Design by Kanami Yamashita

Visual Arts

Seattle jewelry artist Nadine Kariya has a piece entitled “Inukshuk Pendant” in a group show entitled “Uncharted, Unbound, Unexpected” on view from May 2 – 22, 3018. There is a lecture on Wed., May 2 at 4pm with an artist’s reception following that at 5pm. 1420 Fifth Ave. 206-624-6768 or go to [email protected].

A non-profit, the Portland Chinatown History Foundation will open the new Portland Chinatown Museum to the public on June 7, 2018 with a feature exhibit of “Made in the USA: Portland’s Chinatown” by Seattle photographer Dean Wong. A new version of “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns”, an enormously popular national exhibit held at Oregon Historical Society two years ago will be permanently installed in late summer followed by a gala celebration. The museum hopes to stir up interest in preserving what’s left of the community as gentrification strips away vestiges of the original community. Before the official opening however, the Portland Chinatown Museum will premiere “A Tale of Two Ghettos”, a new multiple-site installation by Portland artist Horatio Law. 127 NW 3rd Ave. 503-224-0008.

A new public sculpture in New Mexico honors a court case that expanded rights for Asian Americans. In 1882, New Mexico’s territorial supreme court ruled that Asian Americans had the right to testify before a judge. This decision set a major legal precedent and was an overlooked breakthrough in the history of American civil rights, often overshadowed by the Chinese Exclusion Act. To celebrate this case of Territory of New Mexico v. Yee Shun, Bernalillo County approved a public sculpture in its honor. Puget Sound artists Cheryll Leo Gwin and Stewart Wong won the commission. Their design depicts a giant plumb bob balanced on its tip; to stand outside the courthouse “as a metaphor for tipping the scales of justice” says Leo-Gwin. The public artwork will be unveiled next year. Excerpted from Hyperallergic website article by Claire Voon.

Seattle Textile And Rug Society presents an exhibition/lecture on “Pojaggi, Furoshiki and Fukasa” on Sunday, May 6 at 5pm. STARS member David Paly will talk about Pojaggi (traditional Korean wrapping cloth), Furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping cloth) and Fukasa (Japanese textile wrapping cloth used for gift wrapping). An exhibit of his collection will be on display. In addition, Lynn Miyauchi will demonstrate how to fold a Furoshiki. At Pioneer Hall at 1642  43rd Ave. E. in Seattle. 206-295-5537 or go to [email protected].

Seattle-based artist Ko Kirk Yamahira deconstructs his paintings by painstakingly removing individual threads from the weave of the canvas, turning surface into form. Recent work offers a meditation on identity, duality and the relativity of perception. An exhibition of his work is at the Frye Art Museum On view through June 3, 2018. Curator Amanda Donnan gives a free talk and tour of the exhibition on May 20 at 2pm. “Bench Mark” is a partnership for Youth exhibition developed by teens during a free workshop when they had to learn how to collaborate to design and produce a bench. Co-organized by Lynn Chou, Manager of Youth and School Programs and Negarra A. Kudomu, Manager of Public Programs. Features the work of Abdisemed Ali, Gebreyaus Wengeda, Eva Gugsa, Tegarius Kea, John Le, Kiet Nguyen, Ngoc Nguyen, Tam Nguyen, Nurham Nuru and Nhu-Phuong Tran. Teaching artists Laura Bartunek, John Hallock and Jim Nicholls provided 3-D modeling. Presented by Frye Art Museum and Associated Recreational Council Recreational Tech program at Yesler Community Center with the support from Olson Kundig. Public opening is June 15, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:30pm. On view from  June 26 – Oct. 14, 2018. “Group Therapy” is a  group show that  addresses themes of healing and self-care and comments on and/or adapts strategies  of alternative medicine, psychotherapy and wellness practices. Includes work by Maryam Jafri and Cindy Mochizuki. Public opening is Sept. 14, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:30pm. On view through Jan. 6, 2019.   704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.

“Akio Takamori: Portraits and Sleepers”. Noted ceramic artist Akio Takamori did a Visiting Artist Residency at the Museum of Glass in August of 2014. During that time he created new work inspired by head-shaped Roman glass flasks. Each piece is embellished with enamel paints, creating a pictorial surface which plays with the transparency and opacity of the glass. In celebration of his extraordinary life and continually innovative career, the Museum presents a selective display which includes examples from his residency. 1801 Dock St. in Tacoma. 253-284-4750 or go to  On view through May, 2018 .

“My Shadow Is A Word Writing Itself Across Time” by Gazelle Samizay is a video installation using poetry and sweeping landscape imagery. The artist draws connections between her experience as a Muslim American from Afghanistan and the wrongfully imprisoned Japanese Americans during WWII. On view  now at 4 Culture’s E4C Media Screens in rotation with other videos. 101 Prefontaine Place South. 206-296-7580.

Alex Kang uses technology to explore the heartbreak of losing information in translation. His work is part of the “2018 University of Washington MFA+MDes Thesis Exhibition”, a group show of graduating art students set for May 24 – June 24, 2018. On the Seattle UW  campus in the University District.  206-543-2280 or email [email protected].

Seattle Art Museum has the following – “Talents and Beauties: Art of Women in Japan” through July 15, 2018. “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. “Pacific Currents” & “Billabong Dreams” are two adjacent installations that feature the theme of water from New Guinea to Puget Sound through Oct. 21, 2018. “Walkabout:The Art of Dorothy Napangardi” opens May 5, 2018 and is ongoing. Third Floor Galleries. This Aboriginal artist was born in the Tanami Desert of Australia. Her work is a spiritual map of walking with her family across ancestral land. “Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India” opens Oct. 18, 2018 and remains on view through Jan. 21, 2019. 1300 First Ave.  206-654-3210  or try

Seattle Art Museum presents a new series for SAM members entitled “Conversations With Curators” through June 2018. All lectures start at 7pm in the Auditorium with a Happy Hour starting at 6:30pm. Some highlights – June 20 brings Foong Ping, Curator of Chinese Art together with Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art talking about “Transforming An Icon: Behind-The-Scenes At The Seattle Asian Art Museum.” You can buy tickets online at or call 206-654-3210 or stop by the Ticketing Desk at SAM.

As part of SAM & Gardner Center’s “Saturday University” & “Asia Talks” programs, check out the following. On May 9 at 7pm at Bellevue City Hall, Minh-Ha T. Pham of Pratt Institute will address the topic of “Race and Plagiarism on the Runway”. Pham returns on May 12 to Seattle Art Museum to give a talk on her recent book “Internet: Race, Gender and the Work of Personal Style Blogging” (Duke University Press) at 10am in Plestcheeff Auditorium.

“Akio Takamori: Paintings and Sculpture” is on view from May 3 – June 30, 2018 and pairs his drawings with related ceramic work in sculpture. James Harris Gallery. 604 – 2nd Ave. in Seattle. 206-903-6220 or try [email protected].

Mixed media artists Cathy Woo and Jacqui Beck show together May 1 – June 2, 2018 at Michael Birawer Gallery. 1003 First Ave. in Pioneer Square. 206-624-7773.

“Shibori/Tokkuri Virtuosity and Chance in Two Art Forms” is a group show that features textile artists and ceramic artists. Features work by Amy Nguyen, Joan Wortis, Akira Satake, Shiro Kanzaki and many others. 400 Winslow Way E. #120 on Bainbridge Island. 206-780-9500

STG presents “Re:definition-Celebrating 90 Years of Community, Culture and Space”, a group show in the lobby of the bar in the Paramount Theatre guest curated by Jean Alonzo Rodriguez, Tracy Rector and Tariqa Waters to help celebrate that cultural institution’s 90th birthday. Included is work by Junko Yamamoto, Kenji Hamai Stoll and others. 911 Pine in downtown Seattle. 206-682-1919.

Traver Gallery has a show for Jiro Yonezawa who crafts sculpture out of woven metal, thread, and bamboo that keeps the folk craft tradition contemporary. May 3 – June 2, 2018. Jun Kaneko is one of main figures in the contemporary ceramics movement. Based in Nebraska, the Japanese artist is known for his massive outdoor sculptures of ceramic heads. His show runs from June 7 – 30,  2018. 110 Union St. #200 in Seattle. 206-587-6501 or go to

Leena Joshi is part of a group of artists that will create works that citizens will be able to experience throughout the city of Seattle in an on-going series entitled “a lone” on view from May 3 – 31, 2018. Go to the Mount Analogue website to see a map of locations.

Pacific Bonsai Musuem 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 For more information, go to

Portland Art Museum has a 25 year retrospective show entitled “Common Ground: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh, 1989 – 2013”. Sheikh is an American photographer whose parents hail from Kenya but came originally from Pakistan. His subjects are individuals rendered invisible by war, ethnic and religious strife, climate crises, and social banishment and the images are invitations to his subjects to share their stories of unimaginable hardship and perseverance with viewers.  On view until May 20, 2018. “Modern Japanese Prints from the Carol and Seymour Haber Collection” is on view through June 17, 2018.

Portland Art Museum. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try [email protected].

Internationally known ceramic artist and former UW Professor Patti Warashina has a show of new work set for the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center April 13 – August 5, 2018. She will do a 2 day workshop May 12 – 13 and give a talk about her work on Sat., May 12 at 6pm. One East Main St. in Mesa, Arizona. 480-644-6560 or go to [email protected].

“Between and Within: A Tenous Beauty” is a group show that includes the work of Jiyoung Chung, Gilchun Koh and Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) on view from April 5 – May 26. The work explores the changing climate of nature’s textures from the chaotic to serene, impacted by human development and the accelerating diminishment of natural resources.  There will be a Second Reception on First Thursday, May 3 from 5 – 8pm. As part of gallery program activities, Alan Lau will give a reading on Thursday, May 3 at 5:30pm. The reading will consist of writing inspired by art & artists and conclude with a tribute to jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk with Seattle bassist Geoff Harper. Free. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S.  206-839-0377 or go to

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 Wing include the following – “Wham! Bam! Pow! – Cartoons, Turbans & Confronting Hate” opens May 4, 2018 and remains on view through Feb. 24, 2019. This is an exhibition of work  by New York-based cartoonist Vishavjit Singh who wields art and humor to fight intolerance and challenge stereotypes. “A Dragon Lives Here”, part 4 of the ongoing Bruce Lee exhibition series has just opened.  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. A reminder  that Bruce Lee tours reopen on March 10, 2018. “Visions of Pasifika: Light from Another World” on view now through Nov. 11 2018 looks at Pacific Islander artists who incorporate tradition while looking towards the future. Includes work by Lilian Ongelungel, Kalel’okalani, Roquin-Jon Quichocho Siongco and Selena Velasco.  “Costumed Spectacle: Cantonese Opera from the So Family Collection shows off the intricately embroidered costumes that belonged to a Cantonese opera singer who performed in Hong Kong and later in Seattle. Through July 1, 2018.  “What’s In Your Cup? – Community Brewed Culture” is a new exhibit honoring the beverages that have given life to communities – from farmers and families who nurture the raw materials to friends & kin who bond over shared drinks. Hear histories of commerce, colonization and survival. Share tales from a Japanese family who brewed sake from Fukushima to Seattle, the Seko’s who ran the beloved Bush Garden, Carmel Laurino who pioneered the value of Filipino coffee, Lydia Lin who cultivated  tea appreciation through her Seattle Best Tea and Koichi Kitazawa, a brew master at Starbucks. On view through  Sept. 16, 2018. 206-623-5124×127 or email [email protected] for details.   “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity. Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon. Ends May 20, 2018.  “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show now extended until April 23, 2018 . “New Years All Year Round” shows how New Year is celebrated in Chinese, Khmer and Korean cultures. On view through  July 1, 2018. 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.   The Museum is located at 719  South King St. (206) 623-5124 or  visit Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.

Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.

“Bring the Mind Home” by Minh Carrico is his latest public art commission for Storefronts and Shunpike. Drawn from “The Tibetan Book of Living And Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche, the public art piece can be found at the corner of Mercer and Terry Ave. N. in South Lake Union.

“Immigrant Artists And The American West” is a group show taken from the Haub Family collection of art of the American West showcases the role immigrants played in the settlement of this area. Includes work by Bi Wei Liang, Akio Takamori, Mian Situ, Kenjiro Nomura and Humaira Abid. On view through June 14, 2020. “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

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – Japanese American Life in Oregon” is an ongoing exhibit.  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. April 12 – June 10, 2018 brings a show entitled “Arts and Crafts Made in the Japanese American Incarceration Camps”. June 14 – August 5, 2018 will be a show entitled “A Soldier’s Story: The Photo Album of Yukimori Okimoto Who Served During WWII with the 522nd Field Artillery, Liberators of the Subcamps of Dachau.”July 14 – August 5, 2018 brings a show entitled “Oshu Nippo: Artifacts from Portland’s Japanese Language Newspaper – 1909 – 1951”. 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland.503-224-1458 or go to

Portland Japanese Garden has some interesting shows planned for this year. “Shokunin: Five Kyoto Artisans Look to the Future” is on view from May 12 – July 8, 2018. Includes the work of Hosai Matsubayashi (Asahi-yaki ceramics), Shuji Nakagawa (woodworking), Keihou Nishimura (lacquer), Ogawa Choraku (Raku tea ceramics) and Chiemi Ogura (bamboo basketry). There will be an Artisan’s Tea Ceremony on May 12 from 1 – 3pm and Artisan’s Demonstrations on May 12 from 3 – 4pm with two of the artisans in the show. Sept. 15 – Nov. 4, 2018 is a show entitled “Gion Matsuri: The World’s Oldest Urban Festival”. This 900 year old festival in Kyoto, featuring elaborately decorated floats from all provinces of Japan. A wall of video monitors shows the festival procession, Kyoto’s top photographers provide still images and festival musicians will visit to perform the unique festival music. “Manga Hokusai Manga” comes Dec. 1 – Jan. 14, 2019. This is the only venue in the U.S. in which viewers can see the world famous manga woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai displayed alongside work by top modern manga artists. 611 South Kingston Ave. 503-223-1321  or try

On view through July 1, 2018 is “The Long Nineteenth Century in Japanese Woodblock Prints” which features more than 50 works from the collection of Lee and Mary Jean Michels. University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon.  541-346-3027  or visit

“Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America” chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine art world. Includes the work of Kay Sekimachi. On view through  May 6, 2018.  Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building in Bellingham, WA. [email protected] or go to

Vancouver Art Gallery – Look for the current retrospective on the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago  entitled “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” to make its West Coast debut through May 6, 2018 (see review of this show in our current issue). On view through June 17, 2018 is “Bombhead”. This is a thematic exhibition by guest curator John O’Brian that explores the emergence and impact of the Nuclear Age as represented by artists and their art.  Brings together drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, photographs, film and video that deal with this often dark subject matter. Includes work by Robert Rauschenberg, Wang Du, Adolph Gottlieb, Roy Kiyooka, Nancy Spero, Ishiuchi Miyako, Andrea Pinheiro, David Hockney and many others. Opening May 10 and on view through Oct. 8, 2018  in VAG’s offsite location is  the work of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. He is acclaimed for his innovative use of inexpensive local materials in the creation of temporary shelters for those made homeless by environmental or political disasters. On view is the prototype “log cabin” shelter he designed in response to the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Built of cardboard tubing, the cabin expresses the architect’s concerns with sustainability and humanitarianism in the service of disaster relief.  Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719 or

“Karin Lee: Queer-sum” is the title of a show at SUM Gallery located on the fourth floor of the B.C. Artscape Sun Wah Building in Chinatown. The gallery takes its name from the dim sum restaurant  for which the space was originally designed. The board of advisors wanted for the inaugural exhibition, an artist with deep links to Vancouver’s Chinese and queer communities, a woman whose work was challenging and transgressive and queer. They chose local artist Karin Lee who is fourth-generation Chinese Canadian. Three film/media works by Lee will be shown in conjunction with Pride in Art’s Queer Arts Festival. Opening May 12 from 2 – 4pm. Remains on view through August 6, 2018. 268 Keefer St. Call +1-604-684-2925 or go to for details.

Vancouver’s Poly Culture Art Center presents a “Zisha Teapot Exhibition” through May 31, 2018. Tea wares from this area in China have been prized as tea vessels for centuries. #100-905 West Pender St. 604-564-5766 or try

Art Beatus in Vancouver, BC present opening on May 4 from 3 – 6pm is “Melancholia Dreamland”, a series of new landscapes by Simone Guo. On view through  June 22, 2018. 108-808 Nelson St. in Vancouver, BC. 604-688-2633 or go to Closed weekends and holidays.

Nikkei National Museum presents “Beta Vulgaris: The Sugar Beet Project”. This exhibit by Kelty Miyoshi McKinnon with Keri Latimer explores the relationship between the material of sugar and Japanese Canadian history in Western Canada (especially, BC and Alberta). During WWII, the labor shortage and other factors resulted in the BC Securities Commission Council organizing “The Sugar Beet Projects”. As part of the internment, Japanese Canadian families were allowed to remain together only if they agreed to move to the prairies or Ontario to work the sugar beet fields. The Museum will be transformed into a Japanese dry garden, punctuated by sculptural boulders made of molten, burnt and sculpted sugar. A wooden boardwalk will cover this landscape resembling the furrows of sugar beet fields. The video images of labor will be projected over  sugared surfaces  The exhibit ends May 27, 2018. Kayla Isomura’s “The Suitcase Project” opens in June and will be on  view through Sept. 2018.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

The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series by Ai Weiwei is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that  once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Old Summer Palace outside Beijing. On view in the North  Courtyard through June 24, 2018. “Long Nineteenth Century in Japanese Woodblock Prints” features more than fifty works from the collection of Dr. Lee and Mary Jean Michels. Through July 1, 2018. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. 1430 Johnson Lane. 541-346-3027.

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – “When Pictures Speak – The Written Word in Japanese Art” on view through August 19, 2018.   On going are two installations. In front of the museum is “Dragon Fortune” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi which meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design and pop art kids cartoons. In the lobby is “Collected Letters” by Liu Jianhua, a cutting edge installation of porcelain letters and fragments of Chinese characters suspended in mid-air. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.

The Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive has the following shows –Dreaming the Lost Ming” remains on view through May 13, 2018. This show was created in collaboration with a UC Berkeley Chinese art history class. Here you can see the cataclysmic end of the Ming dynasty as evidenced by paintings and literature of China’s 17th century. 2155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].

LACMA or Los Angeles County  Museum of Art has a show on Chinese master brush painter Wu Bin entitled “Wu Bin: Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone” through June 24, 2018. Also on view is “Unexpected Light: Works by Young ll Ahn, a contemporary Korean artist through June 2018. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.

The Broad has had a Yayoi Kusama infinity room entitled “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” in their permanent collection for some time. Now they have added a second one entitled “Longing For Eternity” to their collection. Visitors can see it on view beginning March 17, 2018. For tickets, go to [email protected].

The Japanese American National Museum has the following show  –A few years ago, a controversy brewed when a collection of artworks and artifacts from Japanese American internment camps were about to go on the auction block. A group of Japanese American activists did not want to see pieces of their own cultural history to be sold piecemeal to private collectors. Luckily through their intervention, the collection was instead given to the Japanese American National Museum. The original collector of these items was Allen Eaton who was researching a book later published as “Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps.” Many of these objects were given to

Eaton by detainees with the  expectation that they would be used for educational purposes. Now that wish is fulfilled. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to

The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena is one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. It closed its 1924 building for more than a year for a seismic retrofit and a makeover of its galleries. The museum has now re-opened to the public with a new exhibition entitled “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century” which explores the influence of  visiting Mexican artists on the development of art in China. Through June 10, 2018. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. 626-449-2742 or email [email protected].

“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. On view at the  Santa Barbara Museum of Art through April 29, 2018. Curated by ShiPu Wang with a catalogue. 805-893-2951. After Santa Barbara, the exhibition travels to the following sites. May 25 – Sept. 2, 2018 at Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City. Jan. 18 – March 10, 2019 at Okayama Prefecture Museum of Art in Okayama, Japan (the artist’s hometown), June 23 – Sept. 29, 2019 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA.

Artist Wendy Maruyama explores the impact of Executive Order 9066 that put West Coast American citizens of Japanese ancestry into internment camps during WWII with a powerful installation “E.O. 9066” that uses replicas of ID tags used by internees made into sculptural bundles. On view  through May 27, 2018 at Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA. 3425 Mission Inn Ave. 951-684-7111. Comes with a full program of activities and Mark Izu and Brenda Wong Aoki as artist-in-residence. Email [email protected] for full details.

Denver Art Museum  has the following – “Eyes On” is a show of work by contemporary Chinese artist Xiaoze Xie now on view through July 8, 2018. The show is the first in a series of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists that the museum feels should have fuller exposure in the region. Xie has had a lifelong passion for books. In this show he has created still-life paintings of books, videos and installations based on banned and forbidden books in China. In the Logan Gallery and FuseBox in the Hamilton Building’s fourth floor. The next installment of this series features work by Native American visual artist Julie Buffalohead and Japan-based conceptual artist Shimabuku. Both artists use the depiction of animals as a vehicle to explore both familiar and unfamiliar narratives related to their personal heritage and the world around them. Buffalohead uses metaphors, iconography and storytelling narratives to describe the emotional and subversive American Indian cultural experience. Shimabuku showcases a video entitled “do snowmonkeys remember snow mountains?” in which a group of Japanese snow monkeys are transported from their natural habitat of snow-capped Japanese mountains to a Texas desert sanctuary. Shimabuku uses these Texas primates as a surrogate for humans to explore ideas of migration, environmental adaptation and memory. Festured at the 57th  Venice Biennale in 2017. Both installations on view from July 29, 2018 – Jan. 20, 2019. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. Call 720-865-5000 or go to

“Cloud Column” was installed outside the new Glassel School of Art in Houston, Texas in March of 2018. In the shape of a bean and made of stainless steel, the public art piece was made by British sculptor Anish Kapoor back in the year, 2000.

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 for details.

The National Museum of Women In The Arts presents the printed work of Bay Area-based Chinese-born painter Hung Liu whose portraits suggest sculptural possibilities. Through July 8, 2018  in Washington DC. 202-783-5000.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the following – “Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art” through May 20, 2018. “The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection” through Jan. 21, 2019. “Celebrating the Year of the Dog” through July 4, 2018. Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer” through July 22, 2018. “A Passion for Jade: Heber Bishop and His Collection” through July 22, 2018. “Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal” through Dec.16, 2018. “Japanese Arms and Armor from the Collection of Etsuko and John Morris” through Jan. 6, 2019. “Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China” through Jan. 6, 2019.1000 Fifth Ave. New York, New York. Go to for details.

Artist/sculptor Huma Bhabha grew up in Karachi, Pakistan but has lived in the US for almost 30 years. She lives with her artist husband in the Hudson Valley. She will be the next artist to be featured in the popular roof-installation series at the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York. She’ll be bringing a big ax, literally. The installation entitled “We Come in Peace” will be comprised of two alien figures rough-cut chopped with an ax out of a block of cork. She likes to work with unwieldy materials like cork, styrofoam and burned wood. The installation at the Met is on view from April 17 – Oct. 28, 2018. She has a solo show in Sept. at Contemporary Austin, a piece at the 57th Carniege International in Pittsburgh and a retrospective at ICA Boston in March of 2019. The Met is at 1000 Fifth Ave. in New York City. Go to for details.

The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows. “A Lost Future: Shezad Dawood” is an interactive virtual reality experience of the Indian hill station Kalimpong, linking a haunting nostalgic portal to a future alternative reality. Expanding on some of the sites and stories in Dawood’s paintings and sculptures on view, the virtual reality work allows visitors to travel from the Himalayan Hotel into the mountains, on to the adjacent monastery and beyond. On view through May 21, 2018.”Chitra Ganesh” through Nov. 4, 2018. “Sacred Spaces” through Oct. 15, 2018. “The Second Buddha” through Jan. 7, 2019. “Masterworks of Himalayan Art” through March 26, 2018.  150 W. 17th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to

The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following –  Opening Feb. 27 and remaining on view through May 20, 2018 is “Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expedition and Buddhist Painting”  which presents recently restored paintings collected by Guiseppe Tucci during his expeditions to Tibet and now in the collection of the MNAO Rome. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to for more details.

“A Giant Leap – The Transformation of Hasegawa Tohaku” is a special exhibition that focuses on the life and legacy of one of 16th century Japan’s leading artistic innovators. It traces the artist’s evolution from a provincial painter of Buddhist subjects to a master favored by shogun, samurai and cultural luminaries. Viewers will see vibrantly painted screens, scrolls and Important Cultural Properties. Shown in two parts. First rotation runs from March 9 – April 8. Second rotation from  April 12 – May 5. At The Japan Society. 333 E. 47th St. 212-832-1155 or go to

“We The People – An International Group Exhibition of Contemporary Art Toward Ending the Korean War” includes the work of Kyungbo Han, Song Gwang Hong, Young Jun Hwang, Jihoe Koo,  Suh Youngsun, Emmanuel, Faure, Alicia Grulion, Nina Kuo, Gregory Sholette, Hank Willis Thomas and others. On view at Ozaneaux Art Space until May  24, 2018. 515 W. 20th St.  4E in New York City, New York.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has the following –

The Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” show continues its tour with a stop here July 7, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2018. 11150  East Blvd.  216-421-7350.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Black And White – Japanese Modern Art” is a show centered around  a large scale calligraphy piece by Inoue Yuichi. This exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic. On view  through June 3, 2018.  9300  Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to or call 617-267-9300.

“Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature” is the renowned Chinese artist’s first exhibition in the United States. This exhibition consists of watercolor/mixed media paintings, calligraphy, porcelain and digital media. It examines the deep roots of Jun’s art in the experience of nature and how he performs his role within it. It also illuminates his noel responses to earlier paintings by Chinese masters and encourages views to ponder a dynamic dialogue between Chinese art of the past and the present. On view through  June 3, 2018 at Boston College’s McMullen Museum. 2101 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston. 617-552-8587 or go to

The Guggenheim presents a museum-wide, thematically organized survey of the work of Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo. It includes a focus on the dreamy collective self-image of the U.S.  Through May 9, 2018. Go to for details.

“Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” is the hot ticket item at the Art Gallery of Ontario just as it was here in Seattle. On view  through May 27, 2018. 317 Dundas St. W.  +1-416-979-6648.

Yoko Ono’s installation “The Riverbed” is currently on view at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto until June 3, 2018. It consists of three elements that invite participation. “Stone Piece” is a river of round stones on the floor inviting the viewer to pick up a stone and hold it until you release your anger and sadness. “Line Piece” asks viewers to play with a room of string and nails.  “Mend Piece” asks people to tie and tape together pieces of broken crockery and make your own artwork. Also on view in the lobby is an ongoing series on Japanese contemporary ceramics. 111  Queens Park. +1-416-586-8080.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes” on view through May 13, 2018. Xu Longsen: Light of Heaven” is an installation specifically created for this museum and features a set of painted pillars with a number of monumental landscape paintings. Through June 24, 2018.Wang Dongling’s installation of five plexi panels of calligraphic paintings, color-infused abstractions of classic Chinese poems on view through May 13, 2018. “The Arranged Flower: Ikebana and Flora in Japanese Prints” through April 8, 2018. “The Wandering Landscape: Chinese Topographical Paintings of the 16th Through 19th Century” on view until April 8, 2018. “Modern Japanese Prints” includes the portrait prints of Onchi Koshino and Saito Kiyoshi from April 14 – July 1, 2018. “Rhythm of the Weave” includes a wide range of textiles from around the world from the 14th century to the 20th century on view from May 18 – Oct. 21, 2018. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.

“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” on view through June 24, 2018 and curated by Andres Marks. Minneapolis  Institute of Art.  For centuries, the making of lacquer ware has served a utilitarian and decorative function. But now with modern advances in technology, contemporary artists are pushing into new frontiers. This show is a window into the future of abstract sculpture and installation using the sheen of lacquer as another texture. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787

The Dallas Museum of Art has the following – “Asian Textiles: Art Along the Silk Road”  stays on view until Dec. 9, 2018. 1717 N. Harwood  in Dallas, TX. 214-992-1200.

“Master Hands in the Meiji Period” is a group show and the 40th Anniversary Exhibition from the Museum’s Crafts Gallery. Includes about 100 crafts masterpieces from the Museum Collection. Through May 27, 2018. National Museum  of Modern Art, Tokyo. 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku,  Tokyo, Japan.

“Geneses of Photography in Japan:Nagasaki” on view through May 6, 2018. Nagasaki was one of the first places in Japan where photography first appeared. Presents a visual record of one of Japan’s most dynamic cities as the country went through a transition from feudalism to a modern society. Tokyo Photographic Art Museum,  Yebisu Garden Place, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan. 03-3280-0090.

“Materials, Methods, and Geometries: 30 Years of Creative Exploration by Architect Kengo Kuma” through May 6, 2018. One of Japan’s most well known architects. The show is unique in that it emphasizes the materials the architect loves to work with rather than the buildings themselves. Tokyo Station Gallery. 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. +81-3-3212-2485.

Noted Japanese modern art collector Toshio Hara, head of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo curates his first show at the institution that bears his name. Part II of “My Favorites: Toshio Hara selects from the Permanent Collection”  will consist of the modern Japanese artists in his collection including work by Nobuyoshi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, Yoshiyomo Nara and Miwa Yanagi. Through June 3, 2018. “Mami Kosemura: Phantasies Over Time” on view June 16 – Sept. 2, 2018. Go to for details.

“Sarugaku Maska: Shaping the Culture of Noh” is a show of 350 traditional performance masks, 80 of which are designated “Important Cultural Properties”. Through June 3, 2018. Miho Museum in Shiga. Go to for details.

“Travelers: Stepping Into The Unknown” through May 6, 2018. This show celebrates the museum’s 40th Anniversary and comes in two parts. Section 1 features work that addresses the multi-layered aspects of memory and time. Section 2 focuses on performance works and their documentation.  Coming after that will be “The Myriad Forms of Visual Art: 196 Works With 19 Themes” May 26 – July 1, 2018. The National  Museum of Art, Osaka. 4-2-55 Nakanoshima,  Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan. +81-3-3212-2485.

“Collection Exhibition 3 – ‘Adventures in ‘Seeing.’ ” Is a group show on view through June 24, 2018. Includes work by Suzuki Hiraku, Anish Kapoor, Yamazaki Tsuruka, Monique Frydman, Koganezawa Takehiro, Kadonaga Kazuo, Tony Cragg, Zygia Clark, Isa Genzken and Jeppe Hein.  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. 81-76-220-2800 or email [email protected].

Looking for some art workshops to try out as summer approaches? Below are some ideas –

Scott McCall and Mari Shibuya teach “Portfolio Intensive”  for teenagers  (ages 15 – 18) July 16 – August 17, 2018 at Gage Academy of Art. You’ll learn observational drawing and painting by working from casts, live models and still life set-ups.  1501 – 10th Ave. E. Ste. #101 in Seattle. Go to for details.

Pratt Fine Arts Center has a full schedule of classes and events from March – May 21018. Learn from working professionals like Romson Regarde Bustillo, Lisa Hasegawa and Mark Takamichi Miller. Bustillo teaches a “Collage Crash Course” and “Mixed Media Collograph.” Haegawa teaches “Beginning Letterpress.” Miller is definitely a jack-of-all-trades as he will be busy teaching workshops in “Figure Proportion: the Intuitive Approach”, Liquid Portraiture Painting”, “Oil Mediums and Effects”, “Mysteries of Acrylic”, “Expressive figure Drawing” and “Beginning Experimental Painting.” 1902 Main St. in Seattle. 206-328-2200. Go to to register and get full class descriptions online.

Seattle artist Tori “Baby” Kurihara is profiled on the “Lifestyle” page of the April, 2018 issue of CityArts magazine.

Performing Arts

Annex Theatre presents “Crewmates”, a new play by Sameer Arshad and directed by Shahbaz Khan. This ensemble play looks at the intersection where Islamic supernatural folklore meets American Millennial realities in a thought-provoking comedy. A sensitive American-Muslim played by Ajinkya Bagul and an inspiring atheist Asian American woman played by Carol Tagawa navigate their cultural differences in a budding romance, accompanied by comedic awkwardness. Arshad says of his play, “in this comedy, I explore what it means to be a modern Millennial Muslim in America while dispelling away misconceptions about Muslim sexuality, behavior and belief. Toxic masculinity exists in Muslim culture and young Muslim males are usually portrayed as war-mongering monsters. I am eager to portray an opposing voice.” On stage  May 1 – May 16, 2018. 1100 E. Pike. 206-728-0933 or email [email protected].

Composer, musician & bandleader Bob Antolin presents a concert of world music grooves to feed your soul with his group “Comfort Food,” On Friday, May 11 at 8pm in the cozy confines of the Factory Luxe located in the SODO neighborhood. Doors open at 7pm. $20 per person. 21 and over.  Go to for details.

ReAct Theatre, a multicultural company run by David Hsieh. In the summer, they encore “Aliens” by Annie Baker, a comedic drama with music that explores the friendship between three millennial misfits June 29 – July 29, 2018. At 12th Avenue Arts on Capitol Hill. All tickets at Brown  Paper Tickets.

Kathy Hsieh plays Titania in “ASL Midsummer Nights Dream (Spoken & Signed)” Through May 12. Presented by Sound Theatre Company. Co-directed by Howie Seago and Teresa Thuman. 12th Ave. Arts Mainstage. 1620 – 12th Ave. Try for details.

“Kodomo No Hi” is a Japanese children’s festival set for May 6 starting at 11am and going on through the day. A children’s taiko group, Kaze Daiko will perform at noon followed by a hands on drumming activity for kids in the audience. Enjoy Japanese food, crafts, storytelling, martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremony, performing arts and displays while learning about Japanese and Japanese American culture and art. Free. Japanese Cultural  and Community Center of Washington. 1414 South Weller. 206-568-7114.

“Ghosts of Hell Creek” is a collaboration between paleontologists Greg Wilson & Dave Evans and choreographer Ari Rudenko. Rudenko directs a prehistoric animal dance that combines Japanese butoh theater and Indonesian traditional/contemporary dance influences with a science-based comparative examination of the anatomy. May 5 & 6 at Meany Center For The Performing Arts  on the Seattle UW campus. or 206-543-4880.

Asia Pacific Cultural Center presents “Thousand Faces”, a touring production of Chinese opera. See it on Sat., May 12 at 7:20pm at Chief Sealth International High School at 2600 SW Thistle St. in Seattle and again on Sun., May 13 at 7:20pm at Pantages Theatre  at 901 Broadway in Tacoma. Call 253-383-3900 for tickets and information.

The Converge Dance Festival 2018 stages works by eight choreographers just coming into their own. This year’s festival takes place at Velocity Dance Center May 25 – 26. Includes the work of Warren Woo. 1621 12th Ave. 206-325-8773.

On the Boards will  present the 2018 NW New Works Festival June 8 – 10 & June 15 – 17, 2018. Susan Lieu and Majinn are two of the performers for the Studio Theatre Showcase on June 8 at 8pm & June 9 – 10 at 5pm.Pam Tzeng is on the bill at the Studio Theatre Showcase June 15 at 8pm & June 16 – 17 at 5pm. 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886 or go to for details.

ARTSWEST in West Seattle presents the following –Next up is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “An Octoroon” directed by Brandon J. Simmon which is a genre-defying play on the performance of race. Seattle actor Jose Abaoag is part of the cast. Through May 12, 2018. The season closes with Kiss of The Spider Woman” June 7 – July 8, 2018. 2018.S.W.  in West  Seattle.

The Meany Center For The Performing Arts – Looking forward to the 2018/2019 season, look out for the following. The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble are one of the premier Indian Classical Dance ensembles performing today. They have the distinction of making the New York Times “Best Dance of the Year” list two years running. They will make their Meany debut with special guest artists from Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company to perform the critically acclaimed collaborative piece “Samhara” performed with both Indian and Sri Lankan musicians. Oct. 4 – 6, 2018  at 8pm. The Taiwan Philharmonic has been hailed as one of Asia’s best. They make their Seattle debut on Nov. 3, 2018 at 7:30pm under the baton of Shao-chia Lu. They perform Brahms, noted Taiwan composer Gordon Chin’s “Dancing Song” and are joined by pianist Stephen Hough for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq returns to Seattle on Feb. 8, 2019. Her vocal improvisations bridge traditional roots with contemporary culture, stirring in punk, metal and electronics. Time for Three is a ground  breaking string trio that transcends tradition as well by mixing elements of pop and rock into their classical foundation. They perform on April 18, 2019. 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.  All tickets now available as part of a Meany Center subscription package and remaining single tickets go on sale on August 1, 2018. You can order online at 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.

The Music of Remembrance organization exists so that the voices of musical witness can be heard. In the past they have organized music of composers who perished in the Holocaust. This year, they shine their light on Japan and the internment camp experience of Japanese Americans. A concert set for Spring is entitled “Gaman” by Christophe Chagnard. After Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent – a majority of them American citizens – were forced into detention camps scattered across the United States. Chagnard explores this dark chapter of American history incorporating the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. This multi-media work will tell the story through the imagery and words of Seattle artists Takuichi Fujii and Kamekichi Tokita who were interned at Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. Instrumentation will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/singer combined with visual media projections. Completing the program are the following – “August 6” is a composition for violin and double bass by Shinji Eshima that makes an eloquent plea about the urgency of preventing nuclear war. The other pieces feature Erwin Schulhoff’s “Five Pieces for String Quartet” (1923) which includes a sixth piece. Baritone Erich Parce sings songs written and performed by prisoners in the Terezin concentration camps. “Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes for Violin & Piano” by Mieczyslaw Weinberg who suffered under both Nazi and Soviet hands completes the bill. Set for May 20, 2018 at 5pm at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. A new composition on WWII  by Ryuichi Sakamoto has been postponed until next year. For details, go to musicofremembrance.

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 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.

“String” is a world premiere musical with a mythological twist. What happens when a goddess comes to earth and falls in love and upsets the balance? Stars the ever busy Sara Porkalob. Part of Village Theatre’s 2017-2018 season. Plays through  May 20 in Everett. Call 425-257-8600 for Everett. Go to for details.

Edmonds Center for the Arts presents the following –   Mystical Arts of Tibet conclude a 5 day residency with a performance of traditional music and the creation of a mandala sand painting. The performance with multi-phonic chanting, music and dance takes place May 11, 2018 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595.

Daisha, a classical trio composed of UW undergraduates Halie Borror on violin, Daniel Richardson on piano and Isabella Kodama on cello give a concert at Brechemin Auditorium on  May 4, 2018. At 7:30pm and admission is free. On the Seattle  UW campus. Go to for details.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month takes place at Seattle Center  with entertainment and cultural activities celebrating this vibrant culture. May 6, 2018 at Seattle Center’s Armory Building. 206-684-7200 or go to

A performance entitled “Discover Korea! Learn And Experience” takes place on Sat. , May 19, 2018 from 11am – 1pm. Asian Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. 4851 South Tacoma Way. Go to

“A Glimpse of China” is a free festival in which you can discover a 5,000 year-old cultural tradition, learn Chinese folk arts, make art and more. May 19, 2018 at Seattle Center. 206-684-7200 or go to

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival brings together the community’s cultural traditions in one place with music, dancing, poetry, films and storytelling from around the city and around the world. May 25 – 28 at Seattle Center. $10 suggested donation.

The UW faculty chamber group Frequencies welcomes special guest violinist Yura Lee in a concert entitled “Dialogues” set for May 27, 2018 at 7:30pm. Lee, the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant will perform duos with each member of Frequency and the trio will then perform Erno Dohnanyi’s “Serenade”. At Meany Theater on the  UW Seattle campus. Go to for details.

MAD TV comic star Bobby Lee returns to the area for stand-up on June 7 & 9 . At Parlor Live Comedy on the 3rd floor of Lincoln Square at 700 Bellevue Way NE Ste. 300 in Bellevue,WA. 206-602-1441 or go to

The Theatre Off Jackson has the Sunday Night Shuga Shaq is the only monthly all people of color “burlesque revue” in Seattle. Produced by Briq House Entertainment and Sin De la Rosa with shows on May 13 and June 10 at 7pm. 409 – 7th Ave. S. in the CID.Go to for complete details.

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival takes place June 2 – 3, 2018. Includes workshops, exhibits, demonstrations and performances that showcase Filipino history, art and culture. Theatro Filipino-Seattle will showcase theater at this event. New drama works will be performed on June 2nd in Loft 1B of the Center House. The FAYTS (Filipino American Young Turks)  written by Robert Francis Flor and directed by Eloisa Cardona will be read from 12 – 2pm. The play explores the ambitions of a group of Seattle-area Filipino American activists in the early seventies. Funded by 4Culture. From 3:30 – 4:15pm, Mara Elissa Para , currently in the INTIMAN Emerging Artist Program, will perform her solo show entitled “The F Word.” Her play looks at issues facing a first-generation Filipina finding her way through family, friends and fantasy. Finally from 4:30 – 5:30pm,  the play, Hintayan ng Langit (Heaven’s Waiting Room) gets a staged reading in Tagalog from a play by Juan  Miguel Severo.  Two former lovers estranged for years meet again in an otherworldly unexpected location. Free. Seattle Center. 206-684-7200 or try

Conductor Ludovic Morlot ends his tenure with the Seattle Symphony with a varied and stimulating series of concerts. Some highlights include  noted soprano Yasko Sato who is featured in Seattle Symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 Dec. 28 – 30, 2018. At the Taper auditorium. The annual “Celebrate Asia” concert is back on Jan. 27 at 4pm in Taper Auditorium. The theme this year is Korea. The orchestra will be led by highly touted conductor Shiyeon Sung known for finding the right balance between dynamic passion and even handed music making. Pianist Seong-Jin Chao won the Gold Medal at the Chopin International Competition and has never looked back. He will be a featured soloist. Soprano Kathleen Kim is a regular guest at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera and will grace the stage with her beautiful voice. The program consists of work by John Adams, Rachmaninov, Narong Prangcharoen, Unsuk Kim and traditional Korean folk songs. Taper Auditorium. The Silkroad Ensemble (featured in a documentary film) returns with the world premiere of Kinan Azmeh’s clarinet concerto, composer/pianist Vijay Iyer’s “City of Sand”, Edward Perez’s “Latina 6/8 Suite” and a world premiere by noted composer Chen Yi. Wed., Feb. 6 at 7:30pm in the Taper Auditorium. All concerts at Benaroya  Hall in downtown Seattle. Go to for details.

Emerald City Music presents the duo of Hyeyeon Pak on piano and Dmitri Atapine on cello in a selection of cello sonatas. May 12 at 7:30pm. Resonance at  SOMA Towers in Bellevue. 288 – 106th Ave.  NE 425-443-2585 or [email protected].

Hawaiian-born, Seattle-based comedian Kermit Apio performs stand-up May 18 & 19 at Laughs Comedy Club in Seattle. 5220 Roosevelt Way NE. 206-526-5653.

Seattle Pro Musica presents a concert of sacred choral music in “Sacred Ground” on May 18 & 19 at 8pm. Included in the program is Hyo-Won Woo’s “Amazing Grace”. St. James Cathedral  at 9th & Marion in Seattle. 206-781-2766  or try

Korean American saxophonist, singer and composer Grace Kelly plays Jazz Alley on June 5 & 6 at 7:30pm. 2033 – 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or try

The Seattle International Dance Festival takes place June 8 – 24 at various locations around Seattle and always includes a generous sampling of local talent and visiting international companies. Includes local dance group, The Three Yells on June 9 & 10 at 7:30pm and Swiss/Japanese dance group “T42” set to perform June 15 & 16 at 8pm. Go to for complete details. The Seattle company, The Three Yells will also have a world premiere, “A Crack In The Noise” in their annual concert at Cornish Playhouse Feb. 1 – 2, 2019 and will also perform “A Roomful of Scissors” in the winter of 2019 at Frye Art Museum.

For world-class classical music in the heart of the city this summer, look no further than Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival taking place July 2 – 28, 2018.  Artistic Director is James Ehnes. Includes performances from musicians like Karen Gomyo, Andrew Wan, Che-Yen Chen, Bion Tsang, Jeewon Park, Jun Iwasaki George Li, Richard O’Neil, Yura Lee, Maiya Papach and many others. Also take note of a free “Chamber Music In The Park” concert in Volunteer Park on July 28 at 6pm. The summer festival takes place at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall downtown. For tickets & general information, try 206-283-8808 or [email protected].

ARC Dance under the artistic direction of Marie Chong holds their annual Summer Dance at the Center at the Leo K. Theater at Seattle Center over two weekends. July 19 – 22 and 26 – 28. The mixed repertory program includes five world premiere dance pieces by choreographers Bruce McCormick, Wen Wei, Tasun Ohlberg, Marika Brussel and Paul DeStrooper. 155 Mercer St. Purchase tickes online at

The Tibet Fest showcases that country’s arts and culture with entertainment, food and activities. August 25 – 26 at the Seattle Center Armory. 206-684-7200 or go to

“Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy (registered trademark)”  with Seattle Symphony returns to Seattle on Wed., Sept. 12, 2018 at 7:30pm & Thurs., Sept. 13, 2018 at 7:30pm. This concert features the music of Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu who will be in attendance. It will be conducted by  Grammy Award winner Arnie Roth. This concert combines video and music to immerse the audience in the fantastical video game world of  Final Fantasy. Limited VIP meet & greet pre-sale tickes available now. Try [email protected].

September 9, 2018 marks the “Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival” held at Seattle Center’s Armory. 206-684-7200 or go to

The city of Renton celebrates their diversity with a Multi-Cultural Festival held September 14 – 15. 425-430-6600 or go to

October 20, 2018 marks the day of “Diwali: Lights of India Festival” at Seattle Center Armory. 206-684-7200 or go to

November 3, 2018 is the “Hmong New Year Celebration” at Seattle Center’s Armory. 206-684-7200 or try

Early Music Seattle brings the highly praised Bach Collegium Japan with legendary conductor Masaaki Suzuki to Bastyr University Chapel. They will bring the best of the Baroque period to life. The program features harmonic inspirations from Vivaldi, Handel’s motet Slete Venti with soprano Joann Lunn and French-inspired dances by Bach. Sat., Dec. 8, 2018 at 7:30pm. 14500 Juanita Dr. N.E. in Kenmore, WA. Free Parking.  206-325-7066  or

Noted actor Soon-Tek Oh recently died. He was a Korean American actor known as the voice of Fa Zhou in Disney’s “Mulan” and its sequel. He appeared in dozens of films and television programs such as M*A*S*H, Charlie’s Angels, Magnum, P.I., and Hawaii Five-O. On Broadway, he was in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures”. He was one of the earliest members of L.A.’s East West Players, an Asian American theatre group founded in 1965. In 1995, he founded the Korean American theatre group, Society of Heritage Performers, which later evolved into the present Lodestone Theatre Ensemble.

Noted Chinese conductor Han Zhongiie died in Beijing at 97. He taught two generations of Chinese conductors and toured the world with his Central Philharmonic. After Seiji Ozawa’s 1978 China Tour, he was invited to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He once said, “How I wish I could have pursued my music career in an environment that was free of political interference.”

Bay Area-based composer/musician Mark Izu and storyteller/performer Brenda Wong Aoki keep busy. They  have a spring performance entitled “Aunt Lily’s Flowerbook: 100 Years of Legalized Racism” on Thurs., May 24 at 7pm at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco as the closing event for CAAM Fest 2018. Go to for details.

The Paris-based Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France has named Korean concertmaster Park Ji-Yoon  as its new conductor. She is presently concertmaster of the Orchestre National des Paysde la Loire.

In October of 2011, Pvt. Danny Chen suffered a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while on guard duty at a military base in Afghanistan. It was later revealed that the soldier suffered racial taunts and hazing from fellow soldiers before he committed suicide. Now the Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents a world premiere of a new two-act opera based on the Danny Chen case entitled “An American Soldier – Out of Many, One” by composer Huang Ruo and a libretto by playwright David Henry Hwang. Andrew Stenson stars as Danny Chen, Wayne Tigges as Sgt. Aaron Marcum, Mika Shigematsu as Mother Chen, and Kathleen Kim as Josephine Young. The orchestra is  conducted by Michael Christie. The opera is directed  by Matthew Ozawa. Performances  on June 3, 6, 9,14, 16 & 22. At Loretto-Hilton Center at 130 Edgar Rd. in St. Louis, MO. Go to or call 314-961-0644.

The Esme Quartet, an all Korean string ensemble based in Germany won the top prize in the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in England. Besides prize money, the award consists of an extensive UK tour and residencies at Banff, Canada and Avaloch Farm Music Institute in the U.S.

Film & Media

Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi’s documentary film “Half-Life in Fukushima” looks at Naoto Matsumara and his father and their efforts to carve out a life in their home in the nuclear danger zone where they are the only inhabitants in a ghost town left vacant by nuclear melt-down shaken loose by a tsunami. This is no sci-fi film. Screens May 4, 5, 6  and 9 & 10. On Friday, May 4 at 9pm and in honor of the Khmer New Year, DJ Oro presents “From ORO With Love”, a short film of his travels in search of some of the rarest  music in the world. Oro helped contribute to the soundtrack of the 2015 documentary film on Cambodian pop music entitled “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten”. This program is a benefit fundraiser to help send Oro to a global Cambodian conference of remembrance in France. Co-produced by Cambodian Vintage Music Archive, Pearl of Asia, Disques Sameth Mell, Marianne Goldin, Raw Music International and Northwest Film Forum. NWFF in a co-presentation with Seattle Asian American Film Festival screens  on Wed., May 16 at 7pm, “Reunification” by Alvin Tsang who reflects on his family’s migration from Hong Kong to LA in the 1980s and the conflicts that split the family apart. The filmmaker will be in attendance for a “post-screening Q & A”. In a related event, there will be 3 hour workshop with Alvin Tsang on Friday, May 25 at 6:30pm.  He will discuss the process involved in making the film and then engage in a collaborative discussion with students about personal filmmaking and give guidance to students about their own works in progress. Bring your own archival project to the discussion in the form of footage, audio or photos. “Puget Soundtrack: Bill Horist presents Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” on Fri., May 25 at 8pm. Local experimental guitarist Horist provides a live soundtrack to one of his favorite Kurosawa films. The late South Korean director Hong Sangsoo, returns with a final  look at a Korean film director and his tangled relationships with women and his cinematic career in ”The Day After” which screens May 26  and May 27.   Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.

Writer/director Chloe Zhao’s (see our feature interview with the director online) second feature film from the locale of the Pine Ridge Reservation entitled “The Rider”, a prizewinner at numerous film festivals looks at the life of a rodeo cowboy coming to terms with a possible career-ending injury opens May 4, 2018. The film’s cast is composed almost entirely of people on the reservation. Various theatres around  town including AMC.

For those who love “Anime”, the Grand Illusion Cinema brings two animated features from Japan. “Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple” by Takuya Igarashi plays May 2, 5 & 6.. It’s the story of a detective agency who tries to unravel the mystery of 500 people with supernatural powers who are killed. In Japanese with English subtitles.  “Mind Game” by Masaki Yuasa is a Japanese cult classic which plays May 11 – 17. A loser who is too wim py to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters gets a glimpse of the afterlife and returns to earth a changed man, determined to live each moment to the fullest.  1403  NE 50th. 206-523-3935.

“Ocean’s 8” is a caper/heist film that gives the women their due. With Sandra Bullock leading an all-star cast which includes Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and many others. Opens June 6, 3018.

Kevin Kwan’s best-selling spoof of the wealthy among us  entitled “Crazy Rich Asians” comes to the big screen on August 7, 2018. Directed by Jon M. Chu with Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh.

“Translations” is the title of the 13th Seattle Transgender Film Festival held May 3 – 12, 2018 at Erickson Theatre (on Pine St. across from Seattle Central Community College) and various other locations around Capitol Hill. It is billed as the largest trans film festival in the world. Go to for details.

Time to get ready for the upcoming Seattle International Film Festival from May 17 – June 10, 2018 screening in various Puget  Sound theatres. Award-winners from Sundance, Toronto and SXSW Film Festivals plus a new Chinese films showcase are some highlights. (Go to our link to read some short reviews of a few of these films covered in Misa Shikuma’s overviews on Sundance and Berlin film festivals.)  Go to for tickets and information. Acclaimed Japanese director Hirakazu Kore-eda returns with a different twist  in a courtroom crime thriller entitled “The Third Murder”. It pits a defence attorney who is beginning to question his profession with a client who changes his story with each confession. A mesmerizing performance by Yakusho Koji. It swept all the Japanese academy awards. “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” pulls the curtain up on the world of musician/activist/provocateur and Sri Lankan immigrant M.I.A. Through a series of personal diaries, Director Stephen Loveridge gives us an unconventional and uncompromising portrait of this international hip-hop star. Nabbed a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. A special feature will be the “China Stars” showcase in which the richness of contemporary Chinese cinema will be unveiled in 10 feature films from China. “People’s Republic of Desire” is a documentary that looks at China’s digital idol-making universe. Took the documentary Grand Jury Prize at SXSW Film Festival. “Angels Wear White” by Vivian Qu depicts a corrupt system stacked up against women in society. Mingming Yang’s “Girls Always Happy” is a comedy about a young college student living at home with her mother who while clashing realize they are more alike than they care to admit. “Dead Pigs” by Chinese American director Cathy Yan looks at five Shanghai residents whose lives are thrown together when bodies of dead pigs flood a nearby river. Jia Hu’s “The Taste of Betel Nut” has a polyamorous male couple who test the limits of a restrictive society when they become romantically entangled with a beautiful young girl. Yukun Xin’s “Wrath of Silence” is a Western-inspired crime thriller that introduces a blue-collar family man set off on a spree of revenge when his son is kidnapped by a gangster. “Susu” by Yixi Sun plops two Chinese students researching a Chinese opera star into a 16th century mansion in the English countryside chock full of family secrets. Sylvia Chang’s “Love Education” looks at a multi-generational story of love and womanhood triggered by the moving of a father’s grave. Chengjie Cai’s “The Widowed Witch” follows a three-time widow who turns her ill fortune to her advantage by offering supernatural advice to citizens of rural China. Jordan Schiele’s “The Silk And The Flame” charts the journey of a gay man in Beijing who returns to his home village to visit his traditional family in his middle age.

Toei Animation and Fathom Events present “Digimon Adventure fri: Coexistence” to theatres. This exclusive  anime feature dubbed in English screens on Thurs., May 10, 2018 at 7:30pm. At Pacific Place 11 at 600 Pine St., The Varsity at 4329 University Way NE and Thorton Place 14 at 301 NE 103rd St. The climatic finale “Future” will screen Sept. 20, 2018 at these same local theatres.

WAKFU Season 3 produced by Ankama Animations is now available to the world in several languages either dubbed or subtitled on Netflix with an app for a free mini-game available on iOS and Android.

Sandra Oh, Korean Canadian Golden Globe-winning actress is best known for her role as Cristina Yang, the sarcastic surgeon she played on “Grey’s Anatomy” that earned her five Emmy nominations. She is now the star of “Killing Eve”, a BBC America thriller series in which she plays a spy obsessed with hunting down a psychotic assassin as they engage in a game of cat and mouse. An initial well received first season has resulted in the series being renewed for a second year.

Wes Anderson’s new animated feature entitled “Isle of Dogs” takes place in Japan. Opens March 29.  “Saturday Morning Cartoons” is a monthly celebration of animated films from across the globe. Coming to the series on April 28, 2018 is  the late Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata’s 1999 film, “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. This is a multi-generational look at the hardships and joys of a Japanese family. Both at SIFF Uptown. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N.  206-464-5830 or [email protected] or try Go to for details.

Opening April 20 in many theatres is Indian Canadian director Jay Chandrasekhar’s “Super Troopers 2” about the clash between American cops and Royal Canadian Mounties in a slapstick comedy of cultural manners.

If you have enjoyed an animated feature film from Japan’s Ghibli Studios and wished you could see more, here’s your chance. Fathom Events brings a Studio Ghibli Film Festival starting in March and going through November, 2018. The films will screen at Pacific Place 11, The Varsity in the University District & Thornton Place 14 in Seattle and Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. All screenings at  12:55pm in the afternoon. Here are the titles and dates. Please note that some screenings will be dubbed and others will be with subtitles. “Porco Rosso” screens May 20 (dubbed), May 21 (subtitled) and May 23 (dubbed). “Pom Poko” is on June 17 (debbed), June 18 (subtitled) and June 20 (dubbed). “Princess Mononoke” is July 22 (dubbed), July 23 (subtitled), July 25 (dubbed). “Grave of the Fireflies” is August 12 (dubbed), August 13 (subtitled) and August 15 (dubbed). “My Neighbor Totoro” is Sept. 30 (dubbed), Oct. 1 (subtitled) and Oct. 3 (subtitled). “Spirited Away” is Oct. 28 (dubbed), Oct. 29 (subtitled) and Oct. 30 (subtitled). “Castle in the Sky” is Nov. 18 (dubbed), Nov. 19 (subtitled) and Nov. 30 (dubbed).

Lawrence Loh conducts the Seattle Symphony in a live performance of John Williams’ iconic score with a screening of “Star Wars: A New Hope” at Benaroya Hall on July 13 at 8pm, July 14 at 8pm and July 15 at 2pm. Loh is active as a guest conductor with an affinity for pops programming and conducting concerts synchronizing live orchestral music with film. He is Music Director of Symphoria of Syracuse, New York and Music Director of the West Virginia Symphony.  200 University St. in downtown Seattle. Box Office # is 206-215-4747.

Robin Lung’s documentary film “Finding Kukan” which was a favorite at last year’s SIFF will be broadcast on the PBS WORLD Chamelon May 8 at 8pm as part of the America ReFramed Series (check your local listings.) The film will also stream free for a month starting May 9, 2018 on There is also an educational DVD for sale and the director is available for campus and community center screenings. To contact the director, go to [email protected].

Gkids has acquired the North American distribution rights to the Japanese animated drama “Fireworks” directed by Nobuyuki Takeuchi. The story involves a shy boy who discovers a rainbow ball in the sea that has the power to turn back time which gives him a chance to be with the girl he loves. That is, until complications develop. Probable release date here is in the summer of 2018.

Studio Ghibli co-founder and noted animated film director Isao Takahata is dead at the age of 82. He is best known for his masterpiece, “Grave of the Fireflies”, a tale of two children struggling to survive at the end of WW II. Takahata himself suffered as a child during the heavy U.S. bombing of Okayama City. Takahata met Hayo Miyazaki at Toei Animation. In 1985, they launched Studio Ghibli with Toshio Suzuki and the rest is history. Miyazaki has announced that he will come out of retirement to direct his final feature entitled “How do You Live?” based on a popular Japanese bestseller and set for 2020 release. Miyazaki sees this project as a final gift to his grandson.

Choi Eun-hee, celebrated South Korean actress has died at the age of 91. She was abducted and forced to make films in North Korea during the 1970s and 80s with her husband, the film director Shing Sang-ok. Choi make her movie debut in 1942 and was considered the queen of South Korean cinema from the 1950s to 70s. She appeared in more than 100 films.

The Written & Spoken Arts

Kevin Kwan, best-selling author of “Crazy Rich Asians” comes to Puget Sound for a reading and signing of his third book entitled “Rich People Problems” (Penguin Random). When a Chinese grandmother is on her deathbed, relatives from all over the world to flock to her bedside to care for her and to stake a claim on her massive fortune. The event takes place on Sunday, May 6 at 3pm. University Book Store, Mill Creek Branch. Located at Mill Creek Town Center at 15311 Main St. 425-385-3530.

“Scribes at Hugo House Session IV” for younger writers grades 9 – 12 with poet/essayist Michelle Penaloza and poet/performance artist Roberto Ascalon happens July 23 – 27, 2018.  “Scribes at The Henry” is a two week session for grades 9 – 12 with field trips, writing activities, craft exercises and exposure to a diverse range of genres, forms and writers takes place August 6, 2018. With poet/writers Karen Finneyfrock and Jane Wong.1021 Columbia St 206-322-7030 or try [email protected].

Town Hall Seattle is undergoing renovation but that hasn’t stopped this ambitious city forum from staging activities in communities and neighborhoods all across Seattle in the interim. On May 4 at 7pm at Hillman City Collaboratory at 5623 Rainier Ave. S., join Town Hall Seattle Inside/Out Resident Jordan Alam in a workshop entitled “Telling Stories of the Body.” Alam will use body-based activities to get participants into the act of writing. All activities are free. Angela Garbes,former food writer for The Stranger is the author of a new book entitled  “Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy” (Harper Wave). She will appear with another best-selling Seattle author Lindy West in conversation. On Wed., June 13 at 7:30pm at The Summit on Pike. 420 E. Pike St. $5 admission. Doors open at 6:30pm. 206-652-4255 or email [email protected].

Jack Straw has the following literary-related activities. Winners of the 2018 Jack Straw Writer’s Program will do a readings on May 4, 11 & 18 at 7pm. Writer/program curator Daemond Arrindell will host the proceedings. Natasha Kochicheril Moni and Dujie Tahat are among those reading at the May 11th event. $5 suggested donation. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. 206-634-0919.

Friends of the Libraries 13th Annual Literary Voices takes place on Wed., May 2, 2018 at 6pm. Keynote speaker is Ted Chiang, noted science fiction author of the novella “Story of Your Life” which became the 2016 film, “Arrival.” At the  North Ballroom at the HUB on the Seattle UW campus. 206-616-8397 or go to [email protected].

Pinoy Worlds Expressed, Kultura Arts and Robert present “Ang Pagiging Pilipino – Being Filipino”, a reading featuring six Filipino American poets and writers as part of Pinoy Brown Box on Sat., May 19 at 7pm at Panama Hotel & Tea Room. The program includes Troy Osaki, Jen Soriano, Adrain Alarilla, Juanita Tamayo-Lott, Anis Gisele and Rose Booker. In addition, the reading includes an open mic of younger, local Filipino American poets. Co-sponsored by YouthSpeak Seattle, the Filipino American National Historical Society and the Filipino American Education Association of Washington. Funds provided by Poets & Writers, Inc., Dolores Sibonga and 4culture. At 605 S. Main St. in Seattle’s  CID. For information, call 206-696-1114 or go to [email protected].

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. 206-624-6600. Former UW professor and author Nikhil Pal Singh visits the store from NYU to talk about his book “Race and America’s Long War” (Verso) on May 5 at 7pm. The book discusses how America has disfigured landscapes both at home and abroad in its traffic in violence and race. Heather C. Lindquist and Naomi Hirahara, co-authors of “Life After Manzanar” (Heyday Books) will discuss the book with local Densho founder Tom Ikeda on Sunday, May 6 at 2pm at Microsoft Auditorium in the Seattle Public Central Library (see related article in this issue). The book looks at how people of Japanese ancestry were re-settled after having been unjustly imprisoned during WW II. 1000 Fourth Ave. in downtown Seattle. Presented with Densho and the Seattle Public Library. Free. Seattle Arts & Lectures brings award-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen to town for a conversation with fellow author Jamie Ford on Monday, May 7 at 7:30pm at Benaroya Hall downtown (see related article in this issue). In a span of three years, Nguyen has received praise for his novel “The Sympathizer”, his non-fiction title, “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam And the Memory of War” and his book of short stories entitled “The Refugees.” On Friday, May 11 at 7:30pm, the Hugo Literary Series with the theme of “There Goes The Neighborhood” camps out at the Northwest Film Forum with a sparkling line-up of authors/performers offering new work. Writer Lidia Yuknavitch (“The Small Backs of Children”), Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo (“So You Want To Talk About Race”), poet Tarfia Faizullah (“Registers of Illuminated Villages”) and singer/songwriter Nick Droz appear. At 1515 – 12th Ave. Go to for details. Minh-Ha T. Pham gives a talk entitled “From Factory to Fashion Blogs (and back again).” On Sat., May 12 at 10am at Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheef Auditorium. It is part of the Saturday University – “Asian Textiles Across Time and Place” Spring Lecture Series. Pham is the author of “Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender and the Work of Personal Style Blogging.” This reading is presented with UW Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University and Elliott Bay. 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210 or go to Arshia Sattar visits the store from South India to talk about her new translation for younger readers of “Ramayama: An Illustrated Retelling” (Yonder/Restless) on Sunday, May 13 at 3pm. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (“When She Left Us”) reads from her new novel “Shadow Child” on Thurs., May 17 at 7pm at EB. The book tells the story of family and identity and spans WWII era Japan and 1970’s New York/Hawai’i. Jenny Xie and Cathy Linh Che are part of a new generation of Asian American women poets who come to Elliott Bay with two powerful new books of verse. Xie’s “Eye Level” (Graywolf) won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her terse yet magnified vision of the world is rendered in lyric precision. Che’s book “Split” (Alice James) shows how the specter of the Vietnam War reverberates as a psychic backdrop behind a family struggling to heal. Winner of the Association for Asian American Studies Award. On Tues., May 29 at 7pm.

The UW Alumni Association presents their “Public Lectures – Spring 2018” series.  Some selected titles include the following – On May 2 at 7:30pm in Kane Hall 120 on the Seattle UW campus, hear UW Psychology Professor Sheri Mizumori and Michael Yassa, Professor of Neuroscience at UC Irvine address the topic of “New Directions in Our Understanding of Aging and Memory”. On May 9 at 7:30pm in Kane Hall 130 on the Seattle UW campus, hear Yuichi Shoda, Professor of Psychology at UW and David Laibson, Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard address the topic of “Taking the Self out of Self-Control”. On May 8 at 6:30pm at Kane Hall 225 on the UW campus, hear Professor Ronald Egan, Confucius Institute Professor of Sinology at Stanford University address the topic of Chinese poetry and Song dynastic aesthetics & poetry as part of the 2018 Andrew L. Markus Memorial Lecture under the department of Asian Languages & Literature. To register or to get more information on the complete series, call 206-543-0540 or go to

Seattle Arts & Lectures continues to bring their wonderful program of readings to Seattle. On May 4 on Friday, at 7:30pm, two New York Times bestselling young adult authors to town. Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon engage in conversation with Martha Brockenbrough at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. On May 7 at 7:30pm, scholar/fiction writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Sympathizer”, “Nothing Ever Dies”, “The Refugees” and winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction comes to Seattle to read. At S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium  at Benaroya Hall. Noted poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil reads from her new book entitled “Oceanic” (Copper Canyon Press) on Monday, May 21 at 7:30pm at McCaw Hall – Nesholm Family Lecture Hall. 206-6212230 or go to [email protected] for details.

Portland Arts & Lectures brings noted Vietnamese American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for a talk on May 8 at 7:30pm. 1037 South  Broadway in Portland. 503-227-2583 or visit

On March 17, 2009, American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling were apprehended by North Korean soldiers while filming a documentary about North Korean defectors along the China-North Korea border and charged with illegal entry for crossing into North Korea. They were sentenced to 12 years hard labor in a prison camp. Lisa Ling, Laura’s sister who was a special correspondent on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN worked tirelessly to publicize the women’s ordeal. Finally in August, 2009, former President Bill Clinton was sent to Pyongyang as a special envoy and secured their release. The sisters are co-authors of “Somewhere Inside – One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and The Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home”. In light of the current situation between North Korea and the U.S., Laura Ling’s Seattle appearance should bring an insightful perspective on the situation when she speaks on Mon., May 7, 2018 at 7:30pm as part of the “Live At McCaw Hall – Unique Lives” speaker’s series. At Seattle Center. Call 1-844-827-8118 or visit for details.

In 2011, photojournalist David Guttenfelder helped Associated Press open a news bureau in North Korea. He will talk about that and his coverage of Fidel Castro’s funeral as part of “National Geographic Live – A Rare Look: North Korea to Cuba.” May 13 – 15, 2018 in Taper Auditorium . Seattle Symphony’s  Benaroya Hall downtown. Go to for details.

On Tues., May 29 at 7pm, catch “Tech Tales: Engineering Family Storytelling”, a workshop with UW Professor Carrie Tzou, Megan Bang and Philip Bell  in which they talk about how parents and children can interweave their personal histories and stories with robotics and coding. Haynes’ Hall  at McMenamins Anderson School 18607 Bothell Way NE in Bothell. Go to for details.

Want to catch up with a new generation of talented West Coast Filipino American poets in one day?  Look no further than a group reading of Filipino American poets featured at the Pagdiriwang Festival coordinated by local writer/poet/playwright Robert Francis Flor. Catch Barbara Jane Reyes, Emily Lawsin, J.A. Dela Cruz-Smith and Sam Roderick Roxas-Chua on Sat., June 2 at noon to 2pm in the Seattle Center House Loft 1B. Co-sponsored by Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura arts. Funding by 4Culture. Free. 206-696-1114 or [email protected] for details.

Yoon Ha Lee is an American science fiction/fantasy writer most known for his “Machineries of Empire” space opera novels and his short fiction. His first novel “Ninefox Gambit” received the 2017 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He will be in Seattle for a Clarion West workshop in July. The latest installment of his series will be out at the same time.  He will appear for a presentation at the Wing Luke Museum at that time as well. 206-623-5124. To find out about the workshop, try [email protected].

Congratulations to Vietnamese American poet Duy Doan who was the Yale Series of Younger Poets selection this year as judged by Carl Phillips. His “We Play A Game” is just out on Yale University Press. Also congratulations to former Seattlite and Hugo house resident, Anna Maria Hong who won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center 2017 First Book Poetry Competition as selected by Suzanne Buffam. Hong’s book of poetry entitled “Age of Glass” comes out April 1, 2018.Her novella “H&G” won the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize and will be published by Sidebrow Books in 2018. A second poetry collection entitled “Fablesque” won the Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019.

“John Okada – The Life & Rediscovered Work Of The Author of NO-NO Boy” (UW Press) Edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung is forthcoming in July, 2018. In this anthology, this classic of Asian American literature is re-examined, with re-discovered bits of his writing and essays that shed more light on the life of this important author.

“Viewpoint: Telling the Story of Diversity at the University of Washington” is published by the UW Alumni Association With The UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. Their Spring 2018 issue has the theme of “Celebrating Five Decades of Minority Affairs & Diversity and a Legacy of Student Leadership” and is guest-edited by UW graduate Dolores Sibonga.The issue includes a profile of Soh Yuen (Elloise) Kim, Graduate and Professional Student Senate President.

Mohsin Hamid was awarded the inaugural $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize for his novel “Exit West”. The award honors a work of fiction that “illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.” Hamid wrote that “The book is my attempt to write against this growing anti-migrant sentiment. I wanted to portray migrants as heroes, not criminals. But more than that, I wanted to show that everyone is a migrant, even those who never move geographically, because moving through time, aging, is itself a form of migration.”

The March-April 2018 issue of “World Literature Today” has a special section on Philippine-American Lit Guest-edited by Joseph O. Legaspi. Includes work by Jason Bayani, Eugene Gloria, R. Zamora LinmarkJanine Joseph, Washington native Oliver de la Paz, Sabina Murray and Jake Micafrente. Comes with “A Recommended Booklist” of Filipino American Writing.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards have been announced. Finalists in the “Fiction” category included Mohsin Hamid for his book entitled “Exitwest” (Riverhead). In the “Autobiography” category, Thi Bu’s “The Best We Could Do – An Illustrated Memoir” (Abrams) and Xiaolu Guo’s “Nine Continents: A Memoir In And Out of China” (Grove) were finalists. Congratulations to Xiaolu Guo who won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the “Autobiography” category.

Eddie Fung died in his sleep at the age of 95. His life was immortalized in a biography  “The Adventures of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War” penned by his wife and noted Chinese American historian Judy Yung. At 5 feet, 3 inches tall, he made an unlikely cowboy but he excelled. When he was drafted and shipped overseas, he endured the notorious “Bataan Death March” under Japanese forces during WWII. After the war, he went to Stanford  and worked at Lawrence Livermore Lab.

Tokyo-based designer Kosuki Takahashi has created a new typeface readable by both touch and sight. Takahashi’s new typeface known as Braille Neue updates the nearly 200 century old system by superimposing its raised dots onto carefully configured letterforms. Excerpted from Hyperallegergic.

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! –

HarperCollins Canada has published Carrianne Leung’s novel “That Time I Loved You”. The book is a linked collection of short stories about growing up in the Canadian subdivision of Scarborough outside Toronto. It’s a snapshot of immigrant lives and the secrets they carry down the streets of a typical suburb.

New from Japanese Canadian writer Kerri Sakamoto (“The Electrical Field”) is “Floating City” (Knopf Canada). The novel looks at a young man in a harbor town who finds himself placed in an internment camp in the interior when WWII comes. After the war, he moves to Toronto where he finds a spiritual mentor in the persona of Buckminster Fuller.

“Someone to Talk To” (Duke University Press) is a novel by Liu Zhenyun as translated by Howard Goldblatt & Sylvia Li-chun Lin. It is a generational novel of loss and miscommunication in a Chinese village.


“An American Picture Bride” by Toy Kay with Janine Gates is the memoir of this Chinese American woman in Olympia. At the age of 16, she traveled from Billings, Montana to become the child bride to a restaurant owner in Olympia, Washington. This book tells the story of the early Chinese American community in that city as well as one woman’s personal journey to her own self-discovery.

Ruby Lal retells the fascinating story of a Muslim woman who ruled an empire in “Empress- The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan” (W.W. Norton). She receives her due in this deeply researched, evocative biography that opens up a window to a hidden history.

“Eye Level” (Graywolf) is Jenny Xie’s debut book of poetry. The apt title brings us a poet with a sensitive eye that surveys the world in intimate detail as it and the observer continually change. Winner of  the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets.

“American Panda” (Simon & Schuster) is the debut young adult novel by Gloria Chao. It tells the story of Mei Lu whose life seems planned out until in college, she sees things change. Forced to confront the secrets around her, she learns powerful lessons about family, love and staying true to yourself.

“Oceanic” (Copper Canyon Press) is a fourth collection of poetry by noted poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil. In it are poems of love to the earth and its inhabitants from the grief of the elephant to the icy eyes of a scallop. She comes to Seattle under the auspices of Seattle Arts & Lectures to give a talk on May 21 at 7:30pm at McCaw Hall. 206-621-2230 or try [email protected].

Patty Chang emerged from the New York City alternative art scene in the 1990’s with her deeply personal work in videos, photographs and performances. “The Wandering Lake” is both Queens Museum exhibition catalog and journal of her journeys of travel to locations of mythological culture and personal significance. From a mystic body of water in Yughur to  a beached whale in Newfoundland to Uzbekistan, we see the workings of a creative,restless, inquisitive mind.

In “Ruby’s Chinese New Year” (Henry Holt) by Vickie Lee and illustrated by Joey Chou, a young girl meets every animal in the Chinese zodiac in an effort to deliver a new year’s message to her grandma. Which animal will get her message delivered?

The Diamond Mountains – studded with rocky peaks, waterfalls, lagoons and filled with temples and holy sites is perhaps the most iconic site in all of Korea though few have seen it in modern times since it is located in North Korea. “Diamond Mountains – Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art” (The Met) is the exhibition catalog on this theme and is currently on view at the Met in New York.

“Running Through Sprinklers” (Simon & Schuster) by Michelle Kim  is a young adult story about two best friends who think they’ll stay friends forever until everything changes. How can one girl save this friendship yet still discover her own true self as well?

“Record of Regret” (University of Oklahoma Press) is a novel by Dong Xi as translated by Dylan Levi King. Set during China’s cultural revolution, it’s the story of a young man trying to find his place in an upside-down world as he engages in dubious loyalties and learns life’s lessons.

“Ba-chan – The Ninja Grandma” (Little Bigfoot) by Sanae Ishida continues the adventures of this popular series. What happens when the Ninja Girl visits her grandma with her little brother in tow? Find out when this new book comes out in September, 2018.

“Sheep Machine” (Black Sun) by Vi Khi Nao is yet another page torn from this inquisitive and prolific experimental poet. Influenced by Leslie Thornton’s film of sheep feeding in the Swiss alps, she fashions a deep look into  the behavior of hunger and grazing with essays that glow with the luminous gaze of intense perception.

“The Astonishing Color of After” (Little Brown) by young adult author Emily Pan tells the story of a teenage girl who, following her mother’s suicide, traces her spirit to a bird. She travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents uncovering family secrets and forging new relationships.

“Soap For the Dogs” (Gramma) by Stacey Tran is the refreshing debut book of poetry from this Seattle-based press. Tran’s poetics combine a poetic present tense with a look back towards her parent’s immigrant past that unlocks many stories.

“Where Will I Live?” (Second Story) by UN Ambassador Rosemary McCarney is a photo-based picture book that conveys the danger and resilience of child refugees around the world to young readers.

“A Village With My Name – A Family History of China’s Opening to the World” (University of Chicago) by Scott Tong. Tong went to China to establish an office for American Public Media’s “Marketplace” radio program but along the way found personal ties. He shows us China through the lives and experiences of his extended family in both China and America.

‘Front Desk” (Scholastic) by Kelly Yang is a young adult novel taken from the author’s own growing up. When her family immigrated to the U.S. from China, her family managed a motel in California and tried to assist other immigrants to this new land.

“ Buddhism Illuminated – Manuscript Art from Southeast Asia” (UW Press) by San San May and Jana Igunma. The British Library has one of the richest collections of Buddhist manuscripts from Thailand and Burma. This book illustrates over 100 examples of the Library’s collection.

“Moon Goddess” (Loose Moose) by Niti Sampat Patel tells the story of a young woman whose mother’s death forces her to look into the past and unlock the secrets of Indian folktales told by a grand aunt from her childhood.

“Paper Sons” (Autumn House) by Dickson Lam won the 2017 Autumn House Nonfiction Prize. It combines memoir and cultural history, the quest for an absent father and the struggle for social justice, naming traditions in graffiti and in Chinese culture. Violence marks the story at every turn – from Mao to Malcolm X, from the projects in San Francisco to the lynching of Asians during the California gold rush.

“Go Home!” (Feminist Press) is an anthology of new writing that looks at the theme of home as explored by a variety of Asian American writers. Edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan with a foreword by Vet Thanh Nguyen.

“Warlight” (Knopf) by Michael Ondaatje is a new novel by the acclaimed Canadian author set in Londoen during the WWII blackouts. A brother and sister are left in the care of kindhearted criminals in their rooming house after their parents disappear.

“The Emissary” (new Directions) by Yoko Tawada. A novel of the not-too-distant future of a post-Fukushima time where children are born so weak they can barely walk and the elderly are the only ones with get-go. Tawada focuses on a boy, who despite his frailities radiates hope.

“Waiting For Tomorrow” by Nathacha Appanah (Graywolf) looks at an immigrant family in France and investigates the life of an artist, cultural differences in a marriage and the creation/destruction of a family.

“Registers of Illuminated Villages” (Graywolf) by Bangladeshi American poet Tarfia Faizullah transverses the globe and brings readers poems that illuminate acts of resistance in the face of injustice and violence.

“Quiet Girl in A Noisy World” (Andrews McMeel) by Debbie Tung. This graphic novel reveals the experiences of an introvert in an extrovert’s world. It follows her from college to navigating the real world. Along the way she learns to embrace her introversion and find ways to thrive in life while still fulfilling her need for quiet.

“Valmikis Ramayama: An Illustrated Retelling (Rowan & Littlefield) by Arshia Sattar. This writer retells a classic Indian epic for children by building her characters from the inside out. She makes this fable of good over evil, family relationships, love & loss, duty & honor, jealousy & ambition into a vital story for contemporary times.

Angela Garbes, former food writer for The Stranger became a mother and has a new book out entitled “Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy” (Harper Wave). She’s interviewed about it in the May 2018 issue of CityArts.


Asian American 4 Arts Activism (A4A) is a community-based & student run organization affiliated with OCA-Greater Seattle and the University of Washington, that we hope will continue providing workshops and events annually in May, Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. This first year, A4A highlights the lack of visibility for Asian American Arts through 3 workshops set for May 26, May 27 and May 28, 2018. Some workshops require pre-registration by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

The May 26 program is entitled “Biographies and Film” and takes place at Wing Luke Museum from 11 am – 1pm. You must RSVP to attend. Films by new Asian American filmmakers Han Eckelberg, Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy, Maikaru Douangluxay-Cloud and Vanna “Lazy” Fut will be screened. 719 South King. Museum # is 206-623-5124. The May 27 program entitled “Find Me: Family and History” takes place at the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library downtown from 1 – 3pm. A short film on multi-media artist “Tyrus Wong” and a feature film about an immigrant family re-settling from Hong Kong to LA entitled “Reunification” with director Alvin Tsang in attendance. 1000 Fourth Ave. Library # is 206-386-4636. May 28 program is entitled “Hear Me: Performance Art through Generations” at N Gate Buffet at 2:14pm. You must RSVP for this event. The program includes performances by Koon Woon, Alan Chong Lau (full disclosure, that’s me), Third Andresen, Geologic of the Blue Scholars and the Massive Monkees. 300 NE Northgate Way. Restaurant # is 206-366-8888. Various co-sponsors for these events include City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, UW Ethnic Studies Students Association, OCA-Greater Seattle, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Seattle Public Library, Southeast Asian American Access to Education and Wing Luke Museum. For more details, go to

Jack Straw announced recipients of their 2018 Artist Support Program Grants. They include the following – Seattle vocalist Srivani Jade for work on “Peace Mantra”, a musical composition for female voices. Nic Masangkay, a spoken word poet Felipinx queer trans disabled survivor to work on “The Park at Dusk”, a project featuring original music and spoken word poetry.

Seattle artist Megumi Shauna Arai is working on an installation entitled “Unnamed Lake” for a group show opening at the Wing in June 2018. She needs volunteers to participate. If interested, go to for details.

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.

Artist Trust offers workshops state-wide and webinar workshops on topics of interest to artists of all genres such as assistance on how to apply for a GAP Grant,  resources on how to get to know local arts organizations, cultivating professional relationships, organizing your resume and much more. Artist Trust can be found at 1835 – 12th Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill or go to for more details.

The Robert Chinn Foundation announced four new inductees for their 2018 Class into their  Asian Hall Fame. Kourtney Kang, writer/producer of “Fresh Off The Boat”, Kevin Kan, best-selling author of “Crazy Rich Asians” (soon to be a movie) Melissa Lee, host of CNBC’s “Fast Money” and Roy Yamaguchi, chef/founder of Roy’s. The four will be inducted at a ceremony on May 5, 2018 at Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

“American Muslims: An Anthology of Contemporary Writing” as edited by Kazim Ali will be published by Red Hen Press. Send poetry (5 – 10 poems) or prose (no more than 3,000 words) to Kazim Ali at [email protected] no later than Sept. 15, 2018.

Karen Wong, a fourth-generation Seattleite, attorney, author and community leader was recently honored as a recipient of the Women’s University Club of Seattle’s Brava Award. The award is given to outstanding women in Greater Seattle who have made positive, enduring differences in the community and beyond. Wong has served on many prominent boards of directors in Seattle and helped establish the Robert Chinn Foundation, the only Asian community foundation that serves Asian and diverse communities  on a  local and national levels, as well as the affiliated Asian Hall of Fame, a national recognition event for API’s that honors achievements across industry and ethnicity with a national reach..

Jane Chu, Chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts has announced that she will resign from the post on June 4, 2018. She became the 11th head of the NEA in 2014 under then President Barack Obama. Though targeted for elimination twice by the Trump administration, the NEA enjoys broad bi-partisan support from Congress which increased its annual funding. In her announcement, Chu said that “in my travels to 200 communities in all 50 states – making more than 400 site visits – I have talked with visual artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and writers who are powerfully creating America’s culture. Arts organizations are not only providing programs for audiences, they are also seen as leaders in their communities because the arts can bring people together. I am personally inspired and impressed by them.” Excerpted from the Washington Post.

For more arts, click here

Previous articleThe Dynasty Room: A new look for an old haunt
Next articleReading with Patrick chronicles a student-teacher relationship in the Mississippi Delta