Design by Kanami Yamashita

Visual Arts

Local artist Juliet Shen leads an online art-making session for adults based on her personal videos of flowing water from Northwest rivers and shorelines. Register now to receive instructions on supplies to have on hand. Set for Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:30pm online. Go to [email protected]. “Gather With Kenzan Tsutakawa Chinn” is the title of a virtual art talk with the lighting artist. He will talk about “Gather”, his commissioned site-specific light installation now in the Garden Court of Seattle Asian Art Museum. Go to [email protected]. The April speaking appearance by Silk Road art specialist Judith Lerner has been re-scheduled for next year. An article by SAM curators entitled “An Asian Art Museum Transformed” appears in a recent issue of Orientations magazine. The fall Saturday University Lecture Series will focus on color in Asian art and will take place either at the Asian Art Museum or online depending on the situation re: Covid 19.

In “32 Aspects of Life” by Lauren Iida, the artist playfully reinterprets Japanese artist Yoshitoshi’s 1888 series. Blending hand-cut paper with mixed media, Iida presents a series of portraits drawn from her daily life as a Japanese American living in Cambodia. In the north side gallery, Iida’s work is complemented by a diverse group of artwork by contemporary Cambodian artists working with artist cooperative Open Studio and artist collective, Roncheik Pram. Online preview and viewing May 7 – June 20, 2020. Artxchange Gallery at 512  1st Ave. South. 206-839-0377 or email [email protected].


The Seattle Art Museum has cancelled a previously planned major traveling exhibition for this summer entitled “The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China.” Instead the current shows on John Akomfrah and Georgia O’Keeffe will be extended through Sept. 7, 2020 when the museum re-opens.


The “Mezzotint Invitational” is a group show of artists working within that print media dominated by artists from Asia. Includes work by Atsuo Sakazume, Hiroko Yamada, Katsunori Hamanishi, Mikio Watanabe, Tomiyuki Sakuta and others. View online at davidsongalleries.com now through June, 2020.  313 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-7684 or go to www.davidsongalleries.com.

Kobo Seattle features a new virtual art space showcasing tiny Buddha-like sculptures by Seattle artist Tomoko Suzuki and an online store with free shipping on gift kits. A recent acquisition are monthly shipments of handmade Japanese face masks in various colors and beautiful designs. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at  koboseattle.com.

Google Arts and Culture has partnered with cultural organizations around the world to host virtual tours of museums and world sites.

Performing Arts

Even though the Wayward Music Series at Chapel Performance Space is currently closed, go to nonsequiter’s website to listen to free links by local musicians performing original music at wayward music.org or try gscchapel.com.. Also listed are live streaming of local concerts by contemporary musicians that you can rent.

Seattle Theatre Group partners with SAMA: Seattle Sacred Music and Art, a new organization that is focused on bringing Global Sacred Music and Art to the Northwest.  Future concerts will highlight the following genres and artists – Sacred music traditions of Sufi traditions from the Middle East and North America, Court music of Korea, Gnawa traditions of Morocco, Griot styles of West Africa, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Hebrew traditions, U.S. Gospel,  Greek, and Byzantine choral works and Gamelan traditions of Indonesia.  For more information, go to seattlesacredmusic.com.


The Bay Area performing arts couple of Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu are offering free activities online such as story time for kids, “sho meditations” and weekly performances by their friends. Go to www.firstvoice.org for details.

The Washington Post called Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s “Phenom” the first great zoom music video. The band started in Falls Church, Virginia where original band members Thao Nguyen and Willis Thompson first met. They now call the Bay Area their home. They are scheduled to play the Neptune in Seattle on June 19, 2020. To see the zoom music video, go to https//www.youtube.com/watch:v=DGwQZrDNL08.

Film & Media

“My Sight is Lined with Visions: 1990’s Asian American Film & Video” now screening virtually through June 7, 2020. See six programs of films and video that push against stereotypes by Richard Fung, Shu Lea Cheang, Spenser Nakasako, Roddy Bogawa, Rea Tajiri and Jon Moritsugu. Includes filmmaker Q & A’s you can register for and a series of short essays by Asian American film writers and curators. Plus a section of free short films and videos called “The Vault” streaming through June 7, 2020 as well. Screening virtually from June 5 – July 6, 2020 is a comedy by Hong Sang Soo entitled “Yourself and Yours” which is a comedy about relationships and mistaken identity by this noted South Korean director. Go to  nwfilmforum.org or call 206-329-2629.

Andrew Ahn’s (“Spa Night”) latest film “Driveways” tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a shy Korean American boy and a reclusive elderly white neighbor. It marks one of the last screen appearances by the distinguished actor Brian Dennehy. Lucas Jaye plays the boy and Hong Chau portrays his mother. Now screening virtually at SIFF Cinema. Go to siff.net for details.

“Lucky Grandma” as directed by Sasie Sealy that premiered at a New York’s Tribeca Film Festival is now available for live streaming at Grand Illusion Cinema. It tells the story of a feisty Chinatown widow who when gambling at a casino incurs the wrath of local gangsters. Screening virtually for rent through June 4, 2020. Go to grandillusioncinema.org.

Town Hall Seattle has digital programming of upcoming events on their live stream page. They also have a media library of hundreds of video and audio free to enjoy. Go to townhallseattle.org for details.

Most local theaters are doing virtual screening via the internet where you can rent new films and see them at home. Go to the websites for Northwest Film Forum, Grand Illusion Cinema, Siff Uptown, AMC theatre chains and others.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has put out a “self-care package” of poems, short films and other media and they will be adding to it periodically. Go to https://smithsonianpa.org/care/.

PBS has many digital-only shorts produced for its website Art 21 including work by Ai Weiwei. Go to art21.org for details.


The Written & Spoken Arts

 Jackstraw Cultural Center presents their Jackstraw Reading Series on Fridays in June which will feature the 2020 Jack Straw Writing Fellows. Streaming live on Facebook and hosted by 2020 Writers Program Curator Anastacia-Renee.  June 5 at 7pm will have Maisha Banks Manson, Elaina Ellis, Wryly T. McCutchen and Ebo Barton. June 12 at 7pm will have Michelle Goodman, Ching-In Chen, Rob Arnold, and Helen K. Thomas. June 19 at 7pm will have Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II, Arianne True, Jose Trejo-Maya and Troy Osaki. Each reading video will be available afterward on Facebook and YouTube. Free. A book of writing by these writers is available for purchase through Open Books.  Go to jackstraw.org.

Poets & Writers has a mini-grant program to support virtual live literary events. A sponsoring organization must apply on behalf of the writer at pw.smartsimple.com. Applications from California, Tucson, Seattle and Houston can apply four weeks in advance of the event date. Checks will be directly mailed to the writer about two weeks after the event.

Two reading events connected to the book on Seattle’s local Kubota Gardens entitled “Spirited Stone: Lessons From Kubota’s Gardens” (Chin Music Press) have been re-scheduled. A reading with local poet-laureate’s Samuel Green, Shin Yu Pai, Claudia Castro Luna and former Oregon poet-laureate Lawson Inada has been re-scheduled for September, 2020 at the Wing. A Seattle Public Library event at the Microsoft Auditorium  downtown with  Jamie Ford, Charles  Johnson, Mayumi Tsutakawa, Anna Tamura and Anastasia Rene has been re-scheduled for July 23, 2020..

Yu Lihua, whose portraits of Chinese students and intellectuals abroad dealing with displacement and identity crisis, died April 30 with health issues related to Covid 19. She produced more than two dozen novels and short story collections in Chinese which gave voice to  those who left China for a better life but remained nostalgic for their homeland.  Although she tried to publish and write in English, she found that American publishers were fixated on a pattern of oriental exoticism that ranged from bound feet to opium addiction. She is quoted as having said, “I didn’t want to write those things, I wanted to write about the struggle of Chinese immigrants in American society.


Art News/Opportunities


Artist Trust has  an COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund for Washington State artists needing aid. Go to artist trust.org for details.

4Culture has a Cultural Relief Fund available now through May 15, 2020. Go to 4culture.org for details.

Humanities Washington provides relief grants for humanities organizations through May 31, 2020. Go to humanities.org.

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