“blind film” is an installation by Sangjun Yoo employing a real-time composition of a kinetic system based on window blinds, controlled by digital interface. The installation embraces intimacy based on ruptures of absence, distance and space that reconstruct actual and virtual spaces including the viewer. Opening reception on Fri., Feb. 9 at 7pm. Artist talk is on Fri., March 16 at 7pm. On view through March 30, 2018. At Jack Straw located at 4261 Roosevelt Way NE.
Shruti Ghatak, a visual artist from India has a solo show entitled “Anthology – A Collection of Paintings & Drawings” on view now through Feb. 26, 2018. It’s a rare chance to see work here based on Indian mythology and folklore. At the Virginia Inn at 1937 First Ave. near Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. 206-728-1937. For more information on the artist, go to www.shrutighatak.com.
Seattle-based artist Ko Kirk Yamahira deconstructs his paintings by painstakingly removing individual threads from the weave of the canvas, turning surface into form. Recent work offers a meditation on identity, duality and the relativity of perception. An exhibition of his work is at the Frye Art Museum Feb. 17 – June 3, 2018. 704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.
The work of New York sculptor Minku Kim is included in a group show entitled “Somewhere Nearby” curated by Sue Daniels. At Bridge Productions through Feb. 3, 2018. 6007 12th Ave. S. on the s2nd floor of Hamilton Work Studios. Open Thurs. & Sat. from 2 – 7pm and Wed. by appointment.
“My Shadow Is A Word Writing Itself Across Time” by Gazelle Samizay is a video installation using poetry and sweeping landscape imagery. The artist draws connections between her experience as a Muslim American from Afghanistan and the wrongfully imprisoned Japanese Americans during WWII. On view now at 4 Culture’s E4C Media Screens. 101 Prefontaine Place South. 206-296-7580.
Davidson Galleries presents an “International Mezzotint Invitational” in January. 313 Occidental Ave. S. Go to www.davidsongalleries.com for details.
“The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection” is the title of a museum-wide show of artworks that have entered the Henry’s contemporary collection during the last two decades. More than half the work here is being shown for the first time. Upper level galleries remain up until April 22. Lower level galleries will be on view until March 25, 2018. 206-543-2280 or email [email protected]
Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park hosts a series of winter programs for all ages that bring together art, the environment and the winter season. “Winter in the Parks” programs run from January to March including Kids Saturdays (with artist Romson Bustillo) and Art Encounters featuring an artist-in-residence. For details, try seattleartmuseum.org/lights.
Seattle Art Museum presents a new series for SAM members entitled “Conversations With Curators” from January – June 2018. All lectures start at 7pm in the Auditorium with a Happy Hour starting at 6:30pm. Some highlights include Deputy Director/Curator of European Painting and Sculpture Chiyo Ishikawa talking about “Shipwreck Off The Coast Of Alaska: A New Acquisition” on Jan. 17. June 20 brings Foong Ping, Curator of Chinese Art together with Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art talking about “Transforming An Icon: Behind-The-Scenes At The Seattle Asian Art Museum.” You can buy tickets online at visitsam.org/conversations or call 206-654-3210 or stop by the Ticketing Desk at SAM. As part of SAM’s “Asia Talks” series at 9am, check out the following. Azeen Ibrahim, senior fellow at the Centre for Global Policy will address the topic of “Rohingya: The World’s Most Persecuted Minority” on Jan. 24. Photographer Ahn Jun from South Korea talks about her aerial views in her work entitled “Ahn Jun On the Verge” (she has a show at Photographic Center Northwest – see elsewhere in this column for details) on Jan. 31, 2018. March 29 will be “Kashmir Shawls of the West”. April 17 will address “Islamic Architecture of Deccan India”. April 26 will feature the topic of “The Social Life of Ink Stones.” The Gardner’s Saturday University Lecture Series has the following – “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia” looks at different boundaries in Asia and how they affect people and cultures. Jan. 27 topic is “The Indus Basin And the Creation of Pakistan”. Feb. 3 is “DMZ Crossings.” Feb. 10 is “Photography in Duerte’s Drug War.” Feb. 17 is “Racism, Vulgar and Polite. March 2 is “Caste & Sexual Politics in South India.”The museum also has the following exhibition planned for the fall. “Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India” set for Oct. 18, 2018 – Jan. 21, 2019. 1300 First Ave. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery opens the new year with “Carina del Rosario: Passports Series”, an ongoing series by the artist in which she asks people to create their own identity papers by “using their own words to describe the most important parts of themselves.” This artist/photographer lets people determine their own identities instead of being categorized by institutions, governments and others. Through Feb. 1, 2018. On the campus of Seattle Central Community College next to the cafeteria. . 1701 Broadway. 206-934-4379 or go to seattlecentral.edu/artgallery.
Jun Ahn likes heights. The South Korean photographer shoots from tall buildings and gets views that are eye-popping. Her show entitled “On the Verge” is on view Jan. 8 – March 24 at Photographic Center Northwest at 900 12th Ave. 206-720-7222 or go to pcnw.org. There will be a reception for Ahn on January 18 at PCNW. She will give a lecture about her work at Seattle Art Museum on Jan. 31, 2018 at 7pm. Other events at PCNW worth checking out are these. The Strange Fire Collective will present a public slideshow and spoken word night entitled “Call and Response: Art as Resistance.” Features over 100 photographs by artists from 17 countries, in response to the current social and political climate in the United States. Spotlights work by women, people of color, and queer/trans artists. Jan. 20 at 6:30pm. Documentary photographer Beb Reynol will share his work done in Afghanistan and beyond on March 23, 2018 at 6:30pm. “Foto Revu” is a great way for budding photographers to get some feedback. A leading panel of nationally and locally known people in the photography field will sit down and go over your work with you. Five 20 minute review sessions over a two day time-span. Feb. 24/25 from 12:305:30pm. Register at www.pcnw.org. $195 fee for five reviews.
Zhi Lin’s artistic exploration of Chinese immigration and the Transcontinental Railroads is currently on view at Tacoma Art Museum. For his new work in the same vein, check out his show at Prographica/KDR Gallery. “Lin’s works are shaped by the political strife he witnessed in China during his training and his experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. (he currently lives and works in Seattle,WA). His widely-known works based on historical events depict the racism and injustice faced by immigrant workers. His latest series focuses on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroads and the memories lost and the sacrifices made by Chinese laborers. The lasting message of this work parallels the ongoing struggles and histories of immigrants from all backgrounds.” Through Jan. 27, 2018. 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-999-0849 or go to koplindelrio.com.
A group show entitled “Existential Horror” in which artists anticipate the awful events of the year to come in their various media includes the work of Elaine Lin. Jan. 18 – Feb. 14, 2018. Push/Pull Gallery at 5484 Shilshole Ave. NW. 206-789-1710 or go to facebook.com/pushpullseattle.
“Ghost Gallery Retrospective” celebrates seven years on Capitol Hill with a closing group show. The work of Yoona Lee is included. Through Jan. 28th. 504 E. Denny Way. 206-832-6063 or try ghostgalleryshop.com.
A group show that focuses on birds includes the block prints on teabag papers by Fumi Matsumoto. Feb. 2 – 24, 2018. 176 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island. 206-842-2063 or try robykinggallery.com.
“In the Shadow of Olympus” is a group show that spans continents and includes work by artists in Japan and North America. Collaborating over skype, they create work addressing the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Includes work by local artists Junko Yamamoto and Paul Komada and many others. March 1 – 30, 2018. SOIL at 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
A group show entitled “Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition” given out by Cornish College includes the work of Che Sehyun, Tuan Nguyen and many other distinguished local artists. Jan. 27 – Feb. 24, 2018. Studio e at 605 Brandon St. 206-762-3322 or try studioegallery.org.
“Craftsmanship And Wit – Modern Japanese Prints from the Carol and Seymour Haber Collection” is a group show curated by Jeannie Kenmotsu – Japan Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art. Includes work by Munakata, Hamaguchi, Ida and Kurosaki. On view through April 1, 2018 at Portland Art Museum. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try [email protected].
Internationally known ceramic artist and former UW Professor Patti Warashina has a show of new work set for the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center April 13 – August 5, 2018. She will do a 2 day workshop May 12 – 13 and give a talk about her work on Sat., May 12 at 6pm. One East Main St. in Mesa, Arizona. 480-644-6560 or go to [email protected]
It’s a match made in culinary/art heaven. Artist/photographer/writer Dean Wong often hangs out at Tai Tung Restaurant in the CID. Now the restaurant has returned the favor with an ongoing presentation of his iconic photographs entitled “Made In Chinatown USA.” Sit at the counter deep into your chow mein and looks at images of the neighborhood on the wall. 655 South King St. Ongoing.
“Searching for Home” is a site-specific installation by Humaira Abid featuring personal narratives, stories and portraits of refugees in the Northwest woven into socio-cultural themes of immigration, women and families. It is her first solo exhibition in the U.S. In her work, she tackles issues of culture, gender and relationships both in her Pakistani homeland and her adopted U.S. home. Now through March 25, 2018. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way N.E. Closed Mon. & Tues. Wed. – Sun. 11am – 5pm. Free Frist Fridays from 11am – 8pm. 425-519-0770.
Humaira Abid returns with new work that’s just in from Philadelphia entitled “My Shame” which looks at feminine shame and the issues it brings up. Feb. 1 – March 1, 2018. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Current show entitled “Color and Light: Marcio Diaz and Elaine Hanowell” is up unitl Jan. 27, 2018.
KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson features many small arts & crafts/textile shows and activities inspired by Asia or work by Asian American artists. 206-381-3000 or [email protected] or go to www.koboseattle.com. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following –“Pacific First” on view now through Nov. 30, 2018 looks at Pacific Islander artists who incorporate tradition while looking towards the future. “What’s In Your Cup? – Community Brewed Culture” is a new exhibit honoring the beverages that have given life to communities – from farmers and families who nurture the raw materials to friends & kin who bond over shared drinks. Hear histories of commerce, colonization and survival. Share tales from a Japanese family who brewed sake from Fukushima to Seattle, the Seko’s who ran the beloved Bush Garden, Carmel Laurino who pioneered the value of Filipino coffee, Lydia Lin who cultivated tea appreciation through her Seattle Best Tea and Koichi Kitazawa, a brew master at Starbucks. On view through Sept. 16, 2018. 206-623-5124×127 or email [email protected] for details. “Neighborhood Voices: Stories Of Immigrants & Communities In The ID” opens on Jan. 20 at 2pm. RSVP at 206-623-5633×4136 or email [email protected] “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity. Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon. “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show now extended until April 23, 2018 . “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? Closes on Feb. 11, 2018. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
On view through July 15, 2018 is “Beauties and Talents: Art of Women in Japan” which features “women’s self-fashioning” including literature-inspired paintings, prints, kimono and lacquerware. Seattle Art Museum is at 1300 First Ave. downtown. 206-654-3100.
Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has the following – See the elegant and diverse designs and stories found in the jewelry of Seattle metalsmith Nadine Kariya in a show entitled “Nadine Kariya: The Hammer and the Peony”. The show remains up until Feb. 1, 2018. 550 Winslow Way E. 206-451-4013 or go to biartmuseum.org. Free admission. Open daily from 10am – 6pm.
“Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” opens May 13, 2017 and stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Roger Shimomura, Joseph Park, Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) and many others. “In Search of the Lost History of Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroads” is the title of a new exhibition by UW Professor and internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin who looks at the thousands of Chinese men who came to America to work on the railroads and mine for gold. He travelled extensively to historic sites and painted at these locations to evoke the contributions of Chinese to the history of the American west. Writer/Professor Shawn Wong of the UW English department has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalog. Other Free Third Thursday events include a community panel on immigration and exclusion on Feb. 15, 2018. This show up until Feb. 18, 2018. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected] or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Dr. Jeannie Kenmotsu has been appointed as the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at Portland Art Museum. The museum’s Japanese print collection is extensive. Kenmotsu will research, interpret and organize exhibitions of the museum’s outstanding collection of more than 2,700 traditional an contemporary Japanese prints. She has a ph.D in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first exhibition “Craftsmanship And Wit: Modern Japanese Prints from the Collection of Carol and Seymour Haber” is now on view. In related news, the museum has received a 2017 Museums for America Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize their entire Japanese print collection. 1219 Southwest Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or email [email protected]
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – Japanese American Life in Oregon” is an ongoing exhibit. “Tuna Canyon Detention Station Exhibition” remains on view through Jan. 7, 2018. This show tells the story of a little-known temporary detention facility set up during WWII in Southern California to hold enemy aliens considered risks to national security. Over 2000 Japanese, German, Italian and Japanese Peruvians were detained here. It has now been turned into a golf course. 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
Portland Japanese Garden collaborates with architect Kengo Kuma on the launch of a major expansion opening April 2, 2017. The Cultural Village expansion provides additional space and will enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture. Three new Japanese gardens will be added as part of this. The garden will host major art exhibitions this year with related lectures, demonstrations and activities. Also in development is the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts & Culture which will offer classes in traditional garden arts such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. Recently Suminori Awata, a stone mason from Japanese came to help direct constriction of a stone wall. Granite was gathered from a rock quarry in Pendleton, Oregon and moved to Portland for placement. This opens to the public in 2018. For more information, go to japanesegarden.com.
“In the Mood for Love – 27 Contemporary Chinese And Canadian Female Artists Exhibition” as curated by Dong Huiping is a group show that no doubt takes its title from that steamy erotic classic film by Wong Kar-wai. It is on view until Jan. 31, 2018 at Poly Culture Art Center at #100 – 905 West Pender St. in Vancouver, BC. 604-564-5766 or go to www.polyculture.us.
On December 7, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, launching America into war. In Canada, this action resulted in the confiscation of nearly 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats by Canadian officials on the British Columbia coast, which were eventually sold off to canneries and other non-Japanese fishermen. The exhibition entitled “The Lost Fleet” looks at the world of Japanese Canadian fishermen in BC and how deep-seated racism played a major part in the seizure, and sale, of Japanese Canadian property and the internment of an entire people. Curator Duncan MacLeod states that “the history of Japanese Canadian fishermen is inextricably linked to the history of Vancouver. The city was a gateway in the Pacific for all immigrants looking to forge a brighter future for themselves.” The exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese Canadian built fishing vessels in its collection, made by model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. These models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. On view through March 25, 2018. Vancouver Maritime Museum at 1905 Ogden Avenue in Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC Canada. Open Tues. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm and Sundays from noon – 5pm. Also open late on Thursday nights until 8pm. Go to https://www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/exhibit/lost-fleet-exhibition for more details.
Vancouver Art Gallery – “Emptiness: Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan” pairs Emily Carr’s forest paintings and charcoal drawings with the founder of the New Art Movement in Hong Kong. Kwan’s early Hong Kong landscapes and zen paintings will be placed in dialogue with Carr’s Northwest landscapes. On view through April 8, 2018. Also featured, an offsite installation by New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif which combines architecture with a strong contextual reference. Look for the current retrospective on the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago entitled “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” to make its West Coast debut Feb. 3 – May 6, 2018 (advance tickets for this show at murakami.vanartgallery.bc.ca).Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
“Hastings Park 1942” is the title of an installation in collaboration with performance artist Yoshie Bancroft. It is also the name of the assembly center where over 8,000 Japanese Canadians were incarcerated in East Vancouver before being sent to internment sites in the interior. The exhibit contains a performance piece titled “JAPANESE PROBLEM”. It invites an audience into a stall filled with the uncertainty of their next destination in order that they might get a feeling of what Japanese Canadians went through during the war. On view through Jan. 13, 2018. Nikkei National Museum. 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org
The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series by Ai Weiwei is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Old Summer Palace outside Beijing. On view in the North Courtyard through June 24, 2018. “Long Nineteenth Century in Japanese Woodblock Prints” features more than fifty works from the collection of Dr. Lee and Mary Jean Michels. Through July 1, 2018. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. 1430 Johnson Lane. 541-346-3027.
The Thatcher Gallery at the University of San Francisco presents a show entitled “South Asian Contemporary: Works On Paper From Bay Area Collectors” on view through Feb. 18, 2018. Borrowed from private collectors, this show presents recent works on paper from India and Pakistan. Includes internationally known artists rarely shown in the U.S. including Zarina Hashimi, Anita Dube and Viba Galotra. Curated by the USF MA in Museum Studies Curatorial Practice class. Located in the Gleeson Library-Geschke Center, the Thatcher Gallery at USF is free and open to the public from noon to 6pm daily. 2130 Fulton St. (at Cole). 415-422-5178 or go to www.usfca.edu/thatcher-gallery.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – “Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories” is on view through March 11, 2018. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry, textiles, Christian devotional statues, postwar genre and landscape paintings and contemporary works of this island nation fill this show. On going are two installations. In front of the museum is “Dragon Fortune” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi which meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design and pop art kids cartoons. In the lobby is “Collected Letters” by Liu Jianhua, a cutting edge installation of porcelain letters and fragments of Chinese characters suspended in mid-air. “Couture Korea – Historical Korean Fashions and its modern Reinterpretations” is the first U.S. exhibition to consider Korean fashion as an expression of social and cultural values. Remains on view through Feb. 4, 2018. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park has the following – “Beyond the Surface: World-wide Embroidery Traditions” on view through March 25, 2018. “The Maori Portraits: Gottfiried Lindaver’s New Zealand” is on view through April 1, 2018. Thirty-one compelling historic portraits of men and women of esteem and rank at a time of great political, cultural and social change and complex intercultural exchange. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. 415-750-3600.
The San Jose Museum of Art presents a show entitled “The Propeller Group” set through March 25, 2018. This art collective based in Vietnam and L.A. takes on ambitious projects connected to Vietnam’s history and its paradoxical present through all media including film. 101 South Market. 408-271-6840.
The Berkeley Art Museum has the following – “Miyoko Ito/MATRIX 267” looks at the work of this Berkeley-born artist who made her name in Chicago and did paintings that explore both exterior and interior landscapes. Through Jan. 28, 2018. “Repentant Monk: Illusion and Disillusion in the Art of Chen Hongshou” is on view through Jan. 28, 2018. He was a major force in Chinese art of the late Ming and early Qing. His visually compelling work mirrored the turmoil of his times. 2155 Center St. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
“For-Site”, the non-profit art organization that helped set up and design Ai Weiwei’s installation on Alcatraz Island when he was under house arrest in China is back with another thought-provoking project. Entitled “Sanctuary”, it investigates the idea of a safe haven both physical and psychological. In this era of frenzied global migration and rising nationalism, the right to a safe haven is under threat. For “Sanctuary”, 36 artists from 21 different countries helped design contemporary rugs reflecting their idea of a sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic need for refuge, protection and sacred ground. The rugs were actualized in Lahore, Pakistan by skilled artisans. Includes work by Mona Hatoum, Ai Weiwei and many others. On view through March 11, 2018 at the Fort Mason Chapel in San Francisco. Free. Go to for-site.org for details.
“Japanscapes” by Toshio Shibata gives us a unique take on landscapes altered by humanity. The images cover each detail where the engineered meet organic irregularity and how they coalesce together in startling new images found by the photographer’s acute eye. Through Jan. 20 at Gallery Luisotti at 2525 Michigan Ave. in Santa Monica, CA. 310-453-0043 or go to www.galleryluisotti.com.
“Polished to Perfection: Japanese Cloisonne – From the Collection of Donald K. Gerber & Sueann E. Sherry” on view through Feb. 4, 2018. “Unexpected Light: Works by Young II Ahn” through Jan. 21, 2018. LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following show – “Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Sao Paulo” is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. By looking at the work of Latin American artists the exhibit will show how ethnic communities, racial mixing and the concepts of homeland and cosmopolitanism inform the creativity and aesthetics of hybrid culture. A few years ago, a controversy brewed when a collection of artworks and artifacts from Japanese American internment camps were about to go on the auction block. A group of Japanese American activists did not want to see pieces of their own cultural history to be sold piecemeal to private collectors. Luckily through their intervention, the collection was instead given to the Japanese American National Museum. The original collector of these items was Allen Eaton who was researching a book later published as “Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps.” Many of these objects were given to
Eaton by detainees with the expectation that they would be used for educational purposes. Now that wish is fulfilled. An exhibition entitled “Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Collection” is now on view at the Hirasaki National Resource Center (located within the confines of JANM). It includes more than 450 paintings, photographs, sculptures, pieces of jewelry and other handmade objects. On view through April 8, 2018 after which the exhibit will go on tour to other-as-yet-undisclosed locations. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org.
The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena is one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. It closed its 1924 building for more than a year for a seismic retrofit and a makeover of its galleries. The museum has now re-opened to the public with a new exhibition entitled “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century” which explores the influence of visiting Mexican artists on the development of art in China. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. 626-449-2742 or email [email protected].
A show tracing the influence of Caribbean Chinese artists from earliest times to the present is jointly presented at two museums in Los Angeles. The exhibition at the Chinese American Museum looks at early artists of Chinese descent in Cuba, Panama, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica and beyond. Both shows will reveal the hidden complexities of the transcultural art of the Carribbean. Part I at the Chinese American Museum traces the history of Chinese Carribbean art from the 1930’s through the period of the region’s independence movements. Works by Sybil Atteck (Trinidad & Tobago), Manuel Chong-Neto (Panama) and Wilfredo Lam (Cuba) will be featured. On view through March 11, 2018. 425 N. Los Angeles St. 213-485-8567 or go to caml.org. Part II of the show at the California African American Museum through Feb. 25, 2018 focuses on contemporary artists such as Albert Chong, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons as well as artists of today’s ongoing Chinese Caribbean diaspora as they explore issues of the post-colonial history, popular culture, and the body. 600 State Drive in Exposition Park. 213-744-2084 or go to caamuseum.org or email [email protected].
“Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West” on view through Jan. 28, 2018 at Honolulu Museum of Art looks at mid-20th century abstraction through its Asian American practitioners with a special focus on Hawai’i’s artists. It is the first museum exhibition to bring artists of the New York School with Asian American artists who lived and worked in New York in the 1940s and 50s. Besides the usual names like Guston, Motherwell, de Kooning, Rothko, Newman, Pollack et al., the viewer will see the work of artists like Ruth Asawa, Saburo Hasegawa, Isamu Noguchi, George Tsutakawa, Satoru Abe, Isami Doi, Tadashi Sato, Tetsuo Ochikubo & others by their side. 900 South Beretania in Honolulu, Hawai’i. 808-532-8700 or email [email protected]
Denver Art Museum is planning a major exhibition from their collection entitled “Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion” which will look at cross-regional and cross-cultural influences in Asian art. The works come from over 20 countries and spans 2,000 years. The show remains on view through April 1, 2018. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. Call 720-865-5000 or go to www.denverartmuseum.org.
The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall has been undergoing renovation. It reopens on Oct. 14, 2017 with “Resound: Bells Of Ancient China” which examines the discovery in China’s Bronze Age, of a way to make bells that resonate at two different pitches.Go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
A look back and a reappraisal of the Vietnam War and American’s involvement in that conflict this year has renewed interest what with a PBS series and numerous books coming out. The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library joins in with their exhibition entitled “Vietnam War – 1945-1975” which is on view through April 22, 2018. 170 Central Park West. Go to nyhistory.org for details.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – On view through Jan. 21, 2018 is “After Darkness – Southeast Asian Art in The Wake of History.” Includes artists from Indonesia, Myanmar,and Vietnam. “In Focus: An Assembly of Gods” is on view through March 25, 2018. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
“A Giant Leap – The Transformation of Hasegawa Tohaku” is a special exhibition that focuses on the life and legacy of one of 16th century Japan’s leading artistic innovators. It traces the artist’s evolution from a provincial painter of Buddhist subjects to a master favored by shogun, samurai and cultural luminaries. Viewers will see vibrantly painted screens, scrolls and Importat Cultural Properties. Shown in two parts. First rotation runs from March 9 – April 8. Second rotation from April 12 – May 5. At The Japan Society. 333 E. 47th St. 212-832-1155 or go to japansociety.org.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has the following –
The Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” show continues its tour with a stop here July 7, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2018. 11150 East Blvd. 216-421-7350.
Williams College art instructor Barbara Takenaga is known for her radiating dot-pattern paintings which are part of the
American abstract tradition. The college gives her a retrospective culled from the last two decades. Through Jan. 28, 2018. Museum of Art, Williamstown in Massachusetts.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics – A collection with Nobuo Tsuji and MFA, Boston” is on view through April 1, 2018. The popular Japanese artist Murakami whose work is influenced by popular culture and manga also has roots in Japanese eccentric traditional art. Noted Japanese art historian Nobuo Tsuji looks at pieces in the MFA collection of Japanese art for some examples of traditional art that inspired some of Murakami’s present work. “Black And White – Japanese Modern Art” is a show centered around a large scale calligraphy piece by Inoue Yuichi. This exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic. On view through June 3, 2018. 9300 Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.
“Sacred Spaces” features contemporary works by Ghiora Aharoni and Arthur Liou which focus on religious journeys for the benefit of one’s future self. From Nov. 17, 2017 through Oct. 15, 2018. “The Second Buddha: Master Of Time” presents work from the permanent collection, loans and “technological activations” centered on Guru Rinpoche, founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and his mastery of space and time. Feb. 2, 2018 – Jan. 7, 2019. Rubin Museum of Art in New York. 150 West 17th St. 212-620-5000 or email [email protected].
The Guggenheim presents a museum-wide, thematically organized survey of the work of Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo. It includes a focus on the dreamy collective self-image of the U.S. Feb. 9 – May 9, 2018. Go to guggenheim.org for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “India Modern: The Paintings of M. F. Hussain” shows eight large triptychs from the “Indian Civilization” series which celebrates India’s rich and diverse culture. Hussain was one of India’s first modern artists. Up through March 4, 2018. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” on view through June 24, 2018 and curated by Andres Marks. Minneapolis Institute of Art. For centuries, the making of lacquer ware has served a utilitarian and decorative function. But now with modern advances in technology, contemporary artists are pushing into new frontiers. This show is a window into the future of abstract sculpture and installation using the sheen of lacquer as another texture. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787
“Living Proof: The Art Of Japanese Draftsmanship In The 19th Century” gives visitors a rare chance to see original drawings by Edo-period printmakers Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi together in one location. Through March 3, 2018. Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri. Go to pulitzerarts.org for details.
The Dallas Museum of Art has the following – “The Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery is on view through April 26, 2020. “Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins” installation is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. “Asian Textiles: Art Along the Silk Road” opens Dec. 16 and stays on view until Dec. 9, 2018. 1717 N. Harwood in Dallas, TX. 214-992-1200.
Los Angeles County Art Museum presents “Atmosphere in Japanese Painting” which shows a series of techniques that the Japanese painter both yesterday and today, could use to evoke to atmosphere of weather and the changing seasons. Work by Ikeaki Yoshio, Yamamoto Kakurei, Senju Hiroshi and Miya Ando. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
Hokusai’s star has never been brighter in Japan with numerous shows of his work all over the country. “Hokusai and Japonisme” on view at The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo’s Ueno Park shows the overwhelming influence his woodblock prints had on Europe’s artists and craftspeople and interior designers. Here you see the master printmaker’s works side by side next to the Europeans he influenced. On view until Jan. 28, 2018. Go to http://hokusai-japonisme.jp for more details.
“Photographs of Innocence and Experience: Contemporary Japanese Photography Vol. 14” on view until Jan. 28, 2018 at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. This annual show has been held since 2002 and gives art viewers a chance to see what’s new and discover up-and-coming photographers. It encourages the pursuit and challenge of new photography and videography. Five artists show diverse approaches to the genre and explore the notion of physicality and identity. At Yebisu Garden Place in Meguro-ku at Tokyo’s Ebisu Station. 03-3280-0099 or go to www.topmuseum.jp for details.
The oil paintings of Kumagai Morikazu (1880 – 1977) are universally loved in Japan. The paintings have a flatness and animal subject matter that many ascribe to the Japanese woodcut tradition but his thick oil paint texture and muted tones have a Nihon-ga feel that touch the hearts of people with their gentle charm. Coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of his death, this retrospective covers his entire career with some two hundred works. Through March 21, 2018. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
“Taro Okamoto and Media Art” documents the relationship between Okamoto, the avant-garde maverick of postwar Japanese art and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, a pioneer of “intermedia art”. The show has a selection of work by both artists as well as 10 contemporary artists who were strongly influenced by both. Through January 28, 2018 at Taro Okamoto Museum of Art in Kawasaki. In Kawasaki City near Mukogaokayuen Station. 044-900=9898 or go to www.taromuseum.jp.
“Ishiuchi Miyako: Grain and Image” on view through March 4, 2018. Yokohama Museum of Art. Of all the post-WW II photographers in Japan, the work of Ishiuchi stands out for her unique vision and the fact she was often the one lone female image maker amidst a sea of men. She grew up in Yokosuka, a town near an American army base and she presented a frank and honest look at that town in her first show entitled “Yokosuka Story.” She would go on to document the damaged belongings of A-bomb survivors, Frida Kahlo’s personal belongings and a very personal investigation of bodies and the map of skin that covers them. This retrospective covers images from her whole career as well as previously unreleased photographs. The museum is at Minatomirai Station in Kanagawa Prefecture. 045-221-0300 or go to http://yokohama.art.museum/eng.
“The 40th Memorial of Shoji Hamada: From Tamesaburo Yamamoto Collection” on view until April 8, 2018. Yamamoto made most of his money from beer but he loved collecting folk art, expecially the pottery of his good friend Shoji Hamada. Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art outside of Kyoto. 075-957-3123 or go to http://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/.
“Tomb Dynasty Figures of Hu People: Portraying the Multicultural Vigor on the Silk Road” is on view through March 25, 2018 at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka.
“Studio Ghibli: Architecture in Animation” is on view through Feb. 5, 2018 at Abeno Harukas Art Museum in Osaka at Tennoji Station. Go to www.aham.jp or call 06-4399-9050.
“Isamu Noguchi: From Sculpture to Body and Garden” is on view through Jan. 21, 2018. Though remembered as a sculptor, Noguchi was also a celebrated landscape architect, and furniture and lighting designer. This show includes selected works from collections in Japan and New York. Oita Prefectural Art Museum. 097-533-4500 or go to www.opam.jp/en.
A retrospective of controversial Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki entitled “Nobuyoshi Araki – I, Photography” is on view through March 25, 2018 at Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in Marugame, Kagawa Japan.
The Yayoi Kusama craze seems insatiable. To that end, the artist herself has had a museum dedicated to her work that will open in October of this year in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo. It is a five-story white, large-windowed, curved structure designed by Kume Sekkei. The second and third floors will show her paintings, sculptures and other works. The fourth floor will be dominated by her Infinity Rooms and other installations. The top floor will have a reading room and archival material. Timed tickets are now on sale. Excerpted from Art World.
In October 2017, Japanese American theater artist Kimi Maeda performed her piece entitled “Bend” at the International House in Tokyo. Maeda is in Japan as a US-Japan Creative Artists Program Fellow. Her solo piece tells the true story of her father who was an Asian art historian and the subject of his research, Isamu Noguchi who were both interned at the same time. Weaving together sand drawings with family interviews and film footage from the 1940’s, “Bend” explores questions of identity, art and the fragility of memory.
Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang known for using gunpowder as his brush is in residency at the Prado Museum in Madrid where he will work in the Salon de Reinos. A solo exhibition by the artist entitled “The Spirit of Painting” will be on view from Oct. 24, 2018 – March 4, 2018. It will come out of his long-standing admiration for and dialogue with the Spanish master, El Greco.
Sometimes it is the artists and not the politicians that come up with the best ideas. Backed by noted architect Shigeru Ban and other major names in the art and design world who have submitted design ideas, South Korean installation artist Jae-Eun Choi is pushing to build a bridge in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. She is concerned over increased tensions in the region and has come up with a proposal. Left alone as a buffer zone, the area has turned into a wildlife sanctuary for endangered species. The bridge tentatively titled “Dreaming of Earth” for starters would have a pedestrian walkway, observation spaces to view the wildlife and meditation towers but many more ideas are being proposed by designers, architects and installation artists as I speak. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHQGQZwUOQ to see the video.
The December 2017 issue of “Art in America” has the following – Dhaka, a major city in Bangladesh hosts the oldest biennial of contemporary art in Asia called the Asian Art Biennale founded in 1981. Diana Campbell Betancourt in her article “Non-Aligned Aesthetics” takes a look at the overlooked yet vibrant art scene in Bangladesh. Maryam Monalisa Gharavi’s article “Citizen Noguchi” takes a look at a recent show at the Noguchi Museum that shows how the artist’s experience in a WWII internment cap changed his art and sense of identity. Richard Vine’s “Farewell Our Globalism” takes a look at a recent Guggenheim Museum exhibition on China’s post-Tiananmen avant garde and the controversy it caused.
The UW Drama Department presents two new play readings. A Mellon Creative Process Series event that features work from two South Asian playwrights from New York’s Ma-Yi Playwrights Lab. As read by UW faculty and UW student actors. “Esspy” by Nandita Shenoy as Directed by L. Zane Jones reveals the growing relationship between a medical student and an actor who cross paths and develop a friendship. “Let There Be Love” by Mrinalini Kamath as Directed by Andrew Tsao. This is a modern mash-up of D. H. Lawrence and Greek myth and looks at online dating and modern matchmaking and our cravings for—and fears of—intimacy and connection. Readings of both plays on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6pm at the Cabaret Theatre. Free but RSVP at uwdramalabs.com/ma-yi-rsvp.
“A Thousand Cranes” tells the courageous story of a young Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima, a “hibakusha” or person affected by the atomic bomb blast. When a fellow patient tells her the legend that if someone would make 1,000 paper cranes, their wishes would come true – she began to make the cranes by hand as fast as possible. This play tells her true-life story. Jan. 13 – Feb. 3, 2018. Second Story Repertory at 7325 166th Ave. NE Ste. F250 in Redmond. 425-881-6777 or go to secondstoryrep.org.
The ever-busy actress/director Sara Porkalob directs Spokane native Young Jean Lee’s (currently based in New York) play entitled “Straight White Men” about three brothers gathering for Christmas. At 12th Avenue Arts. Th. – Mon. Ends Jan. 29, 2018.1620 – 12th Ave. Go to washingtonensemble.org for details.
Theatre critic and educator Misha Berson curates a new series presented by UW School of Drama entitled “State of the Theatre: Seattle Artists in Conversation” with some of Seattle’s most accomplished theatre people. All events are free and open to the public. Dates and topic titles are as follows – “Playwriting in the Age of Trump” on Mon., Jan. 22 at 7pm. With Yssef El Guindi, Karen Hartman, Vincent Delaney and Ramon Esquivel. “Shakespeare, Our Contemporary” on Mon., March 12 at 7pm with Rosa Joshi, Darragh Kennan and Nike Imoru. “The Sound and the Fury” on Mon., April 30 at 7pm. Features a panel of sound designers, names TBA. All talks at the Jones Playhouse on 4045 University Way NE in Seattle’s University District. Go to https://drama.washington.edu/events/2018-01-22/state-theatre-playwriting-age-trump for details.
“Hatsugama – The First Tea Gathering of the Year 2018” takes place at noon at Bellevue Children’s Academy on Sun., Jan. 28. The Chado Urasenke Tankokai Seattle Association will host this event to usher in the new year. There is an admission fee. 14640 N.E. 24th St. in Bellevue. Go to http://www.teaceremonyseattle.org for details.
“Kamishibai” is a from of Japanese street theatre and storytelling popular in that country before the advent of television. A narrator/storyteller would situate him or herself on a street corner with sets of illustrated boards that they would place in a miniature stage-like device and narrate the story by changing each image. Now present-day practitioners of this performing art come to the Puget Sound’s Youth Theatre Northwest from Nagoya, Japan to work their magic, perform and teach local kids how to make their own “kamishibai.” Sign up now! Starts Jan. 31, 2018 and goes on through Feb. For the details, go to http://youththeatre.org/on-stage/spring-play-through-the-looking-glass-kamishibai-project/ or try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8wz6iU16BM.
Pacific Northwest Ballet mounts “Swan Lake” for a Feb. 2 – 11 run at McCaw Hall. This particular production of the ballet will be using renowned set designer Ming Cho Lee’s set design. 321 Mercer St. at Seattle Center. 206-684-7200 or try mccawhall.com.
What happens when the first generation patriarch of a Korean American family in a West Texas suburb returns after a 15 year absence spent in his homeland of Korea? Find out in Lloyd Suh’s play entitled “American Hwangap” on stage at West of Lenin. Feb. 1 – 25, 2018 as directed by A. J. Epstein. Stars Michael Cerado, Kathy Hsieh, Mara Palma, Stephen Sumida and Moses Yim. Playwright Suh currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark. He has authored numerous plays that have been staged nationally and internationally. Thurs. – Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 2pm with an additional performance on Mon., Feb. 12 at 8pm. 203 North 36th St. in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. For tickets try Brown Paper Tickets or go to www.westoflenin.com.
The Highlands Concert Series present Violinist Kristin Lee and Pianist Kwan Yi performing music by Debussy, puts and Saint-Saens at Florence Henry Memorial Chapel. Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at 5pm. 14823 Boundary Lane in Seattle. Tickets at the door. For more details, go to www.thehighlandsseattle.org.
Pianist Kuan Yi participates in a concert entitled “Spiritual Journey” featuring Grammy-nominated baritone Christopher Herbert in two concerts. Feb. 16 at 8pm at 415 Westlake in Seattle and Feb. 17 at 7:30pm at Minnaert Center in Olympia. Presented by Emerald City Music. 206-250-5510 or go to www.emeraldcitymusic.com.
As part of the “[email protected] Hall” series, ukulele whiz Jake Shimabukuro returns with his music. Feb. 19, 2018. For tickets, go to benaroyahall.org.
The 4th Bellevue World TAIKO Festival takes place on Sunday, March 3, 2018. Performers include special guests from Japan – Miyake Geinou Doushikai as well as CHIKIRI & Cascades Taiko Drummers and more performers to-be-announced. Matinee performance at 2pm and Evening performance at 7pm. Tickets on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets. Bellevue High School Performing Arts Center.
Monqui presents singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata on Tues., March 6, 2018 at Columbia City Theater. Go to www.columbiacitytheater.com for details.
On the Boards will present the 2018 NW New Works Festival June 8 – 10 & June 15 – 17, 2018. Susan Lieu and Majinn are two of the performers for the Studio Theatre Showcase on June 8 at 8pm & June 9 – 10 at 5pm.Pam Tzeng is on the bill at the Studio Theatre Showcase June 15 at 8pm & June 16 – 17 at 5pm. 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886 or go to https://www.ontheboards.org for details.
Sendai Era, a Seattle-based hip hop duo released a new music video in commemoration of the International District entitled “My
ID”. Go to https://vimeo.com/243962975 to check it out. For more information on the group, try http://www.sendaiera.com/
The UW keyboard program presents their “Catch A Rising Star”, a quarterly guest artist series featuring younger talent making their presence felt. On April 29, 2018 at 4:30pm in Brechemin Auditorium, catch thirteen-year old Yesong Sophie Lee, winner of the 2016 International Menuhin Competition in a free recital. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
ARTS WEST in West Seattle presents the following – Sara Porkalob will direct Jiehae Park’s play entitled “Peerless” which is an irreverent re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The plot revolves around two Asian American high school students who are twin sisters both vying an affirmative action spot at a college only to be thwarted by a white male colleague who is 1/16th Native American. 4711 California Ave. “Peerless” opens Jan. 18, 2018 and closes Feb. 11. The season ends with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “An Octoroon” directed by Brandon J. Simmon which is a genre-defying play on the performance of race. April 19 – May 12, 2018. 2018.S.W. in West Seattle. 206-938-0339 or go to artswest.org.
“The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq – An All People of Color Burlesque Revue”, a perennial audience favorite returns to Theatre Off Jackson through Feb. 18, 2018. 409 Seventh Ave. S. 206-340-1049 or go to theatreoffjackson.org.
Seattle Symphony and Conductor Ludovic Morlot have issued the schedule for their 2017-2018 season. Some highlights include the following – “Celebrate Asia” this time around is conducted by DaYe Lin with sitar player Nishat Khan and Seattle erhu virtuoso Warren Chang. Kazuki Yamada will make a Seattle debut as guest conductor. A two-concert festival of Prokofiev features rising star pianists Nathan Lee, Charlie Albright and Conrad Tao with violinists Sophie Lee & William Hagen on Jan. 18 &19, 2018. Subscription packages available now and single tickets on sale August 5, 2017. Go to www.seattlesymphony.org for details.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has released their 2017/2018 schedule. Some of the many highlights include the following – The popular return of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Of Taiwan led by founder Lin Hwai Min with a new work entitled “Formosa – (beautiful island)” which uses gesture, script, song and other elements from the landscape and history of his native Taiwan. Thurs. – Sat. on March 22 – 24, 2018 at 8pm. The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin in the lead violin chair performs on Thurs., Nov. 9 2017 at 7:30pm. Calidore String Quartet with David Finckel and Wu Han perform on Tues., April 24 , 2018 at 7:30pm. “Feathers Of Fire – A Persian Epic” updates the classic shadow play traditions of Asia & the Near East with cinematic “live animation” shadow-casting actors and puppets along with projected imagery in the magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th century Persian epic “Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)” set for Wed., March 14, 2018 at 8pm. With an original score by Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. All concerts at Meany Center located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Series tickets on sale now. Single tickets go on sale on August 1, 2017. You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.
The Music of Remembrance organization exists so that the voices of musical witness can be heard. In the past they have organized music of composers who perished in the Holocaust. This year, they shine their light on Japan and the internment camp experience of Japanese Americans in two concerts. A concert set for Spring is entitled “Gaman” by Christophe Chagnard. After Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent – a majority of them American citizens – were forced into detention camps scattered across the United States. Chagnard explores this dark chapter of American history incorporating the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. This multi-media work will tell the story through the imagery and words of Seattle artists Takuichi Fujii and Kamekichi Tokita who were interned at Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. Instrumentation will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/singer combined with visual media projections. Also featured is a composition (as yet untitled) scored for string quartet, piano and voices by Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is planned as a participatory work with members of the public to join performers on stage to honor the names of those who perished in WW II – balanced equally between Japanese and non-Japanese victims of the conflict. Both compositions are world premieres commissioned by Music of Remembrance. Set for May 20, 2018 at 5pm at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. For details, go to musicofremembrance.org.
Dr. Jakyung Oh, Professor of Organ at Korea University of the Arts gives a free performance on Sun., Jan. 21, 2018 at 3pm. In the Walker Ames Room located in Kane Hall on the Seattle UW campus. Though free, seating capacity is limited so arrive early.
UW Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Sepideh Raissadat plays a concert of Classical Persian Music on Feb. 1 at 7:30pm. Brechemin Auditorium at 7:30pm. She is an Iranian classical vocalist who also plays the schtar. She will perform with her students. Free. On the Seattle UW campus.
J. Tancioco is the musical director for a new production of “Mamma Mia!” at the 5th Avenue Theatre downtown. Running from Feb. 2 – 25, 2018. Directed by Bill Berry with Choreography by Bob Richard. 206-625-1900 or go to www.5thavenue.org.
Ring in the new year on Feb. 11 with a Lunar New Year’s celebration in the Chinatown/ID neighborhood from 11am – 4pm. Free. With dragon & lion dances, Japanese taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations and many other cultural performances
Seattle Classic Guitar Society brings Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang to Benaroya Hall on March 3, 2018 at 7:30pm. Yang performs Chinese compositions and chamber music for guitar. 206-365-0845 or go to [email protected].
Sumire Yoshihara (percussion) and Kazue Sawai (7 and 15 string koto) are respected performers of Japanese contemporary music. This is a rare opportunity to hear this duo present a selection of Japanese contemporary music showcasing duo and solo works by Kitazume, Matsumura, Sugiyama and others. Presented by Vancouver New Music. Tickets are $15. March 17, 2018 at 8pm. 823 Seymour St – 2nd floor. Vancouver BC. 604-665-3035
Seattle Children’s Theatre presents “The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559”. Adapted from the young adult novel of the same name, this play deals with a 12 year old Japanese American boy who must leave with his family to be imprisoned in an internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how he processes the whole experience. Feb. 8 – March 4, 2018. 201 Thomas St. 206-441-3322 or go to sct.org.
Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.
Edmonds Center for the Arts presents the following – Hawaiian folk/pop duo HAPA perform on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:30pm. Mystical Arts of Tibet conclude a 5 day residency with a performance of traditional music and the creation of a mandala sand painting. May 11, 2018 at 7:30pm.410 Fourth Ave. N. 425-272-9595.
Violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim joins the UW Symphony at Benaroya Hall for a concert on Mon., Feb. 5, 2018. 7:30pm. 206-215-4747 or buy at Benaroya Box Office at 200 University St. downtown in person.
Daisha, a classical trio composed of UW undergraduates Halie Borror on violin, Daniel Richardson on piano and Isabella Kodama on cello give two concerts at Brechemin Auditorium on Feb. 7, 2018 and May 4, 2018. All concerts at 7:30pm and admission is free. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
The Miles Electric Band brings alumnus from various Miles Davis ensembles to play the music from his electric/funk period. Includes tabla player Badal Roy, Blackbyrd Mcknight, Vince Wilburn Jr. and Daryl Jones. Feb. 23 at 7:30pm. Moore Theatre.
Steve Aoki, Designer plays Showbox Sodo on Wed., March 14 at 8pm.
Zhenni Li of the McGill School of Music in Montreal has been hailed as a classical pianist with a gorgeous tone and mesmerizing touch. On April 24, 2018 she will give a recital at Brechemin Auditorium at 7:30pm. The following day she leads a master class with UW piano students at the same location on April 25 at 4:30pm. Both events are free. Seattle UW campus in the Music Building. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.
“Global Rhythms 2017-18” series curated by Jon Kertzer and Daniel Atkinson for Town Hall Seattle brings a concert entitled “Summit in Seattle” with pianist/composer Vjay Iyer in a night of collaboration and improvisation with some of his illustrious and gifted musical colleagues. Set for March 2, 2018 for Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center at 7:30pm. To keep in the loop and find out all the other great players in this series, go to www.townhallseattle.org.
Playwright Laureen Yee has a Seattle World Premiere of her play “The Great Leap” set for March 23 – April 22, 2018 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The company shares this world premiere with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. The plot revolves around Beijing University basketball coach Wen Chang and Manford, a young rough-around-the edges basketball talent from San Francisco’s Chinatown and how their worlds intersect. At the Leo K. Theatre. 155 Mercer St. Box Office # is 206-443-2222.
The UW faculty chamber group Frequencies welcomes special guest violinist Yura Lee in a concert entitled “Dialogues” set for May 27, 2018 at 7:30pm. Lee, the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant will perform duos with each member of Frequency and the trio will then perform Erno Dohnanyi’s “Serenade”. At Meany Theater on the UW Seattle campus. Go to www.artsuw.org for details.
The Broadway Center in Tacoma has the following – Best-selling new age/spiritual writer /Deepak Chopra gives a talk on April 12, 2018 at 7:30pm at Pantages Theatre.
Usher in the year of the dog with Mochitsuki, the annual Japanese tradition of pounding the first rice cakes at the 22nd Annual New Year Celebration presented by Portland State University on Sun., Jan. 28 from 11am – 4pm. Enjoy demonstrations, activites, displays and Japanese food vendors. Experience mocha pounding, ikebana, tea ceremony, calligraphy, origami, children’s bento making class, games and arts & crafts. Performances by Takohachi Taiko, Sahomi Tachibana Dance, music by Tomoki Martens and storytelling by Alton Takiyama-Ching and much more. Buy tickets online at www.boxofficetickets.com. 1825 SW Broadway in Portland, Or.
Singer/songwriter Emi Meyer who grew up in Seattle is profiled in the January 2018 issue of the jazz magazine, Downbeat. Her latest recording entitled “Monochrome” is just out on Seattle’s Origin Records. After performances in Japan, she will tour the U.S. in the latter half of 2018.
Portland Opera’s new season includes “Faust”, “La Cenerentola”, “Rigoleto” and “Orfeo Ed Euridice”. Some of the singers in these productions include Shi Li and Helen Huang plus conductor Carolyn Kuan is also involved. Performances are at the Hampton Opera Center in Portland. 503-241-1802 is the box office number.
UC Santa Barbara-based playwright Frances Ya-chu Cowhig’s latest play “Snow in Midsummer” plays the Oregon Shakespeare Festival later this year from Aug. 2 – Oct. 27, 2018 at the Angus Bowner Theatre in Ashland. This play is a thrilling update of a classical Chinese drama (The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing) that she turns into a modern ghost story in which a young woman is haunted by a mysterious apparition seeking revenge for an older injustice. Directed by Justin Audibert who oversaw the play’s premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2017. With Jessica Ko in the lead. 15 South Pioneer St. in Ashland, Oregon. 800-219-8161 for tickets.
Chinese soprano Ying Fay makes her role debut as Adina in the Vancouver Opera production of the romantic comedy “L’Elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love). With music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Felice Romani. Jan. 21 at 2pm and Jan. 25 & 27 at 7:30pm. Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles. At Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 1945 McLean Drive in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-683-0222.
“Allegiance”, the Broadway musical inspired by actor George Takei’s childhood in internment camp during WWII will come to Los Angeles Feb. 21 – April 1, 2018 with previews from Feb. 21 – 25. East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will co-sponsor the production set for the JACCC’s Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. No word yet on whether the production will include the original cast but George Takei will reprise his role. For updates, visit East West Players website.
A new play by David Henry Hwang entitled “Soft Power” runs from May 10 – June 10, 2018. It is a futuristic Chinese musical about present day America. Music by Jeanine Tesori and directed by Leigh Silverman. World premiere under the auspices of the Center Theater Group. At the Ahmanson Theater in New York before it goes to East-West Players in Los Angeles. Go to centertheatergroup.org for details.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “I Puritani” set for early February, 2018 sports a set design by the late, great Ming Cho Lee.
Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang were winners of the 2017 Writers Guild of America – West’s Excellence in Writing Award for the Netflix series, “Master of None” in which they honored individuals who are showcasing the disability narrative accurately. The reference was to the ASL actress Treshelle Marie Edmond who portrays a deaf cashier in one episode.
The Degenerate Art Ensemble (Joshua Kohl & Crow Nishimura) premiered an early version of their latest multi media work entitled “Diphylleia Grayi (Skeleton Flower)” in September, 2017 at The Grocery Studios in Seattle. The work is a semi-autobiographical exploration of a creative person’s struggle with identity, depression and the awakening of feminine power where healing and transformation are fueled by the secret medicine of fairy tales. The full work will premiere in the US and Europe in 2018 in a collaboration with filmmaker Mischa Jakupcak and visual artist Elizabeth Jameson. DAE will launch a kickstarter campaign to fund the entire production. For details, go to degenerateartensemble.com.
Film & Media
The Asian Films Series at Seattle Art Museum screens “Sonata” by Aparna Sen on Jan. 21. A hit at Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, the story is about three unmarried women who are old friends who meet together one night in Mumbai to thrash out issues in their lives during a mid-life crisis.
SEAxSEA: The Southeast AsiaxSeattle Film Festival explores Southeast Asia in its diversity, emphasizing underrepresented communities and youth-produced visions of the past, present and future. Featured are two full-length documentaries from indigenous storymakers from Southeast Asia. “War is a Tender Thing” by Adjani Arumpac looks at the conflict in Mindanao, Philippines vis-à-vis her own heritage as half-Muslim and half-Christian. “The Peace Agency” examines the role that a grassroots women’s organization founded by Lian Gogali has in maintaining peace and rebuilding Poso, Indonesia. In addition, many student-made short films from the region will be screened. On the Seattle campus of the University of Washington in Thomson Hall 101. Jan. 24 – 26, 2018 from 4:30pm – 7:30pm. Admission is free with the added attraction of free popcorn a nd drinks. For more details, go to https://jsis.wshington.edu/sea/seaxsea-filmfest/.
The Northwest Film Forum brings their annual Children’s Film Festival with shorts and features from all over the world that will delight, entertain and engage kids of all ages. Jan. 25 – Feb. 10 mostly screened at the NWFF although the opening night gala will be at the Egyptian. Some highlights include the following – Wear your favorite Hayao Miyazaki animated film character’s costume and strut your stuff on stage in a costume contest . This takes place before the gala opening of the festival with the screening of Miyazaki’s classic 1986 film “Castle in the Sky” screening at 7pm on Thurs., Jan. 25, 2018 at the Egyptian Theatre at 805 E. Pine. Indian filmmaker Piyush Panjuani will attend the Northwest premiere screening of her film “5 Rupees” set for Sun., Jan. 28 at 3pm at NWFF. There is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast set for Sat., Feb. 3 at 9:30am at the Greek Orthodox Church at 1804 – 13th Ave. After the breakfast a program of animated shorts entitled “Into the Magic” is screened at NWFF at 10:30am & 11am. There will also be hands-on workshops for kids and teenagers on Jan. 27 & 28. Workshops in 360 filmmaking & mobile filmmaking as well as a talk on software demonstration. Go to the “classes” section of www.childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org for details. The Northwest Film forum is located at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
The Everett Film Festival screens Feb. 16 – 17 with films that shed light on the lives of women from various cultures, times and experiences. Everett Performing Arts Center.
The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (see a special feature on the festival in the Jan. 17 print issue of the IE) returns Feb. 22 – 25 with features and shorts, music videos, and documentaries all pertaining to the Asian American experience. Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
When widower Lee Chan Lee died in the mid-1970’s, the contents of May’s Photo Studio was tossed into the trash. More than 700 photos and glass negatives were rescued from oblivion by then-peniless art student Wylie Wong (now a successful Asian art & antiques dealer) Soon after, the art collector George Berticevich found and bought some 1.200 more photographs and backdrops from the same studio at a Sausalito flea market. Together this body of work by Leo and Isabelle May Chan Lee constitute an invaluable portrait of a vibrant Chinatown community that flourished despite racial discrimination and restrictive immigration laws. These images are a composite of Chinatown’s socio-political, economic and cultural history from an insider’s perspective. Now, Lydia Tanji, Wylie Wong, Gayle Yamada, Wendy Slick and Emiko Omori are attempting to turn this material into a documentary film entitled “Trashed: The Lost World of May’s Photo Studio” but they can’t do it without your help. Send your donations and be part of preserving a community’s history. Go to trashedsf.com or https://apicc.nationbuilder.com/trashed for details.
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company continues to sponsor readings in their Capitol Hill bookstore as well as co-producing events all over the city. Below you will find a partial listing of some of their events. Events are at the bookstore located at 1521 Tenth Ave. unless otherwise noted. 206-624-6600. David Gilmartin, Professor of History at North Carolina State University opens the “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia – Winter Lecture Series” on Sat. Jan. 27 at 10am with “Partitioning Nature: The Indus Basin and the Creation of Pakistan”. All talks in this series co-presented by Gardner Center for Asian Art And Ideas, UW Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University and Elliott Bay. At Pigott Auditorium on the Seattle University campus. 901 – 12th Ave. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. Suk-Young Kim appears in the Saturday University Winter Lecture Series entitled “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia” on Sat., Feb. 3 at 10am in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium speaking on the topic of “DMZ Crossings”. UW Creative Writing Professor and poet Pimone Triplett reads from her new volume of poetry along with M. Nicole R. Wildhood who reads from “Long Division” on Sat., Feb. 3 at 7pm at the bookstore. Local prose writer Richard Chiem whose book of fiction entitled “You Private Person” was selected one of the “10 Essential Books of the American West” by Publishers Weekly appears with fellow writers Andrea Eberly and Jennifer Haupt in a Seattle Federation #10 group reading on Wed., Feb. 7 at 7pm at Hugo House. Free. 1021 Columbia St. For details, go to www.hugohouse.org. Vincent Rafael appears as part of the Saturday University winter lecture series on Sat., Feb. 10 at 10am at Seattle University’s Pigott Audtorium. 901 – 12th Ave. 206-654-3210. He will speak on “Photography in Duarte’s Drug War”. Seattle-based writer/poet Kim Fu (“For Today I Am A Boy”) returns to Elliott Bay with two new books on Tues., Feb. 13 at 7pm. Her second novel entitled “The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore”, a coming-of-age novel of five girls who meet at a summer camp in the Pacific Northwest and their lives thereafter. She also reads from her debut book of poetry entitled “How Festive The Ambulance”. Noted Northwest food writer Hsiao-Ching Chou gives a talk on her new book entitled “Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More” on Tues., Feb. 13 at 7pm. Free. At The Seattle Public Central Library at 1000 Fourth which co-sponsors this event. Go to www.spl.org for details. T. Fujitani from the University of Toronto will speak on the topic of “Racism, Vulgar and Polite” as part of the Saturday University winter lecture series entitled “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia”. Feb. 17 at 10am at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. 901 – 12th Ave. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. The bookstore co-sponsors with Densho and CAIR-WA, the Washington Chapter of the Council On American Islamic Relations a “Day of Remembrance” on Feb. 19 at 2pm at Fisher Pavillion at Seattle Center. Special guests include Khizr Khan, author of “An American Family” and singer/songwriter Kishi Bashi who will present a segment of his forthcoming documentary about Japanese American incarceration during WWII as well as singing a few songs. Reserve free tickets at BrownPaperTickets.com. For details, go to www.densho.org. S. J. Sindu reads from her novel about Sri Lankan immigrant culture and the intersection of migration, sexuality and culture in “Marriage of a Thousand Lies” on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7pm at the bookstore. Novelist Ruth Ozeki appears as part of the Hugo House “Words Work” series on Feb. 23 at 7pm at Washington Hall. She will conduct a workshop entitled “Meditation For Writers”. 153 – 14th Ave. Co-presented by Hugo House and Seattle University’s “Search For Meaning Book Festival. For details on Ozeki’s workshop, go to www.hugohouse.org. On Sat., Feb. 24 from 8am – 6pm the “Search For Meaning Book Festival” takes place on the Seattle University campus where over 50 nationally & internationally known authors will appear in a series of workshops, talks and readings. Some of those appearing include Ruth Ozeki, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Taylor Branch, Barbara Brown Taylor, Marwa Al-Sabouni (via Skype), Moustafa Bayoumi, SJ Sindu, Dave Boling, Jessica Bruder, Robin DiAngelo, Laurie Frankel, Samrat Upadhyay and Anuk Arudpragasun. On Sat., Feb. 24 at 9am at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium, Azeem Ibrahim, Senior Fellow at The Center for Global Policy will address the topic of “ Rohingya: The World’s Most Persecuted Minority” “. Part of the Saturday University “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia – Winter Lecture Series” as well as the “Search For Meaning Festival”. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. At 901 – 12th Ave.
The University Book Store sponsors a reading series at their location on University Ave. as well as other sites throughout the city. Below are some upcoming events – “Cascade Writers:Nanowhatnow? is a one-day workshop for novelists seeking to take the next step. Come listen to agent Dongwon Song and best-selling authors Annie Bellet and Cat Rambo as they give you tips on revision, submitting to agents/editor and the art of self-publishing. Free. On Sat. Feb. 3, 2018 at 3:30pm. Queen Anne Baptist Church at 2011 1st Ave. N. Sang-Hee Lee, Korea’s first paleontologist gives insight into humanity’s dawn and evolution with her international bestseller “Close Encounters with Humankind. On Wed., Feb. 21 at 7:30pm. At the Greenwood Senior Center at 525 N. 85th St. $5 tickets at http://bit.ly/2CNVZXv. For more information, go to www.ubookstore.com or call 206-634-3400.
For years, the best place in Seattle to see contemporary installation art was at Suyama Space located in the center of an architecture office and expertly curated by Beth Sellars.
A nineteen year survey of 55 site-based installation pieces made in response to the unusual architecture (a former garage) of Suyama Space in Belltown can now be found within the covers of a new book simply entitled “The Suyama Space/1998 – 2017.” It serves as a wonderful document of a space that no longer exists. Lynne Yamamoto, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Kazuo Kadonaga, Lead Pencil Studio/Annie Han + Daniel Mihalyo and Stephen B. Nguyen are just some of the many artists who participated. The book is available for purchase locally at Peter Miller Books at 304 Alaskan Way S./Post Alley in Seattle. 206-441-4144 or go to http://www.petermiller.com/proddetail.asp?prod=000. To see a sample of the contents of the book, go to https://iocolor.com/project/suyama-space/.
Artist Trust has announced that the 2017 LaSalle Storyteller Award in Fiction has been awarded to E. Lily Yu. Yu is an author and narrative designer. She has received numerous awards for her science fiction and worked on video games. She is based in Bellevue, WA.
Hugo House prose Writer-in-Residence Sonora Jha has received the 2017 Barry Lopez Fellowship at Playa. The fellowship is awarded to a Northwest writer with a strong interest in issues of justice and equity and whose work resonates in spirit with that of Lopez.
Poet W. Todd Kaneko’s powerful and moving poem written in homage to his late father, Northwest poet/educator Lonny Kaneko can be found as part of the Academy of American Poets link at https://www.poetsong/poem/where-sky-meets-earth. W. Todd Kaneko is author of “The Dead Wrestler Elegies” and teaches at Grand valley State University. A remembrance of Lonny Kaneko will appear in a future issue of the International Examiner.
The wife of Matthew Salesses, author of the novel, “The Hundred-Year Flood” is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Author/friend Margaret Rhee has organized a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf to defray medical costs. Salesses is currently in South Korea to help care for his wife and their two young children. Members of the Asian American literary community have provided literary gifts for those who contribute to the fundraiser such as signed copies of books by Celeste Ng, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alexander Chee, Paul Yoon and many others. Other prizes include a dinner in New York’s Chinatown with novelist Ed Lin and a manuscript consultation from editor Vivian Lee. If you’d like to donate, try https://www.gofundme.com/supportingMatt-books/donate&amt=155 for details.
Writer Laurel Nakanishi of Hawai’i has been selected for a 2018 Japan US Friendship Commission Creative Artists Fellowship. She will study the pilgrimage routes of Japan and write a memoir of her experience incorporating the experiences of fellow pilgrims.
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! –
“My Museum” (Prestel) by Joanne Liu is a colorful, vibrant and wordless exploration of one child’s visit to a museum and the wonders of shape, color and humanity that lie there.
“Some Say The Lark” (Alice James Books) by Jennifer Chang is a new book of poems that narrate grief and loss, intertwining them with hope for a fresh start in the midst of new beginnings. Her previous book was a finalist for the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers.
“A State of Freedom” (Norton) by Neel Mukherjee is a novel set in India in which five characters set in very different circumstances find out the meanings of dislocation and the desire for more in this life.”The Reciprocal Translation Project” (Roof) is an exciting cross-cultural experiment in which six Chinese and six American poets (with the aid of professional translators) try to translate each others’ poems. Edited by James Sherry and Sun Dong. Includes work by Rae Armantrout, Che Qianzi, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Lan Lan, Fred Moten, Na Ye, Bob Perelman and many more.
“PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year” (Sleeping Bear Press) written by Virginia Loh-Hagan & illustrated by Renne Benoit. This picture book shows how a little girl learns all about the customs of Chinese new year from a helpful grandmother.
“The Milk Lady of Bangalore – An Unexpected Adventure” (Algonquin) by Shoba Narayan is the story of the author’s return to Bangalore after living in Manhattan for years and how an encounter with a woman and her cow in her apartment elevator turns into a friendship bonded by cows, family, food and life.
“One Daughter Is Worth Ten Sons” (Hanging Loose Press) by Jiwon Choi is the poetry debut of this Brooklyn-based urban gardener and pre-school teacher whose poems laced with acerbic wit evoke the complexity of our own human contradictions.
“A Dream of Resistance – The Cinema of Kobayashi Masaki” (Rutgers) by Stephen Prince looks at the life and films of this great Japanese director whose work mirrored his humanism and fierce political convistions tempered with a Buddhist philosophy.
“Things She Could Never Have” (Mawenzi House) by Tehmina Khan is a book of short stories that take us into the varied lives of modern Pakistanis in Karachi and Toronto – whether privileged, poor, gay, trans or straight. They offer a window into the complexities of a sometimes troubled and often misrepresented Muslim society.
“Dolls of Hope” (Candlewick Press) by Shirley Parenteau is a young adult novel that tells the true story of the friendship doll exchange in which American and Japanese children sent each other dolls as a gesture of peace and friendship.
In “Invocation to Daughters” (City Lights) by Bay Area poet Barbara Jane Reyes unleashes a book of prayers fro Filipina girls and women trying to survive and make sense of their own difficult situations.
“Paper Son – Lee’s Journey to America” (Sleeping Bear) by Helen Foster James & Virginia Shin-Mui Ong and illustrated by Wilson Ong is a picture book that tells the story of Chinese immigrants who passed through Angel Island in search of a better life in America.
In “Nobu – A Memoir” (Emily Bestler), Japanese celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa tells the story of how he failed three times before starting the restaurant that would grow into an empire.
“Hu Wan And the Sleeping Dragon” (Sleeping Bear) by Judy Young and illustrated by Jordi Solano is a picture book that tells the tale of two boys in ancient China. One is a peasant who carves gourds and the other, the new emperor of China. This story tells us how their lives intertwine.
“Empire of the Son” (Talonbooks) is the debut play by Vancouver BC playwright/performer Tetsuro Shigematsu. As a play, it combines cinematography with the raw immediacy of performance art. A one person performance piece starring the playwright, it looks at two generations and anchors on the premise that “no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves – across decades and oceans – we never stop being our parents’ children.” The play was nominated for six Jessie Awards and sold out its entire run.
“The Book of Cord” (Tinfish Press) by Leona Chen looks at growing up both Taiwanese and American and is a tender tribute to the tangled pieces of her Taiwanese heritage (indigenous, Japanese, Chinese). The poems cross multiple languages in an effort to search for a Taiwanese identity out of a repeatedly colonized history.
In “Angel in Beijing” (Candlewick Press), Belle Yang uses her double skills as artist and storyteller to weave a tale of a wayward cat and the simple pleasures of life in one of the largest cities in the world.
“VIJ – A Chef’s One Way Ticket To Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase” (Penguin Canada) by Vikram Vij is the rags-to-riches memoir of one of the Northwest’s premiere restaurant impressarios/chefs and the owner of the legendary Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC – the go-to spot for Indian food in that city.
“Days With Dad” (Enchanted Lion Books) by Nari Hong comes from the author’s own childhood. A wheelchair bound father regrets he can’t do the things a regular dad can with his daughter yet the girl thinks otherwise. In clear color pencil drawings, the story of what a father and daughter can do together is a poignant lesson in tolerance and love.
“Raghubir Singh – Modernism On The Ganges” (Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Mia Fineman is the exhibition catalog for a show of photography by this master photographer from India that captured the energy of life on its teeming streets.
“Dumpling Dreams – How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge” (Simon & Schuster) Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Kathy Wu. In lively verse, the author tells the true story about how one woman’s cooking gave Americans in the Northeast an appreciation for Chinese food. A book for the young “foodie” in your family.
“Hua Shi Hua” (Ahsahta Press) features drawings and poems from China by Jen Hyde. It’s a lyrical quest for heritage, language, and poetry itself.
“Multi-Racial Parents – Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race” (NYU Press) by Miri Song. This book is a deep look at how mixed-race parents identify and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising their children.
“Vij’s Indian – Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes” (Penguin Canada) by Meeru Dhalwala & Vikram Vij is the revealing book of mouth-watering recipes put together by this famous Canadian restaurant couple who for a brief time, even had a restaurant in Seattle.
“The Filipino Primitive – Accumulation and Resistance in the American Museum” (NYU Press) by Sarita Echavez See. If you’ve ever gone through a museum and looked at their ethnic artifacts, you may wonder at how this system looks at other civilizations. The author analyzes how some museums present their Filipino artifacts and stacks that against how Filipino labor has contributed to America’s capitalist colonialism.
“Let’s No One Get Hurt” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is a forthcoming novel by Jon Pineda. It’s a Southern Gothic tale of a fifteen year old girl squatting in an abandoned boat house with her father and his two friends. It’s a coming-of-age story that deals with race, class, gender and environmentalism while at the same time espousing a “Huck Finn” magical universe of community and exploration.
“The 8th House” (Black Ocean) is the second poetry collection by Feng Sun Chen. In it she peels away the exterior of life’s pink underbelly and “exposes by being exposed” the way true poets do.
“Too Much And Not The Mood” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Durga Chew Bose is a collection of essays-meet-prose poetry about identity and culture in today’s rapidly changing world.
“Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures” (Bloomsbury) by Roma Agrawal. This engineer/author with a mix of personal stories, history and science is able to articulate to the general reader civilization’s root in engineering.
“The Newspaper Widow” (Philippine American Literary House) is veteran fiction writer Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s new novel which is a literary mystery set in turn-of-the-century Philippines. When her son is unjustly accused, a mother takes it upon herself to solve a murder to clear his name.
Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes continue their popular “Secret Coders” graphic novel series about secret high school coders stuck in an unfriendly high school but determined to unlock its dark secrets. So far in the series on First Second Press are “Secret Coders”, “Secret Coders – Paths & Portals” and “Secret Coders – Secrets & Sequences”.
“An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments With Truth – A Critical Edition by M. K. Gandhi “(Yale). Seventy years after his death, this is the first critical, annotated edition of the Indian leader’s most famous work.
“Facing the Rising Sun (NYU) by Gerald Horne tells the true story of the wide-spread pro-Tokyo sentiment that spread among African Americans during WWII and why.
“A River, One-Woman Deep” (Philippine American Literary House) by Linda Ty-Casper is a new collection of fiction. In a novella, a Filipino American woman uncovers a family secret during her visit to Manila. Other short stories in this collection concern the lives of Filipino and Filipino American women.
“Swimmer Among The Stars” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Kanishk Tharoor. This book of short stories are dazzling fables where the exotic and mundane collide with incendiary literary results.
“Chimi & Chirra, The Snowy Day” (Enchanted Lion Books) by Kaya Doi as translated by Yuki Kaneko brings back these two bicycling adventurers as they uncover the beautiful mysteries of winter in this delightful kids picture book.
In “Stir Crazy” (Kyle Books), Ching-He Huang who is host of the Cooking Channel’s “Easy Chinese” program explains the techniques of good stir-fry for amateur cooks at home.
“Gravel Heart” (Bloomsbury) by Abdulrazak Gurnah takes place in 1970s Zanzibar. An Indian boy grows up in a house full of secrets and a father who does not want him. As a teenager, an uncle in London offers an escape. Only then will he understand the darkness at the heart of his family.
UW Creative Writing Professor Pimone Triplett’s “Supply Chain” (University of Iowa Presss) is chock full of poems popping with musicality that also deliver in meeting the complexities of life that connects the domestic to the political.
“Ramen At Home” (Rockridge Press) by Brian MacDuckston. Ramen is the latest food phenomenon to hit these shores and one can see a ramen shop on every street corner. The author simplifies the process and explains how you can prepare this humble soup in your own kitchen at home.
“Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories” (Philippine American Literary House) is the debut short story collection by Veronica Montes. Two American born sisters find themselves in a Manila nightclub staffed by dwarves, a lonely woman creates a family with a surrogate son and teenage girls grieve the loss of their grandmothers. These are just some of the tales found in this volume.
In “An Indian Beach By Day And Night” (Tara Books), French artist Joelle Jolivet observes life along a South Indian beach and finds it teeming with activity 24/7. A fun multi-activity project that will involve your kids in many different ways.
“The Life of Paper – Letters And a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity” (UC Press). This book by Sharon Luk looks at how people who face systematic social dismantling have engaged in letter correspondence to remake themselves. Examples include the early immigration detention of Chinese migrants, the internment of Japanese Americans and the mass incarceration of African Americans. The author makes it clear how correspondence becomes a poetic art of reinvention and a way to live for those imprisoned.
“The Princess and the Dressmaker” (First Second) is a graphic novel by Jen Wang that explores the lives of two people who grow closer and yet must tread lightly between their feelings and their dreams.
“Diasporic Intimacies – Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries” (Northwestern University Press) is an anthology edited by Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo and Fritz Pino that looks at the contributions of queer Filipinos to Canadian culture and society.
“What What What?” by Ryoji Arai (Enchanted Lion Books) is illustrated by Arata Tendo and translated from the Japanese by David Boyd. There’s a nervous energy to this curious kid who can’t stop asking questions. Initially annoying, soon his inquisitiveness is infectious and he has the whole community responding to his curiosity. The illustrator’s artwork adds a pulsing energy to this kid’s book.
“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” (MIA) by Andreas Marks. A curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art has written this exhibition catalog for a show that opens this year. Artisans in Asia have worked in lacquer since the Neolithic era but this book looks at recent trends in the field and how today’s artists are pushing the medium into fresh and dynamic directions beyond their original utilitarian/decorative purpose.
“The Epic City – The World on the Streets of Calcutta” (Bloomsbury) by Kushanava Choudhury. This book tells the story of an immigrant family who moved back and forth between India and the US and their son who returns to Calcutta to live after graduation. He paints a compelling picture of the everyday lives of people who make up this thriving city.
“Hurray For Books!” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by as written and illustrated by Brian Won is a delightful celebration of reading for children with each animal in the story from page to page sharing their favorite book.
“A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things – A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet” (UC Press) by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore. This book proposes a radical new way of reclaiming the planet in the twenty-first century. Are you listening?
“The Five Forms” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Barbara McClintock is a playful picture book exploration of Chinese martial arts done in vibrant watercolors.
“Silent Days, Silent Dreams” (Arthur A. Levine Books) by Caldecott Medal-winning author Allen Say is a bit of a departure from his usual autobiographical story lines. In this book he tells the story of James Castle who was born deaf, mute, autistic and probably dyslexic. Yet his will to draw was so strong that when those in charge deprived him of drawing materials, he used waste paper, sticks dipped in soot and his own spit to keep making images. When he died, he left more than 15,000 pieces of art work. Simply stated, this is a moving tribute from one artist to another.
“Lola’s House” (Curbstone Books) by M. Evelina Galang looks at the Filipino “comfort women” who survived the kidnapping and rape that was the Japanese army strategy during WWII. Galang listens to their stories and takes their testimony for the world to hear. Intensely personal yet globally political.
“Shine On Me” (Tri-quarterly/Northwestern) is a novel by A. G. Mojtabai about an auto dealership in West Texas that stages a contest – whoever keeps his or her hands longest on a new pickup will own it A study of fast food, various personalities and the power of slow perseverance.
“These Violent Encounters” (Griffith Moon) is a novel by Victoria Namkung set in modern-day L.A. It looks at the unyielding pressures that so many women and girls experience and analyzes the ways in which our institutions and families fail to protect or defend them. A timely story in today’s world where respected male figures are being taken down for inappropriate behavior towards women.
“Race And America’s Long WAR” (UC Press) by Nikhil Pal Singh. This shatters the myth of any US administration ever really being at peace as it looks at our country’s brutal and racially inflected wars on many fronts.
“Ahimsa” (Tu Books) by Supriya Kelkar. The author, inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi shines a light on the Indian Freedom Movement in her young adult literary debut.
“Some Beheadings” (Nightboat Books) by Aditi Machado goes to the desert to unlock answers to questions like “How does thinking happen?”, “What does thinking Feel Like?” and “How do I think about the future?” in this intriguing new book of poetry.
“The Serpent’s Secret – Kiranwala And The Kingdom Beyond #1” (Scholastic) by Sayantani Dasgupta. A teenage girl in Jersey must become a smart, tough princess if she is to solve the mystery of her missing parents. A young adult mystery/thriller.
“A New Literary History of Modern China (Belknap Harvard) Edited by David Der-wei Wang is a monumental undertaking that looks to show China through a rich and varied literary microscope from the seventeenth century to the present. With over 140 contributors that cover everything from pop songs to political speeches and prison diaries. Definitely a desert island read for lovers of Chinese literature.
“Kith” (Fence Books/Book Thug) by Divya Victor brings us an astute poet whose imagination tackles every genre to reveal the blood beneath the bandage and a reflection of our forgotten lives that need to be remembered.
“The Years, Months, Days” (Black Cat) by Yan Lianke takes 2 novellas by this award-winning writer about lies stretched to the limit and the strong will of its characters to live well and with purpose.
Ha Jin is known for his fiction but he started out as a poet and in “A Distant Corner” (Copper Canyon Press), he returns to his first love. Poems of exile and immigration and personal memories of the pain of an uprooted life fill this new volume.
In “Brokering Servitude – Migration And The Politics of Domestic Labor During The Long Nineteenth Century” (NYU) by Andrew Urban, the author examines how domestic service shaped American life and employed Irish immigrants, Chinese immigrant men and emancipated Black women from the South.
“like a solid to a shadow” (Timeless) by Janice Lobo Sapiago is a post-memoir book of poems that explore the space between solid and shadow, father and daughter, love and migration and grief and love. Written as transcripts, translations, notes, maps, love letters and elegies.
“A Harvest of Thorns” (Thomas Nelson) by Corban Addison is a novel current as today’s news. When a garment factory burns to the ground in Bangladesh killing hundreds, it opens a wound that leads to a trail of sweat shops, labor rights issues and the ethnics of globalization. Does a once-disgraced journalist have the guts to listen to a whistleblower and fight to reveal the ugly truths behind the glamorous fashion industry?
“Katana At Super Hero High” (Random House) by Lisa Yee is a young adult novel in the noble warrior tradition. A high school girl enlists the help of a few friends to find the answers to her mysterious past.
“Real Friends” (First Second) is a graphic novel by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham about how hard it is to find real friends in this world and why it’s worth the journey.
“Barbie Chang” is a new volume of poetry out by poet/editor Victoria Chang just released on noted local small press poetry publisher, Copper Canyon Press out of Port Townsend. The poet looks at what it means to be a good daughter, mother and wife within a complex and ever-shifting world and the price to be paid. An energetic social commentary in verse.
“All That Remains: The Legacy of the World War II Japanese American Internment Camps” by Delphine Hirasuna is a slim but beautifully designed catalog for a recent show that was recently on view at the University of San Francisco showing the elegant art and craft work fashioned by internees out of scraps and makeshift material. With color illustrations. On sale for 20.00 at the Japanese American National Museum shop in Los Angeles. Go to www.janm.org/.
“A Bestiary” (CSU) by Lily Hoang uses fragmentation, myth, language and fairy tales to forge a book bursting with life’s questions. The winner of The Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2015 Essay Collection Competition.
“Adventures in Starry Kitchen” (Harper One) by Nguyen Tran. When an unemployed couple start an illegal restaurant out of their North Hollywood apartment, celebrity chefs and food writers beat a path to their door. But so does the city health inspector. Interesting stories and recipes fill this book that tells the true story of an underground restaurant that turns legit and becomes an established culinary landmark in the city of angels.
“Moon Brow” (Restless Books) by Shahriar Mandanipour is a stunning novel of love and war, steeped in Persian folklore and contemporary Middle East history.
“Oceanic” (Copper Canyon Press) by Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the poet’s fourth collection and in it she sings a sensuous love song for the earth and its inhabitants. Catch this poet reading in Seattle from this book later this year. (see elsewhere in this calendar for details).
Wing Luke Asian Museum is currently looking for a professional writer to write text for an illustrated graphic novel that will be distributed to schools and libraries. They are also looking for a professional artist to illustrate and design the graphic novel. The project entitled “Future Generations: Friends and Supporters Who Helped Those Incarcerated” will shine a light on those non-Japanese American friends and supporters who risked so much by standing up and helping their Nikkei friends. To see a sample from the previous series, go to http://www.wingluke.org/fighting-for-america. Deadline for submission of materials is no later than 4:30pm on Mon., Jan. 22, 2018. For further information, call 206-623-5124×131 or email [email protected].
Artist Trust offers a “Tax Prep for Artists” workshop on Feb. 7, 2018 at 7pm at Hiawatha Lofts. $40 regular and $30 for Artist Trust members. Go to taxprepforartistsseattle.brownpaper to get your tickets.
Congratulations to poet Janet Wong who nabbed a 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award and to Veronica Lee-Baik, director and choreographer for The Three Yells who got a 2017 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. The awards were administered by Artist Trust/Frye Art Museum Consortium.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Some upcoming program events include the following –Go to FriendsOfAsianArt.org or call (206) 522-5438 for details on all these events.
Seattle Art Museum received a $35 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow the Asian Paintings Conservation Center at Seattle Asian Art Museum The only one of its kind in the Western United States, the Center will be devoted to the conservation, mounting and study of Asian paintings, serving SAM’s collections as well as institutional and private collections in the region. SAM must raise $2.5 million in matching funds over four years to create an endowment supporting the Center’s program.
Jeffrey Lew, the good samaritan who raised enough money to erase school lunch debts to eliminate “lunch shaming” of kids and their parents in Seattle gets a nice write-up by Eli Francovich in the December 2017 issue of Columns – The University of Washington Alumni Magazine. Newscaster Lori Matsukawa is also featured in the same issue.
Applications for Jack Straw Writers Program, Artist Support Program and New Media Gallery Program are now available. Go to www.jackstraw.org/programs/asp/2018_apps.shtml or email [email protected] for details.
Every year, Town Hall Seattle selects exceptional local artists andscholars for paid residencies where they engage with Town Hall programs and collaborate with the programming team to develop original events for the community. Each resident will co-curate a series of hyper-local Town Hall events in close collaboration with their neighborhood Steering Committee from March through June of 2018. All events will be free and open to the public. Congratulations to those selected. Support and residency stripends provided by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Work space provided by the Cloud Room. Writer/educator/doula Jordan Alam will create events in the Columbia City/ Hillman City area. She grew up at the intersection of Bangladeshi American, Muslim, queer and femme identities. Her work focuses on social forces such as poverty, racism and trauma and finding ways to articulate how these experiences live in our bodies and shape the course of our lives. Poet Laureate/multidisciplinary artist Shin Yu Pai will represent the Phinney Ridge/ Greenwood neighborhood. Her poetic origins inform an artistic style that has grown beyond the written word to encompass photography, installation/public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. She encourages us to reflect upon the essential questions of our lives, and to explore how we see that interrogation expressed or mirrored around us. Other participants selected include photographer/Everyday Africa founder Peter Dicampo representing University District/ Ravenna and Designer/organizer Erik Molano from the Capitol Hill/ Central District. To learn more, go to townhallseattle.us6.list-manage.com.
Filmmaker and sound designer Chu-Li Shewring received the Jules Wright Prize in England which recognizes female creative technicians who are making significant contributions to artist films.