“My Shadow Is A Word Writing Itself Across Time” by Gazelle Samizay is a video installation using poetry and sweeping landscape imagery. The artist draws connections between her experience as a Muslim American from Afghanistan and the wrongfully imprisoned Japanese Americans during WWII. On view now at 4 Culture’s E4C Media Screens. 101 Prefontaine Place South. 206-296-7580.
Davidson Galleries presents “International Wood Engraving Invitational” through Dec. 30, 2017. Includes work by Atsushi Matsuoka, Lynn Ward and many others. An “International Mezzotint Invitational” comes in January. 313 Occidental Ave. S. Go to www.davidsongalleries.com for details. “The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection” is the title of a museum-wide show of artworks that have entered the Henry’s contemporary collection during the last two decades. More than half the work here is being shown for the first time. Upper level galleries remain up until April 22. Lower level galleries will be on view until March 25, 2018. 206-543-2280 or email [email protected]
Patricia Rovzar Gallery celebrates 25 years with a special “Celebrate Art” group exhibition in which she has asked each artist in the gallery to create something new that reflects on her silver anniversary. Works by Z. Z. Wei and Kensuke Yamada are included. On view through Dec. 31, 2017. 1111 First Ave. in downtown Seattle. 206-223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park hosts a series of winter programs for all ages that bring together art, the environment and the winter season. “Winter in the Parks” programs run from January to March including Kids Saturdays (with artist Romson Bustillo) and Art Encounters featuring an artist-in-residence. For details, try seattleartmuseum.org/lights.
Seattle Art Museum presents a new series for SAM members entitled “Conversations With Curators” from January – June 2018. All lectures start at 7pm in the Auditorium with a Happy Hour starting at 6:30pm. Some highlights include Deputy Director/Curator of European Painting and Sculpture Chiyo Ishikawa talking about “Shipwreck Off The Coast Of Alaska: A New Acquisition” on Jan. 17. June 20 brings Foong Ping, Curator of Chinese Art together with Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art talking about “Transforming An Icon: Behind-The-Scenes At The Seattle Asian Art Museum.” You can buy tickets online at visitsam.org/conversations or call 206-654-3210 or stop by the Ticketing Desk at SAM. As part of SAM’s “Asia Talks” series at 9am, check out the following. Azeen Ibrahim, senior fellow at the Centre for Global Policy will address the topic of “Rohingya: The World’s Most Persecuted Minority” on Jan. 24. Photographer Ahn Jun from South Korea talks about her aerial views in her work entitled “Ahn Jun On the Verge” on Jan. 31, 2018. March 29 will be “Kashmir Shawls of the West”. April 17 will address “Islamic Architecture of Deccan India”. April 26 will feature the topic of “The Social Life of Ink Stones.” The Gardner’s Saturday University Lecture Series has the following – “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia” looks at different boundaries in Asia and how they affect people and cultures. Jan. 27 topic is “The Indus Basin And the Creation of Pakistan”. Feb. 3 is “DMZ Crossings.” Feb. 10 is “Photography in Duerte’s Drug War.” Feb. 17 is “Racism, Vulgar and Polite. March 2 is “Caste & Sexual Politics in South India.”The museum also has the following exhibition planned for the fall. “Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India” set for Oct. 18, 2018 – Jan. 21, 2019. 1300 First Ave. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery opens the new year with “Carina del Rosario: Passports Series”, an ongoing series by the artist in which she asks people to create their own identity papers by “using their own words to describe the most important parts of themselves.” This artist/photographer lets people determine their own identities instead of being categorized by institutions, governments and others. Opens Jan. 2 – Feb. 1, 2018. On the campus of Seattle Central Community College. 1701 Broadway. 206-934-4379 or go to seattlecentral.edu/artgallery.
Jun Ahn likes heights. The South Korean photographer shoots from tall buildings and gets views that are eye-popping. Her show entitled “On the Verge” is on view Jan. 8 – March 24 at Photographic Center Northwest at 900 12th Ave. 206-720-7222 or go to pcnw.org. She also speaks about her work at Seattle Art Museum (see elsewhere in this calendar for the date.)
Zhi Lin’s artistic exploration of Chinese immigration and the Transcontinental Railroads is currently on view at Tacoma Art Museum. For his new work in the same vein, check out his show at Prographica/KDR Gallery. Jan. 4 – 27, 2018. 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-999-0849 or go to prographicadrawingscom.
A group show entitled “Existential Horror” in which artists anticipate the awful events of the year to come in their various media includes the work of Elaine Lin. Jan. 18 – Feb. 14, 2018. Push/Pull Gallery at 5484 Shilshole Ave. NW. 206-789-1710 or go to facebook.com/pushpullseattle.
“Revelation Road Trip” is a group show with the theme of coming back to Seattle after traveling. Mari Shibuya’s work is included. Through Jan. 4, 2018. AXIS Pioneer Square. 308 First Ave. S. 206-681-9316 or try axispioneersquare.com.
Columbia City Gallery has a group show in the Main Gallery through Jan. 7, 2018.. The work of Olivia Zapata (former IE layout person) is included. 4864 Rainier Ave. S. 206-760-9843 or columbiacitygallery.com.
“Ghost Gallery Retrospective” celebrates seven years on Capitol Hill with a closing group show. The work of Yoona Lee is included. Jan. 11 – 28th. 504 E. Denny Way. 206-832-6063 or try ghostgalleryshop.com.
A group show that focuses on birds includes the block prints on teabag papers by Fumi Matsumoto. Feb. 2 – 24, 2018. 176 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island. 206-842-2063 or try robykinggallery.com.
“In the Shadow of Olympus” is a group show that spans continents and includes work by artists in Japan and North America. Collaborating over skype, they create work addressing the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Includes work by local artists Junko Yamamoto and Paul Komada. March 1 – 30, 2018. SOIL at 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
A group show entitled “Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition” given out by Cornish College includes the work of Che Sehyun, Tuan Nguyen and many other distinguished local artists. Jan. 27 – Feb. 24, 2018. Studio e at 605 Brandon St. 206-762-3322 or try studioegallery.org.
It’s a match made in culinary/art heaven. Artist/photographer/writer Dean Wong often hangs out at Tai Tung Restaurant in the CID. Now the restaurant has returned the favor with an ongoing presentation of his iconic photographs entitled “Made In Chinatown USA.” Sit at the counter deep into your chow mein and looks at images of the neighborhood on the wall. 655 South King St. Ongoing.
“Searching for Home” is a site-specific installation by Humaira Abid featuring personal narratives, stories and portraits of refugees in the Northwest woven into socio-cultural themes of immigration, women and families. It is her first solo exhibition in the U.S. In her work, she tackles issues of culture, gender and relationships both in her Pakistani homeland and her adopted U.S. home. Now through March 25, 2018. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way N.E. Closed Mon. & Tues. Wed. – Sun. 11am – 5pm. Free Frist Fridays from 11am – 8pm. 425-519-0770.
Humaira Abid returns with new work that’s just in from Philadelphia entitled “My Shame” which looks at feminine shame and the issues it brings up. Feb. 1 – March 1, 2018. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Current show entitled “Color and Light: Marcio Diaz and Elaine Hanowell” is up unitl Jan. 27, 2018.
KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson features many small arts & crafts/textile shows and activities inspired by Asia or work by Asian American artists. 206-381-3000 or [email protected] or go to www.koboseattle.com. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following –“Pacific First” on view now through Nov. 30, 2018 looks at Pacific Islander artists who incorporate tradition while looking towards the future. “What’s In Your Cup? – Community Brewed Culture” is a new exhibit honoring the beverages that have given life to communities – from farmers and families who nurture the raw materials to friends & kin who bond over shared drinks. Hear histories of commerce, colonization and survival. Share tales from a Japanese family who brewed sake from Fukushima to Seattle, the Seko’s who ran the beloved Bush Garden, Carmel Laurino who pioneered the value of Filipino coffee, Lydia Lin who cultivated tea appreciation through her Seattle Best Tea and Koichi Kitazawa, a brew master at Starbucks. On view through Sept. 16, 2018. 206-623-5124×127 or email [email protected] for details.“Come Out and Play: Adventures in the Neighborhood” is a new show that remains on view through Jan. 7, 2018. This KidPLACE exhibit uncovers the many ways you can play right in our neighborhood. “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity. Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon. “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show now extended until April 23, 2018 . “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? Closes on Feb. 11, 2018. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
On view through July 15, 2018 is “Beauties and Talents: Art of Women in Japan” which features “women’s self-fashioning” including literature-inspired paintings, prints, kimono and lacquerware. In the on-going series entitled “Conversations with Curators”, a members only event – SAM’s Deputy Director and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture Chiyo Ishikawa gives a talk on Jan. 17 6:30pm – 8pm. Ahn Jun is a South Korean photographer known for her fearless, exhilarating self-portraits that depict her dangling off the precipices of tall buildings. The city below, above and around her becomes an intimate partner in this aerial dance between danger, discovery and self-exploration. The bustling streets of Seoul, Hong Kong and New York, her urban canvas. She addresses this work in the Gardner Center Series, “Asia Talks” on Jan. 31, 2018 at 10am in a talk entitled “Ahn Jun: On the Verge”. Seattle Art Museum is at 1300 First Ave. downtown. 206-654-3100.
Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has the following – Opening Oct. 14, 2017 is the elegant and diverse designs and stories found in the jewelry of Seattle metalsmith Nadine Kariya in a show entitled “Nadine Kariya: The Hammer and the Peony”. The show remains up until Feb. 1, 2018. 550 Winslow Way E. 206-451-4013 or go to biartmuseum.org. Free admission. Open daily from 10am – 6pm.
“Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” opens May 13, 2017 and stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Roger Shimomura, Joseph Park, Alan Lau and many others. “In Search of the Lost History of Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroads” is the title of a new exhibition by UW Professor and internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin who looks at the thousands of Chinese men who came to America to work on the railroads and mine for gold. He travelled extensively to historic sites and painted at these locations to evoke the contributions of Chinese to the history of the American west. This multi-media work on view through Feb. 4, 2018. Writer/Professor Shawn Wong of the UW English department has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalog. Other Free Third Thursday events include a community panel on immigration and exclusion on Feb. 15, 2018. This show up until Feb. 18, 2018. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected] or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Dr. Jeannie Kenmotsu has been appointed as the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at Portland Art Museum. The museum’s Japanese print collection is extensive. Kenmotsu will research, interpret and organize exhibitions of the museum’s outstanding collection of more than 2,700 traditional an contemporary Japanese prints. She has a ph.D in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first exhibition “Craftsmanship And Wit: Modern Japanese Prints from the Collection of Carol and Seymour Haber” is now on view. In related news, the museum has received a 2017 Museums for America Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize their entire Japanese print collection. 1219 Southwest Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or email [email protected]
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – Japanese American Life in Oregon” is an ongoing exhibit. “Tuna Canyon Detention Station Exhibition” remains on view through Jan. 7, 2018. This show tells the story of a little-known temporary detention facility set up during WWII in Southern California to hold enemy aliens considered risks to national security. Over 2000 Japanese, German, Italian and Japanese Peruvians were detained here. It has now been turned into a golf course. 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
Portland Japanese Garden collaborates with architect Kengo Kuma on the launch of a major expansion opening April 2, 2017. The Cultural Village expansion provides additional space and will enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture. Three new Japanese gardens will be added as part of this. The garden will host major art exhibitions this year with related lectures, demonstrations and activities “Mirrors of the Mind: The Noh Masks of Otsuki Koukun” is a display of hand-carved masks by a master artisan and elegant brocade costumes from the traditional silk looms of Orinasu-kan in Kyoto set for fall. Also in development is the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts & Culture which will offer classes in traditional garden arts such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. This opens to the public in 2018. For more information, go to japanesegarden.com.
On December 7, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, launching America into war. In Canada, this action resulted in the confiscation of nearly 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats by Canadian officials on the British Columbia coast, which were eventually sold off to canneries and other non-Japanese fishermen. The exhibition entitled “The Lost Fleet” looks at the world of Japanese Canadian fishermen in BC and how deep-seated racism played a major part in the seizure, and sale, of Japanese Canadian property and the internment of an entire people. Curator Duncan MacLeod states that “the history of Japanese Canadian fishermen is inextricably linked to the history of Vancouver. The city was a gateway in the Pacific for all immigrants looking to forge a brighter future for themselves.” The exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese Canadian built fishing vessels in its collection, made by model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. These models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. On view through March 25, 2018. Vancouver Maritime Museum at 1905 Ogden Avenue in Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC Canada. Open Tues. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm and Sundays from noon – 5pm. Also open late on Thursday nights until 8pm. Go to https://www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/exhibit/lost-fleet-exhibition for more details.
Vancouver Art Gallery. Nov. 9, 2017 – “Emptiness: Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan” pairs Emily Carr’s forest paintings and charcoal drawings with the founder of the New Art Movement in Hong Kong. Kwan’s early Hong Kong landscapes and zen paintings will be placed in dialogue with Carr’s Northwest landscapes. On view Dec. 15, 2017 – April 8, 2018. April 15, 2018 will feature an offsite installation by New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif which combines architecture with a strong contextual reference. Look for the current retrospective on the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago entitled “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” to make its West Coast debut Feb. 3 – May 6, 2018 (advance tickets for this show at murakami.vanartgallery.bc.ca).Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
“Hastings Park 1942” is the title of an installation in collaboration with performance artist Yoshie Bancroft. It is also the name of the assembly center where over 8,000 Japanese Canadians were incarcerated in East Vancouver before being sent to internment sites in the interior. The exhibit contains a performance piece titled “JAPANESE PROBLEM”. It invites an audience into a stall filled with the uncertainty of their next destination in order that they might get a feeling of what Japanese Canadians went through during the war. On view through Jan. 13, 2018. Nikkei National Museum. 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org
The Thatcher Gallery at the University of San Francisco presents a show entitled “South Asian Contemporary: Works On Paper From Bay Area Collectors” on view from Dec. 4 – Feb. 18, 2018. Borrowed from private collectors, this show presents recent works on paper from India and Pakistan. Includes internationally known artists rarely shown in the U.S. including Zarina Hashimi, Anita Dube and Viba Galotra. Curated by the USF MA in Museum Studies Curatorial Practice class. Located in the Gleeson Library-Geschke Center, the Thatcher Gallery at USF is free and open to the public from noon to 6pm daily. 2130 Fulton St. (at Cole). 415-422-5178 or go to www.usfca.edu/thatcher-gallery.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – “Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories” is on view through March 11, 2018. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry, textiles, Christian devotional statues, postwar genre and landscape paintings and contemporary works of this island nation fill this show. On going are two installations. In front of the museum is “Dragon Fortune” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi which meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design and pop art kids cartoons. In the lobby is “Collected Letters” by Liu Jianhua, a cutting edge installation of porcelain letters and fragments of Chinese characters suspended in mid-air. Opening Nov. 3, 2017 is “Couture Korea – Historical Korean Fashions and its modern Reinterpretations”. It is the first U.S. exhibition to consider Korean fashion as an expression of social and cultural values. Remains on view through Feb. 4, 2018. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park has the following – “Beyond the Surface: World-wide Embroidery Traditions” on view through March 25, 2018. “The Maori Portraits: Gottfiried Lindaver’s New Zealand” is on view through April 1, 2018. Thirty-one compelling historic portraits of men and women of esteem and rank at a time of great political, cultural and social change and complex intercultural exchange. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. 415-750-3600.
The San Jose Museum of Art presents a show entitled “The Propeller Group” set from Oct. 27 – March 25, 2018. This art collective based in Vietnam and L.A. takes on ambitious projects connected to Vietnam’s history and its paradoxical present through all media including film. 101 South Market. 408-271-6840.
The Berkeley Art Museum has the following – “Miyoko Ito/MATRIX 267” looks at the work of this Berkeley-born artist who made her name in Chicago and did paintings that explore both exterior and interior landscapes. Through Jan. 28, 2018. “Repentant Monk: Illusion and Disillusion in the Art of Chen Hongshou” is on view through Jan. 28, 2018. He was a major force in Chinese art of the late Ming and early Qing. His visually compelling work mirrored the turmoil of his times. 2155 Center St. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
“For-Site”, the non-profit art organization that helped set up and design Ai Weiwei’s installation on Alcatraz Island when he was under house arrest in China is back with another thought-provoking project. Entitled “Sanctuary”, it investigates the idea of a safe haven both physical and psychological. In this era of frenzied global migration and rising nationalism, the right to a safe haven is under threat. For “Sanctuary”, 36 artists from 21 different countries helped design contemporary rugs reflecting their idea of a sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic need for refuge, protection and sacred ground. The rugs were actualized in Lahore, Pakistan by skilled artisans. Includes work by Mona Hatoum, Ai Weiwei and many others. On view through March 11, 2018 at the Fort Mason Chapel in San Francisco. Free. Go to for-site.org for details.
Korean artist Lee Jae-Hyo is known for his immaculately formed, intricate sculptures that fuse the aesthetics and craft of art with the functionality of architecture. His work is on view at the Simyo Gallery. It will form the centerpiece for Design LA Art, a new venue for exhibiting modern furniture, accent décor, architectural objects and jewelry. Set for Jan. 11 – 14, 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center’s South Hall. 1201 South Figueroa St. For more information, email [email protected] or call 310-822-9145.
“Polished to Perfection: Japanese Cloisonne – From the Collection of Donald K. Gerber & Sueann E. Sherry” on view through Feb. 4, 2018. “Unexpected Light: Works by Young II Ahn” through Jan. 21, 2018. LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows – “Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Sao Paulo” is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. By looking at the work of Latin American artists the exhibit will show how ethnic communities, racial mixing and the concepts of homeland and cosmopolitanism inform the creativity and aesthetics of hybrid culture. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena is one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. It closed its 1924 building for more than a year for a seismic retrofit and a makeover of its galleries. The museum has now re-opened to the public with a new exhibition entitled “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century” which explores the influence of Western artists in the East. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. 626-449-2742 or email [email protected]
“Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West” on view through Jan. 28, 2018 at Honolulu Museum of Art looks at mid-20th century abstraction through its Asian American practitioners with a special focus on Hawai’i’s artists. It is the first museum exhibition to bring artists of the New York School with Asian American artists who lived and worked in New York in the 1940s and 50s. Besides the usual names like Guston, Motherwell, de Kooning, Rothko, Newman, Pollack et al., the viewer will see the work of artists like Ruth Asawa, Saburo Hasegawa, Isamu Noguchi, Satoru Abe, Isami Doi, Tadashi Sato, Tetsuo Ochikubo & others by their side. 900 South Beretania in Honolulu, Hawai’i. 808-532-8700 or email [email protected]
Denver Art Museum is planning a major exhibition from their collection entitled “Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion” which will look at cross-regional and cross-cultural influences in Asian art. The works come from over 20 countries and spans 2,000 years. The show opens Dec. 17, 2017 and remains on view through April 1, 2018. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. Call 720-865-5000 or go to www.denverartmuseum.org.
The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall has been undergoing renovation. It reopens on Oct. 14, 2017 with “Resound: Bells Of Ancient China” which examines the discovery in China’s Bronze Age, of a way to make bells that resonate at two different pitches.Go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
A look back and a reappraisal of the Vietnam War and American’s involvement in that conflict this year has renewed interest what with a PBS series and numerous books coming out. The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library joins in with their exhibition entitled “Vietnam War – 1945-1975” which is on view through April 22, 2018. 170 Central Park West. Go to nyhistory.org for details.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – On view through Jan. 21, 2018 is “After Darkness – Southeast Asian Art in The Wake of History.” Includes artists from Indonesia, Myanmar,and Vietnam. “In Focus: An Assembly of Gods” is on view through March 25, 2018. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
In the 16th century, four Japanese boys were sent to the princely and papal courts of Europe. It was the first global age of religion, commerce and politics. Photographer/architect Hiroshi Sugimoto looks at the sites these early Japanese youths saw and captures it in the exhibition entitled “Gates of Paradise.” The show pairs Sugimoto’s pristine photographs of European art with traditional Japanese artworks. Part 2 is on view from Nov. 21, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018. At The Japan Society. 333 E. 47th St. 212-715-1258 or go to japansociety.org.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has the following –
“Beyond Angkor: Cambodian Sculpture from Banteay Chhmar” is a show that references the “second citadel” built by King Jayavaman as a second political and religious center about 70 miles northwest of Ankor. On loan from the National Museum of Cambodia will be a section of the sculpted enclosure wall with a unique low relief carving of the Bodhissattva of compassion. On view through Jan. 7, 2018. The Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” show continues its tour with a stop here July 7, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2018. 11150 East Blvd. 216-421-7350.
Williams College art instructor Barbara Takenaga is known for her radiating dot-pattern paintings which are part of the
American abstract tradition. The college gives her a retrospective culled from the last two decades. Through Jan. 28, 2018. Museum of Art, Williamstown in Massachusetts.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics – A collection with Nobuo Tsuji and MFA, Boston” is on view through April 1, 2018. The popular Japanese artist Murakami whose work is influenced by popular culture and manga also has roots in Japanese eccentric traditional art. Noted Japanese art historian Nobuo Tsuji looks at pieces in the MFA collection of Japanese art for some examples of traditional art that inspired some of Murakami’s present work. “Black And White – Japanese Modern Art” is a show centered around a large scale calligraphy piece by Inoue Yuichi. This exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic. On view through June 3, 2018. 9300 Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.
“Self-Interned, 1942” tells the story of American artist Isamu Noguchi who voluntarily went to Poston War Relocation Center where Japanese Americans were interned during WW II with the idea to improve conditions with art and design. He made small pieces of driftwood sculpture. His efforts came to naught and he petitioned to be released. His time spent here however may have proven to be a catalyst for future work. On view through January 7, 2018. Noguchi Museum in New York. 718-204-7088 or go to nogiuchi.org for details.
“The World Is Sound” is an intriguing exhibit curated by Risha Lee to absorb art not only with the eyes but the ears. Music washes over the viewer on the staircase up to the sixth floor. Contemporary audio and visual installations also add to fill up the sound next to objects from the Tibetan collection. Through January 8, 2018. “Sacred Spaces” features contemporary works by Ghiora Aharoni and Arthur Liou which focus on religious journeys for the benefit of one’s future self. From Nov. 17, 2017 through Oct. 15, 2018. “The Second Buddha: Master Of Time” presents work from the permanent collection, loans and “technological activations” centered on Guru Rinpoche, founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and his mastery of space and time. Feb. 2, 2018 – Jan. 7, 2019. Rubin Museum of Art in New York. 150 West 17th St. 212-620-5000 or email [email protected].
The Guggenheim presents a museum-wide, thematically organized survey of the work of Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo. It includes a focus on the dreamy collective self-image of the U.S. Feb. 9 – May 9, 2018. Go to guggenheim.org for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “India Modern: The Paintings of M. F. Hussain” shows eight large triptychs from the “Indian Civilization” series which celebrates India’s rich and diverse culture. Hussain was one of India’s first modern artists. Up through March 4, 2018. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” on view through June 24, 2018 and curated by Andres Marks. Minneapolis Institute of Art. For centuries, the making of lacquer ware has served a utilitarian and decorative function. But now with modern advances in technology, contemporary artists are pushing into new frontiers. This show is a window into the future of abstract sculpture and installation using the sheen of lacquer as another texture. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787
“Living Proof: The Art Of Japanese Draftsmanship In The 19th Century” gives visitors a rare chance to see original drawings by Edo-period printmakers Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi together in one location. Through March 3, 2018. Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri. Go to pulitzerarts.org for details.
The Dallas Museum of Art has the following – “The Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery is on view through April 26, 2020. “Waxed: Batik From Java” on view from through Dec. 3, 2017. “Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins” installation is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. “Asian Textiles: Art Along the Silk Road” opens Dec. 16 and stays on view until Dec. 9, 2018. 1717 N. Harwood in Dallas, TX. 214-992-1200.
Los Angeles County Art Museum presents “Atmosphere in Japanese Painting” which shows a series of techniques that the Japanese painter both yesterday and today, could use to evoke to atmosphere of weather and the changing seasons. Work by Ikeaki Yoshio, Yamamoto Kakurei, Senju Hiroshi and Miya Ando. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
Hokusai’s star has never been brighter in Japan with numerous shows of his work all over the country. “Hokusai and Japonisme” on view at The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo’s Ueno Park shows the overwhelming influence his woodblock prints had on Europe’s artists and craftspeople and interior designers. Here you see the master printmaker’s works side by side next to the Europeans he influenced. On view until Jan. 28, 2018. Go to http://hokusai-japonisme.jp for more details.
“Van Gogh & Japan” on view now until Jan. 8, 2018 shows what a profound influence Japanese art (especially woodblock prints) and literature had this Dutch artist. Japanese artists and intellectuals in turn were moved by Van Gogh’s work and made pilgrimages to his gravesite in France. This exhibition explores this mutual fascination with the artist’s oil paintings, sketches and related materials. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. Go to http://gogh-japan.jp or call 03-5777-8600 for details.
“Photographs of Innocence and Experience: Contemporary Japanese Photography Vol. 14” on view until Jan. 28, 2018 at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. This annual show has been held since 2002 and gives art viewers a chance to see what’s new and discover up-and-coming photographers. It encourages the pursuit and challenge of new photography and videography. Five artists show diverse approaches to the genre and explore the notion of physicality and identity. At Yebisu Garden Place in Meguro-ku at Tokyo’s Ebisu Station. 03-3280-0099 or go to www.topmuseum.jp for details.
The oil paintings of Kumagai Morikazu (1880 – 1977) are universally loved in Japan. The paintings have a flatness and animal subject matter that many ascribe to the Japanese woodcut tradition but his thick oil paint texture and muted tones have a Nihon-ga feel that touch the hearts of people with their gentle charm. Coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of his death, this retrospective covers his entire career with some two hundred works. Dec. 1, 2017 – March 21, 2018. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
“Taro Okamoto and Media Art” documents the relationship between Okamoto, the avant-garde maverick of postwar Japanese art and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, a pioneer of “intermedia art”. The show has a selection of work by both artists as well as 10 contemporary artists who were strongly influenced by both. Through January 28, 2018 at Taro Okamoto Museum of Art in Kawasaki. In Kawasaki City near Mukogaokayuen Station. 044-900=9898 or go to www.taromuseum.jp.
“Ishiuchi Miyako: Grain and Image” on view through March 4, 2018. Yokohama Museum of Art. Of all the post-WW II photographers in Japan, the work of Ishiuchi stands out for her unique vision and the fact she was often the one lone female image maker amidst a sea of men. She grew up in Yokosuka, a town near an American army base and she presented a frank and honest look at that town in her first show entitled “Yokosuka Story.” She would go on to document the damaged belongings of A-bomb survivors, Frida Kahlo’s personal belongings and a very personal investigation of bodies and the map of skin that covers them. This retrospective covers images from her whole career as well as previously unreleased photographs. The museum is at Minatomirai Station in Kanagawa Prefecture. 045-221-0300 or go to http://yokohama.art.museum/eng.
“The 40th Memorial of Shoji Hamada: From Tamesaburo Yamamoto Collection” on view until April 8, 2018. Yamamoto made most of his money from beer but he loved collecting folk art, expecially the pottery of his good friend Shoji Hamada. Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art outside of Kyoto. 075-957-3123 or go to http://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/.
“Tomb Dynasty Figures of Hu People: Portraying the Multicultural Vigor on the Silk Road” is on view through March 25, 2018 at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka.
“Studio Ghibli: Architecture in Animation” is on view through Feb. 5, 2018 at Abeno Harukas Art Museum in Osaka at Tennoji Station. Go to www.aham.jp or call 06-4399-9050.
“Isamu Noguchi: From Sculpture to Body and Garden” is on view from Nov. 17, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018. Though remembered as a sculptor, Noguchi was also a celebrated landscape architect, and furniture and lighting designer. This show includes selected works from collections in Japan and New York. Oita Prefectural Art Museum. 097-533-4500 or go to www.opam.jp/en.
“Textile of Masaru Suzuki Exhibition” exposes the diversity of this textile designer. Although he has made his name with his own brightly colored brand of printed fabrics, his talents go beyond cloth to include fashion goods, watches, glasses, bags, furniture and spatial installations. Designed to be a fun space for the viewer, take in over 100 textiles, umbrellas, rugs, fabric panels and more. On view through Jan. 14, 2018. Art Gallery Artium in Fukuoka at Fukuoka Tenjin Station. Closed Dec. 31 – Jan. 1 for the holidays. 092-733-2050 or go to www.artium.jp.
“Sunshower: Contemporary Art From Southeast Asia – 1980s to Now” is on view until Dec. 25, 2017 at Riverrain Center Building in the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. Go to http://sunshower2017.jp/en/.
A retrospective of controversial Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki entitled “Nobuyoshi Araki – I, Photography” is on view through March 25, 2018 at Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in Marugame, Kagawa Japan.
“10th Anniversary Special Exhibition: Okinawa —Keystone of the Sea” is on view Nov. 1, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018. The ocean has always been a important symbol of renewal and life to these island people and therefore makes a perfect theme to commemorate the 10th anniversary of this important institution. Covering geography, history, folklore, arts and crafts, this exhibition presents vital facets of this land and the importance of the ocean for its people. Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum. 098-941-8200 or go to www.museums.pref.okinawa.jp.
Art Basel Hong Kong takes place March 29 – 31, 2018 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It maintains a fifty-fifty balance between Asian and Western galleries. They always have a section dedicated to the Asia Pacific region.
The Yayoi Kusama craze seems insatiable. To that end, the artist herself has had a museum dedicated to her work that will open in October of this year in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo. It is a five-story white, large-windowed, curved structure designed by Kume Sekkei. The second and third floors will show her paintings, sculptures and other works. The fourth floor will be dominated by her Infinity Rooms and other installations. The top floor will have a reading room and archival material. Timed tickets are now on sale. Excerpted from Art World.
In October 2017, Japanese American theater artist Kimi Maeda performed her piece entitled “Bend” at the International House in Tokyo. Maeda is in Japan as a US-Japan Creative Artists Program Fellow. Her solo piece tells the true story of her father who was an Asian art historian and the subject of his research, Isamu Noguchi who were both interned at the same time. Weaving together sand drawings with family interviews and film footage from the 1940’s, “Bend” explores questions of identity, art and the fragility of memory.
Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang known for using gunpowder as his brush is in residency at the Prado Museum in Madrid where he will work in the Salon de Reinos. A solo exhibition by the artist entitled “The Spirit of Painting” will be on view from Oct. 24, 2018 – March 4, 2018. It will come out of his long-standing admiration for and dialogue with the Spanish master, El Greco.
The Three Yells Dance Company (congratulations to the company’s leader and choreographer who won the James W. Ray Award recently) take apart the famous ballet in “Giselle Deconstruct”. Watch how a trio of virgin girl ghosts bring her back from the dead to wreck revenge on the faithless man. Jan. 12 – 13 at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. 201 Mercer St. 206-441-7178 or go to Cornish.edu/playhouse for more information.
“A Thousand Cranes” tells the courageous story of a young Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima, a “hibakusha” or person affected by the atomic bomb blast. When a fellow patient tells her the legend that if someone would make 1,000 paper cranes, their wishes would come true – she began to make the cranes by hand as fast as possible. This play tells her true-life story. Jan. 13 – Feb. 3, 2018. Second Story Repertory at 7325 166th Ave. NE Ste. F250 in Redmond. 425-881-6777 or go to secondstoryrep.org.
Pacific Northwest Ballet mounts “Swan Lake” for a Feb. 2 – 11 run at McCaw Hall. The late, great set designer Ming Cho Lee’s legacy lives on through his work. This particular production of the ballet will be using his set design. 321 Mercer St. at Seattle Center. 206-684-7200 or try mccawhall.com.
Sendai Era, a Seattle-based hip hop duo released a new music video in commemoration of the International District entitled “My
ID”. Go to https://vimeo.com/243962975 to check it out. For more information on the group, try http://www.sendaiera.com/
The UW keyboard program presents their “Catch A Rising Star”, a quarterly guest artist series featuring younger talent making their presence felt. On April 29, 2018 at 4:30pm in Brechemin Auditorium, catch thirteen-year old Yesong Sophie Lee, winner of the 2016 International Menuhin Competition in a free recital. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
ARTS WEST in West Seattle presents the following – Sara Porkalob will direct Jiehae Park’s play entitled “Peerless” which is an irreverent re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The plot revolves around two Asian American high school students who are twin sisters both vying an affirmative action spot at a college only to be thwarted by a white male colleague who is 1/16th Native American. 4711 California Ave. “Peerless” opens Jan. 18, 2018 and closes Feb. 11. The season ends with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “An Octoroon” directed by Brandon J. Simmon which is a genre-defying play on the performance of race. April 19 – May 12, 2018. 2018.S.W. in West Seattle. 206-938-0339 or go to artswest.org
“The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq – An All People of Color Burlesque Revue”, a perennial audience favorite returns to Theatre Off Jackson through Feb. 18, 2018. 409 Seventh Ave. S. 206-340-1049 or go to theatreoffjackson.org.
Seattle Symphony and Conductor Ludovic Morlot have issued the schedule for their 2017-2018 season. Some highlights include the following – “Celebrate Asia” this time around is conducted by DaYe Lin with sitar player Nishat Khan and Seattle erhu virtuoso Warren Chang. Kazuki Yamada will make a Seattle debut as guest conductor. A two-concert festival of Prokofiev features rising star pianists Nathan Lee, Charlie Albright and Conrad Tao with violinists Sophie Lee & William Hagen. Subscription packages available now and single tickets on sale August 5, 2017. Go to www.seattlesymphony.org for details.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has released their 2017/2018 schedule. Some of the many highlights include the following – The popular return of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Of Taiwan led by founder Lin Hwai Min with a new work entitled “Formosa – (beautiful island)” which uses gesture, script, song and other elements from the landscape and history of his native Taiwan. Thurs. – Sat. on March 22 – 24, 2018 at 8pm. The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin in the lead violin chair performs on Thurs., Nov. 9 2017 at 7:30pm. Calidore String Quartet with David Finckel and Wu Han perform on Tues., April 24 , 2018 at 7:30pm. “Feathers Of Fire – A Persian Epic” updates the classic shadow play traditions of Asia & the Near East with cinematic “live animation” shadow-casting actors and puppets along with projected imagery in the magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th century Persian epic “Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)” set for Wed., March 14, 2018 at 8pm. With an original score by Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. All concerts at Meany Center located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Series tickets on sale now. Single tickets go on sale on August 1, 2017. You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.
The Music of Remembrance organization exists so that the voices of musical witness can be heard. In the past they have organized music of composers who perished in the Holocaust. This year, they shine their light on Japan and the internment camp experience of Japanese Americans in two concerts. A concert set for Spring is entitled “Gaman” by Christophe Chagnard. After Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent – a majority of them American citizens – were forced into detention camps scattered across the United States. Chagnard explores this dark chapter of American history incorporating the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. This multi-media work will tell the story through the imagery and words of Seattle artists Takuichi Fujii and Kamekichi Tokita who were interned at Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. Instrumentation will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/singer combined with visual media projections. Also featured is a composition (as yet untitled) scored for string quartet, piano and voices by Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is planned as a participatory work with members of the public to join performers on stage to honor the names of those who perished in WW II – balanced equally between Japanese and non-Japanese victims of the conflict. Both compositions are world premieres commissioned by Music of Remembrance. Set for May 20, 2018 at 5pm at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. For details, go to musicofremembrance.org.
Dr. Jakyung Oh, Professor of Organ at Korea University of the Arts gives a free performance on Sun., Jan. 21, 2018 at 3pm. In the Walker Ames Room located in Kane Hall on the Seattle UW campus. Though free, seating capacity is limited so arrive early.
UW Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Sepideh Raissadat plays a concert of Classical Persian Music on Feb. 1 at 7:30pm. Brechemin Auditorium at 7:30pm. She is an Iranian classical vocalist who also plays the schtar. She will perform with her students. Free. On the Seattle UW campus.
Ring in the new year on Feb. 11 with a Lunar New Year’s celebration in the Chinatown/ID neighborhood from 11am – 4pm. Free. With dragon & lion dances, Japanese taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations and many other cultural performances
Seattle Classic Guitar Society brings Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang to Benaroya Hall on March 3, 2018 at 7:30pm. Yang performs Chinese compositions and chamber music for guitar. 206-365-0845 or go to [email protected]
Seattle Children’s Theatre presents “The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559”. Adapted from the young adult novel of the same name, this play deals with a 12 year old Japanese American boy who must leave with his family to be imprisoned in an internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how he processes the whole experience. Feb. 8 – March 4, 2018. 201 Thomas St. 206-441-3322 or go to sct.org.
Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.
Edmonds Center for the Arts presents the following – Hawaiian folk/pop duo HAPA perform on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:30pm. Mystical Arts of Tibet conclude a 5 day residency with a performance of traditional music and the creation of a mandala sand painting. May 11, 2018 at 7:30pm.410 Fourth Ave. N. 425-272-9595.
Violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim joins the UW Symphony at Benaroya Hall for a concert on Mon., Feb. 5, 2018. 7:30pm. 206-215-4747 or buy at Benaroya Box Office at 200 University St. downtown in person.
Daisha, a classical trio composed of UW undergraduates Halie Borror on violin, Daniel Richardson on piano and Isabella Kodama on cello give two concerts at Brechemin Auditorium on Feb. 7, 2018 and May 4, 2018. All concerts at 7:30pm and admission is free. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
The Miles Electric Band brings alumnus from various Miles Davis ensembles to play the music from his electric/funk period. Includes tabla player Badal Roy, Blackbyrd Mcknight, Vince Wilburn Jr. and Daryl Jones. Feb. 23 at 7:30pm. Moore Theatre.
Zhenni Li of the McGill School of Music in Montreal has been hailed as a classical pianist with a gorgeous tone and mesmerizing touch. On April 24, 2018 she will give a recital at Brechemin Auditorium at 7:30pm. The following day she leads a master class with UW piano students at the same location on April 25 at 4:30pm. Both events are free. Seattle UW campus in the Music Building. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
“Global Rhythms 2017-18” series curated by Jon Kertzer and Daniel Atkinson for Town Hall Seattle brings a concert entitled “Summit in Seattle” with pianist/composer Vjay Iyer in a night of collaboration and improvisation with some of his illustrious and gifted musical colleagues. Set for March 2, 2018 for Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center at 7:30pm. To keep in the loop and find out all the other great players in this series, go to www.townhallseattle.org.
Playwright Laureen Yee has a Seattle World Premiere of her play “The Great Leap” set for March 23 – April 22, 2018 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The company shares this world premiere with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. The plot revolves around Beijing University basketball coach Wen Chang and Manford, a young rough-around-the edges basketball talent from San Francisco’s Chinatown and how their worlds intersect. At the Leo K. Theatre. 155 Mercer St. Box Office # is 206-443-2222.
The UW faculty chamber group Frequencies welcomes special guest violinist Yura Lee in a concert entitled “Dialogues” set for May 27, 2018 at 7:30pm. Lee, the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant will perform duos with each member of Frequency and the trio will then perform Erno Dohnanyi’s “Serenade”. At Meany Theater on the UW Seattle campus. Go to www.artsuw.org for details.
The Broadway Center in Tacoma has the following – Best-selling new age/spiritual writer /Deepak Chopra gives a talk on April 12, 2018 at 7:30pm at Pantages Theatre.
The new South Sound performance space in Federal Way called Performing Arts Event Center brings the Golden Dragon Acrobats for an evening show on Fri. Jan. 12, 2018 at 8pm. 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way South. For tickets go to www.fwpaec.org or call 253-835-7010.
In 2018, Kirkland Performance Center has the Golden Dragon Acrobats from Taiwan in performance on Jan. 14 for two shows at 1pm and 5pm. Stand-up comic Hari Kondabolu performs on April 27 at 8pm. 425-893-9900 or go to www.kpcenter.org.
Conductor Richard Averbach led the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Symphony Chorale and Seattle Girls’ Choir PrimeVoci Ensemble in the world premiere of “The Flying Lotus” commissioned by the orchestra with Seattle Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Simon James as featured soloist. It was composed by Grammy/Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman and released as a recording on the KM Musiq record label. Rahman says his composition is a musical impression of where India was and where it’s going. “The Flying Lotus” was commissioned for Seattle Symphony’s Ninth Annual “Celebrate Asia” concert.
Portland Opera’s new season includes “Faurst”, “La Cenerentola”, “Rigoleto” and “Orfeo Ed Euridice”. Some of the singers in these productions include Shi Li and Helen Huang plus conductor Carolyn Kuan is also involved. Performances are at the Hampton Opera Center in Portland. 503-241-1802 is the box office number.
East West Players in Los Angeles has a new artistic director. Snehal Desai is devoting the entire 2017-2018 season to collaborations with local theater, social justice and community organizations. The current show “Yohen” by Philip Kan Gotanda about an interracial couple is co-produced with L.A.- based African American ensemble, The Robey Theatre Company. After that will be the L.A. premiere of George Takei’s “Allegiance” done with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Following that is a co-production with the Center Theatre Group of David Henry Hwang & Jeannine Tesori’s “Soft Power”, a musical of U.S./China relations. The final show is by Nathan Ramos who won an East West playwriting contest with “As We Babble On”, a dramedy about millennials of color done in collaboration with LGBT Center. Desai says of this new direction, “ We must reach out to other underrepresented people because we live in a city in which communities are not separate, they intersect.”
“Allegiance”, the Broadway musical inspired by actor George Takei’s childhood in internment camp during WWII will come to Los Angeles Feb. 21 – April 1, 2018 with previews from Feb. 21 – 25. East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will co-sponsor the production set for the JACCC’s Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. No word yet on whether the production will include the original cast but George Takei will reprise his role. For updates, visit East West Players website.
A new play by David Henry Hwang entitled “Soft Power” runs from May 10 – June 10, 2018. It is a futuristic Chinese musical about present day America. Music by Jeanine Tesori and directed by Leigh Silverman. World premiere under the auspices of the Center Theater Group. At the Ahmanson Theater in New York before it goes to East-West Players in Los Angeles. Go to centertheatergroup.org for details.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “I Puritani” set for early February, 2018 sports a set design by the late, great Ming Cho Lee.
The Degenerate Art Ensemble (Joshua Kohl & Crow Nishimura) premiered an early version of their latest multi media work entitled “Diphylleia Grayi (Skeleton Flower)” in September, 2017 at The Grocery Studios in Seattle. The work is a semi-autobiographical exploration of a creative person’s struggle with identity, depression and the awakening of feminine power where healing and transformation are fueled by the secret medicine of fairy tales. The full work will premiere in the US and Europe in 2018 in a collaboration with filmmaker Mischa Jakupcak and visual artist Elizabeth Jameson. DAE will launch a kickstarter campaign to fund the entire production. For details, go to degenerateartensemble.com.
Film & Media
The Asian Films Series at Seattle Art Museum screens “Sonata” by Aparna Sen on Jan. 21. A hit at Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, the story is about three unmarried women who are old friends who meet together one night in Mumbai to thrash out issues in their lives during a period of mid-life crisis.
The Northwest Film Forum brings their annual Children’s Film Festival with shorts and features from all over the world that will delight, entertain and engage kids of all ages. Jan. 25 – Feb. 10 mostly screened at the NWFF although the opening night gala will be at the Egyptian.1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
The Everett Film Festival screens Feb. 16 – 17 with films that shed light on the lives of women from various cultures, times and experiences. Everett Performing Arts Center.
The Seattle Asian American Film Festival returns Feb. 22 – 25 with features and shorts, music videos, and documentaries all pertaining to the Asian American experience. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
When widower Lee Chan Lee died in the mid-1970’s, the contents of May’s Photo Studio was tossed into the trash. More than 700 photos and glass negatives were rescued from oblivion by then-penniless art student Wylie Wong who is now an Asian art consultant. Around the same time George Berticevich found old photographs and backdrops at a Sausalito flea market. Together these collections comprise a body of work that presents a vibrant Chinatown community that flourished from the turn of the century to the present despite racial discrimination and severely restrictive immigration laws. These images show Chinatown’s social, political, economic and cultural history from an insider’s perspective. Now a documentary film-in-progress entitled “Trash: The Lost World of May’s Photo Studio” put together by Wylie Wong and Lydia Tanji . When completed it will bring to light the story of Chinese American photographers Leo and Isabelle May Chan Lee. Donations are needed to bring this film to fruition. If interested, go to trashedsf.com for details.
“Silence” is a new film by Belgian director Vanja d’Alcantara set in Japan. It stars Isabelle Carre as a grieving sister who comes to Japan when she learns her brother has been killed. Jun Kunimura plays an ex-cop who has dedicated himself to preventing suicides. The film revolves around their complex relationship
“Goodbye Grandpa!” is by first-time feature director Yukihiro Morigaki and is based on Sahoko Yamasaki’s original script. It centers around a family and how death impacts every single one of them. Stars Yoshiko Kishii, Ken Mitsuishi, Hisako Okata, Ryo Iwamatsu, Jun Miho, Karin Ono and Amane Okayama. Opened in Japan in November, 20.
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All readings at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. Seattle poet/editor Tina Schumann is the editor of “Two Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents” (Red Hen Press), an anthology of writing by numerous participants including local writers. Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai whose work is in the anthology will read as well. Sat., Jan. 13, 2018. On Tues., Jan. 16 at 7pm, Shawn Wen reads from her poetic analysis of the art of the great French mime, Marcel Marceau entitled “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause” (Sarabande Books). Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 – 10th Ave on Capitol Hill. 206-624-6600.
As part of the UW Lectures Series, Anand Yang will speak on the topic of “Truth and Power: The Origins and Influence of Gandhi’s Ideas of Nonviolence.” Jan. 10 at 7:30pm at Kane Hall 130 on the Seattle UW campus. Yang is Professor of History and International Studies. Free. To register, go to uwalum.com/lectures or call 206-543-0540.
Noted novelist, filmmaker & Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki (“A Tale For The Time Being”) will be part of the Hugo House 2017-2018 line-up for the series “Word Works: Writers on Writing.” She will speak on the craft and art of writing on Feb. 23, 2018. Go to hugohouse.org for details.
Hugo House has announced their line-up of writers appearing for the 2017-2018 Hugo Literary Series, part of which will coincide with the institution’s move to a new and permanent home on the same site of their old location. The theme for the March 23, 2018 event is “Homecoming” with Joshua Ferris, Melissa Febos and E. J. Koh with music by Tomo Nakayama. This is at Fred Wildlife Refuge as well. The series closer with the topic “There Goes the Neighborhood” features Bangladeshi American poet Tarfia Faizullah with Jami Attenberg and others is on May 11, 2018 and it is expected that this will take place at the new Hugo House auditorium at their new, improved, original location of 1634 – 11th Ave. but call ahead to make sure. All events at 7:30pm. For details, go to hugohouse.org or call 206-453-1937.
Noted poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil reads on May 21, 2018 at 7:30pm at McCaw Hall as part of Seattle Arts & Lectures Poetry Series. She was born in Chicago to a Filipina mother an South Indian father. She earned her BA and MFA from Ohio State University. She is the author of “Miracle Fruit”, “At The Drive-In Volcano” and “Lucky Fish.” Forthcoming in 2018 is a new book of illustrated nature essays entitled “World of Wonder” and a new book of poetry, “Oceanic.”
Artist Trust has announced that the 2017 LaSalle Storyteller Award in Fiction has been awarded to E. Lily Yu. Yu is an author and narrative designer. She has received numerous awards for her science fiction and worked on video games. She is based in Bellevue, WA.
Hugo House prose Writer-in-Residence Sonora Jha has received the 2017 Barry Lopez Fellowship at Playa. The fellowship is awarded to a Northwest writer with a strong interest in issues of justice and equity and whose work resonates in spirit with that of Lopez.
Writer/poet/editor/filmmaker Russell Leong’s “Moth Sutra For Bicycle Delivery Men” is an epic poem published as a lovely broadside with the author’s own poignant illustrations. It tells the story of the Chinese immigrant bicycle men who deliver take out from Chinese restaurants throughout the boroughs of New York at all hours of the day and night. The author spent months interviewing these delivery men in Chinese and talking to people in the community about these laborers. For details on buying this publication or having the author speak and read about this subject in your town, contact Russell Leong at [email protected]
Jin Yong is a kung fu fantasy writer who enjoys a huge popularity in the Chinese-speaking world where he has sold over 3 million books but remains virtually unknown in the West. That could all change now that
Anna Holmwood has translated the first volume of a 12 volume series entitled “A Hero Born” into English.
Arul Sehgal, editor and columnist at the New York Times Book Review quit her position this July. She follows Michiko Kakutani who stepped down as the Times chief book critic earlier this year. The Times remains the last daily newspaper in America with a separate book section.
Though virtually unknown in the West, Chinese writer Xue Yiwei is widely read in Chinese although he remains virtually unpublished in China due to censorship problems. Living in exile in Montreal since the late 1990’s, he sits in limbo since his work is not totally banned yet not completely accepted in his home country. Western readers now have an opportunity to read Xue Yiwei since his 2010 novel “Dr. Bethune’s Children” has just been translated and published in Canada.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling. Please contact me if anyone is interested in reviewing any of the below titles for the International Examiner. Thanks! –
“Barbie Chang” is a new volume of poetry out by poet/editor Victoria Chang just released on Northwest small press, Copper Canyon Press out of Port Townsend.
“All That Remains: The Legacy of the World War II Japanese American Internment Camps” by Delphine Hirasuna is a slim but beautifully designed catalog for a recent show that was recently on view at the University of San Francisco showing the elegant art and craft work fashioned by internees out of scraps and makeshift material. With color illustrations. On sale for 20.00 at the Japanese American National Museum shop in Los Angeles. Go to www.janm.org/.
Wing Luke Asian Museum is currently looking for a professional writer to write text for an illustrated graphic novel that will be distributed to schools and libraries. They are also looking for a professional artist to illustrate and design the graphic novel. The project entitled “Future Generations: Friends and Supporters Who Helped Those Incarcerated” will shine a light on those non-Japanese American friends and supporters who risked so much by standing up and helping their Nikkei friends. To see a sample from the previous series, go to http://www.wingluke.org/fighting-for-america. Deadline for submission of materials is no later than 4:30pm on Mon., Jan. 22, 2018. For further information, call 206-623-5124×131 or email [email protected].
Artist Trust offers a “Tax Prep for Artists” workshop on Feb. 7, 2018 at 7pm at Hiawatha Lofts. $40 regular and $30 for Artist Trust members. Go to taxprepforartistsseattle.brownpaper to get your tickets.
Gallery 4Culture seeks solo, collaborative and group exhibition proposals in a broad range of media for its Sept. 2018 – July 2019 season. Apply by Jan. 8, 2018. Go to www.4culture.org for more details.
Congratulations to poet Janet Wong who nabbed a 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award and to Veronica Lee-Baik, director and choreographer for The Three Yells who got a 2017 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. The awards were administered by Artist Trust/Frye Art Museum Consortium.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Some upcoming program events include the following –Go to FriendsOfAsianArt.org or call (206) 522-5438 for details on all these events.
Seattle Art Museum received a $35 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow the Asian Paintings Conservation Center at Seattle Asian Art Museum The only one of its kind in the Western United States, the Center will be devoted to the conservation, mounting and study of Asian paintings, serving SAM’s collections as well as institutional and private collections in the region. SAM must raise $2.5 million in matching funds over four years to create an endowment supporting the Center’s program.
Jeffrey Lew, the good samaritan who raised enough money to erase school lunch debts to eliminate “lunch shaming” of kids and their parents in Seattle gets a nice write-up by Eli Francovich in the December 2017 issue of Columns – The University of Washington Alumni Magazine. Newscaster Lori Matsukawa is also featured in the same issue.
Applications for Jack Straw Writers Program, Artist Support Program and New Media Gallery Program are now available. Go to www.jackstraw.org/programs/asp/2018_apps.shtml or email [email protected] for details.