Though known primarily for his ceramic sculpture, the late Seattle artist Akio Takamori also did paintings and prints as well and the flowing energy of this lively brushwork eventually found their way into his figurative ceramics. “Akio Takamori” To Be Human” pair his early sculptures with related prints. On view May 2 – June 8, 2019. Opening reception on Thurs., May 2 from 6 – 8pm. James Harris Gallery. Open Wed. – Sat. 604 Second Ave. 206-903-6220 or try jamesharrisgallery.com.
“The United States in My Eyes” is a group show curated by Roberta (Yi-Ping) Chen. It includes work by Siqi Chen, Peyman Fazeli, Maria Grindruk, Elena Kurushina, Rana Moradi and Roberta (Yi-Ping) Chen. Through works in various media & styles, including photography, drawing, digital media and installations, this exhibition reflects stories of the U.S. from the perspectives of artists who have left home to emigrate here. On view through May 23, 2019. Opening reception May 1, from 5 – 7pm. Gallery hours are 9am – 3:30pm. M – F. Evening hours are 5 – 7pm on Tues. and Wed. Free. Located in the North end of the Artrium of Seattle Central Community College in the main campus building at 1701 Broadway. www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery. 206-934-4379.
The Factory presents “HONEY”, a solo exhibition by Mari Nagaoka on view until May 2, 2019. It presents portraits of queer folx within their community who were asked to pose with culturally-significant objects to them. The artist works with ballpoint pen only in layered strokes of ink. On view every second Thursday from 6 – 10pm. 1216 – 10th Ave. Go to [email protected] for details.
Hedreen Gallery – Lee Center for the Arts on the Seattle University campus off Capitol Hill has the following – “An Object Lesson” has work by Markel Uriu, a Seattle artist who combines organic materials to explore ideas of impermanence, maintenance and decay using the premise of “invasive species”. On view through Sun., May 19, 2019. Veteran Northwest artist Romsom Bustillo draws upon his island upbringing seeped in a colonial/native history and iconography. The final result in patterns and mark-making on paper are images that stay rooted in the memory. Opens May 21, 2019. Wed. – Fri. from 1 – 6pm. 901 12th Ave. 206-296-2244.
Gould Gallery presents a group show entitled “Memory And Place” with Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari , interdisciplinary artist Trinh Mai and landscape designer/public artist Sara Zewde. Through May 3, 2019. 11am – 4pm. Wed. – Sat. 3950 University Way N.E. Free. Go to uw.edu/publiclectures/artists for details.
Works by George Tsutakawa are included in a show of artists whose works are on consignment in a show entitled “Semi-occasional Secondary Market Exhibition of Excellent Pictures” at Greg Kucera Gallery, Inc. Many of the artists represented are from the Northwest. Through June 1, 2019. 212 Third Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-4031 or try [email protected]
At KOBO at Higo in the CID, Payal Rarekh Bugbee presents a Mother’s Day Trunk Show on Sat., May 4, 2019 from noon to 5pm. Bugbee showcases a new selection of hand screened, hand-blocked and woven Indian textiles for home and spring scarves. KOBO at Higo also presents new spring arrivals of Mieko Mintz’s one-of-a-kind garments made of vintage sari material and hand-stitched kantha. Remains on view through May 12, 2019. Open daily at 604 South Jackson St. 206-381-3000 or [email protected]
Tacoma-based sculptor June Sekiguchi visited Laos a few years ago and it left a deep impression. So deep that she hopes to summon the powerful flow of the muddy Mekong River within the gallery walls providing visitors with a bridge to cross it as well. Set for the month of Oct., 2019. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S, 206-839-0327 or [email protected].
L.A.-based Ahree Lee is a multi-media artist working in video, photography, sound and interactive installations. She has a video installation entitled “Permutations” currently on view in front of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus at 500 Fifth Ave. N. on view from 7am – 10pm. This is part of Storefront Media Gallery sponsored by 4Culture. 206-263-1588 for details.
The Friends of Asian Art Association presents an event entitled “Honey Church Transformed – A Tour & Talk set for May 4, 2019 from 10:30am – 1:30pm. 21301 Tyee Road in Mt. Vernon, WA. See this former Seattle Asian antique institution in their new digs in a rural setting with entertaining stories provided about their antique adventures by owners, John and Laurie Fairman. Pre-register for this event by going to http://friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer3.html. Another event scheduled for May 19, 2019 at 2:30pm is a presentation by David Paly on the topic of “The Roots Of Ikat Weaving In S.E. Asia” at Skyline Retirement Center at 725 Ninth Ave. on Capitol Hill. Paly is an avid collector and will share samples from his collection and discuss the roots of this special woven art form from Southeast Asia. Members, $15 and Non-members, $20 if you pre-register at http://friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer4.html. Tickets at the door will be $5 more.
The Museum of Northwest Art presents “Continuum: Works from the Permanent Collection and the Lucy and Herb Pruzan Collection” is an edited visual history of Northwest art from the 1930’s to the present. Includes the work of Paul Horiuchi, Akio Takamori and many others. Opens April 6, 2019. 121 South 1st St. in La Connor, WA. 360-466-4446.
“Yahaw – Together We Lift The Sky” is a year-long indigenous community-based project culminating in the inaugural exhibition at Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s ARTS at King Street Station. “Yahaw” will feature the work of 200+ Indigenous creative at over 20 sites across Seattle and beyond. Curated by Tracy Rector, Asia Tail and Satpreet Kahlon. Learn more at Yehawshow.com. On view through August 3, 2019.
A JCCCW Exhibition entitled “Genji Mihara: An Issei Pioneer” is ongoing. Mihara was an Issei first-generation Japanese immigrant leader who helped to build Japanese culture and community in Seattle. Open M – F from 10am – 5pm. Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington is at 1414 S. Weller St. Free. For details, go jcccw.org.
“MY WAR: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Vets” is a group show that runs through June 3, 2019. Showcasing photographs, poems and journal entries by twenty-five Vietnam veterans from around the U.S. At the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor, WA. 360-370-5050 or go to www.sjma.org.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center has a show every month of a local Asian American artist every month in their gallery.4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or asiapacificculturalcenter.org.
Seattle Art Museum has the following – “Pure Amusements: Chinese Scholar Culture and Emulators”, an installation of Chinese works ranging from prints to sculpture and furnishings to ceramics. The focus is on objects created for, and enjoyed during the intentional practice of leisure. Ongoing. Opening at the John McCone Gallery on the 3rd floor on March 16, 2019 in the same location is “The Gentleman Warrior: Art of the Samurai” which features two complete sets of samurai armor, screen paintings and a print of the legendary battle between the Tara and Minamoto clans. Seattle Art Museum is located at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210 or try www.seattleartmuseum.org.
Henry Art Gallery has a group show entitled “Between Bodies” through April 29, 2019. It includes sculpture, augmented reality, video, and sound-based works that delve into intimate exchanges and entwined relations between human and more-than-human bodies within contexts of ongoing ecological change. Candace Lin and Patrick Staff are among the participating artists. “Recto/Verso” features art by New York-based artist Carrie Yamaoka from July 13 – Oct. 2019. It brings together work from the early 1990’s to the present highlighting recurring themes of (in)visibility and perception. Early work is text-based explorations using chemically altered photographs. Also ongoing work made with reflective mylar and resin. Recent work straddles the media of painting, drawing and sculpture. Yamaoka is a founding member of the queer art collective known as fierce pusssy. Located on the UW Seattle campus at 15th Ave. NE + NE 4lst Street. 206-543-2280 or try henryart.org.
The Museum of History & Industry has announced that “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape The Nation”, an exhibit created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service will be coming to the museum from Nov. 2019 – Jan. of 2020.
Pacific Bonsai Museum shakes up this Japanese tradition with LAB (Living Art of Bonsai), an experimental collaborative for bonsai innovation This project is a re-sequencing in the order of influence between the bonsai artist, ceramicist and stand maker. The project kicks off in 2018 and continues through 2020. A video trailer from a film about this new process can be viewed at http://www.bonsaimirai.com. Other shows include “Gnarly”, a tribute to “bonsai renegade” Dan Robinson who helped create the Northwest bonsai scene with his innovative designs. Also on view will be “Living Art of Bonsai: Principles of Design” which emphasizes key elements of the art form. Both shows on view May 11 – Sept. 29, 2019. For more information, go to http://www.pacificbonsaimuseum.org. The Pacific Bonsai Museum is at 2515 S. 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. 206-612-0026 for information.
Portland Art Museum has the following –Sara Roby championed realism and works of art founded in the principles of form and design. A group show entitled “Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Smithsonian’s Sara Roby Foundation Collection” includes the work of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and many other great American artists and it remains on view through April 28, 2019. “The Map Is Not The Territory” on view until May 5, 2019 is a reconsideration of the art of the northwest region. This group show includes the work of Rob Rhee and Henry Tsang among others. It covers the Eastern edge of the Pacific including Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, BC and Alaska. Curated by Grace Kook-Anderson. “Three Masters of Abstraction – Hagiwara Hideo, Ida Shoichi And Takahashi Rikio” looks at some Japanese modern abstract artists. Through May 5, 2019. “APEX: Steven Young Lee” showcases this contemporary ceramic artist who takes inspiration from the museum’s Korean collection and reconsiders these objects with a contemporary twist. Lee is based in Helena, MT. On view through August 11, 2019. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try [email protected].
Bellevue Arts Museum previously had a retrospective for the late N.W. jewelry artist Ron Ho. They follow it up with “Ron Ho: A Jeweler’s Tale” which looks more closely at his inspirations and how his Chinese roots and world cultures influenced and fed into his own work. With a reconstruction of his studio and the screening of a new documentary entitled “Ron Ho: Becoming Chinese, A Jeweler’s Tale”. May 10 – Sept. 15, 2019.510 Bellevue Way. 425-519-0770 or go to bellevuearts.org.
KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson features many small arts & crafts/textile shows and activities inspired by Asia or work by Asian American artists. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
New and recent shows /activities at the The Wing include the following – “Excluded, Inside the Lines” is on view through Feb. 23, 2020. It uncovers the history of redlining and the impact on minority communities. “Lore Re-Imagined: Shadows of Our Ancestors” is curated by Chieko Phillips. It brings together three artists who make work that engages the cultural traditions of previous generations. Satpreet Kahlon uses the embroidery and textile techniques passed on by her mother and grandmother to create soft works with strong cultural subtexts. Alex Anderson uses his ceramic studies in China to probe the moral and physical decay behind seemingly flawless facades. Megumi Shauna Arai’s “Unnamed Lake” uses sashiko (Japanese hand-stiched embroidery) to reflect on the physical, mental and emotional applications of mending. Remains on view through April 14, 2019. There will be a special presentation with three of the artists in this show who have roots in stories an cultural traditions of past generations on Thurs., June 14, 2019 Curator Chieko Phillips and artists Megumi Shauna Arai, Satpreet Kahlon and Alex Anderson speak at 6:30pm in the Community Hall. Light refreshments provided. All museum exhibits on this evening will be open to members and special guests from 6 – 8pm. “A Dragon Lives Here”, part 4 of the ongoing Bruce Lee exhibition series is ongoing. This concluding part hones in on Bruce Lee’s Seattle roots and how this region played a key role in shaping Lee and his groundbreaking career. “I Am Filipino” exhibit is ongoing. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. “Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of APA Science Fiction” is a show that remains on view through Sept. 15, 2019. From onscreen actors to behind-the-scenes writers, creators, artists and animators, learn about the impact Asian Pacific Americans have had and continue to have in science fiction. A mix of literary and pop culture works helps viewers to see how science fiction reflects the times they were written in. It addresses issues related to identity, immigration and race, technology, morality and the human condition. Curated by Mikala Woodward. Includes work by Tamiko Thiel, Simon Kono, June Sekigiuchi, Stasia Burrington, relics from George Takei’s Sulu character on Star Trek, clips & stills from the film, Arrival” based on Bellevue writer Ted Chiang’s story and much more. A group show tentatively titled “Open Housing” shows how community members across the Central Area, Chinatown-ID and Southeast Seattle gather to explore how racial restrictions on where people could live shaped the Seattle we know today and set a vision for those neighborhoods for the next 50 years. Through Feb. 16, 2020 in the New Dialogues Initiative area. Carina del Rosario curates an exhibit entitled “Wide Angle/Close up: A Self Portrait of the Asian Pacific Islander American Community” from May 10, 2019 – April 19, 2020. Includes photography, video, and photo-based installations by photojournalists that document the community from the inside out. Set for the George Tsutakawa Gallery. “Chinatown in the 1970s” recreates Seattle’s Chinatown in the 1970’s and explores the values and customs that continue to shape the neighborhood today. July 20, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020 in the KidPLACE Gallery. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
Poet Jane Wong, currently teaching at Western University enters a new realm with a debut exhibition centered on family entitled “After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly” at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum. Wong explores the themes of hunger and waste and their meaning for immigrant families. Expect altars, sculpture poems and texts that evoke a New Jersey childhood in the Chinese restaurant her parents ran. If she can do with images what she does with words, this show will be sure to haunt. June 1 – Sept. 1, 2019. 704 Terry. 206-622-9250 or go to fryemuseum.org.
“Key to the Collection” is a group show that opened Dec. 22, 2018 and it lets TAM show off some of the treasured gifts from their collection including their legacy of Japanese woodblock prints and various other items. Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Roger Shimomura, Joseph Park, Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) and many others. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected] or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.
“A Thousand Words’ Worth: Washington Authors Tell Northwest Stories Through Historic Artifacts” is a group exhibition in which the Washington State Historical Society asked Northwest writers to puck out a few historic artifacts to tell stories with. The end result is like pulling books off a shelf and reading about the stories they tell. Washington authors Shawn Wong, Jamie Ford, John Okada and Frank Abe are included. On view through August 24, 2019. 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma. 1-888-BE-THERE. For details, go to www.washingtonhistory.org/1000words.
“Land of Joy And Sorrow: Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” is an ongoing exhibit that traces the story of the Japanese families who settled in the Yakima valley. Yakima Valley Museum at 2105 Tieton Dr. in Yakima, WA. 509-248-0747.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – ongoing. Beginning this year, visitors can see artifacts of the collection up close as the stacks will be open to see as the staff does filing. 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene has the following –The work of Robert Dozono is included in the group show “Visual Magic: An Oregon Invitational” on view through May 12, 209. It celebrates recent work by artists who began their creative careers in Oregon during the 1960s and ’70s. “Graceful Fortitude: The Spirit of Korean Women” is on view through August 4, 2019. It includes art created by, for and/or about Korean women in all media from the twelfth to the twenty-first century. “Reflections of the Cosmic Web: Intricate Patterns in Daoist Art” remains on view through June 17, 2019. “Vibrance and Serenity: Art of Japanese No Traditional Theatre is on view through July 7, 2019. It covers the history and performance of No theatre using selected prints by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869 – 1927). 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Vancouver Art Gallery has the following – Opening April 19 and remaining on view through Sept. 2, 2019 is “Moving Still: Performative Photography in India” which explores the themes of migration, gender, religion and national identity through the lens of performative photography. Curated by Diana Freundi and Gayatri Sinha. 750 Hornby St. Vancouver BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
Nikkei National Museum presents the following – The museum has numerous online exhibits as well as offsite exhibits. Check their website for details. The Nikkei National Museum is at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum has the ongoing exhibit “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia.” 555 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC. 604-658-8880. Admission by donation.
An ongoing exhibit entitled “Call for Justice: Fighting for Japanese Canadian Redress (1977-1988)” is on view at Nanaimo Museum at 100 Museum Way in Nanaimo, Canada. 250-753-1821 or go to nanaimomuseum.ca.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has two shows and a video installation related to Japan. “Fiona Tan: Ascent” has the international artist presenting a montage film and accompanying photo installation that studies the significance of Mt. Fuji in Japanese visual culture. Opening March 9 is “Quiet Nature: The Woodblock Prints of Walter J. Phillips. This exhibit considers the influence of Japanese printmakers on the artist and his important role in popularizing the Japanese woodcut tradition in Canada. “Landscapes of Edo: Ukiyo-e Prints from the AGGV Collection” showcases key works from the museum’s extensive collection of Japanese prints. Opening July 5 and on view through Sept. 15, 2019 is “Imagining Fusang: Exploring Chinese and Indigenous Encounters”, a group show where artists explore and speculate upon early encounters and interactions between indigenous peoples and Chinese communities that settled on Vancouver Island. Curated by Haema Sivanesan.1040 Moss St. in Victoria, BC. 250-384-4171 or go to aggv.ca.
“We Were Always Here: Japanese American Post-War Pioneers of Art” is a group show currently on view at Heather James Fine Art in San Francisco through July 15, 2019. It includes work by Ruth Asawa, Isamu Noguchi and Kay Sekimachi in dialogue with Yayoi Kusama, Masami Teraoka who chose the U.S. as their home for some time. Also on view are paintings by Tadasky Kuwayama, George Miyasaki, Sadamasa Motonaga, Masako Takahashi, Kikuo Saito, Kumi Sugai, Teruko Yokoi and others. The show also includes sculpture by Nakatomi Hajime, Ueno Masao, George Nakashima, Honda Syoryu, Nakamura Tomonori and others. 49 Geary St on the 5th floor in #511. 415-872-9495.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following. Coming soon to the Larkin St. steps in front of the museum is a giant white sculpture that turns a puppy into the size of an elephant. “Your Dog” is by Yoshitomo Nara. “Kimono Refashioned” is a major exhibition on the evolution of the Japanese kimono created by the Museum in collaboration with the Kyoto Costume Institute. It runs through May 5, 2019. “Changing And Unchanging Things: Noguchi And Hasegawa in Postwar Japan” on view Sept. 27, 2019 – Dec. 18, 2019. This looks at a pivotal moment for both artists. Noguchi was returning to Japan after many years and Hasegawa had spent many years away in Europe. Together they discussed the many possibilities of combining Japanese tradition with outside influences they had had discovered on their travels. Noguchi would go on to design major permanent sculptural installations around the world and Hasegawa would become a strong influence on America’s zen-inspired “Beat Movement.” 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
“Then They Came For Me” is a group show of black and white photography that documents the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It includes work by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake and many others as well as videos, drawings by Mine Okubo and documentary material of the era. Originally organized by Alphawood Exhibitions of Chicago, the show has also shown at ICP in New York. A Bay Area version of this show presented by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation in partnership with the National Japanese American Historical society and J-Sei will reconfigure the show pertaining to the West Coast and it will be on view through May 27, 2019 for free at the “Futures Without Violence” Building located in The Presidio at 100 Montgomery St. Hours are Wed. – Sun. from 10am – 6pm (last admittance by 5:30pm). There are Public Tours on Thursdays from 4 – 6pm. Other activities include the following – Free screenings of the documentary film on the internment entitled “And Then They Came for Us” by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider every Sat. & Sun. 415-923-9795 or go to [email protected].
Berkeley Art Museum has the following – “Boundless: Contemporary Tibetan Artists At Home and Abroad” on view until May 26, 2019 features work by internationally known contemporary Tibetan artists such as Tenzing Rigdol, Gonkar Gyatso and Tsherin Sherpa alongside more historical pieces. “Ink, Paper, Silk: One Hundred Years of Collecting Japanese Art” is on view through April 14, 2019. Includes work by Okamoto Shiki, the Kano School, Nagasawa Rosetsu, Sakae Hoitsu and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. “Masako Miki/ MATRIX 273” includes work by this Japanese Bay Area artist who creates felt covered forms drawn from Japanese folk belief in Yokai (shape shifters). Through April 28, 2019. 2155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
The Museum of Craft And Design present “Wanxin Zhang – The Long Journey” on view through July 14, 2019. The artist spent his formative years in China under Mao’s regime. After moving to California in the early 1990’s he became inspired by the work of Voulkos, Arneson and De Staebler. This exhibition is a survey of his ceramic sculpture from 2006 to 2017 in which California Funk meets the Chinese historical monumental clay figure tradition. Presented in partnership with the Catherine Clark Gallery with an exhibition catalog. 2569 Third St. in San Francisco. 415-773-0303 or try [email protected]
LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art has “The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka” through June 23, 2019. This is the first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by an American museum. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows – “Common Ground: The Heart of Community.” This overview exhibit of Japanese American history is ongoing. Opening May 25 and going on through Oct. 20, 2019 is “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America”. This multi-media exhibition celebrates and explores the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity. It draws on the archives of Visual Communications and the museum itself. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org.
“Chiura Obata: An American Modern” is the first retrospective of this noted Bay area artist whose work reflected the glories of the American landscape from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite. His influence could also be felt at UC Berkeley where he had a distinguished teaching career. He also helped found art schools in internment camps during WWII. Curated by ShiPu Wang with a catalogue. The exhibition travels to the following sites. June 23 – Sept. 29, 2019 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall shows you how religion and art mix in “Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia through Nov. 29, 2020. 202-633-1000 or go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the following – “Seeing the Divine: Pahari Paintings of North India” through July 21, 2019. Through Oct. 27, 2019 is a major sculpture exhibition from the 18th & 19th century era in the Pacific Islands entitled “Atea: Nature And Divinity In Polynesia.” “Celebrating the Year of the Pig” through July 28, 2019. “Essential Korea” through Sept. 22, 2019. “Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China” through August 4, 2019. “The Tale of Genji – A Japanese Classic Illuminated” through June 16, 2019. ”Children to Immortals: Figural Representation in Chinese Art” through Feb. 23, 2020. 1000 Fifth Ave. New York, New York. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows – “Faith And Empire: Art And Politics in Tibetan Buddhism” gets a full survey including offerings from the museum’s own collection and objects from the Musee Guimet in Paris, the Cleveland Museum of Art and other institutions. On view through July 15, 2019. “The Power of Intention- Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel” brings together select examples of traditional and contemporary art to illuminate the relationship between our intentions, commitments and actions. On view through Oct. 14, 2019. “The Wheel of Intentions” is an interactive installation on view through Jan. 6, 2020. 150 W. 17th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The Japan Society has the following – “Radicalism in the Wilderness: Japanese Artists in the Global 1960’s” is a look at the radical experiments of artists from 1960s Japan little known in the U.S. such as Yutaka Matsuzawa, The Play and GUN art collectives. On view through June 9, 2019. 333 East 47th St. 212-263-1258.
The Museum of Chinese in America has the following –“With a Single Step: Stories in The Making of America” chronicles the history of the museum through Dec. 31, 2020. From May 2 – Sept. 15, 2019 is “The Moon Represents My Heart: Music And Belonging” which explores the tradition of music in Chinese communities. 215 Centre St. New York, NY. 855-955-MOCA or go to mocanyc.org.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – “In Focus: A Complete Map of the World – The Eighteenth Century Convergence of China and Europe” takes Ma Junliang’s complete map of the world as the starting point to consider interactions between China and Europe during the eighteenth century. Now on view through May 5, 2019. “M. F. Husain: Art And the Nation” focuses on the artist’s mural-sized painting created for Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party rally in 1975. On view through August 4, 2019. “Reza Arameshi: 12 Noon, Monday 5 August, 1963” is a show in which the artist Reza Aramesh examines the power balance between the captor and and captive and the aestheticization of violence in media coverage of wartime atrocities. On view through June 9, 2019. “Masterpieces from the Asia Society Museum Collection” is a group show on view through August, 2019.To find out more, go to AsiaSociety.org/NY. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Rotating Objects” by Gabriel Orozco in which the artist takes Japanese objects and embellishes them in his own style on view through August, 2019. “Changing And Unchanging Things” Noguchi & Hasegawa in Postwar Japan” featuring this historic meeting in post WWII Japan between two artists influenced by Japanese tradition and Western modernism and how to create a new fusion of both. May 1 – July 14, 2019. 9 – 01 33rd Rd, Long Island City, NY. 718-204-7088.
China Institute Gallery presents “Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens” on view through August 28, 2019. Located at 100 Washington St. (visitor entrance is at 40 Rector St . on the 2nd floor) in New York. 212-744-8181 or go to www.chinainstitute.org.
Tallur L. N. is an Indian sculptor who combines Indian craft traditions and novel sculptural techniques to infuse ancient iconography with contemporary meanings. “Multiplicity” is a show that has around thirty works in a variety of mediums, from carved stone and wood to cast bronze and concrete to found objects. May 5, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020. Grounds for Sculpture at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton, New Jersey.609-586-0616 or [email protected] for sculpture.org.
Pakistani-born artist Huma Bhabha’s rugged style of figurative sculpture working with a variety of material from clay and Styrofoam often evokes science-fictional imagery like the aliens currently on the roof of the Met. This large retrospective allows us to see the range of her interests in all phases of her career from masks to photographs and drawings. Through May 27, 2019. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr. in Boston, MA. 617-478-3100
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Conservation in Action – Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light” on view through June 30, 2020. 9300 Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.
“Empresses of China’s Forbidden City”, the first major international exhibition to explore the role of empresses in China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Includes many works never seen before in the U.S. Freer/Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C. Through June 23, 2019.
A show of prints by the late Seattle artist Munio Makuuchi is set from August – December, 2019. Art historian Margo Machida will write the catalog essay. 20 Elm St at Bedford Terrace in Northhampton, MA. 413-585-2760 or go to [email protected].
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “Without Boundaries: Fiber Sculpture & Paintings by Women Artists” featuring work by Yayoi Kusama through July 21, 2019. “Emblems of a Prosperous Life: Women’s Robes of Late Imperial China (1700s-1800s) through June 30, 2018. Minneapolis Institute of Art. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787.
“American Muse” is the title of a show of new work by Seattle native Roger Shimomura. On view through May 25, 2019. Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. 2004 Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, MO. 816-221-2626 or go to SherryLeedy.com.
“Being Japanese Canadian: reflections on a broken world” is a group show that focuses on the internment camp experience during WWII for Japanese Canadians. Includes the work of Lillian Michiko Blakey, David L. Hayashida, Emma Nishimura, Steven Nunoda, Laura Shintai, Norman Takeukchi. Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull and Yvonne Wakabayashi. On view through August 5, 2019. “Gods in Any House: Chinese New Year with Ancestor Portraits and Deity Prints” is also on view though Sept. 29, 2019. Royal Ontario Museum at 100 Queens Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Go to rom.on.ca for details.
Hito Steyerl looks at the relationship between networked technologies, image distribution and societal control. In this new commission for Serpentine Galleries, she works with technology to create a neural network that generates novel imagery and connections. Serpentine Galleries in London from through May 2019. Kensington Gardens. 020-7402-6075.
Indonesian-born, Amsterdam-based filmmaker Fiona Tan mixes found and original footage in her work to blue categories. Here, she uses color advertising footage from Agfa to explore notions of authenticity and normalcy in West Germany. May 4 – August 11, 2019. Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. Heinrich-Boll-Platz, 50067 Koln, Germany. +49 221-221-26165 or [email protected].
“Peekaboo” is the playful title of a show that details the career of artist Tomoo Gokita comprised of figurative and abstract pieces, an installation and a series devoted to wrestling and music. Through June 24, 2019. Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery has the following shows. 3-20-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo,Japan. +81- (0) 3-5353-0756.
Fukuzawa Ichiro was one of many Japanese artists who traveled extensively abroad in the early twentieth century with a seven year stint in Paris where he was influenced by Max Ernst and other Surrealists. In his painting and writing, he was a vigorous supporter of avant garde movements on his return. Almost ninety works in this retrospective attest to his transcultural range full of social critique and humor. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Through May 26, 2019. 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
The Mori Art Museum has their 15th Anniversary Exhibition entitled “Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions – Japanese Contemporary Art Here And Now!” on view through May 26, 2019. Also on view is “MAM Collection 009: Ken + Julia Yonetani” also on view through May 25, 2019. Coming up is the highly anticipated exhibition for Berlin-based installation artist Shiota Chiharu entitled “Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles” which is on view June 20 – Oct. 27, 2019. A show tentatively entitled “The Future And Arts” is set for Nov. 19, 2019 – March 29, 2020. T106-6108, Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome – 10-1 Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
“teamLab*Borderless” houses works by this hi-tech art group in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum. With computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and objects from nature to light sculptures and a forest of lamps. On view indefinitely. Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan. 03-6406-3949.
Japanese architect Arata Isozaki received the 2019 Pritzker Prize. The award is considered the profession’s highest honor. Isozaki grew up in the bombed and leveled city of Hiroshima which taught him how homes and cities could be rebuilt even amidst rubble. His work is known for defying categorization and not set in any given style. Rather, he adjusts to every situation differently as needs dictate. He studied with another Pritzker Prize winner, Kenzo Tange and started his own firm in 1963. Some of his noted designs are the MOCA in Los Angeles, the Palau Saint Jordi Sporting Arena in Barcelon and the Ark Nova inflatable concert hall created in collaboration with British sculptor Anish Kapoor designed to stage performances throughout the world. The latter was originally made after the Fukushima tsunami disaster to provide portable concert facilities in exceptionally damaged areas.
Hawaiian artist Sean Yoro has racked up six million views on instagram with a promotional video of him painting a mural in New Brunswick, Canada from a paddleboat that could be seen whether the tide was coming in or out. “Discover Saint John”, an online magazine devoted to cannabis culture hired the artist to paint the mural. They have also commissioned him to do a new work on the seawall at Market Slip in late July.
Washington State Historical Society marks a difficult community anniversary with a “Day of Remembrance.” On May 17 & 18, 1942, after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, over 700 people of Japanese ancestry in the South Puget Sound area were directed to report to Union Station for the forced removal from their communities to federally-constructed concentration camps. Join the museum for the fourth annual “Day of Remembrance” on Thurs., May 16 starting at 3pm with free programming and activities to commemorate these events, the lives it impacted, and its legacy. The event is free and all ages are welcome. Visitors can learn to make origami cranes (3 – 7pm) to carry during the commemorative walk to Union Station later in the evening. In the museum auditorium, visitors can experience history through the Living Voices performance of “Within the Silence” (5 – 6pm), written by Ken Mochizuki, sharing the story of a teenage girl sent to a U.S. concentration camp as a result of Executive Order 9066. Following the performance, visitors are invited to participate in a facilitated discussion (6pm – 6:45pm) and give input about an upcoming permanent exhibition to be incorporated into the museum’s Great Hall of Washington History. At 7pm, gather in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater at 7pm to participate in a procession to Union Station. More information at Washington History.org/events. 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.
Crowd Control and Addison Gallery present an art show entitled “Crimes And Passion” with opening First Thursday Art Walk performance by One Above Below None (OABN). On Thurs., May 2, 2019 at 5pm. Go to https://crowd-control-collective.jimdosite.com/
Kodomo No Hi (Japanese Children’s Festival) is a free family event on Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 11am – 5pm. Celebrate the spirit of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with games, performers and demonstrations. Japanese-style food vendors on site. At Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington at 1414 S. Weller. 206-568-7114 or try https://www/jcccw.org/kodomo-no-hi.
The UW Night Market 2019 hosted by the Taiwanese Student Association at UW returns on May 11 with one of the biggest food festivals in the Northwest. Experience Taiwanese and other pan-Asian foods from over 30 vendors. Enjoy live music and play cultural games with friends. May 11 from 5:30pm – 10:30pm in Red Square on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Payment by vouchers or cash only. You can pre-order at https://squareup.com/store/TSAUW or pick up vouchers at Taiwanese Student Association at UW booth on site in front of the library on Red Square.
The Chapel Performance Space has the following. All performances at 8pm. SoundPoint Duo is composed of Rebekah Ko on marimba and Cassie Lear on flute. On May 10, they perform music by contemporary composers. Chapel Performance Space. 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Go to gscchapel.com or [email protected] for details.
Seattle playwright Heidi Park grew up as the only person of color in a white adoptive family and she always felt like a black sheep. Now she shares her experiences with us, the audience in her play entitled “Black Sheep” starring Aimee Decker and Anna Saephan. Directed by Mario Gomez. Performances Th. – Sat. from May 2 – 4 at 7:30pm. 1406 – 18th Ave. 206-937-6499 for more information.
Gerlich Theater/The Meany Center For The Performing Arts – Looking forward to the 2018/2019 season, look out for the following. Yekwon Sunwoo won the Gold Medal at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He makes his Seattle debut in a program of Schumann, Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert. One performance only on Sat., May 4, 2019 at 7:30pm. The Alexander String Quartet with Joyce Yang on piano explore the music of Mozart together on Wed., May 22 at 7:30pm. You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. Tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.
“Music of Today: International Experimental Music Ensemble” features UW the faculty improv band known as Indigo Mist (includes Cuong Vu on trumpet) in a program of original material with special guests Ngo Tra My on dan bau and Joe Zwananengburg on flutes On Friday, May 10 at 7:30pm. The Gerlich Theater/Meany Center for the Performing Arts.4040 George Washington Lane NE on the west edge of the UW Seattle campus.
The Horse In Motion is an innovative Seattle experimental theatre group whose mission “is to engage our audience in new experiences that expand and reshape how we interact with art, our community and the world.” They are known for making each space a total environment into which the audience can feel immersion into the theme of the play. From May 17 – June 3, 2019 they will present “The Arsonists” by Max Frisch as directed by Bobbin Ramsey. Amber Tanaka is in the cast. This fiery absurdist political parable that is guaranteed to put everyone in the hot seat will be staged at Gallery Endo in Pioneer Square where the great Seattle fire raged over a century ago. It poses uncomforatable questions about the clashes of capitalism, morality and political discourse. For tickets and information, go to www.thehorseinmotion.org.
The UW School of Music presents IMPFEST XI, the Eleventh Improvised Music Project Festival with guest artists Lucia Pulido on voice and cuatro (May 24) and Stomu Takeishi on jazz bass (May 25). Meany Studio Theatre. May 24 & 25. 206-543-4880 or go to www.music.washington.edu.
Future Seattle Opera productions include the following – “Rigoletto – The Cost of Corruption” August 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23,24, 25 & 28, 2019. Yongzhao Yu makes his Seattle Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua. “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – The Man Behind A Legend” with music by Daniel Schnyder and libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly. Plays Feb. 22, 23, 26, 29 AND March 1, 4, 6 & 7, 2020. Kelly Kuo will make his Seattle Opera debut as conductor for the orchestra for this production.
Conductor Ludovic Morlot ends his 2018/2019 tenure with the Seattle Symphony with a varied and stimulating series of concerts. Some highlights include the following – Avi Avital is a mandolin virtuoso who leads a group with Jessica Choe on piano through a fresh interpretation of Vivaldi and Telemann on Friday, May 3 at noon & 8pm and Sat., May 4 at 8pm. A Family Concert Series program entitled “Carnival Of The Animals” takes place on Sat. May 4 at 11am , 2018 with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting and Hannah Song on violin, Kristy Park on cello, Jessica Choe on piano and Elizabeth Morgan on piano. A Brahms Concerto Festival 1 takes place on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm featuring Zee Zee on piano. Byron Schenkman & Friends presents international competition winner and Seattle native Rachell Ellen Wong in concert with Byron Schenkan in a program of “Brahms, Dvorak and Still” on Oct. 27. 2019. All concerts at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. 200 University St. Go to seattlesymphony.org for details or call 206-215-4747..
“Beyond Ideas” is the title of ArtsWest’s current season. Some highlights include Julia Cho’s “Office Hour” starring Naho Shioya and Christian Quinto which tackles issues of gun violence, class and ethnicity in the class room. May 2 – May 26, 2019. Justin Huertas’s musical, “The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion” premieres June 20 – July 28, 2019. ArtsWest has also announced their new 2019/2020 season entitled “Agents of Change” which looks at revolutions and the people who participate in them. The prolific and talented playwright/director/actress Sara Porkalob returns with a new play and a world premiere for the new season. “Alex and Alix” looks at the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love and a moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing. Two women in love and one name. Set for April 30 – May 24, 2020. Learn more details about the entire new season at artswest.org. ArtsWest is located in West Seattle at 4711 California Ave. SW.
UW theatre graduate Mikko Juan spent the fall touring Eastern Washington in Seattle Children’s Theatre production of Ramon Esquivel’s “Between and Below”. Now he returns to Seattle in the lead role in “Urinetown: The Musical”, a joint production of 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT as directed by Bill Berry. Arika Matoba, Kurt Beattie and others also star. Musical Director is R. J. Tancioco. Set for The Falls Theatre through May 26, 2019 at ACT downtown. 700 Union St.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s “Devi” is a new drama/dance piece adapted & directed by Moumita Bhattacharya on stage from through May 11 at ACTLab. It tells the tale of a poor teenager who becomes a powerful leader against British colonial rule in the 1800’s. Another collaboration between Pratidhwani and ACTLab with eight Indian dance forms and a large cast. Go to acttheatre.org/devi for details.
Canadian playwright Ins Choi’s award-winning family comedy “Kim’s Convenience” (CBS television adaption was recently added to Netflix) comes to Taproot Theatre’s 2019 season titled “Family Ties”. On Stage May 15 – June 22, 2019 as co-directed by Scott Nolte and David Hsieh. A Korean Canadian family learns to live with their own faults, get along and forge ahead in this heartwarming comedy about the foibles and blessings of family. Go to taproottheatre.org for tickets. 204 N. 85th St, in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. 206-781-9705.
Indian composer Reena Esmail presents compositions merging Western techniques with traditional Hindustani instrumentation and musical themes. She brings a newly commissioned piano trio composition with Piano Ki Avaaz – Joshua Roman, David Fung and Kristin Lee. May 21, 2019 at 7:30pm. At Town Hall Seattle. 1119 Eighth Ave. Doors open at 6:30pm.
The Forum at Town Hall presents Anna Fifield in a talk entitled “Understanding Kim Jong Un.” To understand North Korea and its significance in our modern political landscape, Fifield contends that we must understand the man who leads it. On Sunday, June 16 at 7:30pm. 1119 8th Ave. 206-652-4255.
Seattle Contemporary Dance Company, Whim W’him’s new season will include “Choreographic Shindig V”, this 5th annual series kicks off the company’s new Season X. It includes the choreography of New York-based choreographer Yoshito Sakuraba as well as the work of Kyra Jean Green and Joshua Manculich. Sept. 13 – 15 & 18 – 21 at 8pm. Erickson Theatre Off Broadway. 707-350-9446 or go to whimwhim.org/season.
Closing Café Nordo’s 10th Season of supper-club musicals is “7th & Jackson” written by the multi-talented Sara Porkalob and set for July, 2019. Three Seattle friends haunt the speakeasys listening to jazz before WW II and share a dream to open a night club of their own. When the bombing of Pearl Harbor and rising WWII tensions tear apart homes, the friends separate but never lose sight of their dreams. Café Nordo is at 109 South Main. Go to www.cafenordo.com to find out more about their new season and how you can get tickets.
Some of the upcoming concerts Earshot Jazz is planning for 2019 include the Japanese pianist/composer/multi-instrumentalist Satoko Fujii & her Trio. The Satoko Fujii Trio with Natsuki Tamura and Alister Spence will perform on May 7, 2019. For more information on future concerts, go to earshot.org for details.
UW’s Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Concert this year features Heri Purwanto – Javanese Gamelan Music & Dance as performed by Puwanto and students. Tuesday, June 4 at 7:30pm. Gerlich Theater/Meany Center for the Performing Arts. On the west edge of the UW Seattle campus just off Red Square. 206-543-4880 or [email protected]
Seattle Center and its Armory building continue to be the focus of cultural celebrations all year around with most of the events being free and family friendly. May 5 from 11:45pm – 5pm, celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with lion dances, drill teams, drumming, martial arts and performances. May 18 brings “A Glimpse of China” showcasing Chinese cultural traditions with live performances, arts activities and food. June 1 and 2 brings the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival. With workshops, exhibits, performances and demonstrations all celebrating Filipino culture and the 120th anniversary of Philippine independence.
Lauren Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band” with songs by Dengue Fever as directed by Chay Yew will be performed March 6 – Oct. 27, 2019 at the Thomas Theatre as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This musical play tells the story of a young woman trying to piece together her family history thirty years after her father fled Cambodia. 15 South Pioneer St. in Ashland, Oregon. 1-800-219-8161.
On the Boards has announced twelve artists/companies selected for the 2019 NW New Works Festival set for June 12 – 16, 2019. Among the names are Dakota Camacho, a rapper/hip hop dancer/performance artist, choreographer/dancer Imana Gunawan, flautist/taiko player Leanna Keith and dancer/choreographer Naomi Macalalad Bragin. Congratulations to all!
“Trump On Show” is a Hong Kong Cantonese opera by Li Kui-ming that links Donald Trump with Chairman Mao. Li says the link is “They are both advocates of one man’s revolution which can be dangerous.” The opera was performed in Hong Kong in April, 2019. In this fantasy musical, a hidden chapter of the President’s past ahs Trump meeting Mao and Zhou En-lai in 1972. Cantonese opera star Lung Koon-tin plays both Mao and Trump.
World-famous cello player Yo Yo Ma recently played and spoke at the U.S./Mexican border in Laredo, Texas. In his speech to the audience he said, “A country is not a hotel and it’s not full. In culture we build bridges, not walls.”
In a first, Josh Shaw’s Pacific Opera Project recently mounted a fully-staged bilingual production of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” in Los Angeles. The Japanese singers performed the Japanese roles in Japanese and the American characters sang in English. The bilingual libretto was by Shaw and Eiki Isomua.
Film & Media
Grand Illusion Cinema presents the following -Screening May 10 – 16, 2019 is “Shadow”, the latest wuxia epic from modern master Zhang Yimou (“House of Flying Daggers”). 1403 NE 50th in Seattle’s University District. 206-523-3935.
Northwest Film Forum has the following – “Suburban Birds” is the film debut of Chinese filmmaker Qiu Sheng. A mystery and bittersweet coming of age comedy that reflects on China’s rapid urbanization and elusiveness of memory. Screens May 1, 2 & 3 at 7:30pm and May 4 at 4pm and May 5 at 4pm and 7pm. Less than enthused about the film, “Crazy Rich Asians”? You might be interested in this event. On Sat., May 4 at 9:30pm, Red May 2019 presents “Cranky Communist Asians talking about ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.” Charmaine Chua and JM Wong deliver a ruthless dissection on a movie about people with a lot of money which made a lot of money. Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.
Advance news of the annual Seattle International Film Festival set from May 16 – June 9, 2019 brings news of these Asian films that are included. “House of Hummingbird” by Kim Bo-Ra from South Korea is the story of a shy 14 year old girl who struggles with social pressure, her budding sexuality and indifferent family in the summer of 1994 when a sympathetic teacher steps in to help. “3 Faces” is a mock documentary by Jafar Panahi from India. The film stars the film director and a TV star who go on a road trip to save the life of an aspiring actress. Lulu Wang’s film “The Farewell” about a young Chinese American woman’s fateful visit to China to see her grandmother will close the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival on June 9, 2019 at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian. The film features Awkwafina in one of her first starring roles. Go to siff.net for details.
Indus Creations is a Seattle-based performing arts group composed of mostly software engineers and tech leaders from India, living and working in companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google. They took on the challenge of creating a full-length feature film entitled “Vellai Pookal” (in Tamil and English with English subtitles) starring Vivekh and Charle. The story is about a retired Indian police officer vacationing in Seattle to visit his son when he discovers people around him are disappearing. It had a local premiere in early April and will be released on April 19, 2019 in about 20 cities across the U.S. and more than 200 theatres in India. For details, go to [email protected]
Set for major studio release on May 17, 2019 is “The Sun is Also a Star”, an adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s bestselling young adult novel about a Jamaican teenager who falls in love with a Korean American man just as her family is about to be deported. Stars Charles Melton and Yara Shahidi in the lead roles. Directed by Ry Russo-Young.
“All is Well” is a provincial TV show that premiered in China in March and has been streamed endlessly. The story is of a fictional family and the daughter who can barely talk to her widowed father and one of her brothers. The father is a cranky nuisance who expects his sons to pay for his excessive, lavish tastes. The sons resent this but don’t want to be called “unfilial” and thus argue incessantly. Since the show opens up the issue of devout attachment to traditional values, viewers caught in the same situation are binge watching to see how this family drama plays out.
The Written & Spoken Arts
Seattle writer Loreen Lilyn Lee was the Willow Books 2018 Grand Prize Winner. They published her memoir entitled “The Lava Never Sleeps: A Honolulu Memoir”. Lee has a book launch reading for this book on Thurs., May 2, 2019 at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park at 7pm. 17171 Bothell Way NE. 206-366-3333. She also appears in conversation with Priscilla Long about her book on Thurs., May 16 at 7pm at Third Place Books in Seward Park. 5041 Wilson Ave. S. 206-474-2200.
The Jack Straw Cultural Center’s 2019 Writers Program Reading Series kicks off in May with readings by all the writers. On Friday, May 7, hear Dianne Aprile, Shankar Narayan, Sylvia Byre Pollack and Rena Priest. On Friday, May 10, hear Samar Abulhassan, Christianne Balk, Leanne Dunic and Michael Schmeltzer. On Friday, May 17, hear Josh Axelrad, Garielle Bates, Putsata Reang and Suzanne Warren. All readings start at 7pm and are hosted by program curator Kathleen Flenniken. $5 suggested donation. Visit jackstraw.org for details. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. 206-634-0919 or www.jackstraw.org.
Poet Alan Chong Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) and fiction writer Erica Bauermeister will do a joint reading with the theme “Awakening The Senses” on Wed., May 15 at 7pm. Part of the Words West Literary Series. At C & P Coffee Co. in West Seattle. 5612 California Ave. S.W. For details, try [email protected].
UWALUM.COM/GOLECTUES present their Spring 2019 series of lectures from various departments on the Seattle campus. A sampling include the following –On May 21 at 6:30pm in Kane Hall 225, John Treat, Professor Emeritus from Yale University talks about “Yi In-jiks ‘The Widow’s Dream’ and the Origin of Modern Korean Literature in Japan”. All lectures are free. Register now at uwalum.com/golectures or call 206-543-0540.
The University Book Store in the University District has the following events – Kavita Buggana talks about her book “Walking In Clouds: A Journey to Mount Kailash and Lke Manasarovar” (HarperCollins India). A book of travel and discovery as two women trek through the Himalayan pine forests and unforgiving mountains in Nepal and Tibet to places found on the map and within themselves. On Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 3pm in the University Book Store in Seattle. Bhaskar Sunkara talks about his book “The Socialist Manifesto” (Basic Books) and wonders what a Socialist America would look like, exploring its history and his vision of a socialist future. On Thurs., May 9 at 7pm. Free in the U District store. “Red State Revolt: The Teacher’s Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics” (Verso) by Eric Blanc. The author looks at how teachers are striking across the country demanding better pay and more funding for students. A panel discussion on the book and movement with the author, Kate Doyle Griffiths, and Wayne Au with Bhaskar Sunkara moderating. Sat, May 1, 2019 at noon. Free in the U District store. The staff of Commune magazine present “Commune Magazine: For A New Era of Revolution” appear on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7pm at the U District store. Free. Join Editor Shyam Khanna, Managing Editor Jasper Bernes and Associate Editor Chloe Watlington as they introduce this new print and online publication, a popular magazine for a new era of revolution. Young adult author Arvin Ahmadi appears in the U District store to talk about his new book entitled “Girl Gone Viral” (Penguin Random House) with Margaret Stohl on Tues., May 21 at 6pm. Free. A teenage girl coder tries to find her missing dad and a small data hack is just the beginning of her search on virtual reality. In “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” (Workman), Ramit Sethi lays out a finance plan for young adults in a practical, funny and no B.S. style. He appears on Thurs., May 30, 2019 at 7pm at University Temple United Methodist Church’s The Sanctuary at 1415 NE 43rd. Tickets at $15.64 each admits two people and one copy of the book. Go to brownpapertickets.com.
Open Books, the poetry-only bookstore in Wallingford has the following events. Seattle poet Shankar Narayan joins Doyali Islam and Azura Tyabji in a reading on June 1, 2019 at 7pm. 2424 N. 45th St. 206-633-0811 or try [email protected].
Writer/poet Alex Kuo returns with a new novel based on the Tiannamen Square protests of 1989 entitled “Mao’s Kisses” (Red Bat Books). He shares a booksigning and reading with Joan Burbick and her novel “Stripland” (Red Bat Books). The book signing takes place on Mon. June 3 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm at Watermark Book Co. at 6121 Commercial in Anacortes, WA. The joint reading event is also on Mon., June 3, 2019 at 6:30pm at Pelican Bay Books at Sixth & Commercial also in Anacortes, WA. Music by timE’Jazz. Introduction by Sue McKesson. Books available on June 3, 2019. More booksignings & readings to follow.
Elliott Bay Book Company continues to sponsor readings in their Capitol Hill bookstore as well as co-producing events all over the city. Below you will find a partial listing of some of their events. Events are at the bookstore located at 1521 Tenth Ave. unless otherwise noted. The Gardner Center and Elliott Bay co-present translator Mui Poopoksakui and noted Thai female fiction writer Duanwad Pimwana. Two of Pimwana’s books have been translated into English by Poopoksakui and it marks a first for Thai women writers. “Bright” (Two Lines Press) is a novel that tells the story of a boy deserted by his father and then raised and adopted by the community. A short story collection entitled “Arid Dreams” (Feminist Press) has also been published. The event takes place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7pm in the SAM lecture hall. 1300 First Ave. downtown.Free. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org for details. Eric Liu talks about “Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy” (Sasquatch) on Tues., May 7 at 7pm at Washington Hall at 153 – 14th Ave. Co-presented by Sasquatch Books, Town Hall Seattle and Elliott Bay. Liu addresses timeless topics such as democracy, equal justice and liberty from speeches culled from “Civil Saturday in Seattle.” Free but pre-registration is required at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/become-america-book-launch-with-eric-liu-tickets-. Visiting curator and cultural historian Daniell Cornell will be in conversation with Seattle writer/curator Mayumi Tsutakawa on the topic “Revealing Ruth Asawa, Artist And Advocate.” This Bay Area artist and educator has been the subject of recent exhibitions and books. Cornell when he was curator at Fine Art Museums of San Francisco oversaw shows on Asawa and a major group exhibition entitled “Asian American Modern Art – Shifting Currents, 1900-1970” with Mark Dean Johnson. This talk takes place on May 8 at 7pm at Seattle Art Museum downtown. 1300 First Ave. For tickets and information, go to www.seattleartmuseum.org On Thurs., May 16 at 6:30pm in the Arnold Board Room at Seattle Art Museum, the Gardner Center and EB co-present a talk by Justin Jesty on his book entitled “Art And Engagement in Early Post-War Japan” (Cornell University). 1300 First Ave. Go to www.seattleartmuseum for details. Back at Elliott Bay on Thurs., May 23 at 7pm, Taiwanese fiction writer Chia-Chia Lin will talk with Seattle writer & Hugo House instructor Alex Madison about her new novel “The Unpassing” (F S & G) about an immigrant family from Taiwan struggling to make a new home in Alaska. Pico Iyer visits Seattle Art Museum to talk about his new book entitled “Autumn Light: Season of Fire And Farewells” (Knopf). On Sat., May 25, 2019 at 3pm. This book is an account of his life lived in Japan and how it is affected by the death of his Japanese father-in-law. Free but advance tickets suggested. Co-presented by the Gardner Center and Elliott Bay. Go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. Seattle storyteller/scholar Anu Taranath talks about her new book at Elliott Bay entitled “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in An Unequal World (Between the Lines) at the book store on May 29 at 7pm.
Hugo House, that venerated Northwest center for writers and poets re-opens in brand-new digs with expanded space but in the same location. Catch their readings and celebrate their new space. 2019 dates for “Word Works: Writers on Writing” will feature craft talks by Min Jin Lee on May 2, 2019 and Steve Almond on May 21, 2019. Lee, who wrote the novel “Pachinko”, a powerful family saga of Koreans living in Japan will speak to the way in which our faith in the world and in our writing can open our work to new horizons. Writers Arlene Naganawa and J.P. Kemick help students explore the urban environment as writers. August 5 – 9, 2019 for grades 6 – 8 as part of the Scribes Summer Writing Camps For Teens in one and two week sessions available between July 8 – August 16, 2019 at Hugo House. Email [email protected] or call 206-322-7030 if you are interested in this class. Also with the opening of the new Hugo House, the writing center rolls out a new series of classes/workshops with a varied number of subjects taught by a talented group of writers like Nisi Shawl, Sonora Jha, R. O. Kwon, Anne Liu Kellor, Michelle Penaloza, Richard Chiem, Diana Xin, Anglela Garbes, Lora Shinn, Aimee Bhausar and Shankar Narayan. 1634 – 11th Ave. 206-453-1937. Go to hugohouse.org to find out more.
Bellevue-based science fiction writer Ted Chiang is best known for the film “Arrival” based on his short story entitled “Story of Your Life” and his writing in that genre has won every major literary award in his category. Now a collection of his stories, both classic and new entitled “Exhalation”. He will read from that collection at this Literary Luncheon sponsored by Third Place Books in Ravenna at 1pm on Thurs., May 30.
The March/April 2019 issue of “Edible Seattle” magazine has two interesting articles on Asian Americans. An article by Angela Sanders entitled “An Immigrant History of Pike Place Market” details the major part that early Japanese American farmers played in the market and the efforts by white farmers and the market administration to eliminate their presence. In the 1920s, Japanese farms produced three quarters of King County’s produce and half of its milk. By 1942, the Japanese presence in the market was all but eliminated with the implementation of the internment shortly after Pearl Harbor. However their legacy continues in the market today with stalls owned by Hmong, Chinese and Vietnamese farmers. “Seeds of Peace” by Megan Hill looks at the Namaste Community Garden, a project of the International Rescue Committee to help refugees start their own garden projects. Many of these are Bhutanese refugees who are Nepalese who were forced into exile by Bhutan’s state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing. This garden marks the first time many of these refugee gardeners have grown food since leaving Bhutan.
Penguin Classics have inducted four Asian American authors to their series and each title will be supplemented with introductions and forewords by some of the most influential Asian Americans writing today. Titles will be on sale starting May 21, 2019. They include – “The Hanging On Union Square” by H. T. Tsiang with an introduction by Hua Hsu and Edited with an afterword/notes by Floyd Cheung. “East Goes West” by Younghill Kang with a foreword by Alexander Chee and afterword/notes by Sunyoung Lee, “No-No Boy” by John Okada with an introduction by Karen Tei Yamashita and “America Is In The Heart” by Carlos Bulosan with a foreword by Elaine Castillo and an introduction by E. San Juan, Jr.
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
A new historical novel “Repentance” by Andrew Lam based on the Japanese American 442nd regimental combat team will be published on May 1, 2019. When a world famous surgeon gets a call from the US government about his father’s role in a WWII military campaign in France, he sets off on a quest for the truth and to search for secrets and sacrifice. Go to www.AndrewLamMD.com for details.
“Wanxin Zhang – The Long Journey” (Museum of Craft & Design) is an exhibition catalog for a show by this Chinese ceramic artist at the Museum of Craft & Design in San Francisco. It is his first solo show in San Francisco. His work carries the iconography of terracotta warriors to the contemporary funk of Robert Arneson and Peter Voulkos.
“The Chinese And the Iron Road – Building The Transcontinental Railroad” (Stanford) edited by Gordon H. Chang and Shelly Fisher Fishkin. This landmark volume of essays sheds new light on the Chinese railroad workers and their enduring importance. Although they made up 90 percent of the work force on the Western portion of the line, their work remains largely invisible and little understood. This book goes a long way to addressing that shortcoming.
“Ambedkar – India’s Crusader for Human Rights” (Campfire) by Kieron Moore and Illustrated by Sachin Nagar. Due out August 6, 2019. This is part of the Campfire Graphic Novels Heroes Series. It tells the story of a man who was an untiring crusader for human rights for the oppressed untouchables of India. That fight goes on to this day.
“Ghost Work – How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass” (HMH) by Drs. Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri. The writers look at tech’s on-demand laborers in the U.S. and India who earn minimal wage by sorting and annotated x-rated content, decoding pizza orders, designing ad campaigns, and more to keep the web functioning. The authors argue that their labor should not be hidden by APIs but must be rewarded and recognized with higher wages and health coverage.
“Become America – Civic Sermons On Love, Responsibility, and Democracy” (Sasquatch) by Eric Liu. This book details in talks given by a popular advocate for active citizenship how to re-humanize our politics and get involved as citizens on a grass roots level.
“The Joy Luck Club” (Penguin) is a special 30th anniversary edition of the popular novel about relationships among women in a Chinese American family with a new preface by the author.
“Ink Knows No Borders – Poems of the Immigrant And Refugee Experience” (Triangle Square) edited by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond. This collection for young adults brings together some of the most compelling and vibrant voices today reflecting the experience of teen immigrants and refugees. Includes poems by Samira Ahmed, Chen Chen, Jeff Tagami, Ada Limon, Bao Phi, Javier Zamora and many others.
P Is For Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever” (Sourcebooks) by Raj Haldaar & Chris Carpenter and illustrated by Maria Tina Beddia. This picture book tackles words in the English language book that don’t always make logical sense, poking fun at the most mischievous words in English and demonstrating how to pronounce them.
“The Memory Police” (Pantheon) by Yoko Ogawa as translated by Stephen Snyder. Due out August 2019, this is a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance by the acclaimed Japanese author of “The Housekeeper and the Professor”.
When Singaporean poet Alvin Pang was listed for a Seattle reading I got curious enough to request a review copy from the publisher. What I got was a baker’s dozen of poetry titles that seems to signify a thriving literary scene coming out of that small island. Most of the titles received came from Math Paper Press, an imprint of Books Actually which is a major small press publisher of literature from that city. “What Happened: Poems 19197 – 2017 (Math Paper) by Alvin Pang. This veteran Singapore poet’s career spans two decades and Pang is active internationally as a poet, writer, editor and translator. Pang takes the pulse of the city and its people in everyday situations. In this collection he finds music in the noise that is that busy Southeast Asian metropolis. “Call And Response – A Migrant/Local Poetry Anthology” (Math Paper) edited by Joshua Ip, Rolinda Onates Espanola and Zakir Hossain Khokan, this collection reveals Singapore as a migrant nation with a collection of more than thirty “immigrant” poets paired with a creative response from an equal number of local writers. What emerges is a multitude of voices in the street brimming over with despair, hopes and dreams unfulfilled. “Footnotes on Fallings” (Math Paper) by Joshua Ip is a collection of 44 poems about suboptimal life choices that laugh at themselves and indulge in wordplay. “Occupational Hazards” (Math Paper) by Mayo Martin is peppered with unusual characters that are at times funny, absurd, tender and somber but always bristling with the restless energy of the curious. “First Meeting of Hands” (First Fruits Publishers) by Paul Tan. In this book the poet ruminates on the properties of humble seaweed as it jells into his mother’s homemade desert or feels the ghostly residue of a monsoon that marks the landscape and people of this island nation with the same lack of sympathy. “Like A Seed With Its Singular Purpose” (Math Paper) by Cyril Wong mines the contradictions and frustrations of a broader existence with poems that shimmer with language, art, religion, disaster, death, murder, adultery and of course, love. “The Woman Who Turned Into A Vending Machine” (Math Paper) by Natalie Wang consists of poems that deal with metamorphosis – metaphorical & physical, calculated and involuntary. The reader is invited into a world to explore how myth fits with the mundane and how we cope with our lives in changing environments. “Aria And Trumpet Flourish” (Math Paper) by Rodrigo Dela Pena, Jr. In this debut collection one sees a poet of masterful clarity and dexterous handling of forms but ultimately what we glimpse are real human observations of people and places of our ordinary everyday life held to the light for a fleeting moment. “An Epic of Durable Departures” (Math Paper) by Jason Wee is a testament to friendship as two aging artists use renga and haiku as forms to wrestle with the limits of art and the brief life we have to hang on to. “We Were Always Eating Expired Things” (Math Paper) by Cheryl Julia Lee. This collection of poems centered on our innate desire for connection be it physical or emotional. It notes the impossibility of such endeavors but celebrates our persistence in trying anyway.
With “The Candle And The Flame” (Scholastic) by Nafiza Azad, we enter another world and another time. Based on Islamic mythology and Arabic folklore, the author evokes a city on the silk road and a young woman who must be quick on her feet and alert to her senses as she navigates political intrigue and the dangers of a magical battlefield to survive. A young adult fantasy novel. The author born in Fuji is an Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian.
“Autumn Light – Season of Fire And Farewells (Knopf) by Pico Iyer. A memoir on Japan where the author has lived for years and how the death of his father-in-law triggers thoughts on love and dying.
“The Kinship of Secrets” (HMH) by Eugenia Kim. This novel looks at the relationship between sisters, one in the U.S. and the other in South Korea – and the war that kept them apart.
“Flowers of Mold” (Open Letter) by Ha Seong-Nan as translated from the Korean by Janet Hong. This book of short stories explores the lives of mis-fits – those ordinary individuals who have found themselves left behind by an increasingly urbanized and fragmented world.
“Girl Under A Red Moon – Growing Up During China’s CulturalRevolution” (Scholastic). A young adult novel by Da Chen about the daughter of a family who are shunned because they were former landowners. With choices between family and nation as well as safety and justice, this young woman must navigate her passage during a tumultuous cultural movement.
“The Third Pillar – How Markets And The State Leave The Community Behind” (Penguin Press) by Raghuram Rajan. This economic thinker analyzes capitalist democracies, why they succeeded in the past and why they are breaking down today and failing its citizenry.
“HI, Konnichiwa” (Kodansha) by Yayoi Kusama is a pocket-sized full color book of this internationally known artist’s drawings, paintings and eye-boggling colors and dots with a few minimal quotes from the artist’s philosophy/thoughts in between pages of her artwork.
“Ojiichan’s Gift” (Kids Can Press) by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Genevieve Simms. A picture book about a grandfather’s garden in Japan and how an American granddaughter learns to tend the garden on her summer visits until everything changes. A story of facing change and the bond of love.
“The Beast Player” (Henry Holt) by Nahoto Uehashi as translated by Cathy Hirano is a young adult fantasy novel about a girl who has a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the kingdom at war that only she can save.
“Changing And Unchanging Things: Noguchi And Hasegawa in Post War Japan” (UC Press) edited by Dakin Hart and Mark Dean Johnson. When the artist Isamu Noguchi returns to Japan for the first time in 20 years, it is 1950. A key figure for Noguchi during this period was fellow artist Saburo Hasegawa who had lived abroad in Paris in the 1930’s and later influenced the American “Beats” about Japanese culture. Together the two artists explore traditional Japanese culture and how it can strike a balance between tradition and Western modernity. The exhibition catalog for a show upcoming at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
“My Fate According to the Butterfly” (Scholastic) by Gail D. Villanueva. In this young adult novel, a girl in the Philippines must solve the bad omen of a black butterfly and somehow bring her sister and estranged father back together in time for her birthday.
“The White Book” (Hogarth) by Han Kang as translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. A young writer on a writer’s residency in Europe grapples with the tragedy of her sister’s death and meditates on what the color white means to her culturally and personally.
“My City” (Prestel) by Joanne Liu. This picture book is filled with abstract shapes and joyful colors. It traces the journey of a boy discovering the sights of his city as he walks to a mailbox.
“Sacred Cesilum Ground And Isa’s Deluge” (Columbia University). Two novellas of Japan’s 3/11 disaster by Kimura Yusuke as translated by Doug Slaymaker. The author explores both human and animal life in Japan after the natural and nuclear disasters of March 11, 2011 and finds them both defiant and awake.
“Uneven Moments – Reflections on Japan’s Modern History” (Columbia) by Harry Harootunian. A book of essays on Japn’s intellectual and cultural history that opens a window on the precarious process of that country’s metamorphosis into a modern society.
“The Lava Never Sleeps – A Honolulu Memoir” (Willow Books) by Loreen Lilyn Lee. This Seattle writer details her struggle growing up in a traditional chinese family in Hawai’i during the 50’s and 60’s and how the land and culture informed and defined what she became.
“Ruth Asawa – Life’s Work” (Pulitzer Foundation) edited by Tamara H. Schenkenberg with Essays by Aruna D’Souza, Helen Molesworth and Tamara H. Schenkenberg is the exhibition catalog for one of the first major exhibitions of the work of this major Bay Area artist and educator outside the West Coast since 2006.
“Arid Dreams – Stories” (Feminist Press) by Duanwad Pimwana as translated by Mui Poopoksakul (due out in April 2019) renders her home country in all its complexity as her characters brimming with desire and disenchantment come alive in these pages. One of the first books by a Thai woman to be published in English internationally.
“Doing Justice – A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and The Rule of Law” (Knopf) by Preet Bharara. After a long career as a prosecutor, the author lays out a path toward reaching truth and justice in our everyday lives using by example captivating tales of true crime.
“China Dream” (Counterpoint) by Mia Jian. This novel set for May 2019 release by this Chinese writer-in-exile is a satire that takes the reader through the horrors and absurdities of totalitarian power as it is epitomized today by the current Chinese government.
“River of Fire” (New Directions) by Qurratulain Hyder transcreated by the author from her Urdu original. Considered the imost important novel of twentieth-century Urdu fiction. This writer conjures up a country’s memory, forming a rich tapestry of history, human emotions and redefining Indian identity.
“The Little Book of Life Hacks: How To Make Your Life Happier, Healthier And More Beautiful” (St. Martin’s) by Yumi Sakugawa. This author, illustrator and comic book artist uses all those skills to craft a book that will guide your personal life from the inside out, step by step. Common sense tips profusely illustrated in a charming comic book style.
“Descendant of The Crane” (Albert Whitman) is inspired by a Chinese fantasy and is a novel of a princess whose father is murdered and the things she must do to bring the killer to justice.
“The Body Papers – A Memoir” (Restless) by Grace Talusan. Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, this book powerfully explores the author’s experiences with sexual abuse, depression, cancer and life as a Filipino immigrant.
“My Old Faithful” (University of Massachusetts) by Yang Huang won the Juniper Prize for fiction. Ten interconnected short stories that move from China to the U.S. during a thirty-year period paint a nuanced portrait of family life affected by social and economical change.
Seattle author Lori Tsugawa Whaley’s “The Courage of Samurai: Seven Sword Sharp Principles for Success” was an inspirational on-line bestseller derived from the principles of “bushido”, the Japanese warrior code of behavior in 2016. These principles helped the author recover from major injuries and pain. Now it will be re-released in a new edition with Tuttle Publishing in 2019 sporting a new title and cover.
“Zhi Lin – In Search of the Lost History of Chinese migrants and the Transcontinental Railroad” (Tacoma Art Museum) is part of the museum’s Northwest Perspective Series and served as the exhibition catalog. Lin’s art follows and documents the ghosts of Chinese railroad workers that laid the tracks to untie this country. With essays by Rock Hushka, Shawn Wong and Shelley Fisher Fishkin.
“The Shape of a Life – One mathematician’s Search For The Universe’s Human Geometry” (Yale) by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. An accomplished mathematician chronicles his life as a youngster leading a Hong Kong gang to his introduction to learning and the thrill of humankind’s spirit of discovery.
“In A Day’s Work – The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers (The New Press) by Bernice Yeung. The author examines the case of sexual harassment against some of America’s most low-paid women who perform vital jobs that keep our economy intact yet are afforded little protection in the workplace.
“Sakura Obsession – The Incredible Story of The Plant Hunter Who Saved Japan’s Cherry Blossoms” (Knopf) by Naoko Abe. When a British man visits Japan, he falls in love with its cherry trees and brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England. When the cherry trees in Japan declined, he brought back cuttings from England and re-ignited the growth of cherry trees in Japan and around the world.
“Writing Human Rights – The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color” (Minnesota) by XCrystal Parikh. The author shows how the literature by writers of color have always been preoccupied with human rights and why.
“Chinatown Opera Theaer in North America” (Illinois) by Nancy Yunhwa Rao. The author documents a unique magical and theatrical genre in North American history and makes it come alive in a backstage of performers, performances and repertoire.
”My Footprints” (Capstone) by Minnesota poet Bao Phi explores how themes of struggle, perseverance and family encourage the healing powers of a child’s imagination. Powerfully illustrated by Basia Tran.
“People Like Us – The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door” (The New Press) by Sayu Bhojwan looks at how immigrant Americans are changing the political landscape, promoting reform and providing a voice for our multi-racial country.
“The New Silk Roads – The Present And Future of The World” (Knopf) by Peter Fran Kopan. An examination of how China’s commercial and political power is changing the way the world works.
“The End of the Moment We Had” (Pushkin) by Toshiki Okada as translated by Sam Malissa. Two short stories look at characters bound by a generational hunger for human connection and reveals an unsettlingly honest voice in contemporary Japanese fiction.
“Practical Equality – Forging Justice in a Divided Nation” (Norton) by Robert L. Tsai. Tsai, an expert on constitutional law, looks at great Supreme Court decisions and wrestles with the everyday political challenge of defending the principle of equality under less than ideal circumstances.
“You’re Safe With me” (Lantana) by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Poonam Mistry. A modern fable that reads like a folktale illustrating the importance of motherly love amongst animals in a forest.
“The Unpassing” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Chia-Chia Lin traces the tragic journey of a Taiwanese immigrant family struggling to make a new home in Alaska. Scheduled for a May 2019 release.
“Migrant Returns – Manila, Development, And Transnational Connectivity” (Duke) by Eric J. Pido. The author examines the complicated relationships among the Philippine economy, Manila’s urban development and Filipino migrants visiting or returning to their homeland.
“Kaya’s Heart Song” (Lantana) by Diwa Tharan Sanders and illustrated by Nerina Canzi. This book is a lesson on mindfulness set in the jungles of Malaysia where a little girl discovers her own song.
“Friend of My Youth” (NYR Books) by Amit Chaudhuri looks at the city of Bombay and the nature of identity and the passage of time.
“Moth And Wasp, Soil And Ocean – Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong’s Work for Sustainable Farming” (Tilbury House Publishers) by Sigrid Schmalzer and illustrated by Melanie Linden Chan. This book tells the story of a pioneering environmentalist in rural China who helped develop sustainable agriculture without pesticides.
Bellevue-based writer Ted Chiang is back with another stunning collection of stories entitled “Exhalation” (Knopf), each tackling some of humanity’s oldest questions. It covers a twenty year period with some rare classic work and new stories as well. His work has won every fantasy and Sci-fi award including the Hugo, the Nebula and Locus Awards.
In “Internment” (Little Brown), Samira Ahmed fights against Islamophobia and complicit silence in a futuristic novel when all Muslims are herded into internment camps.
“Monsters I Have Been” (Alice James) by Kenji C. Liu is a book of poems that uses existing texts and remixes them to investigate the relationship between toxic masculinity and the forms of violence it promotes in society.
“Time for Bed, Miyuki” (Princeton Archtectural Press) by Roxane Marie Galliez and illustrated by Seng Sounratanavanh is a picture book story about family, nature and love that serves as a welcome companion to your own children’s bed-time journey.
In “Soft Science” (alice James) by Franny Choi, the poet uses the myth of the cyborg to explore queer, Asian American femininity.
“The Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader” (Philippine American Writers And Artists Inc.) edited by Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano and Anthony Abulencia Santa Ana. A Collection of a multiplicity of voices from the Philippine diaspora exploring visions we carry for our communities in this historical moment.
“Girls of Paper and Fire” (Little Brown) by Natasha Ngan is a richly textured fantasy novel about a lower caste girl who must serve a king but when love intervenes, how far will she go for justice?
In “Mitochondria Night” (Coffee House), poet Ed Bock Lee turns his analytical lens to trace paths through time, genealogy & geography and deals with issues of war, generational trauma and colonialism.
“Tales of Japan – Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic” (Chronicle) with illustrations by Kotaro Chiba drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating and poetic.
Fran Manushkin based her character of a Chinese American girl on her great-niece but makes her even more challenging, mischievous and inquisitive. “Katie Woo – Katie Blows Her Top” (Capstone) details her efforts to replicate a live volcano with friends and how the experiments fail until the end. “Katie Woo – Daddy Can’t Dance” (Capstone). In this tale, Katie enlists her dad to participate in a Daddy-Daughter dance contest with funny results. Both books illustrated by Tammie Lyon.
“An Indefinite Sentence – A Personal History of Outlawed Love And Sex” (Atria) by Siddharth Dube. The author comes of age in the earliest days of AIDS. This memoir details the fight for rights for gay men and sex workers and how he pushed to decriminalize same-sex relations and sex work in India.
“Beijing Payback” (Ecco) by Daniel Nieh is a fast-paced revenge thriller. When his father is murdered, a son discovers his criminal past and returns to Beijing to enact revenge.
“Ruth Asawa” (David Zwirner) is a major catalog of an exhibition held at David Zwirner Gallery in New York with essays by Tiffany Bell and Robert Storr on this major American sculptor/educator based in the Bay Area. It covers her drawings, paintings and the noteworthy wire sculptural work as well as her career in children’s art education.
“The Twice-Born – Life and Death On The Ganges” (F S & G) by Aatish Taseer. The son of a Sikh journalist and an assassinated Pakistani politician, the author uses his return to the city of Benares as a way to grapple with the questions of identity and belonging.
“The Tenth Muse” (Ecco) by Catherine Cheng looks at the life of a female mathematician and a life caught up in stories of legacy, identity and the ways the mind can set us free.
“Enemy Child” (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House) by Andrea Warren is the story of a boy imprisoned in a Japanese American internment camp during WWII and how it shaped his life. A boy who would later become the noted American politician and public servant, Norman Mineta.
“Sightlines” (Copper Canyon” is Southwest-based poet Arthur Sze’s 10th collection. In it, he turns his lens on contemporary reality in all its stunning complexity.
“Yugen” (Seven Stories Press) by Mark Reibstein with art by Ed Young is a children’s book told in haiku and pictures about the mystery and beauty of the universe. It captures a boy’s sadness, mindfulness and wonder in evocative text and images.
“The Stolen Bicycle” (Text) by Wu Ming-Yi as translated by Darryl Sterk is an intimate portrait of a Taiwanese family, a history of a bicycle and a complex weaving of magical tales and places. When a novelist takes a journey to discover what became of a missing father and a stolen bicycle, worlds open up.
“The Nine Cloud Dream” (Penguin Classics) by Kim Man-Jung as translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl is translated for the first time in over forty years. This book is considered to be a masterpiece of Korean literature. It tells the story of a young monk considered a prodigy who goes astray and then embarks on a spiritual journey across Tang Dynasty China.
“Nightingale” (Copper Canyon) by Paisley Rekdal is a poetry of transformation. By re-writing myths central to Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” she contemporizes the tropes of violence, dismemberment, silence and fragmentation.
‘Vietnamese Food Any Day” (Ten Speed Press) by Andrea Nguyen. This popular cookbook author shows you how to use easy-to-find ingredients to create true Vietnamese flavors at home – fast.
“Coloratura” (Oklahoma) by Li Er as translated by Jeremy Tiang marks the first time this prominent Chinese writer has been available in English. It looks at a mysterious character during the Chinese civil war whose story is told by three narrators and a chorus of witnesses. It this man a hero, a nationalist or communist, a spy, a poet or a scholar or perhaps all of the above?
Stan Shikuma is the guest speaker for a series at Nisei Vets Hall on Sat., April 27 at 2pm. He will speak on the topic of “Tule Lake: Resistance and Reconciliation”. Shikuma has been to every Tule Lake Pilgrimage since 1979 and been actively involved in pilgrimage activities. Stan’s family on his mother’s side was sent to Tule Lake. He will speak about his family’s history, the development of the Tule Lake Pilgrimage and the lessons to be learned from the internment experience through those who lived it. Shikuma has been a community activist and long-time educator and performer of the local Seattle taiko tradition. 1212 South King St. 206-322-1122.