New work by artists Junko Yamamoto and Akiko Masker at Arts West Gallery on view during the month of August until early Sept. Opening reception is on Thurs., August 11 from 6 – 8 p.m. Regular hours are 1:30 – 7:30 p.m. on weekends and Sundays from 11 – 3 p.m.. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. 206-938-0339.
“Handmade in Camp – What We couldn’t Carry” is a group show that displays over 60 items including furniture, jewelry, tools, paintings, needlework, scrapbooks, games, toys and quilts – all handcrafted items made by Japanese Americans during their WWII incarceration. On view through Nov. 6, 2016.The museum says that most are family heirlooms borrowed from area households and have never been seen in public. Accompanied by quotes from local families. White River Valley Museum in Auburn. For details call 253-288-7433 or go to http://wrvmuseum.org.
Gibson Gallery’s “25” is a group show celebrating the diverse roster of artists they represent. Includes the work of Saya Moriyasu and Thuy Van-Vu. On view through August 13 plus a selection of 20th century photography. 300 S. Washington. 206-587-4033.
What is your favorite lullaby? What do you sing to your little ones to put them to sleep? The Wing invites you to share your lullaby with them to be featured in the new upcoming KidPLACE exhibition, “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”, opening Sat., August 20, 2016. There will be a Wing Luke Lullaby Recording Session at the Museum on August 4 and August 20 from 11 a.m. – 3p.m. facilitated by Jack Straw. The Wing invites the community to participate in this exhibition by recordings their favorite lullabies. Go to http://www.wingluke.org/lullaby for details.
Seattle raised/ Germany-based installation artist Tamiko Thiel’s summer project at Olympic Sculpture Park through Sept. 30, 2016 is entitled “Gardens Of The Anthropocene.” She creates an augmented reality app that can be downloaded to your mobile device. This virtual tour imagines the future for the landscape as we enter a new geological age defined by human activity’s impact on climate and environment. You can download the free Layar app onto your iPhone or Android smartphones now and get ready for a surreal landscape.
“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. Moriyasu is also in a group show entitled “Peep Show” on the 2nd floor at The Alice at 6007 – 12th Ave. S. through August 13. For information on the artist, go to SayaMoriyasu.com. for information about the work, go to GGibsonGallery.com.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is a new exhibit that tells the story of the Hunt Hotel’s role in the resettling of the Japanese community in Seattle after WW II. This traveling exhibit is now on view at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center through Sept. 25. 121 NW 2nd Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkei.org.
“Seeing The Light: Four Decades in Chinatown” is a new book of essays and photos by respected and beloved Seattle Chinatown/ID photographer/writer Dean Wong out now from local publisher Chin Music Press. Concurrently some of the dynamic new work he’s been doing in Chinatowns up and down the West Coast – “Dean Wong: New Street Photography” is at Jack Straw Cultural Center now through Sept. 1. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. Go to www.jackstraw.org for more details. In related news, another show of his work in the book is on view through July 24 at Kobo Gallery and Shop at Higo. Some talks and activities related to the show are planned. For details, go to http://www.koboseattle.com.
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”. Through August 23, 2016. 190 Sunset Ave. #E in Edmonds. Hours are Wed. – Sun. from 11am – 6p.m. and Artwalk Edmonds Third Thursdays from 5 – 8p.m.. 425-336-4809.
Local artist Naoko Morisawa has work in the Anacortes Art Festival in downtown Anacortes on view from August 1 – 7. For details, go to www.anacortesartsfestival.com.
Local paper-cut artist Lauren Iida has a busy schedule of shows throughout the area. Her work can always be seen at ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. In addition, more shows include the following. A new retail/gallery space in Ballard called Venue carries a variety of her new cut paper work. 5408 22nd Ave. NW. [email protected] or call 206-789-3335. Part of the Ballard Art Walk on August 13 from 6 – 9p.m.. She has five works on view at The Gallery at Shoreline City Hall from June 9 – Sept. 9. Her first public art project will be paper cutaways laser cut from metal and hung as banners along Aurora between 175th and 205th will be installed in August. Sponsored by the city of Shoreline. Her first “sculptural” paper cutaway will be on display starting Fri., August 4 at Sculpture Northwest in Bellingham. 11 feet long, it features images of diving Kamikaze planes along with framed work and found objects pertaining to her family’s incarceration during WWII in Japanese American internment camps. She has a new position as Gallery Director at Make Shift Art Space in Bellingham. She recently collaborated with Cambodian American designer Silong Chuun at Red Scarf Revolution in Tacoma to design t-shirts with her paper cutaway designs which are available online. Go to www.laureniida.com for full details. She is also always open to commissions. She has done custom cutaways for people from their special photos or a favorite poem etc. For details on commissions, go to http://www.laureniida.com/commissions.html.
“Patterned Lineage: Cultural Storytelling” is a show about “how pattern can help narrate personal cultural histories” by comparing work by Australian aboriginal artists and local Seattle sculptor/installation artist June Sekiguchi. Through August 27. The work includes reconfigured large scale works made for the artist’s parents as well as a plaster, waxed paper piece done in honor of her children. Live music by Tx Trumbo accompanies the art. The second First Thursday on August 4 from 5 – 8p.m. will have the sculptor installing a scroll cut waterfall for the second month of the show. Humaira Abid’s carved wood sculptures and paintings use a personal approach to reveal world issues whether it’s the bombing of children in Pakistan by US warplanes or issues of women. A solo show of her new work opens August 4 and runs through Sept. 24. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Open Tues. – Sat.
“Bodies + Beings” is an invitational exhibition of figurative sculptures at Abmeyer + Wood running through August 27. Includes work by Haejin Lee, Calvin Ma and Akio Takamori. Opening reception is Wed., July 13 from 5 – 8p.m.. 1210 2nd Ave. in down town Seattle. 206-628-9501 or go to abmeyerwood.com.
Seattle Municipal Tower presents “Cultural Perspectives”, a group show from the Seattle Public Utilities Portable Works collection with a focus on the voices and experiences of communities of color. On view through Sept. 30, 2016. Part 2 has work by Minh Carrico, Carina del Rosario, Midori Hirose, Hyunju Kim, Cheryll Leo-Gwin, Naomi Shigeto, Roger Shimomura, Tara Tamaribuchi, Thuy-Van Vu and others. The Artist Reception is on Thurs., August 4 from 4 – 6p.m..700 Fifth Ave. Open Mon. – Fri. Go to seattle.gov for details.
Wei’s by now familiar landscapes from travels in the Northwest will be shown in September at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. 1111 1st Ave. in downtown Seattle. 206-223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
Noted photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto will be the planned speaker for the annual Mitsubishi lecture sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program. In addition to the lecture, the Japan studies program plans to collaborate with local galleries, theaters and museums to host related events. The event will occur early next year. Details will be posted at https://jsis.washington.edu/japan later this fall.
Midori Hirose has a show of work that explores material changes, both perceived and actual, using resources and media drawn from science, early childhood education and history. On view through Sept. 18, 2016 at Morin Print Building at 308 Washington St. in The Dalles, Oregon. Part of Disjecta’s “Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art” series. Call 503-286-9499 or go to www.disjecta.org. For more about the artist, go to www.midorihirose.us.
Charlene Liu has a show that explores pictorial space by turns illusionistic and graphic, combining head-drawn, digitally constructed, and mechanically reproduced tropes and motifs. On view through Sept. 18 at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 48004 St. Andrews Rd. in Pendleton, Oregon. Part of Disjecta’s “Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art” series. 503-286-9449 or go to www.disjecta.org. For more on the artist, go to www.charlene-liu.com.
The Portland Japanese Garden recently reopened after a six-month closure for construction on the Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project. More construction is coming to expand the facilities with new features such as classrooms, galleries, a café and seven garden spaces with public water features and a bonsai terrace. Design is supervised by internationally know architect Kengo Kuma. Improvements should be completed by Spring, 2017.For details, go to japanesegarden.com.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “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.
“Splashes of Color: Chinese Woodblock Prints from the You Wei Du Zhai Collection” is on view through Oct. 9, 2016 at Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or go to portlandartmuseum.org.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” (see elsewhere in this issue for a review) 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.” It features the work of Surabhi Ghosh, Stephanie Syjuco and Aram Han Sifuentes. This show is on display through April 16, 2017. “New Years All Year Round” closes on Sun. July 31. See how the New Year is celebrated in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hmong cultures in this interactive and kid-friendly exhibit. Opening Sat., August 20 is “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”. Family Fun Day celebrates this show with a Pajama Party. The museum asks participants to wear their favorite pajamas to celebrate this opening day. Free with family fun activities like art workshops, lullabies, recording booth and kid -focused concerts throughout the building. Opening March 3 from 6 – 8p.m. is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books is a recent show to open at the museum. “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 more. Celebrate the closing of this Bruce Lee show on Sept. 3 & 4. Special activities include an outdoor film screening on Sat. and giveaways. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit opens on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 but if you become a museum member, you can attend the special member-only party preview before it officially opens to the public. On Friday, Sept. 30 from 5 – 8p.m.. To become a member contact [email protected] or call 206-623-5124×126. The new installment is entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: Do You Know Bruce? Part 3” explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. Toddler Story Time takes place Thurs., July 7 from 11am – 12p.m.. Free. The book, “Noodle Magic” will be read. August 4 from 11am – 12p.m., you can hear a reading of “Mooncakes”. Sept. 1 at 11am brings a reading of “Cora Cooks Pancit.” Fun art activity will follow.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. – 5p.m.. First Thursday of each month is free from 10 a.m. – 8p.m.. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10 a.m. – 8p.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.
New Zealand’s largest art show “World of Wearable Art” (tm ) makes its North American debut at EMP Museum in Seattle. A spectacular fusion of fasion and art, the exhibition showcases 32 award-winning garments from the annual competition in Wellington. One of the highlights is ‘Born to Die”, a dress made completely of cable ties woven into a sculptural “vertebrae” to look like a fish skeleton, by design student, Guo Xia Tong from China. On view through Jan. 2, 2017. 325 – 5th Ave. N. 206-770-2702.
“Triangulation” is the title of a group show in the Guest Gallery section of Columbia City Gallery. Through sculpture, installation, and painting, each artist reflects upon past events which have impacted their collective conscience and process of reinvention. Featuring the work of Minh Carrico, Truong Pham and Thuy-Van Vu. On view through August 14, 2016. 4864 Rainier Ave. S. 206-760-9843 or go to www.columbiacitygallery.com.
Next year will see a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens Sept. 29, 2017 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. Seattle Art Museum downtown.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – 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 featured. Also on view now – “Awakened Ones: Buddhas of Asia” comes from the museum’s own collection and features 20 sculptures and paintings of Buddhas from across Asia that span nearly 13 centuries. Opening on July 2 and remaining on view through Feb. 26, 2017 is “Terratopia: The Chinese Landscape in Painting and Film.” The importance of landscape is a key feature of Chinese art and this show gives it a new wrinkle by comparing Chinese landscape paintings from the collection with the sounds and images of artist and cinematographer Yang Fudong taken from his five-part film entitled “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-7). The film experiments with ideas about what nature holds for people in the modern world by reimagining ancient history’s seven philosophers as seven successful youths who are disenchanted with the banality of daily urban life. Filmed in the famed Yellow mountains of eastern China, a place that inspired poetry and literature for centuries as well as a major school of and landscape art. Chinese art curator Foong Ping says, “It’s a thinking person’s show…You have to look at something and ask ‘Why is it there? Why did you choose this one?’ and there will be an answer. It’s a puzzle.”. Immersed in both the audio and visual elements of the film, viewers may very well begin to see the Chinese landscapes on the wall in a new light. Now on view through Oct. 9, 2016 is a show entitled “GOLD: Japanese Art from the Collection.” Japanese art curator Xiaojin Wu created this show with diverse elements from the museum’s collection, which showcases all things gold including textiles-such as kimonos-as well as paintings, metalwork, and lacquerware. Gardner Center presents an Asia Arts Workshop entitled “Hand Papermaking of the Islamic World” on Sept. 10, 2016 from 10 am – 4p.m. with book artist and papermaker Radha Pandy. Pandey will share her rare expertise about paper history with samples of work made in the Islamic world. Paticipants will learn sheet forming, dyeing, sizing and burnishing. On Sept. 15 at 7p.m., the Gardner Center presents their Asia Talks series with textile artist Azumi Hosoda who will show you how to use resist dyeing to create kimonos and more. She will discuss techniques that allow layering and depths of color and talk about her contemporary designs that explore themes of food, sea life, games and more. Tabaimo is a Japanese artist who currently has her first solo show of video installations at San Jose Museum of Modern Art. She will curate a show of her existing and new works as well as works from SAM’s collection that she has selected for their close connections with her own work. Opens Nov. 11, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 26, 2017. 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 Seattle Asian Art Museum known for its classic Art Deco design built in 1933 will receive a major overhaul and renovation. The museum will close in the spring of 2017. The museum seeks input from the community in a series of meetings about what people envision for the Asian Art Museum of tomorrow. Go to visitsam.org/inspire or email SAM at [email protected] for more information about upcoming community forums about the future of SAAM. Some goals include expanding educational and programming spaces, protecting the collection, restoring a historic icon, enhancing the museum’s connection with Volunteer Park and adding new exhibition space.
Seattle artist/performer/filmmaker Etsuko Ichikawa has won the grand prize Dave Bowen Award for her video entitled “Echo at Satsop”. Submissions were received from artists from over 40 countries. Juror and Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has this to say about the work. “Equal parts performance documentation and otherworldly cinematic experience the mesmerizing video reveals the dramatic potential of a simple gesture made in an extraordinary setting. I was not only struck by the professional and creative cinematography, but also by the powerful soundtrack. Nearly every shot would make a compelling still image; the meditative sound could also stand alone. Both contribute to a sense that this clearly real place could be on earth or elsewhere – in the past, present, or far-off future.” Congratulations, Etsuko! The artist is represented locally by Winston Wachter Fine Art Gallery/ [email protected]. Currently she is working on a public art project for Pullman High School sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission. She will do a residency at Museum of Glass in Tacoma. She is also working on “Jomon Vitrified”, an examination of the radioactive decay of uranium glass inspired by Jomon pottery and concerns over the disasters at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant and Hanford Nuclear Waste Management. She has a new facebook page and is working on a podcast as well. For details on any of the above, email [email protected].
Northwest Art Now@TAM 2016 is a juried group show of new contemporary art in the area. 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.
Guest artist Dong-Lim Chung, professor at Gachon University in South Korea has work on display in the Boardroom of Collective Visions Gallery through August. 331 Pacific Ave. in Bremerton. 360-377-8327 or go to www.collectivevisions.com
Comparing his own journey from China to Canada, the Yangtze River to the Frazier River, with that of the salmon migration, Canadian multi-media artist Gu Xiong has an installation entitled “A River of Migration”. Xiong says, “When the salmon returns, the river flows red. A spiritual river. A river of migration.” On view from August 6 – Nov. 28, 2016. San Juan Islands Museum of Art on 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor. 360-370-5050 or go to www.sjima.org.
Every year the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation gives out The Foundation of Art Award to worthy artists who have made a positive effect in the community with their art and activities. Artist candidates throughout Pierce County are highlighted and nominated. One of this year’s nominees was Silong Chhun. Chhun launched the clothing label Red Scarf Revolution in 2013. His aim was to bring silenced art, culture, and the darkest tragedy of Cambodia’s history to light with designs that incite the resiliency of the Khmer people. To learn more, go to redscarfrevolution.storenvy.com/faq.
Coming this summer are two big art events. The Seattle Art Fair is happening a second year in a row in part sponsored by Paul Allen. This year’s version presents up to 83 galleries both local, national and international. Expect galleries from Asia, Europe and the East Coast plus our West Coast contingent. Aug. 4 – 7 at CenturyLink Field Event Center at 800 Occidental Ave. S. Go to centurylinkfield.com for details. Overseas participants include SCAI The Bathhouse and Tomio Koyama Gallery both from Tokyo. Takashi Murakami’s Superflat & Juxtapoz present a group show at Pivot Arts & Culture which is south of Lake Union at 609 Westlake Ave. N. August 4 – 7 from 9am – 9p.m. with a media preview on August 4 at 3p.m.. Expect a large contingent of contemporary Asian artists in this show and at the media preview. Just down the road from Seattle Art Fair at King Street Station at 303 S. Jackson, look for “Out of Sight”, a group show showcasing local artists also Aug. 4 – 7. Curator for Suyama Space, Beth Sellars is putting together a series of site-specific installations by artists who have been involved with Suyama Space among them, Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han & Daniel Mihalyo). June Sekiguchi and Etsuko Ichikawa join a stellar group of 14 Seattle-based artists in “In Context”, A Seattle Art Fair Satellite Exhibition. This free sit-specific exhibit includes sculpture, animation, installation, drawing, video, painting and photography. Open from 10 a.m. – 9p.m. August 4 – 7. On Friday, August 5 at 6p.m., there will be a panel discussion with some of the exhibition artists on “The State of Women in the Arts.” 220 S. Jackson St. at 3rd Ave. in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Curated by Barbara Robertson and Ann-Marie Stillion. Visit www.incontextseattle.com or text 206-852-3251.
“Matter” is the first North American retrospective to highlight two decades of art by Bharti Kher, a UK-born, New Delhi-based artist. The exhibition presents elements of painting, photography, and sculpture that have been the hallmarks of her practice over the past two decades. On view from July 9 – Oct. 10, 2016. Organized by Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis and Diana Freundl. Her use of the bindi (a popular fashion accessory that once was a symbol of the third eye) is reclaimed by the artist to show the resilience of women. Ideas of hybridity and the female cyborg are also explored in her art. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue co-published with Black Dog Publishing. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-662-4722 or go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.
On view through Sept. 4, 2016 is “Chino Otsuka: Arrival”, an audio visual multi-channel installation that combines archival images and new photographs as a way to explore the early history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, stories of young women who came as picture brides. It captures a time of anticipation, hope and adventure as they begin their journey to a new country. Otsuka is based in England and this project was inspired by a 2014 residency at the Nikkei archives here. Also ongoing is “Taiken – Japanese Canadians Since 1877”, photography and artifacts that chronicle the hardships of pioneers to the struggles of the war years to the Nikkei community today. Nikkei National Museum at 6688 Southoaks Cres. In Burnaby B.C., Canada. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
The Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “All That Glistens – A Century of Japanese Lacquer” has on display containers, trays, plaques, braziers and screens all handcrafted by the Japanese artisan tradition. On view through September 7, 2016. “Depth & Detail – Carved Bamboo from China, Japan & Korea” looks at this intricate decorative art that includes religious imagery, people, animals, birds, insects, plants and landscapes. All with a story to tell or having symbolic meaning. On view through Jan. 15, 2017. 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver. 720-865-5000.
The East-West Center Arts Program presents “China Through The Lens of John Thomson 1869-1872”. In 1868 the Scottish photographer and travel writer spent four years in Hong Kong and China documenting the people and landscape. The range, depth and aesthetic quality of his photographic vision makes him stand out as one of the pioneers of travel photography. On view through Sept. 11, 2016. East-West Gallery is located in the John A. Burns Hall at 1601 East-West Rd. in Honolulu. Hours are weekdays 8 – 5p.m. and Sundays noon – 4p.m.. 808-944-7177. Go to http://arts.EastWestCenter.org for details.
The San Diego Museum of Art has opened a new exhibit entitled “Brush And Ink: Chinese Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art Selected by Pan Gongkai”. On view now through Sept. 4, 2016. The show has works spanning over 500 years of Chinese ink paintings. Along with the classic paintings from the tradition, the show is graced with new work by guest curator/ink painter Pan Gongkai. 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park. 619-232-7931 or go to http://www.sdmart.org.
“Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” is the title of a new show at the Huntington Library. Photographs made by Ishimoto of architecture by these early 20th-century designers on assignment for the Japanese design magazine, “Approach” (on loan from Museum of Art, Kochi) plus images from his “Katsura Imperial Villa” series are now on view until Oct. 3, 2016. This show coincides with the reopening of a refreshed permanent display of Greene & Greene furniture in an adjacent room. A new exhibition opens Sept. 17 entitled “Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints” and remains on view through Jan. 9, 2017. The show includes forty-eight examples of woodblock prints made from the 16th century to 19th centuries on loan from the National Library of China in Beijing, the Nanjing Library, the Shanghai Museum and 14 other institutions and private collections. 1151 Oxford Rd. in San Marino, California. 626-405-2100.
“Made in L.A. 2016 – A, the, though, only” is a multi-genre group show now at the Hammer Art Museum/UCLA. Curators canvased different neighborhoods in Los Angeles to find a variety of artists doing distinctive work in many media. The work of Kelly Akashi, Margaret Honda, Kenzi Shiokava and Kenneth Tam are included. Through August 28. 10899 Wilshire Blvd. 310-443-7000 or go to https://hammer.ucla.edu.
Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of the sites for Mel Chin’s land art project “The Tie That Binds: Mirror of the Future” which is part of the new public art biennial “CURRENT: LA Water. Chin, is internationally known for her public art installations that involve community and this one is no different. As you know California is in the midst of a long drought. The project begins at the Bowtie, a piece of land in Atwater village near the Los Angeles River. Here, “mirror makers” guide viewers through eight unique, drought-resistant sample gardens created by the artist. Visitors can commit to creating a mirror of a sample garden in their own yard, and receive a blueprint for one of the sample gardens with instructions on how to plant and maintain their very own mirror garden, It is hoped this will help drought-resistant gardens proliferate all across the city. For details, go to the CURRENT:LA website.
L.E. Kim has a second show of new paintings through August 20, 2016 at KlowdenMann Gallery. She paints by placing and scraping oil paint on palette paper with a palette knife then adding and scraping off piegment as she goes along. The end result is a tactile canvas of build up and release, textural and reductive at the same time. 6023 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA. Go to http://klowdenmann.com for details.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents “No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki.” Co-organized with Colby College Museum of Art, it is the first retrospective of the work of this artist (1920-2013) in the United States. This Chinese-French artist melded eastern and western aesthetic sensibilities in his paintings to great effect and was a key figure of the post-WWII abstract expressionist movement. Zao was born in Beijing but grew up in Shanghai and Hangzhou, where he studied at the China Academy of Art. In 1948, he emigrated to Paris where he became a major name in the European art world. His work found its way into American collections in the 50’s and 60’s. He was one of the first artists to adapt the visual characteristics of Chinese art within twentieth-century oil painting idioms. The show is curated by Melissa Walt, Ankeney Weitz and Michelle Yun and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. On view September 9, 2016 – January 8, 2017. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps of the 18th and 19th Centuries” through Nov. 6, 2016. This exhibition of maps showcases the beauty of Japanese printmaking. Also on view is “Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection through August 21, 2016. Coming up is “Provoke”: Photography in Japan Between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975. Opens Jan. 28, 2017 and remains on view through April 30, 2017. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
“Narcissus Garden” was an installation created by the grande dame of contemporary Japanese art, Yayoi Kusama for the 33rd Venice Biennale back in 1966. She re-creates that piece consisting of over 1,000 mirrored spheres at the famed American architect Phillip Johnson’s historic glazed building in New Canaan, Connecticut known as the Glasshouse Museum. Kusama floats a landscape of metallic orbs that sweep across the meadow and forest of the grounds on the way to the building. Also as an added bonus during the month of September, visitors can see how she has turned the interior of the Glasshouse into a colorful polka-dot infinity room. “Narcissus Garden” is on view through November, 2016. For tickets for a tour, go to [email protected].
The Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University has the following – “The Artist as Activist: Tayeba Begun Lipi and Mahbubur Rahman up until August 7, 2016. A show by Yan Xing through Oct. 16, 2016. “Epic Stories and Cultural Flux: A Brief Visual History of South Asia” though Sept. 11, 2016. Upcoming is a group exhibition that investigates a wide range of themes surrounding the changing role of women in China in an exhibition entitled “Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Women Artists”. Included are the work of twenty-eight emerging working in painting, installation, sculpture, video, animation, photography and performance. The generation of artists born in China during the 1970s and 1980s witnessed significant changes throughout their society as the country opened up to foreign markets and international exchange. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by the curator, Dr. Wang Chunchen and interviews with the artists. There will be various activities including performances by Hu Jiayi, Lin Ran, and Luo Wei. On view August 27, 2016 through February 12, 2017. This museum was designed by the late Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. 504 East Circle Dr. in East Lansing, Michigan. 517-884-4800 or try [email protected].
“Interlace: Three Artists In The Cambodian Diaspora” was a group show curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani that featured three artists who blended into their work personal stories of growing up away from their homeland and the challenge of adjusting to another country that either ignored or misunderstood their native culture. It included the installation work of Amy Lee Sanford who smashed and reconstructed Cambodian clay pots filled with segments of her father’s letters re-configured into tiny cubes. LinDa Saphan, a seamstress’s daughter in Canada re-fashioned her mother’s skill to make a mannequin piece entitled “Stateless” covered with the fabric of her immigration forms. Recently re-located to Tacoma, artist Anida Yoeu Ali had two pieces from her “Red Chador” video series. Her interactive performances with local people highlight the anti-Muslim sentiment she felt in America and while visiting Paris. This show closed the end of June and was held at InCube Arts in New York. Taken from Suzy Sikorski’s review as found in ArtAsiaPacific Magazine’s webpage. Go to http://www.artasiapacific.com/Magazine/WebExclusives/INTERLACEThreeArtistsInTheCambodianDiaspora.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has the following. “Divine Pleasures: Paintings from India’s Rajput Courts – the Kronos Collection” through Sept. 12, 2016. “Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection” through Oct. 11, 2016. 1000 Fifth Ave. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
The Seoul Museum of Art celebrates the 10th anniversary of the passing of legendary video artist Nam June Paik with an exhibition that examines his work and that of the Fluxus movement of which he was a vital member. Also includes work by George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono and other Fluxus members. Up until July 31, 2016. Free. Call 02-2124-8934. Another large exhibit honoring the artist is “The Paik Nam June Show” where over a hundred of his pieces are arranged in thematic sections including a huge turtle sculpture composed of over 166 tv monitors. On view through Oct. 30, 2016 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Go to www.ddp.or.kr for details.
A major new work by installation artist Kimsooja entitled “Archive of Mind” encourages visitors to make clay balls at a giant oval wooden table to the soundtrack of dried clay balls rolling on the table. When dry, the audience-made balls of clay will be set against the black walls transforming the room into the landscape of an alien planet. Also on view is the latest piece of Kimsooja’s “Thread Route” film series. This series shows how a region’s sewing and weaving culture is intertwined with residents’ lives and history. The current show is part of “The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2016”, the museum’s annual solo show given to a leading artist as sponsored by the auto giant. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary art in Seoul. +82 23701 9500. 30, Samcheong-Ro, Jongno-gu in Seoul.
The Sema Seosomun Museum of Art in Seoul has two interesting shows. “The Wind May Blow – It Blows Anyway” is a memorial exhibition for Chun Kyung-Jai. Her unique figurative style was popular even when the modern Korean art scene was dominated by abstract art. On view through August 7, 2016. “Museum of Art – Lee JuYong Photographic Studio” is an exhibition that celebrates the disappearing photographic studio in a museum space. JuYong considers early photography as a record of society and culture and to this end, has collected thousands of photographs and cameras over the years. On view through August 15, 2016. Free. Go to http://sema.seoul.go.kr for details.
The Australian artist Jason Phu was awarded the 2015 Sulman Prize for his painting “I was at yum cha when in rolled the three severed heads of Buddha: Fear, Malice and Death. It was a watercolor and ink work on ricepaper with the three heads flanked by text in Chinese and English. The 27 year old artist born of Chinese-Vietnamese parents looks at the culture clash of identities transferred by oral traditions. Phu now has a studio in Chongqing, China where he hopes to sharpen his calligraphy skills. Excerpted from Artsasiapacific.
The June/July 2016 issue of Art in America profiles artists Mika Tajima, Nasreen Mohamedi and Heman Chong. Also in the issue Seattle sculptor/writer Robert Rhee’s “Critical Eye” column takes a look at the recent traveling exhibition “Art AIDS America” originating from Tacoma Art Museum and curated by TAM’s Rock Hushka and Jonathan D. Katz, director of visual studies at the University of Buffalo, N.Y. Rhee is one of many nominees for The Stranger’s 14th Annual Genius Awards. Come to the ceremony honoring the winners at the Moore on Sat., Sept. 24, 2016. Go to strangertickets.com to make reservations for this fun event.
The Barack Obama Foundation has announced that the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, a firm best known for designing the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the now demolished American Folk Art Museum in New York has won the design competition for the library. The building is expected to open in 2021 in Chicago.
Albert Chong has been named the new director of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is currently director of the Asian civilisations Museum and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Prior to that, he was curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Musuem in Boston.
Syed Haider, one of India’s most respected modern painters died at the age of 94 recently in New Delhi.
New York based performance artist Tehching Hsieh was selected to represent Taiwan at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The July/August issue of ArtAsiaPacific includes the following – A profile of London-based Filipino artist Pio Abad whose obsession with the Marcos family explores the influence of their power in the creation of a national identity. A look at the Japanese installation artist Chiharu Shiota. Profiles of Dutch-Filipino video artist Martha Atienza who delves into economic and environmental issues and New Delhi-based Pallavi Paul whose video work uses archival footage with her own documentary recordings of political protests. A digital edition is available for purchase via iTunes, Google Play, Zinio and Magzter.
“That Has Been, and May Be Again” is a group show that looks at contemporary art (especially installation work) throughout the 1980s and’90s China and how it points to a search for cultural and political identity during rapid modernization. Through August 21, 2016 at Para Site in Hong Kong. 852-25174620.
The theme for the 3rd Aichi Triennale as coined by curator Chihiro Minato is “Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan.” It takes place in the cities of Okazaki, Toyohasi and Nagoya, Japan. Parameters are wide for this festival of art that will include photography, moving image, performing arts and architecture. Augst 11 – Oct. 23, 2016.
Master photographer Fan Ho captured urban Hong Kong before it became a financial center. His masterful compositions of light, line and silhouette is a poetic homage to a city that harkens back to the mood of Wong Kar Wai’s film, “In The Mood for Love”. He came to Hong Kong from Shanghai as a teenager in 1949. He was self-taught, learning with a camera given as a gift by his father. He also directed a number of films during the heyday of Hong Kong cinema. He died in June in San Jose, California at the age of 84. Go to http://qz.com/714123/hong-kongs-perfect-serenity-before-it-was-a-financial-hub-by-master-photographer-fan-ho/.
Art Gallery of Ontario used their latest acquisition by Beijing-based conceptual artist Song Dong for a series of residencies, inviting local artists to create a response with Dong’s “Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard” (2011-13) as the permanent backdrop earlier this year.. The installation turned the space into a series of walk ways and rooms. Toronto-based artists Basil AlZeri and Annie Wong staged interactive performances with a live audience and it ended with a “mahjong master’s competition.” +1 416-979-6648.
“From Hiroshima to Hope” is the annual memorial lantern floating event to commemorate the victims of the 1945 atomic bombings. Sat., August 6 from 6- 9p.m.. The northwest shore of Green Lake at 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N. For details, go to www.fromhiroshimatohope.org. Also volunteers are needed for clean-up after the event. If you can help, email Etsuko at [email protected] for details.
Summer festivals sprout up like wildflowers this time of year. The Japanese American community is especially active with things to see and do. Oregon Buddhist Temple’s Obon Fest takes place Aug. 6 (3-9p.m.). 3720 SE 34th Ave. in Portland. Go to www.oregonbuddhisttemple.com for details. Olympia Bon Odori takes place on Sat., August 13 from 5 – 9p.m.. On Water St. near 5th Ave. SW by Capitol Lake. 360-556-7562.
“Autonomic” is the title of a sound and video installation by composer/percussionist Paul Kikuchi on view through August 26, 2016. The music is drawn from compositions that explore breath awareness, intention and perception. The music is paired with visuals inspired by slowly evolving, multi-layered movements of clouds by videographer James Reeves. Kikuchi gives an “Artist Talk” on Thurs., August 25 at 7p.m.. Jack Straw New Media Gallery at 4261 Roosevelt Way NE in the University District. 206-634-0910 or go to www.jackstraw.org.
DAIPANbutoh Collective returns with their annual summer series of performances. On Sunday, August 21 there will be a free “Wandering & Wondering” event at Seattle Japanese Garden led by Joan Laage. For details, go to http://www.daipanbutoh.com/performances/.
Seattle Kokon Taiko formed in 1980 and is still going strong. To celebrate they plan a 35th Anniversary Concert entitled “Rhythm, Movement & Spirit” on Oct. 1, 2016. Tickets are on sale now. This will be a big production with special guests they have been collaborating with the last few years including Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe of UNIT SOUZOU, singer-songwriter Aura Ruddell and the rock band, Ravenna Woods. Concert takes place at the Shorewood Performing Arts Center in Shoreline. Planning a concert this big takes lots of money and the organization would appreciate any financial support it can receive from friends, family and community. This group has always been there for the community performing at rallies, concerts and community events. Now it’s our turn to step up and support them. For more information on the concert, go to http://seattlekokontaiko.org/skt35/. To keep up with the group’s activities, go to their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Seattle-Kokon-Taiko-SKT-101296766070/. And more importantly, to send donations to the group so they can put on their concert, go to https://www.gofundme.com/skt35.
Singer/songwriter/musician Kishi Bashi was born in Seattle but raised in in Virginia, the son of academics. He studied film scoring at Berklee School of Music and founded the rock band “Of Montreal” before going solo. He will be touring on behalf of his latest release “Sounderlust.” This recording came out of the ashes after touring and marital problems saw him at a spiritual and creative impasse. He appears in Seattle on Oct. 18 at 8p.m. at the Showbox in downtown Seattle at 1426 – 1st Ave. 1-888-9-AXS TIX or try the ShowBox or SODO ShowBox offices for tickets in-person fromWed. – Fri. from 10 a.m. – 2p.m.. Doors will open at 7p.m..
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 8p.m.. On Sunday, March 26 at 4p.m., 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 8p.m., 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 on Third Thursdays at 5:30p.m. and Third Sundays at 2:30p.m. in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. No tea ceremonies will be held in August. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details. Also at Seattle Art Museum on Sept. 8 at 6p.m. will be an “Opening Reception for Travelers”. Travel from Shanghai to Bakersfield and beyond as visitors get a chance to explore the world with artists as they exhibit work based on their expeditions. Free and open to the public.
Friends of Asian Art Association present “Glimpses of India” on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 2 – 4p.m.. Enjoy dancing, music, henna, sari draping, chai and snacks. Kids under 12 are free. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. At the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center at 7700 Sand Point Way NE. To register for this event go to www.friendsofasianart.org.
Emerald City Music is a new local organization specializing in chamber music. They recently announced their first season featuring over 40 world-class musicians with many performances all over Puget Sound. There will be seven in Seattle, two in Tacoma and five in Olympia. The concerts are curated by Kristen Lee, Artist Director and violinist. Some of the musicians include Ben Hong, Tien-hsin Cindy, David Requiro, The Dover Quartet, Gloria Chien, Hyeyeon Park, Windsync, Yura Lee and Kristen Lee. Concerts will be at Washington Center, 415 Westlake, Lagerquitt Concert Hall, Minnaert Center and St. Michael Westside Church. Go to http://www.emeraldcitymusic.org/blog/2016/5/16/announcing-season-one for details. Opening concert of Brahms kicks off on Sept. 16 at 415 Westlake in Seattle. Go to emeraldcitymusic.org.
Aerialist Rui Ling performs in Teatro ZinZanni’s romantic production of “Hotel L’Amore” staring Lilliane Montevecchi. Through Sept. 25. 222 Mercer St. in Seattle. 206-802-0015 for details.
Theatre Off Jackson presents some interesting plays this summer. Seayoung Yim brings back her Korean family stories in the mystery/comedy “Do it for Umma” which originally had its debut earlier. This re-vamped version is directed again by Sara Porkalob who did the original version. Aug. 18 – 27. 409 Seventh Ave. S. 206-340-1049 or go to theatreoffjackson.org.
Friends of Asian Art present ceramic artist Thomas Batty in a talk/presentation on “Ikebana – A Contemporary Approach” on August 21 at 1p.m.. Members $15 and non-members, $20. Batty studied in the Ohara School, one of the more progressive schools of Japanese flower arrangement. Nagmi Teahouse at 519 Sixth Ave. S. in the Chinatown/ID neighborhood. Register at www.friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer2.html.
The weekend of August 27 – 28 brings the ancient and modern histories of Tibet alive at Tibet Fest with performances, dances, visual arts, sand mandala creation, activities and a marketplace of foods and herbal medicines. Sept. 11 is the annual “Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival”. Hula and mele performances, music, ono food and lei making workshops. All at Seattle Center. Free
Coming to Jazz Alley are two pianists of contrasting styles. The pop/jazz of singer/songwriter/pianist L.A.-based Keiko Matsui is on stage Sept. 1 – 4. Jazz prodigy Joey Alexander hails from Bali but is presently based in New York. He’s a storehouse of the jazz tradition and though only 12, plays with the warmth of a musician years older. See him with his trio Sept. 13. Shows start at 7:30p.m.. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
Book-It Repertory Theatre kicks off their 2016-17 season with an adaptation of Ruth Ozeki’s best-selling novel “A Tale For The Time Being” set fro Sept. 14 – Oct. 9. The story centers around a woman on an island off the coast of British Columbia who finds the diary of a young Japanese young girl washed up on the shore as part of the tsunami debris and how she imagines her story from reading the pages. For tickets, go to book-it.org or call 206-216-0833.
Catch Rex Navarrete, billed as the “#1 Filipino Comic” at the Parlor Live Comedy Club in Bellevue. August 11. 700 Bellevue Way NE Ste. 300 on the 3rd floor of Lincoln Square. 206-602-1441 or go to www.parlorlive.com.
JAMFEST is the annual summer music event sponsored by the Wing. Tickets include access to all Museum galleries after hours. Thurs., August 18 from 4 – 9p.m. will find you shakin’ that thing with the kung-faux fighting troupe NANDA and more. $8 general, $6 for seniors/students and just $5 for all members. Enjoy the Happy Hour Food Walk along with a stocked bar in the Museum with tunes spun by Dj Kitman. July 21 and August 18 from 4 – 9p.m. Go to wingluke.org or call 206-623-5124
Access To Ustads presents: Master of Tabla Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla’s North Indian concert with Hindustani vocalist Srivani Jade and Master Artist Anindo Chatterjee on the table. Both artists perform and talk about their art form. Sat., Sept. 24 at 2p.m.. For more information, go to wingluke.org.
Singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata comes to the Tractor Tavern on Oct. 17. Presented by Monqui. Go to monqui.com for details.
Beaverton Night Market brings the Asian night market tradition to Oregon. On Saturday from 6 – 10p.m. on August 13 at The Round located at 12600 SW Crescent St. An evening of ethnic food, crafts, culture and family friendly fun. With more than 40 cultural vendors. Go to www.BeavertonOregon.gov/NightMarket for details.
Chan Centre, the performing arts theatre space for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C. presents Anda Union, a nine-member band that unites tribal and musical traditions from all over Inner Mongolia. A wide range of traditional instruments and vocal throat singing styles are used. They are part of the new season and will perform on March 26, 2017 at 8p.m.. Go to http://chancentre.com/subscribe/ for details on their complete season. Single tickets on sale on June 14, 2016 from noon on.
UW instructor/composer/trumpet player Cuong Vu continues his association with noted jazz guitarist Pat Metheny in a new recording on Nonesuch entitled “Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny”. It includes five tunes written by Vu and features a rhythm section of Stomu Takeishi on bass and Ted Poor on drums. For details, go to publicity.nonesuch.com or contact Melissa Cusick at [email protected].
Bleachbear is an all-girl Asian American indi-rock band consisting of two sisters and a cousin. They were named “Seattle’s Best Underage Band” by Seattle Weekly. Their sophomore EP entitled “Cowboy Movie Star” will be released on July 30, 2016. For details, go to www.bleachbear.com.
Ukulele whiz Jake Shimabukuro’s new tour includes a stop at Pantages Theater in Tacoma on Sept. 7, 2016. The musician’s new set up for his electric ukulele will give him “access to new sounds and timbers that I never incorporated before.” Go to http://www.jakeshimabukuro.com/ for details.
Experience Chinese music in a series of two concerts by the Guangdong National Orchestra Of China. “Autumn Memory- A Collection of Chinese Classic Works is on Sept. 12. A newly-created symphonic work entitled “Silk Road Melody” will be performed on Sept. 13. Presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group at Benaroya Hall. 200 University St. Tickets at benaroyahall.org or call 206-215-4747. Also at Benaroya Hall, the East Meets West Concert Series present “Year of the Monkey: Chinese Music in the Great Northwest” presented by the Seattle-based Chinese arts and Music Association. Includes performances by Seattle Chinese Orchestra, Zhenlun’s Cello Orchestra, NW Guzheng Ensemble and NW Jigu Ensemble. Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3p.m.. You can email [email protected] or call 206-817-6888 for details.
Indian tabla whiz and world music percussionist Zakir Hussain makes a welcome return to the area with “Zitar” (amplified sitar) master Niladri Kumar on Oct. 23 as part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents series. Go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
Coming early in 2017 will be the touring production of the new edition of the musical “The King And I” as re-imagined by former Seattle Intiman Theater director Bartlett Sher. Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. Part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents new season. Got to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
Winners of the 2016 SCMS Monika Meyer Clowes Memorial Awards were violinist Takumi Taguchi and pianist Alexander Lu.
Kenso Watanabe has been named Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Ochestra for the 2016-17 season.
Playwright David Henry Hwang has been elected chairman of the board of the American Theatre Wing, the nonprofit that founded the Tony Awards and works to promote theater.
South Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf takes on the multi-nationals with a new piece entitled “Dow vs. Bhopal: A Toxic Rap Battle” demanding that Dow Chemical pay more in compensation to the victims and for environmental damage stemming from the gas leak that killed thousands of people in 1984. This disaster is considered one of the world’s worst industrial accidents and killed more than 15,000 and sickened a half-million more. Thousands of children have been born with brain damage and twisted limbs. Her video has dancers wearing gas masks as she raps “This ain’t road kill, death’s still taking its toll/ There’s water, water everywhere/ corroding our copperware/ It’s so polluted, quit deluding.”
Film & Media
The Frye Art Museum presents the U.S. premiere of “Dragonfly Eyes” (trailer), a work-in-progress which will culminate in the first full-length cinematic feature by the internationally know Chinese artist Xu Bing. The film foregoes camera operators and on-screen actors, and instead employs publicly available video surveillance footage of everyday life. A snippet of this film will be screened from July 9 – Sept. 4. 704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.
“’Till Madness Do Us Part” is a new documentary film by Wang Bing that looks at inmates of an isolated mental institution in SW China locked up on a single floor and left to depend on their own company for solace and comfort. It makes its Seattle debut August 17 – 25 at Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-829-786.
Kudos to Shannon Gee, Randy Eng, Stephen Thomas Cait, and Lawrence Matsuda who won Emmy Awards from the Northwest Chapter of the National academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the Seattle Channel feature, “An American Hero: Shiro Kashino”. The award was given for excellence in the historic/cultural program category. The short piece was about a WWII veteran who grew up in Seattle’s Central District. Gee produced and directed, animation was by Eng with audio engineering and sound design by Cavit, and script by Matsuda. Kudos also to Matt Sasaki who did the powerful illustrations. Because he did not join the NATAS organization, his work was not acknowledged with an Emmy though it was an integral part of the final creative process.
A new thriller from South Korea entitled “Train to Busan” Screens until August 4. Also from that country is a new documentary film on “100-year old lovebirds” entitled “My Love, Don’t Cross That River” as directed by Moyoung Jin. It was that country’s biggest independent film of all time. Screens August 12 – 14. SIFF Cinema Uptown. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. Go to [email protected] or call 206-324-9996 for tickets.
See the Seattle premiere of a documentary film on Eddy Zheng entitled “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story” which traces his journey as prisoner, immigrant, son and activist. Screens August 4 at 6:15p.m. at the Wing’s Tateuchi Story Theatre. Director Ben Wang and Zheng will be present for a discussion after the screening. 719 South King St. Go to wingluke.org or call 206-623-5124.
“Rurouni Kensin Part 1:Origins” by Keishi Ohtomo revives the samurai film genre with a new cinematic adaptation of a Japanese literary classic. Assassin samurai Kenshin vows to throw down his sword and return to civilian life. But when a local drug lord wrecks havoc on the community and his friends, his vow is tested. Opens at the Guild 45th August 8, 9 & 10. 2115 – N. 45th. Advance tickets available at the theatre box office now.
Missed academy-award-winning film “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee about a boy, a boat and a tiger? You’ve got another chance to catch it on the wide screen in the Seattle summer outdoors. August 27 at dusk at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater.
The movie musical version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” starring Yul Brynner screens on Aug. 31 at the Varsity at 4329 University Way NE in the University District. 206-632-2267.
Seattle Asian American Film Festival is issuing a call for submissions for their SAAFF 2017 series set for early next year. Deadline is Oct. 1, 2016. They are also sponsoring an outdoor film series in Chinatown/ID’s Hing Hay Park this summer with “Shaolin Soccer” on August 5, “Lile & Stitch” on August 19 and the Bruce Lee classic, “Enter The Dragon” on August 27. For details on all of the above, email [email protected].
Examiner film writer Yayoi Winfrey is a filmmaker herself and she is working on a new production entitled “War Brides of Japan”. Her production team is about to embark on a trip to interview 11 Japanese war bridges and their children in 8 cities and 3 states. They need more donations to their crowdfunding campaign so they can have enough money to cover expenses. If you can help make this film a reality, please donate what you can to https://fromtheheartproductions.networkforgood.com/projects/15778-documentaries-war-brides-of-japan. If you have any questions about this project, email [email protected].
Li Ling Ai was an actress/dancer/author/filmmaker from Hawai’i who won an academy award for her documentary film with Rey Scott entitled “Kukan” about Japanese aggression in China during WW II in 1941. Yet people today know very little about her or the making of this film. Now Hawai’i-based filmmaker Robin Lung hopes to change that with the release of her documentary film “Finding Kukan” later this year. Lung is seeking donations to complete production for this film so it can be ready for screening by the end of the year. You can follow her on twitter or facebook or email [email protected]. Checks can also be made to Nested Egg Productions, LLC, 574 Paulete St., Kailua, Hawai’i, 96734.
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.
American actor Matt Damon and Chinese director Zhang Yimou are collaborating on a new science fiction thriller entitled “The Great Wall.”
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. Coming from Seoul where she is assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the Underwood International College of Yonsei University is noted fiction writer Krys Lee who will be reading from her first novel entitled “How I Became a North Korean” (Viking). She looks into the struggles that defectors have to face after escaping the North. Set for Wed., August 3 at 7p.m.. Journalist Raghu Karnad’s look at his family history and their participation in the wars that rocked the world in the 20th century is all documented in his finely crafted “Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War (Norton) just released in a new paperback edition. Karnad will talk about it when he comes on Fri., August 5 at 7p.m.. Indian fiction writer Jaina Sanga who who lives and works between the U.S. and Mumbai is one of a number of South Asian writers who are published in India but not in the U.S. she reads from her new book of short stories entitled “Train to Bombay” (Amaryllis) on Wed., August 10 at 7p.m.. Noted Chinese translator and writers of books on his own travels in China, Bill Porter returns on Sun., August 14 at 3p.m. to read form his latest travel book entitled “South of the Yangtze: Travels Through the Heart of China (Counterpoint). Noted poet and scholar Srikanth Reddy reads with another fine poet and poetry editor Matthew Zapruder on Thurs., August 18 at 7p.m.. Ed Yong, award-winning science writer for the Atlantic and creator of the National Geographic blog, “Not Exactly Rocket Science” has a new book out entitled “I Contain Multitudes – The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life” (Ecco). He’ll be in Seattle to talk about it on Spet. 9 at 7p.m.. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
The Gardner Center presents “Words on Water: Writers in Conversation on Sept. 28 at 6:30p.m. at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s auditorium. This annual event features writers from India and is presented in partnership with Teamwork Arts and Elliott Bay Book company. Check visitsam.org for updates on the writers who will be speaking.
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. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. 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.
“Sherman Alexie Loves” is a new series that Seattle Arts & Lectures has started with the noted Northwest writer. It features three evenings of conversation with authors that the author loves. Of special note is the evening entitled “First Loves: Debut Novelists Alexie Loves” on Thurs., May 11, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Includes a conversation with Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag and Sunil Yapa. For tickets & information, go to lectures.org.
The 2016 Jack Straw Writers continue to do readings at various venues in the area throughout the year. On Oct. 13, you can catch Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Casandra Lopez and Anis Gisele in the “It’s About Time Writer’s Series at 6p.m. at the Ballard Branch of Seattle Public Library at 5614 22nd Ave. NW. 206-684-4089. On Oct. 18 at 7p.m. Ramon Isao, Shin Yu Pai, EJ Koh and Casandra Lopez read at University Book Store in Seattle. 4326 University Way NE. 206-634-3400.
The Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Spark – The Magazine of Humanities Washington features an interview with novelist Jamie Ford entitled “Reading Habits: Jamie Ford” conducted by David Haldeman. Ford is the best-selling author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and “Songs of Willow Frost”. For details go to SparkMag.org or humanities.org.
The May-August 2016 double issue of World Literature Today’s cover story feature is “4 Asian Voices” devoted to coverage of writers Han Kang, Bernice Chauly, Wang Ping and Ming Di. Poems by Amit Majmudar are also included. Go to worldliteraturetoday.org/blog for more.
“Your Body of Water” is the title of the new poetry on the buses competition. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2016 by 11:59p.m.. In 50 words or less, local poets can send in their poems inspired by the theme of water. Go to poetryonbuses.org for details.
Gene Oishi won the 2016 Association for Asian American Studies Best Book Awards in Creative Writing in prose for his novel, “Fox Drum Bebop” (Kaya).
Nicholas Wong won a LAMBDA Award for his new book “CREVASSE” (Kaya). He was a co-winner in the category of “Gay Poetry” with author Carl Phillips.
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. Please contact me if anyone is interested in reviewing any of the below titles for the International Examiner. Thanks! –
Seattle playwright/writer/poet Robert Francis Flor has a new book of poems based on his younger days working in the Alaskan canneries. It is “Alaskero Memories” (Carayan Press). Go to www.carayanpress.com for details.
“MOTHSUTRA: For Bicycle Delivery Men” is a self-published graphic novel by Russell Leong. In its unique format with compelling illustrations that give urgency to the story of the inner life of fast-food deliverymen in New York, it provides a glimpse of the inner life of these immigrant workers beyond statistics and media generalizations. Leong lived in the Bowery and heard these stories first-hand and spins them into a history of a sub-culture that many of us know little about. Leong is a recipient of an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Poetry Award and a founding editor of CUNY FORUM/Asian American and Asian Studies, City University of New York. He was also Editor of UCLA’s Asian American Studies seminal publication, “Amerasia Journal.” Go to www.mothsutra.com or email [email protected] for details.
The University of Minnesota has come out with a new paperback edition of “Living For Change: An Autobiography” by Grace Lee Boggs. This book chronicles the remarkable life of an untraditional radical on the American left with a new foreward by Robin D. G. Kelley. Cornel West writes that “Grace Lee Boggs has made a fundamental difference in keeping alive the traditions of the struggles for freedom and democracy.” Go to http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/living-for-change for details.
“Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone” (Black Lawrence Press) is a new collection of short stories by Sequoia Nagamatsu that spins tales of modern Japan , pop culture icons and its ancient folklore into dreams to stir your imagination. Go to sequoianagamatsu.net for more information on this writer.
“Striking Distance-Bruce Lee & The Dawn Of Martial Arts In America” (University of Nebraska) by Charles Russo is a new book drawing on hundreds of interviews that chronicles his time in the Bay Area and the thriving martial arts scene there in the 1960’s.
Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis-based poet/writer/editor and finalist for the Believer Poetry Award and 2008 Asian American Literary Awrd Winner has a new book due out in October, 2016 on Coffee House Press. “Unbearable Splendor” uses poetry as essay approaching topics of identity and personal interest as building blocks to form a well-rounded construction of home.
“Standing Strong! (Pease Press) is a new anthology of voices from the Black American/Japanese American communities of the Bay Area situated in the Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods. Both communities have suffered from displacement, urban renewal and gentrification. How has dislocation impacted ordinary people? What do they carry from the old days? What do they treasure? What are their challenges today? What keeps them going and what can they teach us? This anthology edited by Shizue Seigel attempts to address those issues and more.
“After Disaster” (Little A) is a new novel by Viet Dinh. This O Henry Prize-winner tells a moving story of four aid workers who journey to India in the wake of a devastating earthquake only to find they may need help as well in this risk-taking environment.
“By the River – Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas” (University of Oklahoma) is a new collection of the best writers in that form as edited by Charles A. Laughlin, Liu Hongtao, and Jonathan Stalling.
“Finding Samuel Lowe-China, Jamaica, Harlem” is a new memoir by Paul Williams Madison. It is the universal story of one woman’s search for her roots and her self-identity. Because of her Jamaican mother, the author’s mother was cut off from her Chinese father as a baby when he left for China. It was up to the granddaughter to piece together the full story of her grandfather’s life.
“The Lost Garden” (Columbia University Press) is a novel by Li Ang (“The Butcher’s Wife” and draws an eloquent portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions. It is an important edition to their “Modern Chinese Literature From Taiwan” Series. Translated by Sylvia Li-Chun Lin and Howard Goldblatt.
“Mission Mumbai – A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets” (Scholastic) by Mahtab Narsimhan is a young adult story of a street-wise New York kid who joins his best friend Rohit Lal on a family vacation to one of the largest cities in India. Both get more than they bargain for and more adventures than they ever expected to test the bonds of their friendship.
“between MEMORY and MUSEUM – a dialogue with folk and tribal artists” (Tara) edited by Arun and Gita Wolf looks at the indigenous communities where a wide range of rich and vibrant traditional art forms are still practiced. The book forms a dialogue between folk and tribal artists and the museum.
“Screen Ecologies – Art, Media, And The Environment In The Asia-Pacific Region” (MIT) is a new anthology of essays edited by Larissa Hjorth, Sarah Pink, Kristen Sharp, and Linda Williams.
“The Star-Touched Queen” (St. Martin’s) is a new young adult fantasy novel by Roshani Chokshi that delves deeply into Indian mythology.
“A Fantasy Chinaman- Fantasy And Failure Across The Pacific” (Harvard) by Hua Hsu looks at Chinese American immigrant writer H. T. Tsiang and the handful of writers and thinkers who helped shape the construction of China in the American imagination in the 1920s and 30s.
Mike Masilamani’s “Th3 8oy Who 5p3ak5 1n Num83r5” (Tara) is a dark tale of life in times of war, violence and refugee camps set in Sri Lanka. A boy who is a witness to these troubled times seeks solace in the company of a constantly chattering and prophetic cow. This surreal, satiric tale captures the daily horror of prolonged civil strife.
“Before We Visit The Goddess” (Simon & Schuster) is the latest novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni that tells the story of three generations of mothers and daughters both in India and America as they struggle to find home.
“Points Of Origin” (Comma Press) by Diao Dou as translated by Brendan O’Kane is a series of short stories that make palpable the Kafka-esque absurdity that accompanies modern Chinese life.
“Half a Lifelong Romance” (Anchor) brings back into print a classic novel by a sometimes forgotten author. Eileen Chang is considered a giant of modern Chinese literature and her novel of the complex relationships between men and women through love and betrayal carries a convincing power. Translated by Karen S. Kingsbury.
“JewAsian – Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews” (Nebraska) by local Washington authors Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt. The authors look at the intersection of race, religion and ethnicity in cases where Jews and Asian Americans marry.
“The Taxidermist’s Cut” (Four Way Books) by Rajiv Mohabir was the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize In Poetry. This poet delves into what its like to be human and how different it is from being animal in incisive poems that cut close to the bone.
Vancouver, WA-based author Curtis C. Chen is getting good reviews for his new sci-fi thriller entitled “Waypoint Kangaroo” (Thomas Dunne). What can a spy do when he discovers a plot that could unravel the entire solar system?
“The Book Of Tokyo – A City in Short Fiction” (Comma) edited by Michael Emmerich, Jim Hanks & Masashi Matsuie. It’s often said that you remember your travel experiences not from just seeing places but meeting people. This slim anthology of short stories allows you to do just that. With stories by Mitsuyo Kakuta, Kaori Ekuni, Nao-Cola Yamazaki, Banana Yoshimoto and many others.
“Japanese Prostitutes in the North American West, 1887-1920” (UW Press) by Kazuhiro Oharazeki sheds light on a little known chapter of Japanese American history.
“The Halo” (Four Way Books) by C. Dale Young is a new book of poetry that is a quasi-autobiography about a man with wings who desperately wants to be simply human.
“Yayoi Kusama -Inventing The Singular” (MIT Press) by Midori Yamamura grounds this internationally known Japanese artist within the fabric of pre and post WW II history from which she emerged to engage the world with her artistic visions from Pop Art to Minimalism.
“Alien Capital – Asian Racialization And The Logic Of Settler Colonial Capitalism” (Duke University) by Iyko Day explores what the dynamic of the Asian workforce brought to the American economy at the turn of the century.
The Global Music Series from Oxford University Press has interesting volumes which all come with music CD inserts. Recent titles include Gavin Douglas’s “Music in Mainland Southeast Asia” and “Music in Pacific Island Cultures” by Brian Diettrich, Jane Freeman Moulin and Michael Webb.
William Wei’s “Asians in Colorado – A History of Persecution And Perseverance in the Centennial State” (UW Press) by William Wei gives breath and depth to the history and contributions of that immigrant population to that state.
Noriko Manabe’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Protest Music After Fukushima” (Oxford University Press) is a vital new contribution to the way music plays such a vital part in protest and social movements.
Terayama Shuji’s surrealistic theatre works rose out of the ashes of WWII to bring forth a ribald humor and energy and that may be what he’s best known for in the West. But Terayama was also a writer of fiction. In “The Crimsom Thread of Abandon” (MerwinAsia), translator Elizabeth L. Armstrong has done us all a favor by collecting his stories that read like thought-provoking fairy tales for adults.
“The Face” (Restless Books) is a new series of personal non-fiction in which well known authors are asked to write essays about their face and its place in race, culture and identity. March 2016 has essays by Ruth Ozeki, Chris Abani and Tash Aw. Other volumes will follow.
“Diamond Head” (Harper Perrenial) is a new paperback edition of the debut novel by Cecily Wong that tells the story of a Chinese family’s immigration to Hawai’i and how a tragic sense of fate and history haunt them wherever they go.
Two Sylvias Press, a small local publisher in Kingston, WA has over the years been bringing out some fine titles. Some recent titles of note by Asian American writers include the following. “The Cardiologist’s Daughter” by Natasha Kochicheril Moni explores her dual Indian/Dutch heritage with tender poems that explore the mysteries of the human condition in and out of the operating room. “Blood Poems” is the debut collection by West Seattle poet Michael Schmeltzer that embraces our shared humanity, imperfect as it is with poems of redemption and compassion. And “Naming The No-Name Woman” is an homage to silver screen icon Anna May Wong and the trials and tribulations of Asian American women in a society that would rather stereotype rather than confront the real. Written by third-generation Chinese American poet Jasmine An who won the 2015 Two Sylvia’s Press Chapbook Prize. “Fire Girl: Essays On India, America, & The In-Between” by Sayantani Dasgupta. Dasgupta teaches at the University of Idaho. Her essays and stories have garnered a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and a Centrum Fellowship. This is her first book. For information on the author, go to www.sdasgupta.com. For more on the press, go to www.twosylviaspress.com for details.
“Tropical Renditions – Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America” (Duke) by Christine Bacareza Balance continues the tradition of Filipino American scholars looking deep into their own contemporary musical traditions and culture.
“Radicalism in the Wilderness – International Contemporary and 1960s Art in Japan” (MIT) by Reiko Tomii explores the burst of energy in Japanese modern art in the 60’s and how it related to the world.
“Global Asian American Popular Cultures” (UH Press) edited by Shilpa Dave, Leilani Nishime and Tasha Oren expands the field of Asian American cultural studies with some insightful essays addressing a variety of topics.
“The Fortunes” (HMH) by Peter Ho Davies due this fall is a new sly and witty collection of short stories exploring the lives of Chinese Americans throughout our tumultuous history here on Gold Mountain and beyond.
“Islands of Protest – Japanese Literature From Okinawa” (UH Press) is a crucial and much needed collection edited by Davinder L. Bhowmik and Steve Rabson that offers literary riches from that island nation in various forms such as poetry, fiction and drama showing what a vital and distinct culture it really is.
Sean Michael Wilson continues his exploration of Japanese classics by re-telling stories in the graphic novel form. “Cold Mountain –The Legend of Han Shan and Shih Te” (Shambhala) with illustrations by Akiko Shimojima tells the tales of famous Chinese zen monks whose spiritual poems have resonated through the years. In “Lafcadio Hearn’s The Faceless Ghost And Other Macabre Tales from Japan” (Shambhala), Wilson collaborates with graphic artist Michiru Morikawa to re-tell these chilling ghost tales discovered by Hearn.
“Ancestral Places – Understanding Kanak Geographies” (OSU Press) by Katrina-Ann R. Kapa’anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira explores the deep connections native Hawaiians have with their environment.
NYRB Books continues to re-print and find classics that have gone out of print. Two recent Chinese masters of modern fiction have re-surfaced thanks to their efforts. The late Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin’s last book “Last Words From Montmarte” as translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich explores her impassioned letters to the world that are part-love letter, part-fiction, part-memoir and part-suicide note. “Naked Earth” brings back to print the much loved Hong Kong writer Eileen Chang. Perry Link’s translation tells the story of two young people during the early years of Mao’s China and uncovers the dark corners of human experience where idealism is replaced by repression.
“Ruined City” (Oklahoma) by Jia Pingwa as translated by Howard Goldblatt looks at the rapid transformation of today’s China through the eyes of a Chinese writer who goes through a myriad of sexual and legal difficulties. Originally banned in China for its sexual content, it is now considered a classic.
“Postcards from Stanland – Journey in Central Asia” (Ohio University Press) by David H. Mould explores the complex issues at hand in this forgotten intersection of cultures in the world.
“A Good Time For The Truth – Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press) is a fascinating anthology of first-hand essays edited by Sun Yung Shin that goes way beyond the Vikings and Lake Wobegon to get at the real ethnic strands of that state’s diversity and how, in some ways, it has failed many of its citizens.
Janice Y. K. Lee, bestselling author of “The Piano Teacher” is back with “The Expatriates” (Viking) that tells the story of three American women living in an expatriate community in Hong Kong struggling with demons of the past, trying to move on.
A Chinese teenager lures his best friend into a trap, kills her and moves on in A Yi’s “A Perfect Crime” (Point Blank), winner of the English Pen Award.
Bamboo Ridge Press continues in its mission to publish the freshest and best writing by writers in Hawai’i. Their latest issue (#106) of the magazine features Editors’ Choice Awards with new work by Rajiv Mohabir, K.L. Quilantang, Jr. and Joseph Han. Also an Artist Portfolio by Joy Enomoto and the usual evocative variety of Island talent. Guest edited by Gail N. Harada and Lisa Linn Kanae. Also two new titles. Brenda Kwon’s “The Sum of Breathing” mixes genres as the author ventures to find an identity she can call her own moving from Hawai’i to Korea and L.A. and dealing with issues of memory, loss, feminism, racism and place. D. Carreira Ching’s “Between Sky and Sea – A Family’s Struggle” is a powerful debut novel about three Hawaiian brothers and how love, loss, addiction, violence set against the backdrop of a colonial past keep their lives churning through waves of doubt while still trying to find a way back home.
“Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008” (Wave ) collects a decade of poems culled from handmade chapbooks, journals and out-of-print books by Hoa Nguyen, co- editor of the important literary magazine, Skanky Possum with Dale Smith. Her use of language remains funny and refreshingly honest. Also Wave Books has just published her latest book of poetry entitled “Violet Energy Ingots.” As grounded in the earth as in the stars, her poems are reminders of the possibilities of contemplation in every space and moment. Go to http://wavepoetry.com/products/violet-energy-ingots for details.
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.
“Everything Begins Elsewhere” (Copper Canyon) is the new poetry title by Tishani Doshi, poems real and written with a beautiful simplicity that resonates across borders of migration and cross-cultural context.
The dark consequence of China’s “one child” policy is deeply explored in two new titles. “One Child – The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment”(HMH) by Mei Fong and “China’s Hidden Children – Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy” (University of Chicago Press) by Kay Ann Johnson.
“The Future of Silence – Fiction by Korean Women” (Zephyr) is the latest translation by Seattle couple Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton that spans generations of writers from the 1970’s to the present as they grapple with day to day complex issues in Korean life and literature. Includes important writers such as O Chong-hui, the late Pak Wan-so and younger ones like Kim Sagwa, Han Yujkoo and Ch’on Un-yong. Again, another crucial contribution to the life of women in today’s Korea.
“Apricot’s Revenge” (Minotaur) is a new crime novel by Song Ying translated from the Chinese by the prolific Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin. Not just an ordinary mystery but a in-depth look at human relationships and the complexities of social issues in today’s China.
“Here Come the Dogs” (The New Press) is a new novel by Malaysian Australian performance poet, &hip hop artist Omar Musa that looks at the world of suburban, multicultural youth in Australia dealing with issues of powerlessness, ethnicity and masculinity.
“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.
“Hard Love Province” (Norton) is the new and powerful book of love poems by Marilyn Chin that can’t stay still, fueled by a passion that crosses borders, cultures and snatching bits of victory from the hands of defeat.
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.
Local poet/translator gives us another powerful slice of the powerful Korean poet Kim Hyesoon with “Poor Love Machine” (Action Books) where myth, politics and the everyday engage in a stimulating conversation.
“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.
“Standing Water” (FS&G) is the powerful debut of poet Eleanor Chai who looks at Little Hanako, the bust of a head by Rodin and weaves a tale of loss and longing and the separation of mother and child across time.
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.
“Wild Grass on the Riverbank” (Action Books) by Japanese poet Hiromi Ito as translated by Jeffrey Angles in which she explores the fecund yet hazy border between the living and the dead in a wasteland of our own making.
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.
Ocean Vuong’s “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” makes his poetic debut with a new book from Copper Canyon Press. He appears in a recent video by the press enlisting donations to continue their goal of publishing new books of poetry.
The ancient Chinese tradition of “Feeding the Hungry Ghosts” comes to shoreline as a participatory art-activity open to visitors to the Celebrate Shoreline Festival held on Sat., August 20 from 12 – 5p.m.. Artists Shin Yu Pai and Eddie Tang will lead the proceedings. At Cromwell Park at 18030 Meridian Ave. N. in Shoreline. 206-801-2661 for details.
Congratulations to UW instructor Third Andresen who received a 4 Culture Award to fund the project, “Hip Hop Archiving in the 206 And Beyond”. It’s a collaborative project between Andresen and the UW Washington Libraries to research the past and present scale of Hip Hop in King County.
Congratulations to Noelani Pantastico, principal ballerina at Pacific Northwest Ballet who has been nominated for a 2016 Stranger Genius Award. The awards ceremony takes place on Sat., Sept. 24. Go to strangertickets.com for reservations.
The Kenneth S. and Faye G. Allen Library Endowment and the Friends of The Libraries awarded eight UW undergraduates for their outstanding academic scholarship as part of the 2016 Library Research Awards for Undergraduates. Among the winners were Daniel Keum, Kela Wong and Yoojeong Cho. Congratulations to all!
The Wing offers Game Day BBQ’s from July – September. July 22, 29/, August 19/26 and Sept. 23/30. Go to wingluke.org/tours for details.
The annual rummage sale, “All Things Japanese Sales” hosted by Hoseki Bako will be held on August 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. – 4p.m. At Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington at 1414 S. Weller St. 206-568-7114 or email [email protected].
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Go to FriendsOfAsianArt@earthlink or call (206) 522-5438.
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.
The Storyteller Award in fiction of $10,000 is given out to a Washington State artist who is engaged in storytelling through their work. The award recognizes excellence in storytelling through their primary artistic discipline. The discipline for 2016 is fiction. Deadline is Sept. 12, 2016. Go to www.callforentry.org.
“Laying a Solid Foundation: Business Law for Artists” is a new seminar set for August 4 at 6p.m. at the Vera Project at 305 Harrison St. 206-328-7053 or email Washington Lawyers for the Arts at [email protected].
Friends of Little Saigon and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Develop.m.ent Authority are seeking design proposals for four crosswalks in the Little Saigon/International District. Artists interested in submitting proposals can contact An Huynh at [email protected] or call 206-838-8715.
Photographic Center Northwest issues a call for entries for their 21st Juried Exhibition with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017. Juror is San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Curator Emeritus Sandra Phillips. The exhibit takes place March 27 – June 11 in 2017. For details, go to pcnw.org/submissions.