“Kanu Kaho’olawe: Replanting, Rebirth” is a documentation on the reclamation of Native land on Kaho’olawe Island, Hawai’i by Jan Becket and Carl Pao offering an artistic mixture of ecology, politics and cultural traditions with the use of photography and mixed-media. On view through May 7, 2017 at the Burke Museum on the Seattle UW campus at 17th Ave. NE & NE 45th St. 206-543-5590 or visit washington.edu/burkemuseum.
“Filled With Grace – Japanese Americans in the South Sound” is a new exhibit that covers the history of early Japanese Americans in the South Sound prior to World War II. Presented in partnership with Asia Pacific Cultural Center. The exhibit runs through May 21, 2017 at Washington State Historical Society at 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma. 1-888-238-4373.
Politics, behavior, and a personal battle with cancer converge in Akio Takamori’s new work of ceramic sculptures of known figures attempting to apologize entitled “Apology/Remorse”. Recent work not to miss by a major Northwest artist who recently passed away. Takamori’s work shares the space with Efrain Almeida. On view through April 1. James Harris Gallery. 604 2nd Ave. 206-903-6220.
Lauren Iida’s debut solo exhibition entitled “How to Trap a Memory” uses intricate cut paper cutaway works to create an intimate portrait of metaphorical objects traversing a decade living between the U.S. and Cambodia. Her new work illustrates how stories and memories accumulate in the corners of our mind and ultimately become a structure we carry with us. Memories become both a burden and a safe place of refuge, forming our history and identity. March 2 – April 29, 2017. Opening reception on First Thursday on April 6 from 5 – 8pm. Deborah Kapoor has a show in the North Gallery through March 25. 512 First Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-839-0377 or [email protected]
“Horizon Line” is the title of a show of new work by Seattle artist Louise Kikuchi along with a series by Julianna Heyne entitled “Driving in Iceland” on view at i.e. Gallery from Feb. 24 – March 12, 2017 in Edison, WA. Regular hours are 11am – 5pm Fri. to Sun. or by appointment. 5800 Gains Court. 360-488-3458 or go to www.ieedison.com.
Local sculptor June Sekiguchi is a recipient of a 2016 4Culture grant and a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship. She will travel to Southeast Asia and Morocco. She and Leslie Wu also have work in a group show of Puget Sound artists entitled Revering Nature at Bainbridge Island Museum Of Art at 550 Winslow Way. 206-842-4451 or go to biartmuseum.org. For details on all this, go to www.junesekiguchi.com.
A solo show by Shinto Imai is up through March at Blackbird Bakery at 210 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island. 206-780-1322 or go to www.blackbirdbakery.com.
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.
“Fiber Fusion” is a group show of sculptural fiber works by members of Surface Design Association of Washington which will include workshops taught by the artists. March 9 – April 15. Schack Art Center at 2921 Hoyt Ave. in Everett. 425-259-5050 or go to schack.org.
“March of the Kaiju” features Kaiju art or the Japanese monster genre with the likes of Mothra and Godzilla. In a variety of media including prints and sculpture. March 16 – April 18. Push/Pull Gallery at 5484 Shilshole Ave. NW. 206-384-3124 or try facebook.com/pushpullseattle.
Stacya Silverman Gallery presents “Portraits from Prewar Japan”, a collection of prints made from found glass dry plate negatives featuring everyday life in the 1920s and 30s chosen and printed by artist Ron Reeder and master printer Tyler Boley. Also includes some photos by Reeder. Now through April 15, 2017. 614 West McGraw on Queen Anne Hill. 206-270-9645 or try www.stacyasilverman.com.
Pacific Galleries Auction House hold their “Asian Collection Auction” April 8. 241 South Lander St. or go to pacgal.com for details.
The Henry Art Gallery located on the campus of the University of Washington joins MOTHRA and Chris E. Vargas in presenting the group show “TRANS HISTORY in 99 Objects” through June 4, 2017. This show gathers archival materials and works by contemporary artists that narrate an expansive and critical history of transgender communities. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to henryart.org for details.
The PCNW 21st Juried Exhibition of photography as juried by Sandra Phillips former curator at SFMOMA is an annual group show of local photographers. On view March 27 – June 11. Photographic Center Northwest at 900 – 12th Ave. 206-720-7222 or go to pcnw.org.
“So Close and So Far” is a new series of portrait paintings by Kathy Liao on view May 4 – July 1. Liao’s portraits go deep into the soul with vibrant color and disturbing truths about the human condition. This series catches anonymous poses of people in transit, starring at cellphones or facebook pages. Opening reception on May 4 from 6 – 8pm. Prographica Gallery at 313 Occidental Ave. S. 206-999-0849 or go to prographicadrawings.com.
From May 4 – 27, Lisa Kinoshita and Susan Surface (S. Surface) explore ideas related to their Japanese American identities, inheritance, freedom and the American West. SOIL Art Collective at 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
Seattle artist Paul Komada is a multi-media artist whose latest work features paintings layered with chroma-key technology and audio pieces which “preemptively memorialize” the Alaskan Way Viaduct before it meets the wrecking ball. June 1 – 29 at Gallery 4Culture at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. 206-296-7580 or go to 4culture.org. Open M – F.
The work of local jewelry artist Ron Ho has been recognized by the Northwest Designer Craftsmen and he has been deemed a “living cultural treasure.” A documentary film on his life and career is in the works. The organization was founded in 1954 (Maya Lin’s father than teaching at UW was one of the original members) to promote the excellence of design in the Northwest. Congratulations, Ron!
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 May 10 – August 6, 2017. 1300 First Ave. 206-903-5291 or go to tasteart.com.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “Millennia – Astonishing Asian Art Throughout the Ages” is a new group show that showcases one of the best collections of Asian art in Canada taken from the gallery collection and remains on view through March 31, 2017. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
New and recent shows/activities at the Wing include the following – “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura up until February 11, 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.“Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” is a new group exhibition on textiles and how they move through history and myth, commodity culture and art, linking women’s hands and machines to Asian American identities.” It features the work of Surabhi Ghosh, Stephanie Syjuco and Aram Han Sifuentes. This show is on display through April 16, 2017. Sifuentes will conduct a one-day workshop on Sunday, March 26 from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. It is free and open to the public and those seeking citizenship are especially encouraged to attend. Participants will embroider a decorative sampler addressing the socio-historic role of women and the function of non-citizen communities. Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. “Who’s Got Game? Asian Pacific Americans in Sports” is a new exhibition which opened Dec., 2016. Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books” is a recent show to open at the museum.
“Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. 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. Anew 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 engaged. Starting in 2017, The Wing offers four seasons of food tours where participants not only get a tste of a variety of food but also hear about the people and the stories behind the food To book a tour, go to wingluke.org/tours. In other news, two week-long sessions of day camps for kids aged 6 – 12 will be offered. August 7 – 11 is “Playtime: Games and Toys from Around the World” and August 14 – 19 will be a storytelling session with world-renowed storytelling duo Eth-No-Tec. To sign up, go to wingluke.org/summercamp. If you have questions you can email [email protected] or call 206-623-5124×116. 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.
Steven Young Lee and Zemer Peled have work in a group show of ceramic sculptures entitled “Form Over Function” through April 18, 2017. Winston Wachter Gallery at 203 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle. Opening March 4 at from 4 -7pm. [email protected]
“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.
Artist Yuka Petz leads a group in “Creating Tunnel Books” at Seattle Art Museum. A tunnel book or peephole book is an artist book form that opens to reveal a multilayered world. Ages 14 and up. Ticket includes materials. $75 general and $65 for Sam members. Sun., April 23 and 30 from 11am – 3pm.
Later this year will see a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens June 30 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. The exhibit comes from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. where it will be exhibited Feb. 23 – May 14, 2017. Other dates for this touring exhibit TBA. Seattle Art Museum downtown at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3100.
Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.
The exclusive West Coast premiere of “Terrcotta Warriors of the First Emperor” comes to Pacific Science Center April 8 – 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.
Jarod Lew, Thu Nguyen and Tim Okamura all have work in the group show “The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today” from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. It showcases finalists from the Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and is on view through May 14, 2017. “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 California 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. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected]
Seattle installation artist/performance artist Etsuko Ichikawa keeps busy. “Jomon Vitrified” is a new project in progress. It looks at the radioactive decay of uranium glass. The project combines the artist’s love for Jomon pottery (she traveled all around Japan viewing Jomon sites and museum collections) with her concerns over nuclear disaster both in Japan and the U.S. This project supported by a 4 Culture Art Projects Grant. A newly commissioned Glass Pyrograph has been installed at the Alexandria at Torrey Pines, a multi-purpose facility in San Diego. The project was supported by Gensler and Fresh Paint Art Advisors. In collaboration with Washington State Arts Commission, Ichikawa is completing a permanent interior installation for Pullman High School in Pullman, WA. The work incorporates the natural elements of the local landscape. “Traces of the Molten State”, a large glass pyrograph has been re-installed back in the foyer of the Bellevue Arts Museum.
The work of Hiroko Seki is included in Women Painters of Washington group show “Point of Lead” through March 31, 2017. 701 5th Ave. #310 in Seattle. 206-624-0543.
“Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II” tells the story of Japanese Americans who worked as seasonal farm laborers during WW II. Includes interpretative text panels and a short documentary film. On view through May 25, 2017 at Lane County Historical Museum at 740 W. 13th Ave. in Eugene, Oregon. 541-682-4242 or go to www.lchm.org.
Now on view through July 16, 2017 is “Yellow Terror: The Collections and Paintings of Roger Shimomura” which includes not only his artwork but his collections of memorabilia and objects depicting racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans accumulated during the last 20 years. Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center at 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
On view through March 19, 2017 is “Sandow Birk: American Qur’an” which includes ink and gouache paintings of the text of this holy book as rendered in elaborate script based on Los Angeles graffiti tags and scenes from American life. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027 or go to jama.uoregon.edu.
On view through May 17, 2017 is “Kitsuke: The Art of Wearing Kimono” with a demonstration set for April 8 at 2pm. The display explores the art and craftsmanship of this Japanese garment. World Beat Gallery in the Reed Opera House at 189 Liberty St. S.E. on the second floor. Salem, Oregon. 503-581-2004 or go to www.salemmulticultural.org.
The UBC Museum of Anthropology presents “Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth across Cultures” showcasing more than 130 handmade textiles from around the world, drawn from the museum’s collection. On view through April 9, 2017. Opening May 11, 2017 and 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. 6393 NW Marine Dr. in Vancouver BC. 604-822-5087 or moa.ubc.ca.
Canadian multi-media artist Paul Wong and 2016 Audain Prize winner presents a new work entitled “Five Octave Range” designed specifically for the 2017 Vancouver Opera Festival. It will be unveiled as the opening event on April 27, 2017 at the Festival Tent on Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza in Vancouver B.C. 604-683-0222.
“Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver” runs from March 4 – May 28, 2017. Twenty years ago when the transfer of Hong Kong sovereignty from the United Kingdom to mainland China occurred, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada, many choosing to settle in Vancouver, and among them a significant number of artists. This show looks at those artist who stayed and continue their art making in this city. “Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy” is a solo exhibition on view through May 28, 2017. Tsui considers wuxia as a narrative tool for dissidence and resistance. It is a traditional form of martial arts literature that expanded into 20th century popular film ad television creative out of narratives and characters from lower social classes that uphold chivalric ideals against oppressive forces during unstable times. Tsui’s scroll-like video installation sets the narrative in Kowloon’s walled city, an ungoverned tenement of disenfranchised refugees in Hong Kong demolished in 1994. In the gallery’s “Offsite” series of public installations, Vancouver artist Khan Lee’s “Red, Green and Blue” is a sculptural installation that used filtered light to animate nature. Drawing on broad references of horizon lines and landscape art, Lee enables passers-by to visualize the wind. This series is funded by the city of Vancouver and is on view through April 17, 2017 at 1100 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
“PINS” is the latest show by multi-media artist Gu Xiong at R Space Gallery in Vancouver, BC Canada. Through photos, video, and installation, the artist looks at the identity transitions that immigrants go through, which is difficult to express with language. “PINS” represent all sorts of embarrassment, reluctance, unfairness or even helplessness that immigrants experience living in Canada. Through March 21, 2017. 123 E. 8th Ave. 1-718-379-3331.
“Rock, Paper, Scissors” is a multi-media installation comprised of radio drama, video, animation and sculpture by Cindy Mochizuki. This 60 minute installation of a trilogy of short stories bridges a connection between Canada and Japan via Japanese migration and the natural resources of coal, lumber and iron. Through April 30, 2017. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre at 6688 South Oak Crescent in Burnaby,BC Canada. 1-604-777-7000.
Jacob Hashimoto is known for his massive installations using tiny bamboo kites strung with fishing wire. He has five site-specific installations (public and private commissions) around Los Angeles. His latest sculpture will be part of the Metro
Transport Authority Building set to open in 2020. “Another Cautionary Tale Comes To Mind (but immediately vanishes)” is his latest show through March 7 at Mixografia Gallery at 1419 E. Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles. 323-232-1158 or go to www.mixografia.com for details. Sourced from the L.A. Times. Locally you can see his piece “Altadena”, a nod to his then home sky where he created this work (2002-2004) in Tacoma Art Museum’s café. His most recent work here is in the Penrose Library at Whitman College in Walla Walla completed in 2016.
Grace Kook-Anderson, a Northwest native who last served as curator of contemporary art at Laguna Art Museum in Southern California was appointed as Portland Art Museum’s third curator of Northwest Art as of January 9, 2017.
The first Honolulu Biennial looks at Hawai’i not as a remote outpost but more like the crossroads of the Pacific Rim showcasing arts of the whole region. Opens March 8, 2017 and on view until May 8, 2017 at various venues. To get the whole schedule, go to honolulubiennial.org.
The Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90’s” gives you a look at 70 works by avant-garde designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Kansai Yamamoto and Yohji Yamamoto. On view now through May 28, 2017. 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver. 720-865-5000.
The Silicon Valley Asian Art Center presents “Da Feng Tang, A Studio with Great Tradition: Collection from Chang Dai-Chien Family” from Feb. 18 – March 8. 2017. 3777 Stevens Creek #400 in Santa Clara, California. 408-248-2698 or go to www.artshu.com.
Craft in America Center in Los Angeles has the following – Upcoming May 20 – July 1, 2017 is “Kazuki Takizawa: Catharsis Contained.” This LA-based artist puts human emotions in the shimmering, fragile form of glass. Of his work, he says “The harmonization of the radically different, such as violence and meditation, spontaneity and meticulousness, and destruction and repair is found in the process, as well as the result of my work.” Craft in America Center is at 1120 South Robertson Blvd. #301 in Los Angels. Go to 310-659-9022 or [email protected]
The San Diego Museum of Art has a new exhibition opening April 7 and 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 –Opening March 12, 2017 and remaining on view until August 20, 2017 will be “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” which looks at the life and career of Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents from through June 4 the show, “Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in China, Southeast Asia and the Islamic Middle East” which features 76 items from the wreck of an Arab merchant ship discovered in Southeast Asian water. It will be on view for the first time in the U.S. The exhibition explores the robust exchange of goods, ideas and culture among ancient China, Southeast Asia and the Islamic Middle East. A symposium entitled “The Belitung Shipwreck: Sojourns in Tang Dynasty History and Art” takes place April 22 at the Tang Center for Early China at Columbia University. Stephen Murph, curator at Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore gives a talk on March 7. There will also be special family day activities for the museum’s youngest visitors to give them a chance to explore the show as well.725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
The Japanese minimalist sculptor Kishio Suga gets his first US museum exhibition at DIA in Chelsea in New York City. Through April 2, 2017. Go to diaart.org for details.
“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.
Opening in the Spring of 2017 will be the Whitney Biennial which was started in 1932 and is still considered one of the pre-eminent biennials in the country. This 2017 edition is co-curated by Asian Americans, Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. 99 Gansevoort St. in New York City. Go to www.whitney.org.
“Isamu Noguchi – Archaic/Modern” explores how pyramids, burial mounds, temples and the gardens of the ancient world shaped one of America’s most innovative sculptors. Through March 19, 2017. Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Free and open daily. 8th and G Streets NW. Go to AmericanArt.si.edu for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “Provoke”: Photography in Japan Between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975.” On view through April 30, 2017. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
Internationally known installation artist Do Ho Suh has a show entitled “Passages/s” at the Hong Kong branch of Lehmann Maupin from March 20 – May 13, 2017. 407 Pedder Building on 12 Pedder St. Opening reception is March 20 from 6 – 8pm. +852-2530-0025. Stateside, you can see “Do Ho Suh”, a multi-media installation that presents large-scale architectural structures, documentary films, illuminated sculptures and works on paper by the artist through May 14, 2017 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The centerpiece is a full- scale replica of the artist’s New York City apartment and studio created by translucent colored fabric. Organized by the Contemporary Austin with support from Lehmann Maupin Gallery. 227 State St. in Madison, Wisconsin. 608-257-0158.
The work of contemporary Chinese architect Wang Shu is profiled in “The Architect’s Studio II”, a series that focuses on a new generation of pace-setting architects from around the world. GL. Strandvej 13, 3050 HunLebaek. +45) 49 (19) (07) 19. Louisiana Museum outside Copenhagen, Denmark.
A new cache of photographs by Dorothea Lange that documented the imprisonment of all people of Japanese on the West Coast has surfaced. The 20 prints are being sold by Anchor Editions. Half the proceeds are earmarked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which sued to stop the Government’s mass incarceration. Although commissioned by the Federal government, they were suppressed during WW II. At war’s end they were deposited in the National Archives where they were unseen for decades. Historian Linda Gordon in “Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment” writes “Ms. Lange’s critique is especially impressive given the political mood of the time. They also unequivocally denounce an unjustified, unnecessary and racist policy.”
Noted British sculptor Anish Kapoor won the $1 million Genesis Prize for his work. He announced that the money would go toward helping the Syrian refugee crisis.
The March/April issue of ArtAsia Pacific looks at the late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, Pakistani interdisciplinary artist Lula Rukh, Hong Kong’s Kingsley Ngard and conceptual artist Ho Siu Kee. Digital edition available on iTunes, google Play, Zunio and Magzter. Go to www.artasiapacific for details.
Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang committed suicide at 29. In a conservative country, his photographs of friends with themes of explicit sexuality and queerness pushed the envelope. His shows were often censored or closed by authorities. His work however was getting exposure in the West via publication and exhibition. Taschen Books published a monograph of his work in January.
DAIPANbutoh Collective return with their annual Seattle International Butoh Festival 2017 with Compania Ruta de la Memoria from Chile, Japanese Butoh artist Ken Mai now based in Helsinki and local butoh dancer Kaoru Okumura. The festival will also include an art show of dancer images and many workshops. An exhibition will feature the dance photography of Bruce Clayton Tom & others plus paintings of dancer Kaoru Okumura by Ruthie V. March 6 – April 14 at Shoreline Community Art College Gallery at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Building 1000, Lobby in Shoreline, WA. The exhibition opens on March 7 with performances by DAIPAN to follow on March 14, 21 & April 4 at 4pm.There will be a workshop with Compania Ruta de la Memoria March 31 – April 2 at Taoist Studies Institute at 225 N. 70th St. in Seattle. Workshop information/registration, call Helen Thorsen at 206-723-2315. Ken Mai conducts a workshop on April 8 from 1 – 5pm at UW Dance Program at 256 Meany Hall. 4000 15th Ave. NE in Seattle. For details, call Helen Thorsen at 206-723-2315. April 7 & 8 at 8pm will feature performances of Compania Ruta de la Memoria & DAIPAN at Shoreline Community College Theater at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N. Building 1600 in Shoreline. April 9 at 3pm features a performance by Ken Mai and Kaoru Okumura also at Shoreline Community College Theater at 16101 Greenwood Ave. N., Building 1600 in Shoreline. Go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2851548 for tickets or go to www.daipanbutoh.com for more information.
Singer/songwriter Anna Freedman has an EP release party for her new recording entitled “Big Plans.” March 30. Doors open 7pm. Show at 8pm. All ages. Mostly seated. Fremont Abbey at 4272 Fremont Ave. N. in Seattle’s upper Fremont neighborhood. 206-414-8325.
Violinist Jae-in Shin guests with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. The program “Seeing Nature” is free with museum admission on Thursday, March 16 at 7pm at Seattle Art Museum downtown. On Friday, March 17 at 8pm the orchestra performs a program of Faure, Schoenberg, Takemitsu and Vivaldi at First Free Methodist Church. For tickets and information, go to SMCOmusic.org.
Local actor Richard Nguyen Sloniker has a major role in the West Coast premiere of the popular Off-Broadway dark comedy “Dry Powder” by Sarah Burgess. The play looks at the world of those who have the power to manipulate the American economy. It also marks the directorial debut of Seattle Rep Associate Artistic Director Maya Sea Kaminski. March 17 – April 15. At Seattle Center between Second St. and Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org.
Townhall Seattle continues their varied programming with the following – Ganesh Sitaraman talks with Paul Constat about “A Constitution for Economic Equality” on March 22 at 7:30pm. Eugenia Cheng is on a crusade to to dispel the phobia that many have that math is difficult. Her talk entitled “Infinite Cookies (And More Delicious Math) on March 30 at 7:30pm offers appealing solutions like creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough. The Moth is is nationally known radio program that looks for intriguing people to tell their inspired stories. Tonight’s GrandSLAM final is the culmination of a 10 month presentation of local StorySLAMS around Seattle. Finalists like our own Examiner contributing writer Soyon Im will be competing to tell the best stories. Come out and support her. Thurs., March 20 at 8pm. 1119 Eighth Ave. in Seattle. 206-652-4255 or go to [email protected]
Korean American jazz saxophonist/singer/composer Grace Kelly hits the stage of Jazz Alley with her band March 21 – 22. Nightly at 7:30pm. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
Sakura-Con, the yearly annual festival for cosplaying anime and manga lovers convenes April 14 – 16 at Washington State Convention & Trade Center downtown.
Seattle Symphony and Conductor Ludovic Morlot have issued the schedule for their 2017-2018 season. Some highlights include the following – Pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin, Jessica Choe, Li Tan Hsu and Cristina Valdez are part of an April month of Stravinsky. They perform Los Nocer with the Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble. “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.
Some annual events at Seattle Center not to miss – The Cherry Blossom Festival April 21 – 23 brings a celebration of Japanese arts and culture with crafts, games, ikebana, tea ceremony, martial arts and Japanese music. April 28 – 30 brings the 24th Annual World Rhythm Festival with world percussion performances, music and dance workshops and a focus on rhythm. May 7 is a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration which celebrates the arts, culture and food of the region. June 3 & 4 is the Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival which celebrates the arts and culture of the Philippines. All events at the Seattle Center Armory.
Meany Center For The Performing Arts at UW has as usual an exciting assortment of programs for every taste whether under the categories of “Dance”, “Piano”, “World Music” or “Chamber Music” for their 2016-2017 season. The Shen Wei Dance Arts group with their special blend of contemporary dance and Asian tradition performs “Neither” set to Morton Feldman’s opera of the same name with a libretto by Samuel Beckett March 16 – 18, 2017 at 8pm. 206-543-4880 or go to MEANYCENTER.ORG for details. Single tickets and subscriptions on sale now.
Performance comic Ali Wong hits the stage at the Moore Theatre March 17 & 18 before her new ABC comedy “American Housewife” hits the small screen. 1932 Second Ave. 206-812-3284 or stgpresents.org.
Carey Wong does the scenic design for the musical comedy “Murder for Two”, a collaboration between 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT. Runs March 25 – June 11 at ACT. 700 Union St. 206-292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org.
In a “world music” match-up made in heaven, Cambodian & American rock band Dengue Fever (with Cambodian songstress Chhom Nimol) share the bill with Tinariwen from the Sahara on April 4 at 7:30pm. Benaroya Hall at 200 University St. downtown Seattle. 206-215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details.
The Seattle Fringe Festival brings two weekends of a variety of theatrical performances at various locations around town (lower Queen Anne and Capitol Hill) from March 23 – April 1. Sara Porkalob’s latest creation entitled “Dragonbaby” is among them. March 23 at 6pm at the theatre at the Seattle Center Armory. Go to seattlefringefestival.org for details.
The teenage jazz pianist sensation from Indonesia, Joey Alexander plays Jazz Alley with his trio on April 6 – 9. 7:30pm nightly. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
A touring production of Shen Yun which brings China’s ancient music and dance to the world stage makes a stop in Seattle at McCaw Hall April 7 – 9. 321 Mercer St. 206-684-7200 or go to mccawhall.com.
On April 15 there will be the 2017 Suzuki Celebration Concert dedicated to music educator/philosopher Shinichi Suzuki. Local children come together to make music at 2pm at Benaroya Hall downtown.
“An Evening With Violinist Jinjoo Cho” presents the internationally touring violinist as a guest in an evening of music at Resonance with her performance partner Hyun Soo Kim on the Eastside at Resonance at SOMA Towers on April 22 at 8pm. $20 admission. 288 106th Ave. N.E. #203 in Bellevue. 425-443-2585 or try [email protected]
The Third Annual Seattle Boylesque Festival takes place April 21 -22 and features male and genderqueer burlesque dancers from across the country and from Japan and Mexico as well. Each night, a different show. TheTriple Door at 216 Union St. 206-838-4333 or thetripledoor.net.
The great Indian writer/artist/poet/playwright Rabindranath Tagore’s play, “Chitrangada – The Warrior Princess” as directed by Moumita Bhattacharya hits the stage of ACT Theatre as a joint production between ACT LAB and Pratidhwani. April 28 – May 20, 2017. 206-292-7676 or go to actheatre.org.
Conductor Julia Tai leads the Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra in a season-ending concert entitled “In Nature’s Realm” with guest soprano Melanie Henley. April 30 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 2:30pm. $20 admission.
New York-based jazz composer/pianist Helen Sung plays new selections from a recent recording as part of the EARSHOT Jazz Spring Series on May 4 at PONCO Concert Hall at 8pm at Cornish College campus on Capitol Hill. Go to earshot.org or call 206-547-6763.
“Frequency: Bach Refractions” is the title of a concert by new chamber ensemble Frequency made up of UW faculty Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Melia Watras and Michael Jinsoo Lim. They will perform “Goldberg Variations” arranged for string trio. May 13 at 7:30pm. Free. UW Seattle campus at Brechimin Auditorium located in the Music Building.
Local actress/performance artist/curator Sara Porkalob co-curates Intiman’s “Barbecue”, a play by Robert O’Hara about two families, one black and one white who must work together to convince family members into a rehabilitation program. June 1 – 25 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. 104 – 17th Ave. S. 206-684-4757 or go to langstoninstitute.org.
UW’s very active jazz program presents Jazz Innovations, a concert workshop in which UW students will tackle new and innovative orchestral jazz works accompanied by trumpeter Cuong Vu, pianist Marc Seales, saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi and drummer Ted Poor. At Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. 7:30pm on May 17 & 18. Free.
“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 July 12 – August 19. 204 N. 85th St. in Seattle. 206-781-9707.
Chan Centre, the premier performing arts theatre space for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C. presents the following. Anda Union, a nine-member band that unites tribal and musical traditions from all over Inner Mongolia. A wide range of traditional instruments and vocal throat singing styles are used. They are part of the new season and will perform on March 26, 2017 at 8pm. Go to http://chancentre.com/subscribe/ for details on their complete season. Single tickets on sale on June 14, 2016 from noon on.
Seattle Gamelan Pacifica perform traditional and contemporary works composed for this instrument prevalent in Indonesia. In 2017, they celebrate the centenary of great American composer Lou Harrison who wrote many modern compositions for gamelan on Sat., May 13 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. (4th floor) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Fans of Hawaiian music will want to take note of this. Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson appear at the Edmonds Center For The Arts with Moanalani Beamer representing the younger generation on March 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595.
Tasveer presents their annual “Aaina: South Asian Women’s Festival” which focuses on the artistic work of and about South Asian women in film, visual & performing art with speakers and conversations relevant to South Asian women. A key part of this is the annual presentation of “Yoni Ki Baat”, a local South Asian female interpretation of Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” with a changing cast each year. March 17 – 19, 2017 at Seattle University. “Yoni Ki Baat” is co-directed by Sudeshna Sathe and Gauri Shringarpure and has performances on the March 17 & 18 at 7pm and again on Sun, March 19 at 3pm all at the Pigott Auditorium on campus. For details, try [email protected]
ReAct presents the Seattle premiere of the hit new play “Sex With Strangers” by Laura Eason as directed by David Hsieh. When thrown into a room together, an obscure novelist and a famous blogger have little in common except the passion they bring to their writing. This comedic drama plays March 28 – April 12, 2017. “Perfect Arrangement” by Topher Payne gets its Seattle premiere March 24 – April 15. Set in 1950, this screwball comedy and provocative drama tells the story of state department employees tasked with identifying sexual deviants amonst their ranks. The catch is that both of them are secretly gay. 206-364-3283 or www.reacttheatre.org. Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets. At 12th Ave. Arts located at 1620 – 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill.In other news, React’s 2016 production of “Aliens” received the Seattle Times Footlight Award for best production. Congratulations!
Actress, arts community organizator, writer. producer and director Kathy Hsieh of SIS Productions is profiled by Sheila Farr in the article “The Dramatic Dynamics Of One Asian American Artist” in the March issue of “Columns”, the University of Washington Alumni Magazine.
Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theatre will be transformed into a gigantic disco dance floor for the musical “Here Lies Love” by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. Fresh from New York’s Public Theater, the production tells the story of Imelda Marcos and her Filipino dictator husband Ferdinand Marcos and how they were toppled by a non-violent restoration of democracy in 1986. Directed by Alex Timbers and starring Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda and Mark Bautista as Ferdinand Marcos. Conrad Ricamora and Melody Butiu are also in the cast. Opens April 7, 2018. The theatre is located at Seattle Center at the corner of Second Ave. and Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org.
Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.
Local actress/playwright Keiko Green’s “Nadeshiko” tackles issues of race and gender. Developed in collaboration with the Umbrella Project, it will receive its premiere as part of Sound Theatre Company’s new season. The company features exclusively female playwrights and directors. April 13 – May 7 at the Center Theatre at the Armory in Seattle Center. 305 Harrison St. 206-856-5520 or try [email protected]
The Cathedral Trio composed of Naomi Kato, Brian Fairbanks and Joyce Ramee perform at McCaw Chapel at St. Mark’s Cathedral on May 19 at 7:30pm.
The Corda Quartet composed of Heather Borror, Judith Kim, Emmeran Pokorny and Yang Lu perform on May 27 at 7:30pm on the UW campus in Seattle at the Brechemin Auditorium. Free.
Book-It Repertory presents their adaptation of the novel “Welcome to Braggsville” by Geronimo Johnson from June 7 – July 2, 2017. When a southern good ol’ boy at UC Berkeley lets it slip that he’s going home, some of his classmates elect to tag along and decide to demonstrate their stereotypical assumptions of the racist South with mixed results. In the cast, Justin Huertas stars as a Malaysian student who wants to be “the next Lenny Bruce Lee, kung-fu comedian”. 206-428-6319×19 or go to www.book-it.org.
Cellist Nathan Chan begins his tenure with Seattle Symphony as third chair cello starting March, 2017. Chan has a Masters in Music from Juilliard and has performed as soloist with San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic and many others.
Seattle local reggae/rock group Kore Ionz led by Daniel Pak has a new music video entitled “Superhero”. The video features a young band of superheroes who fight against the evils of society. Go to https://youtu.be/6Cqnmaz5auM to see it. Seattle Magazine recently chose the group as their “Band of the Week.” Go to http://www.seattlemag.com/arts-and-culture/band-week-kore-ionz to read about it.
Shakuhachi player Christopher Yohmei Blasdel performs in a concert entitled “An Evening of Contemporary Shakuhachi Music by Japanese Composers” with special guests. The musician comments although many Japanese male composers are known, very few works by equally talented contemporary Japanese women composers receive the attention they deserve. This event takes place on March 23 at 7:30pm. Music Department Room 36 at 2411 Dole St. in Honolulu, Hawai’i. For details, go to http://manoa.hawaii.edu/music/event/an-evening-of-contemporary-shakuhachi-music-by-japanese-female-composers/
Actress/performance artist Minita Gandhi is touring her one-woman show “Muthaland” which looks at her travels through her ancestral homeland with both eyes open documenting cultural discovery, sexual assault and a father’s unconditional love. She recently appeared at the Age & Gender Equity Foundation for the Arts Symposium at Portland State and was interviewed nationally on NPR. A documentary short on the making of her performance by Yining Zhou, Avinash Chak and A.C. Fowler won a regional emmy.
Footloose presents at SAFEhouse Arts “Don’t Shoot: A Requiem in Black” written and performed by noted Bay Area performance artist/poet Genny Lim with musicians Francis Wong and Marshall Trammell plus “Right of Agression”, a solo Butoh performance by Judith Kajiwara. Lim’s piece is inspired by the stories of Sandra Bland and Philando Castile using spoken word, live music, movement and video to sketch out portraits of two tragic victims of racial profiling and police violence. March 8 & 9 at 7:30pm. At SAFEhouse Arts located at One Grove St. in San Francisco. Tickets at safehousearts.org and information/reservations at ftloose.com.
Houston Grand Opera’s use of white actors for Asian roles in “Nixon in China” has raised the ire of the local community. Cecil Fong, President of the local branch of the Organization of Chinese Americans remarked, “This is not ok. It’s a negative stereotype of Asian Americans. I’m surprised this still happens nowadays.” Excerpted from Slipped Disc.
Debbie Chin is the newly appointed Executive Director of Bay Area-based Opera Parallele. Previously she was Executive Director of Carmel Bach Fest. She currently sits on the board of The Network of Ensemble Theater. Chin is from Long Island, New York where her Chinese immigrant parents ran a family restaurant and nightclub. Excerpted from SF Classical Voice.
Eddie Kamae, Hawaiian ukulele pioneer who helped develop a renewed interest in traditional Hawaiian music and culture passed away in January. He was 89. He founded the Sons of Hawaii, a seminal group in the 60’s and 70’s. Kamae also produced documentary films that highlighted the legacy of Hawaiian music. News excerpted from the New York Times.
Company Wang Ramirez combine their talents to perform in “Monchichi” at Spoleto. Honji Wong is a martial arts-trained dancer born in Frankfort Germany of Korean parents and Sebastien Ramirez, French with Spanish origins is a former B-boy. They will teach a master class at Spoleto as well on May 25.
Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana is a sheep and cattle ranch halfway between Billings and Bozeman and north of Yellowstone. It also hosts classical chamber music recitals besides exhibiting large-scale outside sculptures. Classical pianist Jenny Chen has a solo piano recital on July 21 at 6:30pm in the Olivier Music Barn, a duo piano recital with Uiacheng Xiong on July 22 at 10:30am in the Sculpture Site: The Dome. She has another solo concert on Sat., July 22 at 6:30pm in the Olivier Music Barn with a pre-concert talk at 5pm in the Tiara Acoustic Shell. Pianist Vicky Chow performs with Doug Perkins on percussion with Timothy Feeney, Todd Mehar and Stephen Versaevel on Sat., Sept. 16 at 10;30 am in the Sculpture Site: The Domo. 96 South Grove Creek Rd. in Fishtail, MT. For details, try [email protected]
Port Townsend-raised jazz guitarist Miles Okazaki now based in New York City has a new release out on PI Recordings entitled “Trickster”.The music is inspired by ancient trickster figures who use mischief and magic to disrupt the state of things. With pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman. Call 917-748-5214 for details.
The full playscript of Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone” (staged in Seattle last year) will appear in print in the February 2017 issue of American Theatre magazine.
Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang has given a fundraising concert and pledged to do more to improve the situation of children in rural China where parents often leave home to work in the cities leaving their children in the care of grandparents. These “left-behind” children are a growing social issue.
Japanese sound engineer Yasuhisa Toyota is known for his skill at getting natural sound in concert halls. Toyota says for acoustics to be right, you need a thorough knowledge of building materials, close collaboration with architects, a comprehension of musicians’ needs, computerized simulations, use of scale models of halls and analysis of reverberating sound. Toyota’s Nagata Acoustics has designed acoustics for orchestras in L.A., Helsinki, Paris, Shanghai and more recently the Elbephilharmonie Concert Hall in Hamburg. Sourced from a report by Yuri Kageyama filed for A. P. wire service.
The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles announced their 2017-18 season. It will feature “Soft Power”, a world premiere in the form of a Chinese musical about present-day America by Tony-Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang. Set to open in May, 2018. 213-972-4444 or go to centertheatregroup.org/ahmanson.
The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera has extended the contract of current Music Director, Kayoko Dan for another five years. Dan remains one of the few female classical conductors in the country.
Classical conductor Huang Feili recently died in Hong Kong at the age of 99. He returned to China from the U.S. in 1951 to follow Mao’s vision only to suffer persecution during the cultural revolution.
Film & Media
“Apprentice” by Malaysian filmmaker Boo Junfeng screens until March 16. It was Singapore’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the Oscars. It tells the story of an ambitious young correctional officer who when transferred to the country’s highest security prison, catches the attention of seasoned chief executioner Rahim. It’s been called a slow burning psychological thriller by critics. At the Grand Illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th St. 206-523-3935.
“The Land of the Enlightened” screens March 24 – 26 and is a cinematic journey into Afghanistan that blends fiction and documentary by Pieter-Jan De Pue. On April 1 are the films of Daichi Saito with the filmmaker in attendance. Based in Montreal, this Japanese filmmaker makes short films layered with sound and image. Not only a filmmaker but a curator, director and author and co-founder or Montreal collective, Double Negative. 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.Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-829-7863.
“Shura”, Toshio Matsumoto’s Noh-influenced revenge drama of a cheated samurai is part of the “Darkness Film Series” at Henry Art Gallery on March 16. Part of a series of films by various directors that explore darkness, madness, colonialism or oppression. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to henryart.org for details.
Portland filmmaker Chris Pankhurst received a 2016 Regional Arts & Culture Council grant to make “Fumi’s Floral Shoppe”, a documentary film about 93 year old Fumi Itami and her family flower shop which she and her family have run in Portland for the last 70 years. The film depicts Portland’s history and transformation through the challenges and change Fumi and her flower shop experienced, including Fumi’s forced placement in an internment camp during WW II. Sourced from RACC’s “Art Notes.”
Kimi Takasue’s “95 and 6 To Go” is a story of the filmmaker and her recently widowed grandfather in Honolulu finding common ground within the shaping of the director’s unproduced feature screenplay. Plays CAAM Festival in San Francisco in March and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in April.
“Family Circle: The Films of Yasujiro Ozu” screens March 23 – May 18 at Seattle art Museum downtown. With “Late Spring”, “An Autumn Afternoon” and many other classics by this great Japanese film director who turned silence into another character and used his lens to look into the poetic soul of ordinary middle-class people. Go to visitsam.org/tickets or call 206-654-3260.
Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori was recently honored with a retrospective of her documentary films at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.Her documentary on family history and Japanese American internment entitled “Rabbit in the Moon” which aired as part of the POV documentary film series on PBS won an Emmy. The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco also screened her moving homage to early Japanese Americans entitled “When Rabbit Left The Moon” in a program commemorating the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. Plans are under way to bring this film to the Wing.
The American version of Masamuni Shirow’s “Ghost in the Shell” based on a popular manga that looks at the future and cyborg identity opens March 31 at various theatres minus many of the Japanese characters replaced by a Hollywood cast.
A new Japanese feature length animated feature film “Your Name” by Makoto Shinkai has the premise of two teens exchanging genders in their dreams and falling in love in their waking lives. It has captured the imaginations of viewers both in Japan and China becoming a mega-hit. It has garnered praise at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe as well as generating Oscar talk. The lead of Shinkai’s animation team is Masahi Ando who was one of master animator Hayao Miyazaki’s greatest disciples. His other lead artist is Masayoshi Tanaka. Though Shinkai is mentioned sometimes as the “new Miyazaki”, the 43 year old filmmaker gets uncomfortable hearing it. “Of course I’m happy when people mention his name and mine in the same breath. It’s like a dream. But I know they are overpraising because I am absolutely not at his level. Honestly, I don’t want Miyazaki to see it because he will see all its flaws.” Shinkai’s next project will be about teched-up Japanese teens. “Your Name” has been picked up by Funimation Entertainment for distribution in the U.S. Opens April 7 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.
Haven’t got your tickets yet? Well, the Seattle International Film Festival (more than 400 films over 25 days) will be here before you know it. May 18 – June 11, 2017. Go to siff.net/festival2017 for tickets.
New York-based Janus Films has acquired North American rights to the late Japanese filmmaker Junzo Itami’s entire catalog. A new 4K digital version of “Tampopo” about a woman on the ultimate quest for the perfect bowl of ramen flopped in Japan but was a big hit abroad has already been released in the U.S. and Criterion will provide a home video version. Look for the rest of his films to be re-distributed in the U.S. soon.
Japanese director Seijun Suzuki has died at the age of 93. His quirky, surreal style that paired pop art visuals with Yakuza assasins (“Tokyo Drifter”, “Branded to Kill”) eventually endeared him to Western directors like Quentin Tarationo and Jim Jarmusch.
The Written Arts
Jorge Cham, creator of Pho Comics gives a talk on March 22 at 3:30pm in the UW HUB, Room 145. 4001 E. Stevens Way NE in Seattle.
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. The Saturday University Series presented by Gardner Center For Asian Art & Ideas with the UW Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay present a new series entitled “Islam Across Asia: Art Practices/Cultural Politics”. Now that Seattle Asian Art Museum is undergoing renovation, the series has moved to Seattle University’s Piggott Auditorium and the Student Center on campus. Saturdays at 10am. March 4 at STCN, Muhamad Ali from UC, Riverside talks about “Being Grateful for Difference: Islam and Religious Plurality in Indonesia. March 11 at Pigott Auditorium brings Kenneth George of Australian National University who will talk about “Living With Paintings: Spiritual Notes From a Muslim Artist in Indonesia.” March 18 at Pigott Auditorium Sharmini Pereiera, an independent international curator and art publisher talks about “Canvassing the Book.” March 25 at Pigott Auditorium, David Roxburgh of Harvard University talks about “The Art and Culture of Heart Afghanistan in the Late 15th Century: Master of Calligraphers Sultan ‘Ali Mashhadi.” Finally on April 1 the artist Naiza Khan will engage in conversation with Ali Mian at Pigott Auditorium. Location for this series is at 901 12th Ave. on the Seattle University campus either at Pigott Auditorium or the Student Center. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org for details. Back at the bookstore on March 2, Min Jin Lee talks about “Pachinko” (Grand Central), a new novel about Koreans living in Japan who run the Pachinko parlor business with Gina Hadley at 7pm. On Friday, March 3 at 7pm, join Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and author of “Boxers and Saints” & “American Born Chinese” as he appears as part of “A Celebration of Young Adult Graphic Novels” by noted publisher First/Second Books. He joins a panel of author/illustrators including Penelope Bagieu, Box Brown and Matt Loux for a book signing and a game of Pictionary. This event is free and first come, first served at Seattle Public Central Library at 1000 Fourth Ave. downtown. 206-386-4636 or go to www.spl.org. Back at the bookstore on March 5 at 3pm, Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall talks to coordinator/editor/writer Anna Balint about “Voices from the Recovery Café” (Raven Chronicles), a powerful local literary anthology of voices from a workshop she runs for people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness who need to express themselves in writing. On March 7, local author/commentator Eric Liu engages novelist Gish Jen in conversation about her new book entitled “Girl At The Baggage Claim” (Knopf). Abeer Y. Hoque And Friends read on Friday, March 10 at 7pm. Bangladeshi American writer/photographer Abeer Y. Hoque reads from her memoir that traces her travels from her upbringing in Nigeria to Philadelphia and then Bangladish. Friends joining her are poet/prose writer Carol Guess, comics artist Amanda Davidson and poet, critic and book artist Deborah Poe. March 18 at 2pm in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium, the bookstore in collaboration with the Gardner Center For Asian Art And Ideas presents Moshsin Hamid reading from his new novel “Exit West”. March 21 at 7pm has Howard French reading from “Everything Under The Heavens” which looks at China’s ideological development as it becomes a more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy in the same series also at Pigott Auditorium. March 26 at 3pm, author Sayantani Dasgupta reads from “Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between” (Two Sylvias Press) and Elizabeth Sloan reads from “When the Songbirds Return to Paris” (Fawkes Press) at the bookstore. Local author/commentator Eric Lui talks about his new book, “You’re More Powerful Than You Think (Public Affairs) on March 30. April 10 brings popular novelist Lisa See reading from “Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane” (Simon & Schuster). April 13 Hari Kunzru reads from his latest book entitled “White Tears” (Knopf) at 7pm. April 11 brings local editor Jaimee Garbacik and friends reading from “Ghosts of Seattle (Chin Music) in which writers remember people and places of historical Seattle no longer in existence. At 7pm and first stop of a walking tour. April 17 Omar El Akkad reads from “American War” (Knopf). April 22 local Palestinian American poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha reads from her striking debut collection of poetry “Water & Salt” (Red Hen). On either April 24 or 26 you will find Cambodian
American writer Vaddey Ratner reading from “Music of The Ghosts” (Simon & Schuster) about her return to Cambodia as an adult. This is at the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch downtown. June 7 at the bookstore, Lisa Ko reads from “The Leavers” (Algonquin), a debut novel about the disappearance of an undocumented Chinese immigrant and how her son left behind discovers the difficult choices she was forced to make. Finally the great Indian writer Arundhati Roy returns to Seattle with her first novel in 20 years entitled “Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Knopf). Tentatively scheduled for June 28. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
KCLS: Bookworks and Landmarks present on Sat., March 18 at 10:30am, an activity for young readers in which they can read David Patneaude’s young adult novel about a Japanese American teenager in internment camp during WWII and then discuss the book with the author. There will also be a tour of the restored Japanese American Bathhouse as well. Visitors will also have a chance to try writing haiku with commencement Bay Haiku Group. Registration begins on March 1. For kids, ages 10 and up. 12303 S.E. Auburn Black Diamond Rd. Neely Auburn Mansion. 360-825-2045 or go to [email protected]
Linda Tamura reads from “Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence” (UW Press) on March 15 at 7pm as part of a “Sense of Place” Series at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River, Oregon.
Prose writer Siel Ju reads from her debut “novel-in-stories” book entitled “Cake Time with Seattle writers Corinne Manning and Tara Atkinson. And yes, cake will be served. Hugo House on First Hill at 7pm. April 13.
Local writer Bharti Kirchner’s sixth novel “Goddess of Fire” was shortlisted for the Nancy Pearl Award. It’s now available in both hard cover and paperback editions. Her seventh novel “Season of Sacrafice: A Maya Mallick Mystery” comes out in hardcover in September, 2017. First in a series and set in Seattle, it tells the story of a young, brilliant, dedicated scientist killed in a violent street protest, leaving behind her questions for a new sleuth to solve. Go to www.bhartikirchner.com for full details.
Seattle novelist Donna Miscolta and poet Shankar Narayan share the bill on March 15. On April 19, hear the poets Terrence Hayes and Jane Wong. All part of the “Words West Literary Series” at C & P Coffee at 7pm in West Seattle. 5612 California Ave. S.W. 206-933-3125 or go to [email protected]
Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details. Spoken word artist Anis Mojgani who spins sublime tales of the imagination from personal encounters and childhood memories of the deep South comes in from Portland to perform on April 7, 2017 along with award-winning local poet Rick Barot & others in the popular series of new work commissioned around a specific theme. Hugo House now adds manuscript consultations to its long list for resources for writers. There are currently five consultants for short fiction, novels, memoirs, essays, poetry, young adult and literary journalism and more to be added as the program continues. For details on this, go to hugohouse.org/manuscript-consultants. For general information, try 206-453-1937. Hugo House is at 1021 Columbia St. in Seattle.
Seattle attorney Dennis Lam has had his poem selected for the Poetry on Buses Project. We look forward to seeing his poem on a Metro bus.
“Sherman Alexie Loves” is a new series that Seattle Arts & Lectures has started with the noted Northwest writer. It features three evenings of conversation with authors that the author loves. Of special note is the evening entitled “First Loves: Debut Novelists Alexie Loves” on Thurs., May 11, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Includes a conversation with Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag and Sunil Yapa. For tickets & information, go to lectures.org.
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!
“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.
“Pandemic – Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” (FS&G) by Sonia Shah covers outbreaks of disease throughout recent history.
“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 inn deceptively lucid language.
“Fighting For Justice – Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” (Heyday Books) by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. Illustrated by Yutaka Houlette. Heyday Books’ “Fighting For Justice” series gets off with a strong start with this volume on Fred Korematsu who dared to question the constitutionality of the government’s order to put all Japanese on the West Coast into prison camps and won. With clear and moving illustrations and a straight-forward narrative, the book is enhanced with numerous historical asides that provoke important questions of its young readers.
“Afterland” (Graywolf) by Mai Der Vang recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the rate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award fo The American Academy of American Poets as selected by Carolyn Forche.
“The Great Derangement – Climate Change And The Unthinkable” (Chicago) by Amitav Ghosh. In this wake-up call against the world’s slow reaction to climate change, the novelist shows his range by outlining our inability at the levels of literature, history and politics to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. This articulate criticism is the author’s call to action.
“God’s Will for Monsters”(Inlandia Institute) by Rachelle Cruz contests, demolishes and remixes the bizarre, early 20th century colonial and classic ethnographic summations of the Philippines of its peoples and culture but also circles across countries and mythical landscapes. Regional winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Prize in poetry for 2016.
“Among The Ruins” (Minotaur) by Ausma Zehanant Khan follows on the heels of the author’s widely-praised novels “The Unquiet Dead” (Barry Award winner) and “The Language of Secrets” and returns to the world of Detective Esa Khattuck and his Partner in “Among The Ruins” which takes the officers away from their Toronto beat to the politically precarious land of today’s Iran.
“EFG – A Trilogy” (Action Books) by Valerie Hsiung is a book of experimental poetry that CD Wright says, “She is one of those poets you wish were more populous for they pull you up by the hair roots and remind you living is a serious business, and the whole world is in our dirty little hands.”
“Strange Fruit Of The Black Pacific – Imperialism’s Racial Justice and Its Fugitives ” (NYU) by Vince Schleitwiler plows through new ground in tracing the interrelated migrations of African American, Japanese Americans and Filipinos across U.S. domains. Through studies in literature, blues & jazz culture, film, theater, journalism and private correspondence, Schleitwiler considers how the collective yearnings and speculative destinies of these groups were bound together. Invokes the voices of James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Toshio Mori, Carlos Bulosan, Robert Johnson and Eulalie Spence.
“Retracing Our Steps – Fukushima Exclusion Zone 2011 – 2016” (Kehrer Verlag) by Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bression bring to light the area around the stricken power station of Fukushima Daiichi after the tsunami and nuclear disaster. What remains in a region where 80,000 people were evacuated from one day to the next? What do former residents think about going back to their ghost towns? In a surreal episode, they ask former residents to come back to their shops and homes and talk about how it was and what it is like for them now. With text and photographs.
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.
Xiaolu Guo, a Chinese writer and filmmaker is based in London. She was listed as one of Granta’s best young British novelist and has been shortlistd for the Orange Prize. Her memoir entitled “Once Upon A Time in the East” (Chatto & Windus) came out this January.
“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.
The late Xu Hongci, acused of being a “rightist” spent 20 years in China’s gulag archipelago. He is the only person known to have escaped and lived to write about it in his newly translated memoir “No Wall Too High” (Farrar Straus & Giroux). It was originally published in Hong Kong in 2008 but makes its American debut now.
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.
“A Separation” (Riverhead Books) by Katie Kitamura is an explosive fiction debut that lays bare the emotions of a failing marriage and the secrets that we all carry.
“Sushi – Jiro Gastronomy” (Viz Media) by Jiro Ono & Yoshikazu Ono is a neat little primer that introduces readers to the sushi varieties served at his famed Tokyo establishment and offers tips on how best to fully enjoy Edo-style sushi.
“Frontier” (Open Letter) by Can Xue translated by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping is a multi-layered novel about a young woman living in a surreal town and the dozen different characters who populate the place. This Chinese master storyteller looks at life’s opposites in dreams of finding hope.
“The Crane Girl” (Lee & Low) is a retelling of an ancient Japanese folktale for children by Curtis Manley with watercolor illustrations by Lin Wang. Told in alternating prose and haiku, this tale takes readers to a magical world where characters struggle with the temptation of greed and the power of love.
“Monstress – Volume One – Awakening” (Image Comics) is a manga illustrated story by Marjorie Liu with images by Sana Tanaka. Set in an alternate world of art deco beauty and steampunk horror, it tells the story of a teenager caught in a world of the hunter and the hunted searching for answers to her past.
“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” (Scribners) is the latest novel by Lisa See that explores the bonds between a Chinese woman from the Akha ethnic minority, the daughter she gives up for adoption and the tea that connects them throughout the years of separation.
“Be The Change – A Grandfather Gandhi Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Arvn Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus with illustrations by Evan Turk. This children’s book shares the lessons of wastefulness as learned by a grandson of the Indian leader.
“The Ruler’s Guide” (Scribners) by Chinghua Tang tells the story of China’s greatest ruler and his timeless secrets of success in life.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel – The Secret History of the Japanese Language School 1945 – 1959” (Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington) is the companion volume to the exhibition curated by Elisa Law with illustrations by Aki Sogabe. It tells a missing part of Seattle history and gives a moving account of how returning Japanese Americans picked up the pieces to transition to regular life after their imprisonment in WWII internment camps.
“Heroine Complex” (DAW) by Sarah Kuhn tells the story of Evie Tanaka, the stressed out personal assistant to her childhood best friend who just happens to be San Francisco’s most beloved superhero. One night the assistant poses as her glamorous boss and her whole life changes when she too, has magical powers. A teenage fantasy.
“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.
“17” (Zuban) is a collection of short stories by Indian master storyteller Anita Agnihotri as translated by Arunava Sinha. These stories bring out the different faces of human hardship and explore a largely unknown slice of India from cities to suburbs and villages.
Didn’t read Marie Kondo and your room is still a cluttered mess and feeling guilty? Relax and check out “Goodbye Things – The New Japanese Minimalism” (Norton) by Fumio Sasaki. This Japanese bestseller tells the tale of an ordinary guy stressed at work and insecure. One day he decides to change his life by eliminating things to a bare minimum.
“Southeast Asian Plays” (Aurora Metro) is an anthology edited by Cheryl Robson & Aubrey Mellor that brings new theatre from Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia where profound change is taking place.
“Ghachar Ghochar” (Penguin) is a novel from South Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag who unpeels the layers of a family who start out impoverished and gain overnight riches only to face a melt-down. A striking debut in English.
Best-selling author Nalini Singh is back with “Allegiance of Honor” (Berkeley), a psy-changeling novel that continues the sci-fi fantasy.
“The Amazing Story of a Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love” (One World) by Per J. Anderson tells the true story of a New Delhi street artist whose fortuitous meeting with a Swedish tourist will change his life.
“China on Strike – Narratives of Workers’ Resistance” (Haymarket) Edited by Hao Ren chronicles case studies of Chinese workers who fight today for a better tomorrow.
“ha Ha Ho ho – Selected Rhymes of Annada Shankar Ray (Seagull) translated by Sukanta Chaudhuri illustrates the playful genius of this Indian poet who takes a child’s rhyme to make fun of a messy adult world.
Author Christine Hywg-Oak Lee in her memoir “Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember” (Harpercollins) uses her journals to reconstruct her memory loss from a stroke and the unexpected grief that came with her recovery.
“Recitation” (Deep Vellum) is a novel by Bae Suah that traces the intermingling lives of a mysterious wandering actress and a chorus of emigrants who meet by chance at train stations late at night. Translated from the Korean by the prolific British translator Deborah Smith.
“Infinity Mirrors – Yayoi Kusama” (Hirschorn) edited by Mika Yoshitake explores internationally known Japanese woman artist’s best known series and its influence on the course of contemporary art over the past 50 years. This exhibition comes to Seattle Art Museum later this year.
“Lucky Boy” (Putnam) is a novel by Shanthi Sekaran about two unforgettable women in Northern California, an undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian American wife. Both are bound together by their love for the same boy.
“The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf) is a novel of literary horror from Han Yujoo, a major new voice from South Korea as translated by Janet Hong.
“Still Out of Place” (Bamboo Ridge) 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.
“Mr. Iyer Goes to War” (Bloomsbury) is the debut novel by Ryan Lobo, an award-winning photographer/filmmaker/writer who creates a modern interpretation of “Don Quixote” set in modern India.
“Pachinko” (Grand Central) by Min Jin Lee tells the story of a Korean family through generations who end up living in Japan and running a pachinko parlor. Opens a window on the long and troubled history of legal and social discrimination against Koreans who live in Japan.
In her debut essay collection “One Day We’ll Be Dead And None of This Will Matter” (Picador) Scaachi Koul (a senior writer for BuzzFeed) pulls no punches as she tackles racism, misogyny and toxic masculinity with grace, wit, and a wicked self-deprecating humor.
“Load Poems Like Guns – Women’s Poetry from Heart, Afghanistan” (Holy Cow! Press) by Farzana Marie opens a window onto the Persian poetic tradition and gives voice and bears witness to another culture.
“Mama And Papa Have a Store” (Lee & Low) by Amelia Lau Carling is a reprint of a popular picture book for children about a young girl who describes a typical day in her parents’ Chinese store in Guatemala City.
Hideo Yokoyama/s “Six Four” (FS&G) is an international bestseller which gets its first English translation by Jonathan Lloyd Davies here. It’s a dark, elaborately constructed police drama about an investigation into a chilling kidnapping. The London Sunday Express called him the “James Ellroy of Tokyo.”
“Spiral Staircase: Collected Poems” by Hirato Renkichi” (Ugly Duckling) as translated by Sho Sugita. This late Japanese poet produced a unique brand of Futurism from the late 1910s and early 1920s through poetry, criticism and guerilla performance. This early work would later influence Dadaist and Surrealist writers in pre-war Japan. This is the first definitive volume of his poems to appear in English.
“No One Can Pronounce My Name” (Picador) is a new novel by Rakesh Satyal (“Blue Boy”) that is a humorous multigenerational novel about immigrants and outsiders – those trying to find their place in American society and within their own families.
“The End Of The Dark Era” (Phoneme Media) by Tseveendorjin Oidov translated from the Mongolian by Simon Wickhamsmith is the first book of Mongolian poetry to be published in the United States and is one of the few avant-garde poetry collections to have come from that country. The poet is also one of Mongolia’s renowned painters and his drawings appear in this book.
“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.
“House A” (Omnidawn) by Jennifer S. Cheng is the winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize as chosen by Claudia Rankine. Rankine writes, “These tender epistolary prose poems embody the constant sense of dislocation for the immigrant, while redefining affiliation nonetheless.” Cheng reads shortly at Seattle’s Open Books in Wallingford (206-633-0811 or [email protected]).
“Exit West” (Riverhead) is the new novel by Man Booker Prize finalist Mohsin Hamid. It follows a young couple in an unnamed country as their city collapses and they are forced to join a wave of migrants fleeing for their lives.
“Iep Jaltok – Poems From a Marshallese Daughter” (University of Arizona Press) by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner provides a much needed Pacific Islander perspective on contemporary life, indigenous rights, climate change and the troubling history of American involvement including Atomic-bomb testing in the Pacific.
“Hokusai’s Lost Manga” (MFA Boston) is the catalog for a rare Hokusai sketchbook curated by Sarah E. Thompson. In 1823 an advertisement was placed for “Master Iitsu’s Chicken Rib Picture Book” but the book never appeared. This volume might well have been that unpublished volume and the last evidence of the Japanese master artist’s work.
“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?
“The Malaysian Kitchen – 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking” (HMH) by Seattle author Christina Arokiasamy looks at Malaysian recipes adapted for the American kitchen.
“Blue Light Yokohama” (Minotaur) is a crime novel by Nicolas Obregon that covers a quiet, troubled detective who tries to fight corruption in the gritty glitter of Tokyo with all odds against him.
“Swimming in Hong Kong” (Willow Springs) is a collection of short stories by Stephanie Han that cross borders and boundaries of Hong Kong and the U.S and looks at characters struggling with the politics of race, sex class, gender and culture.
“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.
“The Impossible Fairy Tale” (Graywolf) is a chilling novel by Korean author Han Yujoo translated by Janet Hong about the cruelty of children in the classroom and the stinging consequences of neglect.
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.
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.
Cao Wen Xuan, winner of the 2016 Hans Christain Andersen Award has his classic Chinese young adult novel, “Bronze and Sunflower” (Candlewick Press) translated into English by Helen Wang. When an only child loses her father to an accident, she is taken in by the poorest family in the village also with an only child. How the two kids forge an inseparable bond as closest friends is the story here.
“The Stakes of Exposure – Anxious Bodies in Postwar Japanese Art” (Minnesota) by Namiko Kunimoto focuses on four artists of Japanese postwar art and what their work meant in the anxiety and confusions surrounding Japan’s new democracy as manifested in representations of gender and nationhood in modern art.
“The Souls of China – The Return of Religion After Mao” (Pantheon) by Ian Johnson looks at the spiritual traditions of its eastern and western faiths, and the ways in which its influencing China’s future.
Karen Maeda Allman of Elliott Bay Book Company received the 2017 Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award from Seattle Arts & Lectures for her pivotal role in promoting literature in Seattle. Congratulations, Karen!
Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell and his wife Joanne Harrell, a UW Regent and Microsoft executive have received the Charles Odegaard Award for those community leaders who exemplify a commitment to diversity. They will be honored at the UW EOP celebration set for May of this year.
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 – Dr. Frederick Brandauer talks about “Confucius, Communism, and China” on March 26 at 2pm. Skyline Retirement Center at 725 Ninth Ave. Thomas Batty will talk about “Ikebana: A Contemporary Approach” on April 23 at Nagomi Tea House at 1pm. FA3 Asian & Global Arts & Treasure Sale May 27 at St. Mark’s Cathedral’s Bloedel Hall on Capitol Hill from 9:30am – 3pm. This event is free. Marilyn Rowlatka and Courtney Nevitt will talk about “Textiles of Gujurat” on June 11 at 1pm at Phinney Community Center. 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.
Japan-America Society of the State of Washington hosts a tour to the Pacific Bonsai Museum at 2515 S. 336th St. in Federal Way on Sat., March 25. For details, go to www.jassw.org.
White River Buddhist Church holds their Spring Bazaar from 11am – 3pm on Sun., April 23. 3625 Auburn Way N. in Auburn. 253-833-1442 or visit www.wrbt.org.
As part of the UW Graduate School’s public lecture events – “Equity & Difference Series: Privilege”, UW Associate Professor Ralina Joseph will moderate a panel entitled “History, Culture and Promise: Civil Rights at the UW.” Joining the illustrious panel will be Sharon Maeda, President of Spectra Communications and community activist. May 3 at 7:30pm on the Seattle UW campus in Kane Hall. All lectures in this series are free. For details and registration, go to uwalum.com/lectures or call 206-543-0540.
Congratulations to Harold Taw & Chris Jeffries, Miyo Aoki and Rituja Indapure who all received funding from the 2017 Artist Support Program from the Jack Straw Foundation.
The late civil rights and community activist Al Sugiyama and UW alumni is included in an article “Two Giants, One Legacy” which also incudes the late Willis Konick in the March issue of “Columns”, a UW Alumni magazine.