“Art Interruptions” is an annual temporary art program created by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture with the Seattle Department of Transportation. Temporary art installations will offer ephemeral moments of surprise and reflection in the Rainier Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway including New Holly, Othello, Brighton, Lakewood and Seward Park. You will find these temporary art installations up through Jan. 2, 2017. Vikram Madan and Junko Yamamoto are some of the artists who have work in this project. You can meet the artists and tour the work during the “Walktober” event hosted by Feet First on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 from 10am – 12pm. Go to www.feetfirst.org for details.
Ekphrasis is Greek for the art of using words to describe something beautiful, usually visual art. “Ekphrastic Assimilations – Finding Poetry in Art” is an interactive project designed to bring together poets, artists and art-lovers from China and the US. The art was created by six Chinese and six American artists for this project. Viewers are encouraged to contribute their own poems in response to the artwork on display. All images and poems will be exhibited at the FALA Art Center in Redmond in partnership with ryan james fine arts. On view through Oct. 30, 2016 with a poetry reading & closing reception on Oct. 30 from 6 – 8pm. 7325 – 166 Ave. NE #F115 98052 in Redmond Town Center. Presented by Chiang Chiang-kuo Foundation, the Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas, Pacific Lutheran University, ryan james fine arts and VALA Art Center. Sponsors are 4 Culture and Marriott Seattle Redmond. Go to ekphrasticassimilations.org for complete details.
Tacoma-based Cambodian American artist Silong Chhun runs the Red Scarf Revolution, a clothing line that gives voice to the once silent art, culture and legacy of Cambodia. He was nominated for the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s “Foundation Art Award.” His work can be seen in the “Foundation Of Art Award Exhibit” on view from Oct. 1 – 31, 2016 at Spaceworks Gallery at 950 Pacific Ave., Suite 205 (Entrance on 11th St.) in Tacoma, WA. To learn more about all the artists who were nominated for their outstanding achievements in the Tacoma community, go to www.gtcf.org/art.
There is a foreboding tension apparent in Elizabeth Jameson’s drawings, paintings and constructions of garments and gowns empty of human occupancy that pulls the viewer in with an edgy anticipation of the unknown. Her unique work is included in a group show entitled “Frocks & Vestments” which looks at the way artists create through the form of frocks, costumes and vestments on view from Oct. 12 – Nov. 3. Opening reception on Oct. 13, 2016 from 6 – 7:30pm. SAM Gallery located inside Seattle Art Museum downtown at 1300 First Ave. 206-343-1101. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
The work of Naoko Morisawa features intricately designed mosaic works in oil-stained wood and paper. She is now represented by Frederick Holmes and Company and has a show there through Oct. 2, 2016. For more information on her work, go to http://www.frederickholmesandcompany.com/artists/naoko-morisawa/. The gallery is located in Pioneer Square at 309 Occidental Ave. South in Seattle. 206-682-0166.
Back in 1966 artists Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Kluver came up with an event in New York entitled “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering.” They put together 10 artists from various disciplines and matched them with 30 engineers from Bell Labs. That event brought forth video projections, Doppler sonar and infrared cameras utilized in performance. Now art & ideas producer, John Boylan hopes to create some more startling results locally by combining the creativity energy of local artists and Seattle technology wizards in a project he titles “9e2”. A rooster of over 50 artists and just as many scientists of various disciplines – including artists like Romson Bustillo, Tamiko Thiel, Midori Thiel and Butoh dancer Kaoru Okumura and on the science side, people like Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Ranjit Bhatnagar and Neel Joshi will join this creative collaboration set for Oct. 21 – 29 at King St. Station downtown. Go to 9e2seattle.org for details.
“Introductions” is a group show of contemporary printmakers from around the world. Includes the work of Koichi Yamamoto, Boonmee Sangkhum, Mitsushige Nishiwaki, the team of Kyoko Imazu + Damon Kowarsky and Kumi Obata and others. On view through Oct. 1, 2016. Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-624-7684.
The Henry Art Gallery located on the campus of the University of Washington joins MOTHRA and Chris E. Vargas in presenting the group show “TRANS HISTORY in 99 Objects” through June 4, 2017. This show gathers archival materials and works by contemporary artists that narrate an expansive and critical history of transgender communities. Related activities include the following – On Thurs., Sept. 15 at 7pm in the Henry Auditorium, there will be a panel discussion on “Local Transgender Narratives and Collective Identities.” Free. Vargas moderates a panel with Aleksa Manila, Luzviminda Uzuri Carpenter, Calvin Gimpelvich and Marsha Botzer. A related activity is the screening of “Third Antenna: A Documentary About the Radical Nature of Drag” screening on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 9:30pm at the Egyptian Theater as part of the Twist Film Fest. Go to www.twistfilmfest.org for details. At the gallery, there will be a Project 42 performance on Nov. 13 at 12:30pm with Seattle dancer/choreographer Anna Lizette Connor that memorializes transgender lives cut short by murder.
“To:Seattle/Subject: Personal” is a group show of significant works of contemporary art acquired by The Board of Trustees between 2009 and 2016 during the directorship of Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzke who curated the exhibition. It emphasizes the inclusion of work into the collection of local artists in the community. Includes work by DK Pan and Susie J. Lee. 704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.
Winston Wachter Fine Art Seattle presents a solo exhibition by painter Miya Ando entitled “Tasogare/Twilight” (The time of day when sunlight, moonlight and starlight work together to transform the sky). In homage to her Japanese heritage of sword making and Buddhism, the artist creates landscapes on metal using dye, urethane and resin. On view Sept. 8 – Oct. 29, 2016. 203 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-652-5855 or go to www.winstonwachter.com.
New work by Aaliyah Gupta comments on “geopolitical events occurring across the globe” using a variety of media. Sept. 28 – Oct. 29, 2016. CORE Gallery at 117 Prefontaine Place S. in Seattle. 206-467-4444 or go to coregallery.org.
The work of Akio Takamori is included in the group show “Neddy Artist Awards – 20 Years” which includes past winners and this year’s finalists. On view through Oct. 23, 2016. At Pivot Art + Culture at 609 Westlake Ave. N. in Seattle. Free and open to the public. Info. at www.cornish.edu/needy_artist_awards
The art collective known as SOIL has the following group shows. Satpreet Kahlon is included in “Intimately Unseen” which explores the practice of seeking space for growth, with installations, drawings, paintings and prints. Up until Oct. 1, 2016. The group show “From Domesticity” features work by Tony Kim and opens Nov. 3 and remains on view until Dec. 31, 2016. Megumi Shauna Arai has work in a large group show curated by Serrah Russell and Rafael Soldi on view from Nov. 3 – Nov. 26, 2016. 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
The work of metal artists Ron Ho, Taiji Miyasaka & David Drake and Midori Saito is included in the BAM Biennial 2016 entitled “Metal Morphosis” on view through Feb. 5, 2017. 510 Bellevue Way NE. 425-519-0770 or go to bellevuearts.org for details.
“INK PLAY: Celebrating the World of Sumi” is a group show presenting the work of the Puget sound Sumi Artists (PSSA) at Hanforth Gallery located in Tacoma’s Public Library. On view from Oct. 4 – Nov. 12. A reception takes place on Sat., Oct. 8 from 1 – 4pm with free art demonstrations. 1102 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma. Go to www.tacomapubliclibrary.org for details.
La Connor Quilt & Textile Museum has two shows entitled “Beauty of Japan” and “Images of Japan” by Sachiko Yoshida and her students on view through Oct. 2, 2016. 703 South Second St. La Connor, WA. 360-466-4288. Hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. – Sun.
“Handmade in Camp – What We couldn’t Carry” is a group show that displays over 60 items including furniture, jewelry, tools, paintings, needlework, scrapbooks, games, toys and quilts – all handcrafted items made by Japanese Americans during their WWII incarceration. On view through Nov. 6, 2016.The museum says that most are family heirlooms borrowed from area households and have never been seen in public. Accompanied by quotes from local families. White River Valley Museum in Auburn. For details call 253-288-7433 or go to http://wrvmuseum.org.
What is your favorite lullaby? What do you sing to your little ones to put them to sleep? The Wing invites you to share your lullaby with them to be featured in the new upcoming KidPLACE exhibition, “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”, opening Sat., August 20, 2016. The Wing invites the community to participate in this exhibition by recordings their favorite lullabies. Go to http://www.wingluke.org/lullaby for details.
Seattle raised/ Germany-based installation artist Tamiko Thiel’s summer project at Olympic Sculpture Park through Sept. 30, 2016 is entitled “Gardens Of The Anthropocene.” She creates an augmented reality app that can be downloaded to your mobile device. This virtual tour imagines the future for the landscape as we enter a new geological age defined by human activity’s impact on climate and environment. You can download the free Layar app onto your iPhone or Android smartphones now and get ready for a surreal landscape.
“Monkey Way” is the title of a catchy multi-media installation by Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu. It’s in the walkway window just past Starbuck’s as you transition from Chinatown/ID to the street across that leads to the trains that take commuters to Everett and Tacoma. In a lot of ways, this transition between cultures/places parallel’s the artist’s work as well. Her statement reads, “The current political situation is awkward in that it seeps into the work via monkeys and lots of shelves that are not functional. This moment of instability in US politics leads to inspirations from moments in history in France and China. Putting all these elements all together is a visual mash-up that comes from my life in a family mixed both in class and culture.” History, culture and identity mixed with whimsy comes from this display and grabs the attention of passersby. The work is up until October 2016. Moriyasu is also in a group show entitled “Peep Show” on the 2nd floor at The Alice at 6007 12th Ave. S. through August 13. For information on the artist, go to SayaMoriyasu.com. For information about the work, go to GGibsonGallery.com.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is a new exhibit that tells the story of the Hunt Hotel’s role in the resettling of the Japanese community in Seattle after WW II. This traveling exhibit is now on view at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center through Sept. 25. 121 NW 2nd Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkei.org.
Local paper-cut artist Lauren Iida has a busy schedule of shows throughout the area. Her work can always be seen at ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. In addition, more shows include the following. A new retail/gallery space in Ballard called Venue carries a variety of her new cut paper work. 5408 22nd Ave. NW. [email protected] or call 206-789-3335. She has five works on view at The Gallery at Shoreline City Hall through Sept. 9. Her first public art project will be paper cutaways laser cut from metal and hung as banners along Aurora between 175th and 205th will be installed in August. Sponsored by the city of Shoreline. Her first “sculptural” paper cutaway will be on display starting Fri., August 4 at Sculpture Northwest in Bellingham. 11 feet long, it features images of diving Kamikaze planes along with framed work and found objects pertaining to her family’s incarceration during WWII in Japanese American internment camps. She has a new position as Gallery Director at Make Shift Art Space in Bellingham. She recently collaborated with Cambodian American designer Silong Chuun at Red Scarf Revolution in Tacoma to design t-shirts with her paper cutaway designs which are available online. Go to www.laureniida.com for full details. She is also always open to commissions. She has done custom cutaways for people from their special photos or a favorite poem etc. For details on commissions, go to http://www.laureniida.com/commissions.html.
Humaira Abid’s carved wood sculptures and paintings use a personal approach to reveal world issues whether it’s the bombing of children in Pakistan by US warplanes or issues of women. A solo show of her new work opens August 4 and runs through Sept. 24. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Open Tues. – Sat.
Seattle Municipal Tower presents “Cultural Perspectives”, a group show from the Seattle Public Utilities Portable Works collection with a focus on the voices and experiences of communities of color. On view through Sept. 30, 2016. Part 2 has work by Minh Carrico, Carina del Rosario, Midori Hirose, Hyunju Kim, Cheryll Leo-Gwin, Naomi Shigeto, Roger Shimomura, Tara Tamaribuchi, Thuy-Van Vu and others. 700 Fifth Ave. Open Mon. – Fri. Go to seattle.gov for details.
Z. Z. Wei’s by now familiar landscapes from travels in the Northwest will be shown in September at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. “At One In The Landscape” features new works and a release party for a video documentary on the artist produced by John Forsen. On view through Oct. 3, 2016. 1111 1st Ave. in downtown Seattle. 206-223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
Kobo at Higo hosts the group show “Varia: Seattle Metals Guild Jewelry Exhibition” through the month of October. Opening Nov. 12 and remaining on view until Dec. 30, 2016 is their always popular annual “Simple Cup Invitational Show.” Go down early and sign up if you want to have a chance to purchase a cup. 604 S. Jackson St. in Seattle. 206-381-3000 or go to koboseattle.com.
ZINC Contemporary presents “The Fish Jumped Laughing Into A Net”, a show of works on paper by Chelsea Ryoko Wong from Oct. 6 – Oct. 31. 119 Prefontaine Pl. S. in Seattle. Go to zinccontemporary.com for details.
The Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery in Bellevue has the following. “Geometric Abstracts from Beijing” is the title of a show of works by Chinese artist Chen Jin opening on Oct. 12 and closing Nov. 5, 2016. Opening Nov. 9 and closing Dec. 10, 2016 are works on silk by Keiichi Nakamura. 800 Bellevue Way NE #111. 425-827-2822 or go to gunnarnordstrom.com for details.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma currently has a group show by the Washington Overseas Chinese Artists Association through Oct. 28. As part of Tacoma Art Month in October, they also feature two workshops on Oct. 1 including “Taste of Asia” & “Tea Experience”/Vietnam. 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900.
Noted photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto will be the planned speaker for the annual Mitsubishi lecture sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program. In addition to the lecture, the Japan studies program plans to collaborate with local galleries, theaters and museums to host related events. The event will occur early next year. Details will be posted at https://jsis.washington.edu/japan later this fall.
The Portland Japanese Garden recently reopened after a six-month closure for construction on the Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project. More construction is coming to expand the facilities with new features such as classrooms, galleries, a café and seven garden spaces with public water features and a bonsai terrace. Design is supervised by internationally know architect Kengo Kuma. Improvements should be completed by Spring, 2017. Their present show entitled “Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists In The Garden” on view until Oct. 16, 2016 features the work of Jiro Yonezawa, Shigeo Kawashima, Charissa Brock and Anne Crumpacker. Go to www.japanesegarden.com for full details.
The A6 Studio & Gallery’s major exhibit for 2016 is entitled “Opening Japan: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints” which features more than two dozen Japanese woodblock prints covers a wide range of topics and artists from the 17, 18th and 19th century. Activities connected to the show include the following. Marjorie Yap holds a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at the gallery on Friday, Sept. 30. Art historian Ann Wetherwell of Willamette University discusses the pop culture aspect of ukiyo-e prints at Central Oregon Community College on Oct. 11. Art historian Lorna Cahall traces the influence of Japanese prints on the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists on Nov. 1 at the Bend Downtown Library. Portland State University’s theater department provides an introduction to kabuki thatre and perfroms select scenes from “The 47 Loyal Samurai” at Tower Theatre on Nov. 13. Printmaker and OSU faculty member Yuji Hiratsuka visits the gallery with an art talk and a pop-up exhibit of his own prints on Sept. 11. Midwestern artist Mary Brodbeck visits the gallery on Oct. 14 to give a talk and teaches a weekend workshop in traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking Oct. 15 – 16. On view through Nov. 20, 2016. A6 is a non-profit studio and gallery in Bend, Oregon centered on printmaking and boo arts. Go to www.atelier6000.org/japanese-art for complete details.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “Millenia – Astonishing Asian Art Throughout the Ages” is a new group show that showcases one of the best collections of Asian art in Canada taken from the gallery collection. Opens Sept. 17, 2016. “China’s Favourite Pottery for Tea, Yixing Ware” through Oct. 18, 2016. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
“Splashes of Color: Chinese Woodblock Prints from the You Wei Du Zhai Collection” is on view through Oct. 9, 2016. A tattered folded painting of five Buddhas found in an old chest in a Korean antique shop by an American collector has become a rare re-found treasure. When Robert Mattielli bought the painting for ten dollars and brought it back with him to Portland. And when he bequeathed it to Portland Art Museum. He had no idea of its origins. Visiting scholars from the Korean National Research Institute for Cultural Heritage verified it had been stolen from the famous zen temple, Songgwangsa. Now, before it is returned, visitors to the museum can see this special painting accompanied by a special informative symposium which takes place on Dec. 3, 2016 from 1 – 4pm. Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or go to portlandartmuseum.org.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” is a new group exhibition on textiles and how they move through history and myth, commodity culture and art, linking women’s hands and machines to Asian American identities.” It features the work of Surabhi Ghosh, Stephanie Syjuco and Aram Han Sifuentes. This show is on display through April 16, 2017. Opening Sat., August 20 is “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”. Family Fun Day celebrates this show with a Pajama Party. The museum asks participants to wear their favorite pajamas to celebrate this opening day. Free with family fun activities like art workshops, lullabies, recording booth and kid -focused concerts throughout the building. Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books is a recent show to open at the museum. “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. Opens Oct. 4th with the full support of the Lee Family. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? opens on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 but if you become a museum member, you can attend the special member-only party preview before it officially opens to the public. On Friday, Sept. 30 from 5 – 8pm. To become a member contact [email protected] or call 206-623-5124×126. 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. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
“Pacific Voices” is an ongoing exhibit that celebrates the language, teachings, art, and cultural ceremonies of seventeen cultures from the Pacific Rim. Burke Museum at the University of Washington. 17th Ave. NE & E 45th Streets. (206) 543-5590 or try Washington.edu/burkemuseum.
Original sumi paintings and prints by Japanese modern master Toko Shinoda now in her 90’s and still working will be shown locally at Azuma Gallery. The show opens Nov. 3 and remains on view until Nov. 30, 2016. 530 First Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-622-5599 or go to azumagallery.com.
The work of Long Gao is included in a group show ending Oct. 29, 2016 at Jeffrey Moose Gallery. 1333 Fifth Ave. in Rainier Square downtown. 206-467-6951 or go to jeffreymoosegallery.com.
New Zealand’s largest art show “World of Wearable Art” (tm ) makes its North American debut at EMP Museum in Seattle. A spectacular fusion of fasion and art, the exhibition showcases 32 award-winning garments from the annual competition in Wellington. One of the highlights is ‘Born to Die”, a dress made completely of cable ties woven into a sculptural “vertebrae” to look like a fish skeleton, by design student, Guo Xia Tong from China. On view through Jan. 2, 2017. 325 – 5th Ave. N. 206-770-270
Next year will see a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens Sept. 29, 2017 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. Seattle Art Museum downtown. Comes from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. where it will be exhibited Feb. 23 – May 14, 2017. Other dates for this touring exhibit TBA.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – Opening April 9 and staying on view through Oct. 9, 2016 in the Tateuchi Galleries is “Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World.” The show looks at how the color blue creates so many moods in cloth around the world. Drawn primarily from SAM’s global textile collection, the show illuminates the historic scope of this vibrant pigment. On view will be tapestries from Belgium, a Chinese silk court robe, kimonos from Japan, batiks and ikats from Indonesia and Africa, and ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt. An immersive contemporary installation devoted to indigo by Rowland Ricketts with a soundtrack by sound artist Nobert Herber will also be featured. Also on view now – “Awakened Ones: Buddhas of Asia” comes from the museum’s own collection and features 20 sculptures and paintings of Buddhas from across Asia that span nearly 13 centuries. Opening on July 2 and remaining on view through Feb. 26, 2017 is “Terratopia: The Chinese Landscape in Painting and Film.” The importance of landscape is a key feature of Chinese art and this show gives it a new wrinkle by comparing Chinese landscape paintings from the collection with the sounds and images of artist and cinematographer Yang Fudong taken from his five-part film entitled “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-7). The film experiments with ideas about what nature holds for people in the modern world by reimagining ancient history’s seven philosophers as seven successful youths who are disenchanted with the banality of daily urban life. Filmed in the famed Yellow mountains of eastern China, a place that inspired poetry and literature for centuries as well as a major school of and landscape art. Chinese art curator Foong Ping says, “It’s a thinking person’s show…You have to look at something and ask ‘Why is it there? Why did you choose this one?’ and there will be an answer. It’s a puzzle.”. Immersed in both the audio and visual elements of the film, viewers may very well begin to see the Chinese landscapes on the wall in a new light. Now on view through Oct. 9, 2016 is a show entitled “GOLD: Japanese Art from the Collection.” Japanese art curator Xiaojin Wu created this show with diverse elements from the museum’s collection, which showcases all things gold including textiles-such as kimonos-as well as paintings, metalwork, and lacquerware. Tabaimo is a Japanese artist who currently has her first solo show of video installations at San Jose Museum of Modern Art. She will curate a show of her existing and new works as well as works from SAM’s collection that she has selected for their close connections with her own work. Opens Nov. 11, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 26, 2017. Seattle Asian Art Museum is at 1400 Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. 206-442-8480 or go to seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter or [email protected].
The works of Patti Warashina and her late husband Robert Sperry are included in a unique group show curated by Vicki Halper entitled “Matched Makers-Northwest Artist Couples” on view Oct. 1, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017. A curator talk is on Oct. 1 at 1pm followed by a reception from 2 – 5pm. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor, WA.
Seattle artist Carina del Rosario brought her “Passport Office” art installation to Burien’s Arts Aglow Festival on September 10, 2016. “Every time I have to fill out a form, I bristle at the boxes I have to squeeze myself into. I know a lot of people who feel that way too.” Instead the artist creates new passports that lets people fill out with what they want to say about themselves and the meaningful things in their lives. The artist wants to provoke deeper questions like “why do we have categories like race, gender and immigration status anyway?” A portion of this series will be featured in the exhibition “Liberty Denied” at the Museum of Culture and the Environment” in Ellensburg Spet. 21 – Dec. 10, 2016. For details, go to [email protected].
The Seattle Asian Art Museum known for its classic Art Deco design built in 1933 will receive a major overhaul and renovation. The museum will close in the spring of 2017. The museum seeks input from the community in a series of meetings about what people envision for the Asian Art Museum of tomorrow. Go to visitsam.org/inspire or email SAM at [email protected] for more information about upcoming community forums about the future of SAAM. Some goals include expanding educational and programming spaces, protecting the collection, restoring a historic icon, enhancing the museum’s connection with Volunteer Park and adding new exhibition space. Coming up is a meeting on Sat., Oct. 15, 2016 at Seattle Asian Art Museum at 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park.
Seattle artist/performer/filmmaker Etsuko Ichikawa has won the grand prize Dave Bowen Award for her video entitled “Echo at Satsop”. Submissions were received from artists from over 40 countries. Juror and Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has this to say about the work. “Equal parts performance documentation and otherworldly cinematic experience the mesmerizing video reveals the dramatic potential of a simple gesture made in an extraordinary setting. I was not only struck by the professional and creative cinematography, but also by the powerful soundtrack. Nearly every shot would make a compelling still image; the meditative sound could also stand alone. Both contribute to a sense that this clearly real place could be on earth or elsewhere – in the past, present, or far-off future.” Congratulations, Etsuko! The artist is represented locally by Winston Wachter Fine Art Gallery/ [email protected]. Currently she is working on a public art project for Pullman High School sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission. She will do a residency at Museum of Glass in Tacoma. She is also working on “Jomon Vitrified”, an examination of the radioactive decay of uranium glass inspired by Jomon pottery and concerns over the disasters at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant and Hanford Nuclear Waste Management. She has a new facebook page and is working on a podcast as well. For details on any of the above, email [email protected].
Comparing his own journey from China to Canada, the Yangtze River to the Frazier River, with that of the salmon migration, Canadian multi-media artist Gu Xiong has an installation entitled “A River of Migration”. Xiong says, “When the salmon returns, the river flows red. A spiritual river. A river of migration.” On view through Nov. 28, 2016. San Juan Islands Museum of Art on 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor. 360-370-5050 or go to www.sjima.org.
“Cosmic Leaves” is a show of new work by veteran “To Be SeenPortland sculptor/artist Kanetaka Ikeda. Imagine larger than life-size white leaves filled with sections of patterned color fluttering down out of the sky and you might start to get an idea. Show runs Oct. 4 – 29 with a Wed. preview and artist talk on Oct. 5 from 6:30 – 7:30pm and a First Thursday opening on Oct. 6 from 6 – 9pm. Blackfish Gallery at 420 Ninth Ave. in Portland. 503-224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.
Artist Ayumi Takahashi is in a duo show with Ryan Bubnis on view through Oct. 7. Her work has mysterious figures staring out of a composition of bright palettes and playful patterns. At the Stephanie Chefas Project at 305 SE 3rd Ave. #202 in Portland, Oregon. Open wed. – Sat. from 1 – 6pm. [email protected].
“To Be Seen” is the title of a show of paintings and drawings by Una Kim on view through Sept. 24, 2016. At North Bank Artists Gallery located at 1005 Main St. in Vancouver, WA. 360-693-1840 or go to www.northbankartistsgallery.com.
“See Me See You” is a show of drawings and prints by Korean American artist Samantha Wall that explore the portrait as a means of communication about invisibility and hypervisibility experienced by women of color. On view through Oct. 1, 2016 at Laura Russo Gallery at 805 NW 21st Ave. in Portland. 503-226-2811 or go to www.laurarusso.com.
“Matter” is the first North American retrospective to highlight two decades of art by Bharti Kher, a UK-born, New Delhi-based artist. The exhibition presents elements of painting, photography, and sculpture that have been the hallmarks of her practice over the past two decades. On view through Oct. 10, 2016. Organized by Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis and Diana Freundl. Her use of the bindi (a popular fashion accessory that once was a symbol of the third eye) is reclaimed by the artist to show the resilience of women. Ideas of hybridity and the female cyborg are also explored in her art. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue co-published with Black Dog Publishing. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-662-4722 or go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.
On view through Sept. 4, 2016 is “Chino Otsuka: Arrival”, an audio visual multi-channel installation that combines archival images and new photographs as a way to explore the early history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, stories of young women who came as picture brides. It captures a time of anticipation, hope and adventure as they begin their journey to a new country. Otsuka is based in England and this project was inspired by a 2014 residency at the Nikkei archives here. Also ongoing is “Taiken – Japanese Canadians Since 1877”, photography and artifacts that chronicle the hardships of pioneers to the struggles of the war years to the Nikkei community today. Nikkei National Museum at 6688 Southoaks Cres. In Burnaby B.C., Canada. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
The first Honolulu Biennial looks at Hawai’i not as a remote outpost but more like the crossroads of the Pacific Rim showcasing work from Japan, the Pacific Islands, Maoris and local talent. Opens March 8, 2017 and on view until May 8, 2017 at various venues. To get the whole schedule, go to honolulubiennial.org.
The Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90’s” gives you a look at 70 works by avant-garde designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Kansai Yamamoto and Yohji Yamamoto. On view now through May 28, 2017. “Depth & Detail – Carved Bamboo from China, Japan & Korea” looks at this intricate decorative art that includes religious imagery, people, animals, birds, insects, plants and landscapes. All with a story to tell or having symbolic meaning. On view through Jan. 15, 2017. 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver. 720-865-5000.
“Summer Trees Casting Shade – Chinese Paintings at Berkeley” highlights the collection of the late highly respected Chinese art historian and UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill. The works date from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. Highlights include the Song Dynasty galleries and the Ma Yuan Paintings. On view through Sept. 25, 2016. A related activity is art historian Patricia Berger’s talk entitled “A Passion for Grapes – Thoughts on a Chinese Painting” set for Sept. 24 at 1:30pm. At the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) which has moved from its former UC Berkeley campus location to downtown. 2155 Center St. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
“Japanese Photography From Postwar To Now” features over 400 recently acquired images from the 1960’s to the 1990’s with work by Daido Moriyama, Shomei Tomatsu and Miyako Ishiuchi. Opens Oct. 15 and remains on view through March 12, 2017. San Francisco Museum of Modern art. Go to sfmoma.org for details.
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco at 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500. In recent news, the museum is planning a massive expansion and renovation underwritten by donations from board members which include the wife of the original founder of Yahoo! and the President of Dreyer’s Ice Cream. Thai-born Kulapat Yantrasast’s wHY architectural firm of Los Angeles will oversee the project which begins in 2017. In an effort to step up its contemporary art programming, the museum recently hired curator Karin G. Oen from Dallas where she worked as curator at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The museum better known for historical exhibitions in the past is adding more contemporary shows as well. “28 Chinese” is a group show opening this summer with Xu Zhen, Zhang Huang and Ai We Wei organized by Miami collectors Mera and Don Rubell. The museum’s recent acquisitions of new art will debut in the fall with a group show entitled “First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian” with work by Ahmed Mater, RongRong & Inri, Zhu Jinshi, Okura Jiro, Lu Shoukun and C. C. Wang.
“Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” is the title of a new show at the Huntington Library. Photographs made by Ishimoto of architecture by these early 20th-century designers on assignment for the Japanese design magazine, “Approach” (on loan from Museum of Art, Kochi) plus images from his “Katsura Imperial Villa” series are now on view until Oct. 3, 2016. This show coincides with the reopening of a refreshed permanent display of Greene & Greene furniture in an adjacent room. A new exhibition opens Sept. 17 entitled “Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints” and remains on view through Jan. 9, 2017. The show includes forty-eight examples of woodblock prints made from the 16th century to 19th centuries on loan from the National Library of China in Beijing, the Nanjing Library, the Shanghai Museum and 14 other institutions and private collections. 1151 Oxford Rd. in San Marino, California. 626-405-2100.
Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of the sites for Mel Chin’s land art project “The Tie That Binds: Mirror of the Future” which is part of the new public art biennial “CURRENT: LA Water. Chin, is internationally known for her public art installations that involve community and this one is no different. As you know California is in the midst of a long drought. The project begins at the Bowtie, a piece of land in Atwater village near the Los Angeles River. Here, “mirror makers” guide viewers through eight unique, drought-resistant sample gardens created by the artist. Visitors can commit to creating a mirror of a sample garden in their own yard, and receive a blueprint for one of the sample gardens with instructions on how to plant and maintain their very own mirror garden, It is hoped this will help drought-resistant gardens proliferate all across the city. For details, go to the CURRENT:LA website.
Yuki Kimura’s photographs are like staged domestic environments with his own shots and those taken from other sources juxtapoxed with furniture, potted plants and various objects. This marks Kimura’s fist solo show in the US. Opens Dec. 8, 2016 and remains oon view through Feb. 25, 2017. CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco. 360 Kansas St. 415-355-9670.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows –“Tatau: Marks of Polynesia” on view until Jan. 8, 2017 showcases the art and legacy of the over 2,000 year old Samoan tattoo tradition. Opening March 12, 2007 and remaining on view until August 20, 2017 will be “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” which looks at the life and career of Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu. 100 North Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 1-800-461-5266 or go to janm.org.
Currently on view through Dec. 4, 2016 is “Alternative Dreams: 17th Century Chinese Paintings From the Tsao Family Collection” which showcases works by many of the most famous painters of this period, including scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents “No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki.” Co-organized with Colby College Museum of Art, it is the first retrospective of the work of this artist (1920-2013) in the United States. This Chinese-French artist melded eastern and western aesthetic sensibilities in his paintings to great effect and was a key figure of the post-WWII abstract expressionist movement. Zao was born in Beijing but grew up in Shanghai and Hangzhou, where he studied at the China Academy of Art. In 1948, he emigrated to Paris where he became a major name in the European art world. His work found its way into American collections in the 50’s and 60’s. He was one of the first artists to adapt the visual characteristics of Chinese art within twentieth-century oil painting idioms. The show is curated by Melissa Walt, Ankeney Weitz and Michelle Yun and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. On view September 9, 2016 – January 8, 2017. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org.
Alfonso Ossorio was one of the first contemporary Filipino American artists and lived on Long island near Jackson Pollock , a friend and contemporary. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery represents his estate. They have a show entitled Alfonso Ossorio- Congregations: The First Decade 1959 – 1969” now on view through Oct. 29, 2016. 100 Eleventh Ave. in New York City. Go to michaelrosenfeld.com for details.
The Japanese minimalist sculptor Kishio Suga gets his first US museum exhibition at DIA in Chelsea in New York City. Nov. 5 – April 2, 2017. Go to diaart.org for details.
Opening in the Spring of 2017 will be the Whitney Biennial which was started in 1932 and is still considered one of the pre-eminent biennials in the country. This 2017 edition is co-curated by Asian Americans, Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. 99 Gansevoort St. in New York City. Go to www.whitney.org.
Drawings, paintings and photos illustrate the great architectural sites and buildings of Tibet in the exhibition entitled “Monumental Lhasa: Fortress, Palace, Temple” on view now through Jan. 9, 2017 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Go to rubinmuseum.org for details.
“Isamu Noguchi – Archaic/Modern” explores how pyramids, burial mounds, temples and the gardens of the ancient world shaped one of America’s most innovative sculptors. Nov. 11, 2016 – March 19, 2017. Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Free and open daily. 8th and G Streets NW. Go to AmericanArt.si.edu for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps of the 18th and 19th Centuries” through Nov. 6, 2016. This exhibition of maps showcases the beauty of Japanese printmaking. Coming up is “Provoke”: Photography in Japan Between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975. Opens Jan. 28, 2017 and remains on view through April 30, 2017. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
“Narcissus Garden” was an installation created by the grande dame of contemporary Japanese art, Yayoi Kusama for the 33rd Venice Biennale back in 1966. She re-creates that piece consisting of over 1,000 mirrored spheres at the famed American architect Phillip Johnson’s historic glazed building in New Canaan, Connecticut known as the Glasshouse Museum. Kusama floats a landscape of metallic orbs that sweep across the meadow and forest of the grounds on the way to the building. Also as an added bonus during the month of September, visitors can see how she has turned the interior of the Glasshouse into a colorful polka-dot infinity room. “Narcissus Garden” is on view through November, 2016. For tickets for a tour, go to [email protected].
The Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University has the following – A show by Yan Xing through Oct. 16, 2016. Upcoming is a group exhibition that investigates a wide range of themes surrounding the changing role of women in China in an exhibition entitled “Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Women Artists”. Included are the work of twenty-eight emerging working in painting, installation, sculpture, video, animation, photography and performance. The generation of artists born in China during the 1970s and 1980s witnessed significant changes throughout their society as the country opened up to foreign markets and international exchange. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by the curator, Dr. Wang Chunchen and interviews with the artists. There will be various activities including performances by Hu Jiayi, Lin Ran, and Luo Wei. On view August 27, 2016 through February 12, 2017. This museum was designed by the late Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. 504 East Circle Dr. in East Lansing, Michigan. 517-884-4800 or try [email protected].
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will open their new South Asian Galleries starting Oct. 2, 2016. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Go to www.philamuseum.org for details.
Cleveland Museum of Art has a show entitled “Art And Stories From Mughal India” through Oct. 23, 2016. See over 100 detailed paintings and decorative objects on loan from museums across the country. 11150 East Blvd. 216-421-7350 or go to www.clevelandart.org.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has the following. “Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection” through Oct. 11, 2016. 1000 Fifth Ave. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
“Bingata! Only in Okinawa” is an exhibit on the textile art of that country that opens Nov. 5, 2016 and remains on view through Jan. 30, 2017 at George Washington University Museum’s Textile Museum in Washington D.C. Okinawa was an independent kingdom until 1879, with its own language, culture and distinctive textile traditions. This exhibition has textile treasures from Okinawan museum collections with brightly colored bingata traditional resist-dyed fabrics and contemporary works by Okinawan artists and fashion designers. Organized in partnership with the Okinawa Prefectural Government. 701-21st St. NW. Call 202-994-5200 or go to [email protected].
“Winter in Jeju-Do” is on view through Dec. 16, 2016. Photographer Caroline Philippone’s attempt to document this Korean island’s mountains, coastal towns and temples in winter. This island is located in the southernmost area of South Korea. Miami University Art Museum’s Douglass Gallery at 801 S. Patterson Ave. in Oxford, Ohio. Go to miamioh.edu/artmuseum for details.
Another large exhibit in Seoul honoring the artist is “The Paik Nam June Show” where over a hundred of his pieces are arranged in thematic sections including a huge turtle sculpture composed of over 166 TV monitors. On view through Oct. 30, 2016 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Go to www.ddp.or.kr for details.
The National Arts Council chose multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning to represent Singapore at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Yuan Gong’s “The Shape of Scent” takes the use of fog to invoke a visual depiction of scent in a series of six large oil paintings and three video pieces. Closed on August 27, 2016 at Tang Contemporary Art in Hong Kong. Excerpted from Artsasiapacific’s website.
If current shows in Japan are any indicator, that country is in a navel-gazing mood with shows that look back to the past to evaluate the future.”1945+5: War and Reconstruction – How artists Faced the Turbulent Period” is on view through Oct. 10, 2016. The show looks at the oil painting tradition in the years before and after WWII and how it affected Japanese artists. At the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art at 1-1 Hijiyama Koen, Minami-ku in Hiroshima. In 1946 as Japan was reeling from WWII, the first Japanese woman manga artist – cartoonist Machiko Hasegawa gave the nation some light relief with her hit manga entitled “Sazae-san.” This exhibition entitled “The 70th Anniversary of Sazae-san: The Best of Machiko Hasegawa” runs from August 27 – Oct. 10, 2016 at Itabashi Art Museum in Tokyo. 5-34-27 Akatsuka, Itabashi-ku. In the 1960’s there was an explosion of new graphic art that graced the covers of albums and rock concert posters. Japan was not exempt from this trend and Tadanori Yokoo is best known for his vibrant poster art and album covers. “Yokoo Maniarism Vol. 1” looks at his works based on diary entries in which he attempted to draw/scribble down images from his dreams and whatever else he could catch before they dissolved from memory. On view until Nov. 27, 2016 at the Yokoo Tadanori Musem of Contemporary Art at 3-8-30 Harada-dori, Nada Ku, Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. “Charm of the Scholar’s Desk – Water Droppers of the Joseon Dynasty” on view until Nov. 27, 2016. In the Asian tradition of calligraphy, the “four treasures of the study” are considered brush, ink, paper and inkstone” but the water dropper (used to wet inkstones) is not far behind. In the Joseon Dynasty (1397-1910), calligraphy was a popular art form for the ruling class and literati alike. Water droppers were made in a variety of shapes and sizes and decorated with ideas and motifs. This show brings together 126 water droppers from the Museum of Oriental Ceramics collection. 1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita-Ku in Osaka, Japan. “The Power of Colors – Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Kikuchi Collection” on view until Dec. 4, 2016. Colors take on various significance in the world of ceramic art. This show shows the vast array of possibilities and the power of unique hues. All pieces taken from the Tomo Kikuchi Collection. At Musee Tomo in the Nishikubo Building, 4-1-35 Toronomon, Minato-Ku in Tokyo.
The theme for the 3rd Aichi Triennale as coined by curator Chihiro Minato is “Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan.” It takes place in the cities of Okazaki, Toyohasi and Nagoya, Japan. Parameters are wide for this festival of art that will include photography, moving image, performing arts and architecture. Available through Oct. 23, 2016.
Thirty-three year old artist Hao Liang offers his contemporary version of “gongbi”, a static and meticulously refined style that reached its apex during the Song dynasty. Features eight ink- on -silk works that reprises the theme of “Eight Views of Xiaoxing”. Nov. 4, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017 at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. 4 Jiuxianqiao Rd., Chaoyang, Beijing, China. Call +86 10 578 0200 or go to [email protected].
Like Morandi, the Japanese artist Yamada Masaaki (1930-2010) spent his whole life doing the same paintings over and over again. His abstract pieces use unusual hues and imprecise horizontal stripes with drips. Opens Dec. 6, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 12, 2017 at National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. 3-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda in Tokyo. Call 81 3-5777-8600.
The ever controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been eliminated from the Yinchuan Biennale just two weeks before its scheduled opening due to his “political status” according to a post by the artist on Twitter. Displeasure of the artist’s inclusion in the show was voiced by domestic media. Yinchuan MoCA is just starting out in that area of China and didn’t want controversy to be a stumbling block in its growth as a contemporary art institution. Work of over 70 international artists are included in this inaugural show including contributions from Anish Kapoor, Song Dong and Yoko Ono. Ai Weiwei had this to say about his elimination. While acknowledging that censorship is a given under Communism, he said “it still comes as a surprise to me for an ‘international art biennale’…to remove a single artist for the reason of defending human rights and freedom of speech. That shows what we face is a world which is divided and segregated by ideology, and art is used merely as a decoration for political agendas in certain societies.” He closed his remarks by saying “China is trying to develop into a modern society without freedom of speech, but without political arguments involving higher aesthetic morals and philosophies, art is only served as a puppet of a fake cultural efforts. Therefore I am happy not to be part of that effort as a political decoration.” Excerpted from The Art Newspaper. Go to http://theartnewspaper.com/news/news/ai-weiwei-dropped-from-biennial-in-china-/ for the complete story.
“Learning The Magic of Painting” is Takashi Murakami’s show of new work at Gallerie Perrotin in Paris on view until Dec. 23, 2016. It includes new pieces from his “500 Arhats” series which was unveiled recently at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo as his response to the 2011 East Japan Earthquake. He also continues his exploration of the “Enso” series (literally ‘circle’ in Japanese), a Zen Buddhist motif for emptiness. A new wrinkle for the European audience is his triptychs and diptychs inspired by Francis bacon’s tortured figures. At 76 Rue De Turenne in Paris.
Kyoto Arts & Antiques have been wholesaling Japanese antiques for 25 years. Based in Kyoto, Seattle is their only U.S. port of call for two weeks in the spring and fall. They will open up their warehouse to the Friends of Asian Art Association for a special evening of discovery. Space is limited so register now. Oct. 7 from 7 – 9pm. The warehouse is at 5840 Airport Way South in Georgetown. Tickets are always cheaper for organization members so you might consider joining before making your reservation. To register, go to www.friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer4.html.
The non-profit organization known as Washington Lawyers for the Arts celebrates 40 years of providing legal services to people in the arts on Thurs., Oct 6, 2016 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Columbia Tower Club at 5 Columbia Center at 701 – 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle. Tickets are $25 and available at www.thewla.org. WLA members get complimentary tickets. For more information, go to [email protected].
Anicka Yi is one of the nominated artists for the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize. Winner will be announced Oct. 20, 2016. Go to Guggenheim.org/hugobossprizze
Seattle Kokon Taiko formed in 1980 and is still going strong. To celebrate they plan a 35th Anniversary Concert entitled “Rhythm, Movement & Spirit” on Oct. 1, 2016. Tickets are on sale now. This will be a big production with special guests they have been collaborating with the last few years including Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe of UNIT SOUZOU, singer-songwriter Aura Ruddell and the rock band, Ravenna Woods. Concert takes place at the Shorewood Performing Arts Center in Shoreline. Planning a concert this big takes lots of money and the organization would appreciate any financial support it can receive from friends, family and community. This group has always been there for the community performing at rallies, concerts and community events. Now it’s our turn to step up and support them. For more information on the concert, go to http://seattlekokontaiko.org/skt35/. To keep up with the group’s activities, go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Seattle-Kokon-Taiko-SKT-101296766070/. And more importantly, to send donations to the group so they can put on their concert, go to https://www.gofundme.com/skt35.
“A Voice Without the Words to Speak: A Roundtable Discussion on Loss of Language” is co-produced by Tessa Hulls and John Boylan’s Conversation Series. Our identities are defined by language: even within the intimacy of our own minds. We need words to shape the timbre of what we think and what we feel. Externally, the languages that we speak place us within larger contexts – of culture, of identity, of belonging. So what happens when we lose access to language? What does it mean when we lack the words to fully frame who we are. Join panelists Gregory Sutterlict, Sharon H. Chang, Rose Hulls and Litsa Dremousis in opening up this fascinating issue. On Tues., Sept. 27 at 7pm. Vermillion Art Gallery/Bar at 1508 – 11th Ave. on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. 206-709-9797. Tessa Hulls is working on a graphic-novel-in-progress entitled “Feeding Ghosts: The Life of Sun Yi.” The book explores loss of language, generational inheritance of trauma, mental illness, mother/daughter relationships, mixed-race identity, and the loss of culture through the life story of the author’s maternal grandmother, Sun Yi.
People who can’t get enough Asian American theatre should consider making the trek to Ashland, Oregon, home of the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. That festival serves as host with the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA) for “Seismic Shifts – The National Asian American Theatre Conference & Festival” from Oct. 1 – 9, 2016. Expect new play readings, workshops, contemporary theatre productions and panel discussions. A great place to see the future of Asian American theatre and a sneak peek at upcoming new productions by regional theatres from around the country and even a contemporary Indonesian theatre troupe, Indonesia Boom Arts. Seattle will be well represented by Kathy Hsieh, Maggie Lee, Roger Tang and others. Hsieh and Tang appear as well on a panel discussion. For single show tickets, go to www.osfashland.org. For information on the plays, go to www.caata.net.
Singer/songwriter/musician Kishi Bashi was born in Seattle but raised in in Virginia, the son of academics. He studied film scoring at Berklee School of Music and founded the rock band “Of Montreal” before going solo. He will be touring on behalf of his latest release “Sounderlust.” This recording came out of the ashes after touring and marital problems saw him at a spiritual and creative impasse. He appears in Seattle on Oct. 18 at 8pm at the Showbox in downtown Seattle at 1426 – 1st Ave. 1-888-9-AXS TIX or try the ShowBox or SODO ShowBox offices for tickets in-person fromWed. – Fri. from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
Meany Center For The Performing Arts at UW has as usual an exciting assortment of programs for every taste whether under the categories of “Dance”, “Piano”, “World Music” or “Chamber Music” for their 2016-2017 season. Seattle-raised choreographer Mark Morris has always had a love for ethnic music traditions. The Mark Morris Dance Group in collaboration with The Silk Road Ensemble together to perform “Layla And Majnun” based on an ancient Persian tale which should bring dance and world music fans to their feet. Morris and the Ensemble perform Oct. 6 – 8, 2016 at 8pm except for a 2pm matinee on Sat., Oct. 8. The Shen Wei Dance Arts group with their special blend of contemporary dance and Asian tradition performs “Neither” set to Morton Feldman’s opera of the same name with a libretto by Samuel Beckett March 16 – 18, 2017 at 8pm. Korean concert pianist Joyce Yang has been getting rave reviews for her recitals. She visits on Nov. 3, 2016 at 8pm. KODO, the Japanese group that started the world phenomenon for the sound of the Japanese drum, the taiko make a welcome return as well. They take the stage on Feb. 3 – 4 , 2017 at 8pm. 206-543-4880 or go to MEANYCENTER.ORG for details. Single tickets and subscriptions on sale now.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the programs Seattle Symphony has to offer under the baton of Music Director Ludovic Morlot later this year going into 2016/2017. Bass vocalist Jonathan Lemalu is part of the choir performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ludovic Morlot conducting January 5 and 7. Kevin Ahfat is featured pianist during the Symphony’s “Shostakovich Concerto Festival”. He’s perform with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting the following. On Thurs., January 19 – Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2 and Cello Concerto No. 1. On Friday, January 20 – Cello Concerto No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 2 and Violin Concerto No. 1. Cellist Yo Yo Ma makes what seems to be one of annual Seattle visits when he performs a program of Bartok, Mozart and Haydn with Seattle Symphony under the baton of Pablo Rus Broseta on Friday, October 14 at 8pm. On Sunday, March 26 at 4pm, the annual “Celebrate Asia” concert returns featuring movie music by famous Chinese and Indian composers including Grammy and Academy Award winners Tan Dun and A. R. Rahman. Finally on Friday, February 10 at 8pm, catch violinist Leonidas Kavakos & pianist Yuja Wang in a program featuring Medtner’s “Two Canzonas with Dances for Violin and Piano and other works by Schubert, Debussy and Bartok. For details on tickets, go to seattlesymphony.org or call (206) 215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details.
The Northwest Tea Festival 2016 takes place at Seattle Center Oct. 1 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Oct. 2 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) $10 admission for one day and $15 admission for both days. Learn the history of tea culture and sample different teas. For details, email [email protected].
Emerald City Music is a new local organization specializing in chamber music. They recently announced their first season featuring over 40 world-class musicians with many performances all over Puget Sound. There will be seven in Seattle, two in Tacoma and five in Olympia. The concerts are curated by Kristen Lee, Artist Director and violinist. Some of the musicians include Ben Hong, Tien-hsin Cindy, David Requiro, The Dover Quartet, Gloria Chien, Hyeyeon Park, Windsync, Yura Lee and Kristen Lee. Concerts will be at Washington Center, 415 Westlake, Lagerquitt Concert Hall, Minnaert Center and St. Michael Westside Church. Go to http://www.emeraldcitymusic.org/blog/2016/5/16/announcing-season-one for details. Opening concert of Brahms kicks off on Sept. 16 at 415 Westlake in Seattle. Go to emeraldcitymusic.org.
Aerialist Rui Ling performs in Teatro ZinZanni’s romantic production of “Hotel L’Amore” staring Lilliane Montevecchi. Through Sept. 25. 222 Mercer St. in Seattle. 206-802-0015 for details.
Book-It Repertory Theatre kicks off their 2016-17 season with an adaptation of Ruth Ozeki’s best-selling novel “A Tale For The Time Being” set fro Sept. 14 – Oct. 9. The story centers around a woman on an island off the coast of British Columbia who finds the diary of a young Japanese young girl washed up on the shore as part of the tsunami debris and how she imagines her story from reading the pages. Cast includes Khanh Doan, Mi Kang, Mariko Kita, Scott Koh, Keven Lin, Michael Patten, Rachel Rene and Annie Yim. Adapted by Laura Ferri and directed by Desdemona Chiang. For tickets, go to book-it.org or call 206-216-0833.
Access To Ustads presents: Master of Tabla Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla’s North Indian concert with Hindustani vocalist Srivani Jade and Master Artist Anindo Chatterjee on the table. Both artists perform and talk about their art form. Sat., Sept. 24 at 2pm. For more information, go to wingluke.org.
Seattle Children’s Festival is a community celebration of live music, dance, performances, workshops, arts & crafts and performers from around the world. Oct. 9 at Seattle Center as presented by Northwest Folklife.
A Hawaiian cultural event entitled “Na Mele O Ku’u Tutu” takes place on Oct. 16 at Carco Theatre in Renton. 435-765-7511 or go to brownpapertickets.com.
Singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata comes to the Tractor Tavern on Oct. 17. Presented by Monqui. Go to monqui.com for details.
The Japanese Community Service present their 5th annual benefit entitled “Musical Bridge Concert” on Sat., Nov. 19, 2016 from 1:30 – 3:30pm. The concert features jazz pianist/composer Senri Oe, Seattle vocalist Minami Hughes, Seattle Matsuri Taiko/Fujima Dance Ensemble and Voice of Kids – 2016 with Fumi Tagata. $10 for ages 7 – 18 and 65-84 and $20 for ages 19 – 64. Free for ages under 7 or over 84. Held at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. Go to www.jcsseattle.org for details.
Hmong New Year Celebration brings traditional hilltop Chinese, Lao and Thai performances, arts and activities with food, market vendors and games. Free. Nov. 5, 2016 at Seattle Center Armory all day long.
“Diwali: Lights of India” celebrates the Festival of Lights, one of the most popular festivals in India. Dance lessons, henna booths, sari stations, puppet show, face painting, food and vendors. Nov. 6 all day at Seattle Center Armory. Free.
Chan Centre, the premier performing arts theatre space for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C. presents the following. The China Philharmonic with conductor Long Yu and solo pianist Serena Wang perform Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto and Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” on Nov. 30, 2016. The Taiwan Philharmonic conducted by Shao-Chia Liu with solo violinist Yu-Chien Tseng perform the first Vancouver performance of the late composer Tyen Hsiano’s “Violin Concerto” on Dec. 9, 2016. Anda Union, a nine-member band that unites tribal and musical traditions from all over Inner Mongolia. A wide range of traditional instruments and vocal throat singing styles are used. They are part of the new season and will perform on March 26, 2017 at 8pm. Go to http://chancentre.com/subscribe/ for details on their complete season. Single tickets on sale on June 14, 2016 from noon on.
Catch local singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama in the fall when he joins fellow singer/songwriters Jeremy Enigk and Laura Gibson at a song fest for “Cathedrals XIII” at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Oct. 8, 2016 at 1245 10th Ave. E. A benefit for Greening the Abbey campaign.
At Benaroya Hall, the East Meets West Concert Series present “Year of the Monkey: Chinese Music in the Great Northwest” presented by the Seattle-based Chinese arts and Music Association. Includes performances by Seattle Chinese Orchestra, Zhenlun’s Cello Orchestra, NW Guzheng Ensemble and NW Jigu Ensemble. Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3pm. You can email [email protected] or call 206-817-6888 for details.
The Asian American/Asian presence in the area of jazz continues to be a strong influence. It’s no more apparent than in the 2017 version of “Earshot Jazz Festival 2016”” which brings over 50 events in venues all over the Puget Sound from Oct. 7 – Nov. 11. Kobe-born trumpeter Takuya Kuroda has two releases on the classic Blue Note label and his excursions in nu-jazz funk has graced the likes of singer Jose James. He appears with his group on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 8pm at Cornish College of the Arts’ Poncho Concert Hall. Radresh Mahanthappa is one of the leading jazz innovators of his generation and his tribute to Charlie “Bird” Parker ranked high on many critic’s lists. Hear him do his “Bird Calls” with a stellar band on Fri., Oct. 21 at Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheeft Auditorium at 8pm. On the talented local front, the duo Bad Luck with composer/percussionist Chris Icasiano and composer/sax player Neil Welch continue to break down barriers and appear on Oct. 23 at Seattle Art Museum downtown at 8pm. Guitarist Rez Abbasi has turned heads with his unique approach and topped polls in the “Best Guitarist Category.” Catch him with his quartet with ace saxophonist Mark Shim on Thurs., Oct. 27 at the Royal Room at 8pm. Pianist Vjay Iyer has gotten increasing attention in recent years for his compositional prowess and innovative playing, most recently as musician-in-residence in a series of informal concerts at the Met Breuer Museum in New York. He appears in tandem with trumpet giant Wadada Leo Smith, a mentor and friend. The two recently recorded “A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke” for ECM. An inspiring influence on the local scene is UW jazz instructor/composer and jazz trumpeter Cuong Vu. He plays a new composition with the Seattle Symphony in an evening of orchestral and ensemble works that is an homage to Quincy Jones. Entitled “Seattle Symphony: Sonic Evolution”, it also includes the Garfield Jazz band under the direction of Clarence Acox. A fitting conclusion to a great jazz festival. Buy tickets at www.earshot.org or call 206-547-6763.
A staged reading of a play by Mark Jenkins entitled “Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky” tells the story of the arduous and long history of Cambodian deportation from the United States. One time only on Oct. 8, 2016 at Wing Luke Museum at 719 S. King in Seattle. 206-623-5124 or go to wingluke.org.
Town Hall Seattle always has eclectic and provocative programming for every taste and genre. Razia Jan speaks on “Educating Girls in Afghanistan” on Sun., Sept. 25 at 7:30pm in the Great Hall. Jan is founder of a K-12 school that provides free education to girls in the country. On Tues., Oct. 18 at 7:30pm in the downstairs space, the Nangten Menlang Buddhist Medical Center presents a talk by Tulku Lobsang entitled “Beyond Mindfulness.” On Nov. 14 at 7:30pm, Yale University astronomy and physics Professor Priyamvada Natarajan gives a talk entitled “Mapping the Heavens” which looks at recent cosmological discoveries that “reshaped our universe.” Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 8th Ave. downtown in the First Hill neighborhood. 206-652-4255.
If you understand Hindi then the following will be a rare treat. Famed Bollywood Indian movie star and actor Panka Kapur brings his one-person theatrical piece entitled “Dopehri to Kirkland Performance Center for a one-time only performance. The story centers around the life of the elderly Amma Bis and her solitary life in a crumbling mansion in Lucknow with only her memories and her servant as lone witness. Oct. 6 at 7:30pm. 350 Kirkland Ave. 425-893-9900.
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts present as part of the South Puguet Sound Community College Artist & Lecture Series, the return of Taiko Project on Oct. 20 at 7:30pm. This newer generation of young American taiko players formed in Los Angeles takes the tradition of taiko into the next century with their savvy and exciting blend of thundering drums interlaced with techno and hip hop influences. Masato Baba, son of American taiko tradition stalwarts Russel Hisashi Baba and Jeanne Aiko Mercer is part of the group. Baba previously studied and performed with another taiko innovator, Kenny Endo. At Kenneth J. Minnaert Center at 2011 Mottman Rd. SW in Olympia, WA. Go to http://www.taikoproject.com/ for more information about this group.
Katsura Yamauchi is a veteran experimental saxophonist from Japan known for his intimate explorations of music in nature. He plays with Old Time Relijun frontman Arrington deDionyso who contributes bass clarinet and multi-phonic throat singing. Sat., Oct. 22 at 8pm. $15 suggested donation. All in the warm sonic air of the Chapel Performance Space nestled on the 4th floor of the Good Shepherd Center at 4649 Sunnyside N. in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Go to [email protected] for details.
Indian tabla whiz and world music percussionist Zakir Hussain makes a welcome return to the area with “Zitar” (amplified sitar) master Niladri Kumar on Oct. 23 as part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents series. Go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
Every year Theatre Puget Sounds hosts their local version of the Tony Awards, with a ceremony acknowledging nominees in every category for outstanding achievement. Winners are announced at the annual event and given Gregory Awards. Various Asian American theatre groups/performers in the area received nominations in various categories. Pork Filled Productions’ “The Tumbleweed Zephyr” by Maggie Lee was nominated for “Outstanding New Play.” Jocelyne Fowler was nominated for “Outstanding Costume Design” for another Pork Filled Production by Maggie Lee entitled “A Hand of Talons.” Seattle Rep’s production of “Constellations” got a couple nods. “Outstanding Production” and Director Desdemona Chiang for “Outstadning Director.” Ray Tagavilla was nominated for “Outstanding Actor” for his role in Sound Theater Company’s production of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.” In the category of “Outstanding New Play”, playwright Don Nguyen was nominated for “Sound” in this production by Azeotrope. If you want to cheer on your favorite or see who the winners are, the ceremony takes place on Oct. 24 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Go to gregoryawards.org for details. For more on sponsor Theatre Puget Sound, go to [email protected] or call 206-770-0370.
Seattle Gamelan Pacifica will perform pieces from a new album at the University of Puget Sound’s Rasmussen Rotunda on Oct. 29, 2016 in Tacoma. As part of the 2016 Southeast Asia Symposium Oct. 28 – 29, 2016. The ensemble works within the tradition while simultaneously pushing forward to also perform works for gamelan by contemporary composers. For details email [email protected] or call 253-879-3743. The group also performs on Cornish College of the Arts Poncho Hall on Sat., Dec. 3, 2016 at 8pm. 710 E. Roy St. 1-800-726-ARTS. In 2017, they celebrate the centenary of great American composer Lou Harrison who wrote many modern compositions for gamelan on Sat., May 13 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. (4th floor) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Arahmaiani is one of the keynote speakers at the 2016 Southeast Asian Symposium- The Culture and Nature In Indonesia, Thailand And Malaysia. Oct. 28 – 29, 2016 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Arahmaiani is a respected performance artist and graphic artist from Indonesia. Her practice incorporates video, installation, painting, drawing and sculpture. She advocates an Islam that is open and tolerant, fighting to eradicate the violent and military-like interpretations of it in the Western world caused by radical Islamic groups. She is also an advocate for the rights of women. She appears on Sat., Oct. 29 at 5pm. The UPS campus is at 1500 N. Warner St. in Tacoma. Call 253-879-3743 or email [email protected].
Korean American composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Bora Yoon appears in concert on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at 8pm. She is known to conjure up audio-visual soundscapes using digital devices, voice and found objects that fit each architectural space she inhabits. Cornish College Poncho Hall. 710 E. Roy St. 1-800-726-ARTS.
Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” is told from an Asian and Asian American perspective and set in dynastic China and America’s Old West. Through Oct. 16, 2016 at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Allen Elizabethan Theatre at 15 South Pioneer St. in Ashland, Oregon. 541-482-2111 or visit www.osfashland.org.
“Historama” is a cultural show featuring short plays, songs and dances that depict significant periods of Philippine history. Set for Oct. 29 at 5pm at Salem’s historic Elsinore Theatre at 170 High St. SE in Salem, Oregon. For info, call 503-285-1994. For tickets, visit www.elsinoretheatre.com or go to www.philippineshistorama.com.
Portland Piano/Clearing Presents sponsor a recital of short pieces for solo piano by Claudia Chan and Yihan Chen. On Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 at 8pm. Lincoln Recital Hall in Room 75. 1620 Southwest Park Ave. in Portland, Oregon. Go to http://portlandpiano.org/theclearingevents/ for details.
We hear all about the Vietnam war told from the American viewpoint but rarely do we get a Vietnamese perspective. That changes when Seattle gets a double dose of playwright Qui Nguyen’s work. His play “Vietgone” has earned rave reviews in New York and sold out quickly at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Now it comes to Seattle Repertory Theatre for a one month run from Dec. 2 – Jan. 1, 2017. Two Vietnamese immigrants travel around the country learning the language and navigating the complexities of refugee camps. Directed by May Adrales and produced in association with Oregon Shakespeare Festival.155 Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org. In addition another Nguyen play entitled “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G” gets a UW School of Drama LAB Project workshop production Directed by Ali el-Gasseir. This play tells the story of character revolt. When playwright Nguyen refuses to finish his “Gook Story Trilogy”, he gets kidnapped by his main character who forces him to pen the story he’s been avoiding for 10 years. It’s a fun ride filled with racist puppets, ninjas and one very angry David Henry Hwang. Runs from Dec. 6 – 11, 2016 at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre in the “U” District . Located at the north entrance to the UW campus between NE 45th S. & 17th Ave. NE. For tickets, try 206-543-4880 or go to artsuw.org or [email protected].
The famed Peking Acrobats make two appearances in the Puget Sound area. They are at the Edmonds Center For The Arts on Jan. 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595. They appear again hosted by the Broadway Center at Pantages Theater on Jan. 29, 2017. 253-591-5894.
Coming early in 2017 will be the touring production of the new edition of the musical “The King And I” as re-imagined by former Seattle Intiman Theater director Bartlett Sher. Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. Part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents’ new season. Go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
On The Boards presents their new fall season of performance art. Geumhyung Jeong from Seoul was trained as a dancer and puppeteer. This Korean artist makes work centered around the human body and inanimate objects. She performs “CPR Practice” on Jan. 25 – 26 in the theatre and “Oil Pressure Vibrator” (in which she operates industrial equipment) at an outside site to be announced on Jan. 28 – 29. On The Boards is located in Queen Anne at 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886.
Pianist/composer Miseung Kang from Seoul had her composition “The Whale” selected as the winner of the 4th Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers. She graduated from Berkelee College of Music. The composition will be performed live and recorded by the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra at the Shoreline Performing Arts Center on Oct. 15, 2016. Go to www.swojo.org for details.
The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue has the following events scheduled at their venue. American Asian Performing Arts Theatre present “Autumn Rhynes” from Sept. 20 – Oct. 1, 2016. Seattle Chinese Chorus performs on Oct. 23. Seattle hula Productions present “Hawai’i’s Legends.” Seattle East West Performing Arts Group hit the stage on Jan. 14, 2017. Chinese Radio Seattle has a program set for Feb. 4, 2017. 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue. 425-637-1020.
“Global Party” is a celebration with young local talent performing music and dance from around the world. Produced by STG Education & Community Programs. Nov. 18 at the Moore Theatre. 1932 Second Ave. 206-812-3284 or go to stgpresents.org.
Seattle favorite stand-up comic/storyteller Hari Kondabolu comes out with a new album entitled “Mainstream American Comic” (Kill Rock Stars) and celebrates with an album release show. Dec. 5 -7, 2016. The Triple Door at 216 Union St. downtown Seattle. 206-838-4333 or go to thetripledoor.net.
Fans of Hawaiian music will want to take note of this one. Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson appear at the Edmonds Center For The Arts with Moanalani Beamer representing the younger generation on March 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595.
LA based performance artist Kristina Wong hits the stage in Portland with her wild one-woman show entitled “The Wong Street Journal or How Kristina Wong Became a Hip-Hop Star in Northern Uganda.” Oct. 13 – 15 & 20 – 23 at Headwaters Theatre at 55 N. Farragut St. #4 (entrance near the Yoga shop) in Portland. Produced by Boom Arts. 503-404-2350 or go to www.witd.org/ or email [email protected].
Shannon Chan Kent plays Rose in the ArtClub’s new production of Annie Baker’s play “The Flick” about young ushers in a theatre that talk art as they sweep and try to make connections. Sept. 29 – Oct. 29. At Granville Island Stage in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-687-1644.
Lauren Yee is one of the hottest playwrights around now and her play, “King of the Yees” feels like one of her most personal. The plot has the protagonist Lauren looking for her dad who has suddenly disappeared. The playwright describes it as “an epic joyride through Chinatown” and it may well be worth the trip up from Seattle to see it. Oct. 13 – 22 at the Gateway Theatre. 6500 Gilbert Road in Richmond BC, Canada. 604-270-1812.
Canadian playwright Anusree Roy shows her versatility with two new plays running simultaneously in Vancouver BC, one for adults and one for kids. “Brothel #9” pits a woman thrown mistakenly into a desperate situation with a madame who feels she must resign herself to her fate. Nov. 17 – 27 at Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch. 1895 Venables St. 604-251-1363 or go to tickets.thecultch.com. Her other play entitled “Sultans of the Street” looks at the lives of Indian street urchins. It plays from Oct. 29 – Nov. 13 at Carousel Theatre for Young People located at 1411 Cartwright St. 604-669-3410 or go to [email protected].
Tetsuro Shigematsu and her father were both broadcasters. Shigematsu wrote and stars in “Empire of the Son”, a one person performance that tells the story of two generations of broadcasters and the radio silence between them. This show completely sold out when it premiered in 2015 so the folks at Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch in Vancouver, BC are bringing it back for a second run Nov. 1 – 13. Get your tickets quick. 1895 Venables St. 604-251-1363 or try tickets.thecultch.com.
“Dream of The Red Chamber” is one of China’s classic novels that recounts the love triangle between a young nobleman and two women; one his spiritual soulmate, the other a beautiful ambitious heiress. Composer Bright Sheng has turned this epic into a new opera commissioned by San Francisco Opera and directed by Stan Lai. Set design by noted set designer Tim Yip (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). Sheng and playwright David Henry Hwang collaborated on the libretto. Based on the novel by Cao Xueqin. Sung in English with English & Chinese supertitles. Remaining performances on Sept. 23, 27 & 29. Also on this year’s schedule is Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” set for Nov. 6 – Dec. 4, 2016.301 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco. 415-864-3330.
Tapestry Opera of Toronto under the direction of Artistic Director Michael Mori will kick off their 37th season with “Naomi’s Road” which covers events based on the Japanese-Canadian internment camps in the BC interior and Alberta during WWII. The opera is taken from a novel by noted Canadian writer Joy Kogawa as adapted by librettist and director Ann Hodges and composer Romona Luengen. Nov. 16 – 20 at St. David’s Anglican Church, home of the last Japanese-Canadian Anglican parish in Toronto. Go to https://tapestryopera.com/2016-2017-season/ for details.
New York-based Japanese dancer Takao Kawaguchi (formerly of Dumb Type) had a vision one day of becoming Kazuo Ohno. Ohno, who died in 2010 at the age of 103 was celebrated as a co-founder of Butoh, a revolutionary new dance form that surfaced in the throes of Japan’s search for an identity in the years after WWII. Kawaguchi who never saw the master perform, analyzed vintage films of the dancer’s classic performances. He presented his homage : About Kazuo Ohno” in a program paired with Paul Lazar’s tribute to another Butoh pioneer, Tatsumi Hijikata. Presented by Big Dance Theatre in mid-September, 2016 at Japan Society in New York. For details, go to japansociety.org.
“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” or a “talk-story” about the classic Tolstoy novel “War And Peace” among friends in a bar is being seen as one of the most anticipated shows of the season pairing experimental theatre-makers with pop singer Josh Groban. Opens Nov. 14 at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. MacArthur Grant winner Mimi Lien will be doing the set design. Opens Oct. 18, 2016.
The Chinese government ensures that their “12 core socialist values” are retained and propagated amongst the masses. Those values are memorized by all school children. According to a recent New York Times story, now in Hunan Province, they are making their way into 20 song-and-dance routines done by the country’s square dancers, those groups of middle-aged and older women who gather to dance in unison in public squares across China.
“Ouroboros Trilogy” is a three opera-cycle that had its world premier in Boston Sept. 10 – 17 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. It’s a story taken from a Chinese folk tale about a snake demon that takes on human form to experience what it is to love. The libretto is by lawyer Cerise Lim Jacobs and the music is created by three different composers, one for each ring cycle. Go to ouroborostrilogy.org for more details.
Cleveland Symphony has chosen Jessica Lee, a member of the Johannes String Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two as their new Assistant Concertmaster replacing the recently retired Yoko Moore.
The September 2016 edition of Opera News has stories on the following – Bright Sheng’s rendition of “Dream of the Red Chamber”, an epic classic novel comparable to the likes of “War And Peace” in China. The opera boom in China. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’s recent world premiere of “Shalimar the Clown” by Jack Perla and Rajiv Joseph based on Salman Rushdie’s sprawling 2005 novel. Korean soprano Hyesang Park, now a member of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program who makes her Met debut in the February 2017 new staging of “Rusalka.”
Miya Masaoka is a Japanese American composer and koto player. She has pushed the koto into the future with her experimental playing. “Triangle of Resistance” (Innova) may be her most personal recording yet. Taken from her mother’s memories of incarceration in internment camp during WWII, Masaoka has written a soundtrack for the experience of Japanese American internees.
Young Chinese piano whiz Lang Lang’s new recording is a valentine to New York in song entitled “New York Rhapsody” (SONY) with a goldmine full of special guests like Andra Day, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandance Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux, Sean Jones and Herbie Hancock. A similiarly titled television program aires November 25, 2016.
Some of the young talent of the improvised/experimental scene in New York can be found in the group Elder Ones and their new recording entitled “Holy Science”. The group is led by composer/singer/harmonium player Amirtha Kidambi who understands Carnatic and Western classical traditions but also loves Coltrane, Black Sabbath, Varese, Xenakis and Robert Ashley.
Singer/songwriter/musician Norah Jones (her dad was the late sitar virtuoso, Ravi Shankar) returns to her jazz roots with her new Blue Note recording entitled “Day Breaks” with a solid back-up group of Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade and John Patittiuci.
In 1977 in San Jose, a group of Asian American musicians got together and recorded an album under the name of Yokohama, California borrowed from a title of a book of short stories by legendary Japanese American writer, Toshio Mori. They wanted to put their feelings about the Asian American movement into their songs about the community in a folk/pop rock style. Principal songwriters were Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, Sam Takimoto and Peter Horikoshi. Now that long out -of -print album has been re-released in a CD format with a booklet and 7 live bonus tracks. Copies can be ordered from Eastwind Books in Berkeley, CA. Try [email protected] or call 510-548-2350 for details. This bookstore also has one of the comprehensive collections of books for sale on Asia and Asia America on the West Coast.
Film & Media
Director Antoine Fuqua’s new version of “The Magnificent Seven” sports a multi-ethnic case led by Denzel Washingon. Byung-hun Lee plays a knife-wielding assassin as one of the group of seven hired to defend a town against savage marauders. Opens soon in many Seattle theatres.
Coming in September are these films.“The Free World”, the story of an ex-con who becomes involved with a married woman abused by her husband. Written and directed by Jason Lew. “Tharlo” directed by Pema Tseden and starring Shide Nyima as a Tibetan shepherd who is forced to go into town and interact with people where he meets a certain woman who opens up his world. “M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” is a biopic look at the rags-to-riches story of cricket star starring Sushant Singh Rajput as directed by Neeraj Pandey. Look for these new films in October. “Miss Hokusai” is a full-length animated feature film from Japan about a woman artist who draws amazing portraits inside her studio while her father takes all the credit. Directed by Kenichi Hara. “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang” is a documentary film by Kevin McDonald on this Chinese artist who uses pyrotechnics, fire and gunpowder for his performance works set again the canvas of a dark night sky (although those in Seattle may know him for his hanging cars installation recently taken down at Seattle Art Museum downtown).”Creepy” is a redundant title for the new film by Japanese master of horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which a former detective is called back to work on a very peculiar case. Mahershala Ali stars in the feature film “Moonlight” based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney and adapted and directed by Barry Jenkins. It’s a drama about coming-of-age in a Miami neighborhood wrecked by drugs. “The Eagle Huntress” is a unique documentary film about Alshoipan, a 13 year old Kazakh eagle hunter in Mongolia, the first girl to be trained for the job in 12 generations of her family. Directed by Otto Bell. In November, look out for these films. “Lion” is taken from a true story and a book that tells the story of an Indian boy found on the streets of Calcutta who is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. When he is an adult, he returns to India determined to find his real parents. Stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and directed by Garth Davis. “Red Stone” is a Chinese film of injustice and retribution by Johnny Ma who wrote and directed. A taxi driver distracted by a customer accidentally hits a motorcyclist and then takes him to the hospital. For his good deed, he is forced to pay medical fees and almost loses his job.
In conjunction with the Mark Morris Dance Company’s collaboration with The Silkroad Ensemble at Meany, the Meany Center For The Performing Arts offers a free screening of Morgan Neville’s (“20 Feet From Stardom”) latest documentary film entitled “The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silkroad Ensemble” on Mon., Sept. 26 at 7pm at Meany Hall on the UW campus. Free but you must RSVP for tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.
The Local Sightings Film Festival takes place from Sept. 22 – Oct. 1, 2016 at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum. It showcases films by Northwest filmmakers from Alaska to Oregon. Go to www.localsightings.nwfilmforum.org for details. One of the hightlights in this year’s festival is “The Tree Inside”, a new independent feature film by Vancouver, BC-based filmmaker Michelle Kim. It will screen on Sat., Sept. 24 at 9pm. The director will be at the screening and participate in a post-screening Q&A session. Shot in the Northwest over a period of 12 months to reflect the seasons, the film looks att the impermanence of relationships and the story of one woman whose heart can’t stop changing. For details on the film, go to www.happanessmedia.com. 1515 12th Ave. 206-267-5380.
The old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction” holds true in the new documentary film by Ross Adan and Robert Cannan entitled “The Lovers and The Despot” set to screen September 30 – October 6 at Seattle Sundance Cinemas. After the collapse of their glamorous romance, a famous South Korean director and his main actress are kidnapped by movie-obsessed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Dissatisfied with the North Korean film industry and admiring the filmmaking skills of the couple, he puts them to work. Forced to make films for Kim, their love is re-kindled even as they make a daring plan to escape. A book has also been written about this incident ripped from history. 4500 Ninth Ave. NE in Seattle. 206-633-0059.
Opening soon in Seattle will be Mira Nair’s new film for Disney, “Queen of Katwe.” It tells the true story of Chess champion Phiona Mutesi who rose from poverty to become a Grandmaster in Uganda. The filmmaker Nair also grew up in Uganda. The film is an adaptation of a book by Tim Crothers. Stars Maolina Nalwanga as Phiona, Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as her mother and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher. Screens at the Majestic Bay in Ballard, Seattle Sundance and other Seattle theatres.
Ang Lee’s next film will be an adaptation of the novel “Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk”, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner written by Ben Fountain. It is the story of an Iraq war veteran returning home on a “victory tour.” Opens in theatres on Nov. 11, 2016.
Also opening last week of August is the long-delayed theatrical run for Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” starring Naomi Watts, Ken Watanabe and Matthew McConaughey. The story concerns a crisis in an American couple’s marriage and eventual spiritual renewal after the husband contemplates suicide in Japan only to help save a Japanese man.
Opening Oct. 4, 2016 at the Guild 45th is “Rurouni Kenshin Part III: The Legend Ends” reputed to be an exciting new live action thriller in the Japanese Samurai film tradition. It is an adaptation of the classic series. This concluding final chapter in this saga finds our hero Kenshin Himura licking his wounds at the home of his old master after being defeated in a confrontation with Shishio. His arch rival wastes no time in tightening the noose by putting Kenshin on the most wanted list. Our Samurai hero must look within himself for the strength needed for a final battle and end Shishio’s reign of terror. 2115 N. 45th St. in Wallingford. 206-547-2127.
People who love ghost movies should check out Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “Hausu” from 1977. A group of schoolgirls, a haunted house and an evil cat. Screens Oct. 14 at Central Cinema. 1411 21st Ave. 206-686-6684.
One should never go hungry to see the late Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo”, a “Ramen Western” search for the best ramen in all of Japan. But you won’t worry about that because as an added bonus when you attend this screening of this gastronomic classic, a bowl of ramen is offered to each customer so you slurp along to each reel. SIFF Cinema Uptown. Nov. 23. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. 206-324-9996.
Sure to get a wide release in movie theatres locally is Zhang Yimou’s latest film in which Hollywood star Matt Damon plays a Chinese soldier who saves China in “The Great Wall,” What? Chow-yun “Donald” Fat wasn’t available or maybe Yimou wanted a crossover hit that would fill theatres with Western audiences. Opens Nov. 23.
Also coming to local theatres in Oct. is “The Handmaiden” by one of South Korean’s most popular filmmakers, Park Chan-Wook (“Old Boy”). This film takes place in 1930’s Japan. Newcomer Kim Tae-Ri steals the show as a Korean servant hired to care for a wealthy woman with more on her mind than work. The film is a lesbian revenge thriller based on a Victorian-era novel by Sarah Waters. The film takes you on a jarring joyride of moods alternatively rich in graphic sensuality, then horror and then slapstick or a sudden turn to a silly comedy of manners, often within a single scene. It was favorably reviewed at the Cannes Film Festival.
Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz won the 73rd Golden Lion Prize at the Venice Film Festival for “The Woman Who Left Nothing” which tells a tale of a woman framed by a man who ends up imprisoned for 30 years. When she gets out she seeks revenge but returns to a world and society she no longer recognizes. Shot in black & white, the film runs almost 4 hours but is short by the director’s standards. Previous films of his have clocked in at 11 hours plus. In his acceptance speech, Diaz said “This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle and the struggle of humanity.” A stark, unflinching look at the division of power among classes in Filipino society. Obviously not a commercial venture, one hopes that one of the local art house theatres in Seattle will pick it up.
Seattle Asian American Film Festival is issuing a call for submissions for their SAAFF 2017 series set for early next year. Deadline is Oct. 1, 2016. For details on all of the above, email [email protected].
The opening night film for “TWIST Filmfest (formerly the “Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival”) will be Clyde Petersen’s “Torrey Pines”, a queer coming-of-age tale done in stop-motion. There will be a live score on opening night. Sound artist Susie Kozawa will provide live foley and soundscape. Thurs., Oct. 13 at the Egyptian Theatre. To see the full program for this festival, go to threedollarbillcinema.org. For passes to the festival, to to twistfilmfest.org.
Tacoma Film Festival runs from Oct. 6 – 13, 2016. An interesting feature of this festival is every year they fly in new filmmakers who are listed in “Twenty-five New Faces of Independent Film” to screen their latest projects and engage with the audience. Go to www.tacomafilmfestival.com.
Orcas Island Film Festival “Off The Edge” runs Oct. 7 – 10 at Eastsound and wants to push “films of the avant-garde, art house, trans-media and emerging edge film culture from around the world.” Over 30 films in four days. Orcasislandfilmfest.org.
The Seattle Social Justice Film Festival takes place from Oct. 13 – 16 at various locations. The series celebrates progressive causes and pressing social issues. 206-538-3665.
The Seattle South Asian Film Festival returns with the best of South Asian cinema. The 11th annual version zeros in on films from Bangladesh and celebrates the theme LoveWins in its selection of movies. October 14 – 23. Highlights include the following – Opens on Oct. 14 with a Bangladeshi urban thriller “Aynabaji” with the film’s director Amitabh Chowdhury and noted Bangladeshi actor Chanchai Chowdhury in attendance.
On Oct. 18 a diverse group of panelists will weigh in at “Symposium: Race, Sexuality and Censorship: Film, Art And Activism in India and Beyond” at UW’s Thompson Hall on the Seattle campus. Centerpiece Gala at Seattle Asian Art Museum on Oct. 20 is the acclaimed comedy “ANT Story” by Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. The Festival’s closing awards and reception in Renton on Oct. 23 features “Waiting”, a heartrending story about confronting grief with courage and hope. Directed by Indian director Anu Menon. At various locations around the Puget Sound. Go to www.tasveer.org for details and see our latest print issue of the International Examiner for a complete program. Program online also at ssaff.tasveer.org/2016/. You can email [email protected] for more information as well.
The 4th Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival takes place Nov. 4 – 6 with “Stories of the Pacific Rim & Beyond” at 5 venues with 40+ documentary films and a “Young Filmmakers Project” and “Filmmakers Forum.” Go to fhff.org for details.
The Sixth Annual Seattle Shorts Film Festival comes to town Nov. 11 – 13 with guest speakers and short talks. SIFF Film Center. Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center. 206-324-9996. www.seattleshort.org.
“Doctober” is a series of nothing but documentary films for the serious lover of that genre. Runs five weekends & everything in between from Sept. 30 – Nov. 3. With special guests, panel discussions and receptions to accompany the over 50 documentaries that will be screened. At Pickford Film Center in downtown Bellingham. 1318 Bay St. Go to pickfodfilmcenter.org/doctober for details.
Filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki is finishing up a documentary film entitled “Monkey Business: The Curious Adventures of George’s Creators.” In it, she traces the origins of the internationally loved children’s book character, the monkey known as “Curious George” and his creators, the Ray’s. For a story on this project, go to http://www.wnyc.org/story/celebrating-curious-his-creators/.
The German director Doris Doerrie has made many films in Japan (over 20 trips) and perhaps like some of her characters, it’s the case of the German traveler trying to overcome personal loss by soaking up another culture. His best known film is “Cherry Blossoms” in which two German men travel to Japan to study Zen in a temple. Her new film “Fukushima, Mon Amour” uses the backdrop of the tsunami/nuclear meltdown disaster as the setting as a German woman comes to the area in hopes of bringing cheer and goodwill to the Japanese populace. It soon becomes clear that the woman can hardly take care of herself. This tragi-comedy of cultural misunderstandings has its US premiere at the Portland German Film Festival which runs from Sept. 23 – 27. “Fukushima, Mon Amour” screens Sept. 27 at 7pm at Cinema 21 at 616 NW 21st Ave. It’s assumed it will eventually make the circuit of a local arthouse cinema.
“Mixed Match” is a documentary film by Jeff Chiba Sterns. He is the founder of Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in Vancouver BC. It looks at the important human story told from the perspective of mixed blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a difficult search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine. It has its World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in Oct. For more information, email [email protected] or go to www.meditatingbunny.com.
Praemium Imperiale is a global art prize for outstanding achievement in the arts awarded annually by the Japan Art Association since 1989. This year, the Five Arts Centre in Malaysia received the 20th Grant for Young Artists. The group is a collective of artists and producers founded in 1984 by theatrical director Kishen Jit. The goal was to provide opportunities and venues for experimental articulation of distinctly Malaysian narratives. They have fulfilled that focus through the arenas of theatre, dance, Music, young people’s theatre and the visual arts.
The Written Arts
Come to a book signing/reading for a landmark book by a much loved Japanese children’s writer. “Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko” (Chin Music Press) takes place at Queen Anne Books on Sept. 29, 2016 at 7pm. Children’s poet Misuzu Kaneko (1903-1930) was a beloved poet in Japan who moved readers with her innate sympathy for living and non-living things in the universe. Forgotten for decades after a tragic early death, her work received renewed appreciation in the wake of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown by the people of Japan during that troubled time. Beautifully illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri, this book is the first major introduction of her work to the English speaking audience. Text & translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito & Michiko Tsuboi. 1811 Queen Anne Ave. N. on top of Queen Anne in Seattle. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/957417094404130/ for details. The book hits the streets on Sept. 13, 2016.
“Words from the Cafe” is a Jack Straw Artist Event hosted by Anna Balint. The project is now documented in a combined book and cd package and was borne out of the Safe Place Writing Circle at the Recovery Café. Every week, people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness come together with Balint to write and share writing. The fruit of these encounters is celebrated tonight in a new book & cd project. Bang Nguyen is one of the many writers reading from their work. These are voices from a community often ignored needing to be heard. Come celebrate and support these writers on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7pm. Free. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. Go to [email protected] for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. “EYE ON INDIA: WORDS & SONG” is the sixth annual Eye on India program featuring writers and other artists of the Indian/South Asian diaspora. This year’s program co-presented with the Gardner Center For Asian Art & Ideas and TEAMWORK ARTS presents Amitava Kumar, Karan Mahajan & Vidya Shah.
Novelist, essayist and scholar Amitava Kumar has a book of essays entitled “Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World and a travel memoir entitled “A Matter of Rats” (both on Duke University Press). Karan Mahajan is the author of the highly praised novel “The Association of Small Bombs” (Penguin) that puts a human face on both victims and perpetrators of terrorist attacks. Vocalist Vidya Shah has written a recent book entitled “Jalsa: Indian Women and the Journeys from the Salon to the Studio” (Tulika Books). She will talk about and perform songs recorded by early female recording artists in India.Wed., Sept. 28 at 6:30pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum. Tickets to this event are available online at www.seattleartmuseum.org. The museum is at 1400 East Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. Also at the museum, University of Pennsylvania Professor and renowned China scholar Victor Mair comes to Saturday University presented by the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas in partnership with UW Jackson Center for International Studies & Elliott Bay to talk about “The Origin and Spread of Tea Drinking in China and the World.” On Sat., Oct. 1 at 9:30am at SAAM. Mair is the author of “The True History of Tea.” 1400 E. Prospect in Volunteer Park. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org or call 206-654-3210. South Korean novelist Bae Suah and his translator/publisher Deborah Smith appear together as they read from his recently translated novel, “A Greater Music” (Open Letter). Tues., Oct. 11 at 7pm at the store. The book is about a young Korean woman in Berlin and her relationships with her on again/off again boyfriend and a woman who teaches her German. Photojournalist Bryan Shih appears on behalf of a new book entitled “The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution” written by Yohuro Williams with photos by Shih. Co-presented with the Northwest African American Museum on Wed., Oct. 12 at 7pm. Free. This presentation is at the museum located at 2300 South Massachusetts St. Go to www.naamnw.org for details. Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong, culinary authorities on China visit on behalf of a new cook book “China: The Cookbook” (Phaidon). As an added treat, Jerry Traunfield’s local Lionhead Sichuan Restaurant will prepare a meal based on the recipes found in the book. Advance tickets for this special event are $170 for a dinner for two and a copy of the book. Tues., Oct. 18 at 7pm. This event is at the restaurant located at 618 Broadway E. Go to Lionheadseattle.com for details. Three leading scholars of Japanese American history will talk about “Lessons from WWII: Endearing Legends of Japanese American Incarceration” on Sun., Oct. 23 at 12:30pm. Karen M. Inouye is the author of “The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration” (Stanford). Lon Kurashige is the author of “Two faces of Exclusion: The Untold Story of Anti-Asian Racism in the US” (University of North Carolina Press). Greg Robinson is the author of “The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches” (University Press of Colorado). Co-presented with the Seattle Public Library and Densho. This event will be held at the Seattle Public Central Library at 1000 Fourth Ave. Go to www.spl.org or call 206-386-4636 for information. Jade Chang’s debut novel “The Wangs Vs The World” (HMH) tells the story of a Chinese American family who loses it all and then take a healing, amusing road trip across the U.S. She reads at the store on Oct. 24 at 7pm. “Four Chinese Poets: Li Li, Lo Chi’ng, Lv De’an and Yan Li with Darren Byler” is presented in conjunction with a range of programs such as art exhibits at VALA Arts Center in Redmond and the ryan james gallery in Kirkland as well as panels & conferences at PLU & Seattle Asian Art Museum via the Gardner Center. This reading and discussion by four prominent Chinese poets and UW translator Darren Byler takes place on Fri., Oct 28 at 7pm at the book store. Seattle writer Donna Miscolta who previously looked at the Filipino side of her lineage (“When the De La Cruz Family Danced”) now takes a look at the Mexican side of her family in a book of short stories entitled “Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories” set for Nov. 12 at 7pm. This new book won her the 2015 Doris Bakwin Prize for Writing by a Woman. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
Chris Higashi who has been program manager of Seattle Public Library’s Washington Center for the Book officially retires on Sept. 6, 2016. For 12 years, she ran the library’s Washington Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Many will know her for The Annual Washington State Book Awards as well as the “Seattle Reads” program in which the whole city reads the same book and then meets and interacts with the visiting author. Thanks for all you’ve done to enrich literature in Seattle, Chris! Happy retirement!
The University Book Store (www.bookstore.washington.edu or 206-634-3400) co-sponsors the following events. Local author Sharon H. Chang talks about her important new book entitled “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge) on Thurs., Sept. 29, 2016 at 7pm. Seattle Public Library Central Branch at 100 Fourth in downtown Seattle. Akhil Reed Amar talks about his new book entitled “The Constitution Today” (Basic Books) on Sept. 23 at 7:30pm at Town Hall Seattle. On Wed., Sept. 27 at 7:30pm, Seattle author and Pinchot University Professor Jimmy Y. Jia talks about his new book entitled “Driven By Demand: How Energy Gets its Power” (Cambridge) also at Town Hall. Seattle Town Hall is at 1119 8th Ave. 206-652-4255 or go to www.townhallseattle.org.
“Everfair” is a new “steampunk” novel that takes place in the colonial-era Belgian Congo involving numerous ethnic factions interacting in strange ways by noted sci-fi writer Nisi Shawl. She engages in conversation about her book with local fellow sci-fi writer Ted Chiang at Third Place Books’ latest branch in Seward Park. Oct. 19 at 7pm. Free. 5041 Wilson Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-474-2200 or thirdplacebooks.com/.
On Oct. 24, Moon-Ho Jung talks about the timely theme of “The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence and Radical Movements Across the Pacific.” 7pm. Free. The Renton Branch of King County Library. 100 Mill Ave. S. 425-226-6043 or go to kcls.org/.
Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details. The organization has announced their “Writer-in-Residence and Made at Hugo House Fellows” for 2016-2017. Local journalist-turned-novelist and Seattle University professor Sonora Jha will be a writer-in-residence. She will assist writers during free hour-long appointments. She is currently working on a memoir entitled “This Little Matter of Love”. She writes that “As woman writer and professor of color whose research and active service work is rooted in representation, I am particularly excited also about extending the reach of Hugo House into under-represented communities in Seattle to clear the path for such writers to emerge in mainstream, meaningful, and lasting (rather than token) ways.” Shankar Narayan was chosen as one of the “Made at Hugo House Fellows” Narayan is a 2016 Kundiman Fellow whose work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He works as an attorney and advocate for civil rights. “Made at Hugo House” is a yearlong fellowship for emerging writers selected by an anonymous advisory panel of writers. The six fellows chosen will complete writing projects with guidance and support from Hugo House. Narayan is working on a chapbook of poems influenced by technology, race and power. Award-winning novelist Alexander Chee (“The Queen of the Night”) comes to the Hugo Literary Series to read on Nov. 4, 2016 under the theme of “Animals” with Kristin Valdez Quade and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. This reading takes place at Fred Wildlife Refuge at 7:30pm and costs $25. Find it at 128 Belmont Ave. E. Spoken word artist Anis Mojgani who spins sublime tales of the imagination from personal encounters and childhood memories of the deep South comes in from Portland to perform on April 7, 2017. Other writers coming from the fall events calendar include the following – Local poet/translator Don Mee Choi who reads as part of the “Wave Books Celebration” on Sept. 30 at 7pm at the Fred Wildlife Refuge with Tyehima Jess, Anselm Berrigan, Lisa Fishman and Joshua Beckman, the press’s editor. You will find Fred Wildlife Refuge at 128 Belmont Ave. E. in Seattle (206-588-6959). On Oct. 4, 2016 at 7pm at Hugo House is a group reading from the International Writing Program Fall Residency fellows. This free event features residents of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program which includes poet Tse Hao Guang from Singapore as well as writers from South Africa, Iraq and Finland. These residents get space to write and a chance to teach as well. Residents Eros Atalia and Alice S. Yousef will teach a class for all writing levels “On Writing And Social Change” on Oct. 5 (go to hugohouse.org and look for “class catalog” for details). Up-and-coming talented Seattle poet Jane Wong reads from her much anticipated debut collection “Overpour” (Action Books) on Oct. 21 at 7pm at Hugo House. Free. Wong is also part of the Poetry World Series on Oct. 22 at 7pm at The Pine Box located at 1600 Melrose Ave. in Seattle (206-588-0375). Two teams of award-winning poets take turns batting at topics pitched to them by the audience. A book sale and signing follows the competition. Oct. 30 at 4pm at Hugo House beings the “Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award Reading with Arlene Naganawa and others. Nov. 2 at Hugo House at 7pm brings “Contagious Exchanges: Queer Writers in Conversation” with Vivek Shraya with Chase Joynt. Dec. 7 from the same series again at 7pm brings Randa Jarrar with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. “Made at Hugo House 2015-2016” presents a final reading by the “Made at Hugo House” current fellows who will read from their respective writing projects on Nov. 11, 2016 at 7pm. Prose writer Diana Xin is in this group. Reading is free. Hugo House now adds manuscript consultations to its long list for resources for writers. There are currently five consultants for short fiction, novels, memoirs, essays, poetry, young adult and literary journalism and more to be added as the program continues. For details on this, go to hugohouse.org/manuscript-consultants. For general information, try 206-453-1937. Hugo House is at 1021 Columbia St. in Seattle.
Seattle educator/poet Lawrence Matsuda reads with legendary Northwest poet Tess Gallagher from “Boogie-Woogie Crisscross”, a book where the poets conversed with poems in a poetic, playful call and response. Sept. 27 at 7pm. Third Place Books at 5041 Wilson Ave. S. 206-474-2200.
Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair takes place Oct. 8 & 9, 2016 at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Hours are Sat. from 10 – 6pm and Sun. from 11 – 4pm. $5 admission fee for both days. Go to seattlebookfair.com for details.
Hyeon Seo Lee reads from her memoir entitled “The Girl With Seven Names – Escape from North Korea” on Sept. 28 at 7pm. Third Place Books in Ravenna. 6504 20th Ave. NE. in Seattle. 206-525-2347.
Chinese immigrant poet Koon Woon (“Water Chasing Water” on Kaya Books) reads from his new memoir “Paper Son Poet” around the Puget Sound. He shares the bill with Kerry Cox in a reading with an Open Mic at the C & P Coffee Company in West Seattle on Sept. 28 at 7pm. 5612 California Ave. SW. 206-933-3125. Then again as part of the “It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series” at the Ballard Branch Library on Nov. 10 at 6pm. He shares the evening with fellow writers Katie Tynan and Roselle Kovitz. With an Open Mic. Free. 5614 22nd Ave. NW in Seattle. 206-684-4089.
October is Filipino American History Month as sponsored by PWEKA & FANHS National Office. Come celebrate with a reading by Robert Flor and Patty Enrado. Seattle poet/playwright Robert Flor reads from “Alaskero Memories”, poems based on his younger days working the Alaskan canneries. Bay Area based writer Patty Enrado reads from her debut novel, “A Village in the Fields” which is a book about a Filipino American labor organizer during the grape strike in the fields of Delano. A short clip from Marissa Aroy’s film, “Delano Manongs” will serve as an introduction. Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7pm. Third Place Books at Seward Park. 5041 Wilson Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-474-2200. The same program with a full screening of the film happens on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7pm at El Centro de la Raza’s Centralia Community Center and again on Oct. 22 at 4pm at the Filipino Community Hall in the Yakima Valley. These activities are part of a series of events during Filipino American History Month throughout the state. For full details, go to http://fanhs-national.org/filam/about/.
Readings at the Seattle Central Library downtown include the following – Liz Wong (“Quackers”) joins fellow authors/illustrators Jessica Bagley, Ben Clanton, Jennifer K. Mann and Julie Paschkis in a Picture Book Author Panel to discuss their work on Nov. 6 at 2pm. Noted poet and novelist Ha Jin (“Waiting”) reads from his new novel about corruption, integrity and writing entitled “The Boat Rocker” on Nov. 4. 7pm. Tim Wu comes on Nov. 17 at 7pm to talk about his book entitled “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads”. All events are free.1000 Fourth Ave. 206-386-4636 or go to spl.org/.
Bharti Kirchner and Donna Miscolta are just some of the 27 local authors expected to be at the Seattle Writers Holiday Bookfest with readings and book signings, a boutique bookstore and treats made by the authors. Nov. 19 at 3pm. Free. Phinney Neighborhood Center.6532 Phinney Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-784-2244 or go to phinneycenter.org/authors/.
“Sherman Alexie Loves” is a new series that Seattle Arts & Lectures has started with the noted Northwest writer. It features three evenings of conversation with authors that the author loves. Of special note is the evening entitled “First Loves: Debut Novelists Alexie Loves” on Thurs., May 11, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Includes a conversation with Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag and Sunil Yapa. For tickets & information, go to lectures.org.
The 2016 Jack Straw Writers continue to do readings at various venues in the area throughout the year. On Oct. 13, you can catch Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Casandra Lopez and Anis Gisele in the “It’s About Time Writer’s Series at 6pm at the Ballard Branch of Seattle Public Library at 5614 22nd Ave. NW. 206-684-4089. On Oct. 18 at 7pm Ramon Isao, Shin Yu Pai, EJ Koh and Casandra Lopez read at University Book Store in Seattle. 4326 University Way NE. 206-634-3400.
“Your Body of Water” is the title of the new poetry on the buses competition. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2016 by 11:59pm. In 50 words or less, local poets can send in their poems inspired by the theme of water. Go to poetryonbuses.org for details.
When BuzzFeed Canada senior writer Scaachi Koul tweeted that they were looking for “Canada-centric” content and “would particularly like to hear from you if you are not white and not male”, the comment drew criticism. Her response was that “Giving ignored voices preferential treatment is not racism against white people…it is an attempt to fix all of history.” Soon after she got tweets from white internet men saying that her (white,male) boss should rape and/or murder me as a professional discipline.” Koul’s book of essays entitled “One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter” will be published in the this country in March of 2017.
The September, 2016 edition of Opera News magazine has a review of Alexander Chee’s novel about a famous opera singer based on nineteenth-century popular icon Jenny Lind entitled “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Russell Leong retired as editor of Amerasia Journal, the respected magazine from the UCLA Asian American Studies Department that he ran with a steady hand for almost 30 years only to re-surface on the East Coast founding a new magazine along similar lines for The City University of New York. It is entitled “CUNY Forum – Asian American/Asian Studies.” For details, go to www.aaari.info/cunyforum.
Karan Mahajan, the author of the novel “The Association of Small Bombs” has been nominated for a National Book Award. The book puts a human face on those terrorists who make and set off these bombs as well as those victims who are affected by them. The finalists will be announced on Oct. 13, 2016.
Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York who teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Early in her career, she worked in the corporate world in Tokyo always feeling unsatisfied but carefully saving her money. Eventually she made the move to New York and created a career in illustration. Her work is in the new paperback edition of Michael Cunningham’s “A Wild Swan And Other Tales” (Picador). ROADS Publishing out of Dublin will publish a new book of her art with the title, “Living With Yuko Shimizu.”
Shaun Tan, award-winning Australian (his father immigrated from Malaysia) whose books include “The Rabbits”, “The Arrival”, “The Red Tree” and “The Lost Thing” (he received an Oscar for the short film version of the book) has a completely new project. He has traded in his pencils for clay to tackle the psychological complexity found in fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm in “The Singing Bones” (Arthur A. Levine Books). Having long wanted to do a sculptural project and inspired by Inuit soapstone carvings and pre-Columbian pottery seen during his travels, he found he needed to depict the stories in a more 3 dimensional mold to really make them come alive. As an artist he had often found drawing more labor intensive especially when it came to correcting mistakes. Working with clay was more liberating. “The great thing about sculpture is that if a line is in the wrong place, you just push it. And if it truly isn’t working, you just squeeze until it becomes something new.” Already well received in Australia and England, one can’t wait for an American edition. Most likely, it will appear on Scholastic Books out of New York, the press that has published some of his more recent books. Excerpted from an article in The Guardian.
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!
“A Japanese Name – An American Story” (Third Place Press) by Suma Yagi is a beautifully designed and illustrated volume of poetry by this Seattle Nisei poet about the internment camp experience and how it affected her family. From the poem, “December, 1941” comes this opening stanza. “Our lives turned like a glass jar/flipped upside down, suffocating us./ Hairline cracks grew deep and wide/until the glass shattered and our world/ collapsed.” Go to www.thirdplacepress.com for details.
Montreal-based writer Madeleine Thien’s new novel “Do Not Say We Have Nothing” (Norton) was shortlisted for the ManBooker Prize and has received extensive praise in Canada. The book tells the epic story of a musical family through decades of modern Chinese history including the Tianamen Square protest of 1989. It will be released in the US in October of this year on Norton.
“Alice Iris Red Horse: Selected Poems” (New Directions) by Japanese avant-garde poet Gozo Yoshimasu as translated by Forest Gander comes out soon. The poet himself will do a series of readings in New York and the West Coast.
In “Geisha Of A Different Kind – Race and Sexuality in Gayasian America” (NYU Press) by C. Winter Han, the former editor of the International Examiner takes a sword to previously held stereotypes about beauty, nativity and desirability in the study of race and sexuality in Gay Asian America and sparks a new understanding of a unique identity.
“The Conjoined” by Jen Sookfong Lee tells the story of a foster mom whose death sets off a controversy. Her daughter discovers the bodies of two teenage Chinese Canadian sisters frozen in her mom’s freezer. Authorities had always assumed that they had run away. Re-opening the case, this taut thriller of a novel reveals the cracks in society’s social fabric based on family, class and race. This novel comes out on ECW Press of Toronto in Sept., 2016. Email is [email protected].
“Land Of Fish And Rice-Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China” (Norton) is the latest book on the cuisine of China’s Lower Yangtze region by award-winning China food specialist author Fuchsia Dunlop.
“Gendered Bodies – Toward A Women’s Visual Art In Contemporary China” (UH Press) is a new book by Shuqin Cui that zeroes in on the art of women artists in today’s China.
“The Yoga of Max’s Discontent” (Riverhead Books) by Karan Bajaj is a new novel of a young American who finds himself on a voyage of discovery as he journeys to India and is tested physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs – An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World” (Ecco) by Padma Lakshmi with Judith Sutton and Kalustyan’s tells you the stories behind and how to use the world’s spices and herbs.
“Deep Singh Blue” (Unnamed Press) by Ranbir Singh Sidhu tells the story of a California teenager in a conservative California town from an immigrant family who wants out. He falls in love with a married woman trapped in an abusive relationship. Coming of age is never easy.
“Dying to Wake Up – A Doctor’s Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back”(Atria) by Rajiv Parti, MD with Paul Perry is an account of a NDE experience and how it changed the author’s life.
“The Gun Room”(Bloomsbury) is the fourth novel by Georgina Harding about those who witness war and can’t forget it. A war photographer takes a classic shot of the Vietnam war only to flee and lose himself in the vastness of Tokyo. But history catches up with him, bringing the responsibility for the image he took.
“Tibet in Agony – Lhasa 1949” (Harvard University Press) by Jianglin Li is a meticulous recounting of the events that led to the Dali Lama to flee from Tibet as China rushed in to suppress a people’s rebellion.
“Asian Pulp” (Pro Se Press) ” is a collection of short stories by various authors featuring characters of Asian origin that run the gamut of the fiction genre. Co-edited by Tommy Hancock and Morgan McKay with a foreword by mystery writer Leonard Chang.
“Not A Self-Help Book – The Misadventures of Marty Wu” (Shade Mountain Press) by Yi Shun Lai tells the story of a young women’s career meltdown in New York that sends her back to Taiwan and the comfort of relatives but even there, she finds herself in the middle of surprising family secrets that come out of the closet.
“PICTURE BRIDE – Stories” (UH Press) by Barbara F. Kawakami is like opening an old chest of family stories. An oral history full of an earlier generation of courageous women who crossed the seas to marry strangers working in a harsh and unforgiving land.
“The Song Poet” (Metropolitan Books) by Kao Kalia Yang (“The Latehomecomer”) chronicles the life of her father, a poet who sacrifices his gift for his children’s future in a new land.
“The Translation of Love” (Doubleday) by Lynne Kutsukake is a debut novel that tells the story of a young woman who disappears in the middle of the American occupation of Tokyo after WWII and the younger sister who tries desperately to find her.
“We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation” (Picador) is a new book of essays by Jeff Chang (“Cant Stop, Won’t Stop”, “Who We Be”) arguing for an end to racially charged violence/discrimination and a plea for global open-mindedness to the struggle of the oppressed.
“Japanese American Ethnicity – In Search of Heritage and Homeland across Generations” (NYU Press) by Takeyuki Tsuda looks at the notion of ‘ethnic heritage” through cross-generational lens.
“The Border of Paradise” (Unnamed Press) by Esme Weijun Wang tells the tale of a dysfunctional American family as they navigate the trials and tribulations of money, madness and their chaotic life on the road in Brooklyn, Taiwan and California.
Seattle playwright/writer/poet Robert Francis Flor has a new book of poems based on his younger days working in the Alaskan canneries. It is “Alaskero Memories” (Carayan Press). Go to www.carayanpress.com for details.
“MOTHSUTRA: For Bicycle Delivery Men” is a self-published graphic novel by Russell Leong. In its unique format with compelling illustrations that give urgency to the story of the inner life of fast-food deliverymen in New York, it provides a glimpse of the inner life of these immigrant workers beyond statistics and media generalizations. Leong lived in the Bowery and heard these stories first-hand and spins them into a history of a sub-culture that many of us know little about. Leong is a recipient of an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Poetry Award and a founding editor of CUNY FORUM/Asian American and Asian Studies, City University of New York. He was also Editor of UCLA’s Asian American Studies seminal publication, “Amerasia Journal.” Go to www.mothsutra.com or email [email protected] for details.
The University of Minnesota has come out with a new paperback edition of “Living For Change: An Autobiography” by Grace Lee Boggs. This book chronicles the remarkable life of an untraditional radical on the American left with a new foreward by Robin D. G. Kelley. Cornel West writes that “Grace Lee Boggs has made a fundamental difference in keeping alive the traditions of the struggles for freedom and democracy.” Go to http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/living-for-change for details.
“Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone” (Black Lawrence Press) is a new collection of short stories by Sequoia Nagamatsu that spins tales of modern Japan , pop culture icons and its ancient folklore into dreams to stir your imagination. Go to sequoianagamatsu.net for more information on this writer.
“Striking Distance – Bruce Lee & The Dawn Of Martial Arts In America” (University of Nebraska) by Charles Russo is a new book drawing on hundreds of interviews that chronicles his time in the Bay Area and the thriving martial arts scene there in the 1960’s.
Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis-based poet/writer/editor and finalist for the Believer Poetry Award and 2008 Asian American Literary Award Winner has a new book due out in October, 2016 on Coffee House Press.
“Unbearable Splendor” uses poetry as essay approaching topics of identity and personal interest as building blocks to form a well-rounded construction of home.
“Standing Strong! (Pease Press) is a new anthology of voices from the Black American/Japanese American communities of the Bay Area situated in the Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods. Both communities have suffered from displacement, urban renewal and gentrification. How has dislocation impacted ordinary people? What do they carry from the old days? What do they treasure? What are their challenges today? What keeps them going and what can they teach us? This anthology edited by Shizue Seigel attempts to address those issues and more.
“After Disaster” (Little A) is a new novel by Viet Dinh. This O Henry Prize-winner tells a moving story of four aid workers who journey to India in the wake of a devastating earthquake only to find they may need help as well in this risk-taking environment.
“By the River – Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas” (University of Oklahoma) is a new collection of the best writers in that form as edited by Charles A. Laughlin, Liu Hongtao, and Jonathan Stalling.
“Finding Samuel Lowe-China, Jamaica, Harlem” is a new memoir by Paul Williams Madison. It is the universal story of one woman’s search for her roots and her self-identity. Because of her Jamaican mother, the author’s mother was cut off from her Chinese father as a baby when he left for China. It was up to the granddaughter to piece together the full story of her grandfather’s life.
“The Lost Garden” (Columbia University Press) is a novel by Li Ang (“The Butcher’s Wife”) that draws an eloquent portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions. It is an important edition to their “Modern Chinese Literature From Taiwan” Series. Translated by Sylvia Li-Chun Lin and Howard Goldblatt.
“Mission Mumbai – A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets” (Scholastic) by Mahtab Narsimhan is a young adult story of a street-wise New York kid who joins his best friend Rohit Lal on a family vacation to one of the largest cities in India. Both get more than they bargain for and more adventures than they ever expected to test the bonds of their friendship.
“between MEMORY and MUSEUM – a dialogue with folk and tribal artists” (Tara) edited by Arun and Gita Wolf looks at the indigenous communities where a wide range of rich and vibrant traditional art forms are still practiced. The book forms a dialogue between folk and tribal artists and the museum.
“Screen Ecologies – Art, Media, And The Environment In The Asia-Pacific Region” (MIT) is a new anthology of essays edited by Larissa Hjorth, Sarah Pink, Kristen Sharp, and Linda Williams.
“The Star-Touched Queen” (St. Martin’s) is a new young adult fantasy novel by Roshani Chokshi that delves deeply into Indian mythology.
“A Fantasy Chinaman- Fantasy And Failure Across The Pacific” (Harvard) by Hua Hsu looks at Chinese American immigrant writer H. T. Tsiang and the handful of writers and thinkers who helped shape the construction of China in the American imagination in the 1920s and 30s.
Mike Masilamani’s “Th3 8oy Who 5p3ak5 1n Num83r5” (Tara) is a dark tale of life in times of war, violence and refugee camps set in Sri Lanka. A boy who is a witness to these troubled times seeks solace in the company of a constantly chattering and prophetic cow. This surreal, satiric tale captures the daily horror of prolonged civil strife.
“Before We Visit The Goddess” (Simon & Schuster) is the latest novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni that tells the story of three generations of mothers and daughters both in India and America as they struggle to find home.
“Points Of Origin” (Comma Press) by Diao Dou as translated by Brendan O’Kane is a series of short stories that make palpable the Kafka-esque absurdity that accompanies modern Chinese life.
“Half a Lifelong Romance” (Anchor) brings back into print a classic novel by a sometimes forgotten author. Eileen Chang is considered a giant of modern Chinese literature and her novel of the complex relationships between men and women through love and betrayal carries a convincing power. Translated by Karen S. Kingsbury.
“JewAsian – Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews” (Nebraska) by local Washington authors Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt. The authors look at the intersection of race, religion and ethnicity in cases where Jews and Asian Americans marry.
“The Taxidermist’s Cut” (Four Way Books) by Rajiv Mohabir was the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize In Poetry. This poet delves into what its like to be human and how different it is from being animal in incisive poems that cut close to the bone.
Vancouver, WA-based author Curtis C. Chen is getting good reviews for his new sci-fi thriller entitled “Waypoint Kangaroo” (Thomas Dunne). What can a spy do when he discovers a plot that could unravel the entire solar system?
“The Book Of Tokyo – A City in Short Fiction” (Comma) edited by Michael Emmerich, Jim Hanks & Masashi Matsuie. It’s often said that you remember your travel experiences not from just seeing places but meeting people. This slim anthology of short stories allows you to do just that. With stories by Mitsuyo Kakuta, Kaori Ekuni, Nao-Cola Yamazaki, Banana Yoshimoto and many others.
“Japanese Prostitutes in the North American West, 1887-1920” (UW Press) by Kazuhiro Oharazeki sheds light on a little known chapter of Japanese American history.
“The Halo” (Four Way Books) by C. Dale Young is a new book of poetry that is a quasi-autobiography about a man with wings who desperately wants to be simply human.
“Yayoi Kusama -Inventing The Singular” (MIT Press) by Midori Yamamura grounds this internationally known Japanese artist within the fabric of pre and post WW II history from which she emerged to engage the world with her artistic visions from Pop Art to Minimalism.
“Alien Capital – Asian Racialization And The Logic Of Settler Colonial Capitalism” (Duke University) by Iyko Day explores what the dynamic of the Asian workforce brought to the American economy at the turn of the century.
The Global Music Series from Oxford University Press has interesting volumes which all come with music CD inserts. Recent titles include Gavin Douglas’s “Music in Mainland Southeast Asia” and “Music in Pacific Island Cultures” by Brian Diettrich, Jane Freeman Moulin and Michael Webb.
William Wei’s “Asians in Colorado – A History of Persecution And Perseverance in the Centennial State” (UW Press) by William Wei gives breath and depth to the history and contributions of that immigrant population to that state.
Noriko Manabe’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Protest Music After Fukushima” (Oxford University Press) is a vital new contribution to the way music plays such a vital part in protest and social movements.
Terayama Shuji’s surrealistic theatre works rose out of the ashes of WWII to bring forth a ribald humor and energy and that may be what he’s best known for in the West. But Terayama was also a writer of fiction. In “The Crimsom Thread of Abandon” (MerwinAsia), translator Elizabeth L. Armstrong has done us all a favor by collecting his stories that read like thought-provoking fairy tales for adults.
“The Face” (Restless Books) is a new series of personal non-fiction in which well known authors are asked to write essays about their face and its place in race, culture and identity. March 2016 has essays by Ruth Ozeki, Chris Abani and Tash Aw. Other volumes will follow.
“Diamond Head” (Harper Perrenial) is a new paperback edition of the debut novel by Cecily Wong that tells the story of a Chinese family’s immigration to Hawai’i and how a tragic sense of fate and history haunt them wherever they go.
Two Sylvias Press, a small local publisher in Kingston, WA has over the years been bringing out some fine titles. Some recent titles of note by Asian American writers include the following. “The Cardiologist’s Daughter” by Natasha Kochicheril Moni explores her dual Indian/Dutch heritage with tender poems that explore the mysteries of the human condition in and out of the operating room. “Blood Poems” is the debut collection by West Seattle poet Michael Schmeltzer that embraces our shared humanity, imperfect as it is with poems of redemption and compassion. And “Naming The No-Name Woman” is an homage to silver screen icon Anna May Wong and the trials and tribulations of Asian American women in a society that would rather stereotype rather than confront the real. Written by third-generation Chinese American poet Jasmine An who won the 2015 Two Sylvia’s Press Chapbook Prize. “Fire Girl: Essays On India, America, & The In-Between” by Sayantani Dasgupta. Dasgupta teaches at the University of Idaho. Her essays and stories have garnered a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and a Centrum Fellowship. This is her first book. For information on the author, go to www.sdasgupta.com. For more on the press, go to www.twosylviaspress.com for details.
“Tropical Renditions – Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America” (Duke) by Christine Bacareza Balance continues the tradition of Filipino American scholars looking deep into their own contemporary musical traditions and culture.
“Radicalism in the Wilderness – International Contemporary and 1960s Art in Japan” (MIT) by Reiko Tomii explores the burst of energy in Japanese modern art in the 60’s and how it related to the world.
“Global Asian American Popular Cultures” (UH Press) edited by Shilpa Dave, Leilani Nishime and Tasha Oren expands the field of Asian American cultural studies with some insightful essays addressing a variety of topics.
“The Fortunes” (HMH) by Peter Ho Davies due this fall is a new sly and witty collection of short stories exploring the lives of Chinese Americans throughout our tumultuous history here on Gold Mountain and beyond.
“Islands of Protest – Japanese Literature From Okinawa” (UH Press) is a crucial and much needed collection edited by Davinder L. Bhowmik and Steve Rabson that offers literary riches from that island nation in various forms such as poetry, fiction and drama showing what a vital and distinct culture it really is.
Sean Michael Wilson continues his exploration of Japanese classics by re-telling stories in the graphic novel form. “Cold Mountain –The Legend of Han Shan and Shih Te” (Shambhala) with illustrations by Akiko Shimojima tells the tales of famous Chinese zen monks whose spiritual poems have resonated through the years. In “Lafcadio Hearn’s The Faceless Ghost And Other Macabre Tales from Japan” (Shambhala), Wilson collaborates with graphic artist Michiru Morikawa to re-tell these chilling ghost tales discovered by Hearn.
“Ancestral Places – Understanding Kanak Geographies” (OSU Press) by Katrina-Ann R. Kapa’anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira explores the deep connections native Hawaiians have with their environment.
NYRB Books continues to re-print and find classics that have gone out of print. Two recent Chinese masters of modern fiction have re-surfaced thanks to their efforts. The late Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin’s last book “Last Words From Montmarte” as translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich explores her impassioned letters to the world that are part-love letter, part-fiction, part-memoir and part-suicide note. “Naked Earth” brings back to print the much loved Hong Kong writer Eileen Chang. Perry Link’s translation tells the story of two young people during the early years of Mao’s China and uncovers the dark corners of human experience where idealism is replaced by repression.
“Ruined City” (Oklahoma) by Jia Pingwa as translated by Howard Goldblatt looks at the rapid transformation of today’s China through the eyes of a Chinese writer who goes through a myriad of sexual and legal difficulties. Originally banned in China for its sexual content, it is now considered a classic.
“Postcards from Stanland – Journey in Central Asia” (Ohio University Press) by David H. Mould explores the complex issues at hand in this forgotten intersection of cultures in the world.
“A Good Time For The Truth – Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press) is a fascinating anthology of first-hand essays edited by Sun Yung Shin that goes way beyond the Vikings and Lake Wobegon to get at the real ethnic strands of that state’s diversity and how, in some ways, it has failed many of its citizens.
Janice Y. K. Lee, bestselling author of “The Piano Teacher” is back with “The Expatriates” (Viking) that tells the story of three American women living in an expatriate community in Hong Kong struggling with demons of the past, trying to move on.
A Chinese teenager lures his best friend into a trap, kills her and moves on in A Yi’s “A Perfect Crime” (Point Blank), winner of the English Pen Award.
Bamboo Ridge Press continues in its mission to publish the freshest and best writing by writers in Hawai’i. Their latest issue (#106) of the magazine features Editors’ Choice Awards with new work by Rajiv Mohabir, K.L. Quilantang, Jr. and Joseph Han. Also an Artist Portfolio by Joy Enomoto and the usual evocative variety of Island talent. Guest edited by Gail N. Harada and Lisa Linn Kanae. Also two new titles. Brenda Kwon’s “The Sum of Breathing” mixes genres as the author ventures to find an identity she can call her own moving from Hawai’i to Korea and L.A. and dealing with issues of memory, loss, feminism, racism and place. D. Carreira Ching’s “Between Sky and Sea – A Family’s Struggle” is a powerful debut novel about three Hawaiian brothers and how love, loss, addiction, violence set against the backdrop of a colonial past keep their lives churning through waves of doubt while still trying to find a way back home.
“Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008” (Wave ) collects a decade of poems culled from handmade chapbooks, journals and out-of-print books by Hoa Nguyen, co- editor of the important literary magazine, Skanky Possum with Dale Smith. Her use of language remains funny and refreshingly honest. Also Wave Books has just published her latest book of poetry entitled “Violet Energy Ingots.” As grounded in the earth as in the stars, her poems are reminders of the possibilities of contemplation in every space and moment. Go to http://wavepoetry.com/products/violet-energy-ingots for details.
Local author Sharon H. Chang is the author of “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge). It is one of the first books to look at the difficulties of raising mixed-race Asian children in a system that neither embraces or welcomes their participation.
“Everything Begins Elsewhere” (Copper Canyon) is the new poetry title by Tishani Doshi, poems real and written with a beautiful simplicity that resonates across borders of migration and cross-cultural context.
The dark consequence of China’s “one child” policy is deeply explored in two new titles. “One Child – The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment”(HMH) by Mei Fong and “China’s Hidden Children – Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy” (University of Chicago Press) by Kay Ann Johnson.
“The Future of Silence – Fiction by Korean Women” (Zephyr) is the latest translation by Seattle couple Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton that spans generations of writers from the 1970’s to the present as they grapple with day to day complex issues in Korean life and literature. Includes important writers such as O Chong-hui, the late Pak Wan-so and younger ones like Kim Sagwa, Han Yujkoo and Ch’on Un-yong. Again, another crucial contribution to the life of women in today’s Korea.
“Apricot’s Revenge” (Minotaur) is a new crime novel by Song Ying translated from the Chinese by the prolific Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin. Not just an ordinary mystery but a in-depth look at human relationships and the complexities of social issues in today’s China.
“Here Come the Dogs” (The New Press) is a new novel by Malaysian Australian performance poet, &hip hop artist Omar Musa that looks at the world of suburban, multicultural youth in Australia dealing with issues of powerlessness, ethnicity and masculinity.
“What Lies Between Us” (St. Martin’s) by Nayomi Munaweera looks at the struggles a daughter and mother must go through leaving war-town Sri Lanka for the promise of America. The author’s first novel won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013.
“Hard Love Province” (Norton) is the new and powerful book of love poems by Marilyn Chin that can’t stay still, fueled by a passion that crosses borders, cultures and snatching bits of victory from the hands of defeat.
In Alexander Chee’s “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a sprawling epic of a novel looks at the career of a true diva – an opera singer that through continual self-reinvention ascends to the role of a lifetime.
Local poet/translator gives us another powerful slice of the powerful Korean poet Kim Hyesoon with “Poor Love Machine” (Action Books) where myth, politics and the everyday engage in a stimulating conversation.
“A Girl on the Shore” (Vertical) is a book of yearning and teenage romance by Inio Asano. Asano is the author of “Solanin” and “Nijigahara Holography” and has been nominated for the Eisner Award.
“Standing Water” (FS&G) is the powerful debut of poet Eleanor Chai who looks at Little Hanako, the bust of a head by Rodin and weaves a tale of loss and longing and the separation of mother and child across time.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri sets the bar even higher by writing “In Other Words” (Knopf) in Italian. She bumps up the limitations of a newly acquired language and takes us along in her search for those words that can express what she has to say. Translated into English by Ann Goldstein.
“Wild Grass on the Riverbank” (Action Books) by Japanese poet Hiromi Ito as translated by Jeffrey Angles in which she explores the fecund yet hazy border between the living and the dead in a wasteland of our own making.
Hmong American poet Mai Der Vang won the Walt Whitman Award for outstanding debut book by the Academy of American Poets. Her book entitled “Afterland” will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017.
Congratulations too go out to Sjohnna McCray whose title “Rapture” was the winner of The Walt Whitman Award Of The Academy Of American Poets for 2015 as selected by Tracy K. Smith. In this award-winning debut, Mc Cray movingly recounts a life born out of wartime to a Korean mother and an American father serving during the Vietnam War. Go to www.graywolfpress.org for more details.
Ocean Vuong’s “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” makes his poetic debut with a new book from Copper Canyon Press. He appears in a recent video by the press enlisting donations to continue their goal of publishing new books of poetry.
“Jade Dragon Mountain” (Minotaur) is a new paperback edition of a mystery novel by Elsa Hart set in 1700’s China when Jesuit scholars were favorites of the Chinese court. When one is poisoned, exiled librarian Li Du must uncover the killer.
Krys Lee (“Drifting House”) is back with a searing novel entitled “How I Became A North Korean” (Viking) that tells the inner and outer journey of three characters who flee North Korea only to find themselves trying to survive in dangerous Chinese territory.
Vi Khi Nao is a double threat with two new books debuting in two different genres. Her novel “Fish in Exile” (Coffee House Press) examines how a family copes with the loss of a child. Her poetry collection “The Old Philosopher” (Nightboat Editions) won the 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize.
“Love Letters to the World” (Poetose Press) by Meia Geddes is a new book of lyrical prose poems addressing the world as body, concept and stranger.
“Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920-1940 is the exhibition catalog by Dennis Reed of a show originally held at the Japanese American National Museum. Reed, a long-time specialist in the field of Japanese American photography looks at the many photographers who were members of various camera clubs up and down the West Coast during the era of “Pictorialism.”
“In Order To Live – A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom” (Penguin) by Yeonmi Park with Maryanne Vollers is the latest in a series of memoirs by people fleeing North Korea.
Jade Chang’s “The Wangs Vs. The World” (HMH) is her debut novel about an immigrant family who falls on hard times and takes a cross-country journey across America that brings them back together.
“BUSHIDO – The Soul Of A Samurai” (Shambhala) is a graphic novel from the book by Inazo Nitobe adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and illustrated by Akiko Shimojima.
“The Problem With Me And Other Essays About Making Trouble In China Today” (Simon & Schuster) by Han Han is by China’s most popular blogger with piquant essays on Chinese culture and politics.
“Great Fortune Dream – The Struggle And The Triumphs Of Chinese Settlers In Canada, 1858 – 1966” (Caitlin Press) is a groundbreaking book on the little known history of Chinese settlers in that region by David Chuenyan Lai & Guo Ding.
The Grant LAB is an experiment of Artists Up ( a collaborative effort between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4 Culture and Artist Trust) offering $3,000 awards to Washington state artists working in all disciplines to enhance their creative process. Artists of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Deadline is Sept. 28, 2016 at 5pm PST. Go to artistsup.org/grant-lab for details.
Congratulations to Noelani Pantastico, principal ballerina at Pacific Northwest Ballet who has been nominated for a 2016 Stranger Genius Award. The awards ceremony takes place on Sat., Sept. 24. Go to strangertickets.com for reservations.
The Wing offers Game Day BBQ’s. Sept. 23/30. Go to wingluke.org/tours for details.
Soil Art Collective/Gallery is currently accepting proposals for group shows that will take place June 3, 2017 through May 2018. Soil exists as an alternative venue for artists and curators to exhibit, develop, and advance their work. We are committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content. Proposals including three or more artists are encouraged, but two-person shows will be considered if the work and concept are very strong. Deadline is Sunday, Oct. 9th, 2016 at midnight. Go to [email protected] for details.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Go to FriendsOfAsianArt@earthlink or call (206) 522-5438.
Washington 129 is a projected anthology of poems to be written by Washingtonians. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. Go to http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/03/28/23877586/submissions-are-now-open-for-washington-129-an-anthology-of-poetry-from-citizens-of-washington-state for details.
Friends of Little Saigon and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority are seeking design proposals for four crosswalks in the Little Saigon/International District. Artists interested in submitting proposals can contact An Huynh at [email protected] or call 206-838-8715.
On Thurs., Sept. 22 at 7:30pm, the Seattle branch of Radical Women will have an event to give community a sense of how to get involved in activism to liberate women around the world. At New Freeway Hall at 5018 Rainier Ave. S. in Seattle. Go to www.radicalwomen.org for details.
Photographic Center Northwest issues a call for entries for their 21st Juried Exhibition with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017. Juror is San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Curator Emeritus Sandra Phillips. The exhibit takes place March 27 – June 11 in 2017. For details, go to pcnw.org/submissions.
There are currently some grants available for arts and cultural events in Seattle parks. Deadline is Oct. 19, 2016 with instructional workshops on the application process available in various areas of the city beforehand. To get complete information on these events, contact Jenny Crooks at 206-684-7084 or email [email protected].
Applications for the 2017 Jack Straw Artist Residencies are available now with a deadline of Mon., Oct. 31, 2016. To see what’s available and pick up an application, go to www.jackstraw.org/programs/asp/2017/2017_apps.shtml.Programs.
Stan Shikuma, best known for his work with Seattle Kokon Taiko has a day job at UW Medical Center. He was recently honored with the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses for his caring work with patients. Congratulations, Stan!
The Grant Lab offers $3000 to enhance an artist’s creative process. Artists of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Deadline is Sept. 28, 2016 at 5pm pacific standard time. More information at artistsup.org/grant-lab.
Space is still available for “Dementia, Art, and Legacy – A Conference on Creative Aging” set for Friday, Sept. 30 from 8:30am – 5pm. For details, email or call Renate Raymond. [email protected] or 206-432-8217.
Diwali, a Hindu festival celebrated world wide and also known as the “Festival of Lights” celebrates good over evil. Soon, it will be commemorated by a new postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
The Seattle Japanese School P.T.A. has a Japanese Book Sale on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 from 11am – 2pm at Westminster Chapel at 13646 NE 24th St. in Bellevue. Besides books, there will be cds & dvds as well as games, educational toys, children’s books and much more. Sales in cash only. Please bring small bills and your own bags. If you have books you want to donate, donations are accepted until Sept. 30 at the Seattle Japanese School office at 919 124th Ave. NE #207 in Bellevue Tues. – Fri. from 9am – 4pm and Saturdays from 9am – 2pm. For more information, go to http://www.seajschoolpta.org/furuhon.html.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition invites photographers from around the world to submit entries that reflect the themes of courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law, and of human rights and/or anti-corruption in general. Winners will receive CDN $1,000 and will be featured on the Allard Prize website. Deadline is Nov. 1, 2016. For details, go to http://www.allardprize.org/photography-competition.
The West Kowloon Cultural District will include 17 core arts and cultural venues when completed. It’s part of a world-wide phenomenon especially in Asia. It looks to change the face of global performing arts in the art. A brick and mortar completion is expected to open in 2018. For details, go to https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/2016/the-rise-of-cultural-hubs-in-asia/.