian Pacific Islander immigration . This exhibit which opens March 5th from 6 – 8pm will look at the cultural and political climate that pushed for this act. Free. Sat., March 14th “Commemorating Wing Chong Luke” looks at the Museum’s namesake as friends evoke the memories of this progressive Chinese American local politician. 1pm. $9 suggested donation. Moderated by former Museum Executive Director Ron Chew. Story Time for Sat., March 21st will be around Oliver Chin’s “Julie Black Belt and the Belt of Fire”. Free at noon. Family Fun Day for March 21st at 1pm asks viewers to see the new “Who Gets to Belong?” exhibit and create a mixed media collage that honors your own family. Led by local artist Romson Bustillo. Free. “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. This show will make for a good initial introduction. “RESIST – Asian American Acts of Struggle” remains on view through Jan. 18th, 2015. Wing Luke also co-sponsors a new exhibition “Voices of Nisei Veterans” at the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) Hall. Oral history testimonies and rare collections tell the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after World War II. “BOJAGI: Unwrapping Korean American Identities”, a new show on our local Korean American community opened Nov. 13th and remains on view through the spring of 2015. A new exhibit entitled “Puppet Power! Asian Traditions Come to Life” opened on July 19th. See innovative creations from Asian American puppet artists, video performances and hands-on puppet play. Created in partnership with the Northwest Puppet Center and the Valentinetti Puppet Museum. Still on view is “ART IN MOTION: The Evolution of Board Culture” From surf board to skate board, learn how Asian Americans have contributed to this thriving culture. Curated by Gabriel Goldman of Platform Inc. Includes the work of Wally Inouye, Nhon Nguyen, Nin Truong, Junichi Tsuneoka and Mike Yoshida. Free Fa- Still on view is “#iconic: Power and Pop Culture” which explores how Asian American pop icons are made and what it means to look up to – or challenge – these figures. “Hometown Desi: South Asian Culture in the Pacific Northwest” is a semi-permanent display that opened Oct. 3. It will explore the history of South Asians in this area up to the present. A “Dumpling Tour” centered around restaurants in the local neighborhood is available in Feb. and March. If interested, contact the tour coordinator at (206) 623-5124×133.719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
Sogetsu Ikebana Mercer Island Chapter’s 25th anniversary exhibition will be held over the weekend on April 11th and 12th at United Methodist Church. 11am – 5pm on Sat. and 12:30pm – 4pm on Sunday. A demonstration of Japanese flower arranging in the Sogetsu style will be held on Sunday at 1:30pm. Free. 7070 SE 24th St. on Mercer Island. For information, go to www.misogetsu.org.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Colored Vases” is the first work by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei acquired by Seattle Art Museum. The artist took ancient earthenware vases and dipped them in buckets of industrial paint allowing them to drip dry. By covering the surfaces with a new paint, what is underneath – like history itself – is “no longer visible, but is still there.” The irony is that they play on the question and question authenticity issues that the artist likes to raise in today’s market for Chinese Art. First Free Saturday family activity takes place from 11am – 2pm. April 4th create a spring-inspired collage of cherry blossoms. May 2nd make watercolor landscapes and a collage frame. Each activity is complimented with a children’s film. Artist and photographer Michael Cherney presents a program entitled “The Sun Is Not So Central” as presented by the Gardner Center on Sunday, March 22nd at 3pm. “Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World” looks at the work of this pivotal member of the Japanese neo-pop art movement whose work merges the sweetness of kawaii culture with the cloudy future of a post-apocalyptic world. Includes photography, drawing and an animated video installation. Opens May 2nd and remains on view through Oct. 4th. “Calligraphic Abstraction” is a group show exploring the world of calligraphy in all its’ various forms of beauty from a Mark Tobey painting to Islamic, Chinese and Japanese examples. Opens May 9th and continues on view until October 4th in the Tateuchi Galleries. For complete information on all events, go to seattleartmuseum.org.
“Nature and Pattern in Japanese Design” is a related exhibition to “Deco Japan” in two parts that will be shown at Seattle Art Museum downtown. Part 2 begins August 16th, 2014 and continues till April 19th, 2015. “Visual Vertigo” is an intriguing new group exhibit of twelve Australian aboriginal artists whose canvases mesmerize you with their density of pattern. On view through July 6th, 2015. “Conversations with Curators” series presented for SAM members only presents a talk entitled “Monet by the Sea: Fishing Boats at Etretat” by Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. May 20th with Happy Hour at 6pm and the lecture at 7pm. Visit sam.org or call (206) 654-3100.
“BAM Biennial 2014: Knock On Wood”, a group show of artists working with wood on view through March 29th, 2015. Includes work by Humaira Abid and June Sekiguchi. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE. Go to www.bellevuearts.org.
Tacoma Art Museum has opened a new wing to accommodate the gift of a new collection. “ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST: The Haub Family Collection at Tacoma Art Museum just opened. Included in the present show is work by contemporary Chinese American artist Mian Situ. He creates epic paintings in the European tradition but inserts Chinese American immigrants as protagonists in scenes in which they’ve previously been missing. “Photographic Presence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur’s Project 562” is the first installment of Matika Wilbur’s ambitious project to capture contemporary Native American life by documenting people from all 562 federally recognized tribes in the US. The photography of Seattle photographer Chao-Chen Yang is included in a group show entitled “Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots”. This show explores the distinct identity of Northwest art and how it has adopted, adapted and reacted against its western roots. A theme particularly apt and timely since the museum is building a new wing to house their new collection of Western art. Both shows through the fall of 2015. Tacoma Art Museum is at 1701 Pacific Ave. (253) 272-4258 or go to TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Juliet Shen will be in a group show entitled “Duwamish Artist Residency” set for March 5th – 26th, 2015 at Gallery4Culture. The show sheds light on the activities of twelve studio artists who gather every summer to work together for a week at various spots along the river. For details on their work, go to duwamishresidency2012.wordpress.com. Please note that as of 2015, Gallery4Culture will no longer have shows during the months of December and August. Shows continue during the other ten months.
“Elements” is a group show that explores aspects of the physical world we live in. Includes work by Alice Chew, David Ko, Jim Kurhihara and others. Now on view during winter at University House Wallingford at 4400 Stone Way North in Seattle. Curated by June Sekiguchi. (206) 545-8400.
The work of Koji Kubota and Junko Yamamoto is included in a group show entitled “The Moon Is Free” which highlights work with primary colors and playful shapes. May 7th – June 27th. ArtsWest Gallery. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Thurs. – Sat. (206) 938-0339 or go to artswest.org.
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. “Sakura Sakura” is a new show of photography by Motoya Nakamura on the theme of cherry blossoms as photographed and filmed in video around Portland. Open Tu. – Sat. 11am – 3pm and Sundays, noon – 3pm. 121 NW 2nd Ave. (503) 224-1458 or email [email protected].
The Museum of Contemporary Craft. Upcoming April 17th – August 16th in 2015 is “The New Frontier: Young Designer-Makers in the Pacific NW”. 724 NW Davis St. in Portland. (503) 223-2654 or go to mocc.pnca.edu.
The Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver BC, Canada has the following. On view until April 6th is “Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art” which looks at how Chinese artists today view their tradition. Re-working traditional aesthetics in conceptual ways, artists use new forms and media – such as digital animations and site-specific installations-to provide a myriad of means to understand and examine traditions influence on visual culture in present-day China. Work by Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Yunfei Ji, Sun Xun, Chen Shaoxiong, Zhang Enli, Madein Company, Liu Jianhua, Qiu Shihua and Jennifer Wen Ma. In related news, VAC will launch a new Institute of Asian Art expanding its exhibitions, collections, programs and create a new endowed Senior Curator of Asian Art. Future exhibitions planned include a project with Tsang Kinwah, a major exhibition of contemporary art from India and the continued growth of the museum’s permanent collection of contemporary Asian Art. 750 Hornby St. (604) 662-4719 or go to vanartgallery.bc.ca
“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.
In conjunction with the Henry Art Gallery’s current exhibition by Ann Hamilton entitled “the common S E N S E” on view through April 26th, 2015, the museum presents a series entitled “ARTBREAKS” in which artists, scholars, and community members present different ways to think about and relate to the materials and ideas in the art on view. On Sat., March 21st at 2:30pm, musician and sound artist Susie Kozawa will speak. All events take place at the Henry unless otherwise noted. Visit henryart.org for tickets and more information.
“Hand and Wheel – Contemporary Japanese Clay” looks at the long-standing ceramic tradition in Japan and surveys the work of modern ceramic artists working from the traditional to the contemporary. Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D., The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art. On view through June 21, 2015. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. (503) 226-2811.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District always has interesting shows of new ceramic work or work that conveys an Asian aesthetic. Go to koboseattle.com for updates. 604 S. Jackson St. (206) 381-3000.
“Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop”. The disaster of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and nuclear accident came as both a shock and inspiration for Japanese Neo-Pop artist Mr. In response he created a massive installation composed of everyday objects from Japanese life. It forms the centerpiece for this show with a series of new paintings and other work. Organized by SAM, this retrospective is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. A protégé of Takashi Murakami, the icon of Japanese Pop art and a member of the otaku subculture, Mr.’s work is marked by an obsessive interests in anime and manga. This exhibition is organized by SAM in collaboration with Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., Galerie Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin Gallery. In the Tateuchi Galleries of the Seattle Asian Art Museum and remains on view until April 5th, 2015. “Conceal/Reveal: Making Meaning in Chinese Art” is a show that features a collection of Chinese Art curated with the intent of drawing a thematic line of “layered meaning” between all pieces. Opens Dec. 20th and remains on view through June 21st, 2015. 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. (206) 654-3100 or go to seattleartmuseum.org. In a related activity entitled “Forces of Nature – Sunday Meetup in the Park”, visitors can dig into themes from “Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop” and come in remembrance of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This event takes place from 1 – 4pm on Sunday, March 22nd at Olympic Sculpture Park downtown Seattle. Local artist Etsuko Ichikawa will screen her short video here entitled “Echo At Satsop” at 1pm followed by a short presentation. Reserve free tickets online.
Curator/sculptor/installation artist June Sekiguchi unleashes a whirlwind of activity by showing the fruits of her creative labors in various guises/projects/exhibitions and we are the richer for it. Her massive piece entitled “Pineal Canopy” comprised of 36,000 hand tied knots dipped in wax and threaded through 368 router pinecone disks is included in the BAM Biennial “Knock on Wood” on view through March 29th, 2015. 510 Bellevue Way NE. (425) 519-0770. “Taki” (waterfall in Japanese) is a site specific piece to be permanently placed in the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery of Seattle Municipal Tower inspired by the famous woodblock print by Hokusai entitled “A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces”. 700 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle on the 6th floor. This piece can be seen from Oct. 23rd, 2014 on along with other pieces by Marita Dingus, Humaira Abid and Gustavo Martinez as curated by Preston Hampton. Finally Sekiguchi will be involved in a group show entitled “The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human” which intends to examine the stigma and silence surrounding mental illness. A variety of people, from mental health advocates to community leaders/organizations will come together to speak about mental illness and its effects on our society. Sekiguchi’s son, Quin Breeland has created QR code links to the artists’ works and will have an audio/visual experiential multi-media piece. Tours by artists paired with mental health professionals are scheduled throughout the exhibition. At Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave. in the 4th floor lobby and Anne Focke Gallery.
Seattle photographer/educator Carina del Rosario has the following events now up or upcoming. Starting from March 2015, a selection from Carina’s “Passport Series” will be included in Wing Luke Museum’s upcoming post-1965 Immigration Act exhibition. For complete details on all these events, contact the artist direct at [email protected].
Local artist Etsuko Ichikawa has a new solo show entitled “Act of Drawing” at Michael Warren Contemporary, a gallery in Denver from May 12th – June 13th. A short film demonstrating her process of making Glass Pyrographs is part of the exhibit. The artist will attend the opening reception on May 15th from 6 – 9pm and also give a short presentation. 760 Santa Fe Dr. in Denver, Colorado. For details, email [email protected] or call (303) 635-6255.
ArtXchange Gallery presents the following – Painter William Song has his first solo show exhibiting his non-representational paintings that range from pure color fields to patchy swaths that use several hues spread by the deft strokes of a painter’s knife. Remains on view through March 28th. 512 First Ave. S. (206) 839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Open Tues. – Sat.
The work of Paul Horiuchi is included in a group show entitled “55th Annual Anniversary Group Exhibition” from April 10th – May 23rd at Woodside/Braseth Gallery at 1201 Western Ave. (206) 622-7243 or go to woodsidebrasethgallery.com. Open Tues. – Sat.
On view till June 7, 2015 is “Elegance & Nobility: Modern & Contemporary Korean Literati Taste”. And finally “Vistas of a World Beyond: Traditional Gardens in Chinese Material Culture” is on view until July 5, 2015.University of Oregon Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene. (541) 346-3027 or visit jsma.uoregon.edu.
“Xu Bing: Writing Between Heaven And Earth” opens Feb. 21st and remains on view through May 24th . This epic installation is rarely exhibited in its entirety. The work challenges viewer’s perceptions of cultural identity and language. Trained in China as a master printmaker, Bing grew up in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. A core tenet of his work is the preservation of Chinese culture and traditions. Chinese characters and traditional landscapes feature prominently in his work. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at 10975 South 17th St. in Miami, Florida. Go to thefrost.fiu.edu or call (305) 910-7762.
Some upcoming shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston include the following – “In The Wake – Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11” on view April 5th – July 12th. Also opening April 5th and remaining on view until August 9th is “Hokusai”, a show of prints by the great Japanese woodblock printer. “Crafted Objects in Flux” is a group show that look at artists who “simultaneously blur and expand craft’s landscape.” Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa is included in this show and she has plans to do a live performance sometime during the run of the show. On view August 25th – January 10th, 2016. 465 Huntington Ave. in Boston. (617) 267-9300.
“Takahiro Iwasaki: In Focus” is the Japanese artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibition comprises a newly commissioned work by the artist known for creating detailed miniature landscapes using found and recycled materials. The transformation of these objects from trash into sublime sculpture underscores the artist’s belief in the “duality of chaos and order imprinted on everyday life.” For this show, the artist selected as his inspiration a pair of seventeenth-century Japanese folding screens from the Asia Society Museum Collection, titled “Flowers and Grasses of the Four Seasons” His newly crated work will be shown alongside the six-panel screens which are part of the Rockefeller Collection. On view January 27th – April 26th, 2015. “Buddhist Art of Myanmar” is the first exhibition in the West devoted solely to this country. Around 70 works on loan from collections in Myanmar and the U.S. from the fifth to the early twentieth century . Feb. 10th – May 10th. Asia Society Museum at 725 Park Ave. in New York City. Go to AsiaSociety.org/museum for details.
“After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997” is an ambitious group show that looks at the changing role of art in that country. Work by the Progessive Artists Group by artists like M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, E. N. Souza produced in the wake of that country’s newly won independence in the late 40’s will be paired with contemporary examples by artists like Shilpa Gupta and Dayanita Singh. Opened on March 8th and remains on view through June 28th at the Queens Museum. Located in Queens, New York in the New York City Building, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park. (718) 592-9700 or go to www.queensmuseum.org.
“On Kawara – Silence” is a retrospective on the work of the late contemporary Japanese artist who had a unique way of marking time in his art. Now on view through May 3, 2015. 5th Ave. at 89th St. (212) 423-3500 or try GUGGENHEIM.ORG/ONKAWARA for tickets.
In 1947, Britain partitioned India by religious belief creating Pakistan. More than a million people lost their lives during Partition as they were forced to move from ancestral homes to accommodate religious re-districting. Now, over 1,000 survivors of Partition have been interviewed on camera for the 1947 Partition Archive, a new museum dedicated to this event. It is quietly located on the upper floor of a bank building in downtown Berkeley, California. The 1947 Partition Archive founder is Guneeta Singh Bhalla. It is seen as a race against time as many of the survivors are now in their 70’s and 80’s. Bhalla reflects on her visit to the Hiroshima Memorial Museum and how the oral histories of that event stood out as so vivid. It inspired her to create an archive on the Partition, an event that was little known around the world but had tragic, long- standing consequences for generations of families. Go to http://www.1947Partition-Archive.org/ for more information.
Asia Society honored Doho Suh, Shahzia Sikander, Wucius Wong and Xu Bing for their significant contributions to contemporary art at their third annual Art Gala in March at Art Basel Hong Kong.
Sotheby’s presented two shows in March at their Hong Kong gallery under the theme of “Avant Garde Asia”. “Lines of Korean Masters” revealed a comprehensive group of paintings created from the 60’s to the post-millennium by artists looking to break through traditional Asian aesthetics. “Gutai And Its Legacy” examined how a group of radical artists endeavored to reinvigorate art in the region through performances and installations.
Mary Griggs Burke, a late trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of art and renowned collector of Japanese art has given through her estate more than 300 works of Japanese art and a 17.5 million endowment to the museum. An endowment of equal size is being given to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Burke was a Minnesota native who eventually settled in New York.
“Bat Of No Bird Island” (see related story in this issue) is a new recording that local percussionist/composer Paul Kikuchi did inspired by the memoir & 78rpm record collection of his Issei (first generation Japanese American) great grandfather Zenkichi Kikuchi who was a farmer in Eastern Washington. There is a release party at Jack Straw Cultural Center on Saturday, March 28th from 12 – 3pm. Kikuchi will be spinning ethnographic lps from Asia and serving tea to his visitors. You can also pick up signed copies of the CD and vinyl copies as well as stations to view/hear the new website . Each format provides a different insight into the work. The cd & digital download feature full studio recordings. The record pairs Kikuchi’s re-imaginations with the two original Japanese songs from which they drew inspiration. Finally, the website provides context in the form of memoir excerpts, photos and recordings from the original 78rpm records while also deconstructing music from the album into short vignettes that are paired with photos and writings. Musicians on the recording included Paul Kikuchi, Tari Nelson-Zagar, Eyvind Kang, Maria Scherer, Stuart Dempster, Rob Mullis and Bill Horist. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. (206 634-0919 or go to [email protected])
ArtsWest in association with SIS Productions presents “Chinglish” (see related story in this issue) by noted Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang through March 29th on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. 4711 California Avenue SW near Alaska in West Seattle. This comedy explores the challenges of doing business in another language and culture when an American businessman goes to China to score a lucrative contract for his family’s firm only to encounter miscommunication and misunderstanding in business and personal relationships. Directed by Annie Lareau and featuring Adrey Fan, Kathy Hsieh, Hing Lam, Guy Nelson, Serin Ngai, Evan Whitfield and Moses Yim. For details, go to https://www.facebook.com/sisproductions or ArtsWest.org.
The accomplished classical music duo (also husband and wife) of Jinsoo Lim (violin) and Melia Watras (viola) collaborate with jazz musicians Cuong Vu (trumpet) and Ted Poor (drums) in a stimulating evening of classical and improvised music. Lim and Watras start off with compositions for violin and viola and then are joined by Vu and Poor in another set of improvised music. Sunday, March 29th at 7pm. PONCHO Concert Hall at 710 E. Roy St. just off Broadway.
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma. On May 16th, Northwest Sinfonietta presents “The Taiwanese Connection”, a classical concert highlighting Taiwanese contemporary composer Gordon Chin’s premiere of his composition dedicated to Taiwan. Also Taiwanese violinist Mae Lin plays Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto.7:30 pm at the Rialto. 901 Broadway in Tacoma. (2530 591-5840.
Seattle Symphony plays host to a full season of events. Here are some highlights. Yuja Wang returns as piano soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas in a program of Britten, Gershwin and Shostakovich on April 1st. April 21st brings the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to town under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung with Sunwook Kim on piano. Yo Yo Ma, cello virtuoso plays one afternoon only with the Symphony on May 3rd at 2pm. On May 26th, violinist Pinchas Zukerman performs with pianist Angela Cheng. Visit Seattlesymphonyorg or call (206)215-4747.
Stuart Dempster, Professor Emeritus at the UW School of Music leads his Bull Roarchestra (including UW Professor and jazz trumpeter Cuong Vu) in performance in the exhibition room for the current exhibit “Ann Hamilton: THE COMMON SENSE” on Fri., March. 20th at 7pm. Free with admission ticket. Visit henryart.org for tickets and more information.
Book-It Repertory’s adaptation of David Guterson’s “Snow Falling on Cedars” plays the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center March 13th – 28th, 2015. (206) 842-8569.
Thistle Theatre does a bunraku-puppet version of that classic Japanese folktale, “Momotaro” with original songs. March 21st- 22nd at Magnuson Park Theatre at 7110 – 62nd Ave. NE. (206) 684-7026 for tickets.
Town Hall Seattle “Global Rhythms” series has the following. The Hamsaz Ensemble play a concert entitled “Iran Through the Centuries” on Thurs., March 26, 2015 at 7pm. Rounding off the “Global Rhythms” Series is Saigon’s Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre featuring Rup Tung Cack on Fri., May 15th at 8pm. This is a 1,000 year-old folk art form. 1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 652-4255 or email [email protected] or go to townhall.org for details.
The Steve Griggs Ensemble plays “Music Made from Japanese American Memories of WW II” at the Panama Hotel Tea Room at 2pm every Saturday in 2015. Free. 605 South Main St. Sponsored by 4Culture, National Park Serice, and Earshot Jazz. For details, go to panamahoteljazz.blogspot.com.
“The Comparables” marks the world premiere of a new play by Laura Schellhardt as directed by Braden Abraham at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Three corporate women at the top of their game find their world turned upside down when one of them has her reputation tarnished. Do they band together and fight or go their separate ways? Cast includes Keiko Green (see related story in this issue). March 6 – 29th. Go to seattlerep.org or call (206) 443-2222.
Zakir Hussein, Indian table virtuoso is always exploring new ways of presenting his music. In his latest venture, he blends Indian and Celtic traditions trying to find a musical thread that connects. March 20th at the Moore Theatre.1932 – 2nd Ave. (206) 487-5510 or go to www.stgpresents.org.
The Tobi Stone Texture Band plays an evening of original music in homage to her mentor, the late jazz saxophonist Bert Wilson. In the band is inventive pianist Sumi Tonooka and Masa Kobayashi on bass. The group plays Seattle’s Royal Room on March 26th and then again on March 27th at the Black Box Theater in Olympia. The Royal Room is at 5000 Rainier Ave. S. (206) 906-9920.
The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas hosts a South Asian version of “The Vagina Monologues” entitled “Yoni ki Baat” every year in April. It is a featured program of the annual Aaina Festival produced by Tasveer. The festival celebrates and focuses on the artistic and activist work of South Asian Women through performance art, visual art, films, workshops, and conversations aimed at highlighting issues critical to the empowerment of South Asian women. Local women spend six months writing and rehearsing before the event. This year’s “Yoni ki Baat” takes place at the Seattle Asian Art Museum April 24th at 7pm, April 25th at 7pm with a reception and April 26th at 3pm. Purchase tickets online.
UW Music collaborates with the student-led Improvised Music Project for a series of concerts for IMPFEST VII with a house band of UW instructors and visiting faculty and jazz studies students. Hard to go wrong with a band consisting of Steve Swallow, Chris Cheek, Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu and Ted Poor. May 1st – 3rd, 2015. All performances at the Ethnic Cultural Center on 3931 Brooklyn Ave. NE in Seattle. $20 general and $12 students. (206) 543-4880.
The Gardner Center presents “Music of the Japanese Imperial Court” as performed by Chief Court Musician Tohgi Hiraoki of Japan’s Imperial Household Agency on May 8th at 7:30pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum Auditorium. Hiraoki performs court music and dance (gagaku).
The Adventure Musical Theater Touring Company, an off-shoot of the 5th Avenue Theatre brings live musical theater to students across the state. “Baseball Saved Us” based on the award-winning children’s book by local author Ken Mochizuki follows the journey of a young boy, with his family. They are imprisoned behind barbed wire, and guarded by soldiers at the start of WWII for looking like the enemy. As the boy learns to play baseball on the hot, dusty fields, he learns more than a game, he learns how to survive. Touring schools now throughout May, 2015. To register, call (206) 625-1418 or email [email protected]. Plays one night only on May 9th at Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island.
Pianist/composer Vijay Iyer has been described by the Village Voice as “the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years” winning numerous awards and charting on many “best of” lists recently. He brings his working trio of drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Stephan Crump to Seattle for a special concert on Saturday, May 9th at 8pm at PONCHO Concert Hall at 710 E. Roy St on Capitol Hill just off Broadway. Presented by Earshot Jazz with Cornish College of the Arts. Part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series. For tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com. For more information on the complete series, go to earshot.org.
Jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani is just one of many major jazz musicians appearing at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend, a weeklong workshop and festival directed by John Clayton from July 19th – 26th at Fort Worden State Park. Includes daily instruction from professional faculty and concerts as well. For details, go to centrum.org or call (360) 385-3102×109.
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. Chamber music by members of the Seattle Symphony including Xiao-Po Fei & Mae Lin with Eric Han on cello will perform a program of Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev on Sunday, May 10th at 2pm in Nordstrom Recital Hall. Dynamic pianist Lang Lang takes on Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor” along with works by Beethoven, Respighi and Greig’s “Piano Concerto” with the Seattle Symphony on Sunday, October 11th at 2pm. Gershwin’s American masterpiece, “Rhapsody In Blue” is performed Oct. 16th – 18th with Jeff Tyzik conducting, Jon Nakamatsu on piano and Doug LaBrecque on vocals. Meeka Quan Di Lorenzo on cello, and Jessica Choe on piano join other members of the Seattle Symphony as they perform a program of chamberworks by Bernstein, Carter, Prokofiev and Shostakovich on Oct. 27th at 7:30pm in Nordstrom Recital Hall. Want comedy with your music? The duo of Ingudesman & Joo return to Seattle after their success in 2012 at Benaroya with an all new show that mixes laughs with classical music and popular culture on March 3rd at 7:30pm.If you want a preview of the music the Symphony will be playing on their upcoming tour of Asia, check out the Ravel Piano Concerto as performed with Jean-Yves Thibaudet on piano along with music by Faure and Dvorak on June 5th.
Seattle Opera has announced their 2015/16 season under new General Director Aidan lang. It marks a return to full-year programming with a total of six operas,, new productions and a world premiere. Many productions will also highlight new Asian and Asian American performers. Coming in August is “An American Dream” based on true stories from the Northwest. The opera tells the story of a Japanese American family forcibly removed from an island in Puget Sound during WW II. Nina Yoshida Nelsen, Adam Lau and Hae Ji Chang perform the roles of the family. Judith Yan makes her Seattle Opera debut, as conductor of the orchestra. Jonathan Lemalu, a Samoan from New Zealand makes his Seattle Opera debut singing the role of Nourabad in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” next. Finally, Director Lang returns to stage directing Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”. Chinese-born bass-baritone Shenyang makes his Seattle Opera debut as Figaro. McCaw Hall at Seattle Center at 321 Mercer St. (206) 389-7676 or try 1-800-426-1619 or go to [email protected]era.com.
Cirque Du Soleil’s latest production entitled “KURIOS – Cabinet Of Curiosities” appears under the big top Jan. 29th – March 22nd at Marymoor Park. For details, go to cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.
UW School of Music alumna Wendy Yamashita, now a faculty member at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa returns to UW Seattle to give a “Master Class and Recital” on April 28th and 29th, 2015. Expect a program of Mozart and Chopin for the 28th recital at 7:30pm with $15 tickets. The April 29rd Master class is free and starts at 4:30pm. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880.
Emerald City Comicon takes place March 27 – 29th at Washington State Convention Center. Many stars from the comics world will be there. Go to emeraldcitycomicon.com for details. Also the ever-popular Sakura Con will have their annual convention of everything anime, manga, cosplay, activities and dances. Get your costume ready. Set for April 3rd – 5th. Washington State Convention Center. Got to www.SakuraCon.org for details.
Gamelan Pacifica celebrate the release of their new recording entitled “Nourishment” with a concert of works by classic/traditional and contemporary composers. April 12th at Kerry/Poncho Hall. 710 E. Roy St. just off Broadway on Capitol Hill.
Choreography by long-time Cornish College dance instructor Pat Hon and others is featured in Cornish Dance Theater Spring 2015 Concert set for April 17th – 18th at the Broadway Performance Hall at 1625 Broadway. (206) 325-3113 or go to seattlecentral.edu/wp/broadway-performance-hall for details.
ACT Theatre celebrates their 50th anniversary with their 2015 Season. Some highlights include the following –“The Ghosts of Tonkin” from May 2nd – May 10th is playwright Steve Lyon’s look at one of the more devastating incidents of the Vietnam War and Oregon State Senator Wayne Morse’s efforts to prevent it. Directed by Mark Kuntz. “Threesome” by Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi is a world premiere co-production with Portland Center Stage set for June 5th – 28th. Jeanne Sakata’s “Hold These Truths” based on the true story of UW student Gordon Hirabayashi who confronts the government over their orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast During WW II was a sold-out hit in a short run last year. Now it returns for a multi-week run July 17th – August 16th. 700 Union St. (206) 292-7676 or go to acttheatre.org.
Set for 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2015/2016 season is the World Premiere of “Waterfall, The Musical” based on the Thai novel “Behind the Painting” about a forbidden love affair between a young Thai student and the American wife of a Thai diplomat in 1930’s Thailand on the eve of WWII. It marks the U.S. debut of Thai music superstar Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew as the student and is directed by Tak Viravan. With book & lyrics by Richard Malty Jr. and choreography by Dan Knechtges. This is a co-production with Pasadena Playhouse and is billed as “a groundbreaking collaboration between Oscar and Tony-winning American and Asian theatrical artists”. October 1st – 25th. Subscribe by April 27th for the best seats. Go to www.thavenue.org or call (206) 625-1900.
Bay Area performing arts couple “First Voice” consisting of performance artist/storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki and composer/musician/jazz bassist Mark Izu has a lot of creative irons in the fire. Their new project entitled “SUITE J-TOWN – The Art Of Resilience” has its world premier in the May of 2015 in San Francisco’s Japantown community. It pays tribute to the 100-year history of Japantown through music, dance, visual art, story, sound collage, video and site-specific installations performed in different historic sites. Created by First Voice with the collaboration of the next generation ‘hapa’ artists, “the project will rediscover and strengthen the soul of a community in an effort to continue our presence in today’s rapidly changing San Francisco landscape.” Other projects include a new commission with conductor Kent Nagano based in Montreal. Locally we can expect to see Brenda and Mark come to Seattle with a production entitled “Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend” August 12th, 2015, a tale from Brenda’s family history at Trinity Church. Also composer/bassist Mark Izu has a new cd of all new compositions entitled “The Music of Mu” based on a musical about the magical journey of a young man from the land above and a Japanese mermaid from the deep blue sea. For booking information you can contact calartists.com or the artists direct at www.aokizu.com.
In news from the local recording activities at Jack Straw Studios comes the following news about 2015 Jack Straw Artist Support Program Residents – Poet/writer/curator Shin Yu Pai will create a site specific installation in Piper’s Orchard which includes audio recordings of a poem mixed with field recordings of the orchard. Artist Etsuko Ichikawa will record and edit sound for the “Radiating Echoes” film project she is working on. Pianist/composer Sumiko Sato will record original compositions for solo piano and piano-based instrumentation inspired by traditional work songs from sake master brewers in northern Japan.
April 16th sees the revival of a new production of “The King And I” on Broadway at Lincoln Center. Though a perennial favorite over the years, the musical has also drawn criticism from the Thai American community over its accuracy and historic facts. This new show has both a Seattle and Japanese connection. It will be directed by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher who ran Seattle’s Intiman Theatre (2000-2009) during the era when it premiered the later acclaimed production of “Light in The Piazza”. The role of the king made famous by Yul Brynner has been taken over by actor Ken Watanabe who many Americans may know for his roles in “The Last Samurai” and “Letters From Iwo Jima”. Watanabe is a work-in-progress for this role as he learns to dance, sing and hone his English skills all at the same time. Sher is betting audiences will pay to see the end result.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled its forthcoming U.S. tour (including a stop at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall) due to cuts in funding from the city of Seoul. Controversy has swirled around the orchestra ever since their CEO was forced to resign after allegations of sexual and physical abuse against her staff and votes of no confidence from members of the orchestra. The CEO in turn, blamed her dismissal on the conductor of the orchestra whose organizational skills she criticized. It’s not the first time the arts has been embroiled in the political in-fighting of rival factions.
Film & Media
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington presents the Japanese film entitled “Always: Sunset on Third St. – 3” on Friday, March 27th at 7pm. The film follows a downtown neighborhood in Tokyo as the Olympics approaches and how some things change and some things stay the same. Fans of that long running series of “Tora-San” films should enjoy this. 1414 South Weller St. Presented in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle. With English subtitles. Go to www.jcccw.org for details.
Rinko Kikuchi (Academy Awards Best Supported Actress nomination for “Babel” a few years back) stars in “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter”, a film about a Japanese woman who travels to Minnesota to look for a fortune that may or may not exist after seeing the movie, “Fargo”. Played last year’s SIFF. Opens March 20th at SIFF Film Center in Seattle Center. She is scheduled to co-star in “Nobody Wants The Night” with Gabriel Byrne and Juliette Binoche later this year. Kikuchi has started a second career as a singer as well. “Kaigenrei” (Taboo) was released last December under her vocalist name, Rinbjo and was produced by veteran jazz musician/musical director Naruyoshi Kikuchi. The album spans electro, pop and hip hop. Guest artists include members of the hip-hop unit Simi Lab, rapper I.C.I. and Korean artist Paloalto.
“Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien” is Taiwan’s leading filmmaker. This series samples his filmography, presenting five films that span fifteen years of his career. March 20th – 28th and jointly presented by Northwest Film Forum and Grand Illusion Cinema which means all films are shown once at each location. I remember when I first saw “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” and what an eye-opener it was in kicking out the windows of the government revisionist version of Taiwan history, showing the real struggles of the local people before Chiang Kai-shek got there. Films to be shown include “A Time to Live and a Time to Die”, “Dust in the Wind”, “Good Men, Good Women”, “Flowers of Shanghai” and “Millenium Mambo”. Go to http://nwfilmforum.org/live/page/series/3446 for details.
“Gangs of Wasseypur” by director/writer/producer Anurag Kashyap brings the “Godfather” to India as he traces seventy years in the lives of two mafis-like families fighting for control of the coal-mining town of Wasseypur, India. Opens for a week on Feb. 20th at SIFF Film Center. Near the corner of Warren Ave. N. and Republican St. on the Seattle Center campus. For tickets and info., go to Siff.net or call (206) 324-9996.
Opening March 9th is “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, a sequel to the successful first film about British seniors who find a new home in an Indian hotel. With Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Richard Gere. Opens at several Seattle theatres.
CAAMFest, San Francisco’s annual Asian American film, music and food festival takes place all over the Bay Area March 12th – 22nd. Opening night film “Soul Searching” is a John Hughes inspired comedy drama about international Korean kids converging on Seoul for a summer camp to learn about their cultural roots and of course, to party. Directed by Benson Lee. The feature film will be “Margarita With A Straw”, a new Indian American comedy about a wheelchair-bound teenager that deals with issues of disability and sex. Directed by Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar. The work of San Francisco-born documentarian Arthur Dong will be highlighted culminating in the world premiere screening of his latest film, “The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor”. Go to www.caamedia.org for details.
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe co-stars with Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts in Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” from a script by Chris Sparling. McConaughey stars as a suicidal American on his way to die who befriends a Japanese man played by Watanabe lost in a mysterious forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out. Watts plays the McConaughey character’s wife. Produced by Gil Netter (“Life of Pi”) and Ken Kao. Filmed in Massachusetts, release is slated for some time in 2016.
It looks like the issue of art and censorship has raised its ugly head again, this time in South Korea. The Busan International Film Festival Director Lee Yong-Kwan quit his post after Busan City government officials suggested a joint executive director’s position be established. Critics see this as a retaliatory measure after the festival went ahead and screened a documentary film critical of the government’s poor response to the sinking of the Sewol Ferry in which a number of people died despite the objections of Busan city officials. Noted director Park Chan-wook said, “I regarded BIFF as one of the only things running smoothly in Korea’s chaotic society but given the situation, I am questioning where this country is headed.”
There seems to be a growing trend of bringing hot-selling Japanese comics (manga) to film. “Attack On Titan” about the battle between humans and giants came out as a manga/comic in 2009. It’s been adapted into anime, video games and a Japan 4D show. It has now spawned two live actions films set for release this summer.
The Written Arts/Talks
Poet, translator and anthology editor Farzana Marie reads from an anthology she has translated and edited entitled “Load Pomes Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Heart, Afghanistan” (Holy Cow!) on Friday, March 20th at 7pm. Marie-Rose Phan-Le reads from “Talking Story: One Woman’s Quest to Preserve Ancient Spiritual and Healing Traditions (North Atlantic Books) on Wednesday, March 25th at 7pm. The book starts in Seattle and then ranges around the world. It is a companion to an award-winning film that chronicles the place of traditional healing in a modern, ever more tech-driven world. Elliott Bay Book Company. 1521 – 10th Avenue. (206) 624-6000.
Hedgebrook Writer’s Retreat for Women hosts its annual spring fundraiser entitled “Equivox” with Deborah Harkness, Hollis Wong-Wear and friends on Sunday, March 22nd from 11am – 1pm at Herban Feat at SoDo Park. Go to Hedgebrook.org/Equivox or call (360) 321-4786 by March 16th. Herban Feast is at 3200 1st Avenue South in Seattle.
Labor activist Ai-Jen Poo, author of “The Age of Dignity” (New Press) joins poet Claudia Rankine, author of “Citizen: An American Lyric” (Graywolf Press) as this year’s speakers for the Citizen University Conference entitled “Citizen Power” on Friday/Saturday March 20th and 21st at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center. Go to www.citizenuniversity.us for details.
Seattle poet Michelle Penaloza was in the January 2015 issue of CityArts in the cover story “2015 Future List – Meet the artists and innovators who will shape the year to come”. Her latest project “landscape/heartbreak” are poems inspired by walks with people who volunteered to discuss personal trauma in the context of landscape. That book is available now in bookstores across the city. Penaloza will read with Washington Poet-Laureate Elizabeth Austin on the theme of public and private landscapes as part of the WordsWest Literary Series curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich and Harold Taw. The series appears every third Wednesday at C & P Coffee Company. March 18th at 7pm. 5612 California Ave. S.W. Penaloza will also join others in April, Seattle’s annual festival of authors at an April Continental Breakfast on Saturday, March 28th at 1pm. This free event includes refreshments. More about April (March 24 – 29th, events at various locations and a small press Book Expo at Hugo House) at www.aprilfestival.com.
Noted British author Kazuo Ishiguro comes to Seattle with his newest book entitled “The Buried Giant” (Knopf) on Monday, March 30th at 7-m at Microsoft Auditorium at Seattle Public Central Library downtown. Described as a memorable “fairy tale for adults”. Co-presented with the Washington Center For The Book At The Seattle Public Library and Elliott Bay Book Company. Free admission on a first-come, first serve basis. 1000 Fourth Avenue. For details, go to www.spl.org.
Gardner Center For Asian Art And Ideas presents Saturday University in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company a new series of lectures entitled “Crossing the Indian Ocean: Asia/Africa Connections. Every Saturday at 9:30am at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Topics include the following – March 21st is “A Global Health View:China and Africa”, March 28th is “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian World” and finally on April 4th, “Understanding China’s Booming Relations with Africa-Historical perspectives”.1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. For more information, please go to www.seattleartmuseum.org.
UW Professor and author Shawn Wong gives the Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture this year entitled “Tourist to Traveler: The Transforming Experience of Study Abroad” on Thursday, April 16th. 5pm reception and 6pm lecture. Alder Hall Commons and Auditorium. On UW Seattle campus. Free but you must email or call to register by April 10th. [email protected] or (206) 685-9594.
Latino and Filipino American poets explore cultural mythologies in a unique collaboration of related heritages in two readings. Three Latino/a and Filipino/a poets will look at the influence of Latino and Filipino mythology on their poetry. Poets include Roberto Ascalon, Jim Cantu, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Gabriella Guiterrez y Muhs, Emily Lawsin and San Rodrick Roxas-Chua. Artistic director of this event is writer/poet/playwright Robert Flor. April 10th at 7pm in Wycoff Auditorium on the campus of Seattle University. 11th & Columbia Street in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle. A second reading with the same poets takes place on Saturday, April 11th from 1 – 4pm at the Seattle Public Central Library downtown at 1000 Fourth Ave. For etails, go to [email protected] or call (206) 696-1114.
Local poet and teacher at Highline Community College, Lonny Kaneko reads from his new book entitled “Coming Home From Camp And Other Poems (Endicott and Hugh Books) on Wed., April 15th at 7pm along with Seattle poet Larry Matsuda at the Land Trust Building on Vashon Island sponsored by The Friends of Mukai. This is the kick-off reading for this new book by this local Washington publisher. The book is available by ordering at any local bookstore or on-line through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. For more information on the book and related reading activities by Lonny Kaneko, please email [email protected]
In response to current national unrest due to race and gender inequality, Hugo House has added a class that provides insight to writers tackling the difficult task of writing about contemporary topics while avoiding clichés and stereotypes. Runs in a series from April 11th – June 13th on Saturdays from 10am – noon. Writer/instructors include Wendy Call, Jane Wong, David Schmader, Anne Liu Kellor, Charles Mudede, EJ Koh, Anastacia Tolbert, Corinne Manning, Michelle Penazola and Emily Warren. For details, go to Hugohouse.org or Facebook.com/HugoHouse or Twitter:@HugoHouse.
Noted Chinese American historian Judy Yung reads from the new revised and enlarged edition of “Island: Poetry And History of Chinese Immigrants On Angel Island 1910 – 1940” edited by Him Mark Lai, Ginny Lim and Judy Yung (UW Press). She will read at the University of Oregon in Eugene on April 8th at 6pm, May 2nd at 3pm at Wing Luke Asian Museum, May 3rd at 2pm at Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Victoria and May 5th at Vancouver Public Library at 7pm (these two readings with Eddie Fung). She returns to Seattle to give one last reading at Horizon House on May 6th at 3pm. For details, call 1-800-537-5487.
“Author, Poet, and Worker: The World of Carlos Bulosan” is a new exhibit on view from through March 13, 2015 at the Allen Library Basement – Special Collections Lobby and Reference Room. In commemoration of the centennial of poet and author Carlos Bulosan’s birth, the exhibit draws on the papers of Bulosan, the cannery workers union, and various Filipino American labor leaders and community members within the broader context of Seattle’s Filipino American community and the progressive political culture in which he participated.
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 –
“She Will Build Him A City” (Bloomsbury) is the latest novel by veteran New Delhi journalist and writer Raj Kamal Jhan. This blistering novel explores the terrible reality of India as seen through the eyes of various characters struggling to achieve their dreams deferred in New Delhi.
“What Pearl Harbor Wrought? Is a novel by veteran journalist Akio Konoshita. This novel traces the trauma of Pearl Harbor and how it affected Japanese Americans. The author is an Issei who was interned at Heart Mountain during WW II.
“For the Pink Dianthus” is a collection of haiku and tanka poems by Yoshie Hikage who also provided the illustrations. The English translation is by performing artist Brenda Wong Aoki. Published by Matsuhide of San Francisco. For details, go to www.matsuhidecompany.com.
“The Blind Writer” (UH Press) is a book of stories and a novella by Sameer Pandya. Pandya came to California from India when he was eight. The stories in this book follow the lives of first and second generation Indian Americans in today’s California as they navigate the memory of immigration in their everyday living. The book is anchored by a novella that tells the story of a triangular relationship between a blind, aging writer, his younger, beautiful wife and a young writer desperate to start his writing career.
“Sanyan Stories – Favorites From A Ming Dynasty Collection” (UW Press) is compiled by Feng Menglong and translated by Shuhui Yang & Yunqin Yang. These stories were pivotal to the development of Chinese vernacular fiction.
“A Far Corner – Life And Art With The Open Circle Tribe” (Nebraska) by Scott Ezell is a journey into the life and world of indigenous peoples in the mountains of Taiwan as told by a young American musician and poet
Frank Chin’s long-lost novel, “The Confessions of a Number One Son” (once entitled “Charlie Chan On Maui”) written during the 1970’s when he was stranded on the islands is finally seeing the light of day. It will be published by the University of Hawai’i as edited by Calvin McMillin. Set for March, 2015 publication. Chunks of the book were seen in a different format as the play-in-progress “Gee Pop!” back in the 70’s. Chin was recently in town to be interviewed for a filmed segment on his take on Asian American Theatre for the Theatre Communications Group. A tour with readings is planned for the book by McMillin at times in tandem with Chin.
“Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye” is a memoir by Marie Mutsuki Mockett that is part evocative travelogue and part lyrical meditation of grief in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan that affected her family in different ways.
Anne Elizabeth Moore’s books on her experience in Cambodia continues with “New Girl Law: Drafting a Future for Cambodia” (Cantankerous Titles). Moore works with young Cambodian girls in a year-long process to re -write the staunchly traditional and repressive Chbap Srei, a 17th century book intended to establish a code of conduct for young women. The book details that experience and how it affected the women involved. Go to cantankeroustitles.com for more information.
The late Ming Cho Lee was one of the most respected set designers in the history of American theatre. His new approaches radically altered the direction of American set design in the 20th century. “Ming Cho Lee – A Life In Design” (TCG) by Arnold Aronson is a book that looks at his life, his influences and lays out pictorially and in text, his major set designs for theatre productions across the country during his entire career.
“A Map of Betrayal” (Pantheon), the new novel by Ha Jin looks at the complex loyalties of a Chinese American spy who considers himself a patriotic citizen of both countries and the tragic results of those beliefs.
One of Chinese literature translator Howard Goldblatt’s projects was his translation of “Market Street – A Chinese Woman in Harbin” (UW Press) by Xiao Hong. Originally published in 1936, the then 20 year old author recounts two years of her life in Harbin from 1932-34. Hong is best known for “Field of Life and Death” and “Tales of Hulan River”. Comes with a new preface by the translator.
“The Seventh Day” (Pantheon) is the latest novel by Chinese writer Yu Hua. What happens to a young Chinese man who meets an accidental death and must roam the after world aimlessly, lacking the money for a burial plot. Hua tells his story as he encounters the souls of the people he’s lost.
“Soundtracks Of Asian America – Navigating Race Through Musical Performance” (Duke) is a new book by Grace Wang. In it she explores how Asian Americans use music to construct narratives of self, race, class, and belonging in national and transnational spaces.
Lisa See’s novel of Chinese American nightclub performers in pre-WWII San Francisco entitled “China Dolls” has just been released in a trade paperback edition by Random House.
Wave Books publishes poetry books but also has a pamphlet series. Each pamphlet is usually sent out to subscribers but a few copies of the latest Wave Pamphlet: Nine by local poet/writer Don Mee Choi entitled “Freely Frayed,ᄏ=q, & Race=Nation” is currently available for sale at local all-poetry bookstore, Open Books located in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Essays consist of lectures Choi gave at AWP 2014 and a “Race & Creative Writing Conference 2014” at the University of Montana, Missoula on Korean poet Kim Hyesoon, the Korean language and a talk entitled “Reading Race”. 2414 N. 45th St. (206) 633-0811 or email [email protected].
“Meltdown in Tibet – China’s Reckless Destruction of Ecosystems From The Highlands of Tibet to The Deltas of Asia” (Palgrave Macmillan) by Michael Buckley chronicles the ecological abuses inflicted on this country by the Chinese government in the way of large-scale mining and hydropower projects.
Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s graphic novel “This One Summer” (First Second Books) has won the Caldecott Honor, an award given to the most distinguished American picture book for children published each year. A coming-of-age story of a couple mixed-race Canadian girls in a small town.
A spate of recent books on the ever growing contemporary Chinese art scene include these – “Contemporary Chinese Art (Thames & Hudson) by Wu Hung looks at the development of “contemporary” as opposed to “state sanctioned” visual art from the end of the Cultural Revolution to the rise of international Chinese artists like Ai Wei Wei. Paul Gladston’s “Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History” (Reaktion Books – London) looks at how all contemporary art in that country is tied to structures of power whether inside or outside the country. “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists” (Giles – London) is a catalogue accompanying a traveling exhibition by Barbara Pollack and Li Zhenhua that looks at 75 artworks by 27 young Chinese artists and collectives including Birdhead, Double Fly, Irrelevant Commission, Liu Di and Ma Qiusha. Xiaobing Tang’s “Visual Culture in Contemporary China: Paradigms and Shifts” (Cambridge University Press) looks at various art forms like prints, posters, films and paintings to see the historical frameworks of contemporary Chinese visual culture.
Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, pioneer of the genre of adult comics and graphic novels passed away in early March in Tokyo. He is credited with creating a sub-genre in the manga tradition which he called “Gekiga”. Unlike early manga for children, his subjects dealt realistically with sex and violence. He’s best known in the U.S. fo his 800 page autobiographic opus entitled “A Drifting Life” which was translated by Taro Nettleton and published by Drawn & Quarterly in 2009. It covers the years 1945 – 1960 and was a portrait of the artist as a young man. It won the comic industry’s Eisner Award (the equivalent of an Oscar in the comic world) when it was first published in English.
In the March 2015 issue of JazzTimes Magazine, Bay Area musician/composer Hafez Modirzadeh has penned a powerful, moving and eloquent testimony to fellow jazz musician/composer and friend, Fred Ho.
Xu Bing and Maya Lin are a few of the artists who have been awarded with the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts that recognizes their commitment to the State Department’s cultural diplomacy outreach through the arts, specially their work with the Art in Embassies program.
Wu Tsang was one forty-six artists who received a 2015 grant from Creative Capital in the Visual Arts category. Artists received up to $50,000 each.
Earshot Jazz seeks submissions from Seattle-area individual artists and ensembles for the 2015 Jazz: The Second Century series. Submissions must include a recorded sample of a project that can be performed in a concert setting. Please send submissions electronically to [email protected] or by mail to Earshot Jazz, 3429 Fremont Place N., #309, Seattle,WA 98103. Deadline is June 1st, 2015. If you have any questions before applying, call (206) 547-6763 or email [email protected]. A list of past winners can be viewed at www.earshot.org/Events/2nd_Century.html.
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation seeks to recognize innovative American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and cultures across the country with their 2015 NACF Artist Fellowships. $20,000 per artist. Awards will be made in the categories of performing arts, filmmaking, literature, music, traditional arts and visual arts. Deadline of April 6th, 2015. Go to www.nativeartsandcultures.org to learn more or call (360) 314-2421.
Hugo House, the literary center that promotes Northwest writing has a few openings including Business & Operations Manager and internships in their youth programs. Go to hugohouse.org for details.
Artist Trust offers a two-day interactive workshop for artists of all disciplines. It can help jumpstart or refresh your arts career. Learn how to prepare a work sample, write an artist statement, find any funding, showing and performing activities. Also learn how to market your work. March 21st and 22nd from 9 – 4pm at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle and again on April 25th and 26th from 9 – 4pm at Whitman College in Walla Walla. For details and cost, go to www.artisttrust.org. Also a free presentation on how Artist Trust can boost your art career takes place on March 24th from 5 – 7pm at Pasco Library’s community room. Go to www.artisttrust.org for more details.
Northwest Film Forum launches a new one year Film Comprehensive with unique “residency-based” education program combining filmmaker education and practical production experience. Applications are due May 15th, 2015. Go to nwfilmforum.org/live/page/workshops.
NWFF also seeks excellent new Northwest films for their Local Sightings Film Festival which screens Sept. 24th – Oct. 3rd this year. Deadline for submissions is June 15th, 2015. Go to localsightings.org for details.
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 [email protected] or call (206) 522-5438. An exciting upcoming activity planned by the organization is a visit to Kagedo Japanese Art’s new gallery-residence set amidst Japanese-inspired Northwest gardens on the South Shore of Orcas Island. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the galleries and attend an informal discussion of Nihonga paintings, modernist bronzes, basketry and lacquers on view. In addition, co-owner Jeff Cline will discuss opportunities for collecting Japanese art. Set for Thursday, May 28th from 1 – 4pm. Participation is limited and advance registration a must. $40 discounted rate for members and $50 for non-members. For members credit card registration, go to http://bit.ly/1DSNfwa, for non-members credit card registration, http://bit.ly/1wmn4FR. Or you can also send your name and contact information with a check made out to Friends of Asian Art Association to: Friends of Asian Art Association, PO Box 15404, Seattle, WA 98115.
Hing Hay Coworks is a collaborative work space centrally located in the Bush Hotel in the heart of Seattle’s ID/Chinatown neighborhood. It is open to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and start-ups or small businesses and is animated by a community of business leaders who value meaningful partnership, creative exploration, and bringing ideas to market. The space will be open for monthly memberships in April. Space is limited, so please contact them if you want to become a member. Please refer all inquires to Quang Nguyen, Hing Hay Coworks Manager at [email protected].