Jinie Park’s new series of work consists of shaped canvases and luminously painted grids that connect with weblike, crocheted patternings and is entitled “A Pair: Two of the Same”. Artist Justin Gibbons shares the gallery space. Nov. 7 – Dec. 28, 2019. Elizabeth Leach Gallery. First Thursday on Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, 2019 from 6 – 8pm.417 NW 9th Ave. Portland, Oregon. 503-224-0521 or try [email protected]
“Leonard Suryajaya: Is It Time Yet” showcases work by this Indonesian queer immigrant artist and a group of students as they “enact gestures of resistance before the camera” in response to American turmoil post-2016. Through Nov. 23, 2019 at Specialist Gallery. 300 S. Washington. Hours are Sat. 12 – 4pm or by appointment. [email protected].
Seattle artist Romson Bustillo was one of the 2019 finalists for the 2019 Neddy Art Awards and his work will be featured in a 2019 Neddy At Cornish Exhibition entitled “Inherent Visions”. At the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. The show remains on view through Dec. 22, 2019. Go to www.cornish.edu/neddy for details.
Pottery Northwest’s December show is ClayFest Northwest, an exhibition of over 40 Northwest artists working in clay. Opening party on Dec. 13, 2019 from 6 – 9pm. On view through Dec. 20, 2019. 226 1st Ave. N. 206-285-4421 or email [email protected].
“Spontaneous” is the title of a collaboration between artists Rob Rhee and Francesca Lohmann. This show intermingles the works of both artists who collaborate with the forces of nature in their sculptural practices. 206-622-9250. On view Jan. 25 – April 19, 2020. Free. Frye Art Museum at 704 Terry in Seattle.
At KOBO at Higo in the CID is the following – The 13th Annual Simple Cup Show opens Nov. 2, 2019 at 6:30pm. On view and for sale are works by 75 ceramic artists from North America and Japan. As usual, people can sign up to buy at least one cup. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. 206-381-3000 or [email protected]. Kobo also has a sister location on Capitol Hill at 814 East Roy St., 206-726-0704.
Sculptor June Sekiguchi’s show “The Pulse of Water” is based on a trip she made along the Mekong River years ago. In her statement she says, “Fourteen years ago I traveled the Mekong River for the first time. Floating down the river in a long, narrow boat slows down the pace of life to just be. Swirls and eddies indicate there is something unseen beneath the surface of the water. We humans are a product of our stories that are unseen but make us who we are. You may detect a hint on the surface, but underneath is where our stories are submerged.” New cut paper work by Lauren Iida is also on view. The exhibit remains on view through Nov. 30, 2019. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S, 206-839-0327 or [email protected].
L.A.-based Ahree Lee is a multi-media artist working in video, photography, sound and interactive installations. She has a video installation entitled “Permutations” currently on view in front of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus at 500 Fifth Ave. N. on view from 7am – 10pm. This same installation also appears at 4Culture’s Storefront Media Gallery space at 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. It will be on view for a year. This is part of Storefront Media Gallery sponsored by 4Culture. 206-263-1588 for details.
Seattle artist Ko Kirk Yamahira has a show of new work showing his deconstructive processes in an effort to expose “the relativity of perception and time” at Gallery 4Culture. Through Dec. 5, 2019. 101 Prefontaine Place South. 206-263-1589 or go to www.4culture.org.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center has a show every month of a local Asian American artist every month in their gallery. And looking ahead, the Center for its 22nd annual new year celebration presents “Vietnam – Country And Culture” set for Feb. 8, 2020 from 11 am – 6pm. Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall located at 2727 E. “D” St. APCC is at 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or go asiapacificculturalcenter.org.
Seattle Art Museum has the following – Opening at the John McCone Gallery on the 3rd floor is “The Gentleman Warrior: Art of the Samurai” which features two complete sets of samurai armor, screen paintings and a print of the legendary battle between the Taira and Minamoto clans. On view through Dec. 1, 2019. “Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei (folkart) 1920-2020. On view Dec. 14, 2019 – July 11, 2020. Ongoing is “Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China”. The “Fall Saturday University Lecture Series” takes place Oct. 12, 2019 – Jan. 18 2020 (with scheduled breaks in Nov. & Dec.). The theme is “Silk Roads, Past and Present: Ancient Afghan Treasure to China’s Belt & Road Initiative”. Talks are at 10am in the Plestcheeff Auditorium. On Dec. 7, 2019 Zasuzasanna Gulacsi of Northern Arizona University talks about “Zoroastrian and Manichean Arts of the Silk Roads”. On Jan. 11, 2020, BuYun Chen of Swarthmore College addresses “Silk and Fashion in Tang Dynasty China”. And finally on Jan. 18, 2020 David Bachman of UW will talk about “The 21st Century Silk Road: China’s Belt and Road Initiative”. Writer Karthika Nair remarks on the Mahabharata epic as told through the voices of women and characters on the sidelines as taken from her book entitled “Until the Lions” on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2pm in the Plestcheeff Auditorium. The “Winter Saturday University Lecture Series” has a series of talks on the subject of “What is ‘Precious?’” with scholars Yukio Lippit of Harvard on wooden sculpture, Emma Flatt of the University of North Carolina on scent, artist Xiaoze Xie on banned books and others. The series will explore ways that art objects, relationships, and areas of knowledge have been highly valued in different times and places in Asia. The series goes on from Feb. 1 – March 28, 2020 at 10am at Seattle Art Museum. Cost is $73 or $46 for SAM members. Individual tickets at the door and free for students with ID. Tickets for the whole series go on sale Nov., 2019. On the third floor of SAM, tea ceremony demonstrations continue on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm. Free with admission. Go to visitsam.org/performs for details. Seattle Art Museum is located at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210 or try www.seattleartmuseum.org.
SAM Gallery has a group show entitled “Under the Influence” which has work of local artists influenced by Asia, in conjunction with the 2020 reopening of Seattle Asian Art Museum. The work of Junko Yamamoto is included in this show. Nov. 14 – Dec. 8, 2019. 1300 1st. 206-343-1101.
Pacific Bonsai Museum shakes up this Japanese tradition with LAB (Living Art of Bonsai), an experimental collaborative for bonsai innovation. This project is a re-sequencing in the order of influence between the bonsai artist, ceramicist and stand maker. The project kicks off in 2018 and continues through 2020. A video trailer from a film about this new process can be viewed at http://www.bonsaimirai.com. For more information, go to http://www.pacificbonsaimuseum.org. The Pacific Bonsai Museum is at 2515 S. 336th St. in Federal Way, WA. 206-612-0026 for information.
New and recent shows /activities at the The Wing include the following – “Where Beauty Lies” is an exhibit that explores Asian Pacific American’s relationship to physical appearance and personal presentation, the history of beauty standards and products, and the ways in which we are redefining beauty. Oct. 10, 2019 – Sept. 19, 2021. “Woven Together” presents a window into Burma/Myanmar with personal stories reflecting on its history, diversity and perseverance. On view December 6, 2019 – Nov. 8, 2020. “Shining Through: Reflections of an Oceanic Future” involves five Pacific Islander artists who create visions of the future in various media. Opens Dec. 7, 2019 and continues through Nov. 10, 2020. “New Years All Year Round” is the annual look at familial and cultural aspects of the Lunar new year on view through Feb. 2, 2020. “Excluded, Inside the Lines” is on view through Feb. 23, 2020. It uncovers the history of redlining and the impact on minority communities. “A Dragon Lives Here”, part 4 of the ongoing Bruce Lee exhibition series is ongoing. This concluding part hones in on Bruce Lee’s Seattle roots and how this region played a key role in shaping Lee and his groundbreaking career. “I Am Filipino” exhibit is ongoing. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. Carina del Rosario curates an exhibit entitled “Wide Angle/Close up: A Self Portrait of the Asian Pacific Islander American Community” from May 10, 2019 – April 19, 2020. Includes photography, video, and photo-based installations by photojournalists that document the community from the inside out. Set for the George Tsutakawa Gallery. “Chinatown in the 1970s” recreates Seattle’s Chinatown in the 1970’s and explores the values and customs that continue to shape the neighborhood today. July 20, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020 in the KidPLACE Gallery. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
The Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle plays host to Hiroki Ohara, Headmaster of Japan’s Ohara School of Ikebana. He will create arrangements that convey the changing of the seasons from winter to spring. His presentation entitled “Snow-Moon-Flower: The Serenity of Ikebana” takes place on Sat., Feb. 29, 2020 at 11:45am on the DIY Stage of the festival. The festival itself runs from Feb. 26 – March 1, 2020 at Washington State Convention Center at 705 Pike St. in downtown Seattle. 206-231-0140 or go to gardenshow.com. For tickets, try northwestflowerandgardenfestival.tix123.com.
The Puget Sound Sumi Artists present: “The World of Sumi”, a group show on view March 26 – May 19, 2020. Free reception on Fri., March 27 at 6pm. Open for viewing for ticket-goers 1 hour prior to an event or by appointment. Held in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington St. in Olympia.
“Land of Joy And Sorrow: Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” is an ongoing exhibit that traces the story of the Japanese families who settled in the Yakima valley. Yakima Valley Museum at 2105 Tieton Dr. in Yakima, WA. 509-248-0747.
The Portland Chinatown Museum has the following – In the permanent gallery is “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns”. 127 NW Third Ave. 503-224-0008 or email [email protected].
Blackfish Gallery in Portland has the following – “Old and New – Garbage Painting and Other Works” by Robert Dozono on view through Nov. 31, 2019. Regular hours are Tues. –from 11am-5pm. 420 NW 9th Ave. 503-224-2634 or go to blackfish.com.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center is at 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458. For current activities and exhibits, go to www.oregonnikkeilr.org.
The Portland Japanese Garden has the following –Opening Oct. 5, and on view through Dec. 1, 2019 is “Noritaka Tatehana: Refashioning Beauty”, a contemporary, multidisciplinary art show inspired by Japanese tradition, aesthetics and sensibilities toward nature. 611 SW Kingston Ave. in Portland, Oregon. 503-223-1321 or go to japanesegarden.org.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene has the following – Upcoming exhibits include the following – “Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations” on view through June 28, 2020. This South Korean artist combines hundreds of paper-wrapped parcels to create sculptural compositions that resemble crystal formations, asteroids of the surface of the moon. “Evocative Shadows: Art of the Japanese Mezzotint” is on view until August 2, 2020. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Portland Art Museum has “Curator’s Choice – Japanese Print Acquisitions of the Past Decade” Oct. 19, 2019 – April 12, 2020. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, BC has the following. “Chaji” is the first exhibit in Lam Wong’s year-long artist residency. It looks at tea philosophy and the aspect of respect. Includes work of invited artists Don Wong (the artist’s father), Arthur Cheng, Bryan Mulvihill, and Chuck Rice plus the work of the late artist/composer John Cage. The exhibit remains on view through Jan. 10, 2020. 578 Carrall St. 604-662-3207 or try vanouverchinesegarden.com.
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum has the ongoing exhibit “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia.” 555 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC. 604-658-8880. Admission by donation.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is at 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, BC. 250-384-4171 or go to aggv.ca.
Bay Area photographer Michael Jang has a major exhibition entitled “Michael Jang’s California” on view through Jan. 18, 2020. Introduced and curated by Sandra S. Phillips, SFMoMA curator emerita of photography. It explores the artist’s career as a portrait street photographer in California with a focus on his early work as he was discovering the media. At the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts located at 1150 – 25th St., Building B in San Francisco. 415-580-7605 or try [email protected]. A book on his work entitled “Who Is Michael Jang?” will be released by Atelier Editions.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – “Changing And Unchanging Things: Noguchi And Hasegawa in Postwar Japan” on view through Dec. 18, 2019. This looks at a pivotal moment for both artists. Noguchi was returning to Japan after many years and Hasegawa had spent many years away in Europe. Together they discussed the many possibilities of combining Japanese tradition with outside influences they had discovered on their travels. Noguchi would go on to design major permanent sculptural installations around the world and Hasegawa would become a strong influence on America’s zen-inspired “Beat Movement.” Opening Nov. 26, 2019 and on view through March 22 2020 is “Lost At Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks”. Also opening Nov. 26 and on view through April 26, 2020 is “Chang Dai-Chien: Painting from Heart to Hand.” “Awaken: A Tibetan Journey Toward Enlightenment” opens Jan. 17, 2020 and remains on view until May 3, 2020.200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) has the following – The museum mounts the first ever North American Exhibition on the work of 18th century Japanese painter Sakaki Hyakusen and the Nanga School. On view through Feb. 2, 2020, the show entitled “Hinges: Sakaki Hyakusen and the Birth of Nanga Painting” will spotlight a rare pair of six-fold screen paintings. The exhibition features thirty-five rarely exhibited works by Hyakusen and his Nanga School disciples who notably incorporated Chinese painting styles into Japanese art during the Edo Period. The work will be juxtaposed in contrast to notable works by Chinese artists who influenced their style. The exhibition will be organized in three sections. Showcased will be two recently restored screen paintings by Hyakusen, Hyakusen’s connections to traditional Chinese landscape painters and his influence on Nanga School painters like Yosa Buson and Ike Taiga. The show is accompanied by a catalog on UC Press edited by BAMPFA’s Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White. “Divine Women, Divine Wisdom” is on view through Jan. 12, 2020. It features art from South Asia and the Himalayan region that celebrates the wisdom, power and compassion of women within the context of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. 155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art has the following –“The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China” iuntil Jan. 5, 2020.On view through Dec. 9, 2019 is “Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art.” The installation artist Do Ho Suh re-envisions the apartment/studio he had when he lived in New York in “Do Ho Suh: 348 West 22nd St” which opens Nov. 10, 2019 and remains on view through Oct. 25, 2020. “Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific” is exhibited from Dec. 15, 2019 – July 19, 2020. “Where the Truth Lies” The Art of Qiu Ying” on view Feb. 9 – May 17, 2020. The iconic Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara known for his naïve figurative work has a retrospective from April 5 – August 2, 2020. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows –“Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Atomic Bombs” is on view through June 7, 2020. It will include artifacts of “A” bomb victims. “Common Ground: The Heart of Community.” This overview exhibit of Japanese American history is ongoing. Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We”? in “We, the People”? looks at seven real people’s lives traced through pre-war, WWII and post war periods. On view through Jan. 5, 2020. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org
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. “Xu Bing: Monkeys Grasp for the Moon” is ongoing. “Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece” puts on view a thousand-year old guilded wood statue of the Korean bodhisattva of compassion through March 22, 2020. 202-633-1000 or go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the following – ”Children to Immortals: Figural Representation in Chinese Art” through Feb. 23, 2020. “Kyoto: Capitol of Artistic Imagination” is on view through August 2, 2020. “Sita And Rama: The Ramayama in Indian Painting” remains on view through August 23, 2020. 1000 Fifth Ave. New York, New York. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows –“Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power” is a new show by this Bangladeshi photographer who looks at the global South. On view from Nov. 8, 2019 – May 4, 2020. “Charged with Buddha’s Blessings – Relics from an Ancient Stupa” is on view through June 8, 2020. “Masterworks of Himalayan Art” is on view through March 23, 2020. “The Power of Intention- Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel” brings together select examples of traditional and contemporary art to illuminate the relationship between our intentions, commitments and actions. On view through Oct. 14, 2019. “The Wheel of Intentions” is an interactive installation on view through Jan. 6, 2020. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” is on view through June 8, 2020. “The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room” is on view through September 16, 2019. 150 W. 17th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The Japan Society has the following – Opening Oct. 11, 2019 and on view through Jan. 6, 2020 is “Made in Tokyo: Architecture And Living, 1964/2020” which looks at how Tokyo has changed its architecture from the 1964 Summer Olympics up to its preparation for the 2020 event. 333 East 47th St. New York, New York. 212-263-1258.
Fashion designer Anna Sui who grew up in Detroit but found fame in New York gets a retrospective show entitled “The World of Anna Sui” at the Museum of Arts & Design. It is on view now through Feb. 23, 2020. 2 Columbus Circle in Manhattan. 212-299-7701 or go to madmuseum.org.
The Museum of Chinese in America has the following –“With a Single Step: Stories in The Making of America” chronicles the history of the museum through Dec. 31, 2020. 215 Centre St. New York, NY. 855-955-MOCA or go to mocanyc.org.
MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) has a comprehensive renovation which will include more ethnic artists and women of color when it re-opens in October 21, 2019. It includes a show of Haegue Yang’s kinesthetic sculptures. 11 West 53rd St. Go to moma.org for details.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – Opening Sept. 10, 2019 are the following shows – “Xiaoze Xie: Objects of Evidence” which looks at his work focusing on banned books. Wang Dongling: Ink in Motion” is a large scale calligraphy work by one of the most celebrated living calligraphers in China.” “In Focus:Lakshmi” looks at the importance and worship of this beloved goddess who is part of a complex Hindu culture. To find out more, go to AsiaSociety.org/NY. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
“The Pencil is the Key: Drawings by Incarcerated Artists” is a group show of work produced by prisoners. Includes work by Bay Area artist Ruth Asawa, Gustave Courbet and inmates of the American prison-industrial complex today. On view through Jan. 5 2020. “To See From A Distance” is the first major retrospective on the work of Chinese artist Guo Fengyi. Her intricate ink drawings reference Chinese mythology, traditional medicine and the philosophy of the I Ching. Feb. 14, – May 3, 2020. At the Drawing Center at 35 Wooster St. in New York City. +1-212-219-2166 or try www.drawingcenter.org.
Yto Barrada and Michael Wang have site-specific installations at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on Governor’s Island starting on Sept. 19, 2019. Go to lmcc.net for details.
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Noguchi: Body-Space-Devices” looks at how the artist implicates his body in his work. Artist Brendan Fernandes has made a version of Noguchi’s non-rocking rocking chair that Noguchi created for Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” dance piece. Dancers will perform with the chairs and Noguchi’s sculpture throughout the exhibition. On view through May 3, 2020. “Models For Spaces” on view through Feb. 2, 2020 offers a selection of designs from lesser known projects. “In Search of Contoured Playground” on view through Feb. 2, 2020 has a design for a never built Noguchi playscape, a 10 foot square enlargement of Noguchi’s model. 9 – 01 33rd Rd, Long Island City, NY. 718-204-7088.
The work of multi-media artist Yayoi Kusama is as popular as ever. At age 90, she continues to work and produce new work at an amazing rate. She has designed a special balloon entitled “Love Flies Up to the Sky” for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. “Kusama: Cosmic Nature” is a mix of old and new works that will be displayed inside and out at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It will be on view starting May 2, 2020 and will be up for six months. It will include a monumental site-specific pumpkin sculpture as well as a display of her sketchbooks. Tickets for this go on sale in January. David Zwirner Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood has a show for her opening Nov., 2019 entitled “Every Day I Pray For Love” The exhibition includes new paintings in the “My Eternal Soul” series and “Dancing Lights That Flew Up to the Universe”, the latest of the artists signature Infinity Mirror Rooms. It will run for five weeks.
Tallur L. N. is an Indian sculptor who combines Indian craft traditions and novel sculptural techniques to infuse ancient iconography with contemporary meanings. “Multiplicity” is a show that has around thirty works in a variety of mediums, from carved stone and wood to cast bronze and concrete to found objects. Through Jan. 5, 2020. Grounds for Sculpture at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton, New Jersey.609-586-0616 or [email protected] for sculpture.org.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Conservation In Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture In a New Light” is a rare look at the conservation of seven Buddhist sculptures. On view through June 30, 2020. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617 -267-9300.
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has a group show entitled “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration Through Contemporary Art”. Twenty artists respond to the global refugee crisis. Includes work by Do Ho Suh. Oct. 23, 2019 – Jan. 26, 2020. “Yayoi Kusama: Love Is Calling” is the most immersive and kaleidoscopic of this internationally know Japanese artist’s Infinity Rooms. On view through Feb. 7 2020. A companion show to this includes “Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art After Kusama” in which 15 works in various media by the artist throughout her career will be shown along with works by her contemporaries. 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100 or go to [email protected] for details.
“Power in S.E. Asia” is ongoing. “Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece” is on view through March 22, 2020. “My Iran: Six Women Photographers” is on view August 10, 2019 through Feb. 9, 2020. “Resound: Ancient Bells of China” through July 5, 2021. All at the Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C.
The Peabody Essex Museum has the following – “Japanomania! Japanese Art Goes Global” through Jan. 3, 2021. “Mega City: India’s Culture of the Streets” on view through June 28, 2020. “Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art” through Jan. 3, 2020. On view through Jan. 19, 2020 is Kimsooja’s “Archive of Mind.” This is a participatory installation with visitor assistance that builds over the course of the exhibit. Museum visitors are encouraged to sit at the space and form a ball of clay with their own hands. Thousands of clay spheres will be generated through small individual gestures that reveal the emotional traces of their makers and cumulatively generate a complex array of texture, scale and tone. On view through May 17, 2020 is “A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min”. Scotsman John Thomson is considered to be one of the first photographers to document East and South Asia. This exhibit takes us back to an earlier time. It features more than 40 landscapes, city views and portrait studies. The show is complemented by a selection of photographs by contemporary artist Luo Dan who was inspired by Thomson to undertake his own journey in Southwestern China in 2010. 161 Essex St. in Salem, Massachusetts. 816745-4876 or go to pem.org.
A show of over 50 prints displayed along with his poems by the late Seattle artist Munio Makuuchi entitled “Defiant Vision: Prints & Poetry by Munio Makuuchi” is on view through December 8, 2019. This is the first major show to focus on this artist. Art historian Margo Machida will write the catalog essay. 20 Elm St. at Bedford Terrace in Northhampton, MA. 413-585-2760 or go to [email protected].
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “An Art as Lyrical as Poetry: Recently Acquired Chinese Paintings through Nov. 24, 2019. “Living Rooms Made in China: The McFarlane Room Wallpaper on view through Dec. 29, 2019. “Artists Respond: American Art And The Vietnam War, 1965 – 1975 through Jan. 5, 2020. Minneapolis Institute of Art. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787.
“Invisible Cities” is the title of a double- venue exhibition of Beijing-based artist Liu Wei in Cleveland. It marks the first US exhibition for this multi-media artist specializing in architectural geometries. One show is at the Museum of Contemporary Art through January 5, 2020. Go to mocacleveland.org for details. The second show is on view through Feb. 16 2020 at Cleveland Museum of Art at 11150 East Boulevard. 216-421-7350 or try clevelandart.org.
“Waking Dream” includes major works by Do Ho Suh and Christian Marclay on view through 2022. Suh’s work is a major sculptural recreation of the apartment he rented when he lived in London. A piece by Maya Lin is also on view. At Ruby City located at 150 Camp St. in San Antonio, Texas. Go to Rubycity.org.
“Mapa Wiya” is an incredible group show from the Menil collection of Aboriginal art. On view through Feb. 2, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Go to menil.org for details.
Anila Quayyum Aghai, a Pakistani American artist has a show entitled “Between Light And Shadow” in which she mimics the shadows as seen in the intricately pierced screens of Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture. On view through Feb. 9, 2020. Toledo Museum of Art at 2455 Monroe St. in Toledo, Ohio. 419-255-8000 or try toledomuseum.org.
The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby BC Canada has undergone some renovation and restructuring and presents a show entitled “Nikkei” which juxtaposes archives and artworks and includes stories, personal items, digitized “heritage” film footage and Cindy Mochizuki’s video installation to examine what it means to be a person of Japanese ancestry. 6688 Southoaks Cres. 604-777-7000. Go to centre. nikkeiplace.org.
A retrospective of over 200 works by the Korean American inventor of video art, Nam June Paik from Oct. 17, 2019 – Feb. 9, 2020. At The Tate Modern in London. Bankside in London. +44 (0) 20-7887-8888 or go to tate.org.uk.
The Tate St. Ives has a show by Haegue Yang from May 22 – Sept. 6, 2020. Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Go to tate.org.uk for details.
Japan House in London has the following – “WOW – City Lights and Woodland Shade, Digital Art Encounters with Japan” Nov. 21, 2019 – March 23, 2020. 101-111 Kensington High St. 44-20-3972-7100 or try [email protected].
“Legendary Kyoto Painting from Maruyama Okyo to the Modern Era” is on view Nov. 2 – Dec. 15, 2019 at National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. Go to www.momak.go.jp/english/.
The National Museum of Modern Art Osaka presents “Vienna On The Path To Modernism” and “NMAO Collection with Alberto Giacometti II” both on view through Dec. 8, 2019. 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka. Go to nmao.go.jp for details.
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics has the following – “Ceramic Lighting Devices of the Tsujii Collection – Shedding a Flickering light” is on view from Oct. 26, – Dec. 8, 2019. “Japanese bamboo Art from New York: The Abbey Collection, Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art” is on view Dec. 21, 2019 – April 12, 2020. 1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita Ku in Osaka. 81-06-6223-0055 or go to moco.or.jp..
“Arita x Tokolo Exhibition” remains on view through Nov. 24, 2019. Asao Tokolo was a name relatively new in the world of design until he became known as the man behind the distinctive indigo checkered emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tokolo worked with ceramicists at Arita, a pioneering porcelain town utilizing his designs. Also opening on Oct. 5, 2019 is a show of porcelain made in Arita during the 18th – 19th centuries from the Kichiro Imaizumi Collection. The Kyushu Ceramic Museum. 3100-1 Toshaku-Otsu, Arita, Saga Prefecture. 0955-43-3681.
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery has the following shows. A Camille Henrot installation entitled “Stepping On A Serpent”, a Lee Ufan show entitled “Dialogue With Materials” and a piece by Yamada Nanako are on view Oct. 16 – Dec. 15,2019. From Jan. 11 – March 22, 2020 includes shows by Kazuo Shiraga, “Pietas” group show and “Ulala” by Imai. 3-20-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81- (0)3-5353-0756.
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo’s Crafts Gallery presents “Japanese Bamboo Art From New York: The Abbey Collection” through Dec. 8, 2019. . 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
The Mori Art Museum has the following – A show tentatively entitled “The Future And Arts” is set for Nov. 19, 2019 – March 29, 2020. T106-6108, Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome – 10-1 Japan. +81-3-5777-8600.
“teamLab*Borderless” houses works by this hi-tech art group in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum. With computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and objects from nature to light sculptures and a forest of lamps. On view indefinitely. Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan. 03-6406-3949.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum is reimagined, reinstalled and newly renovated and extended. It reopens on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2020. Tickets to opening events will be available online starting in December of 2019. New features include improvement to critical systems, expanded gallery and education spaces and a new park lobby that connects the museum to the surrounding Volunteer Park. Instead of dividing cultures by country alone, works of art from different countries will be on display side by side. Opening shows include “Boundless: Stories of Asian Art” and “Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art.” A free weekend long celebration is planned for Feb. 8 & 9, 2020 from 9am – 9pm with performances, art making, tours and live music. An interactive map and digital art activities in every gallery will get the viewer involved. A new Asian Paintings Conservation Center is planned the future on the grounds. New additions include a community gallery and community meeting room.
Huang Yong Ping, a Chinese artist based in Paris has died at age 65. In his installation and sculptural work, his propensity for provocation was put to use commenting on taboo subjects in China with a nerve and witty sense of humor that always stirred up controversy.
The Japan Embassy in Vienna recently pulled financial backing for an art exhibition that marked 150 years of bilateral diplomatic ties, deeming some politically and socially critical art works in the show inappropriate and work that “does not facilitate friendship or understanding.” The work in question covers the theme of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis as well as Japan’s wartime history. Some of the artists participating in the Austrian event had also taken part in the “ Freedom of Expression?” exhibition in Nagoya, an exhibit that also sparked controversy. Art works in the show that may have elicited Japanese government response include one that showed blood in the pattern of Japan’s rising sun symbol streaming down form radiation protection gear and a video of a person posing as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologizing to China and South Korea for the country’s wartime aggression. The “Freedom of Expression?” exhibit was part of the Aichi Triennale Art Festival held between August 1 and Oct. 14. It prompted a backlash because it featured a statue symbolizing “comfort women”, the term used to refer to women who provided sex (including those who did so against their will) to Japanese troops before and during WW II. Due to a flurry of protests and threats from the far right and objections by government officials, that festival ran for only 10 days. Similarly, an art work symbolizing “comfort women” was pulled from an art festival in Mie Prefecture. The issue of ‘comfort women” has proved a contentious issue between Japan and the countries of South Korea, China and the Philippines with some conservative Japanese officials and politicians denying it ever happened and the women involved were simply prostitutes.
Shoji Sadao, an architect who worked closely behind-the-scenes with 20th century visionaries R. Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi has died at the age of 92 of heart and kidney failure on Nov. 3, 2019 in Tokyo. Sadao’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Japan. He was born in Los Angeles. During WWII he and most of his family were sent to Gila River internment camp in Arizona. He was able to leave camp when he was accepted to study at Boston University. He met Fuller while studying at Cornell University. Fuller introduced him to his friend, Noguchi in 1956. He helped actualize Fuller’s 1959-60 exhibition at MOMA in New York. He also helped design the Noguchi Museum in Queens. He worked on outdoor sculptures and parks with Noguchi including the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. After Noguchi’s death in 1988, he stepped in to finish the sculptor’s Bayfront Park Project in Miami.
Bob Antolin’s jazz group “Comfort Food” plays every third Thursday of each month at Seamonster in Wallingford. 2202 N. 45th. Go to reverbnation.com/comfortfood for details.
Arts West presents “Heads Over Heels – The Musical with Songs by the Go Go’s” as directed by Matthew Wright. It is an Elizabethan-inspired musical about a royal family on a quest to save their beloved kingdom. Joseph Tancioco and Rheanna Atendido are in the cast. On stage Nov. 21 – Dec. 29, 3019. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. 206-938-0963.
Future Seattle Opera productions include the following – “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – The Man Behind A Legend” with music by Daniel Schnyder and libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly. Plays Feb. 22, 23, 26, 29 AND March 1, 4, 6 & 7, 2020. Kelly Kuo will make his Seattle Opera debut as conductor for the orchestra for this production.
In the fall, Seattle Symphony begins a new season under new conductor Thomas Dausgaard. Some highlights include the following – Moving on to 2020, the annual “Celebrate Asia” concert has Tianyi Lu conducting and Gaurav Mazumdav on sitar and Conrad Tao on piano in a program of compositions by Huang Ruo, Reena Esmail, Conrad Tao and Gershwin. Eun Sun Kim conducts the orchestra with Elisa Barston on violin in Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 8” on March 12 & 14 with a special “Tchaikovsy Untuxed” concert on March 13. Pianist Aimi Kobayashi participates in “Bach Fest 1” on May 21 with conductor Ryan Bancroft and fellow pianist Alexandra Dovgan. All concerts at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. 200 University St. Go to seattlesymphony.org for details or call 206-215-4747.
The Indian Ink Company presents “Mrs. Krishnan’s Party” Nov. 15 – 24, 2019. An owner of a convenience store decides to sell her shop but stages one last party for the Hindu festival of Onam. This is an exciting theatre troupe from New Zealand on tour. Presented by STG at Erickson Theatre Off Broadway. 524 Harvard Ave. Go to stg.org for details.
Drawing on the theatrical form of cabaret with original songs, stories and magic, David Miele and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma will perform their innovativebshow “Gaybaret” on Nov. 22, 23 & 24 at Vashon Center for themArts’ Kay Hall. At their wedding, the couple told the story about how they met, honoring friends, teachers and experiences that led to their meeting and relationship. Tickets are $10 – $23. For details go to driftwoodbridge.com.
On Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 at 7:30pm, a new composition by Reena Esmail will be given its world premiere. It will be performed by violinist Kristin Lee, cellist Joshua Roman and pianist David Fung. Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western Classical music. This composition was commissioned by Town Hall Seattle. Also on the program will be a Mendelssohn piano trio and a Ravel piano trio. 1119 Eighth Ave. Go to www.townhallseattle.org/event/piano-ki-avaaz.
Emerald City Music presents violinist Kristin Lee and guitarist Jason Vieaux performing music by Vivian Fung, Piazolla and Giulani. On Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 at 8pm. 415 Westlake Ave. N. in Seattle. And again on Sat., Dec. 14, 2019 at 7:30pm in the Olympic Ballroom at 116 Legion Way SE in Olympia. Go to www.emeraldcitymusic.org for details.
Named in honor of Seattle philanthropists James & Sherry Raisbeck who donated money to transform the former Soundbridge at 200 University across from SAM into a state of the art immersive environment for inventive performances and ideal for education programs and community engagement, the building is now called Octave 9:Raisbeck Music Center. Some highlights from their innovative concert and educational programming include the following – Seattle Symphony pianist Jessica Choe appears in “First Concerts: Meet The Piano”, an ongoing series featuring various instruments and instrumentalists from the symphony orchestra in which children will learn how to be musical explorers as they try out instruments before the show and get to ask questions of the musicians after each performance. Choe performs short pieces on Dec. 21, 2019 at 9:30am and 11am. On Wed., Jan. 29, 2020 at 7:30pm, catch virtuoso violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in recital performing Gykorgy Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments” in which excerpts from the famous Czech writer’s diaries and letters are set to music and song with soprano Ah Young Hong singing the words. On April 24, 2020 at 7:30pm, Hannah Lash & Hub New Music join forces to present music for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and harp. A new composition by Takuma Itoh will be performed.
Coming out of Tokyo’s experimental scene, Kikagoku Moyo come to Seattle on the heels of their new release entitled “Masana Temples” on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at 8pm. Expect elements of folks and rock filtered through a psychedelic lens. At the Crocodile at 2200 2nd Ave. in Belltown. 206-441-4618.
ArtsWest has also announced their new 2019/2020 season entitled “Agents of Change” which looks at revolutions and the people who participate in them. The prolific and talented playwright/director/actress Sara Porkalob returns with a new play and a world premiere for the new season. “Alex and Alix” looks at the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love and a moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing. Two women in love and one name. Set for April 30 – May 24, 2020. Learn more details about the entire new season at artswest.org. ArtsWest is located in West Seattle at 4711 California Ave. SW.
Café Nordo has already announced their upcoming 11th season entitled “Where The Tea Party Never Ends” and early memberships are available. Come watch as they spin their interesting mix of original theatre, music and cuisine tailored to fit the theme of each production. The ever prolific Sara Porkalob is back with “The Angel in the House” from Feb. 8 – March 15, 2020. She wrote and directed this piece that’s a Victorian thriller with corsets, blood, revenge and cake. “Night Parade: The Ghost Forest” takes place June 13 – July 21, 2020. Conceived of and Directed by Tom Dang and written by Kendall Uyeji. Take a dive into Japan’s Aokigahara Forest near Mr. Fuji, famous for suicides. When a Western blogger mockingly posts a photo of a suicide on social media, he is spirited away by ghosts and demons of that forest. Café Nordo is at 109 South Main. Go to www.cafenordo.com to find out more about their new season and how you can get tickets.
The Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma sponsors numerous events to highlight the diversity of Asian Pacific American culture. The Center also has “Taste of Asia: A Cooking Series” in which participants are encouraged to learn, cook and taste. All classes are monthly from 11am – noon. The schedule is as follows – Dec. 7 is Samoa. APCC is at 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or go to apcc96.org.
Indigo Mist, the UW faculty members group with trumpeter Cuong Vu, pianist Richard Karpen, drummer Ted Poor and electronics manipulator Jean Pampin will perform a concert of all-new original music on Dec. 2, 2019. At the Royal Room at 7:30pm. 5000
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced their 2019/2020 season. Some performers include the following – David Finckel & Wu Han perform with Philip Setzer in a program of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn on Mon., May 18, 2020 at 7:30pm. Concert pianist George Li plays a recital of Haydn, Schubert, Ravel and Schumann on Wed., April 19, 2020 at 7:30pm. Violin virtuoso Midori performs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Thurs., Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:30pm in an all-Beethoven program in honor of the composer’s 250th anniversary. Meany Center is located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. 206-543-4880 or go to meanycenter.org.
MACHA Theatre Works has a new season entitled “Look Back, Move Forward”. It will feature works by local female playwrights. Maggie Lee’s “The Flight Before Xmas” blends traditional expectations of the season with the challenges of modern families in a heart-warming comedy. Directed by Amy Poisson. Good for ages 7 and up. Dec. 6 – 22, 2019 at West of Lenin in Fremont. 203 N. 36th St. 608-909-1252 or go to www.machatheatreworks.com.
Pianist George Li tackles Rachmaninoff’s challenging “Piano Concerto No. 3” as well as Ludwig and Brahms. Sat. Nov. 23 at 7:30pm. Conducted by Sarah Ioannides. Pantages Theatre. 901 Broadway in Tacoma. 253-591-5894.
Book-It Repertory reprises “Howl’s Moving Castle” with music/lyrics by Justin Huertas as directed by Myra Platt. This fantasy made famous by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film pits a girl who must survive by her wits and bring back her bewitched parents now turned into pigs. Nov. 29 – Dec. 29, 2019. At the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. 305 Harrison St. 206-216-0833.
Korean American performing artist Jay Park embarks on his first solo world tour “SEXY4EVA” and he touches down in Seattle on Sun., Dec. 1, 2019 at 8pm at Showbox Sodo. Expect hip-hop flows, melodic RnB vocals and spinning dance routines. 1700 First Ave. S. 206-652-0444 or go to http://ww.showboxonline.com.
Caracol Productions presents “Model Minority – An Asian Womxn Comedy Show” on Jan. 30, 2020 at Columbia City Theatre. $15 online or $20 at the door. Featuring Stephanie Nam, Ellen Acuaria, Dewa Dorje, Cindy Sun, Risha Srinivasan and Bernice Ye Umiom. Go to [email protected] for details.
Indian virtuoso percussionist Zakir Hussain comes to Seattle for his annual concert with Kala Ramnath and Jayanthi Kumaresh on March 28, 2020. Presented by STG. For details, try stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114.
On The Boards presents a performance piece entitled “Cuckoo” as conceived of and performed by Jaha Koo in which he takes viewers on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history as told by a bunch of talkative rice cookers. The piece combines personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness, economic crises and death. Coming Jan. 23 – Jan. 26, 2019. 100 West Roy St. in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. 206-217-9886 or go to ontheboards.org.
The Changmu Dance Company from South Korea has transformed Korean dance through innovative choreography with poetry and its mastery of traditional forms. They make their Portland debut on Wed., April 15, 2020 at 7:30pm. Arlene Schnitzer Hall. 503-245-1600 for tickets.
The Portland Opera will take a 50 minute version of Puccini’s “La Boheme” on tour as part of its Portland Opera To Go (POGO) series. Venues this time include Walters Cultural Center in Hillsboro, the Portland 5 and Antoinette Hall in Portland, the Tigard Public Library in Tigard, Oregon and the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, Oregon. Two public performances take place at Hampton Opera Center in Portland on Dec. 7 & 14. Seattle soprano Ivy Zhou is in the cast.
Santa Fe Opera presents a new adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s “M. Butterfly” as an opera in this world premiere. Music by Huang Ruo and libretto by the playwright. Set for August of 2020. Stars Kang Min Justin Kim, David Bizic and Hera Hyesang Park. Musical conductor is Xian Zhang. 301 Opera Drive in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1-800-280-4654.
Carlos Celdran, Philippine activist and performance artist has died at the age of 46. He received national attention for his dramatic protest against the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on reproductive health before he was arrested. Faced with a year in jail, he fled to Spain where he died in exile.
Noted Korean American violist Richard O’Neill will replace Geraldine Walther who is retiring in the Takacs String Quartet. O’Neill joins Andras Fejer, Eaward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes in the group. This esteemed classical quartet is in its 45th year.
New York-based mezzo-soprano Mika Shigematsu has died of pancreatic cancer less than a month of being diagnosed in Osaka. She had sung major roles at U.S. companies including San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe and Boston as well as in Europe at major companies in London, Paris and Amsterdam.
It’s an award-winning year for New York-based playwright Laureen Yee. In 2019 she won more than $400,000 in literary prizes. In July she was named an Doris Duke Artist. In the Twin Cities alone, she has four of her plays produced over an 18 month span.
Kansas City Ballet says it will phase out racist stereotypes found in the popular xmas ballet, “The Nutcracker.”
Film & Media
The Northwest Film Forum presents a tribute to the late Japanese anime director Satoshi Kon by showing some of his classics. Screening Nov 20, 2019 is “Millennium Actress”, the story of a film star who recounts her career and her search for a mysterious man that appears at various times and just as quickly disappears during the course of her life. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629 or try nwfilmforum.org.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian presents a special screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s silent gangster tale entitled “Dragnet Girl” set for Thursday, Nov. 21 with original score performed live by ambient/electric trio Coupler. Co-presented by KEXP. 805 E. Pine St. Try [email protected] for details.
The Beacon is a new art house cinema showing unusual finds of international cinema from around the world. Mamoeu Oshii’s sci-fi anime film “Patlabor The Movie” screens as part of the “Anime Sunrise” series on Sunday, Nov. 24 at noon. 4405 Rainier Ave. S. 206-420-SEAT or try [email protected].
A retrospective in honor of the late, great Japanese director Satoshi Kon whose anime films are loved to this day will screen. Nov. 15 – 22 will bring to the screen, “Paprika”, a film about a dream researcher and her alter ego who try and stop a terrorist who causes people’s dreams from invading reality. Please note that the theatre takes cash or check only. Grand Illusion Cinema. 1403 NE 50th St. in the University District. 206-523-3935.
Fanthom Events continues their screening of Studio Ghibli classic films in 2019 with the following to hit local movie theatres (some with new prints). Screenings are usually in both Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed in English. “Princess Mononoke” on Nov. 20. “The Tale of the Princess Kageya” Dec. 16 & 18. Tickets online at www.FanthomEvents.com or at the box office.
“Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man” is a documentary film by Lily Zepeda about a Chinese man from Singapore who started World Toilet Day and is founder of the World Toilet Organization. He is a tireless activist and advocate for awareness and advancement on the issue of toilet disparity in the world. Director Lily Zepeda and Jack Sim, the subject of the film will be at a screening for a q. and a. on Nov. 26, 2019. Screening at SIFF Cinema Uptown at 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. try [email protected] for details.
A re-mastered 1988 animated Mecha film “Mobile Suit: Gundam: Chan’s Counterattack” comes to the US for a one night event on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 at 7pm. It will be English language subtitled. Go to www.FanthomEvents.com for details. This sci-fi futuristic tale pits two war veterans who were once friends against each other in a fatefuyl duel that will determine the future of the planet.
Due to popular demand, the Japanese animated feature film “Promare” from Studio TRIGGER returns to the Puget Sound area for one day only on Dec. 8, 2019 at 12:55pm. Bonus feature will be “Promare (Redux)!” Presented by GKIDS and Fanthom Features. In Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets at the door or can be purchased online starting Nov. 1, 2019 at www.fanthomevents.com/events/promare OR at wwwPromareMovie.com.
Filipina American filmmaker Eileen Cabiling makes her directorial debut with “Basurero” starring Jericho “Echo” Rosales. The film makes its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in October, 2019. It’s a neo-realist, short film about the complex world of a Filipino fisherman who finds himself embroiled in the dangerous undertaking of disposing of bodies of drug dealers and users killed by government authorities. To see the trailer, go to https://vimeo.com/363051782/2d090355d6.
Makoto Shinkai whose 2016 anime film “Your Name” was an international hit is back with his new anime feature entitled “Weathering With You”. It headlined the Anime section of the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival which was held Oct. 28 – Nov. 5, 2019. It comes to the U.S. in a special fan preview Jan. 15 & 16 followed by nationwide theatrical release on Jan. 17, 2020. It will be shown dubbed in English as well as in the original Japanese with English subtitles. Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.fanthomevents.com.
The Written & Spoken Arts
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 unless otherwise noted. 1521 Tenth Ave. On Thurs., Nov. 21 at 7pm, Claire Rudy Foster reads from “Shine of the Ever”. This short story collection reads like a “literary mixtape of queer voices out of 1990s Portland.” Seattle writer Richard Chiem shares the evening. His debut novel “King of Joy” (Soft Skull) came out earlier this year. Ramesh Srinivasan, author of “Beyond the Valley:How Innovators Around the World Are Overcoming Inequality And Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow” (MIT) gives a talk on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 at 3pm. Elliott Bay will return to St. Peter’s Holiday Fair with a display of Japanese American and multicultural-themed fiction and non-fiction. Established in 1908 by Japanese Anglicans, this holiday fair reflects its Japanese American roots. Offerings include homemade sushi, baked goods and traditional Japanese treats, ornaments, totes, clothing, children’s crafts, glass art, jewelry and more. Music from the Aloha Band. 1610 South King St. 206-323-5250. Free admission. Civic Saturday presents Citizens University with a “Civic Sermon” by Eric Liu and poetry by Artist-in-Residence Naa Akua. Doors open 10am. Sat., Dec. 7 at 10:30am. At Town Hall Seattle. 1119 Eighth Ave. at Seneca. Free but RSVP is encouraged. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/civic-saturday-with-town-hall-tickets-77365465189?aff=ebdig. SAL Youth Poet Laureate & Writers in The Schools Annual Group Reading features 2019-20 Youth Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee with previews from the group’s upcoming book. Free. Dec. 8 at 3pm. Go to https://lectures.org/youth-programs/youth-poet-laureate/ for details. A posthumously published collection of noted Seattle journalist Alex Tizon entitled “Invisible People” (Temple University Press) will be presented on Dec. 12, 2019 at 7pm. hosted by author/editor Sam Howe Verhovek, Dean Boardman & friends. 206-624-6600 or go to www.elliottbaybook.com.
Seattle Arts & Lectures has released their new program details for their 2019/20 season. Among the many highlights included are these – In the “Literary Arts” series, Min Jin Lee will speak. Her last novel “Pachinko” looked at four generations of an immigrant Korean family living in Japan running a pachinko parlor and gave Americans an intimate peek at a mostly hidden Japanese-Korean culture. It was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Fiction. Set for March 17, 2020. In the “Journalism Series”, the award-winning husband/wife reporting team of Nicholas Kristof & Cheryl WuDunn who shared a Pulitzer Prize will talk about their new book “Tightrope” which looks at the crisis in working-class America, the lives of real Americans today. They appear on Feb. 5, 2020. In the “Poetry Series”, Seattle-raised poet/prose writer Paisley Rekdal (now Utah State Poet Laureate) does a Q & A with Rebecca Hoogs about her contemporary re-write of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” in her Copper Canyon Press title, “Nightingale”. Feb. 6, 2020. 7:30pm. At Broadway Performance Hall on the Seattle Central Community College campus on Capitol Hill. Rick Barot, award-winning Tacoma poet engages in conversation with fellow poet Jane Wong about the long colonial structure that sustained Spanish control over, much of Latin and South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines as outlined in his recent book of poetry entitled “Chord”. Set for March 19 2020. Also look for appearances throughout the year at SAL events from 2019/20 Youth Poet Laureate, Wei-Wei Lee. Lee will have her first book published by Poetry NW Editions in the spring of 2020. For more detailed information on SAL and its new season, go to lectures.org.
Hugo House that venerated Northwest center for writers and poets re-opens in brand-new digs with expanded space but in the same location. Catch their readings and celebrate their new space. Also with the opening of the new Hugo House, the writing center rolls out a new series of classes/workshops with a varied number of subjects taught by a talented group of writers like Nisi Shawl, Sonora Jha, R. O. Kwon, Anne Liu Kellor, Michelle Penaloza, Richard Chiem, Diana Xin, Anglela Garbes, Lora Shinn, Aimee Bhausar and Shankar Narayan. One of the events for the 2019-2020 Hugo Literary series is “Taking Liberties” set for Nov. 22, 2019 at 7:30pm which features former US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, best-selling novelist Hannah Tinti and Seattle fiction writer Richard Chiem, author of the novel, “King of Joy.” Also new music from blues-based singer-songwriter Amber Flame. Hugo House has selected writers for the 2019-20 Hugo Fellowships. Joyce Chen and Jen Soriano were some of the writers selected. The writers will be given advice and have a space to write. They will give two readings as well. Chen is a writer/editor/creator from Los Angeles. She will be working on a collection of essays that examine the push/pull conflict between American ideals of independence and self-fulfillment and Taiwanese values of family community and sacrifice. Jen Soriano is a Filipinx-American writer who blurs the lines between non-fiction, surrealism and poetry. She is working on a memoir of colonization, historical trauma and the neuroscience of healing as well as an essay collection on gender, technology and mothering. 1634 – 11th Ave. 206-453-1937. Go to hugohouse.org to
Vietnamese poet De Tu Le has died at the age of 77. He had 77 volumes of poetry published for every year of his life. His simple lyrics full of ache and longing and the cycles of life spoke to many Vietnamese both in Vietnam and abroad. He is survived by his wife, eight children and nine grandchildren.
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“The Farm” (Random House) is a novel by Joanne Ramos that paints a portrait of Filipinas in New York and the politics of motherhood and female autonomy. Questions of money, ethics, privilege and ambition are posed as each character makes compromises.
“The Light Between Us” (Tor Teen) by Andrew Fukuda. This young adult novel set for Jan. 2020 publication portrays the relationship between pen pals as a young Japanese American man and a French-Jewish friend go off to war on the eve of WWII. The scenes go from the plains of an internment camp in Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz. Will their friendship survive the travails of war and conflict?
“Cluster” (McClellad & Stewart) is a new book by award-winning Canadian poet Souvankham Thammavongsa in which she looks at the whole idea of “meaning” and the ways in which it arrives, if at all. Born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand, the poet was raised and educated in Toronto.
“Butterfly Yellow” (Harper) by Thanhha Lai is a novel set in the final days of the Vietnam War. When an older sister and younger brother are separated at the airport, years pass. When the sister finally finds him years later in Texas, he has no memory of their family or Vietnam. What can she do to bridge that gap? A young adult novel by this National Book Award and Newberry Honor-winning author.
“Grief” (Wave) is the latest book by poet Prageeta Sharma. With staggering emotional honesty, Sharma is able to bring forth poems that confront the sudden loss of her spouse to cancer.
“Like A Champion” (7.13) is a book of short stories by Vincent Chu. This book is an ode to the underdogs, long shots, disappointed worker bees and hopeful lovers.
“Water/Tongue” (Omnidawn) by Mai C. Doan is a book of poems that looks at the diasporic body in an uncertain landscape and the devastating effects of colonialism.
“A Beginner’s Guide to Japan-Observations and Provocations” (Knopf) by Pico Iyer. A compendium of the author’s observations of the oddities and insights of Japanese life culled from a foreigner’s more than thirty-two years living in this island nation.
“Locus” (Omnidawn) by Jason Bayani explores the experience of identity that haunts Philipinx-Americans in the wake of the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act. Inspired by the rhythms of hip-hop, he lays down his stories of families, cultures and memories passed down from generations.
“Fu Ping” (Columbia) is a novel by Chinese writer Wang Anyi as translated by Howard Goldblatt. In it, she keenly observes the lives of lower class women in Shanghai in the early years of the People’s Republic of China. These are renderings of history, class and the human heart.
“Goddess of Democracy – an occupy lyric” (Omnidawn) by Henry Weir Leung. The poet considers the icon that came out of Tiananmen Square in light of his eyewitness observations of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. Disobedience more and more becomes a global question that the poet holds up for the reader to ponder.
“Dear America – The Story of An Undocumented Citizen” (Harper) is the Young Reader’s Edition of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jose Antonio Vargas. This illegal immigrant from the Philippines challenges what it means to be American when the country he’s called home doesn’t consider him on of its own.
“Patience, Miyuki” (Princeton Architectural Press) is a picture book by Roxanne Marie Galliez as illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh. A little girl learns patience as she waits for a flower to bloom with her wise grandfather.
“The Magical Language of Others” (Tin House) is a memoir by award-winning Seattle poet E. J. Koh set for Jan. 2020 release. Left in the care of a brother in the US when her parents have to return to Korea for work, her mother wrote her letters that went unanswered. Years later the adult author embarked on a project to translate this written inheritance. “If her letters could go to sleep, my translations would be their dreams”, Koh writes.
“The Galleons” (Milkweed) is the long-awaited new book of poetry by local poet Rick Barot who conveys the immigrant journey of his own Filipino American family within the larger context of history in the aftermath of colonialism.
“The Piano Recital” (Kids Can Press) is a new picture book by Akiko Miyakoshi. It’s an enchanting tale of a nervous girl’s first recital and how she gets encouragement from a magical audience of mice.
“Kanban – Traditional Shop Signs of Japan” (Mingei International/Princeton University Press) by Alan Scott Pate is a lovely catalog for an exhibition on the history and origins of traditional shop signs in Japan.
“Our Favorite Day” (Candlewick) is a picture book written and illustrated by Joowon Oh. An old man reserves that special day when he spends time with his granddaughter. In charming color illustrations, their day together comes alive.
“More to the Story” (Simon & Schuster) by Hena Khan comes a new story inspired by “Little Women”. Four sisters from a modern American Muslim family living in Georgia come of age. When the father goes overseas for a job, one sister longs to be a journalist and wants to write an article that will make her dad proud. But will her dreams be abandoned when a younger sister falls ill? A young adult novel.
“Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.” (McClelland & Stewart) by Jenny Heijun Wills is a memoir that dwells into gender, class, racial and ethnic complexities through a story of a Korean adoptee in Canada who returns to reconnect with her birth family. In this book, one feels the ripple effect of dislocation and the rewards of struggle and forgiveness.
“Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn” (Princeton) as edited and introduced by Andrei Codrescu with a foreword by Jack Vipes. This volume, part of the Oddly Modern Fairy Tales” series bring together a choice selection of strange stories, inspired by Japanese folk tales as written by Western expatriate Lafcadio Hearn at the turn of the 19th century.
“Latani of The Distant Sea” (HarperCollins) is the latest book by Newberry Medal-winner Erin Entrada Kelly. This fable inspired by Filipino folklore is filled with a rich mythology and pits a timid twelve-year-old girl against epic tests to survive and save her village from disaster.
“Surrender” (Imprint) by Cao Wenxuan as illustrated by Yu Rong. In this picture book, children will read how seven animals try to survive the sweltering season but all are selfish. It isn’t until they learn to share that they thrive. Lyrical poetic prose is matched by delicate, sensitive images.
“Along The Indigo” (Amulet) is by prolific young adult author/editor Elsie Chapman. Her new novel is a heart-wrenching story of a plucky heroine trying to escape the poverty of a seedy river town to give herself and her little sister a better life.
“Useful Phrases For Immigrants” (Blair) is a collection of stories by May-lee Chai that recently won the American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation. Set in China and in the Chinese diaspora, it presents characters who cross borders, re-invent traditions and search for love. It was selected as the winner of the 2018 Bakmin Award by Tayari Jones.
“Last of Her Name – A Novella & Stories” (Kaya) by Mimi Lok. A wide range of stories that portray the interconnected lives of diasporic women and the histories they are born into. With a cast of outsiders like an elderly housebreaker, wounded lovers and kung-fu fighting teenage girls.
“The Ranger” (Groundwood) by Nancy Vo. When a ranger comes across a fox in a trap, she nurses it back to health. When misfortune befalls the ranger, the fox returns the favor. A picture book of understanding and companionship is evoked in striking illustrations.
“No Good Very Bad Asian” (C&R) is a comic novel by Leland Cheuk of a Chinese American underachiever’s journey into stand-up comedy while navigating the duties and obligations of society and a traditional Chinese family.
“Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism – Pakistani Women’s Literary And Cinematic Visions” (Nebraska) by Shazia Rahman. A look at contemporary Pakistani literature and film through the voices of women’s narratives.
“Iced In Paradise” (Prospect Park) is by Naomi Hirahara, the Edgar-winning author of the Mas Arai mysteries. In it, we discover a new unlikely detective in Leilani Santiago. Leaving a post-collegiate Seattle life, she returns to the islands to care for an ailing mother and keep afloat a family business. But when she discovers a dead body and her estranged father becomes the suspect, she must work fast to solve the murder and put her life and that of her family back in order.
“Zhuangzi – The Way of Nature” (Princeton) is illustrated by C. C. Tsai with a foreword by Edward Slingerland. Tsui is one of East Asia’s beloved cartoonists. He is adept at taking tales of traditional Asian philosophy and literature and fashioning them into playful and illuminating cartoons. In this volume, he takes on a pillar of classical Daoism aided by a skillful translation by Brian Bruya who provides an informative introduction.
“Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII” (Flying Eye) by Sally Weng. This children’s picture book tells the little known story of women pilots who learn to fly and contribute to the war effort.
“Banned – Immigration Enforcement In The Time of Trump” (NYU) by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia tries to make sense of a muddled immigration policy with a thoughtful analysis of immigration law and policy illustrated by insightful case studies and interviews.
“A Hero Born – Legends of the Condor House 1 (St. Martin’s Press) is an epic novel by Jin Yong as translated by Anna Holmwood. This Hong Kong writer has created one of the world’s most beloved martial arts novels that stretches from the mid-fifties to the emergence of Bruce Lee’s career in film. His novels have been widely read in Asia. Hailed as a Chinese “Lord of the Rings”, this kung-fu fantasy features fierce battles, complex characters and plots woven into historical events.
“Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking” (HMH) by Maangchi is billed as “You Tube’s Korean Julia Child” by the NY Times. This book is called the definitive book on Korean food and the culture it comes from. Set for Oct. 2019 release.
“Divine Gardens – Mayumi Oda & The San Francisco Zen Center” (Parallax) captures the essence of the artist’s art and life as a zen practitioner. It is a celebration of the garden and her joyful female “goddesses” who leap off the page in vibrant colorful hues.
“How Do You Say Goodnight?” (Little Simon) by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez is a cute board book for kids in which the little ones learn how to say good night in an array of languages and cultures.
“Japanese Ghost Stories” by Lafcadio Hearn (Penguin Books) Edited with an introduction by Paul Murray (biographer of Hearn). Hearn was a journalist and 19th century master storyteller who drew on traditional Japanese folklore. Infused with memories of his own haunted childhood in Ireland, he created these chilling tales.
“Masking Identity – The Performance Art of Roger Shimomura” (printed by CreateSpace, an Amazon Company) by Krystal Reiko Hauseur. This book is a monograph of the artist’s thirteen performance pieces created over an eighteen-year period. Looks at the historical significance and visual impact of Shimomura’s performance art that continually dealt with racism, discrimination, and the Asian American experience.
“Everest” (Flying Eye) by Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng. A non-fiction picture book full of facts about the world’s highest mountain with marvelous visuals by Feng.
“Rising Son – A US Soldier’s Secret and Heroic Role in World War II” (Sasquatch) by Sandra Vea. The story of a Japanese American man who joined the Military Intelligence Service assigned to convince Japanese Imperial soldiers to lay down their arms while wearing a target on his back. Reveals a little-known history of how the confluence of race, war and loyalty played out when the nation called for the service of those it judged most harshly.
“Things To Make And Break” (Coffee House) is a book of stories by May-Lan Tran. A collection of stories that reveal old relationships, past selves and hopes for the future where the path is not always clear and self-invention and self-annihilation appear as road signs to a varied cast of characters.
“The Immortal Jellyfish” (Flying Eye) by writer/artist Sang Miao tackles the issue of death as a young boy loses his grandfather only to reunite again with him in a mythical city.
“Bullets And Opium – Real-Life Stories of China After the Tiananmen Square Massacre” (Signal) by Liao Yiwa. Now living in exile in Berlin, the author bears witness with first person accounts from ordinary people who were actually there that fateful day.
“Stories For South Asian Super Girls” (Kashi House) by Raj Kaur Khaira is a treasure trove of 50 illustrated biographies of amazing South Asian women. A young adult book of “sheroes” sure to inspire.
“ESL or You Weren’t Here” (Nightboat) by Aldrin Valdez. A debut book of poems that looks at a young man’s upbringing as a queer immigrant body adrift in a sea of contradictions with negotiations between Tagalog and English at every corner.
“Bone Talk” (David Fickling Books) by Candy Gourlay tells the story of an indigenous village boy in the Philippines who must use all his skills to battle the encroachment of American invaders in this young adult novel set for November 2019 publication.
“Always Angali” (Bharat Babies) by Sheetal Sheth with illustrations by Jessica Blank. When an Indian girl in America finds she is bullied for her different name, she asks her parents to change it but they refuse. A timeless children’s story about appreciating what makes us special and honoring our differences.
“Sightseer in This Killing City” (Penguin) by Eugene Gloria. This new book of poems captures the surreal and disorienting feelings of the present and reveals an obsession with arrivals and departures and the bitter divisions in America.
“Parade” (Soft Skull) by Hiromi Kawakami as translated by Allison Markin Powell. It’s a summer afternoon and the student tells her former high school teacher a modern folk-tale of creatures over a bowl of cold noodles. Set for Nov 2019 publication.
“Bodega” (Milkweed Editions) is a debut book of poems by Minnesota poet Su Hwang. With rich lyrical and narrative poetics, she offers a revealing perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions rising in the margins where they live and work.
“My Story Starts Here – Voices of Young Offenders” (Groundwood) by Deborah Ellis is set for Oct, 2019 release. It is an oral history of kids involved in the criminal justice system telling their own stories. From different socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities, the common threads that bind include loss of parents, dislocation, poverty, truancy, addiction and discrimination.
The Goose Egg” (Knopf) by Washington author/artist Liz Wong tells the story of an elephant who rescues a baby goose who then adopts her as her mother. This picture book is tale of parenting and how love changes everything.
“Fashion And Beauty in The Time of Asia” (NYU Press) edited by S. Heijin Lee, Christina Moon and Thuy Lin Nguyen Tu. This collection of essays considers the role of bodily aesthetics foraged through engagements with fashion and beauty. Topics run the gamut from the American influence on plastic surgery in Korea, Chinese garment workers to Nepalese nail technicians in New York.
“You Go First” (Greenwillow) by Erin Entrada Kelly. How do two friends more than a thousand miles away survive middle school and heartbreak at home? A love of online scrabble binds them together and their lives intersect in unexpected ways in this young adult novel.
In “Hybrida” (Norton) is Tina Chang’s new book of poems and in it, she confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States.
“Spin The Dawn” (Knopf) by Elizabeth Lin. This fairy tale is about a young seamstress who must use her creativity as a weapon against evil forces invading the land.
“Before I Was A Critic I was A Human Being” (Book Hug) by Amy Fung. This collection of essays takes a closer look at Canada’s mythologies of multiculturalism, settler colonialism, and identity through the lens of a national art critic.
“Jaya And Rasa: A Love Story” (Cinco Puntos) is both a teenage romance and a tale of crime fiction as a love blooms between two strangers who cross paths. Will their relationship survive the chaos of their respective lives?
“Love in the New Millennium” (Yale) by Can Xue with a foreword by Eileen Myles and translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wacmoen. A dark comic novel about a group of women who inhabit a world of constant surveillance, where informants lurk in the flower beds and false reports fly. Love stories of a new millennium by a master storyteller.
“Malaya – Essays On Freedom” (Little A) by Cinelle Barnes. These essays tell of a harrowing childhood in the Philippines and coming of age in the American South as a woman with a brown body in a profoundly white world. Set for Oct, 2019 release.
“Super Satya Saves The Day” (Bharat Babies) by Raakhee Mirchandani with pictures by Tim Palin. Can a little girl conquer the tallest slide in Hoboken without her superhero cape? Will she be able to face her fears, help her friends and be the true hero everyone knows she is?
“Empire of Style – Silk And Fashion in Tang China” (UW Press) by Buyen Chen. During the Tang dynasty, the Silk Road was filled with a critical market and the thriving cultures of Central Asia and the Middle East. Chen looks at this vibrant fashion system that emerged through the efforts of Tang artisans, wearers and critics of clothing.
“The Art of Logic In an Illogical World” (Basic Books) by Eugenia Cheng. This mathematician and columnist demonstrates how to use mathematical logic to complement our emotions and transform the way we think about challenges.
“Team Taek Wondo #3 – How To Be Cheeri” (Rodale Kids) by Master Taekwon Lee & Jeffrey Nodelman and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. What happens when hand worker Cheeri must collaborate with fun loving Baeoh? How can they join forces and learn to work together to meet their next challenge? A lesson-learning graphic novel for kids.
“Bomb Children – Life In The Former Battlefields of Laos” (Duke) by Leah Zani. The author looks at how the explosive remnants of war continues to be a part of people’s everyday lives.
“Chicks Rule!” (Abrams) is a picture book by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen with pictures by Renee Kurilla that demonstrates that when little girls work together, no obstacle is insurmountable.
“Zeng Fanzhi” (Hauser & Wirth) is a catalog of a 2018 exhibition by one of China’s most well known contemporary artists that toured Zurich, London and Hong Kong. The artist often works on multiple artworks in different styles and this book is a reflection of that as it moves from the purely abstract to the figurative to traditional landscape.
“Paper Son” (Random House) by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki tells the inspiring story of artist Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American responsible for bringing Disney’s Bambi to life.
“Symptoms of a Heart Break” (Imprint) by Sona Charaipotra is a young adult novel of a young doctor treating kids with cancer who must mend her own broken heart even as she starts to become attracted to a patient.
“Hard Damage” (University of Nebraska) by Aria Aber won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in poetry. Leaping from the personal to the political, an Afghani family history comes alive as a poet explores the historical and personal implication of Afghan American relatives in an urgent, lyrical language.
“Anna May Wong – Performing The Modern” (Temple University Press) by Shirley Jennifer Lim. The author explores modernity and women of color through the central presence of this famed Chinese American actress. In this study, Lim captures Wong’s emergence through the contradictions of gender and race.
“The Rise of Kiyosi – Avatar, The Last Airbnder” (Amulet) by F. C. Yee with Avatar co-creator Michael Dante Dimartino. The story behind the longest-living avatar in the history of this beloved world. It maps Kiyoshi’s journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice in this young adult fantasy epic.
“I Love You So Mochi” (Scholastic) by Sarah Kuhn. When a young girl gets into an explosive fight with her mother, she’s able to escape to Kyoto when her grandparents invite her to visit. When she meets a Japanese med student, she learns more than she bargained for – about her self and her complex relationships.
“Your House Will Pay” (Ecco) by Steph Cha is a novel that looks at a history of Los Angeles after Rodney King and how it impacted and shaped her city. She deals with issues of how crime, violence and injustice permeates communities and families.
Mommy Sayang” (Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase Books) by Rosanna Sullivan. When illness comes between a mother and her child, they must find a way to love in a different yet meaningful way. Charmingly illustrated by the author.
“Shojin Ryori – The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine” (Marshall Cavendish) by Danny Chu. Explores a cuisine that originated from Japanese Zen temples that use no meat, fish, egg or dairy products. The author is a former foreign currency trader who left the corporate world to study this unique cuisine.
Chirri & Chirra – Underground” (Enchated Lion) by Kaya Doi and translated by David Boyd. A charming Japanese picture book about two sisters who embark on an adventure beneath the earth’s surface as they follow badgers and discover another world.
“Instantly Indian Cookbook – Modern Classic Recipes For The Instant Pot” (Knopf) is the latest by the godmother of Indian cookbook writers, Madhur Jaffrey. In it, she tries to make cooking Indian food in your home easier via the use of the Instant Pot. Runs the gamut with recipes, side dishes, spices, special ingredients and handy tips.
“A Scarf For Keiko” (Kar-Ben) by Ann Malaspina and illustrated by Merribe Liddiard. A special friendship is tested when Sam’s Japanese American neighbor Keiko is forced into an internment camp with her family as WWII draws near. How will they remain friends?
“Like A Love Story” (Balzer + Bray) by Abdi Nazemian. Three characters in 1980’s NYC – an Iranian boy who keeps the secret that he’s gay, a young girl who wants to be a fashion designer and a gay uncle with AIDS that she worships. When all three get caught up in secrets and emotions, will friendship and love still triumph?
“A Song For China – How My father Wrote Yellow River Cantata” (Groundwood) by Ange Zhang. A true story of a young Chinese author who composed the words to a song that became a patriotic anthem. Illustrated by the author’s woodblock-style art with sidebars that explain the historic background to the story. Set for September, 2019.
“The Safety of Edges” (Marrowstone Press) by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma uses poetry to ponder liminal times and spaces, tracing between now and then and there, childhood and the grown poet.
“You Are My Magical Unicorn” (Cartwheel) is a colorful board book by Joyce Wan that expresses the mantra that every child needs to feel important and loved.
“Bloody Seoul” (Cinco Punto) by Sonia Patel is a young adult coming-of-age story about a boy who wants to inherit leadership of his father’s gang but along the way, discovers important new truths that help him find himself and another path.
“My Big Bad Monster” (Disney Hyperion) by A.N. Kang. How a little girl defeats her monster of self-doubt comes alive in these colorful pages.
“Kitchen Curse” (Verso) is a book of stories by Eka Kurniawan as translated by Annie Tucker. These dark tales explore the turbulent dreams of an ex-prostitute, a perpetual student, victims of anti-Communist genocide, an elephant and a stone. An Indonesian writer hailed as a SE Asian “Marquez.”
“The Boy Who Grew A Forest – The True Story of Jadav Payeng” (Sleeping Bear) by Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Kayla Harren. This picture book tells the inspiring story of a little Indian boy who planted a forest on an island starting with one seed.
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister – Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China” (Knopf) by Jung Chang, noted author of “Wild Swans”. This book tells the story of three real-life sisters from Shanghai who married some of the most powerful men in modern China. A gripping tale of these women who helped shape the history of twentieth-century China.
“The Epic Crush of Genie Lo” (Amulet) by F. C. Yee. What happens when an overachieving Chinese American high school girl drops her studies to fight a hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore with the aid of the mysterious new boy in school?
“The Memory Police” (Pantheon) by Yoko Ogawa as translated by Stephen Snyder. This is a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance by the acclaimed Japanese author of “The Housekeeper and the Professor”.
With “The Candle And The Flame” (Scholastic) by Nafiza Azad, we enter another world and another time. Based on Islamic mythology and Arabic folklore, the author evokes a city on the Silk Road and a young woman who must be quick on her feet and alert to her senses as she navigates political intrigue and the dangers of a magical battlefield to survive. A young adult fantasy novel. The author born in Fuji is an Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian.
“Man Tiger” (Verso) by Eka Kurniawan is set in a small town on the Indonesian coast. This novel tells the story of two tormented and interlinked families and an ordinary young man who conceals within himself a supernatural female white tiger. Translated by Labodalih Sembiring.
“Ojiichan’s Gift” (Kids Can Press) by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Genevieve Simms. A picture book about a grandfather’s garden in Japan and how an American granddaughter learns to tend the garden on her summer visits until everything changes. A story of facing changes in life and the bond of love.
“The Dragon Warrior” (Bloomsbury) by Katie Zhao. This middle-grade fantasy takes a page from Chinese mythology. A young outcast embarks on a quest to prove herself and honor her family as well. Set for October, 2019 release.
“Bilal Cooks Dahl” (Salaam) by Aisha Saeed and illustrated by Anoosha Syed. When a South Asian boy helps his dad cook his favorite dish, he worries if his friends will like it too.
“The Sea of Japan” (Spark Press) is a novel by award-winning Japanese author Keita Nagano. Fleeing a disastrous teaching job in Boston, an American girl gets another position teaching overseas in a Japanese fishing village. Saved from drowning by a local fisherman, she soon becomes immersed in a war over fishing rights between his village and the one nearby.
“Other Words For Home” (B+B) by Jasmine Warga. A Syrian girl and her mother are forced to flee their war-torn country leaving an older brother and father behind. Will they find a new home in Cincinnati? A young adult novel about losing and finding home or perhaps finding yourself.
“The Secrets of Noh Masks” (Kodansha) by Michshige Udaka with photography by Shuichi Yamagata. This book is written by a Noh actor who is also a mask maker. He shares his love of this unique ancient drama form with the world. The photographs make the masks come out of the darkness and become alive
“Zombie Run” (Solstice) is a novel co-written by Dwayne Perkins and Koji Steven Sakai. It explores how to survive in a Zombie world and discover love along the way.
“The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday” (Tor.com) by Saad Z. Hossain. A compact story of a king who wakes up from imprisoned slumber only to find to his surprise that the city he covets, has citizens unwilling to revolt.
“Grass” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim is a graphic novel. This is the true story of a Korean comfort woman who documents how the atrocity of war devastates women’s lives. A landmark graphic novel that makes truly personal the desperate cost of war and the importance of peace.
“Hello, Universe” (Greenwillow) by Erin Entrada Kelly. This Newberry Award-winner tells the story of a few kids whose lives collide in surprising and unexpected ways that enrich each of them.
A trio of Japanese American artists have created “442” (Little Nalu Pictures), a graphic novel that recounts the experiences of those in their community who served in the combat regiment that became the most decorated unit in the history of American warfare. Written by Koji Steven Sakai and Phineas Kiyomura and illustrated by Rob Sato.
“The Factory” (ND) by Hiroko Oyamada and translated by David Boyd. A Japanese novel that looks at life in a factory from the perspective of three different characters. This surreal, modern fable dares to ask, “Where does the factory end and the rest of the world begin?” Set for October 2019 release.
“Take the Mic – Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance” (Arthur A. Levine) edited by Behany C. Morrow. A powerful collection of short pieces by some of the best young adult authors. Poems, prose and art that show how today’s youth can resist injustice today.
“Who Is Afraid of Little Wolf?” (Prestel) by author/illustrator Yayo Kawamura is a board book for little ones that stresses the importance of overcoming prejudice and the power of friendship with colorful artwork of all the animals in the forest.
“Small Days And Nights” (Norton) by Tishani Doshi is this prize-winning poet’s novel that tells the story of a young woman who returns home to Pondicherry after a failed US marriage to find she has inherited property in Madras, discovers a sister she never knew existed and must grow up fast to forge a life with meaning. Set for January 2020 release.
“A Life Made by Hand – The Story of Ruth Asawa” (Princeton Architectural Press) written and illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino. Imaginatively illustrated, this picture book tells the story of a pioneering Japanese American artist beloved in the Bay Area.
“My Footprints” (Capstone) by Bao Phi and illustrated by Basia Tran. Bullied at school, a Vietnamese American girl with lesbian parents walks home through the woods stomping through the snow angry and alone. But when a bird catches her eye, things change and she sets off on an imaginary exploration of all the animals in the forest.
“Voices from the Railroad – Stories by descendants of Chinese Railroad Workers” (Chinese Historical Society of America) – Edited by Sue Lee & Connie Young Yu. An important document that gives voice and recognition to a forgotten generation of early Chinese Americans who built the railroad that linked a nation.
“RUSE” (Simon Pulse) is the thrilling sequel to “Want” by Cindy Pon. Set in a futuristic Shanghai. What happens when a group of teens lose a friend, kidnapped by their evil adversary?
“Queen of Physics – How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom” (Sterling) by Teresa Robeson and illustrated by Rebecca Huang. Overcoming prejudice and obstacles, this famous physicist went on to make a large difference in the world. Another “shero” story for the kids.
“Changing And Unchanging Things: Noguchi And Hasegawa in Post War Japan” (UC Press) edited by Dakin Hart and Mark Dean Johnson. When the artist Isamu Noguchi returns to Japan for the first time in 20 years, it is 1950. A key figure for Noguchi during this period was fellow artist Saburo Hasegawa who had lived abroad in Paris in the 1930’s and later influenced the American “Beats” about Japanese culture. Together the two artists explore traditional Japanese culture and how it can strike a balance between tradition and Western modernity. The exhibition catalog for a show at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
“Yao Bai and The Egg Pirates” (West Margin Press) by Tim J. Meyers and illustrated by Bonnie Pang. A story of resourceful Chinese immigrants who journeyed to the Farallon Islands to gather eggs to sell, only to be attacked by pirates. A story taken from history that will enlighten the kids.
“What God Is Honored Here? – Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of color” (Minnesota) edited by Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang. A look at pregnancy loss among these groups with insights into the pain and bonds between mothers and their children.
“My First Origami Fairy Tales Kit” (Tuttle) by Joel Stern includes paper models of knights, princesses, dragons and ogres with 36 folding sheets and easy-to-read instructions.
“Fake It Till You Break It” (Swoon Reads) by Jenn P. Nguyen. What happens when best friends pretend to be a couple in order to get their matchmaking moms off their backs only to realize they are really falling for each other?
“The Dinner That Cooked Itself” (Flying Eye) by J. C. Hsyu and Kenard Pak. Told in the form of a folktale from ancient China, a decent man longs for a bride but remains lonely until a fairy appears bearing fragrant gifts.
“A Life in a Sea of Red – Photojournalism by Liu Heung Shing” (Steidl). This book captures half a century of documentation by this noted Chinese photographer of the changes in life in the former Soviet Union and China.
“Mya’s long Walk – A Step At A Time” (Clarion) is by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. It is the picture book companion to “A Long Walk To Water” and evokes the visceral fragility of living without access to fresh, clean water in the desert of South Sudan.
“B, Book, And Me” (Two Lines Press) by Kim Sagwa as translated by Sunhee Jeong. Due out February 2020. Two loners and best friends support each other as they try to subsist with absent parents and uncaring teachers. When one of the girl’s sister is dying, whom can they turn to?
“A Map Into The World” (Carolrhoda) by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Seo Kim tells the heartfelt story of a young Hmong girl seeking beauty and connection in a busy world.
“The Resisters” (Knopf) by Gish Jen is her latest novel due out Feb. of 2020. It is a story set in the future of an America half under water and deeply divided. But will things come together when athletes from different economic classes get together to compete in the Olympics?
“It Began With A Page – How Gyo Fujikawa Drew The Way” (Harper) by Kyo Maclear with art by Julie Mostad. A book that tells the story of a world famous children’s author and her groundbreaking fight for racial diversity in picture books.
“A Team of Their Own – How An International Sisterhood Made Olympic History” (Hanover Square Press) by Seth Berkman. Before the last Winter Olympics, North and South Korea merged their women’s ice hockey teams into one. This book tells the story of a team who lost every game but made leaps as the first ever Korean team to overcome language, culture, and political barriers to write history.
“When Spring Comes to the DMZ” (Plough Publishing) by Uk-Bae Lee is a picture book for children that looks at the lush no-man’s land that lies untouched and serves as a barrier between North and South Korea through the eyes of a grandfather and his grandson.
Rick Riordan presents Roshani Chokshi’s “Aru Shah And The Song Of Death” (Disney/Hyperion). This is Book Two of the Pandava Quartet. It finds Aru joining forces with an ultra-strong girl and the boy across the street on a quest to prove her innocence and discover who has stolen the god of love’s bow and arrow.
“The House of Yan – A Family at the Heart of a Century in Chinese History” (Harper) by Lan Yan tells the story of an elite Communist family upended by the cultural revolution and how the author returns as an adult to China to see the country with new eyes.
“The Wolf of Oren-Yaro” (Orbit) by K. S.Villoso due out Feb. 2020 is a Filipino-inspired fantasy about a woman in power finding strength against all odds. A young adult fantasy novel.
“Okinawan Princess – Da Legend of Hajichi Tatoos” (Bess Press) by Lee A. Tonouchi and illustrated by Laura Kina. Japanese & Okinawan translations by Masahi Sakihara. Tell the legend behind the bold blue hajichi tattoos once worn on the back of the hands of Okinawan women. Written in Hawai’I creole and translated into Japanese and the endangered indigenous Okinawan language.
New York-based poet/artist Yoko Otomo’s new book entitled “Anonymous Landscape” (Lithic Press) offers readers gem-like reflections of moving simplicity in her poems on a landscape of the mind open to beauty and the act of living.
“The Living Days” (Feminist Press) by Ananda Devi, a novel of post-9/11 London that looks at racism, aging and the perturbing nature of desire which all surface in the relationship between an older woman and a teenager who meet one day on Portobello Road.
“Hinges – Sakaki Hyakusen and the Birth of Nanga Painting” (UC Press) by Julia M. White. This book is the catalog for the first US exhibition focusing on the founding father of the Nanga school of brushpainting in Japan in the eighteenth century. The Japanese work is shown alongside Chinese paintings by traditional masters and the Japanese painters that followed in Hyakusen’s footsteps.
“Ballerina Project” (Chronicle Chroma) by photographer Dane Shitagi. This popular instagram project that covers over eighteen years of portraits of fifty accomplished ballerinas around the world is now in book form.
4Culture announces that $12,000 Fellowships will be available to Trans and Gender Nonconforming Elders over 40. Applicants must be 40 years or older on or before Nov. 20, 2019. Deadline has been extended to Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 at 5pm PDT. The grant provides unrestricted funding for everyday expenses so that artists can make time to do their art. There will be workshops on how to apply. Go to 4culture.org for details. Contact Heather Dwyer at [email protected] or call 206-263-1597 OR try Melissa Newbill at [email protected] or call 206-263-1603.
Artist Trust continues to offer workshops for artists all over the state in the coming months. For details, email [email protected]. They are also in need of interns for various projects. If interested, go to artisttrust.org.
The MacArthur Foundation has announced its 26 ‘Genius’ grant winners who have demonstrated “extraordinary originality”. Among them are the following – Vietnamese American poet/novelist Ocean Vuong whose first novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” was reviewed positively by critics recently. It read like an open letter to his immigrant mother. The conceptual artist Mel Chin who is known for tackling tough issues and breaking them down in his art installations was another winner. In 2018, his mixed-reality installation in Times Square that simulated a view of the area from underneath rising seas with an overhead nautical traffic jam drew praise. Cartoonist Lynda Barry grew up in a working class Seattle neighborhood was another recepient. She is the author of the alternative comic strip known as “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” and the graphic novel, “Cruddy.” She is part-Filipino American. Sujatha Baliga was another recipient. She directs the Restorative Justice Project, the alternative to the criminal justice system that tries to bring together victims and perpetrators to some kind of peaceful resolution outside of court. Congratulations to all the winners!