Minh Carrico is a local visual artist known primarily for working in photography, graphic design and public art. His new body of work is going online and explores live storytelling with photographs. It’s a four part series of autobiographical monologues that explore his Asian American experiences while living in Arkansas, Texas and New York Appearing on Zoom from 2 – 3pm (PST) on the third Sunday of the month. “Lost & Found” is on Dec. 19, 2021. “Call Me buddy” is on Jan. 16, 2022 and “Kings to King” is on Feb. 20, 2022. Instagram link is @minhcarrico or try [email protected] for details.
In the Community Gallery space of Columbia City Gallery is a group show entitled “beheld, behold, beholden”, curated by the Washington Clay Association. Includes work by Deanna Wong, Jessica Cheng, Gabe Virgen, Joey Nunez, Siera Matsuo, Ranu Lahu and Anna Schaff. On view through January 2, 2022. 4864 Rainier Avenue S. 206-760-9843 or go to www.columbiacitygallery.com.
- Rinehart Gallery has a group show just in time for xmas. It’s a group exhibition of over 150 pieces of artwork all at just $100 each. Includes work by Romson Bustillo, Soo Hong, Jaq Chartier, Rachel Maxi, Robert Hardgrave and many more. On view December 2 – 24, 2021. 319 – 3rd Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-467-4508 or go to www.jrinehartgallery.com.
The Whatcom Museum opens a couple exhibits related to portraits. At their Lightcatcher Building, the group show “Up Close & Personal: The Body in Contemporary Art” remains on view through February 27. 2022. Curated by Amy Chaloupka from the collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky, this exhibit examines the human body through the expressive lens of 60 artists. Included in this show is work by Long-Bin Chen, Dinh Q. Le, Susie J. Lee, Hung Liu, Beth Lo, Roger Shimomura, Akio Takamori, Lena Takamori, Samatha Wall, Kumi Yamashita, Wanxin Zhang and many others. The Lightcatcher Building is at 250 Flora St. To complement the exhibition, the museum will also host a companion exhibit at Old City Hall entitled “Artists X Artists” which explores the intimate portraits of artists by artists. On view through April 10, 2022. That exhibit is drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. Old City Hall is at 121 Prospect St. 360-778-8930 or try www.whatcommuseum.org.
“The Impermanence of Life” is a show by artist Prince Tiao Nithankhong Somsanith of Laos. He gathers fallen crumbling leaves on his walks and and meticulously transforms them using traditional Lao methods of gold and silver thread embroidery that then become jewel-like tiny sculptures that symbolize life and its fragility. On view now through January 29, 2022. Go to travergallery.com for details.
“Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist: An Issei artist’s Journey” is on view at Cascadia Art Museum through February 20, 2022. It is the first exhibition for this Northwest artist in over sixty years. Nomura painted landscapes of Seattle neighborhoods, particularly downtown and the Chinatown/ID before the war and owned Noto Sign Company with another prominent artist Shokichi Tokita. After internment and the end of WWII, Nomura returned with a modern abstract style. He also holds the distinction of being the first artist to receive a solo show at Seattle Art Museum. This show will show the trajectory of his varied career. It is accompanied by a book by historian Barbara Johns. 190 Sunset Avenue South in Edmonds, Washington. 425-336-4809 or cascadiaartmuseum.org.
“Queer Visibility” is a show that is part of Henry Art Gallery’s “Viewpoints” series. This one is curated by Nina Bozicnik and Kira Sue. It includes work by Berlin-based artist Dean Sameshima and Seattle-based Anthony White. Sameshima makes connect-the-dots drawings based on old gay leather magazine photos and White has work with dancing figures, equating the male nude with ubiquitous consumer products. On view through January, 2022. Also “Diana Al-Hadid: Archive of Longings” which presents works that explore the interplay between the female body and European Art and Syrian Muslim Immigrant Histories. On view throughFeb. 6, 2022. On the UW Seattle campus at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st st. 206-543-2280 or go to henryart.org.
Davidson Galleries has the following – “Dreamscapes” is a new series of mezzotint prints by Kouki Tsuritani on view through December 24, 2021. 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-7684 or go to davidsongalleries.com.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has the following. “”Folding Into Shape – Japanese Design and Crafts” is on view through September 25, 2022. Creating three-dimensional objects by folding, layering and weaving two dimensional materials is a core concept in Japanese design and crafts. Ranging from textiles and paintings to ceramics and bamboo baskets, this exhibit serves up various examples from the permanent collection and private holdings. Also on view is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, And Culture in Late Imperial China.” Another show ongoing is “Northwest Modernism: Four Japanese Americans” which takes a look at the work of Kenjiro Nomura, Kamekichi Tokita, Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa. Seattle Asian Art Museum has the following. SAM recently created a new position for a South Asian art curator and the first show on that theme opens on January 14, 2022 and it is entitled “Embodied: South Asian Art Across Time.” “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art” is an ongoing group show re-imagining of items from the museum’s permanent collection of Asian art. “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art” is an ongoing show that showcases current trends in contemporary Asian art. In the Fuller Garden Court you will find Kenzan Tsutakawa Chinn’s permanent installation “Gather.” Tsutakawa Chinn is a Seattle-raised, New York-based LED light installation artist. Tour Seattle Art Museum’s Japanese art collection with curator Xiaojin Wu as she talks about significant pieces in the collection. This appeared in SAM News Nov. 1, 2021 issue WW1.seattleartmuseumorg. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details on all this. The Museum’s new Saturday University Series is curated under the theme of “Encountering Asia: Plunderers and Collectors.” Presented with the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies and the Elliott Bay Book Company. For more information, try https://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?eventid=79691 and for Zoom registration, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YdqRTc64QleaSDWgCt1QRA. Try [email protected] for more details. There is a video on artist Zhang Huan’s piece “Family Tree” on view at SAAM in the “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art” show. To view it, go to samblog.seattleartmuseum.org. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park reopens on May 28, 2021. Tickets released every Thursday at 10am. Tickets must be obtained in advance. Capacity is limited.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum reopens on March 5, 2021. Hours are Fridays through Sundays from 10am – 5pm. Reserving tickets online prior to visit is highly encouraged as it is operating at limited capacity. Current exhibits include the following – “Paths Intertwined” features works from diaspora Taiwanese and Chinese artists drawing on themes of identity, place and belonging. Featured artists include Agnes Lee, ZZ Wei, Larine Chung, May Kytonen, Jenny Ku, Shin Yu Pai, Ellison Shieh, and Monyee Chau which remains on view through November 7, 2021. On-site tours are available twice a day in the Tateuchi Story Theatre. “Hear Us Rise” is an exhibit that highlights Asian Pacific American women and other marginalized genders that have challenged society’s expectation. On view through Nov. 16, 2021 is “Guilty Party” a group exhibition of multi-media work by various Asian Pacific American artists curated by Justin Hoover. Upcoming exhibit is “Gerard Tsutakawa: Stories Shaped in Bronze” which explores the inspiration, design, and the fabrication process of public sculptures by Gerard Tsutakawa as well as their effect on Seattle physically, socially and culturally. There are many virtual programs now as well. There are virtual tours of the museum on weekday mornings. Pre-booking available for private groups. Contact the museum to sign up. Live virtual tours of the Freeman Hotel on Thursdays at 5pm PDT. Check out what’s in the gift shop with the Museum’s online marketplace. The monthly storytime programs can be watched at www.digitalwingluke.org/programs.
KOBO’s “Featured Collection” in art has hand-cared and painted wooden sculpture of everyday figures from life by Atsushi Tanaka from Ehime, Japan and new small paintings of local landscapes by Rob Vetter. Masks are required and you must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering. 30 minute shopping sessions by appointment only at the KOBO on Capitol Hill will soon be made available through an online booking system. Time slots will be limited to keep everyone safe, plus more protective protocols in place to meet safety guidelines. Shipping and curbside pickup is still available by scheduling a Pickup Time at Checkout. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at koboseattle.com. KOBO at Higo hours are Wed. – Sat. from 11am – 5pm. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. and their hours are Tues. – Sat. from 11am to 5pm. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
“Paper Dialogues: The Dragon and Our Stories” pairs the work of two papercut artists from two different cultures and the symbolism of the dragon in each. Danish papercutting artist Bit Vejle and Professor Xiaoguang Qiao of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts have their work shown together with the common motif of the dragon. This exhibition also includes the work of Layla May Arthur and Emma Reid. On view through January 31, 2022. Free for members and $5 for the general public. National Nordic Museum in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood at 2655 NW Market St. Go to nordicmuseum.org for details.
Woodside Braseth Gallery in Seattle has their “60th Annual Holiday Exhibition” with the work of many Northwest artists including that of Paul Horiuchi. Through December 31, 2021. 1201 Western Ave., Suite 105. 206-622-7243 or go to woodsidebrasethgallery.com.
Bellevue Arts Museum has an ongoing collaborative exhibition of innovative glass works by Terri Grant & Purnima Patel entitled “Trace”. 510 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue, WA. 425-519-0770 or try bellevuearts.org.
Modern Glaze Ceramic Studio and Gallery presents a Holiday Sale and Open House featuring the work of nine artists. The work of Liang-Yin Chen is included. On view through December 23, 2021. 14800 Westminster Way N. in Shoreline, WA. [email protected] or call 206-949-4007.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum has the following – “Works In Our Permanent Collection” includes 50 works of bonsai artistry selected from our permanent collection for seasonal display with some autumnal beauties. “Stone Images XI” is on view through January 9, 2022. Use your imagination to see mountains, trees, figures, animals and even deep space when you view 30 stones from six states selected by the Northwest Viewing Stone Club of Puget Sound Association. 2515 South 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. Admission is by donation. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 4pm. 253-353-7345 or email [email protected].
Tacoma Art Museum re-opens April 10th, 2021. “Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest Collection” includes work by Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Tram Bui, Donnabelle Casis, Paul Horiuchi, Fumiko Kimura, Roy Kiyooka, John Matsudaira, Mark Takamichi Miller, Kenjiro Nomura, Frank Okada, Joseph Park, Roger Shimomura, Maki Tamura, Kamekichi Tokita, George Tsutakawa, Thuy-Van Vu and many others. On view for an extended time. 1701 Pacific Avenue. 253-272-4258 or go to [email protected].
The Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham is open and accessible to everyone. This is an outdoor collection of major sculptures from the late 20th century to the present and includes work by Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Isamu Noguchi among others. Get a map from the information booth and explore the campus collection for yourself. Call 360-650-3900.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU is a new art space for Eastern Washington. Inaugural shows include the following – “”Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar” on view until March 12, 2022 and “Black Lives Matter Grant Exhibition” on view through December 18, 2021. Also ongoing are “Art & Healing” virtual exhibitions. The museum plans a retrospective exhibition for Eastern Washington artist Keiko Hara for 2022. “Keiko Hara: The Poetics of Space, Four Decades of Paintings” is set for May 2022 – December 2022. There are a number of activities in which the staff will give tours of the new space. If you are interested, try https:/museum.wsu.edu/about/meet-the-staff. 1535 Wilson Road on the Washington State University campus in Pullman. 509-335-1910 or try [email protected].
Local Pakistani American artist Humaira Abid is the 2021 Recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award through the Betty Bowen Award Committee.
Eri Ishii has a show of oil paintings entitled “Vancouver Gardens” on view through January 29, 2022. Iantan gallery at 2342 Granville St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-738-1077 or go to iantangallerycom.
The Museum of Vancouver has “A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia” which highlights the importance of food and restaurant culture in the Chinese-Canadian immigrant experience. Situated in Vanier Park at 1100 Chestnut St. in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 604-736-4431 or try museumofvancouver.ca.
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 555 Columbia St. in Vancouver B.C. has an ongoing exhibit entitled “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia”. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
Vancouver Art Gallery has “GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono/ The art of John and Yoko” which opens October 9, 2021. 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. Go to https://ww.vanartgallery.bc.ca/.
Gallery Jones in Vancouver BC has a show entitled “Reluctant Offerings” by Brendan Tang opening on January 22, 2022. In this solo exhibition, Tang expands on earlier projects using joss paper. 1-258 East 1st Ave. 604-714-2216 or go to galleryjones.com.
“Broken Promises” is a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project that explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Opening June 27, 2021 is a group show entitled “Iron Willed: Women in STEM” which features inspirational women such as Irene Uchida, Donna Stricklan and Jocelyn Bell Burnell and their important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This exhibit addresses the many structural and cultural barriers that contribute to gender biases and underrepresentation of women in these fields. Also on view is an ongoing exhibit on “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Opening on October 23, 2021 is “SAFE/Home” is a collaboration between Kellen Hatanaka and Alexa Hatanaka. Through the lens of the historic Vancouver Asahi baseball team, these artists explore issues of race, xenophobia, representation and implicit bias that are relevant in both sport and society today. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby at 6688 Southoaks Crescent. 604-777-7000 or try nikkeiplace.org.
Kamloops Art Gallery in Kamloops, Canada have two shows on view through December 31, 2021. A group show entitled “Whose Stories” shares the work of six artists of Asian descent working through video installation, photography, animation, print media, drawing, collage and restored ceramic works. Artists include Dylan Achjadi, Load na Dito, Naoko Dukumaru, Tomoyo Ihaya, Mark Salvatus and UJINO. Curated by Makiko Hara. Another show entitled “Injustice and Identity” by Jana Sasaki addresses the history of Japanese internment and the complexitites of her family’s mixed-race identity. 101-465 Victoria St. 250-377-2400 or go to kag.bc.ca.
“Mass Reincarnation of Wish Fragments” is an open collaboration art installation that brings together the traditional practices of origami and kintsugi with artists Eva Wong and Naoko Fukumaru. On view through December 15, 2021. SUM Gallery – Pride In Art Society at 425-268 Keefer St. in Vancouver BC. 604-200-6661 or go to sumgallery.ca.
The Art Gallery at Evergreen in Coquitlam, Canada has a show entitled “Forged” through January 30, 2022. It is an exhibition of photography, painting and sculpture by Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian artist Evan Lee. 1205 Pinetree Way. 604-927-6557 or go to evergreenculturalcentre.ca/exhibit.
The New Media Gallery in New Westminster, Canada has a group show entitled “Assembly” which includes the work of Elizabeth Price, Fiona Tan and Zimoun on view through December 5, 2021. The artists consider the human drive to collect, categorize and control knowledge and data. In Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia St. – 3rd Flr. 604-515-3834 or try newmediagallery.ca.
Canadian artist Matthew Wong lived with autism spectrum disorder and as a teenager, he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as well. He struggled with depression his whole life, dying by suicide in 2019. Yet this Toronto-born artist who studied anthropology, specialized in photography and wrote poetry eventually found his calling in painting beginning in 2013. Largely self-taught, he created more than 1,000 works in a span of a few years. Now “Blue View”, an exhibit of more than 40 of his works painted between 2017 – 2019 are on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. 317 Dundas St. W. On view through April 18, 2022. 416-979-6648 or try ago.ca.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene has the following – “Korean Ceramic Culture: Legacy of Earth & Fire” on view through May 8, 2022. “Fit to Print: The Dawn of Journalism – Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Lavenberg & Michels Collection” opens July 31, 2021. “Myriad Treasures – Celebrating the Reinstallation of the Soreng Gallery of Chinese Art” on view through June 30, 2022. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Blackfish Gallery in Portland is unique in that it is a member-driven collective. A “New Member” show on view through November 27, 2021 includes the work of Janice Yang who creates narrative paintings about belonging. Another “New Member” group show of 5 new artists set from January 4 – 29, 2022 includes the work of Sung Park. Reception on January 6 from 6 – 9pm and an artist talk on the same day at 5:30pm. 420 NW 9th Ave. Portland, Oregon. 503-224-2634 or go to blackfish.com.
The Elizabeth Leach Gallery of Portland presents a show entitled “Windows” by Jinie Park on view through December 31, 2021. The paintings are done on kwangmok (Korean muslin) and read like abstract watercolors She is concerned with borders more than soothing decoration. She often shreds the fabric or cuts it away completely to make windows through which you can see the wooden stretcher. 417 NW 9th Ave. 503-224-0521 or try elizabethleach.com.
Portland Japanese Garden’s new show “Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga – Changing Tastes in Japanese Woodblock Prints” from the collection of Irvin Lavenberg. This show illuminates the dramatic social, political and economical shifts in Japanese culture between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries by taking a look at the work of Toyohara Kunichika and Kawase Hasui. Through January 20, 2022. 611 SW Kingston Ave. 503-223-1321.
Japanese American Museum of Oregon is now open in a new space. Current exhibits include the following – “Oregon’s Nikkei: An American Story of Resilence” and “Grace, Grit and Gaman: Japanese American Women Through The Generations” curated by Marsha Matthews and Linda Tamura on view through December 2021. Several online exhibits on the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon can also be viewed. 411 NW Flanders. 503-224-1458 or email [email protected].
Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – Their permanent exhibit is “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns.” On view through February 6, 2022 is Seattle photojournalist Dean Wong’s photo essay on “The Future of Chinatowns.” It will look at the gentrification and displacement going on in four West Coast Chinatowns. A series of virtual and live events and public programs are planned around this exhibit. 127 N.W. Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or email [email protected].
“Shadows From the Past – Sansei Artists And The American Concentration Camps” is a virtual group exhibition presented by Celadon Arts and San Joaquin Delta College and curated by Gail Enns. Artists in the exhibition include Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Wendy Maruyama, Tom Nakashima, No Omi Judy Shintani, Masako Takasashi and Jerry Takigawa. The next physical venue for this touring exhibit will be at the Monterey Museum of Art through January 9, 2022. 559 Pacific St. 831-372-5477 or montereyart.org.
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following currently on view. “Team Lab: Sketch Ocean.” “Zheng Chongbin: I Look For The Sky.” “After Hope: Vidoes of Resistance.” “Afruz Amighi: My House, My Tomb.” Site-specific installations – “Momento: Jayashree Chakravarty and Lam Tung Pang.” Outside murals by Channel Miller and Jennifer K.Wofford are visible from Hyde St. Opening December 17, 2021 is “Weaving Stories – Indonesia, The Philippines and Malaysia”. “Seeing Gender” opens January 21, 2022. And coming in the Summer of 2022 is the first major museum retrospective for Bay Area iconic performance artist and visual artist Carlos Villa, a longtime noted instructor at San Francisco Art Institute. The show is entitled “Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collusion”. 200 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA. 415-581-3500.
The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has the following – Noted Bay Area artist Hung Liu has a show entitled “Golden Gate” remains on view through Jan. 2, 2022. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in San Francisco, CA. 415-750-3600.
The Berkeley Art Museum/PFA has the following. “Beyond Boundaries: Buddhist Art of Gandhara” on view through March 13, 2022. “Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson” features eleven paintings by this late Hong Kong artist whose work draws from traditional Chinese paintings and techniques and processes. Shown with historic Chinese brush paintings from the museum’s own collection. On view January 12 – June 14, 2022. 155 Center St. Berkeley, CA 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
The San Jose Museum of Art has the following. “Karma” is a 23 foot high sculpture by Do Ho Suh on view through Jan. 30, 2022. Coming later this summer is a massive installation entitled “Factory of the Sun” by European artist Hito Steyerl which opens August 6, 2021. 110 South Market St. in San Jose, CA. 408-271-6840.
“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” will celebrate the designs of Guo Pei hailed as China’s first couturier and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. The exhibition will be on view through September 5, 2022 at The Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The show was organized by Jill D’Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 100 – 34th Ave. 415-750-3600 or try https://legionofhonor.famsf.org.
“Hiyao Miyazaki” is a look into the animation creations of this master filmmaker. This exhibition continues on view at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures through June 5, 2022. 6067 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, California.
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) has the following – Ongoing is “Common Ground – The Heart of Community” which features a WWII Japanese internment camp building. Just opened is “Mine Okubo’s Masterpiece – The Art of Citizen 13660”, an exhibition that exhibits all the drawings from the seminal book on camp life by one of its inhabitants, artist Mine Okubo. Besides the drawings from the book, the exhibit also includes the rough sketches and ideas behind the book and a series of colorful figurative works she did in the late post WWII era of her career. Before the artist died, she bequeathed the museum a sizeable chunk of her artistic archive. On view through February 20, 2022. “A Life in Pieces – The Diary And Letters of Stanley Hayami” on view now through Jan. 9, 2022. This L.A. native’s journal writing and wartime letters from Heart Mountain concentration camp and the war in Europe brought to life with a 3d virtual experience accessed via smart phone. His artwork, journal entries and letters will also be on display. Hayami died in combat at the age of 19 in Italy. His brief legacy lives on in this exhibit created by Nonny de la Pena of Emblematic and Sharon Yamato in collaboration with JANM. 101 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. 213-625-0414.
“Yoshitomo Nara” is a retrospective of the Japanese artist known for his child-like characters who scowl on view through January 2, 2022. “Ink Dreams: Selections From The Foundation INK Collection” is a group show of contemporary painting, sculpture and video inspired by traditional East Asian ink art. On view through December 12, 2021. LACMA is at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. 323-857-6010 or go to lacma.org.
“Memory, Structure, Scaffold Series” is an installation that looks at the hidden contributions of labor. On view through March 20, 2022. Wede Museum at 10808 Culver Boulevard in Culver, City, California. 310-216-1600 or go to wendemuseum.org.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA has the following – “Crossroads – Exploring the Silk Road” opens October 22, 2021. This new permanent exhibit tells the story of centuries of cultural exchange stimulated by the movement of travelers and goods along the ancient trade route. In the fall of 2021, a group show entitled “Intervention: Perspectives For a New PAM” will be shown. “Global Asia’s: Contemporary Asian And Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer & the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation” comes to the museum from March – June, 2023. 2680 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-787-2680 or [email protected].
“Fluxus Means Change:Jean Brown’s Avant-Garde Archive” is a show representing a rich collection of work from artists in this contemporary art movement including Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Ay-O, Takako Saito and many, many others. On view through January 2, 2022. At the Getty Center at 1200 Getty Center in Los Angeles. 310-440-7300 or go to getty.edu.
“No Humans Involved” examines the categories we use to decide who does or doesn’t get humane treatment. This group show includes Wangshui’s mixed media installations and video works that highlight queer sensibilities in Chinese spiritualities and architecture. “Witch Hunt” is a group show of contemporary feminism and includes the work of Shu Lea Cheng. Both shows on view from through January 9, 2022. The Hammer Museum at UCLA. Go to hammer.ucla.edu. 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. The show “Witch Hunt” is split in two parts and one part will be on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art on 1717 E. 7th St. 213-928-0833. theIcala.org.
“Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in America” is on view through January 9, 2022. The history of this early 20th century community of Korean American agricultural workers is recalled in photographs, maps, documents and ephemera. At UCR Arts at 3824-34 Main St. in Riverside, California. Go to [email protected] for details. to httpas://tinyurl.com/ImaSplendorFnC.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has undergone a renovation with a new gallery devoted to contemporary art. In the inaugural group show you will find works by Anish Kapoor, Helen Frankenthaler, Roger Shimomura and others. On view through December 5, 2021. 1130 State St. Go to sbma.net.
The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. will present the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020” will feature more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition. On view through January 9, 2022.
The National Museum of Asian Art/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C .has the following – “Encountering the Buddha: Art & Practice Across Asia” on view through Jan. 17. 2022. Upcoming is an anticipated show of brush paintings by early 20th century Japanese artist Tomioka Tessai. “Prehistoric Spirals: Earthenware From Thailand” showcases work from NE Thailand from over 2000 years ago. Opens on November 1, 2021. 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Washington, D.C.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the following – “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Travel & Home” on view through March 6, 2022. “Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light” on view through July 3, 2022. 465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA. 617-267-9300 or go to mfa.org.
Candace Lin has an exhibit of her installations coming to the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts. February 4 – April 10, 2022. 617 Quincy St. in Cambridge, Mass. On the campus of Harvard University. 617-496-5387 or try https://carpenter.center.
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA has the following – “Zarah Hussain: Breath” on view through Jan. 2, 2022. 161 Essex St. in Salem, MA 816-745-4876 or go to pem.org.
On The Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale” celebrates the work of women artists who attended that institution. Includes work by Maya Lin, Rina Banerjee, An-My Le and many others. On view through January 9, 2022 at the Yale University Art Gallery. 1111 Chapel St. in New Haven, CT. 203-432-0600 or go to [email protected]
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “20 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy Then And Now” through Jan. 2, 2022. “Shimmering Surfaces: Chinese Lacquer Motifs And Techniques” on view through April 10, 2022. “Dayanita Singh’s Pothl Khana: Archive Room” November 12, 2021 – April 10, 2022.2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 888-642-2787.
The Walker Art Center has the following – A show by Candace Lin entitled “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping” through January 1, 2022. A sound & video installation by Twin-Cities-based artist Shen Xin through July 2, 2022. “Paul Chan: Breathers” on view from July 27, 2022 – April 22, 2023. And a Pacita Abid retrospective planned for sometime in 2023. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN. 612-375-7600 or try [email protected].
The Art Institute of Chicago has the following – “Onchi Koshiro: Affection for Shapeless Things” remains on view through January 10, 2022. Onchi Koshiro was a major figure of the “Sosaku Hanga” movement in Japan. It was a group whose members conceived, carved and printed their own works, jettisoning the old system of division of labor. His favored mode was working with abstraction. He produced very few prints, often a single edition of each work. “Senju’s Waterfalls for Chicago” remains on view through March 13, 2022. These screen paintings of falling water were created specifically for Gallery 109, the space designed by architect Ando Tadao. Senju tailored the scale and lighting to best suit the distinctive space. The lighting in the gallery is designed to highlight the nature of the falling water in the painting in light and darkness. 111 South Michigan Ave./159 E. Monroe. Chicago, ILL. 312-443-3600.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the following – “Japan: A History of Style” through April 24, 2022. Roger Shimomura has work in this exhibition. “Celebrating the Year of the Ox” through Jan. 12, 2022. “Masters and Masterpieces: Chinese Art from the Irving Collection” through June 5, 2022. “Companions in Solitude- Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art” through August 14, 2022. 1000 Fifth Ave. 212-535-7710. Go to https://www.metmuseum.org.
The Korea Society features a group show entitled “Interlacement”. The exhibition challenges the conventional idea of fiber and textile art by employing already established techniques of weaving, embroidery and assemblage with new materials and forms. On view through January 28, 2022. An online exhibition “The Feeling of Han: Marie Ann Yoo” is on view through December 16, 2021.The photos by this Korean American photographer depict South Korea, its people and culture during a period of transition after the war in the year 1956. They also have a series of art talks by contemporary artists including Ja Young Yoon on November 30, 2021 at 5pm (ET). 350 Madison, 24th floor in New York City. 212-759-7525 or go to koreasociety.org.
“Diane Serin Nguyen: If Revolution is a Sickness” is the first solo institutional exhibition for this artist. It is a newly commissioned video work set in Warsaw. The film follows an orphaned Vietnamese child absorbed in a South Korean pop-inspired dance group. On view through December 13, 2021. At the Sculpture Center at 44-19 Purves St. in Long Island, New York. +1-718-361-1750 or try sculpture-center.org.
Asia Society Museum has the following – “Rebel Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians” on view through Jan. 16, 2022. 725 Park Ave. in New York City.212-327-9721 or try www.asiasociety.org.
“Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment” is a new exhibition that runs through January 3, 2022 at the Rubin Museum of Art curated by Elena Pakhoutova. The show was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit guides visitors on a journey toward enlightenment, showcasing the power of Tibetan Buddhist art to focus and refine awareness. Accompanying the exhibition is an audio guide and a catalog. A new podcast premieres on June 8, 2021 entitled “Awaken” hosted by musician/composer Laurie Anderson. It features stories of transformation by Aparna Nancheria, Alok Vaid-Menon, Tara Branch and more. Get the podcast on RubinMuseum.org/awakenPOD and other major podcast platforms. Mandala Lab” is the Museum’s new interactive space for social, emotional and ethical healing. Designed by Peterson Rich Office, it invites visitors to participate in five unique experiences inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist mandala. Through October 1, 2031. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” remains on view through June 5, 2023. “Journey Through Himalayan Art” remains on view through January 8, 2024.”150 West 17th St. in New York City. 212-620-5000 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The New Museum’s fifth edition of their Triennial entitled “Soft Water Hard Stone” is a survey of artists reimaging traditional models, materials, and techniques beyond established methods. Includes work by Jes Fan, Kaurie Kang, Kang Seung Lee, Yu Ji, Thao Nguyen Phao, Amy Lien/Enzo Camacho and many others. 235 Bowery in New York City. Through January 23, 2022. 212-219-1222. Go to http://www.newmuseum.org.
The late video artist Shigeko Kubota saw video technology as a “new paintbrush”. Now the Museum of Modern Art has curated a retrospective show in her honor entitled “Liquid Reality” on view through January 1, 2022. 11 West 53rd St. in Manhattan, New York City. Go to moma.org for details.
Installation artist Ian Cheng brings his latest work to The Shed in New York. Cheng uses artificial intelligence and video game technology to explore the nature of human consciousness. “Life After BOB: The Chalice Study” is a ‘narrative animation’ piece inspired by his daughter. On view through December 19, 2021. In the Bloomberg Building at 545 West 30th St. in New York City. 646-455-3494 or email [email protected]
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Noguchi’s Useless Architecture” is a show inspired by his visits to Indian astronomical devices. On view through May 8, 2022. “Objects of Common Interest: Hard, Soft, And All Lit Up With Nowhere To Go” is a collaboration with Eleni Petaloti & Leonidas Trampoukis of Greece with New York-based studio, Objects of Common Interest on view through February 13, 2022. There are also various video programs that deal with Noguchi’s history and life that you can view. 9-01,33rd Rd. Long Island, New York. 718-204-7088.
The Japan Society has the following – “Improvisation in Wood: KawamataxMunakata”. This show includes major works by two leading Japanese artists from different generations. Takashi Kawamata pays tribute to the Japan Society Building and to earlier artist Munakata with this juxtaposition between the Munakata print collection alongside new works and archival material by Kawamata. Through January 16, 2022. 333 East 47th St. New York, New York. 212-263-1258.
The Chinese American Museum has opened in Washington DC. It’s the only museum in the nation’s capitol dedicated to the Chinese American story – its history, culture and voice. Currently on view is “Dora Fugh Lee: A Lifetime of Art”, “Golden Threads: Chinese Opera in America” and “Wild Horses: Visual Poetry” all on view until Dec. 22, 2021. 1218 – 16th St. NW. 202-838-3180 or chineseamerican museum.org.
“The New Woman Behind The Camera” is a group show that features over 100 international photographers in the early 20th century. Includes a lot of women photographers from Asia. Through January 30, 2022. National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Sixth St. & Constitution NW.
Art Museum of the Americas presents “The Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America and the Caribbean 1945 – Present” now on view indefinitely. Some of the artists represented include Carlos Runcie Tanaka, Bernadette Persaud, Wilfredo Lam and Sri Irodik Romo. With featured videos by Yukata Toyota and Laura Fong Prosper. Curated by Adriana Ospina. 201 – 18th St. NW in Washington, D.C. For details, go to [email protected] or museum.oas.org.
“Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan – Calligraphic Paintings from the Museum’s Collection” on view February 26 – July 24, 2022. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Jefferson Drive at 12th St. SW. Try asia.si.edu for details.
“Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain” (one of the earliest major Hindu sites in Southeast Asia) is a show that makes an effort to make the museum collection’s Hindu God entitled “Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan” visible in its original context with the use of virtual reality and loans from Cambodia and France. On view through January 3, 2022. Cleveland Museum of Art. 11150 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio. Go to clevelandart.org for details.
“Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles” showcases rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Persian costumes and textiles from the museum’s collection. On view through March 6, 2022. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 4525 Oak St. in Kansas City, MO. 816-751-1278 or try [email protected]
The New Orleans Museum of Art has the following – “The Pursuit of Salvation: Jain Art from India” through May 15, 2022. The Jain faith of India is older than Buddhism yet is little known outside of India. This exhibit presents sculpture, ink and watercolor drawings and manuscripts that open a window to this fascinating religion. “Orientalism: Taking and Making” is on view through January 2, 2022. “Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks From The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society” on view through May 31, 2022. One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. 504-658-4100.
The British Museum has an exhibition entitled “The Great Picture Book of Everything: Hokusai”. This show consists of drawings done for an encyclopedia that was never published. This box of art work by the great Japanese woodblock print genius is on view through January 30, 2022 and is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Curated by Timothy Clark. The Museum is on Great Russell St. in London. +44 (0) 20 7323 8000 or try [email protected].
The Tate Modern has the following on view – New York-based installation artist Annika Yi has an installation of giant airborne creatures in the Turbine Hall and an aroma that will change week to week. On view through January 16, 2022. Also on view, is a show entitled “Carving & Printing” by Singapore-born, London-based artist Kim Lim who displays both his sculpture and prints and the viewer can see how they are interrelated. The Traveling exhibition entitled “Surrealism Beyond Borders” will be on view February 24 – August 29, 2022 at the Tate Modern and will feature work by Japanese artist Koga Harue. The Tate St. Ives branch museum will also give Thao Nguyen Pham her first UK museum exhibition in February of 2022 on view until May 2, 2022. It will include video, paintings, and mixed media works. Go to tate.org.uk for details on all these.
“Noguchi” is an exhibition celebrating the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. It’s his first touring retrospective in Europe in 20 years. It focuses on Noguchi as a global citizen and his risk-taking approach to sculpture as a living environment. Over 150 works are presented from a variety of media. On view through January 9, 2022. Advance booking is essential. Barbican Centre on Silk St. in London. Go to barbican.org.uk or email [email protected]
“Yoko Ono: MEND Piece for London” “Mend carefully/think of mending the world/at the same time”. Viewers are invited to respond to this instruction from artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono. This work draws on the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with precious metals. On view through January 2, 2022. Advance booking required. White Chapel Gallery. 77-82 Whitechapel on High St. London +44 20 7522 7888 or try whitechapelgallery.com.
“Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective” continues on its world tour with stops in Berlin and Tel Aviv. April 23 – August, 2022. Gropius Bau in Berlin. Niederkirchner Stra Be7,10963 Berlin. Tel Aviv Museum of Art from November 2 – April 23, 2022. The Golda Meier Cultural & Art Center, sderot sha’ul HaMelech Blvd., Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. +972-3-6077020.
The Tokyo National Museum has the following – “14 Dynasties And A Region: The History and Culture of the Muslim World – The Collection of The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia” on view through Feb. 10, 2022. 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo. +81 – (50) – 5541 – 8600.
The National Art Center, Tokyo has a retrospective show for Hideaki Anno through December 19, 2021. 7-22-2 Roppongi Minato-Ku Tokyo 106-8558. For details, go to https://www.annohideakiten.jp/.
“Midway Between Mystery and Symbol: Yayoi Kusama’s Monochrome” dispels the myth that Kusama’s palette is all color with this dip into her black and white side. On view at her own museum in Tokyo until December 26, 2021. Yayoi Kusama Museum at 107 Bentencho, Shinjiku City, Tokyo +81 3-5273-1778.
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum has the following – “Memories Penetrate the Ground and Permeate the Wind – Contemporary Japanese Photography, Volume 18” and “Matsue Taiji – Makieta CC”. Both shows on view through January 23, 2022. Located in Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-Ku, Tokyo. 03-3280-0099.
Ginza Six is a department store that uses different artists to design their interior from floor to ceiling. Currently on view through April 15, 2022 is the Shinto-inspired installation of a deer floating above clouds entitled “Metamorphosis Garden” by Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa. Download to a corresponding app and you can see the installation come to life on your cell phone. 6-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. https://ginza6.tokyo.e.abf.hp.transer.com/news/94805.
“Vivo Video: The Art and Life of Shigeko Kubota”. Kubota made work that some called video sculpture. I once saw her refreshing ode to Duchamp at Hara Art Museum which consisted of bicycle wheels with video monitors attached. This retrospective consists of drawings and documents found in her own archives along with works culled from Japanese collections. On view through February 23, 2022. Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo at 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto Ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81-50-5541-8600 (Hello Dial).
Japanese historian Meher McArthur has curated a touring group exhibit entitled “Washi Transformed: New Expressions In Japanese Paper” which features the work of nine contemporary Japanese artists which include Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida. The exhibit tours over 6 cities across the United States beginning in October of 2021.The lone West Coast date thus far is at Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA. October 13, 2023 – January 7, 2024. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Hyonjeong Kim Han has been selected as the Denver Art Museum’s new Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art. She will oversee the museum’s Asian art collection as well as continuing to bring world-class special exhibitions to Denver and showcasing the museum’s own collection. She was previously the Department Head and Associate Curator of Korean Art at Asian Art Museum of San Francisco since 2010.
“House of Slay” is a digital comic based on real-life Asian Americans in the fashion industry – Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, Laura Kim, Tina Leung and Ezra J. William. The group of friends originally banded together to see if they could do something to fight the anti-Asian hate sweeping the country during Covid 19. Turned into superheroes by the EEP creative team of writer Jeremy Holt, cover artist Kevin Wada, colorist Kimi Lee, artist Soo Lee, Letterer AndWorldDesign and editor Alex Lu, “House of Slay” follows these real life friends on a fantastic adventure as they use their newfound abilities to face off against a villain powered by the hatred of everyday people. It launched on November 11, 2022. Go to httpa://tapas.io/series/house-of-slay/info. Goes weekly on Thursdays at 3pm (EST). Produced by Einhorn’s Epic Productions.
Pork Filled Productions present announce their new season. Some productions to look forward to in the upcoming season include – “Slow Cooker Unleased! PNW Lore” set for Feb. or March, 2022. Alive workshop presentation of 3 new works by local BIPOC artists. Co-produced with Café Nordo in Nordo’s Knife Room. “Miku And The Gods” by Julia Izumi from June 16 – July 3rd, 2022. This is a co-presentation with ArtsWest developed in Unleashed 2020. “She Devil Of The China Seas” by Roger Tang set for July 2022. A full live production at Theatre Off Jackson, developed in Unleashed 2017. “PFP’s First Devised Show – 2022 Cohort Auditions”. Follow us for auditions announcement, the cohort will devise a full production for 2023. For more details, email [email protected]
For their new season, Khambatta Dance Company invites Nagdev Dance Arts from Mumbai, India to collaborate for a week. Performances open March 4, 2022 and run two weekends through March 12. The two companies will swap and combine dancers. Choreographers Khaambatta and Naagdev will exchange and collaborate. Look for details soon. Closer up, KDC and Seattle International Dance Festival present “Holiday Shindig” on Wed., December 1, 2021 at 6:30pm. For information and tickets, try SeattleIDF.org/Shindig21.
Local queer Korean American comic Stefanie Nam of Caracol Productions aims to create community through comedy and spaces by and for under represented people. She continues to present comedy shows at Distant Worlds Coffeehouse at Roosevelt and 65th with an Open mic set for January 26, 2022 and 2nd Thursdays at Olmstead on Broadway at 314 Broadway E. through March 20, 2022. For more details on the shows, try [email protected] or go to www.etsy.com/shop/CaracolCreative.
Town Hall Seattle has also announced their 2021/22 “Global Rhythms Series”. Of particular interest to our readers are the following – Homayoun Sakhi will perform “Traditional Afghan Rubab (double-chambered lute), Reimagined” on Saturday, December 4 at 7:30pm (PST). Ak Dan Guang Chil serves up dynamic Korean shamanic folk-pop music on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). 1119 8th Avenue. 206-504-2857. To get tickets and find out the complete schedule, go to townhallseattle.org.
Edmonds Center for the Arts has revealed their upcoming season. Events of interest to our readers might be the following – The Ensemble Mik Nawooj do two concerts. The first will be an education matinee on February 10, 2022 at 10am and the evening concert on the same day at 7:30pm (PST). The annual favorite, “Masters of Hawaiian Music” returns on March 26, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). 410 Fourth Ave. N. in Edmonds,WA. 425-275-9595.
With the opening of theatres across the country, Lauren Yee – one of the nation’s most staged playwrights is having a revival of her play production from coast to coast. In the Northwest, “The Great Leap” about a Chinese American basketball player and his team in Beijing just before Tiananmen Square happens is on stage at Portland Center Stage/Artists Repertory Theatre. Directed by Zi Alikhan. January 15 – February 13, 2022. 503-241-1278 or try [email protected]
Harissa Mediterranean Cuisine presents “Friday Night Jazz at Harissa’s” from 9pm – midnight every Friday. Featuring Bob Antolin, Norm Bellas and Ernesto Rediancco. $5 cover. 2255 N. E. 65th St. in Seattle. For reservations, call 206-588-0650.
STG Productions operates out of several theatres in the city and they have announced their up and coming 2021-22 live-in-person schedule. Malaysian comedian/actor and star of Comedy Central, Ronny Chieng performs on Sunday, December 12 at the Neptune. On Monday, February 14, 2022, catch Yamato Drummers of Nara, Japan who will shake the rafters with their giant taiko drums at the Moore Theare. Go to STG.org for details.
“Create Your Own Series”, choose any 5 concerts and save on Seattle Symphony’s upcoming “live-in-person” 2021-22 season. Some highlights include the following – Tenor Nicholas Phan joins guest conductor Lee Mills in a series of special performances around “Viennese New Year” on December 30 & 31 and January 2, 2022. Contemporary composer John Adams conducts the symphony in a concert entitled “The Music of John Adams” set for January 6 & 8, 2022. Beloved violinist Itzhak Perlman performs with pianist Rohan De Silva in a concert entitled “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman” on January 18, 2022. Popular singer/songwriter/violinist Kaoru Ishibashi known as Kishi Bashi joins the Seattle Symphonic in a program entitled “E09066”, a series of improvisations based on the experience of incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII set for January 27 and 29, 2021.“Tied Together” is the name for a program of new music from the Asia/America New Music Institute in a collaboration of the HUB New Music String Quartet and Silkroad Ensemble shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki set for January 28, 2022. The piano duo HOCKET plays “(UNTITLED) 2022”, the second part of a two-part program dedicated to a hopeful future emerging from the pandemic. This program includes new works by composers Hitomi Oba and Jonathan Richards set for February 25, 2022. “Ragamala: A Journey into Hindustani Music” on March 18, 2022 is part of the “Octave 9 Emerging Artists” series curated by Seattle Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence Reena Esmail and featuring virtuoso Indian violinist Kala Ramnath. The annual “Celebrate Asia” series returns on March 20, 2022 with Kahchun Wong conducting. Soloists include Kala Ramnath on Indian violin and Ko-ichiro Yamamoto on trombone. Yamamoto plays in a program of work by Yoshio Hosokawa and, Tan Dun which is a Seattle Symphony co-commission and U.S. Premiere along with Seattle Symphony Composer-in-Residence Reena Esmail’s “Violin Concerto” written for and with Kala Ramnath, also a Seattle Symphony co-commission and World Premiere. Pianist Lang Lang returns on behalf of his recent recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” in a concert entitled “Lang Lang in Recital” on March 22,2022. The dynamic pianist Yuja Wang performs “Yuja Wang in Recital” on April 1, 2022 and Japanese virtuoso pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii comes to perform “Nobuyuki Tsujii in Recital” on April 12, 2022. Musicians of the Seattle Symphony perform “Wynton Marsalis: A Fiddler’s Tale Suite” as well as Portland-based composer Kenji Bunch’s “String Circle” and Anton Arensky’s “String Quartet No. 2” on May 3, 2022. In related news, a recent hire at Seattle Symphony is viola player Olivia Chew. She was most recently a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for six seasons. 206-215-4747 or go to seattlesymphony.org.
“When We Wake” is the apt title of Arts West’s new 2021-22 season with six new stories and six Seattle premieres. Kicking off their season is “We’ve Battled Monsters Before” which is a world premiere musical by Justin Huertas running Nov. 26 – Dec. 26, 2021. Loosely adapted from a 16th century Filipino epic poem, the youngest sibling in a family o secret warriors must decide what she must sacrifice to save her family from monsters and deities invading Seattle. Coming later in the season is “Miku, and the gods” which is another world premiere by Julia Izumi. An epic adventure that braids friendship, death, memory, time, rhythm and power in the story of a group of gods whom must journey to the underworld and back. Runs June 16 – July 3, 2022. Go to artswest.org for more details.
Henry Art Gallery and Jack Straw Cultural Center present “Sonolocations – A Sound Works Series” in conjunction with Murmurations. Participants are composers Byron Au Yong (available starting June 4, 2021), Chenoa Egawa (available starting July 2, 2021) and Bill & Naima Lowe (available starting August 8, 2021). All works available at henryart.org and jackstraw.org as well as soundcloud and other pod cast platforms.
UW School of Drama has announced their 2021-2022 public season. Among their selections, they will produce Christopher Chen’s “Passage” May 19 – 29, 2022. Adrienne Mackey will direct. 206-543 -5140.
5th Avenue Theatre has announced a second cycle of new musical commissions for their “First Draft: Raise Your Voice” program. Five writing teams representing BIPOC writers have been selected to receive a First Draft Commission. Of the five, one is the team of Erika Ji, Clare Fuyuko Bierman and Brandy Hoang Collier for their piece entitled “Yoko Husband’s Killer’s Japanese American Wife, Gloria” in which they ask the questions – “Did Yoko Ono really breakup the Beatles? Was Gloria Abe actually responsible for killing John Lennon? And if Asian women will inevitably be blamed for the actions of their White husbands, shouldn’t they at least have a say in the matter?” Each team gets 18 months to complete a first draft. Then a one week reading with a final presentation in New York City. For details, email [email protected]. The 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre have announced their NW New Musical co-commission recipients. Three local writing teams will write a new musical based on one photo of their choosing. Each show gets a year-long-development plan and the photographers receive a $500 prize. “Pabitin” by Rheanna Atendido with photo by Stephen Zapantis was one of the projects chosen. It’s a Filipino American story of grief, gratitude and growing up in a magicalized Seattle.
Pacific Northwest Ballet & PNB School present the following – In their 2021-2022 season of live performances in McCaw Hall will be a world premiere by choreographer Robin Mineko Williams in a program entitled “Plot Points” set for March 18 – 27, 2022.For complete details, go to PNB.org/DigitalSubscription or call 206-441-2424 or try www.PNB.org..
The UW Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced a welcome return to live performance starting October 13, 2021 when their 2021-2022 season begins. Season tickets are now on sale and single tickets will go on sale September 7, 2021. Some performers include the following – In the “Chamber Music Series”, Wu Han, Philip Setzer and David Finckel perform on Wed., Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:30pm. George Li, a promising young concert pianist performs on Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:30pm. Included in this program is Qigang Chen’s Peking Opera inspired “Moments”. Concert pianist Joyce Yang takes the stage on May 3, 2022 at 7:30pm. Online ordering of tickets at MeanyCenter.org or call 206-543-4880.
Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio now located in the CID continues their classes in various aspects of the theatre both virtual and in-person. For a list of current classes, go to freeholdtheatre.org for details or call 206-595-1927.
Go to Nonsequiter’s website to listen to free links by local musicians performing original music at waywardmusic.org. Carol J. Levin on electric harp engages in a series of “Duo Improvisations” with Susie Kozawa who plays various sound objects. Jackie An performs music for violin and electronics. Sovan is an ambient music duo featuring songwriter Tomo Nakayama and film composer Jeramy Koepping. Classically trained pianist and designer Tiffany Lin plays a piano program of originals in this series. Local sound artist Susie Kozawa has a piece she did invoking the space at the Chapel. Percussionist/composer Paul Kikuchi explores new music. Choreographer/dancer/singer Haruko Crow Nishimura performs a new vocal piece. Other performers include Leanna Keith, Nordra, Ahmed Yousefbeigi, Mother Tongue with Angelina Baldoz, trumpeter Cuong Vu and drummer Ted Poor, the wife/husband classical duo of Melia Watras and Michael Jinsoo Lim, Joshua Limanjaya Lim, Rahikka & James Lee, Kaoru Suzuki and Chris Icasiano with more to follow. The Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center has re-opened and is now booking again various kinds of adventurous/experimental music. Go to waywardmusic.org for details.
Town Hall Seattle presents the following – On January 8, 2022 at 7:30pm catch a live-person and streamed presentation of “Bushwick Bookclub: An Evening of Music Inspired by the Written Word.” Tonight a group of local musicians take on Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart”. Town Hall also has digital programming of upcoming events on their live stream page. They have a media library of hundreds of video and audio free to enjoy. New additions include Pardis Mahdayi’s “A Social and Personal History of the Hyphen” and Audrea Lim’s “Stories And Lessons from America’s Unsung Environmental Movement.” The discussion of the memoir “An Immigrant Daughter’s Story” by Senator Mazie K. Hirono with Viet Thanh Nguyen has been added. Laila Lalami who talks about “What It Means Be An American” and her book, “Conditional Citizens” with fellow author Viet Thanh Nguyen is also available. Go to townhallseattle.org for details..
Film & Media
“Writing With Fire” is a documentary film on the courageous women journalists behind Khabar Lahariya, India’s only newspaper run by Dalit (“untouchable”) women. It won both the Audience and Special Jury Documentary prizes at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh. It screens everyday from December 3 – 5 at SIFF Center at 3:45pm and 6:30pm. 305 Harrison St. in Seattle Center. Distributed by Music Box Films. For details, go to siff.net. It will also make its television debut on March 28, 2022 on the PBS “Independent Lens” series.
The Chinese American Museum of Chicago presents a free virtual screening of two documentary films on two unique Chinese americans on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 2pm (CST). “No Ordinary Joe: The Allen Joe Story” and “Race: The Al Young Story”. Joe was the first Chinese American body building champion and mentor & friend to Bruce Lee. Young (a Seattle resident) was the first Asian American world champion drag racer. Panelists include filmmaker Rich Quan, Al Young and Bruce Lee collector Jeff Chinn. Moderator is Professor Larry Lee. Register for this at bit.ly/double-feature. The Chinese American Museum of Chicago is at 238 West 23rd At. in Chicago. For detail, go to ccamuseum.org.
A Film Movement Plus exclusive premiere during November, 2021 is “Alpha, The Right To Kill” which is set against the backdrop of the Phlippine government’s crackdown on illegal drugs. When a SWAT-led police force launches a scorched earth operation to arrest one of the biggest druglords in Manila, an officer and a small-time pusher turned informat start an operation that quickly escalates. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at San Sebastian. In Filipino and English with English subtitles. Diurected by Brillante Mendoza. Stars Vince Rillon, Bela Padilla, Rosanna Roces and Baron Geisler.
Films with Filipino characters made a surprise showing in this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Filipino Canadian filmmaker Martin Edralin’s feature film debut “Islands” screened here and is already being hailed as an important Canadian film highlighting local Filipino culture. The story revolves around a fisty-year old bachelor who still lives with his parents. When their lives deteriorate, he finds himself becoming infatuated with a cousin who agrees to be a caregiver for his father in exchange for free rent. “The Fabulour Filipino Bros” screened in the “Narrative Spotlight” and “Learning Tagalog with Kayla” was in a program of “Texas Shorts”.
“All About My Sisters” is a documentary portrait of a family by Chinese filmmaker Wang Qiong, warts and all. It follows seven years in which the director follows parents, siblings and relatives as they deal with issues of intimacy and rancor among family. In theatres now.
“Eternals” is Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao in a Marvel comic universe with an all-star cast of Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kumail Nanjani, Angelina Jolie and many others. Opens November 5, 2021 in theatres.
Comedian Jimmy O. Yang stars in “Love Hard”, a comedy that explores the pitfalls of online dating and how focusing on physical appearance can backfire. Directed by Hernan Jimenez and streaming on Netflix now.
“Encounter” stars Riz Ahmed as a marine trying to rescue his sons after a global cataclysm. Directed by Michael Pearse. Opens December 3 in theatres and December 10 on Amazon.
“Flee” is the award-winning full-length animated feature that was a Sundance award-winner. It tells the story of an Afghan man who fled the country as a child, bouncing from place to place in the world, looking for refuge. Opens December 3, 2021 in theatres.
“Try Harder” is documentary filmmaker Debbie Lum’s look at the hypercompetitive race to for students to get into college at a Bay Area high school. Opens December 3, 2021 in theatres.
“Drive My Car” is another film by Ryusuki Hamaguchi that looks at a stage actor/director, his recently deceased wife and a journey by car to a theatre by a mysterious young woman driver. Scenes of the intersection between drama and real life. Opens November 24, 2021 in theatres.
The Rescue” is Oscar-winning (“Free Solo”) documentary filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin’s look at the 2018 cave rescue of a boys soccer team in a Thai cave. Opens in theatres in October, 2021.
“Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” is a trio of stories of three female characters that hinge on chance coincidences, misunderstandings and surprise reactions. Opens October 15, 2021 in theatres and virtual cinemas. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
“Found” is a documentary about three adopted teenage girls from China who discover one another through DNA testing and go on a journey together to the land of their birth. Directed by Amanda Lipitz. Opens on October 20, 2021 on Netflix.
“There’s Someone Inside Your House” stars Sydney Park as a teenager transplanted from Hawai’i to Nebraska who works with friends to unmask a killer. Comes out October 2021 on Netflix.
“Pebbles” is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language film and marks the directorial debut of P. S. Vinothraj. Stars Chellapandi and Karuththadaiyaan. The story is about an abusive husband and his son who must walk in the searing heat to a distant village to retrieve his wife who has run away to her sister’s house. The film premiered at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam where it won an award. It is india’s official entry to the 2022 Oscars. It has not yet received general distribution and is presently maing the rounds of film festivals where it has received glowing reviews.
“Memoria” is a 2021 film by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It stars Tilda Swinton as a British ex-pat in Columbia who becomes ill with a respiratory complaint. One night she wakes up from her sleep from a strange banging sound that nobody else seems to be able to hear. It is distributed in the US by NEON which began a theatre release plan in which the film will screen at one theatre at a time for successive weeks.
On November 23, 2021, Film Movement will issue a trio of award-winning films from the award-winning director of “Minari” which won numerous awards at Sundance. “The Early Films of Isaac Chung” includes the films “Munnyurangabo, Lucy Life” and “Abigail Harm”. For details, email [email protected].
Amit Masurkar’s “Sherni” (Hindi for “tigress”) is set in the central India jungle where a forest officier (Vidya Balan) must protect and preserve the environment. But when industry has robbed villagers of grasslands for cattle, they must venture into wild territory frequented by tigers. And when casualities occur in this intersection, things get more complex for the forest officers who must protect both environment and people. Streaming on Amazon.
“Broadcast Signal Intrusion” stars Harry Shun Jr. as an archivist trying to discover who’s behind some disturbing pirate broadcasts. Directed by Jacob Gentry. Out October 22, 2021 in theatres and on demand.
“They Say Nothing Stays The Same” is actor-turned-director Joe Odagiri’s cinematic debut. It’s the story of a ferryman whose job is being replaced by the building of a bridge. Set in the turn-of-the-century and starring Akira Emoto. Cinematography by Christopher Doyle. In theatres November 12, 2021 and on demand.
MUBI presents the following – Julien Faraut’s 2021 documentary film “The Witches of the Orient” is the story of a group of Japanese female factory workers who became Olympic champions. “Winter’s Night” is Jang Woo-jin’s 2018 film which is a nocturnal rumination on love and midlife crisis that alternates between contemplation and magical realism. In Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2018 film “Blue”, an insomniac lies in bed as theatrical backdrops unvel themselves and her sheet catches aflame. Filed during 12 nights in the heart of a Thai forest. Kim Cho-Hee was director Hong Sang-Soo’s former producer. In 2019, he directed his own feature film entitled “Lucky Chan-Sil” which stars Kang Mai-Geun as a film producer who loses her job when her director dies. Working as a cleaning lady for a household, she becomes infatuated with the French teacher to the family she works for. Co-stars Youn Yun-Jung of Minari” fame. Zeshawn Ali’s 2020 documentary film debut “Two Gods” is an invaluable documentary of the Muslim American experience as it follows a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer throughout the years as he serves the community in New Jersey. “Moving On” was the 2019 debut feature film by South Korean director Yoon Dan-bi. It is a moving exploration of family dynamics. When a penniless, divorced man moves into his father’s house with his young son and daughter to care for him, it becomes a temporary shelter. But when their aunt who is fleeing marital strife, moves in as well, things begin to crumble. Lynne Sachs 2013 documentary film “Your Day Is My Night” is a film in which the director crafts a portrait of the lives of Chinese immigrants in America. “Heart”, a 2019 film by Jeong Ga-young has earned this director praise as the female counterpart to noted director Hong Sang-soo. But Ga-young has her own vision as she subverts the obvious in this meta-comedy of a woman and her encounter with first romance. Jia Zhangke’s 2020 film “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue” is a documentary meditation on his home province and chronicles China’s rapid transformation using the vessel of oral history to turn personal memoir and literature into the story of a nation. Park Chan-Ok’s 2009 fim “Paju” looks at how Korea is changing in the face of gentrification and how mistakes and repressed memories are reflected in the repeating image of demolished homes. “Voice of the Unheard: A Mrinal Sen Retrospective” continues with these films. The 1973 film, “The Guerilla Fighter” in which a revolutionary activist feels turmoil with his political path as he moves his way through Calcutta, a city on the brink of change itself. Sen’s 1980 film “In Search of Famine” uses cinema to criticize the film industry’s apathy and blind privilege. With an outstanding performance by Smita Patel. Go to [email protected] to find out about this film streaming service where you can rent these films.
“Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams” is a documentary film about Japanese high school baseball and the culture that surrounds it. Director Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows two coaches taking their teams to the national championship with divergent philosophies and analyzes their methods of coaching. Streamed on Criterion or rent on Amazon Prime Video.
Cary Fukunaga was director of the Spanish language crime drama “Sin Nombre”, a 2011 adaptation of “Jane Eyre” and the Emmy-winning work on HBO’s “True Detective” and Netflix’s “Beast of No Nation” but his biggest spot in the limelight may come when MGM releases the long-delayed final Daniel Craig edition of the James Bond caper “No Time to Die” on October 8, 2021.
“Karnan” by Tamil filmmaker Mari Selvaraji looks at quirky, tempered anti-hero in rural South India who takes on the state when he discovers village elders who have been tortured by the police. Stars Dhanush as the main character. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“India Sweets and Spices” stars Sophia Ali about an Indian American college student who goes home with a new perspective on life. In theatres November 19.
“I Was A Simple Man” directed by Christopher Makoto Yogi is the story of a man in Hawai’Iilooking back on his past. Opens November 19, 2021 in theatres.
“Writing With Fire” is a documentary film about an Indian newspaper run by Dalit women (from India’s “Untouchable” class) whose mudracking risks run afoul of the government. Opens November 26 in theatres. Directed by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Shosh.
“14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible” is a look at Neaplese climber Nims Purja who sets a goal of climbing the world’s 14 highest mountains in seven months. Opens November 29 on Netflix.
“Beijing Spring” is a documentary film based on footage shot by filmmaker Chi Xiaoming in the late 1970s when a group of artists mounted a site called Democracy Wall where they posted calls for democratic reforms and highlighted the horrors of the Cultural Revolution. Opens December 10 in theatres.
The Written & Spoken Arts
The UW Book Store and The Mountaineer’s Club co-sponsor an in-person event to celebrate a visit from Vietnamese poet/writer Dr. Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of the novel “The Mountains Sing” (Algonquin). Que Mai will read and then engage in conversation with Grace Rajendran in the main lobby space of the Graduate Hotel followed by a reception in the rooftop bar of the Mountaineer’s Club upstairs. December 4, 2021 at 4pm (PST). Free but RSVP required. 4507 Brooklyn Ave. N. E. near the Seattle UW campus. 206-634-2000 or go to ubookstore.com.
King County Library Systems “Comic Club” series presents a couple online virtual events with comic book artists/writers. Nidhi Chanani, author of Pashmina” and “Jukebox” appears on December 3, 2021 at 4pm (PST). On Tuesday, December 14 at 5pm (PST), meet Jen Wang, author of “Stargazings and”The Prince and the Dressmaker.” You must register for these events in advance. Go to kcls.bibliocommons.com or email [email protected]
The Jackstraw Cultural Center presents “Adventures in Sound” which includes conversations with and readings by the current crop of Jack Straw writers. Writers include Troy Osaki, Ching-In Chen, Ebo Barton and others. Go to jackstraw.org/blog or try itunes to hear these readings. Michael Schmeltzer has been chosen as the 2022 Jack Straw Writers Program Curator. He is a biracial author originally from Japan. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Floating Bridge Press. His forthcoming poetry book “Empire of Surrender” is the 2021 Wandering Aengus Book Award. The deadline for the Writer’s Program is November 1, 2021. Go to jackstraw.org for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has a full slate of events in their virtual reading series. Here are a few. On Monday, December 6, 2021 at 6pm (PDT), author Shayda Kafai talks with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a queer disabled femme writer, organizer, performance artist and educator. Kafai is the author of the book entitled “Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid” (Arsenal Pulp Books). The book explores the art-activism of Sins Invalid, a Bay Area performance project that radically imagines what disabled, queer, trans and gender non-conforming body/minds of color can do: how they can re-write oppression, and how they can gift us with transformational lessons for our collective survival. ASL interpretation provided. Sponsored by Seattle Public Library. Register via Elliott Bay Book Company. On Wednesday, December 8, 2021 join a virtual discussion as author Steph Cha talks with fellow writer Juhea Kim about her debut novel entitled “Beasts Of A Little Land” (Ecco), an epic story of love, war and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement. On Friday, December 10, 2021 there will be the virtual 2021 Creative Aging Conference: Cultivating Compassion. Presented by The Frye Art Museum and Centrum, this program is designed for lifelong learners and professionals from diverse discipline. Rooted in a discussion of compassion and empathy, the conference will focus on how we care for ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Speakers from multiple disciplines and life experiences will offer perspectives on the many ways we seek and build connections across time, culture and language. Sara Dickerman will interview Japanese Breakfast singer/songwriter and author Michelle Zauner (“Crying in H Mart”). Kris Rhoads interviews James Doty, Lynda Mapes, Jay Julius and Filipina photographer Hannah Reyes Morales. Go to https://fryemuseum.org/calendar/event/7592/. For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “events” page or call 206-624-6600 or toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Although all events are virtual for the time being. The bookstore remains open.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has announced their schedule for their 2021/22 season. All single tickets and subscriptions are on sale now. Go to [email protected] or call 206-621-2230. Our readers may be interested in the following – Cathy Park Hong in conversation with Ijeoma Oluo: In-Person and online both. On Friday, January 28, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and staff writer at The Atlantic and author of “I Contain Multitudes” will speak on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). At Town Hall Seattle. Charles Yu, author of the award-winning novel “Interior Chinatown” talks on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST) at Benaroya Hall – S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium. Writer Mira Jacob appears in person and online on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST) at Town Hall Seattle. Jacob is the author of the graphic memoir, “Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations”. Poet and noted translator of Korean feminist poets, Don Mee Choi speaks with Stefania Heim on Thursday, April 17, 2022 at 7:30pm (PST). At Hugo House’s Lapis Theatre. Choi is the author of “Hardly War” and “DMZ Colony” both on WAVE Books.
Humanities Washington has announced their 2021 – 2023 Speakers Bureau Roster with presentations ranging from the personal to the global. Public presentations are free and will start July 1, 2021. Some speakers include the following – Under “Arts & Literature”, Deepti Agrawal will speak on “The Ancient Art Of Madhubani Painting.” Under “History”, Julie Pham speaks on “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War.” Under “Life & Culture”, Lori Tsugawa Whaley talks about “The Samurai Code: How Bushido Changes Lives”. Under “Race & Identity”, Michelie Liu talks about “Laughing Matters: Asian Americans, Comedy And Inclusion.” To reserve an online virtual program, contact [email protected]. For more information, try [email protected]
EAST WIND BOOKS in Berkeley, California remains one of the most comprehensive bookstores in the country for Asian American and Asian titles. They are sponsoring the following free virtual events. Register at crg.berkeley.edu/events. To get more details on these events, email [email protected] or go to asiabookcenter.com.
The Korea Society in New York has the following author talks – Jehea Kim reads on December 7 at 6pm. All times are East Coast time. 350 Madison on the 24th floor. New York City, New York. 212-759-7525 or try koreasociety.org.
“The Good Asian” is a comic book series about real life in pre-war San Francisco’s Chinatown starring a Chinese American detective. Written by Pornsak Paichetshote and illustrated by Alexandre Tefenkgi. For more information, try katsala[email protected].
The University of Washington Press is seeking writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. UW Press editors are eager to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. Contact them via email of set up a meeting by phone or Zoom. Executive Editor is Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“We Are Meant To Rise – Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World” (University of Minnesota Press) as Edited by Carolyn Holbrook and David Mura. In this collection, Indigenous writers and writers of color bear witness to one of most unsettling years in American history. Essays and poems vividly reflect and comment on the traumas we endured in 2020, beginning with the arrival of the Covid 19 pandemic crisis, deepened by the blatant murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the uprisings that immersed the city into the epicenter of passionate, worldwide demands for justice.
“My Annihilation” (Soho Crime) is the forthcoming novel by Fuminori Nakamura as translated by Sam Bett. This Japanese master of literary noir interrogates the unspeakable thoughts all humans share but only monsters act on, revealing with disturbing honesty the psyche of a killer. What follows is an intricately layered revenge story that dissects the framework of identity and memory to answer the question “What makes someone a killer?” To be published in January, 2022.
“Meena’s Mindful Moment” (Page Street Publishing) by Tina Athaide and illustrated by Asa Gilland. Meena has so much energy, it becomes a whole imaginary character she calls her hurly-burly hullabloo. But when this energy makes a mess around her, her grandfather is there to teach her how to handle it with deep breaths and meditative poses. This charming story with playful art teaches the child in us to cool down.
“The Vanderbeekers Make A Wish” (HMH) by Karina Yan Glaser is the fifth in the series of this fictional family living in Harlem. The whole family is secretly planning a surprise 40th birthday party for dear old dad but plans are dashed when he me must leave town to help out a friend. Trouble is on the horizon in the form of some distant grandparents who show up at the door.
“What Will My Story Be? (Viking) by Nidhi Chadwani. This popular graphic and comic book artist does her first kid’s picture book. Fueled by her auntie’s tales, an imaginative young girl explores her own storytelling possibilities, and unlocks her limitless creativity along the way. Filled with her vibrant illustrations, this book is for anyone who finds inspiration and confidence in the quiet moments and the wisdom of earlier generations.
“Beasts and Beauty – Dangerous Tales” (Harper) by Soman Chainani and illustrated by Julia Iredale. A sly, subversive reimagining of classic fairy tales that gives them a contemporary twist from “Little Red Riding Hood” to Cinderella” and beyond.
“Two at the Top: A Shared Dream of Everest” (Groundwood) by Uma Krishnaswami as illustrated by Christopher Corr. In this colorfully illustrated picture book, the author lets the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and mountain climber Edmund Hillary both tell their story as they ascend Mt. Everest.
“Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous” (Sourcebooks) by Suzanne Paek. A comedic YA novel about a Korean American teenager cyber star whose addiction to social media has taken over her life. She is hauled off to a social media detox camp in the Midwest where she is forced to confront herself.
“Back To Japan – The Life and Art of Master Kimono Painter, Kunihiko Moriguchi” (Other Press) by Marc Pettijean and translated from the French by Adriana Hunter. This book describes the life and art of a master Kimono painter and Living National Treasure whose influences ranged from the Paris art scene of the1960s to the Japanese world of tradition where he began to contemporize the craft of yuzen (resist dyeing) through his innovative use of abstraction in patterns.
“The Village Of Eight Graves” (Pushkin Vertigo) by Seishi Yokomizo as translated by Bryan Karenyk. A mountain village called “Eight Graves” takes its name from a centuries-old massacre. When a young man arrives from the city to claim a mysterious inheritance and death follows in his wake, the villagers suspicions fall upon the newcomer. The young man must rely on the help of detective Kosuke Kindaichi to uncover the murderer and save his own reputation before the villagers take justice into their own hands.
“Finding Refuge – Real-life Immigration Stories from Young People” (Zest Books) by Victoria Rouse. English teacher Rouse has assembled a collection of real-world experiences of teen refugees from around the world in this new anthology.
“Brother’s Keeper” (Holiday House) by Julie Lee. Its 1950 in North Korea and everything is restricted. A family prepares to flee but war breaks out. Only the twelve year old daughter and her eight-year old son can make it out to escape to the South. They face insurmountable obstacles as they begin this journey.
“Book of The Other” (Kaya Press) by Truong Tran. A book of poetry, prose and essays that tackles the hard questions and issues in this era of George Floyd and anti-Asian hate. Using personal incident and event, the poet examines them through the lens of meditation and comes out asking “Why?
“The Dreamweavers” (Holiday House) by G. Z. Schmidt. As Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, 12 year olds Mei and Yun Wu are excited as the Emperor of China’s son comes to their village to sample their grandfather’s incredible moon cakes. But when disaster strikes that night, these kids are left to their own devices on how to rescue their grandfather and village from a terrible fate. A middle-age novel for youngsters.
“The Wishing Tree” (Harper) by Meika Hashimoto and illustrated by Xindi Yan. This picture book tries to depict the spirit of giving and the spirit of xmas in a young child and how it lights up a whole town.
“Dream, Annie, Dream” (Quill Tree) by Waka T. Brown. In this empowering deconstruction of the so-called “American Dream”, a twelve-year old Japanese American girl grapples with, and ultimately rises above, the racism and trials of middle school she experiences while chasing her dreams.
“The Grandmaster’s Daughter” (Green Willow) by Dan-ah Kim. In a small quiet village sits a martial arts school where the daughter of the grandmaster must teach as well as learn from every daily task. Colorful illustrations enhance this picture book.
“Thank You, Mr. Nixon – Stories” (Knopf) by Gish Jen. In her first collection of stories in years, Jen takes measure of the fifty years since the opening of China and its unexpected effects on the lives of ordinary people.
“George and His Nighttime Friends” (Princeton Architectural Press). Written and illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh. A boy who cannot sleep discovers a group of nocturnal creatures who each help entertain him until he falls fast asleep. Beautiful color drawings enliven every page of this picture book for children.
“How We Fall Apart” (Bloomsbury) by Katie Zhao. A young adult thriller about students at an elite prep school who are forced to confront their secrets when they discover their ex-best friend dead.
“Tomatoes for Neela” (Viking) by Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef and Taste as illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. A mother and daughter cook together as the little girl learns about varieties of tomatoes and how to cook them all the while thinking of her grandmother in India. Colorful illustrations make this story come alive for children. A perfect introduction to the magic of the kitchen for youngsters.
“Love and Reparation – A Theatrical Response To The Section 377 Litigation In India” (Seagull Books) by Danish Sheikh. On 6 September 2018, a decades-long battle to decriminalize queer intimacy in India came to an end. The Supreme Court of India ruled that Section 377, the colonial anti-sodomy law, violated the country’s constitution. ‘LGBT persons,’ the Court said, ‘deserve to live a life unshackled from the shadow of being “unapprehended felons”.’ But how definitive was this end? The playwright navigates these questions with a deft interweaving of the legal, the personal, and the poetic in these two plays.
“Amah Faraway” (Bloomsbury) by Margaret Chiu Greanias and illustrated by Tracy Subisak. Kylie is nervous about visiting grandmother in Taiwan—when she arrives, she’s shy, and at first she’s uncomfortable with the language, customs, culture, and food. Video chats just aren’t the same. But slowly and surely, when she and Amah visit the night market, eat with relatives, and splash in hot springs, Kylie starts having so much fun! And when it’s time to go home, Kylie is itching for the next time she can see Amah again. A delightful story of a child’s visit to a grandmother and home far away, and of how families connect and love across distance, language and cultures.
“It All Comes Back To You” (Quill Tree) by Farah Naz Rishi. For fans of “Proide & Prejudice” comes an enemies-to-lovers rom com about first love and second chances by this Pakistani Americn YA novelist.
“From The Tops of The Trees” (Lerner) by Kao Kalia Yang as illustrated by Rachel Wada. A four year old Hmong girl in a Thai refugee camp asks her father what is beyond the fence. He takes her up a tree to see the world from a different perspective.
“The Modern Tiffin, On-The-Go Vegan Dishes With a Global Flair” (Tiller Press) by Priyanka Nair. The author travels the world in search of global vegan dishes that fit perfectly into a stainless steel circular lunchbox, layer by layer.
“New Year” (An Aldana Libros Book – Greystone Kids) by Mei Zihan and Qin Leng and translated by Yan Yan. Set during Lunar New Year, a time when Chinese families come together for a wonderful feast, this is a moving and passionate protest of loss from a father whose daughter has grown up and settled down in another country. His sense of loss is countered by a parent’s acceptance of his child’s need to move away, grow up and become herself. This book with charming watercolor line drawings evokes that sense of loss and acceptance in a wistful quality that pushes its readership beyond a kids book into a reality most parents can relate to as well.
“Jade Fire Gold” (Harper Teen) by June CL Tan. Ahn is an orphan with magical powers. Altan is the scion of a royal family who was murdered. When a boy seeking revenge and a girl with secret powers join forces, can they risk death and restore the empire before all is too late?
“Win Me Something” (Tin House), a novel by Kyle Lucia Wu. Willa Chen has never quite fit in. Growing up as a biracial Chinese American girl in Jersey and too Asian to fit in at a mostly white school but too white to speak to the few Asian kids around, she grew up feeling mostly outside. This coming-of-age debut is about the irreparable fissures between people, and a young woman who asks what it really means to belong, and how she might begin to define her own life.
“Word Travelers And The Taj Mahal Mystery” (Sourcebooks) by Raj Haldar and illustrated by Neha Rawat. Best friends Eddies and MJ are going to play outside, create an obstacle course for MJ’s newts, watch their favorite movies and then travel to India to solve a mystery and save a school – all before bedtime?
“The Hunter’s Walk” (Penguin Random House SEA) by Nabeel Ismeer. This is a speculative fiction novel about a prehistoric dark skin boy and his fair skin brother who fight against colorism, gender discrimination and climate change. Go to https://www.amazon.com/dp/981491407X.
“ESCAPE – One Day We Had To Run” (Lantana) by Ming & Wah as illustrated by Carmen Vela. In the form of a picture book, this slim volume tackles a serious topic. Throughout history ordinary people have been forced around the world – to leave their families and homes because of war, famine, slavery, intolerance, economic and political upheaval or climate change. Using remarkable true stories, these tales show how courageous people all over the world have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their flight to freedom and illustrates how this situation could happen to anyone.
“Touring The Land of The Dead” (Europa Editons) by Maki Kashmada as translated by Haydin Trowell. This book consists of two novellas that concern memory, loss and love. The title story invokes a woman who takes her chronically ill husband to a spa, the site of a former luxury hotel that her grandfather had taken her mother to when she was small. “Ninety-Nine Kisses” portrays the lives of four unmarried sisters in a close-knit neighborhood of Tokyo. Inspired by Tanizaki’s “The Makioka Sisters”.
“Thank You, Neighbor!” (Harper) written and illustrated by Ruth Chan. This picture book gently encourages us to slow down and get to know the people, places and things that make a neighborhood.
“Pillar of Books – The Moon Country Korean Poetry Series” (black Ocean) by Moon Bo Young as translated by Hedgie Choi. Still in her early 30’s, Young is part of a younger generation of poets in South Korea. As Kim Na-Young, judge of the Kim Soo-Young Prize awarded to this volume said, “The work of witnessing and representing life is so easily marred and thwarted by the anxieties and loneliness present in each of our lives, and yet, this poet looks squarely at the world, presenting the truth in it with such solidity and composure that I can’t help but root for her and the new language she discovers in the process.”
“Winter Phoenix – Testimonies In Verse” (Deep Vellum) by Sophia Terazawa. A book of testimonies in verse, this book is a collection of poems written loosely after the form of an international war crimes tribunal. The poet, daughter of a Vetnamese refugee, navigates the epigenetics of trauma passed down, and across, the archives of war, dislocation and witness, as she repeatedly asks, “Why did you just stand there and say nothing?”
“You Are Revolutionary” (Beaming Books) by Cindy Wang Brandt and illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao. Whether you’re quiet or loud, big or small, good at math or good at sports, you have everything you need to make big change in the world, just as you are. You have what it takes to change the world. This picture book nurtures the unique qualities in every child to speak out and to provoke change.
“The One Thing You’d Save” (Clarion) by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. In this book, a Newbery medalist poses a provocative question about what matters most. Students talk, argue and stand by their choices as they discover unexpected facets of one another—and of themselves. With insight and humor, Park captures the voices of an inclusive classroom in verse inspired by the Korean poetry form sijo.
“The Wandering Earth” (Tor) by Cixin Liu. A collection of ten stories that form an ode to earth, its pasts and its futures. Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate and survive in a desolate cosmos.
“Murakami T – The T-Shirts I Love” (Knopf) by Haruki Murakami. Photographs of Murakami’s T-shirt collection are paired with short, frank essays that include his musings on the joy of drinking Guinness in local Irish pubs, the pleasure of eating a burger upon arrival in the United States and Hawaiian surf culture in the 1980s.
In “Gamma Draconis” (Titan Comics), acclaimed artist Eldo Yoshimizu teams up with writer Benoist Simmat to create a dazzling crime tale of a Japanese heroine who takes on a sinister crime organization.
The Gleaner Song – Selected Poems” (Deep Vellum) by Song Lin as translated by Dong Li. Song Lin is one of China’s most innovative poets. When the Tianamen protest exploded in Beijing, Song led student demonstrations in Shanghai for which he was imprisoned for almost a year. Leaving China, this selection of poems spans four decades of exploration with a focus on poems written in France, Singapore and Argentina and more recently, his return to China.
“Four Treasures Of The Sky” (Flatiron Books) by Jenny Tinghui Zhang is a novel set in the American West of the 1880s and its protagonist is a Chinese woman who is kidnapped and smuggled across the ocean from China to America. It’s a story of a woman in a strange land who must constantly re-invent herself to survive. An illuminating story that sheds light on the horrible realities of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the toll it took on people.
“Dumpling Day” (Barefoot Books) is a picture book by Meera Sriram with art by Ines de Antunano and recipes by Laurel P. Jackson. A lovely picture book that will make parents and kids very hungry. It introduces the dumpling tradition found in ten cultures world-wide with recipes in the back. Join 10 families cooking Indian samosas to Italian ravioli in this celebration of food and friends.
“The Thief” (Soho Crime) by Fuminori Nakamura as translated from the Japanese by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates. A seasoned pickpocket weaves in and out of Tokyo crowd undetected. But when he is offered an easy job robbing the safe of a prominent politician, it’s a job he can’t refuse. Later the man is found brutally murdered after the robbery and the there is caught in a tangle he might not be able to so easily escape.
“Leilong the Library Bus” (Gecko Press) by Julia Liu and illustrated by Bei Lynn. This award-winning book from Taiwan translated by Helen Wang tells the charming tale of a dinosaur who loves books and story time. Unfortunately his huge size causes problems when he tries to enter the library with the kids. How the problem is solved and how the dinosaur becomes an ambassador of library books is cleverly and humorously resolved in this picture book that parents will enjoy reading to their kids.
“Lesser Known Monsters Of The 21st Century” (Tin House) is due out February 1, 2022. This third book by Seattle author Kim Fu is a book of short stories where the strange is familiar and the familiar strange. A bug-infested house becomes a Kafkaesque nightmare, a groups of children steal a haunted doll and a runaway bride encounters a sea monster. Each tale blurs the boundaries of the real and fantastic, offering intricate and surprising insights into human nature.
“Wombat” (Candlewick) by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Liz Duthie. This picture book teaches kids about the wombat, Australia’s “bulldozer of the bush.”
“Lemon” (Other Press) by Kwon Yeo-Sun as translated by Janet Hong is a haunting literary crime story that doesn’t so much concern itself with the perpetrator as to explore issues of privilege, jealousy, trauma and how we live with the wrongs we have endured and inflicted in return.
“Cherry Blossom” (Thames & Hudson) by Bruce Gilden. A gritty portrait of Japan and its people by a renowned vMagnum street photographer. There are no cherry blossoms, geisha in kimono or picturesque landscapes here. In their place, you will find “in-your-face” shots of the homeless and dispossessed, the petty gangsters and the motorcycle gang members lining the crowded streets of the city.
“The Waiting” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Keun Suk Gendry-Kim. In this graphic novel, the author’s family history and the division of Korea down the 38th parallel inspired her to do some oral history and tell the story of her ancestors.
Newbery Medal winner Erin Entrada Kelly makes her middle-age level debut which she illustrates herself with “Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey” (HarperCollins). It’s a story about friendship and being brave when you feel shy or shaky.
“Bodhi Sees the World – Thailand” (bala kids) is written and illustrated by Marisa Aragon Ware. A young girl finds herself in a foreign city, exploring the streets of Bangkok where she begins to experience the world through a new culture.
“Dragon Legend – The Dragon Realm Series, Book 2” (Sterling) by Katie & Kevin Tsang. When a friend is kidnapped and taken through a time portal, Billy Chan and his friends must travel through time on their dragons to save him in this middle-grade level adventure novel.
“Tidesong” (Quill Tree) by Wendy Xu is a graphic novel about a young witch who wants to learn spells but is instead sent to train with relatives she’s never met and relegated to doing chores. When she finds her attempts at magic entangle her with a powerful water dragon, she must decide exactly what kind of person she wants to be.
“Scars of War – The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam” (University of Nebraska Press) by Sabrina Thomas. This book explores ideas of race, nation, and gender in the aftermath of war. Thomas exposes the contradictory approach of policymakers unable to reconcile Amerasian biracialism with the U.S. Code. As they created an inclusionary discourse deeming Amerasians worthy of American action, guidance, and humanitarian aid, federal policymakers simultaneously initiated exclusionary policies that designated these people unfit for American citizenship.
“Basho’s Haiku Journeys” (Stone Bridge Press) by Freeman Ng as illustrated by Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem. This picture book for kids tells the story of this famous Japanese haiku poet who went from a life of success and comfort in the city to a journey of wandering up and down Japan seeking the moment and writing poems to illuminate that reality.
“Go Home, Ricky! (Overlook) by Gene Kwak. Set in the world of independent wrestling, a native American wrestler is on the threshold of fame when he sustains a career-ending injury. With a loss of identity, he spirals downward culminating in a search to learn about his long lost father.
“India Mahdavi” (Chronicle) is the first monograph on this world-renowned, award-winning Iranian interior designer. Along with her design projects, the book highlights her custom furniture, lighting, accessories and brand collaborations in a visually stunning design that sets off the work.
“Of Arcs And Circles – Insights from Japan on Gardens, Nature and Art” (Stone Bridge Press) by Marc Peter Keane. From his vantage point as a garden designer and writer based in Kyoto, the author examines the world around him an delivers insights on the Japanese garden, the meaning of art and other fascinating topics.
“Pixels Of You” (Amulet) by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota and illustrated by J. R. Doyle is a graphic novel based in the near future. Indira is a human who had to be cybernetically augmented after a tragic accident. Fawn is a human-presenting AI who has to grapple with both her family’s expectations and how the world perceives AI. Both work at a gallery and when they are forced to collaborate, what was once a rivalry turns slowly into a friendship.
“Ready for the Spotlight” (Candlewick) written and illustrated by Jaime Kim. This picture book demonstrates the sometimes competitive but always loving relationship between two sisters who shine in different ways. Little sister trains hard to be a ballerina but is always overshadowed by her big sister who gets the leading role.
“EM” (Seven Stories) is a novel by Kim Thuy with a linked narrative of characters connected by birth and destiny. From the rubber plantations of Indochina, daily life in war-torn Saigon, Operation Babylift and today’s global nail salons, here are human lives shaped by trauma and sacrifice. Translated from the French by Sheila Fischman.
“Off-Limits” (Candlewick) is written and illustrated by Helen Yoon. When her daddy goes on a break, a little girl sneaks into his office and can’t help playing with what she discovers. Little does she know that Daddy has a secret too.
“Thai Cinema Uncensored” (Silkworm) by Matthew Hunt. This is the first full-length study of Thai film censorship. Informed by access to rare and controversial films, the arthor provides a history of film censorship in Thailand from its earliest beginnings. The book also examines how Thai filmmakers approach culturally sensitive subjects, and how their films have been censored as a result.
“Little Messy Marcy Su” (Little Brown) by Cherrie Fu and illustrated by Julie Kwon. Marcy Su can’t help but make a mess but with her grandparents looming visit, her mother has had enough. Playful humor and bouncy rhythms, set against expressive drawings capture how a plucky daughter’s exuberance can bring a tired mom to her knees and then brign a family together.
“Taste Makers – Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food In America” (Norton) by Mayukh Sen. A book that looks into the life stories of extraordinary women who made significant cultural contributions in the world of food while being undervalued during their lifetimes. The author gives them their due with these revelations of their culinary innovations.
“My Day With Gong Gong” (Annick Press) by Sennah Yee and illustrated by Elaine Chen. May is a little girl who isn’t sure about spending a day with her grandfather. He doesn’t speak much English and she can’t understand Chinese. She’s hungry and grandpa’s errands in Chinatown are boring. But just when she’s had enough, Grandpa has a surprise she didn’t see coming. A charming, warm-hearted tale about how love crosses over between generations.
“American Home” (Autumn House Press) by Sean Cho A. won the 2020 Autumn House Chapbook Prize. The poems reflect a keen eye on everyday occurrences and how these small events shape us as individuals.
“Magic Candies” (Amazon/Crossing) written and illustrated by Heena Baek and translated by Sophie Bowman. A little boy gets a hold of some magic candies and suddenly he’s hearing voices – from a sofa, his dog, and his long dead grandmother. Will this shy boy hear all these voices and what they want to tell him?
“I, Witness Accused – My Story of Injustice” (Norton) by Adama Bah. Bah grew up in New York City after her family immigrated from Guinea when she was two years old. She was deeply connected to her community and never had cause to question her identity. But in the shadow of 9/11, as a Muslim she began to experience hatred, racism and prejudice because of her clothing, her skin color and her religion. In this memoir, a young writer opens a window for young readers on America and the discrimination faced by Muslim Americans after 9/11.
“Genghis Chan on Drums” (Omnidawn), poems by John Yau. This noted arts writer and poet returns in his latest book to his alter-ego of Genghis Chan and lacerates with acerbic humor and wit the topics of the day, clichés about being Chinese, the language of philosophers and the residue of racism and popular culture.
“Usha and the Big Digger” (Charlesbridge) by Amitha Jagannath Knight and illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat. Part of the “storytelling Math” series in which books depict children using math as they play, build, and discover the world around them. When two kids look up at the seven stars in the sky, they see different things. One sees the Big Dipper and another sees the Big Digger and a cousin sees the Big Kite. What exactly is going on?
“The Way Spring Arrives And Other Stories” (Tor Dot Com) Edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. From an award-winning team of authors, editors, translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. Set for March 2022 publication.
“Idol Gossip” (Walker) by Alexander Leigh Young. A Korean American girl from San Francisco goes from singing lessons to a K-pop boot camp when she and her mom move to Seoul. This debut YA novel is all about dreaming big but staying true to your own values.
“Painting Myanmar’s Transition” (Hong Kong University Press) edited by Ian Holliday and Aung Kaung Myat. A vibrant art scene emerged in the years of transition following a long period of military dictatorship and before the military re-emerged to shut it all down. This book puts names and faces to over 80 contemporary artists to reveal the lived experience of Myanmar’s reform years and the aspirations expressed by its citizens for the future.
“Brown Boy Nowhere” (Skyscape) by Sheeryl Lim. When a 16 year old Filipino American boy is uprooted from his San Diego home to the middle of nowhere just as he plans to enter a big skateboarding competition, he can’t help but think that “life sucks”. And now he’s the only Asian in an all-white school. But being an outcast has its rewards when he bands together with the rest of his high school outsiders.
“Imagine A Death” (Texas Review Press) by Janice Lee. This novel is a depiction of the ways our pasts envelope us as the author illuminates the depths of grief of three characters as they survive the death of loved ones and look for ways to carry on.
“Remembering Our Intimacies – Modelo, Aloha Aina, and Ea” (University of Minnesota Press) by Jamaica Healimeleikalani Osorio. Hawaiian “aloha ‘aina” is often described in Western political terms as nationalism, nationhood, or even patriotism. In this book, the author focuses on the personal and embodied articulations of aloha aina to detangle it from the effects of colonialism and occupation.
“Faraway” (Columbia University Press) by Taiwanese novelist Lo Yi-Chin and translated by Jeremy Tiang. A Taiwanese man finds himself stranded in mainland China while attempting to bring his comatose father home. He finds himself locked into a protracted struggle with byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. A book that examines the rift between Taiwan and China on the most personal of levels.
“Manifest Technique – Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture” (University of Illinois) by Mark R. Villegas. Filipino Americans have been innovators and collaborators in hip hop since the culture’s early days. But despite some success, the genre’s significance in Filipino American communities is often overlooked. The author takes into consideration the coast-to-coast hip hop scene to reveal how Filipino Americans have used music, dance, and visual art to create their worlds.
How High We Go In The Dark” (Morrow) by Sequoia Nagamatsu. This debut novel follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague.
“Enforced Rustification In The Chinese Cultural Revolution” (Texas Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng sounds like an academic study when it actually is a poetic retelling of the author’s experience working in the countryside as a young student. It’s told in poems full of humor, wit and poignancy.
“This Jade World” (University of Nebraska Press) by Ira Sukrungruang , Thai American poet and writer, chronicles a year of mishap, exploration, experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.
“My Love for You Is Always” (Philomel) by Gillian Sze and illustrated by Michelle Lee. “What is love?, a child wonders. As his mother prepares a traditional Chinese meal for him, she responds to his questions as the artwork dreamily enhances each image.
“Personal Attention Roleplay” (Metonymy Press) – Stories by Helen Chau Bradley. A young gymnast crushes on an older, more talented teammate while contending with an overworked mother. A newly-queer twenty-something juggles two intimate relationships. A codependent listicle writer becomes obsessed with a Japanese ASMR channel. A queer metal band’s summer tour unravels in the summer heat. These tales offer portrayals of awkward interactions and isolations of a generation, community and culture.
“Reprieve” (Morrow) by James Han Mattson. This is a novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room – a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.
“The Poverty Line” (Lars Muller) by Chow and Lin. What does it mean to live on the poverty line? The artist team of Chow and Lin explore these questions by creating a visual comparison that encapsulates an idea of poverty and its world-wide dimensions in regard to food.
“Pure Invention – How Japan Made The Modern World” (Crown) by Matt Alt. Japan is the forge of the world’s fantasies: karaoke and the Walkman, manga and anime, Pac-Man, online imageboards and emojis. But in this book, a Japan media reporter proves in his investigation, these novelties did more than entertain, they paved the way for our perplexing modern lives.
“ABC Of Feelings”(Philomel) written and illustrated by Bonnie Lui. This picture book is a journey through the alphabet that shows kids it’s perfectly okay to feel many different things, sometimes all at once. The perfect read-aloud for little ones learning all about feelings and their ABC’s.
“Beasts Of A Little Land” (Ecco) is a novel by Juhea Kim. It is an epic story of love, war, and redemption set again the backdrop of the Korean independence movement. From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battls rage, Juhea Kim’s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s.
“I Am Not Starfire” (DC Graphic Novels For Young Adults) pairs a story by New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki with artwork by Yoshi Yoshitoni . Seventeen-year-old Mandy is nothing like her mother, Starfire. Her mother is gorgeous, tall, sparkly and a superhero. Mandy has no powers and is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates almost everyone. But when someone from Starfire’s past arrives, daughter Mandy has choices to make. She can give up before the battle has begun or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom.
“Grandpa Across the Ocean” (Abrams) written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. When a young boy visits his grandfather in Korea, the language and customs seem foreign and his grandfather’s house, the most boring place on earth. But as he adjusts to the differences, he begins to appreciate and enjoy his grandfather. A book that shares the challenges and joys of having a relative who lives far away.
First published in 1937, Genzaburo Yoshino’s “How Do You Live?” (Algonquin) has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers and a favorite of Academy Award-winning anime director Hayao Miyazaki who will base his final film on the book. With a foreword by Neil Gaiman and translated by Bruno Navasky, the story involves a young boy who loses his father at the age of fifteen and the journal entries he receives from his uncle about life’s big questions.
“Goodbye, again – essays, reflections, and illustrations” (Harper Perennial) by Jonny Sun. The author of “everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too” returns with this offering of meditative essays, short humor pieces and memorable one-liners covering topics such as loneliness and burnout, advice on caring for dying houseplants, and a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.
“Faultlines” (Custom House) by Emily Itani. A bittersweet love story of a bored Japanese housewife in a dilemma who must make choices and a piercing portrait of female identity.
“Outside Voices, Please” (Cleveland University Press) is a new book of poetry by Valerie Hsiung due out October 5, 2021. “Hsiung orchestrates a symphony of voices, past, present, and prescient: time (and with it, history) compresses and expands, yielding long poetry sequences reminiscent of Myung Mi Kim’s sonic terrains and C.D. Wright’s documentary poetics.” – Diana Khoi Nguyen
“Heaven” (Europa Editions) by Mieko Kawakmi. From the best-selling author of “Breasts And Eggs”, a striking exploration of working women’s daily lives in Japan comes a new story of the experience of a teenage boy who is tormented by his schoolmates. It explores the meaning and experience of violence and the consolations of friendship. Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.
“Alma Presses Play” (Make Me A World) by Tina Cane. Alma is a half-Chinese and half-Jewish teenage girl going through changes with her Walkman on most of the time. Friends move away, love comes and goes and her parents divorce. In this world of confusing beginnings, middles, and endings, is Alma ready to press play on the soundtrack of her life?
“Japanese Dress in Detail (Thames & Hudson/Victoria & Albert Museum) by Josephine Rout is the catalog for an exhibition held in Britain in 2020. It brings together more than 100 items of clothing and reveals the intricacies of Japanese dress from the 18th century to the present and includes garments for women, men and children. The details have been selected for their exquisite beauty and craftsmanship and for how much they impart about the wearer’s identity.
A Way of Looking” (Silverfish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award. Zheng, shaped by the Cultural Revolution in China somehow ended up in Mississippi and fell in love with the blues and in this book, he takes the haiga Japanese literary form (one prose journal entry followed by the echo of a haiku poem to end it) and plants it in the deep south. autumn night/a freight train chugging/across the Yazoo.
“XOXO” (Harper Teen) by Axie Oh. A teenage romance that blossoms in L.A. and re-ignites in Seoul. A Korean American girl meets a Korean guy on his last day in the city of angels and sparks fly. But she forgets about him when he flies off to Seoul. But when the girl and her mother fly to Seoul to take care of an ailing grandmother, guess who she discovers is in her class. But he is not an ordinary guy, he’s in one of the most popular K-pop bands in the land. And in K-pop, dating is strictly forbidden. Read the book if you want to find out how this complex relationship turns out.
“Head – Hoard” (University of Chicago Press) by Atsuro Riley. Winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, juror Julie Carr had this to say about Riley’s new book – “A landscape charged with the bright light of discernment, where emotions are stirred by rhythmic torsion and sonic density.”
“Amira’s Picture Day” (Holiday House) by Reem Faruqi and illustrated by Fahmida Azim. A joyful and sensitive look at the Muslim holiday of Eid as seen through the eyes of a young girl who loves to celebrate but feels conflicted because her school class photo shoot happens the same day.
“Colorful” (Counterpoint) by Eto Mori. Translated from the Japanese by Jocelyne Allen. This popular novel in Japan finally finds its way to the U.S. in this English translation. A young adult tale of death, mental health and what it means to truly live. When a formless soul is given a second chance to return to earth and inhabit the body of a fourteen-year-old boy who has just committed suicide, things get complicated.
Now it’s becoming more common for foreign players to break into U.S. professional baseball but “MASHI – The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams Of Masunori Murakami, The First Japanese Major Leaguer” (Nebraska) by Robert K. Fitts takes us back to 1964 and tells the story of Japan’s first major leaguer in America. A baseball pioneer’s tale.
“The Alpactory – Ready, Pack, Go!” (Harper) written and illustrated (charmingly, I might add) by Ruth Chan. Most kids when embarking on a trip have trouble deciding what and how to pack. Let an alpaca with unusual packing skills be your guide as you contemplate your next journey.
“In The Watchful City” Tor Dot Com) by S. Qiouyi Lu. Anima is an extrasensory human with the task of surveilling and protecting the city. But what happens when a mysterious outsider enters this world with curiosities from around the world? A multifaceted story of borders, power, diaspora and transformation.
“City of Illusion” (Viking Graphic) is the graphic novel follow-up to Victoria Ying’s “City of Secrets”. In this sequel our child heroes Hannah and Ever live with the Morgan family in peace until Mr. Morgan is kidnapped. The kids get in a spat with street magicians but the two must learn to work together if the mystery of the missing is ever solved.
“Silent Parade – A Detective Galileo Novel” (Minotaur) by Keigo Higashino. Detective Galileo, the author’s best-loved character from “The Devotion of Suspect X” returns in a complex and challenging mystery – several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence. DCI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manbu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.
“The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round” (Orchard) by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu. A clever twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” in which the eating of Chinese food is celebrated with love and laughter within a multi-generational family.
Ghost Food (One World) by Pik-Shuen Fung. A sparely written novel about a first generation of immigrants in Canada whose father decides to stay in Hong Kong earning him the title of “astronaut” father. With a lonely mother and ill father, a daughter struggles to understand her family history revealing threads of matrilineal history and the inheritance of stories and silences.
“Intimacies” (Riverhead) by Katie Kitamura. An American woman newly relocated to The Hague works as an interpreter at a war crimes tribunal. Interpreting for a notorious former president accused of crimes against humanity, and entangled in a complicated love affair with a married man, she wrestles with mounting professional and personal dramas.
“When Lola Visits” (Katherine Tegen) by Michelle Sterling and illustrated by Aaron Asis. Summer is special for a young girl when her grandmother visits from the Philippines. There is the aroma of mango jam, funny stories and her quiet, sweet singing in Tagalog. But summer is over too soon and when her grandmother prepares to leave, she has one more surprise for her favorite granddaughter.
“On The Ho Chi Minh Trail – The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy”(ASIALINK, London) by Sherry Buchanan. Buchanan reveals the stories of the women who defended the Trail against the sustained American bombing campaign – the most ferocious in modern warfare – and of the artists who drew them. She focuses on what life was really like for the women and men under fire, bringing a unique perspective to the history of the Vietnam War.
“Not Here to Be Liked” (Katherine Tegen Books) by Michelle Quach. This young adult novel is about a high school girl Eliza Quan who sees herself as the perfect candidate to be editor of her school paper until an ex-jock white male candidate appears and threatens her ambitions. To thwart his challenge, she writes a viral essay inspiring a feminist movement. But what happens when she starts to like the guy?
“Anne’s Cradle – The Life & Works of Hanako Muraoka” (Nimbus) by Eri Muraoka as translated by Cathy Hirano. Hanako Muraoka is revered in Japan for her translation of L. M Montgomery’s children’s classic, “Anne of Green Gables.” Because of her translation the book had a massive and enduring popularity in that country. This bestselling biography of Muraoka written by her granddaughter, traces the complex and captivating story of a woman who risked her freedom and devoted her life to bringing quality children’s literature to the people during a period of tumultuous change in Japan.
“The Tiger Mom’s Tale” (Berkley) by Lyn Liao Butler. When an American woman inherits the wealth of her Taiwanese family, she travels to confront them about their betrayals of the past.
“Second Sister” (Black Cat) by Chan Ho-Kei. When a schoolgirl commits suicide by leaping from the twenty-second floor, her older sister refuses to believe it. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game through the streets of Hong Kong as big sister hunts for the truth about the murder and the murderer.
“Faraway Places” (Diode Editions) by Teow Lim Goh. The poems in this book reside in the spaces between the wild and the tamed, from orchid gardens and immense seas to caged birds and high alpine landscapes. It resists narrative and instead inhabits the residues of experience. It may be a private dictionary.
“Jenny Mei Is Sad” (Little, Brown and Company) written and illustrated by Tracey Subisak. This book introduces young readers to the complexity of sadness and shows them that the best way to be a good friend – especially to someone sad – is by being there for the fun, the not-fun, and everything in between. Charmingly illustrated.
“Vessel – A Memoir” (HarperVia) by Cai Chongda. This tender collection of personal essays by the Editorial Director of GQ China spotlights the family, friends and neighbors of his small town who helped shape him as he struggled to understand himself and what the future might bring as a young boy from simple means.
“A Way of Looking” (Silver Fish Review Press) by Jianqing Zheng. Half prose, half verse, this book is a heartfelt account of exile and homecoming. Uprooted from Chinese soil after the Cultural Revolution, this immigrant found new roots in the rich dark soil of the Mississippi delta and the home of the blues. Winner of the 2019 Gerald Cable Book Award.
Best-selling young adult author David Yoon (“Frankly in Love”) has switched genres with his new adult novel entitled “Version Zero” (Putnam). A data whiz at a social media company sees the dark side of big tech and starts asking questions about the data they collect. He finds himself fired and blackballed across Silicon Valley.
“Singing Emptiness – Kumar Gandharva Performs The Poetry Of Kabir” (Seagull) by Linda Hess. In this book, two men, five centuries apart, make contact with each other through poetry, music and performance. A great twentieth-century Hindustani classical vocalist takes up the challenge of singing the songs of Kabir, the great fifteenth century poet.
“Build Your House Around My Body” (Random House) by Violet Kupersmith. A kaleidoscopic debut novel that reads as part puzzle, part revenge tale, and part ghost story. It follows the intersecting fates of three unforgettable women across a half century of Vietnamese history.
“Glyph – graphic poetry + trans. sensory” (Tupelo) by Naoko Fujimoto. The poet finds a new way to connect word and image. Inspired by Emaki (Japanese picture scroll). The poet/artist uses bright colors and designs to bring the words of each poem to the reader in novel ways and from different directions. Or as Gabrielle Bates states, “I was wondering around the house of poetry and this book showed me to a door I didn’t know existed.”
“The Thousand Crimes Of Ming Tsu” (Little Brown) by Tom Lin. This fiction debut reimagines the classic western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors. “This book is a thriller, a romance and a story of one man’s quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.”
“Lurkers” (Soho) by Sandi Tan. The author peoples her corner of surburban Los Angeles with two Korean American sisters rocked by suicide and a cast of characters like a creepy drama teacher, a gay horror novelist and a white hippie mom and her adopted Vietnamese daughter. Add drama and stir with a deft pen for optimum results.
“The Many Meanings of Meilan” (Kokila) by Andrea Wang. Meilan’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, the bakery the family owns and a run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales. But things change after her grandmother dies putting the family on the road in search of home. This young adult novel is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.
A God at the Door” (Copper Canyon) by Tishani Doshi. Doshi is an award-winning writer and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry. This new volume of poems calls on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to redefine belonging and unveil injustice.
“Finding My Voice” (Soho) is a reprint of a classic young adult novel by Marie Myong-Ok Lee. It is a timeless coming-of-age story of a Korean American teenage girl who attends an all-white high school in Minnesota. She struggles to fit in while being different. When she falls for a popular white football player. Can this relationship withstand the bigotry of a small town and her family’s disapproval?
“Tokyo Ever After”(Flatiron) by Emiko Jean. It’s hard growing up Japanese American in a small, mostly-white Northern California town with a single mom. But when Izumi or “Izzy” as she’s known discovers her missing dad is the crown prince of Japan, things become surreal. Traveling to Japan to find her dad, her life is turned upside down. Not American enough in the States, not Japanese enough in Japan. Will Izumi ever land on her feet?
“The Bombay Prince” (Soho) by Sujata Massey. This popular mystery writer’s latest book is a Perveen Mistry series volume. Bombay’s fist female lawyer tries to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as the city streets erupt into riots protesting British rule. Set in 1920s Bombay.
“Angel & Hannah – A Novel in Verse” (One World) by Ishle Yi Park.The electricity of first love in the heart of New York’s neighborhoods. When a Korean American girl from Queens meets a Puerto Rican American boy from Brooklyn at a quincecanera, sparks fly and so does family opposition and cultural complexity. This former poet laureate of Queens uses bursts of language and imagery in sonnet and song form to bring alive the glow of first love.
“Swimming Back To Trout River” (Simon & Schuster) by Linda Rui Feng. It’s 1986 and a ten-year-old girl lives in a small Chinese village with her grandparents. Her parents left for the opportunities in America years ago. Now her father promises to pick her up and take her to America by her 12th birthday. The little girl is determined to stay. And what she doesn’t know is that her parents are estranged, burdened by demons from their past. Can one family, with an ocean between them, start anew without losing themselves –or each other? Jean Kwok calls this novel, “A beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration, and most of all, love.”
“Body Facts” (Diode Editions) by Jody Kim. These poems tell the story of a voice that is Korean, American, woman and body. It weaves together Korean history and aesthetics, the speaker’s childhood and family stories, US foreign policy with North Korea, and the things we do and shouldn’t do to our bodies.
“Made In Korea” (Simon & Schuster) by Sarah Suk. A “rom-com” novel debut depicts two entrepreneurial teens who butt heads – and maybe fall in love- while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
“At The End Of The Matinee” (Amazon Crossing) by Keiichiro Hirano as translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. Billed as a love story and psychological thriller, this novel traces the years long relationship between a concert guitarist and a journalist and examines whether the relationship will endure and perhaps blossom into something deeper.
Burying the Mountain (Copper Canyon) by Shangyang Fang. Deeply immersed in the music of ancient Chinese poetry, Fang’s debut alloys political erasure, exile, remembrance, and death into a single brushstroke on the silk scroll, where our names are forgotten as paper boats on water.
“Finding Junie Kim” (Harper) by Ellen Oh. A young adult novel about a Korean American girl who tries to fit in at school by not sticking out. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, she must make a decision. When a teacher assigns an oral history project, Junie decides to interview her grandparents about the Korean war and her world changes.
“Like a Dandelion”(Balzer + Bray) written and illustrated by Huy Voun Lee. This is a poetic tribute to immigrants and refugees, inspired by the author’s childhood experiences of moving to the United States from Cambodia. Like the feathery seeds of the dandelion we all fly away and take root in another place.
“Never Have I Ever” (Small Beer Press) by Isabel Yap is a collection of powerful short stories of speculative fiction/fantasy that explores themes ranging from monstrousness, shared trauma, systemic violence, friendship and the ambiguity of love.
“A Pho Love Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Loan Le is a romantic YA rom-com in which two Vietnamese American teens must navigate their new found love amid their family’s age-old feud about their competing pho restaurants.
“If I Were A Tree” (Lee & Low) by Andrea Zimmerman as imaginatively illustrated by local artist Jin Jing Tsong. This picture book traces two siblings journey into the woods and how they use the five senses to explore the natural world. Tsong’s kaleidoscopic art makes the wooded world come to life and illuminates the author’s poetic ode to trees.
“Death Fugue” (Restless) by Sheng Keyi as translated by Shelly Bryant. This novel is a dystopian allegory of the Tiananmen Square massacre and banned in China. In this book, the author questions the role of art after an act of atrocity.
“When Father Comes Home” (Orchard) is written and illustrated by Sarah Jung. June’s father is like a goose: he flies away for long periods of time so when he comes home, it’s a special occasion. This picture book turns the story of migrant fathers who work abroad in hopes of widening the field of opportunity for their children into a heart-warming, reflective tale.
“The Intimacies of Conflict – Cultural Memory and The Korean War” (NYU) by Daniel Y. Kim. The author delves into novels, films and photos to reconstruct memories of war and what it means to Koreans, Asian Americans and people of color
“The Tangle Root Palace” (Tachyon) by Marjorie Liu (“Monstress”} is her debut collection of dark, lush and spellbinding fantasy fiction. It’s full of thorny tales of love, revenge and new beginnings.
“Pop Song – Adventures in Art and Intimacy” (Catapult) by Larissa Pham. This is a memoir that plumbs the well of culture for clues and patterns about love and loss from paintings to travel, and sex and drugs before the author turns the gaze upon herself.
“Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, And Identity” (Penguin Random House) by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi. Two 17 year old girls (a Chinese American and an Indian American) take a year off after high school and travel the country asking Americans how race has impacted their lives. Out of 500 stories, they edited it down to 115 for this anthology.
Inspired by the Peabody Award-winning podcast, “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” (Walker) by Sheila Chari is a young adult thriller. As kids are disappearing one by one from a middle school and their parents don’t seem to care, Mars Patel and his crew go on a desperate search for answers.
“Mapping Abundance For a Planetary Future- Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai’i” (Duke) by Candance Fujikane. Fujikane criticizes settler colonial cartographies that diminish life and instead highlights the all encompassing voices of Hawaiian communities and their perspective of abundant healing and protection for the land.
“All You Knead Is Love” (FSG)by Tanya Guerrero. When a 12 year old girl must leave her mother to live with her grandmother in Barcelona, she feels estranged. But then she grows to love that city that her mother once called home. She connects with her Spanish roots, becomes close with her Filipino grandmother and discovers a passion and talent for baking bread. When her favorite bakery is in trouble, she learns what she can do to help.
“Folklorn: A Novel” (Erewhon) by Angela Mi Young tackles complex issues about mythology, science, generational trauma and identity. It follows a Korean American physicist in the Antarctic who must return to her childhood home in California to deal with mental illness that runs through her family. It explores the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.
International bestseller “Kim Jiyong, Born 1982” (Liveright) by Cho Nam-Joo as translated by Jamie Chang is now available in a paperback edition. It follows one Korean millennial “everywoman” as she descends into a psychic deterioration in the face of a rigid misogyny. A rallying cry of feminism and gender that resonated with women all over Korea.
“I Am A Bird” (Candlewick) by Hope Lim as illustrated by Hyewon Yum. When a little girl goes on her morning bike ride with her dad, she imitates the sounds of birds. But when she sees a strange woman with a stern demeanor and a mysterious bag, she becomes frightened. A children’s book that encourages readers to embrace over similarities rather then letting our differences divide us.
“Planet Omar Incredible Rescue Mission” (Putnam) by Zanib Mian as illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik. Omar is excited about his first trip to Pakistan but then tragedy strikes. His favorite teacher goes missing. Could his teacher been abducted by aliens? Omar investigates. Will creative thinking and a galactic spirit of adventure help solve this young adult mystery?
“Much Ado About Baseball” (Yellow Jacket/Little Bee) by Rajani LaRocca. When Trish finds herself on the same summer baseball team as Ben, her math competition rival, two people must set aside their animosity and join together to help their team win. Will solving a math puzzle help the team succeed? Trish and Ben think so.
“The Unicorn Rescue Society – The Secret of the Himalayas (Dutton) by Adam Gidwitz & Hena Khan is a continuation of the New york Times bestselling young adult series about the juvenile members of this group who travel to the rugged mountains of Pakistan to rescue a unicorn.
“The Elephant Doctor of India” (Chicago Review Press) by Janie Chodosh. When a young elephant touching a sagging electric line in Assam, India gets stuck in the mud, there is only one person to call – Dr. Sarma, the elephant doctor. Chodosh spends time with the doctor and reveals to young readers what this unique veterinarian does for the elephants he encounters.
“Kudo Kids – The Mystery in Manhattan” (Razorbill) by Maia and Alex Shibutani. This brother & sister Olympic ice skating pair have turned their hands at writing young adult novels. The Kudo Kids come to New York to see the sights but when a dress from their fashion designer auntie’s collection goes missing, they end up in a chase around the city to nab the culprit.
“Tokyo Before Tokyo – Power and Magic in the City of Edo” (Reaktion) by Timon Screech. A beautifully illustrated volume on how the new capitol of Japan was formed set in the broader context of Japan’s cultural history and its extensive ties to China and Europe.
“From Little Tokyo With Love” (Viking) by Sarah Kuhn. Rika is an adopted bi-racial girl with formidable judo skills and a fiery temper. When she hears rumors in her neighborhood that her real mother is not only alive but a Hollywood movie star, she goes on a quest to find her. Accompanied by actor friend Hank, she must make some big decisions that could change the direction in her own life.
“Dial A for Aunties” (Berkley) by Jesse Q. Sutanto. In this rom-com/murder mystery mash-up of mistaken identity and sisterhood, a wedding photographer enlists the aid of her mother and her sisters in hiding the dead body of her blind date while attempting to pull off an opulent wedding for a billionaire client.
“Kalamata’s Kitchen” (Random House) by Sarah Thomas and illustrated by Jo Kosmides Edwards. Kalamata and her alligator pet take kids on food adventures around the world without ever leaving your table. In this episode she is anxious about her first day at a new school but she remembers how to feel brave when new experiences seem scary, reflecting on her visit to an Indian spice market last summer. And then without realizing it, young readers learn how to make dal, a spicy Indian lentil stew.
“Korean War Comic Books” (McFarland) by Leonard Rifas. Comic books have presented fictional and fact-based stories of the Korean War, as it was being fought and afterward. Comparing these comics with events that inspired them offers a deeper understanding of the comics industry, America’s “forgotten war” and the anti-comics movement. This book examines the dramatization of events and issues, including the war’s origins, germ warfare, brainwashing, Cold War espionage, the nuclear threat, African Americans in the military, mistreatment of POWS and atrocities.
“Renegade Flight” (Razorbill) by Andrea Tang. In this YA fantasy adventure, a young pilot-in-training is grounded when found cheating on an entrance exam. Eager to re-join, she competes in a combat tournament to regain entry only to find she must battle a strangely attractive nemesis.
“Daddy’s Love For Me” (Mascot) by Sarah and JoAnn Jung as illustrated by Chiara Civati. A daughter feels resentment towards her overworked dad when he has no time to spend with her and show his love. When she overhears a conversation between her parents, she realizes how wrong she was.
“Counting Down With You” (Inkyard) by Tashie Bhuiyan. A reserved Bangladeshi teenage girl looks forward to a restful break when her demanding parents go abroad. Instead, she is roped into tutoring the school’s resident bad boy and then talked into a fake-dating façade. But then her life changes as the days go by and the two get to know each other.
“Dumplings for Lili” (Norton) written and illustrated by Melissa Iwai is a delightful tale of a young girl’s cooking with her grandmother and how it leads to borrowing ingredients and
“Nina Soni, Sister Fixer” (Peachtree) by Kashmira Sheth as illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky. This continuing series on the adventures of a young Indian American girl who looks for a new project while at the same time getting aggravated by her little sister’s behavior. Maybe there is a way to solve both issues at the same time?
“Fatima’s Great Outdoors” (Kokila) by Ambreen Tariq as illustrated by Stevie Lewis. This picture book is a celebration of an immigrant family’s first outdoor camping trip and how it brings them all together for once inside one big tent under a canopy of stars.
“Last Night At The Telegraph Club” (Dutton) by Malinda Lo. It’s 1954 and red-scare paranoia spreads across “cold war” America. Not the safest place for two teenage girls to fall in love. With deportation looming over her father, a Chinese American girl must risk it all to let her love for another see the light of day.
“Queen of Ice” (Duckbill) by Devika Rangachari. This young adult historic novel delves into the turbulent history of tenth-century Kashmir and Didda, princess of Lohara who learns how to hold her own in a court ridden with factions and conspiracies.
“All of Me” (HarperCollins) by Venita Coelho. What happens to a child locked into a basement so long that he develops a personality fracturing into many characters that become his family?
“Foreign Bodies” (Norton) by Kimiko Hahn. Inspired by her encounter with the Jackson Collection of ingested curiosities at the Mutter Museum, this poet investigates the grip that seemingly insignificant objects have on our lives.
“Black Water Sister” (ACE) by Zen Cho. A modern fantasy tale of ghosts, gods and the eternal bonds of family ties in the setting of modern-day Malaysia. A young woman returns to Penang and reunites with her extended family while at the same time navigating a world of spirits and gangsters.
“Leave Society” (Vintage) is Tao Lin’s first work of fiction since 2013. It follows a thirty-year-old novelist living part-time with his parents in Taiwan and part-time in New York who grows increasingly alienated from friends and community back in the U.S. As he rotates between places, the novel chronicles his growth as son, writer and misfit.
“The Henna Wars” (Page Street Kids) by Adiba Jaigirdar. This romcom about two teen girls with rival henna businesses who find despite their competition, they have to come to terms with a realization of the affection they have for each other.
“In the Watchful City” (TorDotCom) by S. Qiouy Lu. An unforgettable futuristic tale in a secondary world that feels familiar in essence, and that centers trans, nonbinary, queer, mentally ill and Chinese-coded identities. It asks the eternal question, “What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?”
“The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void” (Nightboat Books) by Jackie Wang. These poems emphasize the social dimensions of dreams, particularly the use of dreams to index historical trauma and social processes.
“Clues to the Universe” (Quill Tree) is the Young Adult debut novel by Chrsitina Li. What do an aspiring young rocket scientist reeling from her father’s death and an artistic boy who loves superheroes and comic books have in common? When the two become science class partners, they embark on an adventure and discover themselves while banding together to confront bullying, grief and their own differences.
“Love Without A Storm” (Blood Axe Books) by Arundhathi Subramaniam is filled with poems that celebrate an expanding kinship: of passion and friendship, mythic quest and modern day longing, in a world animated by dialogue and dissent, delirium and silence.
“Heiress Apparently” (Abrams) by Diana Ma is the first book in an epic, romantic young adult series following the fictionalized descendants of the only officially recognized regent of China. When a young Chinese American woman from Illinois embarks on an acting career in Los Angeles having abandoned plans for college – things turn strange. When she gets a role in “M. Butterfly” shooting in Beijing, she uncovers a royal Chinese legacy in her family her parents would rather she never knew.
“Catcalling” (Open Letter) is a book of poems by Lee Soho. This poet is part of the new wave of innovative feminist and queer poetry appearing in South Korea today.
“Terminal Boredom – Stories” (Verso) by Izumi Suzuki. This book of short stories introduces readers to a cult figure in Japanese literature who takes a unique slant on science fiction and concerns about technology, gender and imperialism.
“Forty Two Greens – Poems of Chonggi Mah” (Forsythia) as translated by Youngshil Cho. Winner of the Korean Literary Award, this poet’s search for the infinite in nature illuminates moments of beauty in the subconscious.
“Experiments in Skin – Race And Beauty In The Shadows of Vietnam” (Duke) by Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu. The author examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty.
“Yolk” (Simon & Schuster) by Mary H. K. Choi. Two Korean sisters once thick as thieves now can’t stand the sight of each other. But when one gets cancer, the other becomes the only one who can help her. Bound together by family secrets and sickness, will these sisters learn more than they’re willing to confront?
“Beyond Line: The Art of Korean Writing” (LACMA/Prestel) by Stephen Little and Virginia Moon is the exhibition catalog for a major show that illuminates the restrained beauty strength and flexibility of Korean calligraphy. It is the first exhibition held outside Asia to focus on the history of writing and calligraphy in Korea.
“A Sky Beyond The Storm” (Razorbill) is the finale to the popular “Ember in the Ashes” series by Sabaa Tahir. This fantasy series finds the soul catcher must look beyond the borders of his land and take on a mission that could save or destroy – all that he holds dear.
“The Surprising Power of a Dumpling” (Scholastic) by Wai Chin. A teenage girl balances looking after her siblings, working in her dad’s restaurant and taking care of a mother suffering from a debilitating mental illness. A deep true-to-life exploration through the complex crevices of culture, mental illness and family.
“The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World” (Overlook) by Laura Imai Messina. A Japanese woman loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami. When she hears of a phone booth where people come to speak to departed loved ones, she makes a pilgrimage there only to find her grief won’t allow her to pick up the phone. A novel based on a true story.
“Taking On The Plastics Crisis” (Penguin Workshop) by Hannah Testa is part of the “Pocket Change Collective” series. It’s a handy guide on how we can all reduce our use of plastics that clog our beaches, oceans and landfill..
“Ten – A Soccer Story” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Shamini Flint. A good half-Indian girl in 1980’s Malaysia isn’t supposed to play a “boys” sport but Maya is all game as she achieves her goals while placating a bossy Indian grandmother and holding together a mixed race family on the verge of drifting apart. A young adult novel that will inspire.
“The Secret Talker” (HarperVia), a novel by Geling Yan as translated by Jeremy Tiang. Hongmei and Glen seem to have the perfect idyll life in the Bay Area even though their marriage is falling apart. When a secret admirer contacts Hongwei on the internet, his flirting turns into an obsession.
“The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa” (Modern Library) won the Pen Award for “Poetry in Translation” for translator/poet Sawako Nakayasu. Now it’s brought back in print in the new Modern Library Torchbearers Series that highlights women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity and a spirit of resistance. Sagawa was a turn-of-the-century daringly experimental voice in Tokyo’s avant-garde poetry scene. Her life was cut short by cancer at the age of 24 but the words she left behind linger on.
“CURB” (Nightboat) is a new collection of poems by Divya Victor. This book documents how immigrants and Americans both, navigate the liminal sites of everyday living, ripped by violence and paved over with possibilities of belonging.
“Ichiro” (Etch) by Ryan Inzana was a Will Eisner Award nominee, received the Asian/Pacific American Award and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. This graphic novel tells the story of a boy raised by his Japanese mother in Brooklyn who grows up idolizing his American father he never knew who was killed in combat. When he is forced to go to Japan with his mother who is on a work trip, he is left with a grandfather, a stranger to him in a country he doesn’t know. When he finds himself a fugitive in a land of mythic gods, he must figure out who he is and how he can escape.
“Séance Tea Party” (RH Graphic) by Reimena Yee. A lonely girl meets a ghost who haunts her home and finds a new friend. But what happens as the girl grows older and the ghost stays the same age?
“Nina Soni, Master of The Garden” (Peachtree) by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky. This young adult series about an Indian American fourth grader finds her working on a garden project with her siblings supervised by their landscape architect mom. What they hadn’t counted on was the unpredictability of mother nature. Can Nina Soni help this garden survive?
“Constellation Route” (Alice James) by Matthew Olzmann This new book of poems (due out March, 2022) by this mixed-race poet uses the form of the letter to explain issues related to contemporary American society. The book is a metaphysical tribute to both the Post Office and the act of letter writing as a way to understand and create meaningful connections with the world at large.
Mindy Kim, Class President” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee is part of a series of books on the adventures of a teenage Korean American girl. In this story, she decides to run for class president but first she must overcome her fear of public speaking.
“The Truffle Eye” (Zephyr) by Vann Nguyen is the debut collection of poems by this Vietnamese-Israeli poet as translated by Adriana X. Jacobs. In it she tackles questions of identity and cultural legacy from points of emotion and shock.
“Flowering Tales – Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan” (Columbia University Press) by Takeshi Watanabe. This is the first extensive study of this historical Japanese tale. It unravels 150 years of happenings in Heian era society penned by female writers.
“Pippa Park Raises Her Game” (Fabled Films Press) by Erin Yun. This loose reimaging of “Great Expectations” follows a young Korean American girl learning to navigate her new life at an elite private school in this young adult novel.
“Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From” (Wave) is a new book by Sawako Nakayasu, an artist working with language, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She, alone is responsible for introducing a wide variety of modern Japanese poets to English readers throughout the years with her fresh and skillful translations. This new volume is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry.
“A Taste for Love” (Razorbill) by Jennifer Yen. When a rebellious teenage girl agrees to help her mom’s bakery stage a junior competition, she soon realizes it’s a setup. All of the contestants are young Asian American men her mom has handpicked for her to date. What can she do?
“That Was Now, This Is Then” (Greywolf Press) is the first new collection from Paris Review Editor Vijay Seshadri since his 2014 Pulitzer Prizewinning book, “3 Sections.” Rosanna Warren says of this new book, “These are poems of lacerating self-awareness and stoic compassion. It is a book we need, right now.”
“Midsummer’s Mayhem” (Yellow Jacket) by Rajani LaRocca. When her dad , a renowed food writer loses his sense of taste, it puts a damper on this eleven-year old girl’s dream of becoming a baker and winning a cooking contest. When she meets a boy in the forest, he teaches her about new natural ingredients. Will the everyday magic of baking give her the courage she needs to save her father?
“Every Reason We Shouldn’t” (Tor Teen) by Sara Fujimura. When a teenage girl’s Olympic figure skater dreams fade, she meets a young man at her family’s rink who’s driven to get to the Olympics in speed skating. As a rivalry develops, so does a romance.
“My Name Will Grow Wide Like A Tree” (Greywolf) by Yi Lei and translated from the Chinese by Changtai Bi and Tracy K. Smith. Yiyun Li says of this book, “Yi Lei, one of China’s most original and independent poets, documents not only Chinese history in the past four decades, but also more importantly a woman’s private history of rebellion and residence.”
“Disappear Doppelganger Disappear” (Little A) is by the author of “The Hundred-Year Flood”, Matthew Salesses. Laura Van den Berg writes “How to live in a world that refuses to see you? Matt Kim’s intoxicating battle with his mysterious doppelganger moves him deeper and deeper into the vast and urgent sea of this question – and towards a possible answer. Inventive and profound, mordantly hilarious and wildly moving.”
“The Boys in the Back Row” (Levine Querido) by Mike Jung. When band geeks, comic nerds and best friends Eric and Matt tire of being bullied by racist comments and being called “gay”, they hatch a plan to meet a famous comic book artist during regional marching competition but an enemy has other ideas.
“The Girl Who Stole an Elephant” (Peachtree) by Nizrana Farook. Deep adventures in the Sri Lankan jungle await young readers as a nobleman’s rebellious daughter steals the queen’s jewelry and makes her escape on the king’s elephant. How will things turn out in the end?
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island” (Coffee House) by Jamie Marina Lau. In her debut novel, shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Stella Prize, old hazy vignettes conjure a multi-faceted world of philosophical angst and lackadaisical violence. A teenage girl drifts through a monotonous existence in a Chinatown apartment until her dad and boyfriend plot a dubious enterprise that requires her involvement.
“Sachiko” (Columbia University Press) by Endo Shusaku as translated by Van C. Gessel. This novel tells the story of two young Japanese Christians in Nagasaki trying to find love in the painful war-time years between 1930 and 1945.
“Kimono Culture – The Beauty of Chiso” (Worchester Art Museum) by Vivian Li and Christine D. Starkman tells the story of a Kyoto-based draper that is one of the oldest and most prestigious kimono makers in Japan today.
“Anna K – A Love Story” (Flatiron Books) by Jenny Lee. A re-imaging of “Anna Karenina”. This time in the persona of a teenage Korean American girl in Manhattan.
“Bestiary” (One World) by K-Ming Chang. This debut novel brings myth to life, revealing layer by layer origin stories of what becomes of women and girls who carry the spirits of beasts within.
“Land of Big Numbers” (Mariner) by Te-Ping Chen. This debut story collection depicts the diverse people of China, their government and how it has tumbled into the present. The author is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
“Other Moons – Vietnamese Short Stories of the American War and Its Aftermath” (Columbia University Press) translated and edited by Quan Manh Ha and Joseph Babcock. In this anthology, Vietnamese writers describe their experience of what they call the American war and its lasting legacy through the lens of their own vital artistic visions.
“Everything I Thought I Knew” (Candlewick) by Shannon Takaoka. A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor when odd things begin to happen. As she searches for answers, what she learns will lead her to question everything she assumed she knew.
“New Deal Art In The Northwest – The WPA And Beyond” (UW) by Margaret Bullock. This book tells the story of hundreds of Northwest artists employed by the U.S. Federal government under the WPA Project and also serves as the catalog for an accompanying exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum. Includes work by Kamekichi Tokita, Kenjiro Nomura and Fay Chong.
“Goat Days” (Seagull Books) by Benyamin as translated by Joseph Koyippally. A poor young man in Southern India dreams of getting a job in a Persian Gulf country so he can earn enough money to send to his family back home. When his wish becomes reality, things don’t turn out as planned and he is locked into a slave-like existence herding goats in the desert. Circumstances force him to conceive of a hazardous scheme to escape his life of loneliness and alienation. But will it be enough?
“Last Tang Standing” (Putnam) by Lauren Ho. “Crazy Rich Asians” meets “Bridget Jones” in this funny debut novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact and opening one’s self up to love.
“AN I NOVEL” (Columbia) by Minae Mizumura as translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. This novel focuses on a single day of a Japanese expatriate in America as she reflects on her life in this country and why she wants to return to Japan to become a writer and write again in Japanese.
“My First Book of Haiku Poems – A Picture, A Poem And A Dream – Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters” (Tuttle) by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup. Classic Japanese haiku imaginatively illustrated with bilingual English and Japanese text. Each poem comes with questions for the young reader to think about.
“Sacrificial Metal” (Conduit Books & Ephemera) by Esther Lee. It won the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. Sean Dorsey writes that the book “dances with astute curiosity and deep tenderness across the shifting grounds of grief, touch, bearing witness, memory, and our obstinate human instinct for future planning. With great compassion, Lee’s poems remind us that everything human eventually unravels…”
“Forbidden Memory – Tibet During the Cultural Revolution” (Potomac) by Tsering Dorje. Edited by Robert Barnett and translated by Susan T. Chen. The author uses eyewitness accounts with expert analysis to tell the story of how Tibet was shaken by foreign invasion and cultural obliteration. This book is a long-overdue reckoning of China’s role in Tibet’s tragic past.
“Paper Bells” (The Song Cave) by Phan Nhien Hao and translated by Hai-Dang Phan is a new volume of poems by a poet shaped by the Vietnam War, forced to re-start a life as a teenager in the U.S. His poems bear witness to a delicate balance between two countries and cultures.
“So This Is Love: a Twisted Tale” (Disney) by Elizabeth Lim. A young adult re-telling of the Cinderella story. In this one, Cinderella leaves the house where she works and gets a job as the palace seamstress. Here she becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to overthrow the king. Can she find a way to save the kingdom?
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M. L. Gold and N. V. Fong as illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from a big sister’s point of view, this picture book makes the complicated adoption process clear for the youngest readers and the colorful art shows how many different kinds of families there can be.
“Butterfly Sleep” (Tupelo) by Kim Kyung Ju as translated by Jake Levine is a historical drama based in the early Joson Dynasty. With a mixture of magic realism and dark humor, he tells an existentialist allegory of Korean’s rapid development. This play is a modern fable of a rapidly changing country that must confront its ghosts.
“Lion Boys and Fan Girls” (Epigram) by Pauline Loh looks at teenage boys who make a pledge to ban dating and focus on lion dancing. But they must contend with unusual girls and cyberbullying. The rich culture of Singapore and the fascinating history of lion dance make this a compelling young adult read.
“Eat A Bowl of Tea” (UW) by Louis Chu is a classic influential novel that captured the tone and sensibility of everyday life in an American Chinatown. This new edition comes with a foreword by Fae Myenne Ng and an introduction by Jeffrey Paul Chan.
Set in a New England town where accusations led to the Salem witch trials, Quan Berry’s novel “We Ride Upon Sticks” (Pantheon) looks at a 1980’s girls field hockey team who flaunt society’s notions of femininity in order to find their true selves and lasting friendship.
“People From My Neighborhood – Stories” (Soft Skull) by Hiromi Kawakami and translated by Ted Goossen. From the author of the internationally bestselling “Strange Weather in Tokyo”, this new book is a collection of interlinking stories that masterfully blend the mundane and the mythical. In these people’s lives, details of the local and everyday slip into accounts of duels, prophetic dreams, revolutions and visitations from ghosts and gods. Here is a universe ruled by mystery and transformation.
“A Bond Undone” (St. Martin’s Griffin) by Jin Yong is the second volume of “Legends of The Condor Heroes”, one of Asia’s most popular martial arts novels. Translated by Gigi Chang.
“Taiwan In Dynamic Transition – Nation Building And Democratization” (UW) edited by Ryan Dunch and Ashley Esarey. This book provides an up-to-date assessment of contemporary Taiwan highlighting that country’s emergent nationhood and its significance for world politics.
“The Journey of Liu Xiabao – From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate” (Potomac) edited by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Yu Zhang, Jie Li and Tienchi Martin-Liao. Liu Xiabao was more than a dissident poet and this collection of essays capture the intellectual and activist spirit of this late literary critic and democracy icon.
“Harris Bin Potter And The Stoned Philosopher” (Epigram) by Suffian Hakim. This young Singapore-based writer’s parody of Harry Potter bases the story in Malaysia and seasons it with local and pop cultural references.
“Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee and illustrated by Dung Ho. Mindy is excited to go to the annual lunar new year parade but things don’t go as planned. Can she still find a way to celebrate?
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M.L. Gold and N.V. Fong and illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from the view of an eager older sister, this is an endearing story about adoption from an often-neglected point of view.
“Grievance is Their Sword, Subterfuge Is Their Shield” (OkeyDokeySmokeyPokey Publishing) in the words of former IE staff person Thomas R. Brierly is “an intersectional persuasion to elucidate and educate on matters of race, violence, white supremacy and the United States’ adherence to brutal capitalism…”. Go to vvovnn.bigcartel.com to order.
News & Information
The 2021-2022 Heritage Arts Apprenticeship pairs have been chosen by Humanities Washington. These sixteen teams of artists and craftspeople chosen by the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions will help preserve traditional skills for our future. Through the program, a skilled and experienced master artist will mentor an apprentice in a one-on-one program throughout the year. Some participants include the following – Kagura (Sacred Japanese Dance) master Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki will mentor Gabrrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor. North Indian regional folk music specialist Srivani Jade will mentor Vibhuti Kavishwar. South Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam will be taught by Sandhya Kandadal Rajagopal to Dhanshika Vijayaraj. Tai Tu music which is South Vietnamese folk music will be taught by Sinae Joy Chek to Siyeon Park. Madhubani painting is one of the most ancient visual art styles in the world, originating in the prehistoric Kingdom of Mithila India. It will be taught by Deepti Agrawal to Harini Ihiagarajan. Lao food ways are a vital part of preserving Lao culture and building a positive relationship with one’s heritage. It will be taught by Phoukham Kelly Bounkeua to Kitana Ludwig. For more information on this program and the artists and craftspeople chosen, contact the Washington Cultural Traditions at waculture.org.
The University of Washington Press issues a call for writers working on a manuscript or new book proposal. The editors at this local press want to connect with current and prospective authors about new projects and book proposals. They invite writers to contact them by email to set up a meeting by phone or zoom. If interested, contact Executive Editor Lorri Hagman at [email protected].
The Readings & Workshops program at Poets & Writers has funds to provide mini-grants to pay poets, fiction writers and creative non-fiction writers to give readings throughout King County between now and June 30, 2022. Deadline is six weeks prior to any event. Email [email protected] for more information.