“The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality” is the title of a traveling exhibit that presents hats and headdresses from a private collection of international headwear. Features hats from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North & South America. Organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC and independent curator Stacey W. Miller. Feb. 1 – April 26, 2020 at the Lightcatcher Building of the Whatcom Art Museum. 250 Flora St. in Bellingham. WA. 360-778-8930 or go to www.whatcommuseum.org.
The Traver Gallery presents their annual “Gallery Artist Group Exhibition” from Jan. 16 – Feb. 29, 2020. Open also during the First Thursday Art Walk on Thurs., Feb. 6 from 5 – 8pm. Some of the artists represented by this gallery include Ling Chun, Jun Kaneko, Masami Koda, Hiroshi Yamano, Jiro Yonezawa and many others. 110 Union St. Suite 200 in Seattle. 206-587-6501 or go to www.travergallery.com.
“Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” is guest curated by author and historian Amy Bhatt. A touring show organized by the Smithsonian, Mohai curators have added many items from their own permanent collection to augment this exhibit about a people and their culture. On view through Jan. 26, 2020. Go to mohai.org to get details of program activities. 860 Terry Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-324-1126.
The work of Fong Baatz and Romson Regarde Bustillo is included in a group exhibition at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Two dozen Puget Sound area artists are featured whose work includes portraiture focused on the human face. On view through Feb. 23, 2020. 550 Winslow Way East on Bainbridge Island. Go to www.biartmuseum.org for details.
Pottery Northwest has the following – On view through Jan. 31, 2020 is a solo show by artist-in-residence Tzyy Yi Young. Her ceramic pieces and installation reflect on “intimacy, community, strength and altruism.” 226 1st Ave. N. 206-285-4421 or email [email protected].
In Jack Straw’s New Media Gallery, multi-media artist Yunmi Her shows “Natural Individuals”, an integrated VR and sculpture set up to explore the spatial characteristics of collecting behavior and to explore the lost identity of a collected object. On view Feb. 14 – March 27, 2020. Opening reception on Feb. 14 at 7pm. Artist talk on March 13 at 7pm. A Youth & Family Workshop tbd (email [email protected] for an update). 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. 206-634-0919 or www.jackstraw.org.
Seattle Asian Art Museum re-opens after a renovation with two new shows. Both open on Sat., Feb. 8, 2020. “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art” features 12 expatriate (or one time expatriate) contemporary artists from Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan. Sourced from the museum collection and two private sources, the work reflects their perspectives on Asian heritage “as both insiders and outsiders” in the world. “Boundless Stories of Asian Art” tries to explore the complexity of the populous continent of Asia. Instead of the usual geographic approach, the Asian art curators have organized the displays around 12 common themes such as “worship and celebration, visual arts and literature, and clothing and identity” with a broad division of “spiritual life”-themed art in the south galleries and “material life” in the north. The museum has a re-opening weekend from 9am – 9pm Feb. 8 & 9, 2020. It is free but tickets are required so go to seattleartmuseum.org for details. (this is already sold out). If you’re a Seattle Art Museum member, it gets better. There is a Members Open House on Feb. 5 & 6, 2020 and the curators will be there to talk about the new exhibits and design. 1400 E. Prospect St. 206-654-3210. In related news, New York-based/Seattle-raised artist Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn has a new lighting sculpture in the main atrium which covers the entire ceiling of the garden court in the newly expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum. The artist will be present at opening activities. He is the founder of Studio 1,Thousand, a Brooklyn-based lighting design studio that specializes in complex LED installations. For more info., go to https://www.studio1thousand.com/
“SubSpontaneous” is the title of a collaboration between artists Rob Rhee and Francesca Lohmann. This show intermingles the works of both artists who collaborate with the forces of nature in their sculptural practices. 206-622-9250. On view Jan. 25 – April 19, 2020. Free. Frye Art Museum at 704 Terry in Seattle.
At KOBO at Higo in the CID is the following – New works by Seattle artist and plein air painter Rob Vetter are in the Japantown Gallery in the store. 602 South Jackson. 206-381-3000. Kobo also has a sister location on Capitol Hill at 814 East Roy St., 206-726-0704.
A group show with work by Caryn Friedlander, Yuko Ishii, Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me), William Song and more comes under the heading of “A Circle Around The Sun – New Works by Gallery Artists” and remains on view through January 31, 2020. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S, 206-839-0327 or [email protected].
L.A.-based Ahree Lee is a multi-media artist working in video, photography, sound and interactive installations. She has a video installation entitled “Permutations” currently on view in front of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus at 500 Fifth Ave. N. on view from 7am – 10pm. This same installation also appears at 4Culture’s Storefront Media Gallery space at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. It will be on view for a year. This is part of Storefront Media Gallery sponsored by 4Culture. 206-263-1588 for details.
Pakistani artist Humaira Abid who works out of Seattle and Lahore will present new work at Greg Kucera Gallery in a show with fellow sculptor Peter Millet during the months of May & June. In 2017, she received the Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. Seattle-raised artist Roger Shimomura is working on a monumental project one small piece at a time. His new series entitled “100 White Lies” which consists of 100 small 12” by 12” paintings detailing the hypocrisy of American history will make its debut at the gallery in Jan., 2021. Greg Kucera Gallery is located at 217 Third Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-624-0770 or go to www.gregkucera.com.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center has a show every month of a local Asian American artist every month in their gallery. Puget Sound Sumi Artists present a group show entitled “Wabi Sabi – Beauty in Imperfection” on view now through Jan., 2020. On the First Saturday of each month there is a cooking class from a different country of the Asia/Pacific region from 11am – noon. To register and get details, call 253-383-3900.And looking ahead, the Center for its 22nd annual new year celebration presents “Vietnam – Country And Culture” set for Feb. 8, 2020 from 11 am – 6pm. Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall located at 2727 E. “D” St. APCC is at 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or go asiapacificculturalcenter.org.
Seattle Art Museum has the following – “Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei (folkart) 1920-2020”. George Tsutakawa’s lovely “Obos 1” wood sculpture is included in this show which expands upon the meaning of folk art. Includes work by artists from Japan, Korea and the U.S. It positions Mingei within a history of crafts and crafts making. On view through July 11, 2020. Ongoing is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China”. The “Winter Saturday University Lecture Series” continues with a series of talks on the subject of “What is ‘Precious?’” with scholars Yukio Lippit of Harvard on wooden sculpture, Emma Flatt of the University of North Carolina on scent, artist Xiaoze Xie on banned books and others. The series will explore ways that art objects, relationships, and areas of knowledge have been highly valued in different times and places in Asia. Here is a partial schedule – Feb. 1 has “Rarities Fit For Kings”, Feb. 8 has “Woodwork and the Arts of Japan”, Feb. 15 has “The Dragon And The Pearl: Explorations of a Eurasian Motif”, Feb. 22 has “The Castaway Princess and Other Stories of Japan in the Pacific”, Feb. 29 has “Out of the Dark: Banned Books in China” and March 7, “Chaekgeori, Korean Still-life Painting”. The series goes on from Feb. 1 – March 28, 2020 at 10am at Seattle Art Museum. Cost is $73 or $46 for SAM members. Individual tickets at the door and free for students with ID. Tickets for the whole series go on sale Nov., 2019. As part of the “Asia Talk” series, Judith Lerner from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU will give a talk entitled “Travels of the Horn Rhyton, a Uniquely Iranian Drinking Vessel” on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 7pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum. $10 general, $5 for members and free at the door for students with ID. On the third floor of SAM, tea ceremony demonstrations continue on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm. Free with admission. Go to visitsam.org/performs for details. Seattle Art Museum is located at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210 or try www.seattleartmuseum.org.
Artists have been selected for the Storefront Media Gallery’s 12th season by 4Culture. Among those selected is Sri Prabha, a multidisciplinary artist originally from Hyderabad, India now based in Florida. The artist asks how our intellectual understandings compare with our emotional responses to scientific discoveries in “Brahama 3”, a three channel 1080P video. For details, go to 4culture.org.
Seattle artist Junko Yamamoto has been busy . Her work is the illustration for the cover of the forthcoming album “++Glacial++–Glacial –“ by Paul Kikuchi and Evan Schiller. Her work is included in an article about the Microsoft Art Collection by Shlomit Oren in the Israeli online Portfolio Magazine. And finally, the artist’s work is included in “Re:Definition”, a year-long exhibition in the Paramount Theatre Bar as curated by Tariqa Waters. Open the end of January, 2020.
Pacific Bonsai Museum shakes up this Japanese tradition with LAB (Living Art of Bonsai), an experimental collaborative for bonsai innovation. This project is a re-sequencing in the order of influence between the bonsai artist, ceramicist and stand maker. The project kicks off in 2018 and continues through 2020. A video trailer from a film about this new process can be viewed at http://www.bonsaimirai.com. For more information, go to http://www.pacificbonsaimuseum.org. The Pacific Bonsai Museum is at 2515 S. 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. 206-612-0026 for information.
New and recent shows /activities at the The Wing include the following – “Where Beauty Lies” is an exhibit that explores Asian Pacific American’s relationship to physical appearance and personal presentation, the history of beauty standards and products, and the ways in which we are redefining beauty. On view through Sept. 19, 2021. “Woven Together” presents a window into Burma/Myanmar with personal stories reflecting on its history, diversity and perseverance. On view through Nov. 10, 2020. “New Years All Year Round” is the annual look at familial and cultural aspects of the Lunar new year on view through Feb. 2, 2020. “Excluded, Inside the Lines” is on view through Feb. 23, 2020. It uncovers the history of redlining and the impact on minority communities. “A Dragon Lives Here”, part 4 of the ongoing Bruce Lee exhibition series is ongoing. This concluding part hones in on Bruce Lee’s Seattle roots and how this region played a key role in shaping Lee and his groundbreaking career. “I Am Filipino” exhibit is ongoing. 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. Carina del Rosario curates an exhibit entitled “Wide Angle/Close up: A Self Portrait of the Asian Pacific Islander American Community” through April 19, 2020. Includes photography, video, and photo-based installations by photojournalists that document the community from the inside out. Set for the George Tsutakawa Gallery. 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.
Seattle artist Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) has a solo show of his paintings at Shoreline Community College Gallery. On view from Jan. 13 – March 13, 2020. On Thursday, Jan. 30th, Lau will do a poetry reading with jazz bassist Geoff Harper at 12:30pm and there will be a Q & A and art reception with the artist at 1:30pm. All events are free. 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. in Shoreline, WA. 206-546-4101 or email [email protected] for more information.
The Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle plays host to Hiroki Ohara, Headmaster of Japan’s Ohara School of Ikebana. He will create arrangements that convey the changing of the seasons from winter to spring. His presentation entitled “Snow-Moon-Flower: The Serenity of Ikebana” takes place on Sat., Feb. 29, 2020 at 11:45am on the DIY Stage of the festival. The festival itself runs from Feb. 26 – March 1, 2020 at Washington State Convention Center at 705 Pike St. in downtown Seattle. 206-231-0140 or go to gardenshow.com. For tickets, try northwestflowerandgardenfestival.tix123.com.
Tacoma Art Museum has the following – “Immigration Artists and the American West” rediscovers stories and experiences of immigrant artists caught up in the Western expansion. On view through June, 14, 2020. “Places to Call Home: Settlements in the West” gives you representations of American cities throughout their history and development. Includes work by Kenjiro Nomura and Mian Situ. On view through March 1, 2019. Opening on Feb. 22, 2020 is “Forgotten Stories: Northwest Public Art of the 1930s”. This show looks at the public art initiatives under the WPA that pulled America out of a depression and gave many artists work painting murals for the government during the 1930s. 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258.
Video artist Yunmi Her noticed a factory worker outside her window who everyday ordered lunch from a food truck and ate it sitting on a trash can lid before going back into a building through the same door he came out of. This ritual so fascinated the artist that she tried to imagine his life and routines beyond his lunch ritual using a two channel video with male and female voice-overs and Twitter accounts. “The factory worker in 2016” will be on view through Jan. 31, 2020. Gallery 4Culture. 101 Prefontaine Pl. . 206-296-7580 or try [email protected].
The outdoor sculptural installation by Seattle-area artists Cheryll Leo-Gwin and Stewart Wong was installed outside the Bernalillo County Courthouse in Albuquerque, New Mexico in January 2020. The piece entitled “View From Gold Mountain” is a monument that honors the 1883 landmark court case “Territory of New Mexico vs. Yee Shun” which led to a change in the law and allowed Chinese and later non-Christians to testify in a court of law. The two artists issued the following statement describing the piece – “The braid represents not only the queue that the Chinese wore but it weaves together all cultures and serves as the backbone of the sculpture and our country. The braid unravels at the top to supports gourds representing the three branches of government and the rule of law…the real pot of gold found at the end of our journeys.” Several Seattle area residents attended the dedication including King County Executive Down Constantine.
“ACES: Artists of Color Expo & Symposium” showcases a variety of work by 75 artists of color selected from an open call as well as various activities including talks by noted local artists. Feb. 28 – 29 at Seattle Center in The Armory & Vera Project. 305 Harrison.
The Puget Sound Sumi Artists present: “The World of Sumi”, a group show on view March 26 – May 19, 2020. Free reception on Fri., March 27 at 6pm. Open for viewing for ticket-goers 1 hour prior to an event or by appointment. Held in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington St. in Olympia.
“Land of Joy And Sorrow: Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” is an ongoing exhibit that traces the story of the Japanese families who settled in the Yakima valley. Yakima Valley Museum at 2105 Tieton Dr. in Yakima, WA. 509-248-0747.
The Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – “Visions of Diana” is the first Portland show of abstract paintings and photographs of Diana Lo Mei Hing. The work illuminates nature in infinite motion and transformation. The artist grew up in China but fled with her family to Italy. In 2015, she moved to Portland. In the permanent gallery is “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns”. 127 NW Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or email [email protected].
“Fractions” is a show of work by Seattle-based artist Ko Kirk Yamahira in which the artist teases apart fabric until its threads hang limply. Through Feb. 1, 2020. Russo Lee Gallery in Portland. 805 N.W. 21st Ave. 503-226-2754 of try [email protected]
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center has a number of shows that cover Seattle’s Nikkei-American history. “Genji Mihara: An Issei Pioneer”, “Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” and “Original Seattle Japanese Language School and Nihonmachi Restaurant Artifacts”. All are currently on view at 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458. For current activities and exhibits, go to www.oregonnikkeilr.org.
The Portland Japanese Garden has the following exhibits – “Spirits Rising: Hiroshima” is a series of photographs taken by Ishiuchi Miyako of clothing worn by victims of the atomic bombing. On view through March 15, 2020. 611 SW Kingston Ave. in Portland, Oregon. 503-223-1321 or go to japanesegarden.org.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene has the following – Most people following the visual arts are familiar by now with the paintings/prints by Roger Shimomura that simultaneously evoke American pop culture, ukiyo-e, internment and American history. But few are equally aware of his career in performance art. A solo show on that phase of his work will rectify that. Entitled “Staging Shimomura” the exhibition will cover his performance art career and is on view from Feb. 29 – June 21, 2020. “Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations” on view through June 28, 2020. This South Korean artist combines hundreds of paper-wrapped parcels to create sculptural compositions that resemble crystal formations, asteroids of the surface of the moon. “Evocative Shadows: Art of the Japanese Mezzotint” is on view until August 2, 2020. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Portland Art Museum has “Curator’s Choice – Japanese Print Acquisitions of the Past Decade” Through April 12, 2020. New shows coming up include the following – “Objects of Contact – Encounters between Japan and the West” from Feb. 29 – August 29, 2020. “Joryu Hanga Kyokai 1956-1965 – Japan’s Women Printmakers” on view from May 9 – Nov. 8, 2020. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811.
The Museum of Anthropology at UBC presents a group show of 11 artists who have achieved mastery in ceramics. Entitled “Playing With Fire: Ceramics Of The Extraordinary”, it includes work by Ying-Yueh Chuang, Brendan Tang and many others. On view through March 29, 2020. 6393 N.W. Marine Dr. in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. 604-822-5087.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, BC has the following. Artist-in-Residence Lam Wong is joined by co-curator Steven Dragon. They have put together the first edition of The Canada-China Art exchange for Young Emerging Artists in a show entitled “Investigation of Things.” Hosted in collaboration with The Shang Foundation for Art and on view Jan. 23 – March 21, 2020. Also ring in the Lunar New Year at the garden at its annual Temple Fair celebration on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 from 11am – 4pm. A $5 donation brings you a variety of all day activities with snacks, music, a calligraphy demonstration, festive crafts, a vendor marketplace and much more. 578 Carrall St. 604-662-3207 or try vanouverchinesegarden.com.
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum has the ongoing exhibit “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia.” 555 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC. 604-658-8880. Admission by donation.
Instructor Cheryl Lawrence conducts a Katazome Japanese Textile Workshop March 11 – 15, 2020 at Maiwa East in East Vancouver BC. This art form incorporates elements of printmaking and painting using natural materials of paper, pigments, rice paste and soy milk. $595 class fee. Email [email protected] for complete details.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is at 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, BC. 250-384-4171 or go to aggv.ca.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following –On view through March 22 2020 is “Lost At Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks”. On view through April 26, 2020 is “Chang Dai-Chien: Painting from Heart to Hand.” “Awaken: A Tibetan Journey Toward Enlightenment” remains on view until May 3, 2020.200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) has the following – The museum mounts the first ever North American Exhibition on the work of 18th century Japanese painter Sakaki Hyakusen and the Nanga School. On view through Feb. 2, 2020, the show entitled “Hinges: Sakaki Hyakusen and the Birth of Nanga Painting” will spotlight a rare pair of six-fold screen paintings. The exhibition features thirty-five rarely exhibited works by Hyakusen and his Nanga School disciples who notably incorporated Chinese painting styles into Japanese art during the Edo Period. The work will be juxtaposed in contrast to notable works by Chinese artists who influenced their style. The exhibition will be organized in three sections. Showcased will be two recently restored screen paintings by Hyakusen, Hyakusen’s connections to traditional Chinese landscape painters and his influence on Nanga School painters like Yosa Buson and Ike Taiga. The show is accompanied by a catalog on UC Press edited by BAMPFA’s Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White. 155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
Keita Matsunaga’s ceramic sculptures employ the same basics of architecture – there’s site, function and the shaping of space. On view through Jan. 25, 2020. At Nonaka-Hill. This is a gallery that specializes in contemporary Japanese ceramic artists. 720 N. Highland Ave. in Los Angeles. 323-450-9409 or go to www.nonaka-hill.com.
The fine arts printer and workshop Mixografia works with visiting artists to produce new work exhibited in their gallery space. “Histories” is a solo exhibition of three mixografia prints by New York-based artist Jacob Hashimoto (he has a permanent installation at Tacoma Art Museum). Foregoing his usual body of work that includes intricately crafted paper kites as the main subject, the artist instead focuses on the use of the string. In these panoramic compositions, the kites now appear seemingly suspended in air and the string draws a map around the surface. On view through Feb. 22, 2020. 1419 E. Adams Blvd. 323-232-1158 or try mixografia.com.
The work of L.A. artist Takako Yamaguchi is included in a group show “With Pleasure: Pattern And Decoration in American Art 1972 – 1985” which traces this groundbreaking art movement in all media. Through May 11, 2020. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 250 South Grand Ave. 213-626-6222 or try [email protected]
LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art has the following – An outdoor installation by Mineo Mizuno remains on view through Feb. 23, 2020.The installation artist Do Ho Suh re-envisions the apartment/studio he had when he lived in New York in “Do Ho Suh: 348 West 22nd St” which remains on view through Oct. 25, 2020. “Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific” is exhibited through July 19, 2020. “Where the Truth Lies” The Art of Qiu Ying” is on view Feb. 9 – May 17, 2020. The iconic Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara known for his naïve figurative work has a retrospective from April 5 – August 2, 2020. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
USC Pacific Asia Museum has the following – “Following The Box” is an art exhibition influenced by a collection of found photographs taken in India by an unknown U.S. serviceman at the end of WW II. 12 contemporary artists , 2 Americans and 10 Indian make new art inspired by the photos. On view through Feb. 2, 2020.”Dreams of A Sleeping World” by Oscar Oiwa is on view through April 26, 2020. This Japanese artist from Sao Paulo and now based in New York invites viewers into his immersive environment, a 360 degree dreamscape. It is his effort to waken the paralysis we find ourselves in by the chaos of our times in today’s world. On view from March 13 – June 7, 2020 is a group show entitled “We Are Here: Art And Asian Voices in L.A.”. Seven female contemporary artists of diverse API heritages living and working in L.A. are included. Artists are Reanne Estrada, Phung Huynh, Ann Le, Ahree Lee, Kaoru Mansour, Mei Xian Qiu, and Sichong Xie. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. in Pasadena, CA. 626-787-2680 or try pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.
The 25th Annual Art Show returns Feb. 5 – 9, 2020 to the Los Angeles Convention Center’s South Hall. It is the largest art fair on the Pacific Rim and is dedicated to showcasing the diversity of creative influences from that region. Multiple Chinese galleries are participating. The Japanese artist Kazu Hiro, famous for his lifelike portrait sculptures will have a retrospective of his “Iconoclast” works. Legendary fashion designer Sue Wong will present one dozen of her iconic gowns. The Fair will partner with the Japanese American National Museum to showcase multi-media artist Taji Terasaki and his project “TRANSCENDIENTS: Heroes at Borders” which honors heroes from L.A. and across the nation fighting against discrimination, prejudice and inequality at our physical and social borders while simultaneously tying it in with the previous internment of people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast during WWII. A longer version of this exhibit opens at JANM Feb. 1 – March 29, 2020. Gallery Kitai presents Japanese ink painting artist Sogen Chiba who will demonstrate the craft of ink painting. The Ukiyo-e Project will exhibit Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and show how they are made. A number of galleries from Japan and South Korea will also be exhibiting as well. FM Fine Art will present a series of paintings by Korean artist Choi Young Wook. 1201 South Figueroa St. Try [email protected] for details.
Tatsuo Miyajima has his first solo exhibition in over two decades in the US with “Keep Changing, Connect With Everything, Continue Forever”, a presentation of four light-based works. The pieces are silent, vividly glowing objects made from LED numbers and computers technology that evoke profound and infinitive worlds of being, space, and time. On view through April 19, 2020. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 1130 State St. 805-969-4364 or go to sbma.net.
Orange County Museum of Art has Season 3 – Six Exhibitions of Works by Contemporary Pacific Rim Artists on view through March 22, 2020. Included in this mix are shows by the following artists. “Eternal Landscape” by Yang Yongliang. Influenced by the Chinese landscape painting tradition, this Shanghai-based artist uses the media of film, photography and virtual reality to create landscapes of the mind. “Effect” is an installation by Robert Zhao Renhui, a Singaporean visual artist that works chiefly with photography but often adopts a multi—disciplinary approach, presenting images together with documents and objects. “A Man, A Monster And The Sea” by Mulyana. This Indonesian fiber artists works with yarn pom poms and knitted shapes of sewn material to evoke images of Southeast Asian sea life. 1661 W. Sunflower Ave. in South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana, CA. 714-780-2186 or try ocmaexpand.org.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows –“Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Atomic Bombs” is on view through June 7, 2020. It will include artifacts of “A” bomb victims. “Common Ground: The Heart of Community.” This overview exhibit of Japanese American history is ongoing. On view Feb. 1 – March 29, 2020 is Taji Terasaki’s installation entitled “Transcendients: Heroes At Borders”. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org.
The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall has the following. “Xu Bing: Monkeys Grasp for the Moon” is ongoing. “Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece” puts on view a thousand-year old guilded wood statue of the Korean bodhisattva of compassion through March 22, 2020. 202-633-1000 or go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the following – ”Children to Immortals: Figural Representation in Chinese Art” through Feb. 23, 2020. “Kyoto: Capitol of Artistic Imagination” is on view through August 2, 2020. “Sita And Rama: The Ramayama in Indian Painting” remains on view through August 23, 2020. 1000 Fifth Ave. New York, New York. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows – A multi-media group show entitled “Measure Your Existence” curated by Christine Starkman features work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Shilpa Gupta, Teh Ching Hsieh, Meiro Koizumi, Lee Mingwei and Taryn Simon. Lee Mingwei gives a “Brainwave” talk as part of the show on Feb. 29, 2020 at the museum. The show opens Feb. 7 and closes on August 20, 2020. “Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power” is a new show by this Bangladeshi photographer who looks at the global South. On view through May 4, 2020. “Charged with Buddha’s Blessings – Relics from an Ancient Stupa” is on view through June 8, 2020. “Masterworks of Himalayan Art” is on view through March 23, 2020. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” is on view through June 8, 2020. “Shrine Room Projects” includes work by Shiva Ahmadi, Genesis Breyer _-Orridge & Tsherin Sherpa up until Sept. 14, 2020 and “The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room” on view until Sept. 27, 2021. 150 W. 17th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The Japan Society has the following – “Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020”. On view through January 26, 2020. Opening March 6 and remaining on view through June 14, 2020 is “Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics”. This exhibit looks at Boro (“rags” or “tatters”) which are patchwork textiles hand-pieced by peasants in Tohoku. The inability to cultivate cotton in the North necessitated the practice of stitching remnants of used fabric into utilitarian items. From the collection of Dr. Chuzabura Tanaka on loan from the Amuse Museum. Augmenting the exhibit are portrait photographs of people wearing the clothes by Kyoichi Tsuzuki and contemporary examples by Suan Cianciolo and Christina Kim. 333 East 47th St. New York, New York. 212-263-1258.
Fashion designer Anna Sui who grew up in Detroit but found fame in New York gets a retrospective show entitled “The World of Anna Sui” at the Museum of Arts & Design. It is on view now through Feb. 23, 2020. 2 Columbus Circle in Manhattan. 212-299-7701 or go to madmuseum.org.
The Museum of Chinese in America has the following – “Gathering, Collecting And documenting Chinese American History” and “The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America”. Both shows are on view through March 22, 2020. 215 Centre St. New York, NY. 855-955-MOCA or go to mocanyc.org.
MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) has a comprehensive renovation which will include more ethnic artists and women of color when it re-opens in October 21, 2019. It includes a show of Haegue Yang’s kinesthetic sculptures. 11 West 53rd St. Go to moma.org for details.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – “The Art of Impermanence: Japanese Works from the John C. Weber Collection and Mr. And Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection” on view from Feb. 11 – April 26, 2020. To find out more, go to AsiaSociety.org/NY. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
“To See From A Distance” is the first major retrospective on the work of Chinese artist Guo Fengyi. Her intricate ink drawings reference Chinese mythology, traditional medicine and the philosophy of the I Ching. Feb. 14, – May 3, 2020. At the Drawing Center at 35 Wooster St. in New York City. +1-212-219-2166 or try www.drawingcenter.org.
The work of Roger Shimomura is included in a group show at the American Academy of Arts And Letters. Every year, over 100 artist nominees working in various media are submitted by members to be represented in this show. Art And Purchase Awards will be selected from this exhibition and works will be donated to museums across the country. On view during March/April of 2020. 633 West 155th St. 212-368-5900.
“Art Deviation” is a solo show of painting and video by multi-media New York-based artist Nina Kuo on view in the lobby of Flushing Town Hall from Feb. 19 – March 1, 2020. There is a “Free Nite” event with videoscape & music screening with the artist on Friday, Feb. 21 from 5 – 7pm. 137-35 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, New York.
Yto Barrada and Michael Wang have site-specific installations at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on Governor’s Island starting on Sept. 19, 2019. Go to lmcc.net for details.
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Noguchi: Body-Space-Devices” looks at how the artist implicates his body in his work. Artist Brendan Fernandes has made a version of Noguchi’s non-rocking rocking chair that Noguchi created for Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” dance piece. Dancers will perform with the chairs and Noguchi’s sculpture throughout the exhibition. On view through May 3, 2020. “Models For Spaces” on view through Feb. 2, 2020 offers a selection of designs from lesser known projects. “In Search of Contoured Playground” on view through Feb. 2, 2020 has a design for a never built Noguchi playscape, a 10 foot square enlargement of Noguchi’s model. 9 – 01 33rd Rd, Long Island City, NY. 718-204-7088.
The work of multi-media artist Yayoi Kusama is as popular as ever. At age 90, she continues to work and produce new work at an amazing rate. “Kusama: Cosmic Nature” is a mix of old and new works that will be displayed inside and out at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It will be on view starting May 2, 2020 and will be up for six months. It will include a monumental site-specific pumpkin sculpture as well as a display of her sketchbooks. Tickets for this go on sale in January.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Conservation In Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture In a New Light” is a rare look at the conservation of seven Buddhist sculptures. On view through June 30, 2020. “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family And Friends” celebrates a landmark gift of Chinese art and is on view through August 9, 2020. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617 -267-9300.
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has a group show entitled “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration Through Contemporary Art”. Twenty artists respond to the global refugee crisis. Includes work by Do Ho Suh. Through Jan. 26, 2020. “Yayoi Kusama: Love Is Calling” is the most immersive and kaleidoscopic of this internationally know Japanese artist’s Infinity Rooms. On view through Feb. 7 2020. A companion show to this includes “Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art After Kusama” in which 15 works in various media by the artist throughout her career will be shown along with works by her contemporaries. 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100 or go to [email protected] for details.
“Power in S.E. Asia” is ongoing. “Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece” is on view through March 22, 2020. “My Iran: Six Women Photographers” is on view through Feb. 9, 2020. “Resound: Ancient Bells of China” through July 5, 2021. All at the Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C.
The Peabody Essex Museum has the following – “Mega City: India’s Culture of the Streets” on view through June 28, 2020. On view through May 17, 2020 is “A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min”. Scotsman John Thomson is considered to be one of the first photographers to document East and South Asia. This exhibit takes us back to an earlier time. It features more than 40 landscapes, city views and portrait studies. The show is complemented by a selection of photographs by contemporary artist Luo Dan who was inspired by Thomson to undertake his own journey in Southwestern China in 2010. 161 Essex St. in Salem, Massachusetts. 816745-4876 or go to pem.org.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “Captive Beauties: Depictions of Women in Late Imperial China” through July 19, 2020. “Abstract Prints by Hagiwara Hideo” through Dec. 6, 2020. “Nguyen Trinh Thi: Fifth Cinema” through Feb. 17, 2020. “Yoshiteshi: Master Draftsman Transformed” on view Feb. 1 – April 12, 2020. “Romance And Heroism: Theatrical Robes from Late Imperial China” through April 19, 2020. “All Flowers in Bloom: Porcelains from China’s Last Dynasty” through May 17, 2020. Minneapolis Institute of Art. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following – “Egoyomi: Picture Calendars for the New Year” remains on view through Feb. 23, 2020. “Noda Tetsuya: My Life in Print” is on view Feb. 29 – June 21, 2020. “Diary” is a series the Japanese printmaking pioneer has continued on a daily basis up to the present and now numbers over 300. This exhibit marks the largest presentation of the artist’s work in North America. There will be a talk about the artist led by educator Nancy Chen on March 11, 2020 at noon. 111 South Michigan Ave. /159 E. Monroe in Chicago. 312-443-3600.
The late Nam June Paik was known as the “Father of Video Art” and a recent retrospective (now at the Tate Modern) comes to the United States later this year. This five decade overview of his multi-media career will be on view from Nov. 7, 2020 – Jan 17, 2021 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. 220 E. Chicago Ave. 312-280-2660.
“Invisible Cities” is the title of a double- venue exhibition of Beijing-based artist Liu Wei in Cleveland. It marks the first US exhibition for this multi-media artist specializing in architectural geometries. One show is at the Museum of Contemporary Art through January 5, 2020. Go to mocacleveland.org for details. The second show is on view through Feb. 16 2020 at Cleveland Museum of Art at 11150 East Boulevard. 216-421-7350 or try clevelandart.org.
“Waking Dream” includes major works by Do Ho Suh and Christian Marclay on view through 2022. Suh’s work is a major sculptural recreation of the apartment he rented when he lived in London. A piece by Maya Lin is also on view. At Ruby City located at 150 Camp St. in San Antonio, Texas. Go to Rubycity.org.
“Mapa Wiya” is an incredible group show from the Menil collection of Aboriginal art. On view through Feb. 2, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Go to menil.org for details.
Anila Quayyum Aghai, a Pakistani American artist has a show entitled “Between Light And Shadow” in which she mimics the shadows as seen in the intricately pierced screens of Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture. On view through Feb. 9, 2020. Toledo Museum of Art at 2455 Monroe St. in Toledo, Ohio. 419-255-8000 or try toledomuseum.org.
The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby BC Canada has undergone some renovation and restructuring and presents a show entitled “Nikkei” which juxtaposes archives and artworks and includes stories, personal items, digitized “heritage” film footage and Cindy Mochizuki’s video installation to examine what it means to be a person of Japanese ancestry. 6688 Southoaks Cres. 604-777-7000. Go to centre. nikkeiplace.org.
A retrospective of over 200 works by the Korean American inventor of video art, Nam June Paik through Feb. 9, 2020. At The Tate Modern in London. Bankside in London. +44 (0) 20-7887-8888 or go to tate.org.uk.
The Tate St. Ives has a show by Haegue Yang from May 22 – Sept. 6, 2020. Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Go to tate.org.uk for details.
Japan House in London has the following – “WOW – City Lights and Woodland Shade, Digital Art Encounters with Japan” through March 23, 2020. 101-111 Kensington High St. 44-20-3972-7100 or try [email protected].
“The Appeal of Ko-Imari And Nabeshima” is on view through March, 2020. These two decorated styles of ceramics cherished by powerful rulers that eventually gained global impact are explored. Idemistsu Museum of Arts, Moji. 2-3 Higashi-Mina Tomachi, Mojiku, Kitakysushu, 801-0853 Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.
“Gardens” by Akiko Ando is on view through Feb. 23, 2020. Ando is a commercial illustrator and clothing designer who has worked in watercolor and collage as well. This show marks her first attempt at depicting miniature gardens. Lee Saya Gallery. 3-14-2, Shinomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0064 Japan. 03-6881-4389.
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto has the following – “Forms of Memory and Space: Nino Caruso, Giant of Contemporary Italian Ceramics” from Jan. 4 – Feb. 16, 2020 and “100 Years of Czech Design” from March 6 – May 10, 2020. Go to www.momak.go.jp/english/.
“Domani: The Art of Tomorrow” is on view through Feb. 16, 2020. This always interesting group show presents work of young Japanese artists who do work through Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs Program of Overseas Study for upcoming Artists. The theme for this year is “Landscapes in Our Age: Scarred and Reborn” in which the artists look at nature in the aftermath of natural/man-made disasters. National Art Center, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 106-8558 Japan. +81(0) 3 – 5777-8600 (Hello Dial).
“Art Trip Vol. 3: in number, new world” on view through Feb. 9, 2020. Four artists present works on the theme of numbers. Work by Norio Imai, Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Michiko Tsuda and Yuta Nakamura. Ashiya City Museum of Art & History. 12-15 Isecho, Ashiya, Hyogo 659-0052 Japan. +81-797-38-5432.
After four years of reconstruction, the Artizon Museum of Art (formerly Bridgestone Museum of Art) has reopened. Their first show “Inaugural Exhibition, Emerging Artscape: The State of Our Collection” is on view but more importantly, Japanese artists who worked in the Western oil painting tradition. 1-7-2 Kiyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo near Tokyo Station. 03-5777-8000.
“Color Magic: From the Taguchi Collection and Ando Collection” on view through March 22, 2020. Based on color and form and drawn from two major collections of this museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu.4-1-22, Usa, Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. +81 58-271-1313.
The National Museum of Modern Art Osaka presents “Impossible Architecture – The Architects’ Dreams” which looks at designs by architects that somehow for some reason never got built. Jan. 7 – March 15, 2020. “Collection: The Aesthetics of Contemporary Japan” is on view Jan. 7 – March 15, 2020. 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka. Go to nmao.go.jp for details.
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics has the following – “Japanese Bamboo Art from New York: The Abbey Collection, Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art” is on view Dec. 21, 2019 – April 12, 2020. 1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita Ku in Osaka. 81-06-6223-0055 or go to moco.or.jp.
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery has the following shows. From Jan. 11 – March 22, 2020 includes shows by Kazuo Shiraga, “Pietas” group show and “Ulala” by Imai. 3-20-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81- (0)3-5353-0756.
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo presents presents “The Window: A Journey of Art and Architecture Through Windows” and an exhibition of their “MOMAT Collection” both on view through Feb. 2, 2020. 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
The Mori Art Museum has the following – A show tentatively entitled “The Future And Arts” is set for Nov. 19, 2019 – March 29, 2020. T106-6108, Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome – 10-1 Japan. +81-3-5777-8600.
“teamLab*Borderless” houses works by this hi-tech art group in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum. With computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and objects from nature to light sculptures and a forest of lamps. On view indefinitely. Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan. 03-6406-3949.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum is reimagined, reinstalled and newly renovated and extended. It reopens on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2020. Tickets to opening events will be available online starting in December of 2019. New features include improvement to critical systems, expanded gallery and education spaces and a new park lobby that connects the museum to the surrounding Volunteer Park. Instead of dividing cultures by country alone, works of art from different countries will be on display side by side. Opening shows include “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art” and “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art.” A free weekend long celebration is planned for Feb. 8 & 9, 2020 from 9am – 9pm with performances, art making, tours and live music. An interactive map and digital art activities in every gallery will get the viewer involved. A new Asian Paintings Conservation Center is planned the future on the grounds. New additions include a community gallery and community meeting room.
Kudos to K-pop band BTS for underwriting a series of global arts projects that will feature 22 artists. Interdisciplinary works will be on view in 5 cities in early 2020 alone. All will be free to the public. The shows, part of “Connect BTS” are coordinated by lead curator Daeh Yung Lee and a team of international curators. Lee said “the works and artists involved will offer diverse responses to the world around us.” BTS in a statement said “This project is especially meaningful to us because it truly represents diversity and creates a collective, positive message for the world that we value.”
ASUW A+E & the HUB present “An Evening With Jonny Son” on Jan. 22, 2020. Sun is the author and illustrator of “everyone is an aliebn when ur an aliebn” and Lim-Manuel Miranda’s “Gmorning, Gnight!” and is a writer for “BoJack Horsemen.” All ages. $15. At the HUB Ballroom on the Seattle UW campus. For tickets, call 206-543-8191 or go to bit-ly/uwjonny or try [email protected] .
Local landscape architect, writer and historian Koichi Kobayashi speaks on “Japanese Gardens On Queen Anne”. In this talk he will share upcoming plans for gardens at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Bayview Manor, The Japanese Consulate General Residence and other projects. On Thurs., Jan. 23 at 7pm. At Aegis Living Queen Anne Galer at 223 W. Galer St. Free. Sponsored by the Queen Anne Historical Society. 206-673-5986 or go to [email protected]
Martin Bakari sings the role of Monsieur Triquet in the Seattle Opera production of “Eugene Onegin”, a decadent Russian romance based on Pushkin’s novel with music by Tchaikovsky. On stage Jan. 22, 24 & 25 at McCaw Hall in Seattle Center. 321 Mercer St. 206-389-7676.
The Triple Door has the following – Plan ahead for two evenings with Japanese jazz piano wonder Hiromi who comes to the club on March 9 & 10 at 7:30pm. 216 Union St. 206-838-4333 or try thetripledoor.com
Singer/songwriters ings and Tomo Nakayama host a Hygge Party (Danish/Norwegian for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality) on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7:30pm. All concerts at Fremont Abbey at 4272 Fremont Ave. N. in Seattle. For details, go to fremontabbey.org.
Local actress Sunam Ellis won a Gregory Award (Seattle’s local equivalent of the Awards) for “Best Supporting Actress” in Seattle Public Theatre’s production of “Hand To God” back in 2018. Catch her on stage again when she stars as playwright Olympe de Gouges in a new play about four fierce women in 19th century Paris entitled “The Revolutionists” by Lauren Gunderson. The rest of the cast includes Jonelle Jordan, Dedra Woods and Hannah Mootz. It’s directed by Kelly Kitchens and runs through Feb. 9, 2020 at Arts West. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Go to www.artswest.org for details.
Izumi, Guayaba, Nic Masangkay and Emma Lee Toyoda present a musical fun-filled evening at Sunset Tavern on Sun., Jan 26 at 7:30pm. Only $10. 5433 Ballard Ave. NW in Seattle. 206-784-4880.
Seattle singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama pays Tacoma a visit on Jan. 26, 2020 at the Spanish Ballroom. 565 Broadway. 253-300-8790 or try spanishballroomtac.com
With the new year here, one sees a number of lunar new year celebrations. Here are a few. Uwajimaya has a Lunar New Year Sale & Red Envelope Giveaway from Jan. 15 – Jan. 28, 2020. In honor of Lunar New Year, they will be handing out lucky red envelopes to customers who spend $30 or more during the sale. “TET In Seattle” is celebrated Jan. 18 & 19, 2020 at Seattle Center from 10:30am – 6pm. 305 Harrison St. On Jan. 24, 2020, the Vietnamese Student Association at UW Tacoma celebrates TET from 6 – 10pm. 1900 Commerce St. in Tacoma. Wing Luke Museum has a Lunar New Year Celebration & Fair on Sat., Jan. 25, 2020 from 10am – 5pm. This day full of activities include a lion dance at 10am. Also a passport journey through the museum where visitors have a chance to create crafts with local artists, learn about the Asian zodiac with their stuffed animal petting zoo and much more. 719 South King St. On Feb. 8, 2020 there are two new years celebrations. APCC holds their 22nd Annual New Year Celebration featuring “Vietnam, Country And Culture” at Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall from 11am – 6pm (go to asiapacificculturalcenter.org for details). While, back in Seattle, there is a Lunar New Year Celebration at Hing Hay Park from 11am – 4pm at 423 Maynard Ave. S. in the CID. On Feb. 15, 2020, there is a “Seattle Night Market: Lunar New Year” celebration at Magnuson Park Hangar 30 from noon to 10pm. 6310 NE 74th St.
SuperM is a new K-pop group that is not so new. As the name implies, members were plucked from a number of popular K-pop groups to form this super group. They bring their “We Are The Future” tour live to ShoWare Center in Kent on Feb. 4, 2020. 625 West James St. Try [email protected]
Desdemona Chiang directs a new take on this children’s classic “Snow White” by Greg Banks. Feb. 6 – March 15, 2020 at Seattle Children’s Theatre. 201 Thomas St. 206-441-3322.
From Feb. 21 – 29, the 3rd Annual Seattle International Dance Festival directed by Cyrus Khambatta, Jaewoo Jung and Kyoung-shin Kim takes place at Capitol Hill’s Erickson Theatre across from Seattle Central Community College at 1524 Harvard . This is SIDF’s Winter Mini-Fest which always includes Seattle’s Khambatta Dance Company (the Festival’s sponsor) with a special guest. This year’s guest is “Unplugged Bodies” from Seoul, South Korea. Concerts at 8pm on two weekends, Feb. 21 & 22 and Feb. 28 & 29, 2020. Go to seattleIDF.org for details.
The Danny Woo Garden has a community service day scheduled for Feb. 1, 2020 from 10am – 1pm. Come out and help this community resource keep going. 620 South Main St. in Seattle’s CID.
Bob Antolin’s jazz group, “Comfort Food” performs at Rumba Notes Lounge on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 from 10pm – 1am. 5041 Rainier Ave. S. 206-755-0568. For more information, go to reverbnation.com/comfortfood.
Future Seattle Opera productions include the following – “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – The Man Behind A Legend” with music by Daniel Schnyder and libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly. Plays Feb. 22, 23, 26, 29 AND March 1, 4, 6 & 7, 2020. Kelly Kuo will make his Seattle Opera debut as conductor for the orchestra for this production. Andrew Stenson will play the role of Beppe in “Pagliacci”. Seattle Opera brings a production of “Pagliacci & Cavalleria Rusticana” to stage in August. Small town lives are turned upside down when a returning soldier and a vengeful clown upset provincial norms, resulting in shocking crimes of passion. Guy Montavon’s new production transforms the public square of Southern Italy into a mask-filled arena with eye-catching costumes. August 8, 9, 12, 15,16, 19, 21 & 22, 2020. And looking even further ahead, Seattle Opera brings the modern opera “Flight” with music by Jonathan Dove and a libretto by April De Angelis to the stage Feb. 27 28, March3, 6,7,10, 12, & 13, 2021. David Dq Lee performs the role of the Refugee, Karen Vuong takes on the role of Tina and Viswa Subbaraman makes his Seattle debut as conductor. Production Designer on this opera will be David Murakami. The opera is based on actual events and tells the story of a stateless refugee’s 18-year forced residency at a European airport as an omniscient air traffic controller watches over a departure longue bustling with a varied cast of characters. An excitable couple on vacation, an Eastern European diplomat and his wife and a mysterious older woman all wait out a storm as the refugee plays cat and mouse with an immigration official. Available for purchase as part of a season ticket package. Individual tickets go on sale May 27, 2020. For complete details on all the shows, go to seattleopera.org.
North Corner Chamber Orchestra’s solo performances by cellist Carson Ling-Efird and bassoonist Teddy Zhang are featured in their winter program entitled “Through The Glass” on Feb. 23, 2020 at 7:30pm. Seattle Town Hall at 1119 – 8th Ave. 206-652-4255.
Seattle Symphony begins a new season under new conductor Thomas Dausgaard. Some highlights include the following – Yundi was the youngest pianist to win the International Chopin Piano Competition at the age of 18. Now he embarks on his 2020 Piano Recital World Tour with a stop in Seattle on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 at 8pm. The classical string trio “Time For Three” ( Ranaan Meyer on double bass, Nick Kendall on violin and Charles Yang on violin) performs with the Seattle Symphony on Feb. 18, 2020 in an evening of Americana, pop and classical. The annual “Celebrate Asia” concert has Tianyi Lu conducting and Gaurav Mazumdav on sitar and Conrad Tao on piano in a program of compositions by Huang Ruo, Reena Esmail, Conrad Tao and Gershwin. Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 4pm. Eun Sun Kim conducts the orchestra with Elisa Barston on violin in Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 8” on March 12 & 14 with a special “Tchaikovsy Untuxed” concert on March 13. For lovers of the Joe Hisaishi composed soundtracks to the films of Hayao Miyazaki, look no further. “Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music From The Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki” comes to Benaroya Hall April 9 – 11, 2020. Pianist Aimi Kobayashi participates in “Bach Fest 1” on May 21 with conductor Ryan Bancroft and fellow pianist Alexandra Dovgan. All concerts at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. 200 University St. Go to seattlesymphony.org for details or call 206-215-4747.
Named in honor of Seattle philanthropists James & Sherry Raisbeck who donated money to transform the former Soundbridge at 200 University across from SAM into a state of the art immersive environment for inventive performances and ideal for education programs and community engagement, the building is now called Octave 9:Raisbeck Music Center. Some highlights from their innovative concert and educational programming include the following – On Wed., Jan. 29, 2020 at 7:30pm, catch virtuoso violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in recital performing Gykorgy Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments” in which excerpts from the famous Czech writer’s diaries and letters are set to music and song with soprano Ah Young Hong singing the words. On April 24, 2020 at 7:30pm, Hannah Lash & Hub New Music join forces to present music for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and harp. A new composition by Takuma Itoh will be performed.
Seattle-bred, Brooklyn-based brass quartet The Westerlies return home to present the second annual Westerlies Fest, a multi-day music festival Feb. 6 – 9, 2020. Members of the group include Riley Mulherkar, Chloe Rowlands, Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch. The event includes guest artists, Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye, Celisse, Robin Holcomb and spoken word poet Troy Osaki. Besides evening performances, there will be an all-day open-to-the-public creative music jamboree, workshops in local schools with a residency in Highline Public Schools. The Westerlies hope to give back to the musical ecosystem that raised them by engaging local students, highlighting local talent and facilitating explosive collaborations between artists from Seattle and beyond. Troy Osaki will perform alongside poets Phil Kaye & Sarah Kay on Feb. 8, 2020 at 7:30pm with the Westerlies. Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 – 8th Ave. For a full schedule of events, go to www.westerliesfest.org.
Ocampo/Wang Dance Company out of New Jersey brings a world premiere of a new piece along with other guest choreographers from around the country to “Chop Shop: Bodies of Work”, an annual contemporary dance festival set for Feb. 15 at 7:30pm & Feb. 16 at 3pm, 2020 at the Eastside’s Meydenbauer Center. 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue. Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com. For more information, try chopshopdance.org.
ArtsWest has also announced their new 2019/2020 season entitled “Agents of Change” which looks at revolutions and the people who participate in them. The prolific and talented playwright/director/actress Sara Porkalob returns with a new play and a world premiere for the new season. “Alex and Alix” looks at the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love and a moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing. Two women in love and one name. Set for April 30 – May 24, 2020. Learn more details about the entire new season at artswest.org. ArtsWest is located in West Seattle at 4711 California Ave. SW.
Café Nordo has already announced their upcoming 11th season entitled “Where The Tea Party Never Ends” and early memberships are available. Come watch as they spin their interesting mix of original theatre, music and cuisine tailored to fit the theme of each production. The ever prolific Sara Porkalob is back with “The Angel in the House” from Feb. 8 – March 15, 2020. She wrote and directed this piece that’s a Victorian thriller with corsets, blood, revenge and cake. “Night Parade: The Ghost Forest” takes place June 13 – July 21, 2020. Conceived of and Directed by Tom Dang and written by Kendall Uyeji. Take a dive into Japan’s Aokigahara Forest near Mr. Fuji, famous for suicides. When a Western blogger mockingly posts a photo of a suicide on social media, he is spirited away by ghosts and demons of that forest. Café Nordo is at 109 South Main. Go to www.cafenordo.com to find out more about their new season and how you can get tickets. APCC is at 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or go to apcc96.org.
Live Nation presents Hayley Kiyoko’s “I’m Too Sensitive For This X – North American Tour 2020” at Showbox Sodo on March 8, 2020 at 8pm. 1700 1st Ave. S. 206-652-0997.
The Showbox presents Dabin in his “Into The Wild” Tour on Sat., April 4, 2020 at 9pm. 206-618-3151 or go to www.showboxpresents.com. This JUNO nominated music producer/instrumentalist from Toronto presents an evening of electronic music. The Showbox at 1426 – 1st Ave in downtown Seattle.
“First Sundays” is the title of a concert series of jazz and classical music held at Bainbridge Island’s Waterfront Park Community Center from January through spring. Concerts start at 4pm. On April 5, former Puget sound resident Frank Huang returns from Ohio to perform a classical piano concert. 370 Brien St. SE on Bainbridge Island. For details on the whole series, go to firstsundaysconcerts.org.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced their 2019/2020 season. Some performers include the following – David Finckel & Wu Han perform with Philip Setzer in a program of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn on Mon., May 18, 2020 at 7:30pm. Concert pianist George Li plays a recital of Haydn, Schubert, Ravel and Schumann on Wed., April 19, 2020 at 7:30pm. Violin virtuoso Midori performs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Thurs., Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:30pm in an all-Beethoven program in honor of the composer’s 250th anniversary. Meany Center is located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. 206-543-4880 or go to meanycenter.org.
The Wind Ensemble with Donna Shin on flute prepare for a Korea tour with a concert on Thursday, March 12 at 7:39pm. 7:30pm. Kathryn Alvord Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall. Go to music.washington.edu for details.
Caracol Productions presents “Model Minority – An Asian Womxn Comedy Show” on Jan. 30, 2020 at Columbia City Theatre. $15 online or $20 at the door. Featuring Stephanie Nam, Ellen Acuaria, Dewa Dorje, Cindy Sun, Risha Srinivasan and Bernice Ye Umiom. Go to [email protected] for details.
Indian virtuoso percussionist Zakir Hussain comes to Seattle for his annual concert with Kala Ramnath and Jayanthi Kumaresh on March 28, 2020. Presented by STG. For details, try stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114.
On The Boards presents a performance piece entitled “Cuckoo” as conceived of and performed by Jaha Koo in which he takes viewers on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history as told by a bunch of talkative rice cookers. The piece combines personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness, economic crises and death. Coming Jan. 23 – Jan. 26, 2019. 100 West Roy St. in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. 206-217-9886 or go to ontheboards.org.
The Edmonds Center for the Arts has the following – The International Guitar Night celebrates their 20th Anniversary Tour with a stop here on Wed., March 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm. Hawaiian slack key master Jim Kimo West is part of this group of global guitar luminaries. “Masters of Hawaiian Music” brings guitar wizards George Kahumoku Jr., Nathan Aweau and Jeff Peterson in an evening of music from the islands. Set for March 21 at 7:30pm. South Korea’s acclaimed Brush Theatre present a performance piece entitled “Yao Yao” which tells the story of a father who must go to work and the child left at home who wants him to stay. The troupe introduces a magical world of adventure and discovery with a playful blend of reality and imagination using screen art technology and live music. Part of the Edmonds Center for the Arts Education Matinee Series. On March 31 at 10am. For schools wishing to reserve tickets, contact [email protected] or call 425-275-9485. ECA is located at 410 – 4th Ave. N. in Edmonds, WA. Info # is 425-273-9595.
“Asian Arts in Action” is a series of Asia-related performances and visual artists’ demonstrations presented by Seattle Art Museum throughout the year. Eurasia Consort performs a program entitled “The Wind in the Pines” on March 22, 2020 at 2pm in Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Founded by Tomoko Sugawara and August Denhard, this group presents music of the Silk Road, past and present. Music in this concert includes new compositions by Alice Shields and Bun-Ching Lam and music from the Tang Dynasty discovered in the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China. On April 10 at 7pm and April 12 at 2pm, Tasveer presents a new production of poignant stories using Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” as an inspiration. Narrated by South Asian women as part of Tasveer’s 15th Annual Aaina Festival. Held at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. May 14 at 6:30pm is “Makers’ Night” which takes place in the Seattle Asian Art Museum Education Studio. This is the beginning of a new summer series of monthly sessions for adults held on the 2nd Free Thursday evenings in sessions led by rotating artists. This session is led by artist Juliet Shen who shares his personal videos of flowing water in northwest rivers and shorelines that inspire her experiments with ink on paper. Technique will emphasize using brush and ink to interpret from memory the lively contradicting movements of water currents observed in the videos. 206-654-3210 or try visitsam.org/tickets. To stay up to date on SAM news, try the website, visitsam.org and select “Gardner Center”.
Emerald City Music stages a number of concerts in the Puget Sound area. The Aizuri Quartet present a program entitled “Songs & Echoes of Home” This all female string quartet makes their Emerald City debut with Ariana Kim on violin, Miho Seagiusa on vioin, Ayane Kozasa on viola and Karen Ouzounian on cello. They perform on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 at 8pm at 415 Westlake in Seattle, again on Sat., Feb. 15, 2020 at 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia at the Washington Center for the Arts and again on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at 4pm at Lairmount Manor at 405 Fieldstone Rd. in Bellingham under the auspices of The Bellingham Festival of Music. (Please note that the Bellingham venue does not sell tickets at the door, you must get advance tickets by calling 360-201-6621 OR try [email protected]). Another program entitled “What You Are To Me” is a landmark collaboration between three national arts organizations. This season finale features a world-premiere by Philadelphia-based composer Patrick Castillo with three unique gems of the chamber music library. Performers are Kristin Lee and Sean Lee on violins, Dmitri Atapine on cello and Hyeyeon Park and Gloria Chien on pianos. Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8pm at 415 Westlake in Seattle AND Sat., May 2, 2020 at 7:30pm at Minnaert Center in Olympia. 206-250-5510 or go to emeraldcitymusic.org for details.
Tacoma Arts Live presents a play entitled “Cowboy vs Samurai” by Michael Golamco June 4 – 21, 2020 at Theatre On The Square at 915 Broadway. The story is about a quartet of searching lovers who confront some Asian stereotypes of Ango America along with the self-image struggles of Asian Americans themselves, all the while trying to connect as whole people. 253-591-5894.
Olympia Symphony performs Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with New York-based pianist Angie Zhang on March 15, 2020. On April 19, 2020 at 3pm, the Olympia Symphony returns with a program entitled “Da-Da-Da-Daaaah!” with Kristin Lee as guest soloist on violin performing Barber’s Violin Concerto. Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia. Try [email protected] for tickets.
The Changmu Dance Company from South Korea has transformed Korean dance through innovative choreography with poetry and its mastery of traditional forms. They make their Portland debut on Wed., April 15, 2020 at 7:30pm. Arlene Schnitzer Hall. 503-245-1600 for tickets.
Santa Fe Opera presents a new adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s “M. Butterfly” as an opera in this world premiere. Music by Huang Ruo and libretto by the playwright. Set for August of 2020. Stars Kang Min Justin Kim, David Bizic and Hera Hyesang Park. Musical conductor is Xian Zhang. 301 Opera Drive in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1-800-280-4654.
Seattle performance artist Susan Lieu has taken her show “140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother” on the road for a national tour. Being pregnant hasn’t stopped her from doing all her own bookings and managing the tour herself with the help of family and friends. Ashley Lee of the Los Angeles Times covered her during her Southern California venues. In February, 2020, she’ll premiere an expanded version entitled “Over 140 LBS” back in Seattle. By then she’ll have performed over 50 shows in 10 different cities. ACTLab’s Solo Fest presents “Over 140 LBS” as its lead presentation with 3 other performance artists. Feb. 6 – 16, 2020. When her mother dies of plastic surgery malpractice, Lieu as an adult reaches out to the killer’s family and in the process uncovers the painful truth of her mother, herself and the impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty. 700 Union St. 206-292-7676 or go to acttheatre.org.
Kevin Lin has been appointed concert master of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He will start in Sept., 2020. He is currently co-leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Two 24-year-old Japanese monks have taken their love of break dancing as a way of spreading Buddhist teaching. Known as Kaiten Bosu (Spinning monks), Koki Kawahara and Jojitsu Asukai of Kyoto feel that break dancing and Buddhism share the same philosophy of peace and equality. Kawahara said that he “wanted to get many people interested in Buddhism using my dance skills.”
Yuan Yuan Tan was the first Chinese prima ballerina in the United States in 1915. At the age of 19, she became the youngest dancer in the history of San Francisco Ballet Company to be appointed principal dancer. Today, she shows no sign of slowing down outlasting all her male partners. An honorary dinner in her honor takes place in April 2020. Back in April, 2018 the city and county of San Francisco proclaimed it “Yuan Yuan Tan Day” with the mayoral proclamation reading “Her grace, skill, versatility and strength have helped her become the first Chinese prima ballerina in the US and one of the greatest Chinese ballerinas of all time.”
Named one of CBC’s “Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30”, Samuel Chan debuts with Pacific Opera Victoria in April 2020 as Le Dancaire in “Carmen”.
Film & Media
“Fujitaro Kubota And his Garden” is a local documentary film made through a grass roots effort by people involved with Kubota Garden over many years. It premiered at the Ark Cinema a few months back to sell-out audiences and people had to be turned away. Now it returns for one night only in a screening on Wed., January 29, 2020 at 7pm and 9:30pm at the Rainer Beach Community Club located at 6038 South Pilgrim St.
The Northwest Film Forum presents the following –Aggie Pak Yee Lee’s animated short “Muteum” about the museum viewer’s experience is part of the “2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour” which screens Jan. 17,18, 19, 21, & 22. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629 or try nwfilmforum.org.
The Nisei Vets Hall Monthly Open House presents a screening of the documentary film “Children of The Camps” directed by Stephen Holsapple. The film covers a workshop with Dr. Satsuki Ina who helps six participants who were children when they were at internment camp work through their memories of imprisonment and share their experiences. Jan. 25 at noon. “Our Lost Years” is screened on Feb. 29, 2020 at 2pm with filmmaker/actor Lane Nishikawa. It is co-hosted by Densho and JACL. The film commemorates the 75th anniversary of the 1942 signing of Executive Order 9066 and the 30th anniversary of HR442 Civil Liberties Act of 1988. It shares personal and comprehensive interviews that reveal the national and psychological impact of the WWII incarceration, the insurmountable ten-year battle for redress and reparations and a battered community’s legacy to voice justice fo all. Free admission. 1212 South King. 206-322-1122 or go to [email protected]
The Beacon is a new art house cinema showing unusual finds of international cinema from around the world. Their “Anime Sunrise” series continues on Sundays at noon. 4405 Rainier Ave. S. 206-420-SEAT or try [email protected].
Coming to the Grand Illusion Cinema is “The Wonderland” a new anime feature from Keiichi Hara (”Colorful”, “Miss Hokusai”). It will screen Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2020. It tells the story of a girl with no confidence and how she gains it by joining a mysterious alchemist and his student in their mission to save the world. Go to http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/birthdaywonderland/ for a peek. 1403 NE 50th St. 206-523-3935. This theatre takes cash or check only in payment.
The 2020 edition of “Noir City” presented by TCM host Eddie Muller goes international this year with films from Argentina, Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom, West Germany and the US. The series runs from Feb. 14 – 20, 2020 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. “Sizzling Sunday in Japan” lines up four films from that country on Feb. 16, 2020. “A Colt Is My Passport” by Takashi Nomura screens at 12:30pm. A hitman and his sidekick attempt a daring escape after carrying out a high profile contract and incurring the wrath of a rival gang. Seijin Suzuki’s “Branded To Kill” screens at 3pm. After a botched assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organization and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman. Masahiro Shinoda’s “Pale Flower’ screens at 6pm. An ex-con falls under the spell of a reckless young female gambler whose pursuit of danger has no limits. And finally screening at 8:30pm is “Rusty Knife” by Toshio Masuda. A young ex-con is enlisted to help bring down a yakuza boss but what he really wants to do is avenge the murder of his fiancé. A couple “noir” films from South Korea screen on Feb. 19, 2020. Considered a classic in its own country, Kim Ki-young’s “The Housemaid” screens at 6pm. When the wife of a middle-class household asks her husband to hire help around the house, he hires one of his students who has sent him a love letter. “Black Hair” directed by Lee Man-hui screens at 8:30pm. When the mistress of a yakuza boss is raped by one of his gang members, she is quickly tossed aside. But this lady is not going down without a fight. For tickets, try siff.net. The SIFF Egyptian is at 805 E. Pine St. on Capitol Hill.
“Chinatown Rising” is a documentary film made by a San Francisco Chinatown father and son based on early footage shot around demonstrations in the community during the 1960s and 70s, a time of revolution and protests. It premiered in San Francisco a few months ago and now surfaces in Seattle for a one day screening on Sat., March 7, 2020 at 11am at SIFF Uptown in Queen Anne. Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com.
Leslie Tai’s “My American Surrogate” is a documentary film that tells the story of how a Chinese surrogacy agent’s business in Southern California has become a one-stop shop for wealthy Chinese couples seeking to hire American surrogates to have their babies for them. The film was the winner of the New York Times Op-Doc Pitch Competition and made in partnership with The New York Times, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Tribeca Film Institute. It is now streaming on The New York Times.
A short documentary film by Laura Nix about a Vietnamese American couple’s real-life refugee love story entitled “Walk Run Cha Cha” has made the Oscar shortlist for documentary shorts. Chipaul and Millie Cao met the director when she stumbled upon the Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance Studio in Alhambra while researching mini-malls for another film project. Nix eventually chose them as documentary subjects.
“Vanishing Chinatown: The World of The May’s Photo Studio” is a documentary film directed, written and edited by Emiko Omori. The executive producer is Gayle K. Yamada. Produced by Lydia Tanji and Wylie Wong. Consulting editor was Wendy Slick. Wong is a Bay Area-based art collector, art consultant and curator who grew up in Seattle. As a student, he found a pile of negatives in a Chinatown dumpster which turned out to be remains of the May Photo Studio, a portrait photography studio in the neighborhood. This formed the genesis for the film which will make its Seattle debut at this year’s Seattle Asian American Film Festival which takes place at Northwest Film Forum and Broadway Performance Hall both on Capitol Hill. The festival takes place Feb. 20 – 23, 2020. Northwest Film Forum is at 1515 – 12th Ave. Broadway Performance Hall is at 1625 Broadway. For details, go to seattleaaff.org.
Plan ahead for two one-time only screenings of unique films in their “Asia Films” series at Seattle Art Museum. “Edo Avant Garde: How Japan Invented Modern Art” is a documentary film by Linda Hoaglund who will be in attendance. It tells the untold story of the vital role Japanese artists of the Edo era (1603-1868) played in pioneering modern art. Japan prospered during this time in peaceful isolation from Western powers and audacious artists innovated abstraction, minimalism, surrealism and the illusion of 3D. Shown in partnership with UW East Asia Resource Center, Japan Studies Program and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, UW. Free but you must RSVP in advance. Screens on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at SAM’s Nordstrom Lecture Hall at 1pm. “Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience” will screen on May 7, 2020 at the Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium with director Akira Boch in attendance. The work of Japanese American designers permeated post-war American culture although their contributions are not widely known. This film lifts the veil on that by presenting the stories and contributions of Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata (architect son of noted artist Chiura Obata). Free but you must RSVP starting in Feb, 2020.
Kumail Nanjiani latest film role is in “The Lovebirds”, a new murder mystery comedy. He will also star as the character Kingo in Marvel’s superhero epic, “The Eternals”. Directed by Chloe Zhao and set for November, 2020 release, the film also stars Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Gemma Chan as Sersi. Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon come off the success of “The Big Sick” to collaborating on the “Little America”, a new Apple TV+Series founded on the stories of “everyday people” in the United states with each of the eight episodes drawn from real life tales taken from Epic Magazine. They run the gamut from an undocumented Mexican teen finding purpose in an urban squash league to an Indian school kid working his way to a national spelling bee while waiting for his deported parents return.
Chinese movie director Chloe Zhao is one to watch. Her first two projects were filmed on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation with non-professionals and were highly praised. “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” premiered at Sundance and “The Rider” made its debut at Cannes. Amazon Studios has given the green light for “Bass Reeves”, a bio pic about the first black US Deputy Marshall and Marvel has hired her to direct their superhero epic, “The Eternals”. She is also writing the script for and directing “Nomadland” starring Frances McDormand and David Strathaim. Based on the book by Jessica Bruder, McDormand stars as a woman in her sixties who loses everything in the great recession and then embarks on a journey through the American West working at minimum wage jobs and living out of her RV.
“Akwafina” is Nora From Queens” is a new Comedy Central series the award-winning actress is working on. It is set to premiere on Jan. 22, 2020. The cast includes B. D. Wong and Lori Tan Chinn. The actress also has upcoming movie roles in Marvel’s “Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and Disney’s re-make of “The Little Mermaid.” She is also working on a film project about how Chinatown restaurants in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles started booking punk rock bands in the 1970s and ’80s to bring in additional business. It is a joint project in which the actress is teaming up with Topic Studios. The film is based on an article in Topic.com by Madeline Leung Coleman entitled “How Chinese Food Fueled The Rise of California Punk.”
A new TNT series based on Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 film “Snow Piercer” is in the works.
The Written & Spoken Arts
“History Café: What Bus Lines Tell Us About Seattle” is the title of the latest program in this MOHAI series. Korean American Seattle bus driver Nathan Vass will talk about his book “The Lines That Make Us – Stories From Nathan’s Bus”, a local best-selling memoir of photos and essays chronicling Vass’s 12 years driving the night shift on the 7/49 route. Wed., Feb. 19, 2020 at 6:30pm (but you might want to arrive early as this book is now in its 4th printing). 860 Terry Ave. N. 206-324-1126 or try http://www.mohai.org.
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 unless otherwise noted. 1521 Tenth Ave. On Friday, Jan. 24 at 7pm, novelist Yangsze Choo reads from “The Night Tiger”, a tale of a boy who searches for a dead master’s finger and along the way, he meets a Malaysian dance-hall girl and an aspiring physician. Fiction writer Paul Yoon reads from his new novel entitled “Run Me To Earth” (Simon & Schuster) on February 3 at 7pm. In this story, three orphaned kids in 1970’s Laos are motorcycle couriers across a bomb-laden landscape and the thread of their destinies continue to be entwined across decades and continents. Mimi Lok talks about her new book of short stories entitled “Last of Her Name” (Kaya) with Joyce Chen on February 26 at 7pm. The book traces the lives of women of the Asian diaspora and the histories they were born into. The day after the reading, Lok reads with Washinton State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna at Seattle University. 206-624-6600 or go to www.elliottbaybook.com.
In a project powered by Shunpike, poet/curator Shin Yu Pai is launching a new series entitled “Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets”, a literary conversation series that will be hosted at Town Hall Seattle. It builds upon her previous work as an artist-in-residence for the organization. It includes a poetry reading, a musical guest and a facilitated conversation between the poet and a peer from the community centered on a specific theme. The series kicks off on Jan. 30th, 2020 at 7:30pm with a reading by mixed race Okinawan American poet Thomas Pruiksma who will share work connected to the notion of poetry and magic/wonder. Poet Melanie Noel will facilitate the onstage conversation and Jali Ibrahim Arsalan will perform West African kora music. Additional programs are planned for March and June. March 19 includes poet Koon Woon on the theme of “displacement/home” in conversation with Paul Nelson and a performance by percussionist Paul Kikuchi. June 25 features poet Prageeta Sharma dealing with the theme of “memory and grief” in conversation with Afrose Fatima Ahmed. The goal is to support local writers of the Asian diaspora who have never presented their work on Seattle Town Hall’s stage. In The Forum at 1119 – 8th Ave. 206-652-4255 or email [email protected].
Seattle poet Anastacia-Renee as this year’s guest curator has selected the 2020 Jack Straw Writers. Among the writers selected are Ching-in Chen and Troy Osaki. They make their debut with the other winners in the first three Fridays in May, 2020. Jack Straw Cultural Center is at 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. 206-634-0910 or go to www.jackstraw.org.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has released their new program details for their 2019/20 season. Among the many highlights included are these – SAL and Copper Canyon Press present Seattle-raised poet and prose writer Paisley Rekdal. She will read from “Nightingale”, a book that “radically rewrites and contemporizes many of the myths central to Ovid’s epic, ‘The Metamorphoses’.” She does a Q & A with Rebecca Hoogs on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at 7:30pm at Broadway Performance Hall. Rekdal teaches at the University of Utah and was that state’s poet-laureate. 625 Broadway on Capitol Hill. In the “Literary Arts” series, Min Jin Lee will speak. Her last novel “Pachinko” looked at four generations of an immigrant Korean family living in Japan running a pachinko parlor and gave Americans an intimate peek at a mostly hidden Japanese-Korean culture. It was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Fiction. Set for March 17, 2020. In the “Journalism Series”, the award-winning husband/wife reporting team of Nicholas Kristof & Cheryl WuDunn who shared a Pulitzer Prize will talk about their new book “Tightrope” which looks at the crisis in working-class America, the lives of real Americans today. They appear on Feb. 5, 2020. Rick Barot, award-winning Tacoma poet engages in conversation with fellow poet Jane Wong about the long colonial structure that sustained Spanish control over, much of Latin and South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines as outlined in his recent book of poetry entitled “Chord”. Set for March 19, 2020. Also look for appearances throughout the year at SAL events from 2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate, Wei-Wei Lee. Lee will have her first book published by Poetry NW Editions in the spring of 2020. For more detailed information on SAL and its new season, go to lectures.org.
Hugo House that venerated Northwest center for writers and poets re-opens in brand-new digs with expanded space but in the same location. Catch their readings and celebrate their new space. Also with the opening of the new Hugo House, the writing center rolls out a new series of classes/workshops with a varied number of subjects taught by a talented group of writers like Nisi Shawl, Sonora Jha, R. O. Kwon, Anne Liu Kellor, Michelle Penaloza, Richard Chiem, Diana Xin, Anglela Garbes, Lora Shinn, Aimee Bhausar and Shankar Narayan. Hugo House has selected writers for the 2019-20 Hugo Fellowships. Joyce Chen and Jen Soriano were some of the writers selected. The writers will be given advice and have a space to write. They will give two readings as well. Chen is a writer/editor/creator from Los Angeles. She will be working on a collection of essays that examine the push/pull conflict between American ideals of independence and self-fulfillment and Taiwanese values of family community and sacrifice. Jen Soriano is a Filipinx-American writer who blurs the lines between non-fiction, surrealism and poetry. She is working on a memoir of colonization, historical trauma and the neuroscience of healing as well as an essay collection on gender, technology and mothering. Hugo House also brings to Seattle, award-winning novelist Gish Jen who presents a talk entitled “Politics & Possibility” on Thurs., Feb. 20, 2020 at 7pm. It’s part of their “Word Works: Writers On Writing” series. She will address the topic of how Trump’s America can influence powerful writing and how it probably inspired her new novel entitled “The Resisters”. Tickets on sale at hugohouse.org. Hugo House is at 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill. 206-453-1937. Go to hugohouse.org.
Sharon H. Chang, local author/activist of books on mixed race issues joins with the Seattle JACL to put together an all-day conference entitled “Mixed Race Seattle” which will bring together artists, activists and youth together. It promises to be a transformative day of storytelling, art and creative expression meant to grow community among multiracial teens, young adults and their families. Featured performers include attorney, poet and former Seattle Mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver, MidWest Mixed conference co-founder Alissa Paris, performer Michael O’Neal Jr., flautist Leanna Keith and Native American/mixed-race filmmaker, curator, community organizer and City of Seattle Arts Commissioner Tracy Rector. This event is free and open to all but RSVP is required as the building has a maximum capacity of 300 people. The public is welcome to attend the whole day or just drop in for specific events (check the facebook page for this event). The site is ADA-acessible and barrier-free. Sat., March 28, 2020 at Blaine Memorial Methodist Church located at 3001 – 24th Ave. S. in Seattle. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/s/swfexa76jelolob/wm_DSC_0623_edit_webp?dl=0.
It’s early but mark your calendars for a panel discussion between Diasporic Vietnamese writers. The line-up is impressive and includes Vet Thanh Nguyen, Kim Thuy, Marcelino Truong, Vincent Lam, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Lan Cao, Mai Elliott, Le Ly Hayslip, Duy Doan and Cathy Linh Che. Tickets are $20. The event sponsored by DVAN and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will take place at Town Hall Seattle on May 2, 2020 at 4pm. Details are being worked out but for questions, email [email protected].
The University of Washington Alumni Association has released their schedule of 2020 Winter Public Arts & Lectures. Below are a few to make note of. “No-No Boy: The Story of How a Novel goes from 1500 Copies Sold to 158,000 Copies” is the topic of a talk by Shawn Wong, author and UW Professor of English presented by UW Libraries. Wong shares the story of how a novel published in obscurity became re-discovered and the foundational work in the canon of Asian American literature. Jan. 30 at 7pm in Kane Hall 210 on the Seattle UW campus. The Simpson Center For The Humanities presents their Solomon Katz Distinguished Lecture by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. Tsing, a Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz is the author of a book entitled “The Mushroom at the End of the World” which traces the history of the Matsutake mushroom – both a sought-after delicacy and an invasive weed – through the worlds of Japanese gourmets capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders and Finnish nature guides, revealing promise in a time of massive destruction. Feb. 25, 2020 at 7pm in Kane Hall 210 on the Seattle UW campus. The Department of Asian Languages And Literature present Paul S. Atkins, UW Professor of Asian Languages and Literature who will deliver a talk on “Zen Master Zekkai: The Life and Poetry of a Medieval Japanese Monk”. Atkins opens a window into classical Japanese history and culture through the life if a Zen monk considered one of the best Japanese poets to compose in Chinese. March 3, 2020 at 7pm in Kane Hall 210 on the Seattle UW campus. The Near Eastern Languages and Civilization department presents Fatemeh Shams, poet and Assistant Professor of Persian Literature at the University of Pennsylvania who gives a talk entitled “Revolution in Rhyme: Official Poets of the Islamic Republic” in which he explores the complex social history and politics of literary production in Iran after the 1979 revolution and how the Islamic Republic uses literature in identity construction. March 10, 2020 at 7pm in Kane Hall 225 on the Seattle UW campus. UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences presents a monthly series entitled “Grit City Think & Drink” at the Swiss Restaurant And Pub located at 904 Jefferson Ave. in Tacoma. Cynthia Howson, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma and Pierre Ly, Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound present a talk entitled “The Rise of Chinese Wine: A Political Economy Story” in which they trace how Chinese wine has gone from being ignored to earning god medals and praise by famous critics. Hear how the story of wine is linked to politics, globalization, economic growth, environmental challenges, land rights and governance. March 10, 2020. To find the full schedule, go to uwalum.com/golectures.
Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai will have a book launch party for her upcoming new title “ENSO” (Entre Rios) at Hugo House on April 23rd at 7pm. Besides a reading, there will be special guests and handmade gifts will be given out to all who attend. Hugo House is at 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill.
Hua Hsu, staff writer at The New Yorker has written an article in the Jan. 6, 2020 issue of the magazine entitled “The Asian-American Canon Breakers” in which he discusses the history of “Aiiieeeee! – An Anthology of Asian-American Writers” (on UW Press in a new 3rd edition with a foreword by Tara Fickle) within the context of Asian American literature and its reception in the American literary canon.
“The Weight of Our Sky” (Salaam Reads) by Hanna Alkaf was a critically praised young adult novel that tells the story of a young teenage girl struggling with mental illness against the backdrop of the May 13, 1969 riots in Malaysia. Now, fans can experience it as a web comic at the portal Webtoon. The book was adapted by producer Susan Cheng and writer Alya Rehman with an all-Malaysian team of illustrator Nisrina and colorists Nurel and Toadfrogs. Great care was taken with detail in order to faithfully reproduce the apparel worn and architecture that was part of that era during that time. Four episodes have been released with many more to come. Go to bit.ly/weight_sky to get a look.
Sonny Mehta, former president and editor in chief and then chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group died of pneumonia at his home in Manhattan recently. He was 77. For 32 years, his leadership at the publishing house showed him to be a fervent reader and an instinctive decision maker who could find great books and give them the push they needed to succeed. He published the work of nine Nobel literature laureates including Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Remains of the Day”. Other popular books by authors whose books were published under his watch included Toni Morrison, Anne Rice, John le Carre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Michael Crichton, Steig Larsson and many others. Born Ajai Singh Mehta, he was the son of one of independent India’s first diplomats. He started as a paperback publisher in England when he was hired by Knopf. He succeeded Robert A. Gottlieb in 1968 who handpicked Mehta to replace him.
Eight board members and the former president of the organization, Romance Writers of America have resigned after complaints from some members about how it handled a member’s criticism of another member’s book. The controversy came about when Chinese American member Courtney Milan (a former board member and chair of its ethnics committee) criticized Kathryn Lynn Davis’s novel “Somewhere Lies The Moon” on twitter as a “racist mess.” She stated that “the notion of the submissive Chinese woman is a racist stereotype which fuels higher rates of violence against women.” The author disagreed with that opinion and contended that her book was historically accurate and based on intensive research. She filed an ethics complaint with the organization and said that Ms. Milan’s comments amounted to “cyberbullying” and cost her a publishing contract. As a result of the complaint, the RWA suspended Milan’s membership and banned her for life from holding leadership positions within the organization. Ms. Milan saw the organization’s actions as a betrayal. Once the documents hit social media, several writers voiced their support for Milan and the RWA reversed course on its judgment but along the way, eight board members resigned as well as the former president. A petition calling for the resignation of the new president also began circulating online. Many writers and members felt the dispute wasn’t handled with enough transparency since the RWA formed a separate group to address complaints and did not report back to the ethics committee.
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“Revenge of the Asian Woman” (Diode) by Dorothy Chan. This book of lively poems comes to life in a sexed-up soap opera/B-movie platter where passion, food and fantasy reign supreme.
“I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir” (Potter) by Malaka Gharib. This book is a tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family’s rich heritage and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. As a youngster, the author learns to code-switch between her family’s Filipino and Egyptian customs while adapting to white culture to fit in.
“Halal If Your Hear Me – (Volume 3 of The Break Beat Poets Series)” (Haymarket) edited by Fatimah Asghar & Safia Elhillo. This anthology of writing by Muslims who are women, queer, gender queer, nonbinary, and/or trans takes no prisoners with voices that prove that there are as many ways to be muslim as there are muslims.
“This Is My World – Meet 84 Kids From Around The Globe” (Lonely Planet Kids). If you were asked to tell someone on the other side of the world about yourself, where would you start? This is the premise of this anthology that lets kids tell their own stories and introduce themselves.
“My Baby First Birthday” (Tin House) is a book of poems by Jenny Zhang, author of the award-winning collection of short stories, “Sour Heart.” In it, she examines innocence, asking us who gets to be loved and who has to deplete themselves just to survive.
“Kona Winds” (Bamboo Ridge) by Scott Kikkawa is a “noir” detective novel set in 1950’s Hawai’i that is a violent meditation on corruption and class warfare. It follows the experiences of a Japanese American WWII war veteran who returns to civilian Honolulu and finds himself exposed to the cynicism of power politics as he tries to solve a murder.
“Interrogation Room” (White Pine) by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs. A searing book of poems that looks at the continuing consequences of the Korean conflict and the toll it has taken on women, children and orphans and adoptees.
“Mr. Cat And The Little Girl” (Clavis) written and illustrated by Wang Yuwei was inspired by the author’s experience adopting a cat. It conveys in dreamy illustrations and spare text the unique relationship and emotion fostered between people and cats through a fairytale-like concept.
“Toy Tokyo” (Kingyo) by Manami Okazaki looks at the lo-fi technology of toy cameras and how it frames a special view of Tokyo. The author talks to photographers who use the cameras and the technicians who make them.
“Rebel” (Roaring Brook) by Marie Lu marks the finale of the “Legend” series as she tracks two brother’s lives. One enters the dark side and the other must rely on the help of strangers to save him in this young adult fantasy.
“Little Gods” (Custom House) by Meng Jin. This debut novel by first generation Chinese American author Meng Jin looks at immigrants in America. It takes a revealing look at how bottomless ambition can spur family members to hurt and betray one another.
“Takumi: Downtown Tokyo Artisan Culture” (Kingyo) by Manami Okazaki. The author looks at the small shops in downtown Tokyo where craftspeople still make handmade things in backstreets in contrast to the glitz of this high tech metropolis.
“Fifth Chinese Daughter” (UW Press) by Jade Snow Wong. This autobiography of a Chinese American girl coming of age in San Francisco’s Chinatown was originally published in 1950 and retains a strong influence on other Chinese American woman writers. This new edition retains the original illustrations and a new introduction by Leslie Bow who examines the changing reception and enduring legacy of this book through the years.
“A Beginning At The End” (Mira) by Mike Chen. Six years after a global pandemic, the world comes out of quarantine and is split between self-governing big cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs. Out of this, a father searches for a daughter and four lives collide.
“Mathematics For Human Flourishing” (Yale) by Francis Su with Reflections by Christopher Jackson. The author has written for a wide audience but especially for those disenchanted by their past math experiences. Su weaves personal reflections, puzzles and stories to show how math meets basic human desires and cultivates virtues essential for human flourishing.
“The Food of Sichuan” (Norton) is a new and updated edition of the classic “Land of Plenty” by Fuchsia Dunlop. This cookbook author from England delves deep into the spicy cuisine of Sichuan in sixty new recipes.
“Land of The Rising Cat – Japan’s Feline Fascination” (Prestel) by Minami Okazaki. The author looks at Japan’s fascination for cats, how it started and why it continues to grow. Fully illustrated with color photos and illustration.
“The Henna Artist” (Mira) by Alka Joshi. A teenage bride in rural India escape from an arranged marriage marred by abuse to make her way to the city of Jaipur. Here she becomes a henna artist and confidante to the city’s wealthy women. But when her husband tracks her down with a sister she ever knew she had, things get complicated.
“Bred From The Eyes of A Wolf” (Plays Inverse Press) by Kim Kyung Ju as translated by Jake Levine. This Korean drama transplants the Oedipus myth into a post-zombie apocalypse world exposing the wilderness at the heart of every human relationship.
“America For Americans – A History of Xenophobia In The United States” (Basic) by Erika Lee. Though many of us cling to the idea of America as a nation of immigrants, this award-winning historian returns with a sober look at how our nation has fostered a dark history and violence of hatred against foreigners landing on our shores.
“The Plotters” (Anchor Books) by Un-Su Kim as translated by Sora Kim Russell. This crime novel tells the story of an assassin who steps out of line only to discover an extraordinary scheme set into motion by a trio of young women. Our man must decide at that moment if he’ll remain a pawn forever or finally take control of the plot.
“A Savage Dreamland – Journeys in Burma” (Bloomsbury) by David Eimer. This former Asia correspondent for The Telegraph was one of the first outsiders to access the country in its entirety. He arrived in 2010 as the country transitioned from a dictatorship to a democracy.
“Liking in Silence” (White Pine) by Kin Sa-in translated by Brother Anthony of Taize & Susan Hwang. This poet looks at the names and gestures of everyday persons forgotten by South Korean economic prosperity and gives them a voice.
“Death is Hard Work” (Picador) by Khaled Khalifa. This novel tells the tale of three ordinary people who face a crisis with simple determination. How does a family bury their father in his hometown when the whole country of Syria is a war-zone?
“Dreams of Fallen Blossoms – Tune Poems of Su Dong-Po” (White Pine) as translated by Yun Wang. This great Sung Dynasty Chinese poet is rendered in English with clarity and valuable notes about each poem.
“Shape Shifters – Journey Across Terrains of Race And Identity” (University of Nebraska) edited by Lily Ann e Y. Welty Tamai, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly and Paul Spickard. This collection of essays challenges readers to think in new ways about race an d social mobility as it probes peoples of mixed race identity.
“Eight Outcasts – Social and Political Marginalization in China Under Mao” (UC Press) by Yang Kuisong and translated by Gregor Benton and Ye Zhen. The communist revolution brought sweeping changes in the country on all levels. But these movements did not come about without the persecution of hundreds of thousands of the country’s citizens. This book reveals the stories of eight victims of the Maoist dictatorship.
“The Hidden History of Burma – Race, Capitalism And The Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century” (Norton) by Thant Myint-U. This historian, former diplomat and presidential advisor looks at his country at its breaking level and offers a sobering re-evaluation.
“Ronin Island – Vol. One – Together in Strength” (Boom Studios!) by Greg Pak, Giannis Milonogiannis and Irma Kniivila. After a catastrophic event changes 19th century Japan, Korea and China, two young soldiers must protect their home from a warlord’s oncoming forces. A graphic novel that is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of war.
“Newcomer” (Minotaur) by Keigo Higashino as translated by Giles Murray. A new paperback edition about a Tokyo detective who must solve the baffling murder of a woman in a tight-knit neighborhood. New to the area, he must learn the stories of each and every storefront character before the pieces fit together, revealing the killer.
“Hysteria” (Action Books) by Kim Yideum as translated by Jake Levine, So Eun Seo and Hedgie Choi. This is the Korean poet’s second book to appear in English. It rides through the surface of wage labor, patriarchy and subsistence in blunt, down to earth language that slices open the materiality of everyday life.
“A Fragile Inheritance – Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art” (Duke) by Saloni Mathur. In this art history book, the author investigates the work of two seminal figures from Southern India – the New Delhi-based critic/curator Geeta Kaspur and contemporary multimedia artist Vivian Sundaram. This book presents new understandings of the culture and politics of decolonization and the role of a non-Western aesthetic avant-garde within the discourse of contemporary art.
“I Remember – Poems and Pictures of Heritage” (Lee & Low) as compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. In this newest poetry anthology, fourteen authors and sixteen illustrators of diverse backgrounds share honest portraits of their childhood experiences growing up in the U.S.
“Mulan – Before The Sword” (Disney) is by Newberry-winner Grace Lin. It is an original prequel novel based on the upcoming Disney Studios live action “Mulan” film. On sale Feb. 2020. Ages 8 – 12.
“The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums” (Modern Art Press) by Sophie Richard. An indispensable guide to Japan’s most fascinating museums and galleries that gives in-depth information on not only the famous places but artist’s houses and quirky alternative spaces as well.
“Be An Invent Her – An Everywoman’s Guide To Creating The Next Big Thing (Sasquatch) by Mina Yoo and Hilary Myerson. Women are the ultimate creators, yet they are wildly under represented. This is the complete guide geared towards any woman who wants to bring her invention from idea to the marketplace
“A Bond Undone” (St. Martin’s) by Jin Yong is the second book in the epic “Legends of the Condor Heroes” series as translated by Gigi Chang. When our hero learns the truth of his father’s death, he also finds himself betrothed against his will to two women, neither of which is his sweetheart. Meanwhile he travels through the country meeting
“No Steps Behind – Beate Sirota Gordon’s Battle for Women’s Rights in Japan” (Creston) by Jeff Gottesfeld with illustrations by Shiella Witano. This biographical picture book looks at the power of education to transform lives and Gordon’s role in shaping Japan’s post-war constitution.
“Allure – Material Art and Installations From China (Smart Museum of Art) by Wu Hung and Orianna Cacchione with Christine Mehring and Trevor Smith is the catalog for a touring exhibition coming to Seattle Art Museum. It looks at how Chinese contemporary artists have been experimenting with a wide array of unconventional materials to make monumental paintings and sculptural installations.
“That We May Live” (Two Lines Press) is a new collection of speculative fiction by some of today’s most exciting writers in China and Hong Kong, many of whom are appearing in English for the first time. Lightly touching on issues of urbanization, sexuality, and propaganda, the collection builds a world both utterly disorienting and disturbingly familiar, prompting the question: Where does reality end and absurdity begin in a world pushed to its very limits?
“Cluster” (McClellad & Stewart) is a new book by award-winning Canadian poet Souvankham Thammavongsa in which she looks at the whole idea of “meaning” and the ways in which it arrives, if at all. Born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand, the poet was raised and educated in Toronto.
“Butterfly Yellow” (Harper) by Thanhha Lai is a novel set in the final days of the Vietnam War. When an older sister and younger brother are separated at the airport, years pass. When the sister finally finds him years later in Texas, he has no memory of their family or Vietnam. What can she do to bridge that gap? A young adult novel by this National Book Award and Newberry Honor-winning author.
“Grief” (Wave) is the latest book by poet Prageeta Sharma. With staggering emotional honesty, Sharma is able to bring forth poems that confront the sudden loss of her spouse to cancer.
“Like A Champion” (7.13) is a book of short stories by Vincent Chu. This book is an ode to the underdogs, long shots, disappointed worker bees and hopeful lovers.
“Water/Tongue” (Omnidawn) by Mai C. Doan is a book of poems that looks at the diasporic body in an uncertain landscape and the devastating effects of colonialism.
“Fu Ping” (Columbia) is a novel by Chinese writer Wang Anyi as translated by Howard Goldblatt. In it, she keenly observes the lives of lower class women in Shanghai in the early years of the People’s Republic of China. These are renderings of history, class and the human heart.
“Goddess of Democracy – an occupy lyric” (Omnidawn) by Henry Weir Leung. The poet considers the icon that came out of Tiananmen Square in light of his eyewitness observations of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. Disobedience more and more becomes a global question that the poet holds up for the reader to ponder.
“Dear America – The Story of An Undocumented Citizen” (Harper) is the Young Reader’s Edition of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jose Antonio Vargas. This illegal immigrant from the Philippines challenges what it means to be American when the country he’s called home doesn’t consider him on of its own.
“Patience, Miyuki” (Princeton Architectural Press) is a picture book by Roxanne Marie Galliez as illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh. A little girl learns patience as she waits for a flower to bloom with her wise grandfather.
“Kanban – Traditional Shop Signs of Japan” (Mingei International/Princeton University Press) by Alan Scott Pate is a lovely catalog for an exhibition on the history and origins of traditional shop signs in Japan.
“Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.” (McClelland & Stewart) by Jenny Heijun Wills is a memoir that dwells into gender, class, racial and ethnic complexities through a story of a Korean adoptee in Canada who returns to reconnect with her birth family. In this book, one feels the ripple effect of dislocation and the rewards of struggle and forgiveness.
“Latani of The Distant Sea” (HarperCollins) is the latest book by Newberry Medal-winner Erin Entrada Kelly. This fable inspired by Filipino folklore is filled with a rich mythology and pits a timid twelve-year-old girl against epic tests to survive and save her village from disaster.
“Surrender” (Imprint) by Cao Wenxuan as illustrated by Yu Rong. In this picture book, children will read how seven animals try to survive the sweltering season but all are selfish. It isn’t until they learn to share that they thrive. Lyrical poetic prose is matched by delicate, sensitive images.
“Along The Indigo” (Amulet) is by prolific young adult author/editor Elsie Chapman. Her new novel is a heart-wrenching story of a plucky heroine trying to escape the poverty of a seedy river town to give herself and her little sister a better life.
“The Ranger” (Groundwood) by Nancy Vo. When a ranger comes across a fox in a trap, she nurses it back to health. When misfortune befalls the ranger, the fox returns the favor. A picture book of understanding and companionship is evoked in striking illustrations.
“No Good Very Bad Asian” (C&R) is a comic novel by Leland Cheuk of a Chinese American underachiever’s journey into stand-up comedy while navigating the duties and obligations of society and a traditional Chinese family.
“Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII” (Flying Eye) by Sally Weng. This children’s picture book tells the little known story of women pilots who lea
“Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking” (HMH) by Maangchi is billed as “You Tube’s Korean Julia Child” by the NY Times. This book is called the definitive book on Korean food and the culture it comes from. Set for Oct. 2019 release.
“How Do You Say Goodnight?” (Little Simon) by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez is a cute board book for kids in which the little ones learn how to say good night in an array of languages and cultures.
“Everest” (Flying Eye) by Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng. A non-fiction picture book full of facts about the world’s highest mountain with marvelous visuals by Feng.
“ESL or You Weren’t Here” (Nightboat) by Aldrin Valdez. A debut book of poems that looks at a young man’s upbringing as a queer immigrant body adrift in a sea of contradictions with negotiations between Tagalog and English at every corner.
“Bone Talk” (David Fickling Books) by Candy Gourlay tells the story of an indigenous village boy in the Philippines who must use all his skills to battle the encroachment of American invaders in this young adult novel set for November 2019 publication.
“Sightseer in This Killing City” (Penguin) by Eugene Gloria. This new book of poems captures the surreal and disorienting feelings of the present and reveals an obsession with arrivals and departures and the bitter divisions in America.
“Bodega” (Milkweed Editions) is a debut book of poems by Minnesota poet Su Hwang. With rich lyrical and narrative poetics, she offers a revealing perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions rising in the margins where they live and work.
“My Story Starts Here – Voices of Young Offenders” (Groundwood) by Deborah Ellis is set for Oct, 2019 release. It is an oral history of kids involved in the criminal justice system telling their own stories. From different socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities, the common threads that bind include loss of parents, dislocation, poverty, truancy, addiction and discrimination.
“Fashion And Beauty in The Time of Asia” (NYU Press) edited by S. Heijin Lee, Christina Moon and Thuy Lin Nguyen Tu. This collection of essays considers the role of bodily aesthetics foraged through engagements with fashion and beauty. Topics run the gamut from the American influence on plastic surgery in Korea, Chinese garment workers to Nepalese nail technicians in New York.
“You Go First” (Greenwillow) by Erin Entrada Kelly. How do two friends more than a thousand miles away survive middle school and heartbreak at home? A love of online scrabble binds them together and their lives intersect in unexpected ways in this young adult novel.
“Spin The Dawn” (Knopf) by Elizabeth Lin. This fairy tale is about a young seamstress who must use her creativity as a weapon against evil forces invading the land.
“Before I Was A Critic I was A Human Being” (Book Hug) by Amy Fung. This collection of essays takes a closer look at Canada’s mythologies of multiculturalism, settler colonialism, and identity through the lens of a national art critic.
“Love in the New Millennium” (Yale) by Can Xue with a foreword by Eileen Myles and translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wacmoen. A dark comic novel about a group of women who inhabit a world of constant surveillance, where informants lurk in the flower beds and false reports fly. Love stories of a new millennium by a master storyteller..
“Super Satya Saves The Day” (Bharat Babies) by Raakhee Mirchandani with pictures by Tim Palin. Can a little girl conquer the tallest slide in Hoboken without her superhero cape? Will she be able to face her fears, help her friends and be the true hero everyone knows she is?
“Empire of Style – Silk And Fashion in Tang China” (UW Press) by Buyen Chen. During the Tang dynasty, the Silk Road was filled with a critical market and the thriving cultures of Central Asia and the Middle East. Chen looks at this vibrant fashion system that emerged through the efforts of Tang artisans, wearers and critics of clothing.
“The Art of Logic In an Illogical World” (Basic Books) by Eugenia Cheng. This mathematician and columnist demonstrates how to use mathematical logic to complement our emotions and transform the way we think about challenges.
“Team Taek Wondo #3 – How To Be Cheeri” (Rodale Kids) by Master Taekwon Lee & Jeffrey Nodelman and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. What happens when hard worker Cheeri must collaborate with fun loving Baeoh? How can they join forces and learn to work together to meet their next challenge? A lesson-learning graphic novel for kids.
“Bomb Children – Life In The Former Battlefields of Laos” (Duke) by Leah Zani. The author looks at how the explosive remnants of war continues to be a part of people’s everyday lives.
“Hard Damage” (University of Nebraska) by Aria Aber won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in poetry. Leaping from the personal to the political, an Afghani family history comes alive as a poet explores the historical and personal implication of Afghan American relatives in an urgent, lyrical language.
“I Love You So Mochi” (Scholastic) by Sarah Kuhn. When a young girl gets into an explosive fight with her mother, she’s able to escape to Kyoto when her grandparents invite her to visit. When she meets a Japanese med student, she learns more than she bargained for – about her self and her complex relationships.
“Instantly Indian Cookbook – Modern Classic Recipes For The Instant Pot” (Knopf) is the latest by the godmother of Indian cookbook writers, Madhur Jaffrey. In it, she tries to make cooking Indian food in your home easier via the use of the Instant Pot. Runs the gamut with recipes, side dishes, spices, special ingredients and handy tips.
“A Song For China – How My father Wrote Yellow River Cantata” (Groundwood) by Ange Zhang. A true story of a young Chinese author who composed the words to a song that became a patriotic anthem. Illustrated by the author’s woodblock-style art with sidebars that explain the historic background to the story. Set for September, 2019.
“The Safety of Edges” (Marrowstone Press) by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma uses poetry to ponder liminal times and spaces, tracing between now and then and there, childhood and the grown poet.
“You Are My Magical Unicorn” (Cartwheel) is a colorful board book by Joyce Wan that expresses the mantra that every child needs to feel important and loved..
“My Big Bad Monster” (Disney Hyperion) by A.N. Kang. How a little girl defeats her monster of self-doubt comes alive in these colorful pages.
“Kitchen Curse” (Verso) is a book of stories by Eka Kurniawan as translated by Annie Tucker. These dark tales explore the turbulent dreams of an ex-prostitute, a perpetual student, victims of anti-Communist genocide, an elephant and a stone. An Indonesian writer hailed as a SE Asian “Marquez.”
With “The Candle And The Flame” (Scholastic) by Nafiza Azad, we enter another world and another time. Based on Islamic mythology and Arabic folklore, the author evokes a city on the Silk Road and a young woman who must be quick on her feet and alert to her senses as she navigates political intrigue and the dangers of a magical battlefield to survive. A young adult fantasy novel. The author born in Fuji is an Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian.
“The Dragon Warrior” (Bloomsbury) by Katie Zhao. This middle-grade fantasy takes a page from Chinese mythology. A young outcast embarks on a quest to prove herself and honor her family as well. Set for October, 2019 release.
“The Secrets of Noh Masks” (Kodansha) by Michshige Udaka with photography by Shuichi Yamagata. This book is written by a Noh actor who is also a mask maker. He shares his love of this unique ancient drama form with the world. The photographs make the masks come out of the darkness and become alive
“Zombie Run” (Solstice) is a novel co-written by Dwayne Perkins and Koji Steven Sakai. It explores how to survive in a Zombie world and discover love along the way.
“Hello, Universe” (Greenwillow) by Erin Entrada Kelly. This Newberry Award-winner tells the story of a few kids whose lives collide in surprising and unexpected ways that enrich each of them.
A trio of Japanese American artists have created “442” (Little Nalu Pictures), a graphic novel that recounts the experiences of those in their community who served in the combat regiment that became the most decorated unit in the history of American warfare. Written by Koji Steven Sakai and Phineas Kiyomura and illustrated by Rob Sato.
“The Factory” (ND) by Hiroko Oyamada and translated by David Boyd. A Japanese novel that looks at life in a factory from the perspective of three different characters. This surreal, modern fable dares to ask, “Where does the factory end and the rest of the world begin?” Set for October 2019 release.
“Take the Mic – Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance” (Arthur A. Levine) edited by Behany C. Morrow. A powerful collection of short pieces by some of the best young adult authors. Poems, prose and art that show how today’s youth can resist injustice today.
“Who Is Afraid of Little Wolf?” (Prestel) by author/illustrator Yayo Kawamura is a board book for little ones that stresses the importance of overcoming prejudice and the power of friendship with colorful artwork of all the animals in the forest.
“Queen of Physics – How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom” (Sterling) by Teresa Robeson and illustrated by Rebecca Huang. Overcoming prejudice and obstacles, this famous physicist went on to make a large difference in the world. Another “shero” story for the kids.
“Changing And Unchanging Things: Noguchi And Hasegawa in Post War Japan” (UC Press) edited by Dakin Hart and Mark Dean Johnson. When the artist Isamu Noguchi returns to Japan for the first time in 20 years, it is 1950. A key figure for Noguchi during this period was fellow artist Saburo Hasegawa who had lived abroad in Paris in the 1930’s and later influenced the American “Beats” about Japanese culture. Together the two artists explore traditional Japanese culture and how it can strike a balance between tradition and Western modernity. The exhibition catalog for a show at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
“What God Is Honored Here? – Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color” (Minnesota) edited by Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang. The editors are not unfamiliar with the grief of miscarriage and infant death. In the wake of their own losses, the editors attempt to find meaning and make sense of this phenomenon that doctors are unable to explain.
“The Dinner That Cooked Itself” (Flying Eye) by J. C. Hsyu and Kenard Pak. Told in the form of a folktale from ancient China, a decent man longs for a bride but remains lonely until a fairy appears bearing fragrant gifts.
“A Life in a Sea of Red – Photojournalism by Liu Heung Shing” (Steidl). This book captures half a century of documentation by this noted Chinese photographer of the changes in life in the former Soviet Union and China.
“Mya’s long Walk – A Step At A Time” (Clarion) is by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. It is the picture book companion to “A Long Walk To Water” and evokes the visceral fragility of living without access to fresh, clean water in the desert of South Sudan.
“A Team of Their Own – How An International Sisterhood Made Olympic History” (Hanover Square Press) by Seth Berkman. Before the last Winter Olympics, North and South Korea merged their women’s ice hockey teams into one. This book tells the story of a team who lost every game but made leaps as the first ever Korean team to overcome language, culture, and political barriers to write history.
“When Spring Comes to the DMZ” (Plough Publishing) by Uk-Bae Lee is a picture book for children that looks at the lush no-man’s land that lies untouched and serves as a barrier between North and South Korea through the eyes of a grandfather and his grandson.
“The Wolf of Oren-Yaro” (Orbit) by K. S.Villoso due out Feb. 2020 is a Filipino-inspired fantasy about a woman in power finding strength against all odds. A young adult fantasy novel.
New York-based poet/artist Yoko Otomo’s new book entitled “Anonymous Landscape” (Lithic Press) offers readers gem-like reflections of moving simplicity in her poems on a landscape of the mind open to beauty and the act of living.
“The Living Days” (Feminist Press) by Ananda Devi, a novel of post-9/11 London that looks at racism, aging and the perturbing nature of desire which all surface in the relationship between an older woman and a teenager who meet one day on Portobello Road.
Applications for 4Culture’s 2020 project grants in Arts, Heritage and Preservation are due March 4, 2020. For details, go to 4culture.org.
“Distinction” is the title of the 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition for photographers sponsored by Photographic Center Northwest. The juror will be esteemed photographer Kris Graves and the deadline is Jan. 31, 2020. The exhibition will run from March 26 – May 3, 2020. There is a $50 fee for the first five images and $5 each for additional images with a limit of 10 total. For more information, go to pcnw.org/submission.
Friends of Asian Art was awarded a three-year Civic Partners Grant from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. The grant will go toward producing interactive Asian arts and culture programs to senior centers and retirement communities within the greater Seattle area. For more details on this organization or to become a member, to to friendsofasianart3.com.
ARTS at King Street Station is a cultural space that celebrates the creativity of communities of color, and that reflects and foster the creativity and talents of people that continue to create the fabric of Seattle. We are seeking proposals for exhibitions, performances, workshops, lectures, readings, screenings, gatherings, events and more. All creative mediums are welcome. Apply anytime with the rolling deadline. All selected proposals will be resourced up to $25,000 depending on scale and type. Download an application. Go to Seattle.gov or type in ARTS at King Street Station.
As ethnic communities across the country face gentrification and the rapid building of high rises and hotels – non-profits, arts organizations, artists and low income residents are getting squeezed out as land values rise. One example is San Francisco’s Japantown. Bay Area musician and community activist Mark Izu is consultant for the Japantown Cultural District. He and other artists in the community are trying to maintain Japantown as a viable place for arts and culture to thrive and prosper. To this end, a call is issued for an “Arts & Culture Focus Group” set for Mon., Feb. 3, 2020 at 6pm at the JACL Building on the 1st floor. Ideas and a vision for the future is urgently needed. For details, go online at japantowntaskforce.org/japantown-cultural-district-1. To reserve a place at the meeting try https://www.facebook.com/events/28245921609250805