Internationally known ceramic sculptor Patti Warashina’s show entitled “Thinking Clearly” gives you a peek at the new elements she has been incorporating into her ceramic figurative work. After a residency at the Museum of Glass, expect to see how glass is worked in as yet another element in her work. She has done a number of printmaking workshops so expect to see some prints as well. A devout listener to the news, viewers will also see her wicked humor at work as she explores social and political imagery too. On view May 5 – 31, 2016. Meet the artist at opening reception set for May 5 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Warashina talks about her work on Sat., May 14 at 1pm. Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art. 1210 2nd Ave. 206-628-9501 or go to abmeyerwood.com.
The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College presents “Beyond Words: Calligraphy from Around the World” on view through May 26, 2016. Celebrating the beauty and form of the written word, this show highlights world calligraphic traditions with work by Muhhamad Ahmad, Rajaa Gharbi, Choseki Kano, Akiva Segan, Shoun Sugai, Master Kenneth Pai, Sally Penley, Drolkar Toekyi, Master HongDuan Yang and others. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Mon. – Fri. and 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Tues. and Wed. Free admission. Located at the north end of the college’s Atrium Cafeteria in the main campus building at the corner of Broadway and Pine. For details go to www.seattlecentral.edu/gallery or call 206-934-4379.
“Monkey Way” is the title of a catchy multi-media installation by Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu. It’s in the walkway window just past Starbuck’s as you transition from Chinatown/ID to the street across that leads to the trains that take commuters to Everett and Tacoma. In a lot of ways, this transition between cultures/places parallel’s the artist’s work as well. Her statement reads, “The current political situation is awkward in that it seeps into the work via monkeys and lots of shelves that are not functional. This moment of instability in US politics leads to inspirations from moments in history in France and China. Putting all these elements all together is a visual mash-up that comes from my life in a family mixed both in class and culture.” History, culture and identity mixed with whimsy comes from this display and grabs the attention of passersby. The work is up until October, 2016. For information on the artist, go to SayaMoriyasu.com. for information about the work, go to GGibsonGallery.com.
A show of new work by Seattle artist Chau Huynh entitled “Other’s Reality” is on view through May 31. Opening reception is Thurs., May 12 from 4 – 7 p.m. This show expands her color palette and presents collage work that mirrors the artist’s moods of joy, sadness and surprise in her daily life. Tobya Art Gallery at 2929 Rainier Ave. S.
Kalsang Dawa teaches a four-day, two-weekend class entitled “Tibetan Painting Workshop” in which participants will learn how to create personal mandalas. June 4/5 and June 11/12 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. You will learn how to grind rocks, semi-precious minerals, and organic materials into powder. You will learn how to extract color from stones and to create mineral paint for your own mandala. Participants should bring brushes – sizes 1, 3 & 6. Buy tickets online. $380 for students/seniors and $360 for SAM members. 206-654-3210.
The work of craft artists Adam Chau and Tammy Young Eun Kim is included in the group show entitled “Atoms + Bytes – Redefining Craft in the Digital Age” now on view through June 26, 2016 at Bellevue Arts Museum. Organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken. 510 Bellevue Way NE. 425-519-0770 or go to bellevuearts.org.
The Friends of Asian Art are sponsoring an artist tour and talk with Charan Sachar entitled “Creative with Clay – Handcrafted Pottery by Charan Bachar” set for May 7 at 10:30am in Federal Way. Meet Sachar in his studio as he talks about his unique creations inspired by Indian folk art as found in fabric, embroidery, colors and designs. $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Pre-registration required. Participation limited to 15 people. Go to www.friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer.html for details.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is a new exhibit that tells the story of the Hunt Hotel’s role in the resettling of the Japanese community in Seattle after WWII. Within the walls of the present-day historic buildings at 1414 S. Weller St. now known as the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, the site served as temporary housing for Seattle Japanese and Japanese Americans during resettlement. Most residents were returning from the Minidoka Incarceration Camp in Hunt, Idaho. In the wake of WWII, over thirty families began to rebuild their lives. Here, children were raised and loved ones were lost until gradually the rooms were vacated to give way to community organizations and classroom as families moved out and resettled. This exhibit will help raise awareness of the long-lasting consequences of Executive Order 9066. Organized by Elisa Law, there will be a traveling exhibit and book coming as well. Free. Open M – F from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For details, go to www.jcccw.org.
“Complete” is the title of David Lu’s first solo show which features ink washes on pleated paper. May 4 – 28 at CORE Gallery at 117 Prefontaine Place S. Open Wed. – Sat. 206-467-4444 or go to coregallery.org.
In anticipation of “Seeing The Light: Four Decades in Chinatown”, a new book of essays and photos by Seattle Chinatown/ID photographer/writer Dean Wong due soon from local publisher Chin Music Press, catch some of the dynamic new work he’s been doing in Chinatowns up and down the West Coast at Jack Straw Cultural Center from May 16 – Sept. 1. “New Street Photography” features work from Chinatowns in Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. Wong will do a reading and book signing on Fri., June 17 at 7 p.m. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. Go to www.jackstraw.org for more details. An inaugural booksigning/program celebration for Dean is also set for Sat., May 28th at 2pm at the Wing. Go to wingluke.org for details.
The Cascadia Art Museum is a new museum in Edmonds dedicated to the legacy of the Northwest from the late 19th century to the mid-modernist period of the 1960’s. Coming in May are two shows – “Northwest Photography at Mid-Century” which includes the work of Yoshio Noma & Chao-Chen Yang and “Against The Moon: The Art of John Matsudaira (1922-2007)”, one of the forgotten members of the “Northwest School”. May 13 – August 23, 2016. 190 Sunset Ave. #E in Edmonds. Hours are Wed. – Sun. from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Artwalk Edmonds Third Thursdays from 5 – 8pm. 425-336-4809.
Lauren Iida has a show of her paper cuts during the month of April/May in the North Gallery and she will also teach a workshop at the gallery on Sat., May 7 from 12 – 4 p.m. for adults 16 or older. She will be present at the First Thursday event as well. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org. Additional cut paper workshops with Lauren Iida include one set for Sun., May 22 from 1 – 4 p.m. at Artist & Craftsman Supply in the University District at 4350 8th Ave. NE. This is also for adults 16 or older. Two final workshops take place on Sun., June 5 in Twisp, WA. The 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. workshop is for teens from 12 – 17 and the second one for adults age 18 and over takes place from 2- 5 p.m. Location is at TwispWorks at 502 Glover St. in Twisp, WA. All workshops are $65. Participants are encouraged to bring or have digital access to their own photos or drawings which will be formatted and printed in 8 x 10 inch size. Materials provided. To register for all workshops, email [email protected]
During the month of April, “Logic of Chance,” a group show featuring the work of Romson Bustillo, Rachel Kirk and June Sekiguchi will be on view at Gallery One at 408 N. Pearl St. in Ellensburg,WA. Sekiguchi will talk about her work on May 1 at 12 p.m. 408 N. Pearl. Hours are M-F from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sun., 12 – 4 p.m. 509-925-2670 or go to www.gallery-one.org.
“The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human” is a group show about the impact of mental illness on youth and community opens in Issaquah at various locations on April 22. Sites include Art East Art Center, Issaquah Highlands Blakely Hall Community Center and Swedish Medical Center. Sculptor June Sekiguchi whose work is in the show speaks with her son Quin and mental healthcare provider Kathy Jo Gloves about the dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health issues on May 6 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Blakely Hall. The work of Leslie Nan Moon and Season Yoshida is also included. Exhibition on view through May. Go here for details.
“MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture” is the largest exhibition ever attempted at Vancouver Art Gallery and it will trace the evolution and development of art production known as “mashup”, collage or remix. Includes found images, objects, sound work from the turn of the twentieth century and examines how it has become a dominant force in our world today. With work by dozens of world artists working in a broad range of media including video, architecture, film sculpture, graphic design, industrial design, drawing, music, digital media, illustration and fashion design. Remains on view until June 12, 2016. 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca for details.
KOBO at Higo presents Azumi Hosoda’s exhibit of “Modern Japanese Wax Resist Dyeing” through May 14, 2016. 604 S. Jackson. 206-726-0704 or email [email protected]. A sister store is on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy as well.
“Marigold Mesh” is the title of an immersive mixed-media installation of delicate pigmented wax, wire and paper by Kamla Kakaria on view from May 5 – 26. Gallery4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. in Pioneer Square. Open Mon. – Fri. 206-296-7580.
Until June 15, 2016 you can view Naoko Morisawa’s public art piece entitled “Liberated Octopus” at Frances Anderson Center at 700 Main St. in Edmonds. For details, go to www.edmondswa.gov/arts-commission. Her work is included in the Poet Garden, a Seattle Center art installation on view from May 9 – August 1. Her work is also part of the “Morse Code Project” as selected by the City of Seattle/Seattle Center. For details, email [email protected].
In “Running Race Ragged” artist Yoona Lee uses mixed media and collage to discuss contemporary race relations. May 12 – June 5. Ghost Gallery at 504 E. Denny Way. 206-832-6063 or go to ghostgalleryart.com. Open daily.
Jueqian Fang (also known as Ripple, or one half of Mystical Orchid) has a solo show at Interstitial from April 9 – May 22. 6007 – 12th Ave. S. Go to Interstitialtheatre.com for details.
“Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” is a show that should prove to be a family favorite. On loan from the Japanese American National Museum, the show lands in Seattle at the EMP Museum at Seattle Center through May 15, 2016. The show looks on the history of the Japanese icon and her influence on popular culture. Includes an extensive product survey, with rare and unique items from the Sanrio archives, alongside a selection of innovative contemporary artworks inspired by Hello Kitty and her world. 5th Ave. N. (206) 770-2700. $25 general admission ($20 for EMP members), $10 or youth 5 – 17. Free for kids 4 and under.
Internationally known metal smith/jewelry artist Sayumi Yokouchi comes to Pratt Fine Arts Center this spring to teach a class entitled “MA-TERIAL: The Poetics Of Hidden Space from May 27 – 29. 1902 South Main St. in Seattle. 206-328-2200 or go to www.pratt.org for information on classes.
“Project 562” is a series by Matika Wilbur that looks to document the lives of Native Americans today. Through June 11. The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve at 6410 23rd Ave. NE in Tulalip. 360-716-2600 or go to hibulbculturalcenter.org.
The Yakima Valley Museum has the current exhibit, “Land of Joy and Sorrow – Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” up until 2018. It tells the history of Japanese families who created a community there before the war. Only 10% of families returned to re-settle there after the war. 2105 Teton Dr. (509) 248-0741. In related news, a softball from this collection that saw play at Heart Mountain internment camp and owned by George Hirahara has been given to the Smithsonian and was on display in the incarceration section of the exhibit, “The Price of Freedom – Americans at War”. (As reported in the North American Post.) In other news, Hirahara’s Oregon photographs of the Japanese American post-WWII experience in the Pacific Northwest are now available online at Densho. To see his documentation of Nikkei Oregon life in “New Partner Collection: Frank C. Hirahara Photographs From The Oregon Nikkei Endowment”, go to http://www.densho.org/new-partner-collection-frank-c-hirahara-photographs-from-the-oregon-nikkei-endowment/. Also a profile of the Washington State University Hirahara Collection of photos from Heart Mountain is now featured on the Japanese American History Not For Sale Facebook Page by going to https://www.facebook.com/japaneseamericanhistorynotforsale.
“Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion” is on view through June 1 at Oregon Historical Society Museum in Portland. This traveling exhibit chronicles the complex history of Chinese in America. On loan from the New York Historical Society. A second exhibit entitled “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns” remains on view through June 21, 2016. Free. 1200 AW Park Ave. 503-222-1741 or visit www.ohs.org or go to www.chineseamerican.nyhistory.org.
The Portland Japanese Garden recently reopened after a six-month closure for construction on the Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project. For details, go to japanesegarden.com.
Opening March 1 is “In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man – Contemporary Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea.” University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology at 6393 NW Marine Drive. Vancouver, BC. Go to moa.ubc.ca for details.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “Nanga – Literati Painting of Old Japan” through June 26, 2016. “Modernization in Meiji Japan (1868-1912) – Images of Changing Architecture, Transportation and War” through August 28, 2016. “China’s Favourite Pottery for Tea, Yixing Ware” from July 1 – Oct. 18, 2016. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
Japanese Canadian artist Takao Tanabe is primarily known for his landscape painting but for two years he studied brush painting in Tokyo. The results of that residency can be seen in “Sumie: Ink Brush Paintings” now on view through May 8 at Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Center. 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby BC. 604-777-7000.
Seattle ceramic artist Akio Takamori and Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han & Daniel Milhayo) were both recipients of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards given by the Portland Art Museum which will give all winners a group show which has been re-scheduled to run through May 8 in 2016. The extension will allow some artists to do brand-new work site-specific to the PAM space. The Portland Art Museum is at 1219 SW Park Ave. Go to www.portlandartmuseum.org for details.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following –Remaining on view until July 24, 2016 is “‘True’ Korean Landscapes & Virtuous Scholars” and “Benevolence & Loyalty: Filial Piety in Chinese Art” up until July 31, 2016. 1430 Johnson Lane. (541) 346-3027.
Seattle artist Lauren Iida now has a website where all her recent work can be seen at http://www.laureniida.com/currently-available.html. Currently her work can be seen in the Mayor’s Gallery at Seattle City Hall. In related news, the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture has purchased a cut paper/sumi ink portrait of her great grandmother Asa. Iida is teaching paper cutting through Gage Academy at Sanctuary Arts to homeless youth. She will be part of “Strange Coupling”, a juried collaborative art project between working professional artists and UW students. Her work can be seen in person at ArtXchange Gallery (www.artxhange.org) with a show throughout the month of April and the artist’s own website is www.laureniida.com.
The Museum of Culture and the Environment at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. presents a show entitled “Liberty Denied: Migration, Detention, Deportation” from April 2 – June 1, 2016. Carina del Rosario’s Passport Series is part of this exhibit.
“How Space Turns” is the name of a group show featuring work by six prominent artists from three continents including Rintaro Hara and Ryui Nakamura from Japan. On view through May 16. Western Gallery in the Fine Arts Complex on the Western Washington University campus. 360-650-3963 or go to westerngallery.wwu.edu.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” is a new group exhibition on textiles and how they move through history and myth, commodity culture and art, linking women’s hands and machines to Asian American identities.” This show is on display May 14 – April 16, 2017. On Friday, May 13 at 6pm, members and invited guests can attend the opening reception with a talk by guest curator Namita Wiggers. Free but please RSVP to [email protected]. May 7 is “Member Appreciation Day” from 1 – 3:30 p.m. Join in an afternoon of scavenger huts and nature-inspired crafts. Email [email protected] for questions. There will be a live streamed national youth summit on Tues., May 17 from 10 – 11 a.m. on the topic of the history and legacy of Japanese American incarceration during WWII from JANM. Free but access to the Museum galleries requires admission. This event presented in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.“New Years All Year Round” opens on Sat., Jan. 16. See how the New Year is celebrated in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hmong cultures in this interactive and kid-friendly exhibit. Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. A “Family Fun Day” activity in connection to this exhibit takes place in garden itself with “bioblitz”, a chance to get your hands diry and learn about urban pollinators with experts. Arts & crafts, face painting, a film screening and more. Free.“Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Spean Rajana: Khmer Community Mixer” is a chance to join local Khmer community activists as they walk through the exhibit and discuss issues facing their community and honor their elders. Takes place on Sat., June 18 from 1 – 3pm. To register for this free program, call 206-623-5124×104. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books is a recent show to open at the museum. “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. Opens Oct. 4th with the full support of the Lee Family. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. Year 2 of the exhibition opens Oct. 3rd, 2015 and digs deeper into the significance of Bruce Lee and his impact in media during a time of racial stereotypes and barriers. Includes text panels by national blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) plus Green Hornet toys, personal letters, behind-the-scenes photos from the sets of “Way of the Dragon” and “Enter the Dragon”, hand-written film notes, rare photos inside his early Chinatown studio and much much more. A new set of Bruce Lee’s Chinatown Tours begin Oct. 6th. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
“Pacific Voices” is an ongoing exhibit that celebrates the language, teachings, art, and cultural ceremonies of seventeen cultures from the Pacific Rim. Burke Museum at the University of Washington. 17th Ave. NE & E 45th Streets. (206) 543-5590 or try Washington.edu/burkemuseum.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Journey to Dunhuang – Buddhist Art of the Silk Road Caves” opens March 5 and stays on view through June 12, 2016 in the Foster Galleries. Discovered in 1943 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the caves are a treasure trove of Buddhist sculptures, manuscripts, painted scrolls, and wall paintings. The photographs of James and Lucy Lo, the couple who first discovered the caves will be on view as well as ancient manuscripts and artist renderings. To complement the show, there will be an installation of Buddhist art drawn from the SAM collection. Organized in cooperation with the Princeton University Art Museum and the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art. For details on this show, go to visitsam.org/dunhuang. First Free Saturday family activity takes place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Opening April 9 and staying on view through Oct. 9, 2016 in the Tateuchi Galleries is “Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World.” The show looks at how the color blue creates so many moods in cloth around the world. Drawn primarily from SAM’s global textile collection, the show illuminates the historic scope of this vibrant pigment. On view will be tapestries from Belgium, a Chinese silk court robe, kimonos from Japan, batiks and ikats from Indonesia and Africa, and ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt. An immersive contemporary installation devoted to indigo by Rowland Ricketts with a soundtrack by sound artist Nobert Herber will also be on view. May 7 is the “Free First Saturday” event for this show. A related activity for this show on May 20 is “Art Globally: Indigo Workshop” with master dyer Sophena Kwon who will help you create patterns and dye your own cloth and indigo. All materials and refreshments included in the $75 ticket, SAM members, $65. Under the “Asia Talks” series you will find the following events. Reserve your free tickets at visitsam.org/tickets. Yuji Yamada, Professor at Mie University Department of Humanities will talk about “Skills of the Ninjas” on Thurs., May 5 at 7pm. You may have seen ninjas invested with superhuman powers and impressive skills in films and animated movies but Yamada cuts to the chase and talks about the real ninjas who actually existed. Attired in personal ninja attire, Yamada will tell you what ninjas were really like based on his research. In Japanese with English interpretation. $10 general and $5 for SAM members. Seattle Asian Art Museum is at 1400 Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. 206-442-8480 or go to seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter or [email protected].
The work of Humaira Abid, Lauren Iida, Paul Komada, Mark Takamichi Miller, Yuki Nakamura & others is included in a group show presented by Seattle Public Utilities entitled “Cultural Perspectives, Part 1” now on view through June 29, 2016. Parts 2 & 3 to follow with artworks from all genres represented. Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery at 700 Fifth Avenue, Level Three Concourse. Open during business hours. 206-684-7171.
The work of Malpina Chan, Julie Chen, Carletta Carrington Wilson and many others is included in “Just One Look”, a group show on view through July 29, 2016. Includes 32 newly commissioned art books by artists from across the country and the region inspired by a text proposed by faculty from the UW Humanities departments. Created as a component of the “Feminism and Classics Conference VII,” hosted by the Department of Classics and sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities. On view in the Allen Library in Special Collections in the Allen Library South Basement on the UW Seattle campus.
Congratulations to local multi-media artist Jason Hirata who won the Brink Award from Henry Art Gallery in 2015. Established in 2008, the award goes to a younger artist on “the brink” of an outstanding professional career. The winner receives $12,500, a solo exhibition at the Henry and an accompanying publication. The Henry will also buy a piece from the artist for their permanent collection. The award comes from Seattle philanthropists John and Shari Behnke. Hirata’s solo show at the Henry entitled “The Brink: Jason Hirata” explores the dynamics of the corporate state and food industry that shapes contemporary life. On view now through Sept. 11, 2016. The School of Art + Art History + Design has a thesis exhibition for graduating students May 28 – June 26. Some of the students whose work will be on display include MFA candidate Ellen (Jing) Xu and MDes candidates Jaewon Hwang and Catherine Lim. Opening reception takes place on Fri., May 27 from 7 – 9pm. Email Merith at [email protected] if you have questions. 15th Ave. NE & NE 41st St. 206-543-2280 or go to www.henryart.org
Akio Takamori has been experimenting with larger-than-life ceramic figures, so large that he’ll bake them in the kiln section by section and then re-assemble them in pieces. He’s also interested in adding a more abstract spin to his work. Expect to see his new work Feb./March of 2017 at James Harris Gallery. 604 – 2nd Ave. 206-903-6220.
Northwest Art [email protected] 2016 is a juried group show of new contemporary art in the area. Opens May 14 and remains on view through August 21. Includes the work of artists like Humaira Abid, Paul Komada, Asia Tail and Lily Martina Lee. Tacoma Art Museum. 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or go to tacomaartmuseum.org.
Seattle artist Natalie St. Martin currently lives in Yongin City, a town south of Seoul South Korea. Currently teaching at Yongin University, the art she has done in her new surroundings is part of an exhibition entitled “Making Home – Finding my New Home in Korea” on view through June, 2016 at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. A reception open to the public is set for Thursday, May 19 from 4 – 8pm. There will be a Korean Tea tasting with sweets, Kimpap (sushi) making and Bojagi making. For details, go to www.asiapacificculturalcenter.org or call Patsy Surh O’Connell at 253-226-2742.
“China & Japan: Traditional and Contemporary ‘Silk Roads’” is the title of a lecture and performance by master Japanese calligrapher and teacher Shoen Tokunaga as translated by Tacoma artist/teacher Fumiko Kimura. On Sat,, May 14 from 2 – 5 p.m. in Seminar II/Room A1107 at The Evergreen State College. Free and the public is invited. For details, call Olympic Zen Center at 360-357-2835.
George Lee is a Seattle-based artist specializing in site-specific sculpture and social practice art. Last summer when he had to run from two random shootings in his neighborhood, he decided to create an art intervention with neighborhood youth mixing them up with nature and sculpture. The project called “City of Faces” is a sculpture of 30 birdhouses with fronts the cast faces of local youth, where birds enter through their mouths. It will be installed in Angel Morgan P-Patch in Seattle’s Brighton neighborhood on May 15 through October 15, 2016. Over 100 youth took part in wqorkshops and learned about birds. The ceramic birdhouses are hug from organically curving posts of red cedar, a wood associated with life and ancestry in local tribes. Each birdhouse matches specific bird habitat needs. The piece explores themes of refuge/home, fertility/life/youth, and interconnection between human and non-human life. Lee is working with many Asian American youth at four local organizations in the Rainer Valley. Opening party is Sunday, May 15 from 3 – 6pm with food and light refreshments. Raw materials from the creation process will be on one-time display during the opening and participating youth and their families will be in attendance. A project with the Office of Arts & Culture, City of Seattle. For more information, go to www.georgeleestudio.com/city-of-faces/.
ON The Boards has another exciting season of performance art in all genres. Tanya Tagaq is an amazing Inuit throat singer who digs into past, present and future with a flexible, powerful voice that will have you on your feet as she blends native tradition with electronica, industrial and metal influences to tear apart the walls of the silent movie, “Nanook of the North” projected behind her as she sings. One night only on May 17, 2016. Re-scheduled from an earlier date in April. Co-sponsored by STG at the Neptune Theatre. 1303 NE 45th in the University District.
Keiko Green stars as Mash in the new comedy “Stupid F—king Bird” by Aaron Posner set to open April 8 and run till May 8 at ACT Allen Theatre at 700 Union St. 206-292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.com for details.
“To Savor Tomorrow” is noted Seattle food theatre artist group Café Nordo’s latest presentation. A comedy of international intrigue in the style of the classic James Bond films. The Nordo’s Culinarium in Pioneer Square will be transformed into the retro cabin of a Boeing 707 where global superpowers will fight over the food of the 21st century. The cast includes Sara Porkalob and Richard Nguyen Sloniker and is directed by Keira McDonald. Cuisine inspired by the food of 50 years ago will be served. Music by Annastasia Workman inspired by Henry Mancini. April 7 – June 5. Go to www.cafenordo.com or call 1-800-838-3006. Tickets at brownpapertickets.com.
“Puny Humans” is a new play by Bret Fetzer and Keiko Green that looks at game nerds at Comicon and how their lives and relationships interact. April 22 – May 14 at Annex Theatre at 1100 E. Pike. 206-728-0933 or go to annextheatre.org.
Seattle Folklore Society presents Hanz Araki, Colleen Raney & Cary Novotny in a concert of Irish music on May 21 at 7:30pm at the Phinney Cneter Concert Hall. 6532 Phinney Ave. N.
The Mohai Café is a venue for those interested in regional history to gather and hear guest speakers. On Thurs., May 19 at 6:30pm the topic will be “Wing Luke: Champion of Civil Rights.” Wing Luke was the first Asian American elected to office in the Pacific Northwest and served as Assistant Attorney General as well as on Seattle City Council. Guest speakers include Bettie Luke, Ron Chew and Washington State Attorney Bob Ferguson. Museum of History & Industry at 860 Terry Ave. N. 206-923-8923.
Choreographer Sheetal Gandhi presents “Bahu-Beti-Biwi (Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife) featuring North Indian music and a series of complicated, funny portraits of family characters. May 19 at Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia. 360-753-8586 or go to washingtoncenter.org.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the programs Seattle Symphony has to offer under the baton of Music Director Ludovic Morlot later this year going into 2016/2017. Bass vocalist Jonathan Lemalu is part of the choir performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ludovic Morlot conducting January 5 and 7. Kevin Ahfat is featured pianist during the Symphony’s “Shostakovich Concerto Festival”. He’s perform with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting the following. On Thurs., Januanry 19 – Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2 and Cello Concerto No. 1. On Friday, January 20 – Cello Concerto No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 2 and Violin Concerto No. 1. Cellist Yo Yo Ma makes what seems to be one of annual Seattle visits when he performs a program of Bartok, Mozart and Haydn with Seattle Pymphony under the baton of Pablo Rus Broseta on Friday, October 14 at 8pm. On Sunday, March 26 at 4pm, the annual “Celebrate Asia” concert returns featuring movie music by famous Chinese and Indian composers including Grammy and Academy Award winners Tan Dun and A. R. Rahman. Finally on Friday, February 10 at 8pm, catch violinist Leonidas Kavakos & pianist Yuja Wang in a program featuring Medtner’s “Two Canzonas with Dances for Violin and Piano and other works by Schubert, Debussy and Bartok. For details on tickets, go to seattlesymphony.org or call (206) 215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown every Third Thursday at 5:30pm and every Third Sunday at 2:10pm. Free with admission.
Noted local playwright Maggie Lee has written the third play in her well-received trilogy of steampunk plays entitled “Hand of Talons”. Presented by Pork Filled Productions, it will run from April 29 – May 21 with a multi-racial cast. Directed by Amy Poisson. At the Theatre off Jackson at 409 – 7th Ave. S. For details, go to [email protected]
“Caught”, a play by Christopher Chen gets a production by Seattle Public Theater as part of their 2015-16 Mainstage Season. It runs May 20th – June 12th, 2016 with a preview on May 19th. The play is a mind-bending satire about truth, art, and deception. When an art gallery hosts a retrospective of the work of a legendary Chinese dissident artist, the artist himself appears and shares with patrons the details of his ordeal that explores truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation. Stars Kevin Lin, Rebecca Olson, Daniel Wood, Keiko Green and Kathy Hsieh. Directed by Jon Kretzu. Art on display includes the work of local artists like MalPena Chan. 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N. Go to www.seattlepublictheater.org for details.
“Ethnomusicology Visiting Artists Concert: Ade Suparman; Sudanese Music of Indonesia” takes place on June 2, 2016 at 7:30pm at Meany Hall on the Seattle UW campus. Go to www.music.washington.edu or call Arts UW Ticket Office at (206) 543-4880.
T42, a modern dance duo composed of Misato Inoue (Japan) and Felix Dumeril (Switzerland) take Madam Butterfly as a point of departure, using the famous opera to examine ideas around orientalism and identity and false binaries between East, West, male, and female. Raisbeck Hall Theater at 2015 Boren Ave. June 10-12 as part of the Inter/National Series section of the Seattle International Dance Festival which runs June 10-25 at various venues around town. For tickets, call 888-377-4510 or go to http://seattleidf.strangertickets.com.
The Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Music Festival takes place July 5 – 20 at Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya downtown. Some leading soloists scheduled to perform in recital and concert include Violinist Andrew Wan, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Bion Tsang, pianist Jee Won Park and pianist George Li. 206-283-8710 or go to [email protected].
Local theatre director Desdemona Chiang nabbed a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise which is given each year to emerging artists and biomedical scientists from immigrant backgrounds. Locally she is co-founder of the theatre company Azeotrope with actor Richard Nguyen Sloniker. She directs the season opener for Book-It Repertory Theatre entitled “A Tale for the Time Being” this fall. She is profiled in the May 2016 issue of CityArts.
Bay Area raised playwright Laureen Yee won the 2015 Will Glickman Playwright Award for “In a Word”, a missing-child drama that debuted at San Francisco Playhouse’s Sandbox series. It’s since been produced in Cleveland, San Diego and Chicago as well. Her play “Hookman” was recently given a reading in Seattle as part of Forward Flux Productions directed by Wesley Fruge.
Xian Zhang was selected as the first female director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Born in China, she started her career conducting “The Marriage of Figaro” at age 20. Her career gained traction when she shared first prize in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition” in 2002. She will juggle her duties in New Jersey with guest conducting jobs in Europe where she is in much demand.
Hong Kong-born Elim Chan, winner of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition has been named music director at Norrlands Operan in Umea, Sweden.
Gene Chang, Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra & Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, Ankush Kumar Bahl, Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, Keitaro Harada, Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera & Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Sameer Patel, Assistant Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra all were recipients of Solti Awards for Young US Conductors.
Countertenor Brian Asawa, one of the most talented voices to ever come out of San Francisco Opera’s Merola and Adler programs died after a long, unidentified illness recently at the age of 49. He was the first countertenor ever to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. His voice was in demand in recitals all over Europe and the United States. He specialized in Baroque and contemporary music.
Lu Wang (China/US) was a recent recipient of a Civatella Ranieri Foundation residency in the category of music.
Film & Media
During the Asian Pacific American History Month & Labor History Month in May, join Filipino American National Historical Society of Greater Seattle as they sponsor a screening of the Emmy-nominated documentary film, “DELANO MANONGS: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers” directed by Marissa Aroy. This film reveals the involvement of Filipinos in the Civil Rights era of 1965 as they helped spark the biggest labor movement in American history and partnered with Cesar Chavez. Screens on Thurs., May 19 at 6:30pm. After the film there will be a discussion with the director, Rey Pascua, local policymaker & personal friend of Larry Itliong and Richard Gurtiza, a local labor union activist. At Hing Hay Coworks at 409 Maynard Ave. S. Advance tickets for $5 and tickets at the door for $10. Go to http:/DelanoManongsSeattle.eventbrite.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/470651929796898/ for information.
Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle is a small community film festival made in cooperation with the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival held June 4 & 5 at Seattle Center’s Armory. Every year they screen new films from the Philippines as well as entries from local filmmakers. This year’s headline feature films include the following – “The Woman Behind the Tattoo Artist” is a documentary film by Lauren Faustino that profiles a 93 year old woman known as ‘the last tattoo artist of Kalinga’. “Bantok, Rapeless” by Lester Vallee and Carla Ocampo follow two Filipino women who are victims of sexual abuse as they look for a society where they can live without sexual harassment. They discover the Bontoc culture of the Philippine Cordilleras have no term or concept of rape. Through investigation, they try and verify if this is true. Besides these films, over a dozen more will be screened from the Philippines as well as entries from local filmmakers as well. For more details, go to www.adrianalarilla.com.
“Minoru Yasui Commemoration” is the title of an event in honor of the late civil rights activist who protested the military curfew laws on Japanese Americans during WW II. After a pre-screening of the film, “Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice” co-director/daughter Holly Yasui will lead a discussion. A monologue reading & panel discussion will follow. 1916 marks the centennial celebration of Yasui’s birth. Free. Sat., June 25 from 7 – 9pm.At the Wing. Go to wingluke.org for details.
Coming to the Grand Illusion Cinema May 13 – 19 is “Mad Tiger” by Jonathan Yi and Michael Haertlein. The film follows band mates Yello and Red, the primary creative forces behind Peelander-Z, a New York-based “Japanese Action Comic Punk Band”. 1403 NE 50th in the University District. 206-523-3935.
May 20 – 26 sees a new restoration of “Belladona of Sadness”, a feature-length animated film never before released in the U.S. by Eichi Yamamoto, considered the grandfather of Japanese Anime. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
Opening April 9 at both the Northwest Film Forum (Wednesdays) and Grand Illusion (Sundays) is a “Seijun Suzuki Retrospective”. A look at the career of this eccentric Japanese filmmaker who turned any genre he filmed on its head with a surreal, quirky vision. The schedule for the NWFF screenings are as follows. “Tokyo Drifter” comes May 4 and is a surreal romp with a reformed a yakuza trying to go straight on the run from his former comrades in a story peppered with musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. May 4 also brings the 1966 film “Carmen from Kawachi”, the director’s version of the famous opera, “Carmen” which has our heroine leaving the provinces to try and make it big in the city. On May 11, the 1967 “Branded to Kill” traces the escape of a would-be assassin for the Japanese mob who must flee when he fails in his mission. Northwest Film Forum is at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
“Trans/lations” is the title of the 11th Seattle Transgender Film Festival held May 12 – 15 at Northwest Film Forum. Go to www.translationsfilmfest.org for details. Pride Asia co-presents a FREE pre-festival screening of Rosa Fong’s “Deconstructing Zoe” on Sun., May 8 at the Seattle Public Library’s Central Branch downtown in the Microsoft Auditorium. The film explores gender, race and sexuality as seen through the life and times of a transgender Chinese actor Zoe. Reception at 1:30pm. Screening of the film at 2pm with a community Q & A to follow at 3pm. Co-sponsored by Three Dollar Bill Cinema and The Seattle Public Library. More details at http://www.deconstructiongzoe.com/.
The Seattle premiere of the Seattle-produced documentary film by Sushma Kallam entitled “Walls And The Tiger” takes place on Friday, May 13 at 6pm. The film looks at the Indian version of an increasingly global story, and crisis. It shows the clash of conflicting priorities and values that come into play as India’s development policies – increasing GOP and average incomes – have caused widespread distress in the country’s rural sector. There will be a discussion after the film with the director, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, and Seattle University Professor/author Sonora Jha. Free. At UW Simpson Center in room CMU 120 ((School of Communication Lecture Hall – see https://simpsoncenter.org/about/facilities/maps). On the UW Seattle campus. Go to [email protected] for details.
Get ready for the 42nd annual Seattle International Film Festival which begins on May 19 all over the Puget Sound. More than 450 films from over 90 countries in 25 days.
The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, an annual event showcasing the best in Lesbian/Gay cinema world-wide has a name change. Now it is called “TWIST-Seattle Queer Film Festival”. It screens Oct. 13 – 23 later this year.
“The Empty Chair” is a documentary film by filmmaker Greg Chaney that looks at Juneau’s Japanese American community who were unjustly incarcerated during WW II.
Other new films with dates not yet set for release but probably due by 2016 are the following – Jia Zhangke of all of China’s directors seems to have his pulse on a China evolving so quickly that its own people can barely keep up. “Mountains May Depart” is a dark portrait of a capitalist-era family through the decades as they struggle to survive in China and abroad. Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” opened at Cannes and was picked up by Roadside/Lionsgate for distribution. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe who meet on Mr. Fuji bent on suicide. Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s newest entitled “Journey to the Shore” has a piano teacher going on a second honeymoon with her missing husband who returns as a ghost. Adapted from the novel by Kazumi Yumoto Stars Eri Fukatsu and Tadanobu Asano. Due out next year is the long-awaited new project by Martin Scorsese in which he adapts Shusaku Endo’s historical novel on Christians in Japan in a period when Christianity was not allowed. A priest played by Andrew Garfield travels to Japan to confront rumors that his mentor has abandoned the church. Shot on location in Taiwan. The director remarked that “The subject matter presented by Endo was in my life since I was very, very young.” Kazuhiro Soda’s 21/2 hour documentary entitled “Oyster Factory” was a Locarno Film Festival Official Selection and takes a close look as globalization comes to a small Japanese village whose sole industry is the harvesting of oysters. July Jung’s “A Girl at My Door” played the Cannes Film Festival and has received numerous awards on the festival circuit. Donna Bae plays a police officer removed from her post in Seoul following a sex-related scandal. She is re-assigned to a remote seaside town until the controversy dies down. The quiet town is struggling economically and run by an exploitive owner of the local fishing industry. When the police officer assists his shy stepdaughter who is being bullied at school and abused at home, things began to erupt. “A documentary film with the working titled of “Honokaa Hero: The Story of Katsu Goto” is busy trying to raise funds to complete production. Goto was an early Japanese immigrant who came to Hawai’i in 1885. He worked as a laborer along the Hamakua coast of Hawai’i island and then became a successful businessman and labor leader. He was lynched and killed in Honoka’a in 1889 while helping Japanese sugar plantation workers. Project Lead and Executive Producer is Patsy Iwasaki. “Afternoon” is the title of a new documentary film by noted Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang in which the director engages actor Lee Kang-sheng in a lengthy conversation. Mr. Tsai has appeared in nearly every film the director has made including “Goodbye Dragon Inn” and “What Time Is It There?”. The topics range from family, sexuality and art-making. New to the Honolulu International Film Festival are these recent entries from Asia – “Chongqing Hotpop” looks at how three high school students efforts to open a restaurant in an old bomb shelter turns into more than just a financial fiasco. “Mr. Six”, based on a true story, looks at a crime-filled underworld in Beijing and how a retired gangster returns to bring justice to the streets. Directed by Guan Hu and stars writer-director Feng Xiaogang. “Something Or Something Like It” is a new Japanese comedy. Vietnam’s blockbuster hit “Sweet 20” is an adaptation of the Korean comedy, “Miss Grannie.” “Yayoi Kusama: I Love Me” is a documentary film on the famed Japanese artist and designer who lives in a mental institution and whose manic, obsessive work has made her an icon. The Hong Kong Film Awards gave “Ten Years”, a controversial film depicting a bleak future for that city under Chinese control their “Best Film Prize.” The film cost only $70,000 and many of the staff worked for free. Set in 2025, it shows authorities persecuting locals for speaking Cantonese and not Mandarin. China’s state-controlled newspaper called the film as “thought virus” and it has not been shown in that country and many theatres in Hong Kong have stopped showing it.
Noted documentary filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura has started a kickstarter campaign to help complete and distribute his latest project entitled “Mele Murals.” The film is a portrait of the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. It is seen through the eyes of two street artists who return to their community and use graffiti and mural art as a way to help the youth. The film shows how public art rooted in underground graffiti combines with Native Hawaiian traditions and contemporary life to impact not only the students but rural Hawai’i and most of all, the artists themselves. To see a trailer for the film, go to https://vimeo.com/155597960. To help support the film by a donation, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2042394643/mele-murals-a-documentary-on-native-hawaiian-ident.
Lu Chuan, Chinese director of such well-received international documentary films such as “Kekexili: Mountain Patrol” (a favorite of a past SIFF) and “Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe” will direct and produce an adaptation of New York Times best-selling author Peter Hessler’s first book “River Town”. Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts of Fugitive Films will also help produce the film and Tristine Skyler will do the script. The book is a memoir of an American and his years teaching English literature to Chinese college students at a time when China was on the brink of unprecedented change. Lu is finishing up postproduction on his English-language debut, the documentary film “Born in China” for Disneynature which will be released this summer in China and in April 2017 in the U.S.
The Written Arts
Mia Alvar reads from “In the Country”,her award-winning book of short stories about Filipinos around the world doing their best to survive. Just out in a new paperback edition on Vintage. Sat., May 7 at 7:30pm and Sun., May 8 at 5:30pm. Free. At the Northwind Arts Center on 701 Water St. in Port Townsend, WA. Presented by PT Shorts/Key City Public Theatre. 360-379-1086 or try [email protected]. A previously scheduled reading at Elliott Bay Book Company has been cancelled.
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. On Thurs., May 5 at 7pm, poet, rapper and now novelist Kate Tempest from London is interviewed by local poet Shun Yu Pai about her new book, “The Bricks that Built the Houses”. On Sat. , May 7 at 7pm, join NW Dharma Network’s Paul Louis Metzger in conversation with George Draffan, author of “Evangelical Zen: A Christian’s Spiritual Travels with a Buddhist Friend” (Patheos). Shobha Rao reads from “An Unrestored Woman” on Thurs. May 12 at 7pm. Co-presented by Hedgebrook. It is Rao’s debut book of linked stories on the ramifications and upheaval of people affected by the partition of the Indian subcontinent. On Thurs., May 19 at 7pm, Chilean Novelist Lina Meruane is interviewed by local journalist Florangela Davila about her new book entitled “Seeing Red.” Northwest writer Ruth Ozeki returns to Seattle to talk about her latest book in “The Face” series, a personal exploration of how the author’s face has been shaped by her life. Free on June 5 at 3pm.Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
Author/poet/educator Mira Shimabukuro discusses her book “Relocating Authority: Japanese American Writing to Redress Mass Incarceration” and the ways writing served as a critical tool for Japanese American incarcerees and their descendants when she talks to Tom Ikeda of the Densho Project. Thurs., May 5 from 6 – 8pm. Free. Toddler Story Time on Thurs., June 2 from 11am – 12pm will be from the book “Night of the Moon” in which a Pakistani-American girl, observes the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Fun art activity to follow. Sharon H. Chang, a local scholar and activist will read from “Raising Mixed Race”, her inaugural book about raising multi-cultural Asian children in a post-racial world. On Thurs., June 2 at 6pm.All readings at the Wing. 719 South King St. 206-623-5124 or go to wingluke.org
Jay Rubin, author of the novel “The Sun Gods” and translator of Haruki Murakami’s novels and Motoyuki Shibata, translator of “The Sun Gods” into Japanese will discuss “Translating in Two Directions.” Thurs., May 5 at 7pm. UW Communications Bldg. 120 on the UW Seattle campus. Free. 206-685-9997 or email [email protected]
Those book lovers with burning, seemingly unanswerable questions need not consult Dear Abby any longer – now there’s Hugo House’s program “Ask the Oracle” where a panel of writers will light the proverbial path using passages from their respective books. Beginning in February and continuing monthly, Hugo House, Seattle’s place for writers, will partner with Hotel Sorrento to present this series taking place in the hotel’s cozy Hunt Club fireside room. Participating writers include Imani Sims, Ramon Isao, Sonora Jha, Jane Wong and many others. Dates include May 10 and June 6 all at 7pm. For details, contact Kristen Steenbeeke at [email protected]. In related news, Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. There will be an “Epilogue/Prologue: A Celebration of Hugo House” as it is on Sat., May 7. Attendees are invited to write on the walls and bide farewell with drinks and a food truck available. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. May 20 is the last literary series at the old location. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details.
In the 20th edition of the Jack Straw Writers, Curator Karen Finneyfrock has made her final 12 selections from over 100 submissions. Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Anis Gisele, Shin Yu Pai are some of the writers who form the 2016 Jack Straw writers. Shin Yu Pai and others read on May 6 at 7pm. Anis Gisele and others read on May 13 at 7pm. Ramon Isao, EJ Koh and others read on May 20 at 7pm. Each reading will also feature student writers from the inaugural year of the Jack Straw Young Writers Program. Suggested donation of $5 comes with a gift of the 2016 Jack Straw Writers Anthology. A reception follows the event. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. For details, go to www.jackstraw.org or email [email protected].
May 18 – 22 is time for the Skagit River Poetry Festival in La Connor. Readings, music, interviews, panel discussions and storytelling are offered. Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil is among the invited poets and performers included.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has added a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning medical author Siddhartha Mukherjee (“The Emperor of All Maladies”) on May 23. He will be talking about his new book entitled “The Gene: An Intimate History”. Go to lectures.org for more details.
St. Paul first-generation Filipino American poet Chris Santiago has won the fifth annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions. Competition judge A. Van Jordan called the manuscript entitled “Tula”, “a hypnotic blend of languages and land.” Santiago who teaches at the University of St. Thomas said that he is fascinated by the mystique of language. “Tula” will be published in December.
Restless Books has issued the names of finalists for their Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. Winner gets $10,000 and publication of a book of fiction by a first-time, first generation American author. The all immigrant jury has selected five finalists. The winner will be announced any day and the winning book comes out in Spring, 2017. Some titles on the list include Thirii Myint’s “The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven”, Yong Takahashi’s “Intersections” and Deepak Unnikrishnan’s “Temporary People”.
Stanford University Libraries has announced the shortlist for the seventh William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Some of the titles in the “Fiction” category include Anjali Mitter Duva’s “Faint Promise of Rain”, Patty Enrado’s “A Village in the Fields” and Lauren Francis-Sharma’s “’Til the Well Runs Dry.” In the “Non-Fiction” category, titles included Angie Chuang’s “The Four Words for Home: A Memoir of Two Families”, Rohini Mohan’s “The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War” and Susan Southard’s “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.” Winners and finalists will be announced this summer. For more information, email [email protected].
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut novel entitled “The Sympathizer”, a story that explores the Vietnam war and its legacy from the perspective of a Vietnamese spy won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Since then, Nguyen has written a non-fiction title giving us another perspective on the War in Vietnam entitled “ Nothing Ever Dies – Vietnam and the Memory of War ”.
The Civitella Ranieri Foundation opens the doors of its 15th century castle in rural Umbria annually for four six-week residency sessions of self-directed studio and work time and brings together a group of accomplished international artists, composers, and writers at emerging and established moments in their careers. They are joined by invited guests to foster a community dialogue that transcends disciplines and geography. Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Inc is a 501 © private operating foundation with administrative offices in New York City. Some of the writers participating this year include Kim Insuk of South Korea and Gai-Bao Tran & Ocean Vuong of the US.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling –
Local author Sharon H. Chang is the author of “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge). It is one of the first books to look at the difficulties of raising mixed-race Asian children in a system that neither embraces or welcomes their participation.
“What Lies Between Us” (St. Martin’s) by Nayomi Munaweera looks at the struggles a daughter and mother must go through leaving war-town Sri Lanka for the promise of America. The author’s first novel won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013.
In Alexander Chee’s “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a sprawling epic of a novel looks at the career of a true diva – an opera singer that through continual self-reinvention ascends to the role of a lifetime.
“A Girl on the Shore” (Vertical) is a book of yearning and teenage romance by Inio Asano. Asano is the author of “Solanin” and “Nijigahara Holography” and has been nominated for the Eisner Award.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri sets the bar even higher by writing “In Other Words” (Knopf) in Italian. She bumps up the limitations of a newly acquired language and takes us along in her search for those words that can express what she has to say. Translated into English by Ann Goldstein.
The New York Times bestseller “Without You, There Is No Us – My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite” (Broadway Books) is a memoir by Suki Kim now in a new paperback edition.
“Speak Now, Marriage Equality On Trail – The Story of Hollingsworth v. Perry” (Crown) by Kenji Yoshino details the personal and legal aspects of the struggle for marriage equality and the real meaning of same-sex marriage.
Chinese fiction writer Yan Lianke, winner of the Franz Kafka Prize has a new novel translated by Carlos Rojas. The Four Books (Grove/Atlantic) is a mythical tale that portrays the absurd and grotesque oppression of the Great Leap Forward.
“Midnight in Broad Daylight – A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds” (Harper) by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto looks at the war-time agony of a family struggling to maintain their American loyalty while simultaneously facing discrimination with one son in the US Army and two other sons in the Japanese Imperial Army.
In “We Too Sing America” (The New Press), journalist Deepa Iyer looks at the effects of post-911 racism and violence on South Asian, Arab and Muslim American communities.
- Henry Prize-winning author Viet Dinh’s new novel “After Disasters” (Little A) looks at four characters in the aftermath of an earthquake in India and what they do to impose order in a chaotic city.
“Picture Man – The Legacy of Southeast Alaska Photographer Shoki Kayamori” (Snowy Owl Books – University of Alaska Press) by local Olympia writer Margaret Thomas tells the little known tale of this Japanese photographer who made his home amongst a native population in southeast Alaska at the turn of the century. His images document the changes in their lives at a crucial period. But the book also gives us much more, delving into immigration policies, the cannery trade and anti-Japanese hysteria after Pearl Harbor leading to the suicide of Kayamori himself.
The latest book by Jeff Chang (“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History Of The Hip-Hop Generation”) entitled “Who We Be – A Cultural History Of Race In Post Civil Rights America” (Picador) is now out in a new paperback edition.
“The End of Karma – Hope And Fury Among India’s Young” (Norton) by award-winning New York Times reporter Somini Sengupta. Returning to India after thirty years, Sengupta looks at the India of today through the lens of today’s youth from every class and every situation and finds the illusion of possibility blocked by structures of sex and class.
“The Silent Dead” (Minotaur) by Tetsuya Honda pits a young woman detective with a penchant for solving crimes in a Tokyo police department rife with a male structure filled with political and family connections. Overcoming these obstacles and doing her job are a day to day rite of passage. When a dead body wrapped in plastic points to a serial killer, it’s a race to the finish as killer chases detective. The first in a best-selling series in Japan that has spawned a movie and TV mini-series.
Tetsuya Tsutsui’s “Prophecy 03” (Vertical Comics) is the concluding volume of a graphic novel series dealing with cyber crime, social media and revenge.
“Advertsing Diversity – Ad agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers” (Duke) by Shalini Shankar explores how racial and ethnic differences are created and commodified through advertisements, marketing and public relations. In other words, Madison Avenue wants your money.
Ji Xianlin’s “The Cowshed – Memories Of The Cultural Revolution” (NYRB) was a bestseller in China that calls attention to the injustices of Mao-era violence during that tumultuous time. Translated by Chenxin Jiang.
“The Wages Of Guilt – Memoirs Of War In Germany And Japan’ (NYRB) is another insightful look at the borders of history by Ian Buruma.
“Shelter” (Picador) by Jung Yun is a debut novel with a story about a dysfunctional mixed-race family caught in the vice-grip of today’s times.
“Viewpoint – Telling the Story of Diversity at the University of Washington” is a publication by the UW Alumni Association. Their latest Spring 2016 issue is a special guest editor issue entitled “Then & Now – Alumni share their stories with current students.” Included in the issue are interviews with photojournalist Rod Mar and Senior User Experience Designer at Microsoft, Mike Gilmore.
In the Spring 2016 issue of Rain Taxi Review of Books, poet Sun Young-Shin is interviewed. She has a prose collection forthcoming from Coffee House Press entitled “Unbearable Splendor” and has edited an anthology of essays entitled “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
Poet/editor Ravi Shankar has edited a new collection entitled “What Else Could It Be: Ekphrastics and Collaborations” (Carolina Wren Press) which features the voices of contemporary painters and contemporary poets divided into three sections like dance steps. Local fiction writer Donna Miscolta explores the Mexican cultural side of her heritage in a new book of short stories due out from Carolina Wren Press in Nov., 2016.
Susan Southard is an author, actress and artistic director of a theater group in Tempe, Arizona. In March, she was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.” Judges cited “her unflinching historical narrative of the bombing of Nagasaki and the aftermath as told through the lives of those who survived it.”
Hmong American poet Mai Der Vang won the Walt Whitman Award for outstanding debut book by the Academy of American Poets. Her book entitled “Afterland” will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. Congratulations too go out to Sjohnna McCray whose title “Rapture” was the winner of The Walt Whitman Award Of The Academy Of American Poets for 2015 as selected by Tracy K. Smith. In this award-winning debut, Mc Cray movingly recounts a life born out of wartime to a Korean mother and an American father serving during the Vietnam War. Go to www.graywolfpress.org for more details.
Finalists for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing for 2016 which awards $10,000 to the winner and publication of a book of fiction by a first-time, first-generation American author include Thirii Myint for “The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven”, Yong Takahashi for “Intersections” and “Temporary People” by Deepak Unnikrishnan.
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.
Want to take classes in the arts in an idyll setting? Sitka Center For Art And Ecology on the Oregon Coast has their 2016 catalog of workshops & events now out. Go to www.sitkacenter.org for details. Learn the traditional Japanese art of gyotaku (fish printing), learn about the history and design concepts of bonsai (Japanese miniature trees), katazome (Japanese stencil dyeing), Japanese water-based woodcut printing, shibori & indigo, Islamic world papermaking and so much more.
Social media marketing svengali Melenie Yap gets covered in the may 2016 issue of CityArts.
Artist Trust is now accepting applications for their Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) program. Awards of $1,500 will be given to 60 artists across Washington State in support of upcoming projects and artistic ventures. Deadline is May 23, 2016. There will be a series of webinars and workshops around the state to support applicants through the application process and questions can also be answered at the Artist Trust office at 1835 – 12th ave. in Seattle. Go to www.artisttrust.org for more details or call 206-487-8734×25.
Washington 129 is a projected anthology of poems to be written by Washingtonians. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. Go to http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/03/28/23877586/submissions-are-now-open-for-washington-129-an-anthology-of-poetry-from-citizens-of-washington-state for details.
Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics has issued a catalog for “Indra’s Net Poetics – Summer Writing Program” set from June 12 – July 9, 2016.To explore the whole schedule of classes, go to naropa.edu/swp. Scholarships are available. Some interesting classes and teachers include the following. Poet Srikanth Reddy investigates alternative methods of mapping a literary cosmology in “Cartographies of Erasure. Letterpress printer Julia Seko teaches “Lines of Symmetry: Building Texts Into the Architecture of the Book.” Professor Dorothy Wang teaches a class entitled “Rethinking Poetic Genealogies” looking at the work of poets Amiri Baraka and Ed Dorn and their aesthetic and political sympathies.