“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. Opening March 17th at 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.
“@ 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 a stunning new show of work entitled “EROS” at the Swiss gallery Kunstforum/Solothurn. Comes with a lovely catalogue. As ever, his juicy figures breathe life and the immediacy of emotion. For information, email [email protected].
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.
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. March 7th is a celebration of Girls Day, a Japanese holiday with family activities. 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. “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.
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.
ARTSWEST Gallery in West Seattle. Trung Pham and Edward Lee are part of a group show entitled “On Capturing Transient Bodies” that also includes the work of Patty Haller, and Ingrid Lahti. Opens Jan. 15th and remains on view until March 7th. 4711 California Ave. N.W. (206) 938-0339 or go to artswest.org. Open Thurs. – Sat.
“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. 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].
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.
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.
“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.
ArtsWest in association with SIS Productions presents “Chinglish” by noted Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang from March 5th – 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.
Byron Schenkman & Friends present works for violion, cello, piano and voice in compositions by Robert & Clara Schuman. Featuring Clara Rottsolk on voice and musicians Clara Kim, Nathan Whitaker and Byron Schenkman. Sunday, March 8th at 7pm in the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya. 3rd & Union. Tickets at Benaroya Hall Box Office or call (206) 215-4747. For details, go to www.ByronSchenkman.com.
A new play by Julie Hoang entitled “Café Duma” receives a staged reading on March 10th at 7pm at Lenin, a theater space in Fremont at 203 N. 36th St. stars Corrine Magin, Denny Le, Christopher Crawford, Rachel Arauctor, Owen Yen, Lisa Marie Nakamura and Elizabeth Wu. Directed by Rebbeca Tourino Collinsworth. The play is a comedy about three generations of a family running a bakery together and the struggle to please your elders, keep your sanity and keep a business afoat. Hoang is a local writer who has performed with Book-It Repertory, Sound Theater Company, SIS Productions and ReAct Theatre. Parley is a new home for Seattle playwrights created by Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth who teaches at Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio. The group meets every Tuesday for four hours with time spent on a writing workshop, supportive feedback and then a rehearsal of each script. Each play receives a nine-week rehearsal to give the playwright a chance to observe the process and fine tune the production. Go to [email protected] for details.
“Smile for Japan” is a fundraising evening of art and music commemorating the 4th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Arts & crafts, food & drinks and a raffle drawing. Suggested donation of $10. Set for March 8th at 4pm at Oddfellows Hall at 1706 Market St. in Seattle. Go to www.smileforjapanseattle.com for details.
Lyric Opera Northwest presents their production of “Madame Butterfly” (see related article in this issue) set for March 13th at 7pm and March 15th at 3pm. This production features a lot of local talent including Grace Eun and Dohee Kim in the female leads and Mark Mariko Ohno as part of a Kabuki dance part. In addition, Eduardo Villa who is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera in New York comes to Seattle to play the male lead. Atll performances at the Moore Theatre at 2nd & Virginia in downtown Seattle. Tickets available at the Paramount Theatre Box Office at 9th & Pine open M – F from 10 – 6pm and the Moore Theatre 90 minutes prior to the show. Also you can get tickets 24/7 at Tickets.com kiosks just outside the Moore, Paramount and Neptune Theatres or by calling (877) 784-4849.
Jean Sibelius’s rarely performed chamber music gets a performance by members of Seattle Symphony string section which includes Mae Lin on violin, Eric Han on cello and Meeka Quan Di Lorenzo on cello. Sunday, March 15th at 2pm in Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya downtown.
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 triumpeter Cuong Vu) in performance in the exhibition room for the current exhibit “Ann Hamilton: THE COMMON SENSE” on Fri., March. 20th at 7pm. 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.
Soprano Haeran Hong sings in the Seattle Opera production of Richard Strauss’ “Aradauf Naxos” set for May 2 – 6th, 2015. Go to http://seattleopera.org for details.
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.
ACT Young Playwrights Program presents a “Young Playwrights Festival” set for March 5th – 7th. Features eight award-winning plays from ACT’s Fall-in-school Young Playwrights Program in which young playwrights from 12 – 18 years old work with adult actors and directors from Seattle and participate in rehearsals to bring their plays from the page to the stage. One of the playwrights is Madeleine Lo from Seattle Academy whose play entitled “The Doctor in the Aoi Dai” (see related article in this issue )will be performed in Program B. For details call (206) 292-7676 or go to acttheatre.org.
“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. 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 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).
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].
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.
Srivani Jade (see related article in this issue), Indian vocalist is the UW Winter Quarter Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist. She gives a recital with her students on “Hindustani Khyal Music from India” on Tues. , March 10th at 7:30pm in Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880. $5 tickets. (206) 543-4880.
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.
ACT Theatre celebrates their 50th anniversary with their 2015 Season. Some highlights include the following –“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.
Seattle composer/musician/performance artist Byron Au Yong remains busy as always. He is working on “TRIGGER” with writer Aaron Jafferis prompted by the April 16th tragedy at Virginia Tech, where a Korean American student shot 32 people and then killed himself. He is also working on a performance piece entitled “TURBINE” for over 88 singers and nine dancers set for May at the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia. Current compositions are for a piano trio entitled “Lost Fireflies” and Mo Sheng: Ink Sound for string quartet.
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. For booking information you can contact calartists.com or the artists direct at www.aokizu.com.
Film & Media
Last chance to catch films in the series entitled “Fists & Fury – Cinerama’s First Mixed Martial Arts Festival” which ends March 5th. Includes early Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Ip Man films with Tarantino and Kurosawa and others. For tickets and information, go to Cinerama.com.
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.
“Big in Japan” is a Seattle produced film about a Seattle band who go to Japan to try and jumpstart their sagging career. Through March 6th. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. (206) 329-2629.
Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”) 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.
“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.
Eddie Huang’s new TV comedy “Fresh Off the Boat” premieres on ABC on Feb. 10th with a pilot directed by Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton. The series is based on Huang’s original memoir of the Huang family and young Eddie as they relocate from D.C. to Orlando in the early 1990’s.
The Written Arts/Talks
Catch writer/journalist Jeff Chang (see related article in this issue) who will deliver a talk entitled “Who We Be: The Colorization of America” based on his book of the same name. The book charts the rise of multiculturalism in the U.S., the culture wars, and the appropriation of multiculturalism in modern times. Chang is currently Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford. His first book, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, a history of hip hop won the American Book Award. Tuesday, March 10th at UW Bothell at 6pm in Discovery Hall 061. For details, go to www.rethinkingschools.org.
“Knowing Our Heroes – Fa Mulan and Guan Gong” is a children’s storytelling circle led by pioneer Chinese American playwright/writer/editor Frank Chin on March 6th . To RSVP, email [email protected] or call (917) 817-9772. There will be a “Meet and Tweet Conversation with Frank Chin March 6th – 11th from 9 – 11am and 1 – 5pm. Panama Hotel at 605 South Main St. in Chinatown/ID.
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” (Holly 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 7th is “Decorative Arts in the Age of Slavery”, March 14th is “Calligraphic Abstraction: Modern Art in Asia and Africa”, 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.
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.
Noted Chinese American historian Judy Yung reads from the new revised and enlarged edition of “Island: Poetry And History of Chinese Immigrants On Angel Isalnd 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 with Eddie Fung at Vancouver Public Library at 7pm. 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.
Seattle paper cut artist/activist Lauren Iida and her Antipodes Collective is currently in Cambodia distributing donated books for their children’s library in Prasot village in Cambodia. Donations fund things like pre-class meals for students, library construction and materials. For details on this project, or their first book entitled “In My Village” by Lauren Iida & Carolyn R. Hall, go to www.theantipodescollective.org.
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.
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.
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.
Artist Trust At Large provides information for artists across the state. Help Artist Trust out by attending or donating art for their 2015 Benefit Art Auction set for March 7, 2015 at Fisher Pavillion Seattle Center. Go to www.artisttrust.org for details.
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.
Seattle Kokon Taiko offers a taiko workshop for intermediate level throughout March. You must register by March 6th. For details, go to www.seattlekokontaiko.org.