“Untold Passage” is a group show curated by Jacob Lawrence Gallery director Emily Zimmerman. She urged artists participating “to recover both the unwritten histories of immigrant communities and to express the unquantifiable aspects of those experiences.” The show features work by Zhi Lin (also showing at Tacoma Art Museum), Mary Ann Peters, Rodrigo Valenzuela and the collaborative duo xyx (using the poetry of Stacey Tran, Becky Nguyen, Ocean Vuong and Javier Zamora)). The gallery is on the UW Seattle campus at E. Stevens Way #132. Free. Ends August 18, 2017. Go to jacoblawrencegallery.hotglue.me for details.
Work by Kyungmin Park and Patti Warashina is included in an invitational group exhibition entitled “Bodies + Beings” on view through Sept. 2, 2017. Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art at 1210 2nd Ave. in Seattle. 206-628-9501 or email [email protected]
Gallery owner William Traver celebrates 40 years in business with a group show entitled “Celebrating 40 Years: An Anniversary Exhibition through July – 27, 2017. Jun Kaneko, Masami Koda and Jiro Yonezawa all have work in this show. 110 Union St. #200 in Seattle. 206-587-6501 or go to travergallery.com.
It’s a match made in culinary/art heaven. Artist/photographer/writer Dean Wong often hangs out at Tai Tung Restaurant in the CID. Now the restaurant has returned the favor with an ongoing presentation of his iconic photographs entitled “Made In Chinatown USA.” Sit at the counter deep into your chow mein and looks at images of the neighborhood on the wall. 655 South King St. Ongoing.
“Rhythm Formation” is the title of a new show by multi-media artist Qin Tan at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center Gallery in Tacoma. Tacoma artist Qin Tan paints abstract structures and formations that channel energy from memories and environments. 4851 South Tacoma Way. 253-383-3900.
Davidson Galleries presents “Recent Woodcuts” by Korean printmaker Lee Chul Soo is on display through July 29. The work incorporates philosophical, political and spiritual poems within the prints by one of South Korea’s most popular artists.313 Occidental Ave. S. Open Tues. – Sun. from 10am – 5:30pm. 206-624-7684 or go to www.davidsongalleries.com.
A site-specific installation by Chinese-born artist Ellen Xu entitled “Make Boring” is on view through August 5.The artist spent two weeks living and working in the gallery responding to the unique architectural aspects of the space. She describes her process “as exploring the notion of how stereotypes within a system can be redefined through the application of actions, performance and imaginative play.” On view Nov. 11 – Dec. 23 will be work by Wong Ping, an animated film artist from Hong Kong. His work has been exhibited internationally in Manchester, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Berlin and Paris. He received Perspective’s “40 Under 40” Award. Interstitial art space is at 6007 – 12th Ave. S. on the 3rd floor. Open Saturdays from 12 – 7pm.
Textiles by Mieko Mintz are on view July 22 – August 20, 2017. Mintz makes one-of-a-kind garments made of vintage sari, hand stitched kantha cloth. Pleinair Paintings by Rob Vetter and sculpture by Tomoko Suzuki is a new show that opens First Thursday, August 3 . And mark your calendars for “Hai! Japantown Festival set for Saturday, August 26 in the Japantown neighborhood. At KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson. 206-381-3000 or [email protected]. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
In “What Would Betsy Ross Do?-The New American Flag Project”, Seattle artist Margaret Chodos-Irvine invited artists, students and community members to redesign the American flag for these contemporary times. A range of artistic responses ensues. Includes the work of Erin Shigaki, Hawo Ali and many others. Spokane artist Melissa Cole shows in the North Gallery. Through July 29, 2017. Closed Mondays. Artxchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-839-0377 or [email protected].
“Target” is a new show by Aaliyah Gupta in which the artist builds upon a body of work in response to geopolitical events occuring across the globe – collaging, cutting, painting and drawing evocative imagery using duralar. Reception is August 3 from 6 – 9pm. On view through August. CORE Gallery. Wed. – Sat. from noon to 6pm. 117 Prefontaine Place S. 206-467-4444 or go to www.coregallery.org.
Japanese Swiss painter/sculptor/photographer makes her U.S. debut at James Harris Gallery Sept. 7 – Oct. 14. She left Japan in her 20’s to study in Spain and moved to Switzerland in 1979. She currently lives in Germany. Her work depicts an obscure female subject placed in a mystical landscape. She uses her work to address questions of gender, war and religion. 604 – 2nd Ave. 206-903-6220 or [email protected]
In December of last year, a painting depicting Gordon Hirabayashi’s legacy by Roger Shimomura was installed at Hirabayashi Place. The piece faces the front lobby window and will greet visitors as they enter explaining his life and legacy. 442 South Main St. in downtown Seattle.
Seattle artist Junko Yamamoto’s delicious color-popping abstract paintings are in a solo show of new work at Taste at SAM next to the Seattle Art Museum downtown through August 6 , 2017. 1300 First Ave. 206-903-5291 or go to tasteart.com.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Come Out and Play: Adventures in the Neighborhood” is a new show that opens July 15 and remains on view through Jan. 7, 2018. This KidPLACE exhibit uncovers the many ways you can play right in our neighborhood. “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity. Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon. “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show now extended until April 23, 2018 . “We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change” explores how indigenous communities are responding to the ways climate change is affecting waters and lives. Through Nov. 12, 2017. “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? opened on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am has the following events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards – July 6 features the book, “Too Many Mangos.” August 3 “Orange Peel’s Pocket” about a girl who gathers treasures from neighbors who also came to America from China. Sept. 7 is a book about a Pacific Islander brother and sister. The sister tries to teach her brother that new and different aren’t always better. Still a few openings for Summer Camp . August 7 – 11 is “Playtime: Toys and Games from Around the World” and August 14 – 18 features storytelling activities with nationally known storytellers Eth-Noh-Tec. For kids, 6 – 12 years old. Register online at wingluke.org/summercamp by July 30, 2017. “Jamfest” is The Wing’s summer music event in the ‘hood. An assortment of talent from all genres like Deems Tsutakawa, Bleachbear and more. Thurs., July 20 from 5:30 – 9pm. For tickets (which also give you access to Museum shows as well) go to wingluke.org/jamfest. On Thursday, August 3, a moving video poem by Bay Area Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Emiko Omori entitled “When Rabbit Left the Moon” will be screened throughout the day from 10:30 – 4:30pm.to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that sent Japanese immigrants and their American-born children to prison camps. Free. Presented in conjunction with “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” exhibit. On Thurs., August 17 from 5 – 7:30pm, come to the Canton Alley Party with food, music and visual art in the historic alley. Also on Sat., August 19 from 10 – 5:30pm, enjoy free admission and a Family Fun Day. Some events include dynamic storytelling duo Eth-Noh-Tec and a screening of the 1999 classic film, “Pokemon: The First Movie. The Japanese American Heritage Trail Tours take place on Sat., August 26. Walk from the Central District to the CID and Japantown and learn about the neighborhood. Free Produced with the National Park Service with HAI, Japanese Neighborhood Festival. Sat., Sept. 23 from 2 – 4pm there will be a free presentation with Japanese American former incarcerees as they reflect on their experience and how it relates to the Muslim American experience. Done in conjunction with the “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” exhibit. 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. Starting in 2017, The Wing offers a “Grilled Things And Chicken Wings Tour” (grilled, deep fried and everything in-between) July 21, 28/August 4/Sept. 1, 8 & 15 from 4:30pm – 7pm. Book your tours at winglinke.org/tours. Members get a 15% discount. More activities for teens include these – “Second Life” explores sustainability through art by working with trash and making treasured art pieces. For ages 10 – 14. “Finding Voices: Art Portfolios and More” is for teens ages 15 – 19. Learn how to create and polish up your art portfolios. 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.
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
“Infinity Mirrors” is a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades and one she is most known for. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens June 30 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. Although this show is SOLD OUT, on-site tickets will be available each day when the museum opens on a first-come, first-served basis so get in line early if you want to see this show. If you’re a museum member or planning to become a SAM member, there is good news. Member Sunday & Monday nights take place from 4 – 9pm. Just bypass the general ticketing line and visit the Membership Services Desk where you can get tickets from 3pm on for access later the same evening. If you want to visit a different day, as a member you can head straight to the Membership Services Desk again as members receive priority access every day. Also on view through Oct. 22, 2017 is “Common Pleasures: Art of Urban Life in Edo Japan.” This show highlights works from this period that celebrate the common people and their joys. Pure Amusements: Chinese Scholar Culture and Emulators” presents Chinese works ranging from prints to sculpture and furnishings to ceramics drawn from SAM’s collection that explore the life of leisure. This exhibit is ongoing. Related events for the Yayoi Kusama show include the following – “SAM Films : Infinity Flower”- Yayoi Kusama’s films and videos will be screened on July 12 at 7:30pm.There will be a 3-D Immersion Workshop led by artist Naomi Kasumi in the Gardner Center on July 15 from 11am – 2pm. On July 19, “Kitchen Sessions” allows participants to explore themes related to the exhibition with CD Forum for Arts & Ideas from 7 – 9pm. “Drop-in Studio: Infinite Reflections” is a series featuring demonstrations by local artists who will explore themes and ideas found in “Infinity Mirrors” and how it connects to their own work and processes. A great opportunity for visitors to have a hands-on art making experience. These workshops take place every Sunday from July 2 – Sept. 20 from 11am – 2pm. On July 2 & 9, Junko Yamamoto is the artist. On July 16, 23 & 30, Ellen Ziegler is the artist. On August 6, 13 & 20, Celeste Coony is the artist. On August 27 & Sept. 3 & 10, Regina Schilling is the artist. Seattle Art Museum is at 1300 First Ave. downtown. 206-654-3100.
Artists Satpreet Kahlon, Mel Carter, and Anisa Jackson have co-curated this group show entitled “Quota” which is a hypothetical thought experiment about the kinds of art that would be made if artists didn’t face the pressure to produce things that people like, works that sell and pieces that are “new” enough to seem original but familiar enough to recognize. “Seven Bodies: New Members’ Show” features the work of Ko Kirk Yamahira, Markel Uriu, Philippe Hyojung-kim and others. The work explores notions of the body in relation to themes of community and connection. Through July 30. SOIL at 112 Third Ave. S. Open Thurs. – Sun. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org for details.
“Detritus” is the title of a show of trippy, nature-inspired sketches and installations with live plants by Markel Uriu at Method Gallery August 11 – Sept. 20. The artist describes the work as “concepts in Buddhism and Wabi Sabi of impermanence, decay, and a resulting wealth of growth.” 106 Third Ave. S. 206-713-7819. Open Fri./Sat. Go to methodgallery.com for details.
Dr. Vikram ditya Prakash gives a talk on August 24 entitled “Dis(re)putable Provenances” which explores the work of Amie Siegel currently on view about French modernist furniture from its origins in Chandigarh, India and the significance of that origin and how it affects the prices and reputation. Also artist Lois Yoshida teaches classes on ink and brush painting. Her “Introduction to Ink & Brush Painting” takes place July 25 – 28 and her “Intermediate Class to Ink & Brush Painting” happens August 22 – 25. Try [email protected] Frye Art Museum at 704 Terry Ave. (206) 622-9250 or go to fryeartmuseum.org for details.
Tacoma-based artist Fumiko Kimura has a show of new work that investigates how science and art meet at the molecular level in the way sumi ink changes when it hits the surface of the washi paper. Includes 16 new experiments demonstrating this process. August 24 – Sept. 24. At the Kittredge Gallery on the campus of the University of Puget Sound. Opening reception is on Wed., Sept. 6 from 5 – 7pm. The artist will give a talk about her work in mid-September. 1500 N. Warner St. in Tacoma. Regular hours are M – F from 10am – 5pm and Saturdays from noon – 5pm. 253-879-3100.
Local installation artist Satpreet Kahlon has been selected to exhibit as part of the 2017-2018 Gallery4Culture Season. From Nov. 2 – Dec. 7, 2017, she will show a series of labor-intensive sculptures and video installations the rise in demand for “handmade” objects and how the term actively erases the labor, oppression, and high societal cost of importing mass-produced goods bade by brown hands in developing nations. Deadline for the next round of selections for shows at 4Culture is Mon., Jan. 8, 2018.
Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.
The exclusive West Coast premiere of “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor” comes to Pacific Science Center on view through Sept. 4, 2017. This one-of-a-kind exhibition is a joint project between PSC and The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It is limited to a two-city tour. These warriors tell the story of the First Emperor of China and the literal formation of the China that we know today. Also “Mysteries of China” is a new IMAX documentary film that tells the story of the warriors and how they were accidentally discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974 in Xian. This film opens on March 10, 2017. 200 Second Ave. at Seattle Center. 206-443-2001.
Congratulations to local sculptor Humaira Abid who is the cover story for the May 2017 issue of CityArts. She is profiled by Amanda Manitach within its pages. Abid is represented locally by Artxchange Gallery . Go to cityartsonline.com for details. Her one-person show opens at Bellevue Arts Museum on Sept. 22, 2017.
The 2017 Neddy Artist Award finalists include UW graduate Tuan Nguyen in the Painting category and Che Sehyun, a Korean/indigenous artist in the Open Medium category. Sehyun was a previous 2016 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient as well.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has a group show entitled “Women in Photography” on view through Oct. 1, 2017. Includes the work of Seattle photographer Megumi Arai & others. 550 Winslow Way E. 206-451-4013 or go to biartmuseum.org. Free admission. Open daily from 10am – 6pm.
“Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” opens May 13, 2017 and stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Joseph Park, Alan Lau and many others. “In Search of the Lost History of Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroads” is the title of a new exhibition by UW Professor and internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin who looks at the thousands of Chinese men who came to America to work on the railroads and mine for gold. He travelled extensively to historic sites and painted at these locations to evoke the contributions of Chinese to the history of the American west. This multi-media work on view from June 27 – Feb. 4, 2018. Poet/painter Alan Chong Lau performs with sound artist Susie Kozawa on Sat., July 29 in the Activity Room in the evening. He will read from “Water Springs From A Rock”, a poem about the massacre of Chinese workers in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Writer/Professor Shawn Wong of the UW English department has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalog and will give a talk on Chinese Americans in the early West on Wed., August 2 in a “Lunch and Learn” event. Artist Zhi Lin will lead an historic walking tour at an historic Chinese American site on September 21 with the Tacoma Historical Society on this Free Third Thursday event. Other Free Third Thursday events include a Q & A and art-making with Zhi Lin on Nov. 16 and a community panel on immigration and exclusion on Feb. 15, 2018. Sat., July 29 is TAM Members’ Exhibition Celebration. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected] or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
This year’s Seattle Art Fair will take place August 3 – 6, 2017 at Century Link Field Event Center located at 1000 Occidental Ave. S. It will showcase the region as well as bringing cutting-edge contemporary art to the region with a total of 84 exhibitors representing 26 cities from 9 countries including 50 galleries from the Pacific Rim. There will be large-scale works by local and international artists and daily artist dialogues. The fair hopes to examine the many ways today’s artists engage with architecture and design, public space, and the histories and conditions of social activism. Go to http://seattleartfair.com/ for details.
Saint Martin’s Gala International 2017 takes place on Sat., Nov. 4, 2017 at Saint Martin’s University in Lacy, Washington. A black-tie gourmet affair with a live auction benefiting student scholarships. This year’s theme is China and will feature award-winning chef Ming Tsai. Reserve your table at www.stmartin.edu/Ming or call 360-438-4366.
The Bellingham National 2017 Juried Art Exhibition selected by Seattle Art Museum Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Catherine Manchanda is on view through Sept. 10, 2017. It includes paintings, sculpture, photographs & other media by 28 artists from across the country. Lightcatcher Building at 250 Flora St.. 360-650-3900 or whatcommuseum.org.
Western Gallery has on view through August 12, 2017 a group show entitled “Pointing”, an exhibition that explores the place of pointing in contemporary art. Includes the work of Isamu Noguchi. At Western Washington University in Bellingham at 516 High St. in the Fine Arts Building F1-116. 360-650-3900 or go to westerngallery.wwu.edu.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents “American Obon: Dancing in Joy And Remembrance” is on view July 29 – Oct. 15, 2017. The Rev. Yoshio Iwanaga introduced this traition to many Nikkei communities along the West Coast in the 1930s and this multi-media exhibit celebrates his pioneering activities.121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
Portland Japanese Garden collaborates with architect Kengo Kuma on the launch of a major expansion opening April 2, 2017. The Cultural Village expansion provides additional space and will enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture. Three new Japanese gardens will be added as part of this. The garden will host major art exhibitions this year with related lectures, demonstrations and activities. “KABUKI: A Revolution in Color and Design” looks at Japan’s most flamboyant performance art through elaborate kimonos and is on view from July 29 – Sept. 3. “Mirrors of the Mind: The Noh Masks of Otsuki Koukun” is a display of hand-carved masks by a master artisan and elegant brocade costumes from the traditional silk looms of Orinasu-kan in Kyoto set for fall. Also in development is the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts & Culture which will offer classes in traditional garden arts such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. This opens to the public in 2018. For more information, go to japanesegarden.com.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents “Mirror With Memory”, a photo history of the Japanese Canadian community mirrored through the creative lens of the Hayashi/Kitamura/Matsubuchi Photo Studio which operated in Cumberland BC from 1912 – 1942. The images of people in the community speak to the vital contributions of Japanese Canadians to British Columbia’s social fabric. The exhibit is shown in a year which marks the 75th anniversary of the uprooting and exile of over 22,000 Japanese Canadians from the coast of this province. The exhibit is on view through Sept. 4, 2017. “with wings like clouds hung from the sky” is an exhibit by Karen Tam on view through Sept. 4, 2017. An artist named Lee Nam was a Chinese immigrant to British Columbia at the turn of the 20th century. He is known solely through the journals of noted Canadian painter Emily Carr. Montreal-based artist Karen Tam draws on archival research to speculate on the artistic influence and exchange between Carr and Nam. Tam re-imagines Lee Nam’s painting studio in Victoria’s Chinatown to evoke the presence of this unknown artist. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, BC Canada. 1-250-384-4171.
On December 7, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, launching America into war. In Canada, this action resulted in the confiscation of nearly 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats by Canadian officials on the British Columbia coast, which were eventually sold off to canneries and other non-Japanese fishermen. The exhibition entitled “The Lost Fleet” looks at the world of Japanese Canadian fishermen in BC and how deep-seated racism played a major part in the seizure, and sale, of Japanese Canadian property and the internment of an entire people. Curator Duncan MacLeod states that “the history of Japanese Canadian fishermen is inextricably linked to the history of Vancouver. The city was a gateway in the Pacific for all immigrants looking to forge a brighter future for themselves.” The exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese Canadian built fishing vessels in its collection, made by model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. These models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. On view through March 25, 2018. Vancouver Maritime Museum at 1905 Ogden Avenue in Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC Canada. Open Tues. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm and Sundays from noon – 5pm. Also open late on Thursday nights until 8pm. Go to https://www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/exhibit/lost-fleet-exhibition for more details.
The UBC Museum of Anthropology presents the following – On view until Oct. 9, 2017 is “Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia”, a survey of writing throughout Asia over a span of different time periods. Curated by Fuyubi Nakamura who describes the show “as the powerful duality that emerges when the written word becomes a medium or canvas.” 6393 NW Marine Dr. in Vancouver BC. 604-822-5087 or moa.ubc.ca.
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum presents the Chinese Canadian Artists Federation’s annual collective exhibition from August 6 – 13, 2017. 555 Columbia St. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
Vancouver Art Gallery’s new public artwork by Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah will be shown at two locations through Oct. 15, 2017. These large scale compositions transform English texts to form intricate floral and animal patterns. The words are from discriminatory language that appeared in Vancouver during the 1887 anti-Chinese riots, the mid-1980’s immigration influx from Hong Kong and most recently, the heated exchanges around the foreign buyers and the local housing market. “Onsite/Offsite:Tsang Kin-Wah will be placed in the heart of downtown Vancouver at 1100 W. Georgia St. as well as on the Howe Street façade of the Gallery itself. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
On view through Sept. 3, 2017 is “Kimono Culture” guest-curated by Hitomi Harama which illuminates the philosophy of kimono, the art of kimono, and the environmental aspects of kimono. An ongoing exhibit is “Taiken: Japanese Canadians Since 1877” which shows the hardships of pioneers through photographs and artifacts. Nikkei National Museum. 6688 Southoaks Cres in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – Opening June 23, 2017 is “Flower Power”, a group show that uncovers the hidden meanings of flowers in Asian Art. “The Sculptural Turn – Japanese Ceramics From The Kempner And Stein Collection” remains on view through Nov. 26, 2017. This group show showcases the work of fourteen Japanese clay artists who studied in universities or came to ceramics after exploring other fields. This show is significant for showing work by artists who did not come from the traditional master/student relationship but also for featuring work by women in a field usually dominated by men. “A Journey Into The Great Unknown” is on view through Oct. 29, 2017 and includes a collaboration between two Pakistani American women. Visual artist Shahzia Sikander works with playwright Ayad Akhtar. Sikander’s etchings compliment Akhtar’s colophons that explore the theme of Mi’raj, the mystical night journey of the Prophet Mohammad. On going are two installations. In front of the museum is “Dragon Fortune” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi which meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design and pop art kids cartoons. In the lobby is “Collected Letters” by Liu Jianhua, a cutting edge installation of porcelain letters and fragments of Chinese characters suspended in mid-air. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
“Noguchi’s Playscapes” is an exhibition that gathers his designs for several playgrounds, stand-alone play structures and other works that, while serious in subject, employ playful elements to engage the viewer. July 15 – Nov. 26, 2017. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) at 151 Third St. Go to [email protected] or call 415-357-4000.
“Polished to Perfection: Japanese Cloisonne – From the Collection of Donald K. Gerber & Sueann E. Sherry” on view through Feb. 4, 2018. A group show of “Chinese Snuff Bottles from Southern California Collectors” on view through Oct. 1, 2017. LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The San Diego Museum of Art has a new exhibition running through August 13, 2017 that showcases the work of important Japanese artists from the museum collection for the first time. “Modern Japan: Prints from the Taisho Era (1912 – 26) and Beyond” highlights Shinhanga (New Prints) and Sosaku Hanga (Creative Prints). These prints document the Japanese response to the political & cultural transformation during the 1900s-1960s, themes include modernity, scenic tranquility and Japanese romantic fantasy.1450 El Prado in Balboa Park. 619-232-7931.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows – On view until August 20, 2017 will be “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” which looks at the life and career of Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu. 100 N. Central Ave. 213-625-0414 or go to www.janm.org/
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has the following exhibits – “Unexpected Light – Works by Young Il Ahn” which marks the first show given to a Korean American artist here on view through July 22, 2017. “Chinese Ceramics from L.A. County” on view until July 22, 2017. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6000 or try [email protected].
Denver Art Museum is planning a major exhibition from their collection entitled “Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion” which will look at cross-regional and cross-cultural influences in Asian art. The works come from over 20 countries and spans 2,000 years. The show opens Dec. 17, 2017 and remains on view through April 1, 2018. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. Call 720-865-5000 or go to www.deverartmuseum.org.
Yoko Ono installation entitled “Four Works for Washington and the World” on view through Sept. 17, 2017. A new Ai Weiwei project which includes a large-scale lego installation “TRACE” originally commissioned in 2014 for a project on Alcatraz Island includes 176 portraits of individuals the artist considers activists, prisoners of conscience or advocates of free speech and a 700-foot graphic work entitled “The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama But Is Really An Alpaca.” Opens June 28 at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC. Open daily except for Christmas from 10am – 5:30pm. National Mall at the corner of 7th St. SW & Independence Ave. 202-633-1000 or go to [email protected]
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents “Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in The Diaspora” which includes the work of nineteen contemporary artists who come from all over the world where ever South Asians have migrated to. All artists currently reside in the U.S. Remains on view through August 6, 2017.725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
“Comme des Garcons – Art of the In-Between” looks at the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo with approximately 150 examples of her work from the 1980s to her more recent designs. Through Sept. 4, 2017. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1000 Fifth Ave. in New York City. 1-800-662-3397 or go to www.metmuseum.org.
“Ian Cheng: Emissaries” looks at the complete series of video installations presented sequentially in three parts by this young artist through Sept. 25, 2017. MoMA PS1 on Long Island City, New York. 22-25 Jackson Ave. Hours are Th. – Mon. from noon – 6pm. 718-784-2084 or [email protected]
Anna Sui became the first living American fashion designer to be the focus of a retrospective when an exhibition of her work opened in May at London’s Fashion & Textile Museum. This Chinese American designer from Detroit came to the fore in the 1990’s with her “grunge” collection. Her signature style always combines a clash of references from various eras, such as vintage, glamour and cutting edge. The exhibition remains on view through October, 2017.
“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” is the title of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s latest project which will build over 100 fences around New York City. Inspired by the international migration crisis and political turmoil facing the US government’s policy on immigration. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund.
“Self-Interned, 1942” tells the story of American artist Isamu Noguchi who voluntarily went to Poston War Relocation Center where Japanese Americans were interned during WW II with the idea to improve conditions with art and design. He made small pieces of driftwood sculpture. His efforts came to naught and he petitioned to be released. His time spent here however may have proven to be a catalyst for future work. On view through January 7, 2018. Noguchi Museum in New York. 718-204-7088 or go to nogiuchi.org for details.
“The World Is Sound” is an intriguing exhibit curated by Risha Lee to absorb art not only with the eyes but the ears. Music washes over the viewer on the staircase up to the sixth floor. Contemporary audio and visual installations also add to fill up the sound next to objects from the Tibetan collection. Through January 8, 2018. Rubin Museum of Art in New York. 150 West 17th St. 212-620-5000 or email [email protected]
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the city of Philadelphia plans a year long series of public art installation as activities. The celebration will include an outdoor installation by artist Cai Guo-Qiang Sept. 14 – Oct. 8. The artist plans to light up the Parkway with “Fireflies” which will consist of twenty-seven luminous kinetic sculptures in the form of free pedicabs that will move through the area. Participants can experience the Parkway by riding inside the sculptures as passengers. Qiang has previously done work in the city back in December of 2009 with his “Fallen Blossoms” explosion project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fabric Workshop.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “Batik Textiles of Java” explores the richly patterned wax-resist textiles known as batiks, their flourishing in the Indonesian island of Java, and their inspirations and functions. On view through Sept. 17, 2017. “The Foundation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago: Frank Lloyd Wright And the Prairie School” is comprised of Japanese prints purchased from Wright plus photos of the 1908 exhibition that Wright designed for the Art Institute and drawings by the Prairie School members. On view through July 23, 2017.111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
An Te Liu has recycled materials such as t-shirts, air purifiers and sponges in his past work. In his current show entitled “Transmission” he recasts the plastic foam packaging designed to cushion electronics and other goods into sleek, elegant sculpture. Was on view at Anat Ebgi Gallery in early July. Go to www.anatebgi.com for details. Excerpted from the Los Angeles Times.
Architectural firm XL-Muse in their interior design for a branch of the Chinese bookstore chain Zhongshuge in Hangzhou have created a wormhole space lined with shelves of books. Excerpted from Melville House.
Filipino American, New York-based interactive installation/sculpture artist Risa Puno is the cover story for the June/July 2017 American Craft magazine’s special feature issue on “Public Art.”
Dr. Timothy Hsia and his brother Stephen have designed a two dollar coin which depicts the Northern Lights. It glows in the dark and was chosen by the Canadian Public as part of a national contest. The Royal Canadian Mint announced this coin and other special commemorative ones to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Confederation.
American artist Sandeep Mukherjee received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has a new feature called “Send Me” which allows anyone to text a request to see something from their vast collection at any time. Give a topic and text 572-51 and you will receive a picture of art in return. Try ‘Send Me SFMOMA.” When you text the # with the words “send me” followed by a key word, a color or even an emoji, you’ll receive a related artwork/image and caption via text message. Go to sfmoma.org for details.
The Paris-based museum, the Centre Pompidou will open an off-shoot branch in Shanghai with more than 20 exhibitions drawn from the holdings of the Beaubourg Gallery due to be shown in the spaced called Le Centre Pompidou Shanghai. It will occupy a wing of the New West Bund Art Museum designed by UK architect David Chipperfield. The Pompidou satellite opens in early 2019. Excerpted from The Art Newspaper.
Former Seattle resident Sachie, originally from Sendai, Japan brings her show “Fish Saw – A Multimedia Journey Into The Heart Of The Tsunami” and a U.S. premiere to Theatre Off Jackson July 29 at 8pm & July 30 at 2pm. She co-wrote, composed and stars in this performance piece that looks at the Tsunami and nuclear disaster that directly affected her mother in her hometown. Co-written and directed by George Lewis with animation by Sandra Lia Lurcovich. Go to www.fishsaw.com for details. 409 – 7th Ave. S. in the CID. Tickets at http://fishsaw.brownpapertickets.com/ . Good for ages 8 and up.
“From Hiroshima To Hope” is the annual commemoration at Seattle’s Green Lake to honor the atomic bombing victims of Hiroshima & Nagasaki and all other victims of war and violence. Program includes speakers, music and a lantern-floating ceremony at night’s end starting at 8:30pm. Includes Portland artist Yukiyo Kawano’s fabric sculpture “Little Boy” modeled after the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Sunday, August 6 from 6 – 9pm. Go to fromhiroshimatohope.org. Free.206-453-4471.
The Kitsap Forest Theater presents “Tarzan – The Stage Musical” with music by Phil Collins and book by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang. Local Seattle actress/singer Lani Smith is in the cast. Performances on four weekends at 2pm. Dates are July 29,30, August 5,6,12, 13, 19 & 20. The theatre is a 15 minute drive from the Bremerton Ferry dock. For tickets, call 206-521-6001 or go to forestheater.com or get them at the door. 3000 Seabeck Highway in Bremerton. Go to www.ForestTheater.com for details.
An all people of color burlesque revue hosted by Ms. Briq House entitled “The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq” takes place on August 13 at 7pm. Theatre Off Jackson. Go to www.theatreoffjackson.org for full details.
Kogut Butoh presents “Wandering & Wondering”, a yearly event that brings members of the Seattle Butoh dance community to interact with gardens around the region. On July 23 look for DAIPANbutoh to do live performances in area gardens throughout the summer accompanied by a soundscape of percussion, woodwinds and strings. Find them at Kubota Garden from 12 – 3pm at 9817 55th Ave. S. On August 3 from 4 – 7pm at Seattle Japanese Garden at 105 Lake Washington Blvd. E. Finally on August 26, catch them at Bellevue Botanical Garden from 1 – 2pm. 12001 Main St. in Bellevue.
July 20 brings the second annual JamFest with live music, cabaret and burlesque, art and food. $8 at the Wing. 5:30pm.
NHK World TV’s food personality & chef Rika Yukimasa appears at this year’s “Groupon Bite of Seattle” July 21-23, 2017. Yukimasa is co-host of “Dining with the Chef” on NHK World TV. She will demonstrate original Japanese recipes and talk about Japanese food culture. NHK World TV will have a booth at “The Bite” which will be located in the Fountain Lawn area at the Seattle Center at 305 Harrison St. While visiting Seattle, Yukimasa will teach a Friday, July 21 class at noon with booksigning at the “Hot Stove Society”, a year-round cooking school owned and operated by Tom Douglas Restaurant/Group located at Hotel Andra at 2000 4th Avenue. Three Japanese dishes will be prepared and sampled by the class which will be limited to 40 participants. She will also provide a demonstration of Chirashi Sushi and Deep-fried Oysters with Panko at 5pm on Sat., July 22 at “The Bite Cooks/stage.” You can catch her on TV on “Dining with the Chef” on NHK World TV, Japan’s 24-hour, English-language television news and lifestyle network available locally on channel 28.2 and 15.2 and on Comcast channel 115. For more information, call Tamara Wilson at 206-409-6735.
The annual Seattle Dragon Boat Festival takes place on July 29 at South Lake Union Park at 8:15pm. Free. To the beat of drums, the boats will race to the finish line. Music on the World Beat Stage with crafts workshops and food as well.
The internationally beloved classic Puccini opera “Madame Butterfly” like Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado” has come into criticism these days for racist stereotypes. Seattle Opera’s rendition of the brief romance between an American and the geisha he leaves behind comes with educational opportunities for dialogue on this complex subject. There will be an exhibit in the lobby about the trials of American imperialism in Asian countries. Another forum is “Asian American Partners Inspire New Understanding of Madame Butterfly” August 5 – 19 at 9am and 3pm. Performances August 5,6,9,12,13, 16, 18 &19, 2017. Evenings at 7:30pm Sundays at 2pm. In Italian with English subtitles. 206-389-7676 or go to seattleopera.org/butterfly. If you are under 40, snag a half-off discount by going to seattleopera.org/under40. 321 Mercer St. Seattle Opera also brings a return appearance of “An American Dream” to Washington Hall September 7 – 17 at Washington Hall. This community-based chamber opera played to sold-out audiences in 2015. It is inspired by true stories from our region’s history and set during WW II, this opera explores the lives of two Puget Sound women: a Japanese American forced to leave her home and a German Jewish immigrant preoccupied by those who left behind. Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. If you use the promo code DREAMPRESALE and get your tickets early, you may be eligible for a community discount. Go to seattleopera.org/americandream or call 206-389-7676. Washington Hall is located at 153 – 14th Ave. There will be several post-show discussion panels after some performances. More information is available at seattleopera.org/americandream
Composer/percussionist Paul Kikuchi participates in an end-of-summer series of musical improvisations/meditation hosted by Seattle French horn player/composer Tom Varner on Tuesday, August 31 at 8pm. Wayward Music Series at the Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center on the 4th floor at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. in Wallingford. Go to [email protected] for details.
For a few years now, actress/playwright/performance artist Sara Porkalob has been cracking people up with her piece based on her eccentric family with a myriad of characters in “Dragon Lady.” Now she presents her most comprehensive version ever in an Intiman Theatre production directed by Andrew Russell. This version is a musical with a live band. In it, Porkalob portrays multiple family members from three generations in a plot that includes gangsters, murders and hilarity. Set to be on stage at the Jones Playhouse at the University of Washington from Sept. 5 – Oct. 1, 2017. Go to http://www.intiman.org/dragon-lady/ or email [email protected] for details.
August 3 is the Bamboo Circle Celebration at 6:30pm at the Seattle Chinese Garden. Go to seattlechinesegarden.org for details.
APCC’s 20th Annual Polynesian Luau takes place August 12 from 1 – 4pm. Featuring dances from all the South Pacific islands, live music from Kanoelaui Galiza Halau, delicious food & deserts from the islands and cultural booths. 4851 S. Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900.
On August 12, Seattle Center Festal presents Iranian Festival with food, arts & crafts and performing arts of that ancient culture. Seattle Center Armory. Free. Go to iaca-seattle.org for details.
August 26-27 Seattle Center Festal presents the annual Tibet Fest at Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Rooftop. Free. Help make a sand mandala, learn about herbal medicine. Also food and music and cultural arts & crafts displays from this vibrant culture. Go to washingtontibet.org for details.
Luise Greger Women in Music Celebration 2017 is a chance to hear women performers playing the music of women composers. Takes place Aug. 25 at 7pm at Noorlag Salon in Oak Harbor, Aug. 26 at 7pm at Henny Home in Langley and Aug. 27 at 2pm at Ballard Homestead in Seattle. Soprano Fumi Tagata performs with other musicians. Go to www.islandconsort.org or call 360-320-2362 for details.
ACT Theatre presents a 3rd major reading of ACT’s forthcoming world premiere of “Tale of Heike” on July 30 at 1:30pm. ACT Theatre at 700 Union St. in downtown Seattle. Go to acttheatre.org/heike for details.Seattle stopover at Showbox SoDo on August 18, 2017 at 8pm. For tickets, go to www.showboxpresents.com/events/detail/336483
Seattle Symphony and Conductor Ludovic Morlot have issued the schedule for their 2017-2018 season. Some highlights include the following – “Celebrate Asia” this time around is conducted by DaYe Lin with sitar player Nishat Khan and Seattle erhu virtuoso Warren Chang. Kazuki Yamada will make a Seattle debut as guest conductor. A two-concert festival of Prokofiev features rising star pianists Nathan Lee, Charlie Albright and Conrad Tao with violinists Sophie Lee & William Hagen. Subscription packages available now and single tickets on sale August 5, 2017. Go to www.seattlesymphony.org for details.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has released their 2017/2018 schedule. Some of the many highlights include the following – The popular return of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Of Taiwan led by founder Lin Hwai Min with a new work entitled “Formosa – (beautiful island)” which uses gesture, script, song and other elements from the landscape and history of his native Taiwan. Thurs. – Sat. on March 22 – 24, 2018 at 8pm. The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin in the lead violin chair performs on Thurs., Nov. 9 2017 at 7:30pm. Calidore String Quartet with David Finckel and Wu Han perform on Tues., April 24 , 2018 at 7:30pm. “Feathers Of Fire – A Persian Epic” updates the classic shadow play traditions of Asia & the Near East with cinematic “live animation” shadow-casting actors and puppets along with projected imagery in the magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th century Persian epic “Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)” set for Wed., March 14, 2018 at 8pm. With an original score by Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. All concerts at Meany Center located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Series tickets on sale now. Single tickets go on sale on August 1, 2017. You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.
Exciting news for lovers of world music and classic Indian percussion. Noted Indian tabla master/composer Zakir Hussain will be the the “Visiting Artist” for the UW Ethnomusicology program this year and will appear in concert on campus on Nov. 19, 2017.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details.
The fusion jazz pianist Keiko Matsui from Japan plays Jazz Alley with her trio on August 10 – 13. 7:30pm nightly. Get your tickets early as this marks her 30th anniversary as a recording artist. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
Sara Porkalob will also star in “Howl’s Moving Castle: A New Musical by Diana Wynne Jones” set for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s 2017-2018 season set for Nov. 29 – Dec. 30, 2017. It will be adapted and directed by Myra Platt. Many will be familiar with Studio Ghibli’s film adaptation of this story originally written by Jones.
“Persuasion” is a new musical based on Jane Austen’s novel. Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Harold Taw wrote the book and Chris Jeffries supplied the music & lyrics. It had a staged reading at The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Next Fest Festival of New Work and a workshop reading at Texas Musical Theatre Workshop. It will have its world premiere at Taproot Theatre through August 19. 204 N. 85th St. in Seattle. 206-781-9707.
Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.
Playwright Laureen Yee has a Seattle World Premiere of her play “The Great Leap” set for March 23 – April 22, 2018 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The company shares this world premiere with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. The plot revolves around Beijing University basketball coach Wen Chang and Manford, a young rough-around-the edges basketball talent from San Francisco’s Chinatown and how their worlds intersect. At the Leo K. Theatre. 155 Mercer St. Box Office # is 206-443-2222.
The Yoshida Group presents the 8th Annual Natsu Matsuri and Northwest Koi & Goldfish Club Show & Auction July 29 – 30, 2017. Sat. from 11-6pm and Sun. from 11-4pm. Includes food, live entertainment, magic, kids games and a Sapporo Beer Garden. There will also be an “International Oregon Taiko Challenge” which will raise funds for music and Japanese drums for Oregon’s private & public schools. Returning from Japan as featured performer will be contemporary shamisen player Masaru Yamakage. At Uwajimaya Plaza in Beaverton. 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton, Oregon. 503-481-8110.
Third Angle New Music presents a series entitled “Japanese Music Now” at 7:30pm on Tuesday – Sept. 19, Wed. – Sept 20 and Thurs. – Sept. 21. Explore the peace of the Portland Japanese Garden while you listen to contemporary Japanese music performed by musicians throughout the landscape. The world premiere of a newly commissioned work by composer Dai Fujikura highlights an assortment of compositions by Toshi Ichiyanagi, Sato Kosugi and Komiji Sakai. 611 SW Kingston. Single tickets go on sale Aiugust 1, 2017. Go to app.arts-people.com or email [email protected] for more information.
“Allegiance”, the Broadway musical inspired by actor George Takei’s childhood in internment camp during WWII will come to Los Angeles Feb. 21 – April 1, 2018 with previews from Feb. 21 – 25. East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will co-sponsor the production set for the JACCC’s Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. No word yet on whether the production will include the original cast but George Takei will reprise his role. For updates, visit East West Players website.
The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in New York has announced highlights of their performing arts series for the coming year created to complement a full range of exhibitions held at all three New York locations. Choreographer Eiko Otake premieres three new pieces, one each at unexpected spaces at each location. Shanghai Peking Opera will perform the New York premiere of “Farewell My Concubine with “First Lady of Chinese Opera, Shi Yihong. Visual/sound artist Ryoji Ikeda creates “supercodex” which melds techno sound and multimedia art. Baritone Brian Vu is part of the cast that performs in a New York premiere of “Odyssey- A Youth Opera.” Yotam Ottolenthi teams up with fellow chef/author Madhur Jaffrey for a “Feast of India” and Carnatic vocalist Abhishek Raghuray performs as part of the activities around the exhibition “Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs.” “Immigration/Migration is a concert inspired by the immigrant experience and includes work by Chinese American composer Bright Sheng. The Aizuri Quartet will be the “2017-18 Quartet in Residence” performing at various venues. Members include Miho Saegusa, Ariana Kim, Ayane Kozasa and Karen Ouzounian. A concert celebrating “Thelonious Monk at 100” with a host of ethnic musicians interpreting or inspired by his work includes Min Xiao-Fen performing “Blue Pipa.” For details, email [email protected] or go to www.metmuseum.org/press/news/2017/metlivearts-2017-season.
The Fresno Philharmonic has made Rei Hotoda their unanimous choice to be their next musical director. She was selected following a six-month audition process and will be the first woman to hold that position in the orchestra’s 63-year old history. Previously Hotoda has been associate conductor at the Utah Symphony and before that held positions at the Dallas and Winnipeg Symphonies. She plans to put more contemporary work into the orchestra’s classical repertory and has some interesting ideas for getting the music into the community such as having members playing some Beethoven in a bar.
Congratulations to Kanako Kawabe of Hanford High School who won “Outstanding Performance” by an actor or actress in a non-singing role in the 15th Annual 5th Avenue Awards: Honoring High School Musical Theatre which was held at the 5th Avenue Theatre on June 12, 2017.
Seattle trumpeter Cuong Vu and Jazz Studies instructor at UW has released a new recording recorded live on the Seattle UW campus. Entitled “Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs” (Rarenoise) by the Cuong Vu 4tet, the recording features special guest, guitarist Bill Frisell. The music was performed as part of a larger orchestral two-night set of shows on campus. Frisell studied with the composer early in his career.
Celebrated cellist Yo Yo Ma has been a creative consultant at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for seven years, coming to the city several times a year. He has collaborated and performed with musicians from the CSO, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and with students at music schools. Ma loves the city and says “I care about how people talk about Chicago in other cities, countries, states. We don’t want people to think of Chicago as a place that’s dangerous.” Ma’s continuing presence has increased the importance of arts in the city. Excerpted from Crain’s Chicago Business.
Prosecutors in Seoul have dropped alleged embezzlement charges against Myun Whun Chung, former music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Under his leadership, he brought the Orchestra to world prominence. The investigation was brought forth by a former chief executive of the orchestra The dropping of the case may be connected to a recent regime change in South Korea. Meanwhile, Chung is now planning to start a new orchestra in the country for younger musicians aged 19 – 28. In addition Chung is forming a One Korea Orchestra in the hope that musicians from the North will be allowed to join. Concerts are planned in Seoul in August. Excerpted from Slipped Disc.
K-Pop super star G-Dragon has embarked on a world tour which he kicked off in Seattle in July. His work blends hip hop with EDM, R&B and pop.
Classical pianist George Li has been awarded the Arthur Waser Foderpreis 2017 which nets him a cash prize and a debut with the Lucerne Symphony. Excerpted from Slipped Disc.
Some things are slow to change. The popular TV series “Hawaii Five-O” will enter a new season without the presence of actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park who play two of the major characters. They were working for a salary 10 to 15 percent less than that which was being paid the two white stars and a new contract deal could not be reached.
“The Plain of Jars” is a new chamber opera by Keith Patchel inspired by Fred Branfman’s “Voices from The Plain of Jars.” The opera opens at New York University’s Impact Festival with Xi Yang as Gaia And Clara Francesca as Manipulate CIA Agent. From 1964 to 1969 the U.S. military dropped more than two million tons of munitions over the Laotian Plain of Jars. To this day, land mines planted in Laos are a present danger to civilian lives. The score is a collage of synthesizer, keyboard and computer samples, many of them taken from local ethnic and tribal music. The press release states, “It recalls the story of limitless American ambition to create a war for the sake of war.” “The Plain of Jars” had performances July 27, 28 & 29 at NYU’s Blackbox Theatre. Excerpted from Arts Journal.
California-based jazz drummer Akira Tana and his group Otonowa have released a second benefit album entitled “Stars Across The Ocean” (Sons of Sound) for the communities struck by the 2011 Great Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. The group toured the area hit hardest by the disaster and played for local citizens earlier. For details, go to sonofsound.com.
When American dance instructor Yehuda Maor was teaching in India, he saw a young Indian doing cartwheels and backflips in a contemporary dance program for underprivileged students. Impressed, the teacher brought the boy, Amirudden Shah and another young dancer, Mamish Chauhan to study briefly in the U.S. Shah is trying to raise funds to again return for training at the American Ballet Theatre in New York. One day he hopes to be a principal dancer in the New York Ballet. His dream? “I want to teach other children who cannot afford to pay for dance.” Excerpted from Associated Press.
Film & Media
Locally, there will be an event on Tuesday, August 1 at 4pm at 20 Degrees to celebrate the release of the Netflix documentary series entitled :Daughters of Destiny: The Story of Shanti Bavan.” The show depicts how the model of Shanti Bhavan empowers five young women to break the cycle of poverty. After a happy hour kick-off, a screening of the first episode will be shown followed by a Q&A with Ajit George, Director of Operations at Shanti Bhavan. To RSVP, email [email protected].
The folks at SIFF continue their trail-blazing schedule of new and provocative films with the following. “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” is prize-winning documentary filmmaker Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) latest project. It is the incredible saga about the only company to be criminally indicted in the aftermath of the 2008 US mortgage crisis. It concerns the case of a Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings in New York’s Chinatown. It details the systematic targeting of a marginalized immigrant community by an establishment desperate to protect the status quo. Screens July 21 – 27 at
SIFF Cinema Uptown. At the SIFF Film Center is the following. August 14 brings the animated feature, “Fairy Tale: Dragon Cry” directed by Tatsuma Minamikawa based on the popular manga by Hiro Mashima. Various groups vie for a magic artifact with enough power to destroy the world. A new print of the classic “Taipei Story” by the late Edward Yang, one of the important directors of Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema gets a rare screening from August 19 – 20. Before returning to Taiwan to began his film career, Yang studied locally at UW. Go to siff.org for details.
The Northwest Film Forum continues its adventuresome programming as a film and community center for Capitol Hill with the following events. July 23 starting at noon is a program entitled “Hunger Strikes: A Call to End Immigrant Detention.” This is a free event presented with the Northwest Detention Center Resistance. There will be the screening of a short documentary and discussion o the hunger strikes to protest human rights abuses a the Center in Tacoma. RSVP for this event. “The 3rd Annual Global Islamophobia Awareness Day” is a free event and dinner on July 29. Workshop topics include women’s rights in Islam and Islam’s stance on terror and more. 3 – 6pm. RSVP for this event. A new 4k print of Kenji Mizoguchi’s classic “Ugetsu” screens August 4 – 6. Taken from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, the fine line between dreams and reality are blurred until neither seems real anymore. “The Woman Who Left” is Lav Diaz’s epic story of reveng deferred and looks at class disparity in Filipino society. A woman framed for murder gets out of prison looking for the man who framed her. Screens August 8 – 10. This film runs 3 plus hours and won the Golden Lion at the 1016 Venice Film Festival. Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa will be co-curating with NWFF, a collection of short films by NOddln, a Tokyo-based filmmakers collective set for August 18, 2017. “Harmonium” by Kenji Fukuda looks at how an old acquaintance recently released from prison inserts himself into the lives of a factory worker and his supposedly normal family wrecking havoc along the way. A Cannes Award-winner staring Tadanobu Asano as the human monkey wrench. Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206 – 329 – 2629.
“Pop Aye” is a film by Kirsten Tan and is a co-production of Thailand & Singapore. A successful Bangkok architect in a mid-life crisis is reunited with an elephant he knew growing up. Together they embark on a road trip to the man’s childhood home in the countryside. Along the way as the bond between man and animal deepens, they meet an unusual cast of characters. A hit at the Sundance and Rotterdam Film Festivals. “Pop Aye” screens August 11 – 17 at Grand Illusion Cinema in the University District. 1403 N.E. 50th St. 206-523-3935.
Fanthom Events and GKIDS continue their monthly series of anime classics with screenings of “Kiki’s Delivery Service” by Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli. Screens on Sunday, July 22 (dubbed) and Mon., July 24 (subtitled) in select theatres across the country. Go to www.FanthomEvents.com for details.
“Lupin The 3rd – The Castle of Cagliostro” was co-written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and made its feature film debut in 1979. It will be broadcast on Thursday, September 14 (English dubbed) and September 19 (English subtitled). Tickets can be purchased online on Friday, August 18. For full details on if it will be screened at a theatre near you, go to www.FathomEvents.com for details.
“Green Gold” is a new documentary film by John D. Liu in which he documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the benefits for people and the planet of undertaking these events globally. Available for screening online.
Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing won the 2017 EYE Art & Film Prize presented by Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum. He receives a cash prize and a show at the museum in 2018.
“Exodus to Shanghai”” is a new film that tells the story of Ho Feng-shan, a Chinese consul for Vienna, a rescuer of Jews in prewar Austria as Hitler came to power. But this may be the first Holocaust movie that is filled with martial arts action scenes. Directed by Anthony Hickox and produced by Michael Adan. Excerpted from Tablet.
Studio Ghibli which produces many award-wining animation films already has a museum in Tokyo but plans are underway now for a “Ghibli Park” with an opening date set for 2020. Attractions will be modeled after such film characters as Totoro, Laputa and Naussica. There will be a Howl’s Moving Castle and of course, there will be a Cat Bus monorail to take visitors around the park.
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. Local poets Jane Wong and Shankar Narayan & others join Seattle writer Anastacia-Renee to celebrate the publication of her new books on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 7pm. Local fiction writer Richard Chien reads from “You Private Person” (Scrambler Books) as part of a reading with novelist Robert Lopez and local writer friends Samuel Ligor and Stacey Levine. Tues., July 27 at 7pm. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
The Seattle poetry landmark bookstore Open Books continues to shine and prosper under new owner Billie Swift. Besides being one of the few bookstores in the country to stock poetry and nothing but poetry, they have a hot line-up of readings year around as well. August 31 brings noted poet Hoa Nguyen reading at 7pm. Sept. 26 brings new-to-Seattle poet Ryo Yamaguchi who reads from “The Refusal of Suitors” (Noemi Press) and Mark Tardi from Poland where he reaches at the University of Lodz. He has translated contemporary Polish poetry. He is the author of “The Circus of Trust” and other books. All readings at 7pm. 2414 N. 45th St. in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. 206-633-0811.
“Race, Identity and Culture in the Pacific Northwest” is an ongoing series of talks at the Seattle Central Library. On August 10 the theme will be the value of ethnic festivals and the strengthening of communities. 7pm. Free. 1000 4th Ave. 206-386-4636.
Hugo House plans “Scribes Summer Writing Camps for Teens” between July 10 – August 18 at MoPOP, Mohai and Henry Art Gallery. Instructors include Roberto Ascalon, Michelle Penaloza, Jane Wong and many others. To sign up or ask questions, email or call Jiuliann Petkov at [email protected] or call 206-322-7030. For general information, try 206-453-1937. Hugo House is at 1021 Columbia St. in Seattle.
The superb local husband & wife translating team of Bruce and Ju-chan Fulton present a new translation of Ch’ae Manshik. They talk about and read from “Sunset – A Ch’ae Manshik Reader” (Columbia) on August 21 at 8pm. This is a wonderful introduction to the selected talents of a satiric writer who was one of the major voices of modern Korean literature. Montlake Library at 2401 – 24th E. 206-684-4720.
Seattle poet E. J. Koh’s debut collection won the 2016 Pleiades Press Editor’s Prize. Entitled “A Lesser Love” (Pleiades Press), there will be a book launch party event at Hugo House on Sept. 23, 2017. Koh will read from the new book and there will be a book-signing and refreshments. 1021 Columbia St. 206-322-7030.
Former Seattle-based writer/poet Anna Maria Hong has won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Poetry Competition and her “The Glass Age” will be published. In addition, her novella will be published by Sidebrow Books. Publication dates for both will be in 2018. She will be visiting Seattle to read from her books in 2018.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling. Please contact me if anyone is interested in reviewing any of the below titles for the International Examiner. Thanks! –
“Muslim Melancholia” (Red Mountain Press) by Samina Hadi-Tabassum is a new collection of poems that deals with the passage of an Indian woman from India to the graffitied streets of Chicago and beyond and offers a powerful witness to what it means to be a woman, a Muslim and an American.
”The Lost Kitten” (Gecko Press) by Lee & Kamako Sakai is a picture book for children about a girl who adopts a cat, only to lose it.
Bamboo Ridge – A Journal of Hawai’I Literature & Arts has been around since 1979 serving as a creative force for literary activity in the islands. Their latest issue #110 has a special artist portfolio on the installation artist Marques Hanalei Marzan. Guest-edited by Donald Carreira Ching and Misty-Lynn Sanico.
“Occident” (Called Back Books) is the debut book of poetry by Bay Area poet/editor Gillian Olivia Blythe Hamel. The poems serve as a rumination of language and the space between place & experience and incident & accident.
“Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows” (Morrow) by Balli Kaur Jaswal is a comic novel of a close-knit Punjabi community in London and the scandal that ensues when a group of proper Sikh widows taking a creative writing class discover erotica.
“The Broken Country – On Trauma, A Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam” (University of Georgia Press) by Seattle-raised author Paisley Rekdal looks at the consequences of the Vietnam War for Vietnamese, Americans and herself. A violent incident on the author’s campus serves as a springboard for examining the long-term cultural and psychological effects of the war.
TU Books is the young adult imprint of children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books. Two new titles from this imprint are the following – “Rebel Seoul” by Axie Oh looks at a post-war East Asia in 2199. When a young soldier falls in love, he begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. “Ahimsa” by Supriya Kelkar looks at the non-violent resistance movement of Gandhi in the 1940’s through the eyes of a young girl who steps into the struggle when her mother is jailed.
Indonesian writer Eka Kuriniawan who burst upon our shores with recent translations of “Beauty is a Wound” and “Man Tiger” is back with “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” (New Directions). The book is about a lower-class Javanese teenager obsessed by sex until he witnesses a savage rape that renders him impotent. The novel is peppered with fights, car chases and mysterious women.
“What We Must Remember” (Bamboo Ridge Press) is a collection of linked poems by writers in Hawai’i including Christy Passion, Ann Inoshita, Juliet S. Kono and Jean Yamasaki Toyama. The groups revisits the 1937 kidnapping and murder of Native Hawaiian prize fighter Joseph Kahahawai known as the “Massie Case”.
“The Lines We Cross” (Scholastic Press) by Randa Abdel-Fattah is a young adult novel about a teenage boy who lives with anti-immigrant parents in Australia who must confront his own moral decisions when he befriends a muslim refugee girl from Afghanistan.
“Excavating The Filipino In me” (TinFish Press) is a new chapbook of poetry by noted editor, poet and writer Eileen R. Tabios.
“Malala – Activist for Girl’s Education” (Charleston) by Raphaele Frier and illustrated by Aurelia Fronty tells the story of a young Pakistani girl who defies the Talaban to fight for girls’ rights to education.
“Windows” (Morrow) by Nadia Hashimi looks at women in an Afghan prison and the Afghan-born, American-raised layer sent to defend these women in court.
“Christianity, Social Justice and the Japanese American Incarceration During WWII” (University of North Carolina Press) by Anne M. Blankenship is one of the very few studies that captures the voices of those Christians inside the camps and how they coped. The author concludes that this period of imprisonment introduced new social and legal approaches for Christians willing to challenge the constitutionality of government policies on race and civil rights.
“Flame In The Mist” (Putnam) by Renee Ahdieh tells the tale of the only teenage daughter of a samurai father who is ambushed by bandits before they reach the palace. As a sole survivor, she sets out to infiltrate the gang but will love and a new-found respect for the bandits change her purpose?
“My Night in the Planetarium” (Triangle Square) by Innosanto Nagara tells the story of the author’s father, the radical power of art and the history of Indonesia as seen through the eyes of a child.
“Moon Princess” (Chicken House) by Barbara Laban is a mystery-adventure novel set in China about a girl whose mother who has disappeared, and the invisible animal friends who help her follow the clues.
“Memoirs of a Polar Bear” (New Directions) by Yoko Tawada as translated by Susan Benofsky tells the story of three generations of talented writers and performers who happen to be polar bears. Originally from Japan, this author has lived in Germany since her twenties. She writes in both Japanese and German and is a recipient of the Akutagawa Prize.
In “Birds Art Life – A Year of Observation” (Scribner), noted children’s writer Kyo Maclear takes her sensitive writer’s eye and focuses on a memoir of a time spent on long walks and careful observation of the winged creatures that share our world.
Vancouver,WA. Author Curtis Chen is back with his follow up to “Waypoint Kangaroo” entitled “Kangaroo Too” (Thomas Dunne Books), another unique outer space adventure filled with intrigue and the mysterious ways of people interacting with outer space.
“Ths Number Does Not Exist” (BOA Editions) by Mangalesh Dabral is the first translation from the Hindi by this noted Indian poet who opens a window on the disillusionments of post-independence India and its dislocated citizenry.
“Dove Alight” (Viking) by Karen Bao is the dramatic conclusion to “The Dove Chronicles”. This book in the series involves a girl sage who must lead her friends in the war that encompasses sharply divided factions on Earth and the Moon.
“Zero Distance – New Poetry From China” (Tin Fish) as edited and translated by Liang Yujing is an exciting new anthology by a new generation of poets who grew up in the age of the internet.
“Inheritance From Mother” (Other) by Minae Mizumura explores the emotional complexities and contradictions that surround the aging and death of a parent. Winner of the Osaragi Jiro Award. Translated by Julie Winters Carpenter.
“The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Knopf) is the long-awaited new novel by Arundhati Roy who won the Booker Prize for her stunning debut, “The God of Small Things.” This novel braids together richly complex lives that have been touched by love and loss.
“Mad Country” (Soho) by Samrat Upadhyay is a collection of short stories that reaffirms the writer’s position as one of the most important chroniclers of globalization and exile that we have today. Set in Nepal.
“Want” (Simon & Schuster) by Cindy Pon is a sci-fi thriller set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution.
“Kika Kila – How The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed The Sound of Modern Music” (University of North Carolina Press) by John W. Troutman is a definitive history of the Hawaiian steel guitar and its place in the broader history of American music.
“Eating Korea – Reports on a Culinary Renaissance” (An Anthony Bourdain Book) by Graham Holliday looks at the cuisine and how it is key to understanding a nation’s changing culture.
“The Emperor’s Riddle” (Aladdin) by Kat Zhang is a young adult novel. When Mia Chen’s family trip to China turns into a mystery when her favorite aunt disappears, the girl and her brother look for clues amidst rumors of an ancient treasure.
“Chemistry” (Knopf) is the debut novel by Weike Wang. When a graduate student in chemistry finds herself overwhelmed by family and society’s expectations, she leaves behind a promising future to find out what it is she really wants in life.
“The Way Home Looks Now” (Scholastic) by Wendy Wan-Long Shang is a story about family, loss, healing, friendship and the role baseball plays in all of it for a young boy.
“Pei Pei The Monkey King” (Tin Fish Press) by Hong Kong poet Wawa now living in Hawai’I as translated by Henry Wei Leung uses these impish creatures to comment on the ironies of the human condition.
“The Hope of Another Spring – Takuichi Fujii, Artist And Wartime Witness” (UW Press) by Barbara Johns looks at the illustrated wartime diary of a Seattle Japanese American artist and how it opens another window into that troubled time of Japanese American internment and Northwest history.
“A Transpacific Poetics” (Litmus) by Lisa Samuels & Sawako Nakayasu due out in July, 2017 is a collection that mixes poetry and poetics, criss-crossing transpacific spaces to touch down in Hawai’I, Guam, the P.I., Chile, Australia, Korea, Aotaroa, Thailand, Japan and California. The poly-lingual works in this anthology conceive ocean as consequence, map, identity, visibility, invisibility layered over by histories of colonization in the globalized present.
“The Way Home in the Night” (Kids Can Press) by Akiko Miyakoshi is a spare yet evocative picture book that gives voice in words and images of the dark, quiet streets of a town as it goes to bed for the night. Bunnies supplant humans as figures in this charming, nocturnal ode to evening.
“The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era” (Basic Books) by Akhil Reed Amar looks with fresh eyes on our country’s document and its text, history and structure for grand themes relevant to American politics.
“Adrift At Sea – A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival” (Pajama Press) by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho and art by Brian Deines paints in vivid detail and vibrant colors, one family’s harrowing escape from Vietnam towards an uncertain future.
“Letters To Memory” (Coffee House Press) is award-winning novelist Karen Tei Yamashita’s memoir of Japanese American internment during WWII and its repercussions for her family. Handwritten letters, pictures, and paintings bring the past to life. Due out September, 2017.
“The China Sketchbook (Seagull) by I. Allan Sealy is a facsimile edition filled with sketches and scribbles that give insight into the mind of a fine Indian writer as he rides the railroads of China.
Nick Joaquin is considered one of the greatest Filipino writers but he is little known outside his home country despite writing in English. Penguin Classics hopes to rectify that situation with the first-ever publication of his seminal works, “The Woman Who Had Two Navels And Tales Of The Tropical Gothic.” With a foreword by PEN/Open Book Award-winning author Gina Apostal and an introduction by Vicente L. Rafael.
The Chicago Quarterly Review’s latest volume is “The South Asian American Issue”. It is collection of short stories, poems and essays with art work edited and curated by Moazzam Sheikh. With over 40 plus writers. Go to chicagoquarterlyreview.com for details.
“Wolves” (White Pine) by Jeon Sungtae as translated by Sora Kim-Russell is volume 23 in this publisher’s impressive series entitled “Korean Voices.” Many of these stories are centered on Mongolia which lies on the border between civilization and wilderness, the present and the past. Sungtae tells the stories of these people.
“Fever” (Seagull) by Samantha Basu as translated by Arunaua Sinha gets into the mind of a militant leftist revolutionary broken by torture who is eventually freed. That’s when memories of his life begin to haunt him.
“This Is Just a Test” (Scholastic) by Wendy Wan-long Shang and Madelyn Rosenberg combines the talents of two skillful young adult authors to tell the story of a Chinese Jewish boy caught in the middle of cultures, friends and a 1980’s “cold war.”
“No One Can Pronounce My Name” (Picador) by Rakesh Satyal is an surprising story about immigrants and outsiders trying to find their place in America and within their own families. It all takes place in a suburb outside of Cleveland.
“Gathering the Ashes” (Seagull) by Amritlal Nagare as translated by Mrinal Pande collects the missings experiences of ordinary people during India’s First War of Independence from British Colonial rule in 1857.
“Harmless Like You” (Norton) marks the fictional debut of Rowan Hisayo Buchanan in a book about multiracial identity, motherhood, familial bonds and the struggle to be an artist.
“Rani Patel in Full Effect” (Cinco Puntos Press) by Sonia Patel is a young adult novel like no other. It tells the story of a teenage girl rapper in Hawai’i who weaves words out of heartbreak, sorrow and patriarchy to the beat of her own voice.
“The Little Exile” (Stonebridge Press) by Jeanette S. Arakawa looks at the tumult and trauma of displacement and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII through the unique perspective of a young girl’s eyes.
“The Shanghai Intrigue” (Seagull) by Michael S. Koyama is a political thriller. When a Chinese American intelligence officer at the US Embassy in Beijing intercepts a complex coded message, the race is on to decipher their meaning.
“Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab” (Akashic) by Shani Mootoo looks at how a young man travels to Trinidad to reconnect with a transgender parent, uncovering the complex realities of love and family. How does he reconcile the love he had for a mother to an elegant man now named Sydney?
“Spork” (Kids Can Press) by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault is a whimsical celebration of diversity and hybrid identities told as a “multi-cutlery” tale for all those who have ever wondered abut their place in the world.
Henry Chang continues his New York Chinatown detective series in “Lucky” (Soho). When a Chinatown gang leader is shot and survives, a detective races to save his boyhood friend before his plan for exacting revenge on his perpetrators wracks havoc on the neighborhood.
Indonesian American activist/author/artist Innosanto Nagara has written and illustrated two interesting picture board books for children on Seven Stories Press that inspires them to get involved in issues and community. “A is for Activist” encourages kids to participate in protesting what is unjust. “Counting on Community” encourages the little ones to learn meaningful change by doing positive things in the community in which they are part of.
“Selection Day” (Scribner) by Aravind Adiga looks at the youth leagues of cricket in Mumbai and finds a microcosm of India’s explosive conflicts over class and religion. The author received the Booker Prize for his previous novel.
“Pandemic – Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” (FS&G) by Sonia Shah covers outbreaks of disease throughout recent history.
“Iron Moon – An Anthology of Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry” (White Pine) edited by Qin Xiao Yu and translated by Eleanor Goodman. This book takes the ferment of a new 21st century working class in China by incorporating issues like migration, globalization and rank-and-file resistance.
“Things That Happen and Other Poems” (Seagull) by Bhaskar Chakrabarti as translated by Arunava Sinha. This late poet-laureate of Calcutta writes with urban angst expressing the spirit of sadness and alienation in delicate metaphors wrapped in deceptively lucid language.
“After The Bloom” (Dundurn) by Leslie Shimotakahara is a debut novel by a Japanese Canadian about one family’s struggle to face the darker side of its history and find some form of redemption. A mother and daughter fae the tension between two female generations working through the trauma of WWII Japanese internment and persecution.
It’s 1970s Seoul and some people hope for change while others demand it. Yoojn Grace Wuertz’s characters in her novel “Everything Belongs to Us” (Random House) navigate politics and romance in this dynamic era with some raising to the top, others sinking to the bottom but no one just standing still.
“New Expressions in Origami Art – Masterworks from 25 Leading Paper Artists” (Tuttle) by Meher McArthur shows the contemporary reach and imaginative vision of today’s artists in once was a more traditional craft medium. Includes the work of Giang Dinh, Tomoko Fuse, Maomoiselle Maurice, Linda Tomoko Mihara, Jun Mitani, Yuko Nishimura, Hoang Tien Quyet, Jiangmei Wu and many others.
Han Yujoo makes a disturbing debut in “The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf Press) as she examines the world of children, the rich & spoiled, the marginal and the violence that manifests itself in the widening gap of this disparity. Translated by Janet Hong.
“Community Garden For Lonely Girls” (Gramma) is Christine Shan Shan Hou’s newest collection of poetry that depicts a journey that traverses imagined histories and various states of consciousness.
Lonely Planet, the famous travel guidebook publisher expands their imprint with their “Lonely Planet Food” series. They will examine each country’s cuisine through the eyes of their creators “From the Source: Japan – Authentic Recipes From The People Who Know Them Best” by Tienlon Ho, Rebecca Milner and Ippo Nakahara with photographs by Junichi Miyazaki goes from steaming soups and silky ramen noodles to fresh, hand-rolled sushi and visits Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa, Nagano and Osaka.
“Becoming Misako Kikuchi: The Story of a Japanese American Adoptee’s Journey to Japan and Back to Find Her Family” by local author Lynn Hammonds has been published by Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.
Han Kang, author of the award-winning novel, “The Vegetarian” has a new novel also translated by Deborah Smith entitled “Human Acts” (Hogarth Books). She takes on South Korea’s violent past by re-visting Gwangju, a city in which a revolt by protestors resulted in the brutal slaughter of protestors and bystanders alike by the then Korean President, General Chun Doo-huan.
“Leftover Women – The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China” (Zed) by Leta Hong Fincher exposes the level of structural discrimination against women, and the broader damage this has caused Chinese society as a whole.
“The End of Imagination” (Haymarket) brings together the five of Arundhati Roy’s acclaimed books of essays with a new introduction by the author. Essays written with charm, wit and a powerful commitment to social justice.
“Music of the Ghosts” (Touchstone) by Vaddey Ratner tells the story of an adult Cambodian woman who lives in America and her return to the country she knew as a child refugee with a letter from a man who knew her father in a Khmer Rouge prison.
“Goodbye, Vitamin”(Henry Holt) by Rachel Khong, veteran food writer/editor of Lucky Peach Magazine & Books fame makes her fictional debut with this book. It tells the story of a woman in mid-life crisis from a break-up summoned home to care for an eccentric father slipping into dementia and a mother who is lucidly erratic. Rich with irony and humor, the story charts a journey of love, loss and finding one’s place in the world.
“A Twenty Minute Silence Followed By Applause” (Sarabande) is an essay by Shawn Wen which is a thoughtful meditation on the work and genius of French mime artist Marcel Marceau.
Ch’ae Manshik is one of modern Korea’s most accomplished writers but his work is scarcely represented in English translation because of the challenges posed by his distinctive voice and colloquial style. Local Seattle translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton remedy that situation with a deft translation of his various styles and genres in “Sunset – A Ch’ae Manshik Reader” (Columbia University Press). Here you will find a choice selection of his work in the novella form, short fiction, essay, travel writing, theatre and even children’s stories. A dark humor and quick wit bubbles through each sentence.
“Still Out of Place” (Bamboo Ridge), a book of poems by Christy Passion opens a window to blue-collar life in the Hawaiian Islands with unflinching honesty and pain and yes, a hard-won beauty.
“Tropical Renditions – Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America” (Duke) by Christine Bacareza Balance looks at the music and performing arts to reveal dimensions of Filipino American history and cultural expressions.
“Lotus” (Henry Holt) is the debut novel by Lijia Zhang and was inspired by the secret life of the author’s grandmother and follows a young prostitute caught between past traditions and modern life in urban China.
“The Maids” (New Directions) by Junichiro Tanizaki as translated by Michael P. Cronin complements his classic novel, “The Makioka Sisters” but bears witness not to the masters of the house but instead gives voice to a chorus of servants.
Tara Books, children’s book publisher from India is out once again with two beautifully designed volumes. “A Village Is a Busy Place” by Rohima Chitrakar & V. Geetha is a brilliantly colored book that unfolds like a vertical mural illuminating the mosaic wheel of life contained in a single village. “This Truck Has Got To Be Special” by Rana, Kulaudor, Namaz & Khan shows you how truck drivers in India turn their vehicles into artistic creations that light up the landscape along India’s highways and byways.
“Sorry to Disrupt The Peace” (McSweeny’s) by Patty Yumi Cottrell is the story of a single woman who learns of her adoptive brother’s suicide and returns to her hometown to uncover the real reasons behind his death. Noted novelist Ed Lin calls it “a sort of Korean American noir, lean and wry and darkly compelling.”
“I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (FSG) by Maurene Goo tracks a Korean American teenage girl who’s a disaster in romance who comes up with the idea of using “K-Drama” as a map to true love with a boy she’s got a crush on with mixed results.
“Men Without Women” (Knopf) is a new translation of short stories by Haruki Murakami by Ted Goossen and Philip Gabriel that looks at men who find themselves alone. Originally published in Japan in 2014, it should serve to placate American fans until his most recent novel gets translated into English.
“Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh” (Lee & Low) by Uma Krishnaswami. A nine-year old girl wants to play softball for a girl’s team but the year is 1945 in Yuba City, CA. and her dad is from India and her mom is from Mexico and discriminatory laws still rule the land. How does she find a way to step up to the plate?
“Devils in Daylight” (New Directions) by Junichiro Tanizaki as translated by J. Keith Vincent is an early work by a master storyteller. It is a tense, erotic thriller about two friends who become deadly voyeur witnesses to murder.
“Sideways – A Memoir of a Misfit” (Diaspora Press) by Diana Morita Cole traces the life experience of her family imprisoned in Minidoka during WW II and how that experience even influenced the children who were born in imprisonment.
“The Malaysian Kitchen – 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking” (HMH) by Seattle author Christina Arokiasamy looks at Malaysian recipes adapted for the American kitchen.
“Resistance, Responsibility, Life: 50 Poems Now (Knopf) is a selection of new political poems by various poets selected and introduced by note poet/editor Amit Majmudar.
“The Best We Could Do” (Abrams Comicarts) bu Thi Bui is a graphic novel about the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family.
“The Gourmet Club – A Sextet” University of Michigan Press) by Tanizaki Jun’ichiro as translated by Anthony H. Chambers and Paul McCarthy charts this master storyteller through 45 years in an extraordinary career with stories that explore an array of human passions.
Akhil Sharma won the International Dublin Literary Award and the Folio Prize for his novel, “Family Life.” Here, he returns with a collection of darkly comic short stories in “A Life Of Adventure And Delight” (Norton).
“ME: A Novel” (Akashic) by Tomoyuki Hoshino as translated by Charles De Wolf tells the unsettling story of a young man who suffers an identity crisis after getting tangled up in a telephone scam. With an afterword by esteemed Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe.
“Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (UW Press) as edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe explores contemporary currents and experiences within the field, including issues of race, identity, queer bodies & forms, kinship & affect, and digital identities and performances. Includes artist interviews, art reproductions and critical essays.
“Dandelions” (New Directions) by the late Yasunari Kawabata and translated by Michael Emmerich is a fascinating discovery. It is the master Japanese writer’s last unfinished novel that charts the incommunicability of desire and the urge to hide.
“The Takedown” (Freeform Books) by Corrie Wang looks at a high-powered high school valedictorian who has everything going for her until a video supposedly showing her “doing it” with her English teacher shows up online. Time is running out as she races to track down this internet hacker and redeem her reputation in this cyber-thriller mystery.
“Everything Under the Heavens – How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power” (Knopf) is a new book by Howard French that looks unflinchingly at the issues facing China and its perception of today’s world.
“Tokyo Boogie-Woogie – Japan’s Pop Era and Its Discontents” (Harvard) by Hiromu Nagahara looks at the Japanese music industry and how it was a major force in creating popular consciousness between1920 – 1950. This book has been hailed as “a landmark of 20th century Japanese cultural history.”
Bao Phi, spoken word artist is back with a new collection of poetry entitled “Thousand Star Hotel” (Coffee House Press) in which he writes honestly about his childhood and his own initiation into fatherhood and how a history of trauma can be passed from generation to generation. This may keep readers occupied until he comes to your town with his own dynamic live performance.
In “Dear Cyborgs” (Farrar Straus & Giroux), Eugene Lim skillfully weaves together a friendship between two Asian American boys in the Midwest with an ongoing philosophical debate amongst a team of superheroes. An unorthodox novel with rich with mysteries, heroes and heartache.
Prolific graphic novelist/artist Gengorah Tagame tackles a new topic in “My Brother’s Husband – Volume 1” (Pantheon). When a single Japanese dad is forced to confront his painful past, it opens a window on a largely still-closed Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
“The Golden Legend” (Knopf) is the new novel by Nadeem Aslam set in contemporary Pakistan. It tells the story of a Muslim widow and her Christian neighbors whose community is consumed by violent religious intolerance.
“Unidentified Suburban Object” (Arthur A. Levine) by Mike Jung is a funny story about a Korean girl who always felt like an alien only to discover that…… This young adult novel throws enough curve balls to keep you guessing until the surprising end.
“GONE – A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung (Crown) is a memoir by classical violin virtuoso Min Kym that tells the tale of how a stolen Stradivari filled her with grief but then freed her to re-discover the joy of music and the power of her own voice.
“Lonesome Lies Before Us” (Norton) by novelist Don Lee traces the career of an Asian American alternate-country musician whose career and romantic relationship is on the skids.
In “The Girl At The Baggage Claim – Explaining the East-West Culture Gap” (Knopf), noted novelist Gish Jen tackles the study of East-West differences in the idea of self and what this means for our art, education, geopolitics, and business.
“Kra!” (Omerta Publications) is a new chapbook of poems by San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate Genny Lim with tributes to writers & artists like James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Fred Ho and those innocent citizens of the world who become victims of war and imperialism.
Northwest writer Jamie Ford, author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” returns with another novel set in Seattle. “Love And Other Consolation Prizes” (Ballantine) recounts the true story of a half-Chinese orphan who is auctioned off in a raffle at Seattle’s World’s Fair and how his life unfolds as he struggles to keep family secrets of the past from surfacing.
“Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint – Vietnamese Cookbook” (Rockridge Press) by Linh Nguyen show you how to cook classic Vietnamese favorites at home.
L.A. poet and small press editor Chiwan Choi burst upon the scene with “The Flood”, a searing collection of poems involving family and creating a place in the world. With “The Yellow House” (CCM) he ups the ante with poems that smolder with a nuanced power. Go to copingmechanisms.net for details.
“Chow Chop Suey – Food And The Chinese American Journey” (Columbia) by Anne Mendelson looks at th sweep of history that brought Chinese cooking to America.
The award-winning Japanese writer/playwright Abe Kobo has an early seimi-autobiographical novel entitled “Beasts Head For Home” (Columbia) newly translated by Richard F. Calichman. The story tells the tale of a Japanese youth in Manchuria at the end of WWII and his perilous journey home. In it , the character deals with issues of identity, belonging and the complexities of human behavior.
Jet Tila grew up in L.A.’s Thai Town and learned cooking from his Cantonese grandmother and working at his family’s famed Bangkok Market, the first Thai market to open in the U.S. He turns that expertise to good use in “101 Asian Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die” (Page Street Publishing) using simplified techniques and easy to use & buy ingredients.
“The Windfall” (Crown) by Diksha Basu is a satire of a middle-class family in New Delhi who come into money and how it changes them.
“Pattan’s Pumpkin – A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India” (Candlewick) by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Frane Lessaac is based on a traditional tale told by the Irula people. Forget Noah’s ark and delight in a family’s journey to safety down a river in a giant pumpkin.
“Meeting With My Brother” (Columbia) is a novella by Yi Mun-yol about when two brothers from North and South Korea have a reunion. Explores Korea’s partition and hope of reunification. Translated by noted American writer Heinz Insu Fenkl with Yoosup Chang.
“Wabi Sabi” (Bloomsbury) by Francesc Miralles as translated by Julie Wark tells the story of a Spaniard who receives an enigmatic postcard from a Japanese pen pal that puts him on a plane to Japan to decipher the message.
“Happy Dreams” (Amazon Crossing) by Jia Pingwa is a novel translated by Nicky Harman which comes out Oct. 1, 2017. It tells the story of two best friends who leave the country to the city with dreams of a better life.
Hiromi Kawakami’s “The Nakano Thrift Shop” (Europa) as translated by Allison Markin Powell looks at the staff and customers of a little thrift shop and examines their various relationships.
“When Dimple Met Rishi” (Simon Pulse) by Sandhya Menon is a young adult novel of two teenagers sent to summer school by their parents in hopes of matching them up. Their initial encounter is rocky but gradually they become more than friends.
“Shanghai Grand” (St. Martin’s) is a sprawling history of Shanghai by Tara Grescoe on the eve of WWII and the international cast of characters caught in a whirlpool of intrigue, conflict, love and history.
“Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember-The Stroke That Changed My Life” (Ecco) by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee. A compelling memoir of a world turned upside down and how the writer tries to find order out of chaos.
“Where The Past Begins” (Ecco) is popular novelist Amy Tan’s (“The Joy Luck Club”) memoir which explores family history in a raw and personal fashion. Due out Oct. 10, 2017.)
“101 Changemakers – Rebels And Radicals Who Changed US History” (Haymarket). Edited by Michele Bollinger & Dao X. Tran. This is a collection of profiles of Americans who made a difference and fought for social justice. Consider it a Howard Zinn-style history of America for middle school students.
“Manihi Moves A Mountain” (Creston) by Nancy Churnin with art by Danny Popovici is the true story of a man in India who carved out a 360 foot road through a mountain after his wife died due to a lack of medical attention. The road provided access to a larger town that had medical facilities and more daily supplies for villagers.
The Wing in partnership with Manhattan Tenement Museum encourages community members to share their own experiences in “Your Story, Our Story”, a digital story-telling exhibit. The focus for 2017 is to gather stories from civic life. Add your story today by visiting the website. For details, email [email protected]
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Some upcoming program events include the following – September 27 brings “Explore India” with Shelly Krishnamurty, Ram Prasad and Nona Dhawan. On Sunday from 2 – 4pm at the Mountaineers Center in Magnuson Park. October 19 from 1 – 3pm, Barry Broman will talk about “Up the Chindwin River to Nagaland” at the Phinney Center. Go to FriendsOfAsianArt.org or call (206) 522-5438 for details on all these events.
Go to 4Culture.org to find out about funding and support for cultural work in King County.
The International Women’s Media Foundation based in Washington D.C. has established a new award to honor the memory of the late Gwen Ifill, legendary co-anchor of the PBS News Hour. Ifill was an incredible role model and mentor for young journalists, especially women journalists of color. The award will be given annually to an outstanding woman journalist of color whose work carries forward Ifill’s legacy.