Due to the Covid 19 crisis, it is advisable that people check ahead with institutions before visiting by calling or going to their websites as government restrictions may apply or change at any time. Some galleries have limited hours with a limit of how many people may enter at one time. Face masks are mandatory.
“Seen and Unseen: Queering Japanese American History Before 1945” is the first-ever exhibit focused on Nikkei (Japanese Americans) who were involved in intimate same-sex relationships or defied gender roles in the early 20th century. Queer Nikkei are virtually non-existent in Japanese American history, but this exhibit brings them into view with recent research by scholars in history, cultural and literary studies. This ground-breaking exhibition opens on October 11, 2020 to coincide with National Coming out Day and will run through Feb. 14, 2021. Hosted by J-Sei and co-curated by Amy Sueyoshi and Stan Yogi. The following exhibit-related programs are free but require an RSVP on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link. All program times are Pacific Standard time. On Sunday, October 11, 2020 from 4 – 5:30pm the opening program is “Seen and Unseen: A Virtual Tour & Meet the Curators Amy Sueyoshi and Stan Yogi”. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seen-and-unseen-queering-japanese-american-history-exhibit-opening-tickets-121631845123. On Sunday, November 8, 2020 from 4 – 5:30pm is “Queer Compulsions: Love, Sex and Scandal in Turn of the Century Japanese America” by historian Amy Sueyoshi. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/queer-compulsions-love-sex-and-scandal-in-turn-of-the-century-japanese-am-tickets-121644543103. On Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 7 – 8:30pm is “We Were Here and Queer Before the Issei” by literary scholar Andrew Leong. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/we-were-here-and-queer-before-the-issei-tickets-121657152819. Finally on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from 7- 8:30pm join filmmaker Tina Takemoto for “Queer Cinematic Visions of Nikkei History. Go to https://www/eventbrite.com/e/queer-cinematic-visions-of-nikkei-history-tickets-121657941177. For full information on plans for the exhibit can be found at https://j-sei.org/seen-and-unseen/.
Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location has re-opened. Tickets to SAM are being released in batches and you can now purchase them for visits to SAM through October 11, 2020. Ongoing and on view is the group show “Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei 1920 – 2020” which includes wood sculpture by George Tsutakawa from his “Obos” series. “Color in Asian Art: Material and Meaning” is the latest installment in the popular Saturday University lecture series. Dimensions of color and pigment in Asian art will be explored in eight talks on colors produced from the earth, sea, fire, plants and insects. Starts on Saturday, October 3 online and continues through November 21, 2020 starting at 10am PST and it is free with registration when you receive a link to these zoom webinars. The schedule is as follows – Marco Leona from the Metropolitan Museum of Art discusses “The Colors of Space and Time: Recent Findings on the Materials and Techniques of Edo and Meiji Period Paintings and Prints” on Sat., Oct. 10 (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=69800). Soyoung Lee, Chief Curator at the Harvard Art Museum in “Shades of Green and White” speaks on the appeal of variations in color of Korean celadon ceramics and the technical and visual innovations that produced them. On Sat., Oct. 17 (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=%2069801). Jinah Kim, professor of South Asian and Indian art at Harvard, talks about ritual practices and artistic interventions that may have contributed to the widespread use of primary colors in Indic painting traditions for codifying knowledge in “Pigments and Artistic Interventions in Indian Painting” set for Oct. 24. (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=69802). Quincy Ngan, Assistant Professor in Art History at Yale University explores the unusual use of indigo in two 15th century paintings depicting the cotton plant and silkworms nibbling mulberry leaves in “Indigo in Two 15th-century Chinese Paintings” (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=%2069803) set for Sat., Oct. 31. Sunglim Kim, Associate Professor of Art History at Dartmouth College, investigates the pigments used, color association, and their use in various art media including painting, ceramics, textiles, architecture, and even food in “Korean Culture in Five Colors” (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=69804) on Sat., Nov. 7. Fiber artist John Marshall discusses the unique and vibrant textiles created in Ryukyu (Okinawa), known as “bingata”, and prized for their variety of colors and lively designs in “Colors of the Earth, Colors of the Sky: Bingata Textiles of Okinawa” (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=69805) on Sat. Nov. 14. Arash Khazeni, Associate Professor of History at Pomona College introduces the finest quality turquoise mined in eastern Iran that was precious to Persian rulers as a celestial stone, a gift between empires, and a trade item throughout Eurasia in “Turquoise, The Sky Blue Stone” (go to http://seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?Eventld=%2069806) on Sat., Nov. 21. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is still closed. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details on all this.
The Cascadia Art Museum is now open and announces the following shows. “Gifts And Promised Gifts To The Museum’s Permanent Collections” is a group show that includes the late John Matsudaira’s masterpiece “Quiet Motion And Blue” which was featured at the Seattle’s World Fair back in 1962. On view through May 23, 2021. Other exhibits include “Dreaming Forms: The Art of Leo Kenny” and “Stolen Moments: The Photography of Shedrich Williams”, a Portland photographer. These two shows above on view through January 10, 2021. Currently on view is “The Art of John Carl Ely” through November 8, 2020. 190 Sunset Ave. S. in Edmonds, WA. Hours are Th. – Sun. from 11am – 6pm. 425-336-4809.
Humaira Abid, the local Pakistani artist who works with wood to shape thoughtful works that deal with women’s issues has a show of new work entitled “Sacred Games” scheduled for Greg Kucera Gallery through November 7, 2020. Roger Shimomura comes in with a new series of paintings entitled “100 Little White Lies” set for January 7 – 30, 2021. 212 – 3rd Avenue S. 206-624-0770 or try [email protected].
Sculptor Calvin Ma has a solo exhibition of his sculpture forthcoming November 5 – 21. Foster/White Gallery. 220 Third Ave. S. 206-622-2833 or try [email protected].
“Anatomy of a Collection” is a group show that shows more than 80 works of art from the permanent collection. On view through January 3, 2021. At Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building. 250 Flora St. Bellingham, WA. 360-778-8930 or go to www.whatcommuseum.org.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum has many virtual programs now as well. The “It Happened Here!” Storytelling Series happens every Wed. through September 30, 2020 at noon. Learn about neighborhood history through storytelling and Q & A. Each session will be hosted via facebook. There are virtual tours of the museum on weekday mornings. Pre-booking available for private groups. Contact the museum to sign up. Check out what’s in the giftshop with the Museum’s online marketplace. The monthly storytime programs can be watched at www.digitalwingluke.org/programs.
“Quieter Days” is the title of a show of new work slowly done at a now departed Ballard studio by Alan Lau (full disclosure – that’s me) on view through Oct. 24, 2020. Artxchange Gallery is at 512 1st Ave. South. 206-839-0377 or email [email protected]. There will also be an exhibition catalog available for purchase soon. An art talk and poetry reading by the artist will be posted on the gallery’s website shortly.
On view through October 31, 2020 is the large scale mixed-media work by Lakshmi Muirhead in a show entitled “There is Always a Before” at J. Rinehart Gallery. 319 – 3rd Ave. South. 206-467-4508 or try www.jrinehartgallery.com.
The Columbia City Gallery has the following – In the Community Gallery is “The Resting Place”, a show that examines the intersection of grief, migration and cultural identity among Filipino Americans curated by Derek Dizon. This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. In the Members Gallery is a group show that includes the work by Kamla Kakaria. Now through November 8, 2020. 4864 Rainier Avenue South in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. 206-760-9843. Hours are Wed. – Sundays from 11am – 7pm. 206-760-9843 or go to www.columbiacitygallery.com.
Studio E Gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood features work by Ko Kirk Yamahira and Emily Counts. Both artists are tactile and material focused. Open on Saturdays from 1 – 4pm or by appointment. 5 people are allowed into the gallery at any given time and facemasks are required to enter. Through Oct. 17, 2020.206-762-3322 or try www.studioegallery.net.
Join Amanda Donnan, Chief Curator at Frye Art Museum for a “Virtual Visit” with Frye artist/poet Jane Wong. There is also a Guided Art Discussion about the artist’s “Altar” created for her 2019 exhibition at the Frye. Go to fryeartmuseum.org.
Local artist Minh Carrico has two public art installations available for viewing through the end of 2020. “Tattarrattat”, a length of colorful fencing can be found at Seattle Public Utilities in Fremont at N.E. Canal St. and 2nd Ave. N.W. Sponsored by Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. “Be Here Now – Bring The Mind Home” is a text-driven panel on view at Pine St. and 4th Ave. in downtown Seattle. Sponsored by Shunpike. Other local artists who have window installations in this old Macy’s storefront include Juliana Kang Robinson, Ko Kirk Yamahira, Soo Hong and June Sekiguchi. For more information on Minh Carrico’s work, go to [email protected].
Kobo Seattle features a new virtual art space showcasing a show of wood objects by Michael Zitka through September. KOBO at Higo is now open on Saturdays from 11am – 5pm. Masks are required and you must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering. 30 minute shopping sessions by appointment only at the KOBO on Capitol Hill will soon be made available through an online booking system. Time slots will be limited to keep everyone safe, plus more protective protocols in place to meet safety guidelines. More information to come. Shipping and curbside pickup is still available by scheduling a Pickup Time at Checkout. They have a new instagram shopping account @koboseattleshop or try their website at koboseattle.com. The Capitol Hill store is at 814 E. Roy St. KOBO at Higo is at 604 South Jackson St. in the CID.
“World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience” is the title of a show curated by Aarin Packard at Pacific Bonsai Museum. This show tells a history rooted in racism told through the living art of bonsai. It presents the powerful and inspiring untold history of bonsai artists working in the WWII-era and how they changed the course of bonsai art history forever. With 32 bonsai, archival documents and photographs. The exhibition traces the cultural practice of bonsai in the U.S. and Japan immediately before, during and after WWII, amid incarceration and at peace. Artists from the Puget Sound, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Japan are featured including Ben Oki, the Domoto family, Kelly Nishitani, Kenny Hikogawa and Joe Asahara, Ted Tsukiyama, Mas Imazumi, Kyuzo Murata and Yuji Yoshimura. The exhibition also includes a site-specific artwork by Seattle artist Erin Shigaki which includes wheat-pasted images of individuals who played a role in the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. A post-event recording of the “Branch Out” event held in August will be available on Pacific Bonsai Museum’s You Tube channel. On view now through Oct. 10, 2021. 2515 South 336th St. in Federal Way,WA. Admission is by donation. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 4pm. 253-353-7345 or email [email protected].
The Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham is open and accessible to everyone. This is an outdoor collection of major sculptures from the late 20th century to the present and includes work by Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Isamu Noguchi among others. Get a map from the information booth and explore the campus collection for yourself. Call 360-650-3900.
Forthcoming at the Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, WA. is a photography exhibit entitled “Manzanar: Their Footsteps Remain” by Brian Goodman. This show contains over 40 years of documenting one of the many internment camps where persons of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned during WWII. This exhibit marks the 75 anniversary of the closing of that camp in November of 1945. Nov. 6 – 29, 2020. There will be an art talk online to be announced. The gallery is open Friday – Sunday from noon – 5pm or by appointment. 701 Water St. Go to www.northwindarts.org for details.
The Schneider Museum of Art at the Oregon Center For The Arts at Southern Oregon University presents “Migrating Bodies: For(Saking) Life, Liberty And the Pursuit of Happiness”. The exhibition presents work by five artists or artist collectives that address global migration, the causes and effects. On view through October 10, 2020. 555 Indiana St. in Ashland, Oregon. 541-552-8484 or go to sma.sou.edu.
The Chinese Canadian Museum of British Columbia opens its first exhibit in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Entitled “A Seat at the Table”, the exhibition explores historical and contemporary experiences of Chinese Canadians, particularly through the lens of food and restaurants. There are stations for writing and recording videos. Co-curator Viviane Gosselin said “the whole idea is to kind of generate a new body of historical knowledge that the Chinese Canadian Museum can use for future research and programming.” A sister exhibition is set to open at the Museum of Vancouver’s main location in the fall. Both exhibitions are expected to travel across B.C. within a year. This exhibition is at 27 East Pender. For details, go to [email protected].
The Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 555 Columbia St. in Vancouver B.C. has an ongoing exhibit entitled “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia”. 604-658-8880 or go to cccvan.com.
The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden presents “Luminous Garden, the third installment of artist-in-residence Lam Wong. Done in collaboration with Glenn Lewis, it’s an investigation of the concept of the garden as a sanctuary for spiritual growth. 578 Carrall St. in Vancouver B.C. 604-662-3207 or go to vancouverchinesegarden.com..
“Next Spring” is the title of an exhibit by Katrina Vera Wong. Learning from literature, botany, herbaria and ikebana, Wong makes flowers from dried or press plants an calls them “Frankenflora.” On view through November 1, 2020. Beaty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 Main Mall, UBC. 604-827-4955 or go tobeatymuseum.ubc.ca.
“Empty Landscape” by Masaomi Yasunaga is a virtual exhibition at Libby Leshgold Gallery in Vancouver, B.C. A display of over 90 sculptures on a wall, on plinths and on a raised bed of gravel that resemble recently unearthed artifacts. Go to libby.ecuad.ca.
“Broken Promises” is a 7 year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project that explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. Also ongoing is “TAIKEN: Japanese Canadians Since 1877”. Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
Opening in September, 2020 at Portland Art Museum is a group show entitled “Joryu Hanga Kyokai, 1956-1865: Japan’s Women Printmakers” which looks back at the careers of the founders of the Women’s Print Association, Japan’s first printmaking society for women artists. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or portlandartmuseum.org.
JEFRE is a Filipino-American artist. He has created numerous site-specific artworks in major cities around the world including “Reflection” in Philadelphia’s Unity Plaza, “The Beacon” and “Code Wall” in Orlando and “Heaven’s Gate” in Manila. The Orlando Museum of Art has announced its marquee fall exhibition “JEFRE: Points of Connection” will open on Sept. 24, 2020 and be on view through Jan. 3, 2021. Designed as a touchless, interactive exhibition, “Points of Connection” will feature a series of site-specific installations and sculptures constructed at a human scale, introducing the audience to JEFRE’s past projects alongside a series of works exemplifying his current studio practice. He is currently working on a 24-story high standing figure with an arm raised, titled “The Victor” located at a bridge connecting the cities of Pasig and Quezon in the Philippines. For more information on the Orlando Museum of Art, go to www.omart.org.
The China Institute in New York City continues its virtual programming on Chinese arts and culture. Latest event is “Meet the Artist: Studio Visit and Conversation with Artist Wang Qingsong” on Wed. Oct. 7, 2020 at 6pm EST. In another event done in conjunction with Poster House Museum, join historian Alfreda Murck as she guides guests through Poster House’s exhibition “The Sleeping Giant: Posters & The Chinese Economy,” focusing on posters produced during the Mao era. She will unpack these dynamic works of graphic design, exploring elements of politics, famine, and warfare that led to the Cultural revolution. For more events, go to [email protected].
The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. will present the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020” will feature more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition. The exhibition’s opening coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021. The dates of this exhibition are May 21, 2021 – January 9, 2022.
“Photoville” is an annual fall pop-up festival of photography usually set in the waterfront under the Brooklyn Bridge. This year’s edition has 60 plus exhibitions with over 300 artists across New York’s five boroughs. The format is high quality digital prints placed on weather-proof banners. The New York Times gives special mention to Haruka Sakaguchi’s project where she has overlaid portraits of Asian Americans on photos of city locations they have experienced racist abuse over Covid-19 with text narration about each incident. This free outdoor exhibition is on view through Nov. 29, 2020. Go to photoville.nyc for details.
Mukai Farm & Garden on Vashon Island has extended their Japan Festival through October 10, 2020. Stroll the lantern labyrinth path lit with solar lights at night, add your tanzaku wish to a tree, get a free take-tombo gift for the kids. Enjoy virtual events as well including Bon Odori, taiko drumming, mochi pounding and more. 18017 – 107th Ave. S.W. Renew or add your membership today and help this local historic treasure grow. Go to mukaifarmand garden.org.
Forterra presents its seventh annual Ampersand LIVE event, a one-night showcase that celebrates Pacific Northwest art, storytelling, science, activism, dancing and more. You can enjoy this event from your favorite streaming device on Thursday, October 29 from 7pm – 8:30pm. Forterra is a Washington-based nonprofit that supports its communities and ecosystems and Ampersand is their regional magazine. This evening makes that magazine’s contents come alive on stage. This year’s theme is restoration and singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama curated the program with that in mind. “To me, restoring the land goes hand in hand with restoring our society and to addressing the systemic issues in our country. We’re in a moment of history that has dual pandemcs: COVID-19 and racism. It has opened our eyes to the root problems we must address in order to heal and restore our nation and our planet.” Some of the performers include Amanda Morgan, the only Black member of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Degenerate Art Ensemble to name but a few. Although the event is free, any donations will support Forterra. Registered attendees who do make a donation of $45 or more will receive a print copy of Forterra’s upcoming Ampersand Magazine. Register online at Forterra.org/AmpersandLIVE.
Seattle Modern Orchestra announces its 2020-2021 season. Founded in 2010, the Seattle Modern Orchestra is the only large ensemble in the Pacific Northwest solely dedicated to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is led by co-artistic directors Julia Tai and Jeremy Jolley. SMO commissions and premieres new works from an international lineup of composers and often presents important pieces from the contemporary repertoire that are rarely if ever heard by Seattle audiences. This season will include six commissions and six concert broadcasts. The lineup of composers includes Iranian composer Anahita Abbasi, Cornish faculty member Tom Baker, saxophonist/composer Darius Jones, cellist/composer Ha-Yang Kim, Brown University assistant professor Wang Lu and SMO co-artistic director, Jeremy Jolley. The decision of whether each event will take place in person or virtually will be based on evolving community health guidelines throughout the season. Concert dates are Oct. 23 and Dec. 16 – 19, 2020 and Jan. 31, March 14, May 1, June 6, 2021. Go to http://www.seattlemodernorchestra.org/2020/09/24/2020-2021-season-announcement-press-release/ for details.
The 2020 Earshot Jazz Festival will be all digital this year from Oct. 16 – Nov. 8. Cellist/composer Ha-Yang Kim will appear as part of a group called “The New American Standards Trio” with pianist/composer Wayne Horvitz and guitarist/singer Alesha Brooks on Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:30pm. Tickets and information for the whole festival at earshot.org.
Violinist Kristin Lee, Artistic Director of Emerald City Music announces Season Five. In an effort to bring chamber music to as many people as possible in the Puget Sound area, their fall 2020 highlights include a 10-part digital series of concerts and discussions hosted by Emerald City Music’s resident artists, a city-wide festival entitled “This is Beethoven”, presented in collaboration with twenty area arts organizations of various disciplines, an in-school program in Olympia where teaching artists will engage with 5th grade students to create a composition, a Project Music Heals Us which will use classical music to bring hope to doctors, nuses and those affected by Covid-19, a focused outreach and engagement strategy that will bring classical music to transitional housing shelters, drug treatment centers and family support services and a collaboration with Seattle youth Symphony Orchestras to build up the next generation of musicians. For more details, go to www.emeraldcitymusic.org.
Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced an all new virtual lineup for its 2020-2921 season. Some highlights include an excerpt of “The Trees The Trees” with choreography by Robyn Mineko Williams set for October 8, 2020 and a world premiere by choreographer Edwaard Liang on June 20, 2021. For complete details, go to PNB.org/DigitalSubscription or call 206-441-2424.
Local South Asian theatre group Pratidhwani is part of “Guzarish”, a Bollywood music concert presented by Rhythms Studio set for Oct. 11, 2020 at 6pm. This is a virtual show for “Amrita-Seattle, a non-profit that serves vulnerable children living in rural, isolated parts of India. Go to http://bitly/guzarish2020.
The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has announced fall schedule changes with the season opening postponed to January of 2021. Some fall performances have been canceled or rescheduled for late winter or spring. Virtual programming is being developed with many of the artists as an alternative to live performances. For a complete listing, go to https://meanycenter.org/tickets/season. Current ticket holders to canceled events are encouraged to contact the ArtsUW Ticket Office to request a refund, exchange into a later performance or other alternatives.
Sunam Ellis, a Seattle-based actor, director, director and teaching artist leads a “Full Play Rehearsal Workshop” from Oct. 28, 2020 – December 6th, 2020. Meetings on Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. Go to https://www.pratidhwani.org/rehearsal-workshop for details.
Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio now located in the CID continues their classes in various aspects of the theatre both virtual and in-person. Some current activities include the following – A “Virtual Open Mic Night” hosted by Matt Smith on Oct. 30. Sara Porkalob teaches “An Intro and Invitation to Activism in Your Practice” on Oct. 7. Elena Flory-Barnes teaches “Basic Scene Study” on Oct. 8, Alyssa Franks teaches “Integrative Solo Performance on Oct. 8 and “Go Deep: Minfulness for Actors” on Oct. 11. Matt Smith teaches “basic Improv” on Oct. 12, Mik Kuhlman teaches “The Actor’s Body” on Oct. 12, Daemond Arrindell teaches “Spoken Word & Poetry Performance” on Oct. 20 and Meg McLynn teaches “Public Speaking” on Oct. 24. For a list of current classes, go to freeholdtheatre.org for details or call 206-595-1927..
Even though the Wayward Music Series at Chapel Performance Space is currently closed, go to nonsequiter’s website to listen to free links by local musicians performing original music at wayward music.org or try gscchapel.com.. Also listed are live streaming of local concerts by contemporary musicians that you can rent. Local sound artist Susie Kozawa will have a piece she did invoking the space at the Chapel in a forthcoming edition.
Yi-Wen Jiang, a violinist formerly with the Shanghai Quartet has filed a lawsuit saying he was unfairly forced from the group for his longstanding criticism of the Chinese Government. The group contends he left on his own volition.
Film & Media
The 2020 National Film Festival For Talented Youth will showcase emerging filmmakers online from Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2020. Featured will be 234 films streaming in 30 program showcases and available to watch on-demand throughout the festival. This is the 14th year of programming for Seattle-based NFFTY. Additional live events include watch parties, filmmaker Q&As, keynote presentations, mixers and workshops. Some highlights include Carol Nguyen ‘s “No Crying At The Dinner Table” which won the Short Documentary Jury Award at SXSW and closing night film “Standing Above The Clouds” by Jalena Keane-Lee which follows the struggles of a Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand up to protect their sacred mountain. Go to www.nffty.org or call 206-905-8400.
The Social Justice Film Festival co-sponsored by the Social Justice Film Institute, Meaningful Movies Project and Northwest Film Forum present a series of short and feature-length documentaries in “TRANSFORM: Another World is Possible” October 1 – 11, 2020 at NWFF. As a movement, Social Justice promotes a global culture where equality is achieved on all levels. The festival will showcase works that challenge society structures all over the globe on a macro and micro level, as well as works that challenge the medium. Tickets and passes on sale now. Browse the festival by program. Go to socialjusticefilmfestival.org.
Isabel Sandoval wrote, directed and stars in the film “Lingua Franca” about an undocumented Filipino transgender woman desperate to obtain legal residency as she works as a caregiver to a gay Russian expatriate.
MUBI presents the following – “China Across Time: A Jia Zhangke Doublebill” in which they are currently streaming on line “The Hedonists”, a hybrid short that stars the director’s veteran actors playing fictional versions of themselves. Completing the bill is “Mountains May Depart” set in the past, the present and the future of China starring actress Zhao Tao. Also from MUBI is Park Chan-wook’s “Joint Security Area”. This film came way before “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Old Boy” which put him on the international map. It was a surprise hit at a previous SIFF. It’s a murder mystery set witin the DMZ and a politically charged yet humanist whodunit. Also just released for streaming by MUBI is “3 Idiots”, a 2009 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age comedy/drama co-written with Abhijat Joshi and directed by Raj Kumar Hirani. The film follows the friendship of three students and is a satire about the social pressures under an Indian education system. A huge domestic success when it was released, the film prompted spin-offs in both Israel and Mexico. This buddy epic mixes slapstick with coming-of-age drama and some of Bollywood’s best song-and-dance routines. MUBI also presents a series on “The New Taiwanese Cinema of the 1980s” featuring “The Terrorizers” and “In Our Time” by Edward Yang, “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” by Hou Hsiao-hsien. “The Sandwich Man” by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tseng Chuang-hsiang and Wan Jen and “Growing Up” by Kun-ho Chen with a script co-written by Hou Hsiao-hsien..Go to [email protected] to find out about this film streaming service where you can rent by the month or by the year.
Geraldine Viswanathan plays the charismatic heroine of “The Broken Hearts Gallery”, a new comedy/romance film in theatres now.
Mayen Mehta and Tomai Ihaia are in the cast of Hayden J. Weal’s “Dead”, a film about a hapless stoner who can see ghosts and a recently dead wannabe super-cop who join forces to save lives and deaths in this surreal New Zealand comedy. Screens virtually September 25 – October 15, 2020.1403 N.E. 50th St. in Seattle. 206-523-3935 or try grandillusioncinema.org.
Local artist/educator Cheryll Leo-Gwin has over the past few years collected histories from Chinese women in China and the U.S. who were young adults during times of revolution, civil rights and the women’s revolution in the U.S. and the Cultural Revolution in China. It was a decade of change in the 60’s and 70’s in both countries with similar yet different cultures. She has interpreted and retold these stories in her multi-media artworks and now in an animation video. To view, go to https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0p4EU-.
“BREAK THE SILENCE: The Movie” follows this South Korean boy band on their world tour. Tickets are on sale across the U.S. and Canada for this documentary film that screens in the
Film Movement has announced a new digitally restored version of Zhang Yimou’s classic “Shanghai Triad” starring Gong-Li will be on sale August 4, 2020 on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital.The film looks at the Chinese criminal underworld of the 1930’s. It was an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee and winner of the “Best Foreign Film” from the National Board of Review. Also on Film Movement streaming online starting October, 16, 2020 is “White Riot: London” directed by Rubika Shah. It tells the forgotten story of 1977 London when neo-nazi sympathizers roamed the streets. In protest, a diverse group of artists got together and started a fanzine in response culminating in a rock concert against racism headlined by The Clash. This musical documentary won “Best Documentary” at London’s 2019 Film Festival. Go to www.filmmovement.com or [email protected] for details.
Tasveer, a South Asian social justice arts non-profit organization based in Seattle usually brings their annual South Asian Film Festival to the Puget Sound area in the fall but this year is special. In an unprecedented effort by the South Asian film festival community in North America and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, seven well-established South Asian film institutions are joining hands to produce and host the Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals (CoSAFF). This first-of-its-kind virtual festival will run for free for 15 days from October 3 – 17, with online screenings of the latest films and virtual Q&As with the filmmakers. It will also include unique virtual events focused on key industry topics and panel discussions. CoSAFF is being produced by Seattle-based Tasveer. Film festivals from Chicago, Washington DC, Mississauga/Toronto,Maryland, Montreal and Vancouver are all involved in this event. CoSAFF issued a joint statement saying, “We’re excited and honored to becoming together during this very challenging time, in a show of unity and in pursuit of the creation of something meaningful for all our communities to engage in. Now is the time to collaborate rather than compete, and to work together to support our film professionals. CoSAFF’s efforts will provide filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their hard work to the widest possible audiences in a respectful and secure manner. And, in turn, for all our audiences to have a shared experience watching these films without the burden of paying for them.” Some of the highlights include “Mee Raqsam (I Dance) which is Baba Azmi’s directorial debut, Nepalese filmmaker Shirish Gurung’s “Lato Kosero and the closing night film will be Prateek Vats’ “Eeb Allay Ooo!”Short film programs will cover themes such as “Diaspora”, LGBTQI stories, animation, stories pertinent to Black Lives Matter and addressing South Asians and racism, films by women filmmakers, stories about love and relationships and much more. There will be live virtual programs every day with include live Q&As with filmmakers, actors and other film talents. For upcoming details, try the webpage at www.cosaff.org. For further information or to request interviews with any of the participating festivals, please contact [email protected]. For interviews and other press queries, go to [email protected].
Maya Erskine is the 33 year old co-creator of “PEN 15”, Hulu’s popular TV series on the life of 13 year old girls. She stars with her co-creator Anna Konkle. The role of Erskine’s mother in the series is portrayed by her real-life mother, Mutsuko Erskine.
“Children of the Sea” is a new animated feature film adapted from Daisuke Igarashi’s manga and directed by Ayumu Watanabe with a score by Joe Hisaishi. The film explores the mysteries of the sea through the eyes of a 14 year old girl and two brothers.
Town Hall Seattle has digital programming of upcoming events on their live stream page. They also have a media library of hundreds of video and audio free to enjoy. Go to townhallseattle.org for details.
Most local theaters are doing virtual screening via the internet where you can rent new films and see them at home. Go to the websites for Northwest Film Forum, Grand Illusion Cinema, Siff Uptown, AMC theatre chains and others.
“Nomadland”, a film written and directed by Chloe Zhao based on the book by Jessica Bruder, won this year’s Golden Lion. It is the top prize of the Venice Film Festival in its 77th edition. The film stars Frances McDormand as a woman living as a nomad across America after the recession.
Disney had hoped to have a hit film with “Mulan” in China but stumbled when it was revealed that scenes were shot on location in Xinjiang, the area in China where Uighur Muslims have been detained in mass internment camps. Even before that, a controversy arose when the actress Liu Yifei who played Mulan expressed support for the Hong Kong police against protestors. Though director Niki Caro said the movie was a love letter to China, it’s not so clear whether that love was being returned if stagnant reviews in China are any indication.
“I Am A Woman” is a new biopic film on the pop singer Helen Reddy as directed by Unjoo Moon. Tilda Cobhams-Hervey stars as the singer.
“#Alive” by II Cho stars Oh Joon-wo as the protagonist, a gamer trapped in his apartment as zombies roam the streets.
The New York Film Festival running now through October 11, 2020 this year is a virtual affair which opens viewing the films to people all over the country. Some films in the line-up include the following – Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland”, Chaitanya Tamhane’s “The Disciple”, Jia Zhangke’s first documentary entitled “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue” and Hong Sang-soo’s “The Woman Who Ran.”
Japanese actor Joe Odagiri who has worked for directors like Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kim Ki-duk and Hirokazu Koreeda made a directorial debut of his own with “The Say Nothing Stays The Same” (Kino International) to positive response at the 16th Giomate degli Autori in Venice The film stars Akira Emoto as a ferryman whose job will be obsolete when they complete a bridge across the river. Also stars Masatoshi Nagase with a cameo by musician/composer Haruomi Hosono. With cinematography by ace cameraman Christopher Doyle and a soundtrack by Armenian jazz pianist/composer Tigran Hamasyan.
“76 Days” by U.S. based director Hao Wu who also served as screenwriter worked remotely with two Chinese reporters he had never met in person to fashion a front-line documentary look at the first months of the Covid-19 lockdown in Wuhan, China.
When Hong Kong veteran director Ann Hui was honored at this Year’s Venice Biennale she did not come empty handed. She brought her latest film, a historical drama and the third adaptation of a Eileen Chang book. “Love After Love” tells the story of a young woman from Shanghai who turns up at the doorstep of her much richer aunt in Hong Kong. It’s a cautionary tale about the need for wealth to survive and the price of corruption. Screenplay by Wang Anyi, cinematography by Christopher Doyle, soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto and costumes by Emi Wada.
“George Nakashima, Woodworker” is a documentary film on the life and art of this noted American artist/craftsperson made by his nephew/TV producer John Terry Nakashima and George Nakashima’s daughter, Mira. They have worked on the film since Nakashima’s death in 1990. It had its virtual premiere on October 2, 2020 at Design Miami/Shop. The website is shop.designmiami.com.
Asian Cinevision in association with Asia Society present The 43rd Annual Asian American International Film Festival out of New York which is conducted virtually this year. With four film-screenings available to rent and watch on demand and a two part-workshop on anti-racism and activism in story telling. Oct. 1 – 13, 2020. Go to aaiff.org.
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival screens virtually through Oct. 31, 2020. Includes North American Narrative features, International Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Shorts Programs, Special Presentations, Pacific Cinewaves and films from the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective. Go to festival.vcmedia.org for a complete schedule.
Trans icon and NW jazz musician Billy Tipton is reintroduced to the world in Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s experimental documentary film entitled “No Ordinary Man.”
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has put out a “self-care package” of poems, short films and other media and they will be adding to it periodically. Go to https://smithsonianpa.org/care/.
PBS has many digital-only shorts produced for its website Art 21 including work by Ai Weiwei. Go to art21.org for details.
The Written & Spoken Arts
Former IE editor Ron Chew gives a virtual presentation on his memoir entitled “My Unforgotten Seattle” around town. He is scheduled to do a virtual Seattle conversation on Oct. 13 at 7pm with Carey Gelernter at Folio (https://www.folioseattle.org/event-details/my-unforgotten-seattle-by-ron-chew), participate in a Seattle Lit. Crawl event on Oct. 24, 2020 (time TBD) with Bruce & Ju Chan Fulton, translators of the Korean novel “One Left” (UW Press) , Nov. 12, 2020 appearance at International Examiner’s Community Voice Awards event (time TBD – go to https://iexaminer.org/community-voice-awards/), Nov. 17, 2020 at 6pm at Seattle Public Library and finally a talk at Wing Luke’s Book-O-Rama series. on Nov. 20, 2020 at 2pm. Details to follow.
Third Place Books present the following virtual readings they sponsor or co-sponsor. In the series “Author Voices” presented by the King County Library System, Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of the novel “The Mountains Sing”, a multi-generational tale of a Vietnamese family’s experiences before and after the Vietnamese war will be in conversation with Thanh Tan on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7:30pm. Visit httpas://www.crowdcast.io/e/mountains-sing to register to watch this event. Go to townhall.org and click on to “calendar” for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has a full slate of events in their virtual reading series. Here are a few – Mumbai-based writer Shubhangi Swarup reads from “Latitudes of Longing”, a new book of linked short stories that move from the Andaman Islands to Yangoon, Kathmandu and Ladakh and emotions as fluid as life, death and love. On Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30pm PDT. Presented by the bookstore with Tasveer and its Tasveer South Asia Literary Festival/TSAL. To register for this program, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/122493012899. Prize-winning poet Kazim Ali appears in a conversation with Tacoma poet Rick Barot moderated by former Utah Poet-laureate Paisley Rekdal. All three are out with new volumes of poetry. Don’t miss this convergence of excellent poets all in one room set for October 14, 2020 at 6pm. This event a joint undertaking of the bookstore and Tasveer and its Tasveer South Asia Literary Festival/TSAL. To register for this program, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/122498190385. For making reservations to the virtual events, go to elliottbaybook.com and click on the “events” page or call 206-624-6600 or toll-free at 1-800-962-5311. Although all events are virtual for the time being, the book store is open.
Fall class registration at Hugo House is now open. All classes and events will take place virtually for the remainder of 2020. Samples of classes available include some of the following – “The Political Essay” by Sonora Jha, “The Personal and the Political” with Rick Barot, “The Longest Poem: Writing with the Mahabharata with Shakur Narayan, “Writing the Family Saga” with Jaimie Z. Li, “Exploring Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” with Anne Liu Kellor and “Poetry in & of Crisis” by Chen Chen You can register online but if you have questions, send an email with your name and # to email@example.com. For more information try [email protected].
The 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program continues with several readings via Zoom. Jack Straw Writers Rob Arnold, Ching-in Chen, Maisha Banks Manson and Jose Trejo-Maya read in an event hosted by Peggy Sturdivant on Thursday, October 8 at 6pm. Another group reading with the 2020 Jack Straw writers hosted by curator Anastacia-Renee takes place sponsored by Seattle Public Library takes place on Sunday, November 15 at 2pm. Go to jackstraw.org for details.
A new addition to the Town Hall media library is the recently concluded discussion by Town Hall correspondent and poet Shin Yu Pai with fellow Seattle poet Koon Woon. Woon explores the topic of displacement and the role that poetry can have in creating a sense of belonging and home.
Tasveer, a Seattle-based South Asian arts non-profit, celebrates the second annual Tasveer South Asian Litfest from October 20 – 25, 2020. The event is scheduled to take place virtually over six days on Tasveer’s social media channels. This free event will feature South Asian writers participating in events focused on various themes through readings, discussions and Q & A sessions. TSAL 2020 will showcase a stellar lineup of writers from South Asia and its diaspora. The lineup will be released soon on the website, tasveer.org so stay tuned.
There is a virtual book launch event for Mary Uyematsu Kao’s book of photographs entitled “Rockin’ The Boat – Flashbacks Of The 1970s Asian Movement” presented by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. Sunday, October 11, 2020 from 1 – 3pm. The talk will feature a slideshow of photos from the book and a short talk by the author followed by a panel on the 1970s Asian Movement moderated by UCLA History and Asian American Studies Professor Valerie Matsumoto. On the panel will be Sandy Maeshiro, Vivian Matsushige and Mary Uyematsu Kao, all former 1970s activists. This is an online event viz Zoom. Go to https://rockinboat.eventbrite.com. To purchase a copy of the book for $30, visit the online bookstore at http://commerce.cashnet.com/aasc.
Hawai’i’s Bamboo Ridge Press presents a virtual revival of its writers institute, a digital version of the popular conferences held in the past. This BRWI Virtual is a two-day online conference which will feature panels discussions with people in the literary community, a preview of Bamboo Ridge’s next anthology and optional master class writing workshops in poetry and fiction. Oct. 24 – 25, 2020. For more information and tickets, go to www.BambooRidge.org. Also on Bamboo Ridge’s youtube channel, Ann Inoshita shares a reading of three poems written in Pidgin.
The “Imprint: Margarett Root Brown Reading Series” has tickets on sale now. This Houston-based reading series like many events all over the country is now a virtual series. Some of the authors in this series include Chang-Rae Lee & Lily King on Feb. 22, 2021 and Viet Thanh Nguyen on April 12, 2021. To receive a complete series brochure, email [email protected].
Nominees for the National Book Award have been announced. In the Fiction Category, Megha Majudar’s “A Burning” and Charles Yu’s “Interior Chinatown” were selected. In the Poetry Category, two local poets were named – Don Mee Choi for “DMZ Colony” and Rick Barot for “The Galleons”. Other poetry selections included Mei Mei Berssenbrugge’s “A Treatsie On Stars” and Victoria Chang’s “Obit”. Under Young People’s Literature category, Traci Chee’s “We Are Not Free” was chosen. Under the “Translated Literature” category, some selected titles included Shokoofeh Azar’s “The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree”, Yu Miri’s “Tokyo Ueno Station”, Cho Nam-Joo’s “Kim jiyoung, Born 1982” and Perumal Murvgan’s “The Story of a Goat”.
Avni Doshi’s “Burnt Sugar” is a novel about an artist’s struggles to cope with an aging mother. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. The winning title will be announced on November 12, 2020.
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 –
“New Deal Art In The Northwest – The WPA And Beyond” (UW) by Margaret Bullock. This book tells the story of hundreds of Northwest artists employed by the U.S. Federal government under the WPA Project and also serves as the catalog for an accompanying exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum. Includes work by Kamekichi Tokita, Kenjiro Nomura and Fay Chong.
“My First Book of Haiku Poems – A Picture, A Poem And A Dream – Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters” (Tuttle) by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup. Classic Japanese haiku imaginatively illustrated with bilingual English and Japanese text. Each poem comes with questions for the young reader to think about.
“Interior Chinatown” (Pantheon) by Charles Yu is a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation and escaping the roles we are forced to play.
“Sacrificial Metal” (Conduit Books & Ephemera) by Esther Lee. It won the Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. Sean Dorsey writes that the book “dances with astute curiosity and deep tenderness across the shifting grounds of grief, touch, bearing witness, memory, and our obstinate human instinct for future planning. With great compassion, Lee’s poems remind us that everything human eventually unravels…”.
Seattle poet Don Mee Choi calls Anna Maria Hong “the genius poet of fairy tale language and conventions in “Fablesque” (Tupelo), a new book by this former Seattle resident. She goes on to say how “Hong explores the grammar of horror and hunger, survival and abuse across the contorted historical, cultural, and familial terrains of the Korean diaspora.”
“The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper” (Tuttle) by Rebecca Otowa is a collection of short stories by an Australian woman who went to Japan in 1978 and never left. Her stories deal with universal issues such as love, work, marriage, aging, death and family conflict all illustrated with the author’s drawings. A glimpse into everyday life in Japan.
“Forbidden Memory – Tibet During the Cultural Revolution” (Potomac) by Tsering Dorje. Edited by Robert Barnett and translated by Susan T. Chen. The author uses eyewitness accounts with expert analysis to tell the story of how Tibet was shaken by foreign invasion and cultural obliteration. This book is a long-overdue reckoning of China’s role in Tibet’s tragic past.
“Paper Bells” (The Song Cave) by Phan Nhien Hao and translated by Hai-Dang Phan is a new volume of poems by a poet shaped by the Vietnam War, forced to re-start a life as a teenager in the U.S. His poems bear witness to a delicate balance between two countries and cultures.
“So This Is Love: a Twisted Tale” (Disney) by Elizabeth Lim. A young adult re-telling of the Cinderella story. In this one, Cinderella leaves the house where she works and gets a job as the palace seamstress. Here she becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to overthrow the king. Can she find a way to save the kingdom?
“Troubling Borders – An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora” (UW) edited by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duyong, Mariam B. Lam and Kathy L. Nguyen. Juxtaposing short stories, poetry, paintings and photographs, this volume showcases the work of women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai and Filipino ancestry. Shaped by wars, colonization, globalization and militarization, the stories serve as entry points for broader discussions about questions of history, memory and identity.
“Gita – The Battle of the Worlds” (Harper Collins) by Sonal Sachdev Patel and Jemma Wayne-Kattan is a reimagined adventure story for children transporting the sacred Hindu verse of the Gita into a book made relevant to everybody’s life.
“The Passenger – For Explorers of the World” (Europa Editions) is an eclectic anthology series for readers who want to understand contemporary realities of a given country or city. The issue on Japan is a potpourri of essays and images with “Ghosts of the Tsunami” by Richard Lloyd Parry, “A Love Letter to the Shimokitazawa Neighborhood of Tokyo” by Yoshimoto Banana and “Why Japan Has Avoided Populism” by Ian Buruma and much more.
“Sonata Ink” (Ellipsis) by Karen An-Hwei Lee imagines Kafka in the city of angles seen through the eyes of a Nisei woman hired to be his interpreter and chauffeur. Los Angeles seen as the epicenter of “The Wasteland.”
“Story Boat” (Tundra) by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. A picture book that tells the story of a little girl and her brother forced to flee home and create a new one out of dreams and stories amidst migration and crisis.
“Territory of Light” (Picador) by Yuko Tsushima as translated by Geraldine Harcout. This novel finds a young woman left by her husband starting a new life in a Tokyo apartment with her two year-old daughter. As the months go by she must confront what she has lost and who she will become.
“Moms” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Yeong-shin Ma is a graphic novel from Korea about mothers in their mid-fifties fed up with their husbands and the grind of their menial jobs. This book re-examines romance, lust and gender norms for middle-aged women.
“Butterfly Sleep” (Tupelo) by Kim Kyung Ju as translated by Jake Levine is a historical drama based in the early Joson Dynasty. With a mixture of magic realism and dark humor, he tells an existentialist allegory of Korean’s rapid development. This play is a modern fable of a rapidly changing country that must confront its ghosts.
“Lion Boys and Fan Girls” (Epigram) by Pauline Loh looks at teenage boys who make a pledge to ban dating and focus on lion dancing. But they must contend with unusual girls and cyberbullying. The rich culture of Singapore and the fascinating history of lion dance make this a compelling young adult read.
“Azadi – Freedom, Fascism, Fiction” (Haymarket) is a new book of essays in which award-winning author Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.
“Monsoon” (Seagull) by Vimala Devi as translated by Paul Meto e Castro is a book of short stories first published in 1963. They delve into divisions of caste, religion, language and material privilege in the colonial Portuguese colony of Goa.
“Then The Fish Swallowed Him” (Harpervia) by Amir Ahmadi Arian is the first novel in English by this critically acclaimed Iranian author. It’s a timely and unflinching look at the potential dangers of the everyday citizen living under a despotic regime. An original Iranian voice.
“Eat A Bowl of Tea” (UW) by Louis Chu is a classic influential novel that captured the tone and sensibility of everyday life in an American Chinatown. This new edition comes with a foreword by Fae Myenne Ng and an introduction by Jeffrey Paul Chan.
Set in a New England town where accusations led to the Salem witch trials, Quan Berry’s novel “We Ride Upon Sticks” (Pantheon) looks at a 1980’s girls field hockey team who flaunt society’s notions of femininity in order to find their true selves and lasting friendship.
“Superman Smashes The Klan” (DC) by award-winning comic book writer Gene Luen Yang with art by Gurihiru. Inspired by a 1940s superman radio serial, teenagers Roberta and Tony Lee team up to aid the caped crusader as they fight the klan in Metropolis.
“Stuck – Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach The Top of The Corporate Ladder” (NYU) by Margaret M. Chin. Using extensive interviews, the author shows the ways both subtle and overt discrimination keeps Asian Americans from reaching the highest levels of professional life.
“A Bond Undone” (St. Martin’s Griffin) by Jin Yong is the second volume of “Legends of The Condor Heroes”, one of Asia’s most popular martial arts novels. Translated by Gigi Chang.
“Let The Samurai Be Your Guide – The Seven Bushido Pathways to Personal Success” (Tuttle) by local writer Lori Tsugawa Whaley is a revised edition of a popular self-help book that shows people today how they can improve their lives based on the traditional samurai code of conduct.
“Taiwan In Dynamic Transition – Nation Building And Democratization” (UW) edited by Ryan Dunch and Ashley Esarey. This book provides an up-to-date assessment of contemporary Taiwan highlighting that country’s emergent nationhood and its significance for world politics.
“The Aosawa Murders” (Bitter Lemon) by Riku Onda. When a hospital hosts a party and seventeen people die from cyanide in their drinks, only a blind girl survives. When a prime suspect commits suicide, things get murky. An origami-obsessed ex-chain smoking detective tries to untie the knots of this who-dunnit. Winner of the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Fiction.
“The Journey of Liu Xiabao – From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate” (Potomac) edited by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Yu Zhang, Jie Li and Tienchi Martin-Liao. Liu Xiabao was more than a dissident poet and this collection of essays capture the intellectual and activist spirit of this late literary critic and democracy icon.
“The Boy Who Became a Dragon – A Bruce Lee Story” (Graphix) by Jim Di Bartolo tells the life story of this martial arts acting legend in comic book form from his childhood in Hong Kong, his martial arts quest and his leap across the silver screen.
“Harris Bin Potter And The Stoned Philosopher” (Epigram) by Suffian Hakim. This young Singapore-based writer’s parody of Harry Potter bases the story in Malaysia and seasons it with local and pop cultural references.
“Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade” (Aladdin) by Lyla Lee and illustrated by Dung Ho. Mindy is excited to go to the annual lunar new year parade but things don’t go as planned. Can she still find a way to celebrate?
“Kusama – The Graphic Novel” (Laurence King) is the first graphic novel on this world famous artist and follows her incredible journey from rural Japan to international icon. Offers a fascinating new way to look at one of the most intriguing artists of our time.
“Peach Blossom Paradise” (NYRB) by Ge Fei and translated by Canaan Morse. This novel is the first volume of the award-winning “South of the Yangtze” trilogy. It is a sweeping saga of twentieth-century China that follows a family from a tiny village through three generations of history.
“Gold Mountain Big City – Ken Cathcart’s 1947 Illustrated Map of San Francisco Chinatown” (Cameron & Co.) by Jim Schein with a foreword by Gordon Chin. This is like an illustrated scrapbook of photos and illustrations done by a Caucasian photographer who lived near Chinatown that chronicles his involvement with that community.
“Our Voices, Our Histories – Asian American And Pacific Islander Women” (NYU) edited by Shirley Hune and former UW professor, Gail M. Nomura. This innovative anthology brings together thirty-five Asian American and Pacific Islander authors in a single volume to explore the historical experiences, perspectives, and actions of these women in the U.S. and beyond.
“The Swamp” (Drawn & Quarterly) by Yoshiharu Tsuge is one of Japan’s most important cartoonists and in this book, he hits his stride. It’s a mix of classical popular samurai manga and more modern desperate post-war drama. Edited by Mitsuhiro Asakawa and co-edited and translated by Rayn Holmberg.
“In the Face of Death We Are Equal” (Seagull) by Mu Cao and translated by Scott C. Meyers. This novel is an authentic and powerful portrait of a working class gay man who works in a crematorium. Combining elements of magical realism and the grotesque, and alternating between first, second and third person, we are treated to a story of this man and the colorful cast of characters he encounters in the course of a most unusual life.
“Sweet Time” (Drawn & Quarterly) is an intimate rumination on love, empathy and confidence by Singapore cartoonist Weng Pixin. Her stories dabbed with colorful bursts of color illustrations explore strained relationships with a kind of hopefulness while acknowledging the inevitable collapse.
“Breasts And Eggs” (Europa) by Mieko Kawakami and translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd explores and questions the assumptions of womanhood and family – the bonds and abuses, expectations and betrayals and choices and denials. It won the Akutagawa Prize and is her fist novel to be published in the U.S.
“This Could Have Become Ramayan Chamar’s Tale: Two Anti-Novels” (Open Letter) by Subimal Misra translated from the Bengali by V. Ramaswamy. Misra is an anarchist activist, anti-establishment, experimental anti-writer and one of India’s greatest living authors. This volume of two “anti-novels” is the first of his works to appear in the U.S.
“From Maybe To Forever – An Adoption Story” (Creston) by M.L. Gold and N.V. Fong and illustrated by Jess Hong. Told from the view of an eager older sister, this is an endearing story about adoption from an often-neglected point of view.
“Outside The Lines” (Catalyst) by Ameera Patel is a novel where boundaries divide and blur in this comedy/thriller that shatters the façade of suburban life in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The Paper Kingdom” (Random House) by Helena Ku Rhee and illustrated by Pascal Campion. In this kid’s picture book, the parents must bring their son along with them as nighttime office cleaners when a baby sitter cancels. The boy, expecting a boring night finds the work of cleaning an imaginative adventure.
“Grievance is Their Sword, Subterfuge Is Their Shield” (OkeyDokeySmokeyPokey Publishing) in the words of former IE staff person Thomas R. Brierly is “an intersectional persuasion to elucidate and educate on matters of race, violence, white supremacy and the United States’ adherence to brutal capitalism…”. Go to vvovnn.bigcartel.com to order.
“Arrow” (Alice James) by Sumita Chakraborty’s debut poetry collection is a literary-philosophical exploration of the unknown and the unpredictability of life. The poems challenge gender and race-based violence, ecological devastation, grief and mourning. “Arrow” then is a love letter to a flawed world.
“Layla and the Bots” (Scholastic) by Vicky Fang and illustrated by Christine Nishiyama is a series meant to empower girls. It’s about a rock star and her team of bots. The books pair science, engineering and math with kid-friendly themes.
“Each of Us Killers” (703 Books) by Jenny Bhatt is a book of stories that moves through the words, thoughts, subversions involved in the experience of interracial relationships, east-west communications, theft, justice and migration.
“Skin Deep” (Polis) by Sung J. Woo follows the story of Korean-american adoptee Siobhan O’Brien who’s in a quandary. How can she carry on the PI agency her dead boss left her? When an old friend asks her to find a missing daughter, the saga of this rookie detective begins.
“In The Footsteps Of A Thousand Griefs” (Poetry Northwest Editons) is the debut poetry publication by Seattle Young Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee. She is the 2019/2020 Youth Poet Laureate of Seattle as sponsored by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Born in California but raised in Taiwan, she has made Seattle her home for the past few years. Her poems have a beauty of language that pays tribute to both cultures and countries.
“The Maze Of Transparencies” (Ellipsis Press) by Karen An-hwei Lee. A futuristic novel in which Alan Davies remarks, “Karen Lee writes the present and the ever-impinging future through the lenses of several jargons. The language is dense, the future, impossible, and this book a solid scream.”
“Tokyo Travel Sketchbook – Kawaii Culture, Wabi Sabi Design, Female Samurais and Other Obsessions (tuttle) by Amaia Arrazola. A look at a city where high-tech untramodern meets tradition and the contradictions between the two. The author’s colorful sketches accompany the text.
Gallery 110’s Annual Juried Exhibition issues a call for entries. Juror is Henry Art Gallery Senior Curator Shamin Momin. Deadline is October, 30, 2020. Apply at callforentry.org. For details, go to gallery110.com/call-for-entries. This Seattle gallery is located at 110 3rd ave. S.
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience has announced a call for a curriculum writer for their Japanese American Remembrance Trail Project. That writer would be responsible along with neighborhood partners to compose text for a curriculum guide to educate the public and K-12 students about Japanese American confinement site stories illustrated through the Temporary Detention Station and more than 40 locations in the historic Seattle Chinatown-International District. Deadline for applications is September 30, 2020 at 4:30pm. For further information, contact Wren Wheeler at [email protected]. After September 15, 2020, a FAQ sheet may be posted on the Museum website at http://www.wingluke.org/job-opportunities.
The Jack Straw Artist Residency Programs (recording/production, New Media Gallery, writers program) are all open for submission via Submittable. Jack Straw also has Fall Online Audio Workshops for you to improve your studio skills or get that first introduction to the world of audio recording and editing. Also the vocal workshops are perfect for writers, or anyone wanting to hone their vocal technique for studio recording or performance. Sessions in “Vocal Training for Writers” on Oct. 17 & 21, “Zoom Hosting” on Oct. 15, “Intro to Digital Audio Editing” on Oct. 20, “Basic Field Recording” on Oct. 22 and “Intro to Pro Tools” on Oct. 27. For details and deadlines, go to [email protected] or call 206-634-0919.
The Henry Art Gallery invites artists residing in the Pacific Northwest to participate in “Set in Motion”, a public art exhibition featured on King County Metro buses from December 2020 through February 2021. The Henry’s website will host the exhibition information including artwork description and artist bios. The application deadline is Monday, November 2, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST. Selected artists will receive an artist honorarium of $250. Artists must submit their proposals via Submittable. There is no fee to apply. Try [email protected] or call 206-543-2280 for details.