Design by Kanami Yamashita

Visual Arts 

Come out and celebrate the grand re-opening of the new Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Oct. 12 – 14 with a member and donor preview on Oct. 11, 2019. The museum has a fairly large  Asian American and Pacific Islander collection. Now with more space and climate control, the work can be seen to better advantage. Go to burkemuseum.org for details.

Work by Masao Yamamoto is included in “Photo Finish”, a group show of photography. On view through  Oct 12, 2019 at G. Gibson gallery. Gallery reception is on Sat., Sept. 21 from 4 – 6pm. The gallery will be transitioning from a brick and mortar gallery to an on-line service soon. 104 West Roy St. 206-587-4033.

“Ghost Stories” is the title of a show of new work by ceramic artist Sam Chung from Oct. 3 – Nov. 2, 2019. Opening reception on Oct. 3, 2019 from 6 – 8pm. Gallery IMA at 123 South Jackson in Seattle. 206-625-0055 or go to www.galleryima.com.

Seattle artist Jean Bradbury in her show entitled “On My Head. In My Heart” portrays people she has talked to and lets them explain how clothing is a language of their own expression between tradition and a figment of their own individuality.  On view through Oct. 18, 2019. The M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at the north end of Seattle Central Community College’s cafeteria, main campus building on Broadway & Pine. 206-934-4379.

Chinese artist Soo Hong has a new series of gestural paintings upstairs in the BLUR Gallery space of Linda Hodges Gallery from Oct. 3 – Nov. 2, 2019. 316 1st Ave. S.  206-624-3034 or lindahodgesgallery.com.

 “Quiet Hour: The Photography of Yukio Morinaga (1888 – 1968)” is the first solo exhibition by Seattle photographer Yukio Morinaga.  He was an important member of the Seattle Camera Club, a group started by Dr. Kyo Koike, which consisted of mostly Japanese members that specialized in the school of Pictorialism.  In the 1920’s, his work won prizes in many national and international competitions. There was a silken, poetic sensibility in his work that captured the mood of the streets in early turn-of-the-century Seattle. On view through  October 13, 2019. Cascadia Museum in Edmonds, WA. 190 Sunset Ave. 425-336-4809.

“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. Oct. 3 – Nov. 23, 2019 at Specialist Gallery. 300 S. Washington. Hours are Sat. 12 – 4pm or by appointment. [email protected]

 “UnWedged” is Pottery Northwest’s annual national Juried Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition of artists from Canada and the US.  Juried by Tip Toland. Oct. 4 – 25, 2019. December show is ClayFest Northwest, an exhibition of over 40 Noerthwest 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]

“Fused: A Festival Of Glass” is part of the Retract Glass festival and celebrates Pratt Fine Arts Center.  Live music, a live bronze pour and demonstrations by local artists like Etsuko Ichikawa and others. On Friday, Oct. 18 at  Pratt Fine Arts Center. 1902 S. Main. 206-328-2200 or try pratt.org.

Washington artist Yoshiko Yamamoto’s work is included in a group show entitled “West Coast Woodcut: Contemporary Relief Prints by Regional Artists” on view through Nov. 15, 2019. Maryhill Museum at 35 Maryhill Museum Dr. in Goldendale, WA. 509-773-3733.

At KOBO at Higo in the CID is the following –  The Seattle Metals Guild has a juried show opening Oct. 13, 2019 from 5 – 7pm. Part of the 24th Annual Northwest Jewelry & Metals Symposium. Go to SeattleMetalsGuild.org for full details. The 13th Annual Simple Cup Show opens Nov. 2, 2019 at 6:30pm. O 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.”  The show opens on First Thursday, October 3 from 5 – 8pm. Another reception takes place on Nov. 7 from 5 – 8pm. 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. 

Noted Olympia artist Mal’Pina Chan co-curates a group show with Debbi Commodore and Victoria Bjorklund entitled “The Book as Art: The Page and Beyond” from Sept. 25 – Nov. 10, 2019.  The work of Shu-Ju Wang is included in this show. There will be a panel discussion with Jane Carlin on Oct. 19, 2019 from 4 – 6pm. Columbia City Gallery.4864 Rainier Ave. S. 206-760-9843 or try www.columbiacitygallery.com..

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.  Nov. 7 – 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. This month see “Enigma in Sixty Shades of Grey” by Noel Bote Bautista. And looking ahead, the Center for its 22nd annual newyear 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 Oct. 12, 2019, Sanjyot Mehendale of UC Berkeley talks about “Silk Roads Revealed: The Begram Hoard of Afghanistan”. On Oct. 19, Jun Hu of UC Berkeley talks about “Picturing the Buddha’s Last Moment”.  On Oct. 26, 2019, Derek Heng of Northern Arizona University talks about “The Maritime Silk Road: Goods, Ships, and Cultural Diversity”. On Nov. 2, 2019 Hseuh-Man Shen of NYU will speak on “Authentic Replicas in Buddhist Art of Medieval China”. 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”.   On Thurs., Oct. 3 at 6:30pm, Thomas D. Conlan of Princeton University gives a talk entitled “The Brush and The Sword: Ways of Writing and Fighting” in the Nordstrom Lecture Hall.  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.

Henry Art Gallery has the following -“Recto/Verso” features art by New York-based artist Carrie Yamaoka through Oct. 2019.  It brings together work from the early 1990’s to the present highlighting recurring themes of (in)visibility and perception.  Early work is text-based explorations using chemically altered photographs. Also ongoing work made with reflective mylar and resin.  Recent work straddles the media of painting, drawing and sculpture. Yamaoka is a founding member of the queer art collective known as fierce pussy.  Located on the UW Seattle campus at 15th Ave. NE + NE 4lst Street. 206-543-2280 or try henryart.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.

Portland Art Museum has the following –  On view for the first time at the museum are Korean ink paintings from the Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection.  Dating from the 16th to early 20th century, these paintings show the expressive moods of animals in landscape.  “Squirrels, Tigers and Towering Peaks” is on view through Oct. 17, 2019. “Dramatic Impressions – Japanese Actor Prints” is a group show of woodblock prints of actors on the kabuki stage on view through Oct. 13, 2019. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try [email protected].

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.

Tacoma Arts Month covers the month of October with arts and culture events, exhibits and workshops for all ages.  Enjoy the arts and culture of the city with music, dance, theatre performances, hands-on experiences, visual art exhibits, literary readings, lectures, workshops, film screenings and cultural events. On Oct. 12 – 13, from 11am – 5pm there will be Tacoma Studio Tours where almost 50 artists will feature demonstrations of the artistic process with hands-on activities for visitors.  See tacomaartsmonth.com for details. 

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 – Robert Dozono has a solo show featuring old and new work. His ongoing series “Upper Clackamas Garbage” drawn from trash found in the river while fishing and applied to large scale paintings will be on view  along with paintings and drawings of things he finds in his studio and garden. Oct. 1 – Nov. 2, 2019. First Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 from 6 – 9pm. 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 Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA presents “A Body in Places” by Eiko Otake (of Eiko and Koma).   This Japanese performance artist unveils a show of 2-D art on the theme of her revisiting of post-nuclear-disaster Fukushima.  There will be new prints and videos, including a screening of “A Body in Fukushima” with photos by William Johnston. On view through Oct. 24, 2019.511 NW Broadway. 503-226-4391 or go to ccac.pnca.edu.

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. Tatehana appears to give a talk entitled “Crafting the Art of Japan’s Future” on Oct. 5 at 5pm. 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.  1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.

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.

Centre A at the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents “Everything is a Facade” featuring work by Tom Hsu and Lin Xin.   Incorporates video, photography and installation that draws on impulsive yet deliberate gestures and decisions. 268 Keefer St. 604-683-8326 or go to centrea.org.

“Promised Land” is a show by Geoffrey Fung that combines small and large scale oil paintings of BC scenery and the historical events of the artist’s native homeland, China. Through Nov. 15, 2019.  Dal Schindell Gallery at UBC’s Regent College at 5800 University Blvd. in Vancouver, BC. 604-224-3245 or try lookoutgallery.ca.

“A Study in Restraint, Nanlaban” is ceramic artist Aanton Cu Unjieng’s response to recent political actions in his homeland of the Philippines and Duterte’s mass killings officially classified as ‘nanlaban’.  The work features intricately taped, fired, and stacked ceramics. On view through the month. Grunt Gallery at 116 – 350 E. 2nd Ave.  in Vancouver, BC. 604-875-9516 or go to grunt.ca.

VISUAL SPACE Gallery has a show entitled Gwangju Diary – Into Blue”.   Tomoyo Ihaya’s show of drawings, mixed-media installation and animated videos recounts her residencies and exhibitions in Gwangju, Korea and her response to the history of a violently suppressed student uprising in that city in 1980.  Opening reception is Oct. 5 2019 at 2pm. The show is on view from Oct. 2 – 21, 2019. 3352 Dunbar St. in Vancouver, BC. 604-559-0576 or go to visualspace.ca.

 “Up a Lemon Tree” is a solo show of abstract works by Vancouver-based artist Angela Teng.  Through Nov. 3, 2019. Art Gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre at 1205 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam, Canada. 604-927-6550.

The Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art & History in Nelson, Canada presents work by Gu Xiong entitled “The Unknown Remains” on view through Nov. 3, 2019.  The show taken from archives features portraits of the local Chinese community, drawings from the artist’s collection and pages of sketchbooks by the artist when he was a teenager in China, living in a labor camp. It also has a container ship made of 1500 cardboard boxes, and a wall of 1500 portraits of immigrant workers from Ontario and British Columbia. 502 Vernon St. 250-352-9813 or go to touchstonesnelson.ca.

The Richmond Art Gallery in Richmond, Canada has the following:  Through Nov. 17, 2019 is “Cindy Mochizuki: Cave To Dream”. The artist considers the passage of time, life and death and the power of dreams. Presented as a live performance and multi-media installation with  hand-drawn animation, sound and live action video. Opening on Sept. 28, 2019 at 6pm will be Jon Sasaki’s “We First Need A Boat For The Rising Tide To Lift Us” which documents a performance in which the artist attempts to build a boat in the Fraser River so he can paddle back to shore. Documentation of the performance and ephemera will be included in this exhibit. 180-7700 Minoru Gate. 604-247-8300.

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.

In works displayed in both the gallery and the Explanade gardens, artist Sarindar Dhaliwal emplys flowers, furniture and feathers and ceramics to explore “immigration, migration, family and diaspora”.  Through Oct. 12, 2019. Esplanade Art Gallery 401 First St. SE in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Go to [email protected]

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”.  200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.

Berkeley Art Museum has the following – “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.  “Meditation in Motion: Zen Calligraphy from the Stuart Katz Collection” on view through Oct. 20, 2019 features important works by Chinese Obaku monks who immigrated to Japan and the work of Japanese monks who expanded on their examples. 155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].

“Future IDS At Alcatraz” is a yearlong project, exhibition, and series of monthly public programs on view in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island until October, 2019. The installation features ID-inspired artworks created by and with individuals who have conviction histories as they conceive and develop a vision for a future self. In stark contrast to prison-issued IDs, these artworks represent individual stories of transformation.  Artist Gregory Sale leads a team of collaborators that translates criminal justice reforms efforts into a visual language to shift thinking about rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration. The team includes Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, Sale and many others. Presented in partnership with the Art in the Parks program of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Headlands Center for the Arts.  The project and exhibition space has been designed to function as a platform for engagement through performances, workshops, and civic dialogue experiments that are co-curated with community partners. On the third Saturday of each month, there will be a day-long program of participatory programs. Entrance to this exhibition comes with your boat cruise ticket to the island. The ferry leaves from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. For tickets go AlcatrazCruises.com.  To learn more about the project, go to GregorySaleArt.com or FutureIDs.com.

LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art has the following –“Muneo Mizuno: Harmony” is on view through Nov. 11, 2019 on the Resnick Lawn.  The artist has constructed a natural teahouse with the powerful presence of natural surroundings. Includes sculptures where ceramic water drops and tea bowls are refined with meditative representations of Japanese characters such as “connect” and “harmony”. These reflect the artist’s longstanding interest in the communicative properties of trees and water.  “The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China” brings together work from the last four decades in which conscious choice of material has become a symbol of the artists’ individual expression. Some of the most influential Chinese artists of today are included with work by Xu Bing, Cai Guo-Qiang, Lin Tianmao and Ai Weiwei. This traveling show premieres here before  going on to Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, Seattle Art Museum (June 25 – Sept. 13, 2020) and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.. 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  – “Common Ground: The Heart of Community.” This overview exhibit of Japanese American history is ongoing.  Through Oct. 20, 2019 is “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America”. This multi-media exhibition celebrates and explores the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity.  It draws on the archives of Visual Communications and the museum itself. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org

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. “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 – Through Oct. 27, 2019 is a major sculpture exhibition from  the 18th & 19th century era in the Pacific Islands entitled “Atea: Nature And Divinity In Polynesia.”    ”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.

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. Oct. 11, 2019 – 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

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. Tickets sold out through the end of Oct. 2019 so get yours now. 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.

“Painting the Classics: Japanese Screens” through Nov. 17, 2019.  “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. 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].

“Kogei-Kyoto” brings more than a dozen artists from Kyoto as part of an exhibition of traditional pieces and new works made with traditional methods all from Kyoto. Includes ceramics, textiles, metal and wood working, glass, lacquer and fabric dyeing. This is the first American showing for the Artists Group Kogei-Kyoto.  At Seaport Gallery at 100 Pier Four Blvd., Suite 200 in Boston, MA. On view through Nov. 10, 2019. Free and open to the public. 617-216-1810 or try [email protected]

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “An Art as Lyrical as Poetry: Recently Acquired Chinese Paintings through Nov. 24, 2019.  “All Flowers in Bloom: Porcelains from China’s Last Dynasty through Nov. 10, 2019. “Nature in Monochrome: Birds And Flowers in Japanese Ink Paintings through Oct. 27, 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 Oct. 13, 2019 – 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 from Oct. 13,2019 – 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  Oct. 19, 2019 – 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.

“Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets” is a cross-cultural exhibition with puppets from more than 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.  Through Oct. 14, 2019. Museum of Anthropology at UBC. 6393 NW Marine Drive. 604-822-5087 or go to moa.ubc.ca.

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.

On view through Oct. 27, 2019 is “Anno’s Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa” at Japan House in London.  It explores the work of one of Japan’s greatest children’s book illustrators and authors, best known for his picture books, with few or no words.  The exhibition illustrates his life and creative journey with samples of varied work. 101-111 Kensington High St. 44-20-3972-7100 or try [email protected].  In addition, the Embassy of Japan in London will host an exhibition of his landscape paintings through Sept., 2019.

“Legendary Kyoto Painting from Maruyama Okyo to the Modern Era” is on view at the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts at 12-8 Ueno Park through Sept. 29. 2019. +81-3-5777-8600.  Next stop is 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 Power of Ceramics: Modernism in Finnish Applied Arts” and “Chinese Ceramics, Korean Ceramics , Japanese Ceramics & Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Permanent Collection” both on view through Ot. 14, 2019. 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 has a show of works from their collection on view until Oct. 20, 2019.  The show features currents in Japanese modern and contemporary art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen,  Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.

The Mori Art Museum has the following – Coming up is the highly anticipated exhibition for Berlin-based installation artist Shiota Chiharu entitled “Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles” which is on view through Oct. 27, 2019.  A show tentatively entitled “The Future And Arts” is set for Nov. 19, 2019 – March 29, 2020. T106-6108, Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome – 10-1 Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.

 “teamLab*Borderless” houses works by this hi-tech art group in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum.  With computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and objects from nature to light sculptures and a forest of lamps.  On view indefinitely. Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan. 03-6406-3949.

The magazine, “Architectural Record” recently honored architect Toshiko Mori in this year’s “Women In Architecture Awards” in the category of “Design Leader.”  A prominent architect and the first women to be tenured at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, her work has been cited by the magazine as the “absolute mastery of craft.”

Performing Arts

Continuum Dance Project presents “A Preview of New Works” which includes a piece by choreographer Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor and others.  Oct. 4 – 5, 2019 at the Yaw Theater at 7:30pm. 6520 Fifth Ave. S. 702-810-6717 or try http://www.yawtheater.com.

Catch Seattle vocalist Primo Kim in an event entitled “Dancing with Spirits” at Washington Hall on Sat., Oct. 5, 2019 at 6pm. 153 – 14th Ave. 206-316-7613.

A Japanese cabaret artist presents his “Toshi Cappuccino’s New York Cabaret Show”, a NW debut that is a revue of Japanese pop hits of the ’80s in Japanese. On Tues., Oct. 8, 2019 at the Rendezvous at 7pm. 2322 Second Ave. 206-441-5823 or try http://www.therendezvous.rocks/.

The Friends of Asian Art Association presents “The Cosmic Dance of Nataraja-King of Dancers – Dancing Creation Into Existence with his Cosmic Dance” in which four local Indian classical dance schools come together to perform this piece.  Dancers from the following dance schools and their founders include the following – Bharata Natyam: Nirityalaya School of Dance with Vidya Vinod, Mohinlyattam: Minini Dance School with Smitha Krishnan, Odissi: Urvasi Dance with Ratna Roy and Marisee Betz-zell and Kathak: Anga Kala Kathak Academy with Antara Daatta.  On Oct. 13, 2019 at 1:30pm. Crossroads Community Center at 18000 NE 10th St. in  Bellevue.  Free for Friends of Asian Art Association members and $10 for others.  Light refreshments served. For tickets, go to www.friendsofasianart.org.

Okinawa Kenjin Club of Washington State presents “Ryuku Charm”, a concert by Chijinshu Wakati-Da group from Okinawa. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 at 3pm. The Willows Campus at 12380 Redmond-Woodinville Road in Redmond.  For information, call 425-308-1878 or 253-219-1881. Tickets at the door.

Singer/songwriter/violinist Kishi Bashi’s latest recording “Omoiyari” reflects on the internment experience of Japanese nationals living in the U.S. on the eve of WW II.  He will be doing songs from that album when he performs in Seattle on Sun., Oct. 6 at 8pm at Showbox SoDo at 1700 1st Ave. S. in Seattle. Go to www.showboxpresents.com.

Kima Hotta performs a dramatic recitation (with English subtitles) of one of the most famous stories in Japanese samurai lore entitled “Benkei at the Barrier”. Presented by Washin Kai (Friends of Classical Japanese at UW)  and the UW Department of Asian Languages and Literature. Wed., Oct. 16, 2019 at Seattle campus of UW’s Kane Hall. 4069 Spokane Lane. 7pm. 

Local actor Christian Quinto is in the cast of “White”, a play by James Ijames as Directed by Corey McDanile and assisted by Tato Talabi.  This Theatre-22 production rotates with another play “Revolutionaries” Oct. 18 – Nov. 9, 2019. What happens when a promising white male artist uses a black actress to pitch his proposal to a major art museum and their roles become entwined?  At 12th Ave. Arts Studio Theatre. 1620 – 12th Ave. 206-257-2203.

Catch Cory Wong on Oct. 18, 2019 at The Crocodile at 2200 2nd Ave. in Seattle’s Belltown.  Tickets at thecrocodile.com. Details at  www.thecrocodile.com.

A black comedy by Prince Gomolvilas entitled “The Brothers Paranormal” gets a world premiere from Pork Filled Productions on Oct. 26 – Nov. 16, 2019 at Theatre Off Jackson.  Directed by Mimi Katano. The plot concerns two Thai American brothers who see a market opportunity in the surge of “Asian-looking” apparitions happening throughout the nation. Go to www.theatreoffjackson.org for details.

Another touring production of the musical “Miss Saigon” comes to the Paramount Oct. 29 – Nov. 3, 2019. Go to stg.org for details.

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 – Dynamic classical pianist Lang Lang returns from a previous injury to perform a program of Sibelius, Beethoven and Mozart on Wed., Oct. 9 at 7:30pm. Masaaki Suzuki conducts Seattle Symphony in a concert of the “Mozart Requiem” on Oct. 17, 19 & 20, 2019.  The program also includes Takemitsu’s “Requiem for String Orchestra”. Beatrice Rana is the concert pianist on a performance of “Schumann Piano Concerto” on Oct. 24 & 26, 2019. Byron Schenkman & Friends presents international competition winner and Seattle native Rachell Ellen Wong in concert with Byron Schenkman in a program of “Brahms, Dvorak and Still” on Oct. 27. 2019.  Lawrence Loh conducts Seattle Symphony in a program entitled “The Movie Music of John Williams” on Nov. 8, 9 & 10, 2019 as part of the “Pops Series”. 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 annual cultural event by Japanese Cultural & Community Center known as “Bunka No Hi – Japanese Culture Day” takes place on Sun., Nov. 3, 2019 from 11am – 4pm with exhibits such as “Japanese Good Luck Symbols” and “Minidoka Internment Snapshots” as well as martial arts demonstrations, storytelling, taiko, tea ceremony, food vendors, hosekibako, Japanese resale store and much, much more. Free and open to the public. 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle.206-568-7114. Go to www.jcccw.org for details.

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.

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.

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.

Village Theatre kicks off their 40th anniversary with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, a Tony Award-winning comedy.  The cast includes Justin Huertas and Arika Matoba. Presented at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah through Oct. 20 before moving to the Everett Performing Arts Center October 25 – Nov. 17, 2019.  The Gaudette Theatre is at 303 Front St. N. in Issaquah. The Everett Performing Arts Center is at 2710 Wetmore Ave. in Everett. 425-392-2202 for Issaquah. 425-257-8600 for Everett. Try VillageTheatre.org for more details. Erickson Theatre Off Broadway.  707-350-9446 or go to whimwhim.org/season. 

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. 

Singer/songwriter Sid Sriram grew up with Indian classical roots but listened to Donny Hathaway and would also lend his talents to Indian cinema soundtracks.  You’ve got to wonder what synthesis he would come up with in his own music. You can find out when he performs on his “Crossover Tour” set for Friday, Oct. 17, 2019 at 8pm. The Neptune is in the University District at 1303 NE 45th. 206-682-1414.

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 –  Oct. 6 is Japan, Nov. 2nd is the Marshall Islands and Dec. 7 is Samoa.  APCC is at 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or go to apcc96.org.

The Henry Art Gallery and Velocity Dance Center present “Property of Opaqueness” a performance by Portland dancer/choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto on Oct. 6, 2019 at 7:30pm at Velocity Dance Center at 1621 – 12th Ave.  It is part of the activities surrounding the “Carrie Yamaoka: recto/verso” exhibit currently on view at the Henry. Portland filmmaker Roland Dahwen Wu and Seattle artist/arts administrator Rana San will perform with Yamamoto.  For tickets, try velocitydance.secureforce.com. In addition, the following free event takes place at Henry Art Gallery on Oct. 5, 2019. “Property of Visibility: An Artist-led Discussion with Takahiro Yamamoto. Reception is at 1:30pm and discussion starts at 2pm. For reservations, try shop.henryart.org or go to henryart.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 two concerts of all-new original music on Oct. 14 & Dec. 2, 2019.  At the Royal Room at 7:30pm. 5000 Rainier Ave. S. 206-906-9920.

“Eastern Memories on the Western Wind: Songs of Home” is the 35th annual concert in the “East Meets West!” series in which Chinese classical selections are played with beloved Western pieces, all of which are performed on traditional instruments hailing from both cultures.  Includes the Pacifica Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Chinese Guzheng Orchestra and the U.S. China Music Ensemble. Sat., Oct. 19 at 7pm. Benaroya Hall. 200 University St. in downtown Seattle. 206-215-4747.

Comic headliner Ronny Chieng of “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “Crazy Rich Asians” fame heads up the “Uncanny Comedy Festival” at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at 8pm. Tickets at ticketmaster. For details, go to Uncannyfest.org.

“Free at the Frye” is an all-ages series at Frye Art Museum.  On Sat., Oct. 26, 2019 at 2pm, it will feature award-winning Korean guitarist JiJi.  She won First Prize at the 2016 Guild International Competition. Free. 704 Terry. 206-622-9250 or try [email protected]

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. The contemporary butoh dance troupe Sankai Juku return to Seattle Oct. 17 – 19, 2019 at 8pm with choreographer Ushio Amagatsu’s new piece “Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land.”  It is a poetic meditation on the passage of time as symbolized by the circulation of water and the seasonal transformation of the earth. 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. 

The Louise Greger International Women in Music Festival present local soprano Fumi Tagata with Ayase Saxman in concert on Oct. 5, 2019 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, WA. Tickets can be purchased at www.wicaonline.com.  Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Tiny Houses in the Name of Christ, a nonprofit committed to building affordable housing in Langley for workers.

Music of Remembrance presents “Passage: Confronting Intolerance” which always evokes the refrain of “Never forget” in response to the horrors of the holocaust.  This year includes a new work by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto entitled “Passage” and “Venitas”, a piece blending the music of Japanese American composer Shinji Eshima and the visuals of sculptor Al Farrow.  Also on the bill is a performance of Paul Schoenfield’s “Camp Songs”. 4pm. On Sun., Nov. 3, 2019. Benaroya Hall. 200 University. 206-365-7770 or try [email protected]

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.

Earshot Jazz Festival’s annual fall event takes place all around the Puget Sound Oct. 4 – Nov. 6, 2019.  South Korean singer Youn Sun Nah performs on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Triple Door at 7:30pm. Seattle multi-instrumentalist Jay Thomas appears as “artist-in-residence” throughout the festival.  On Wed., Oct. 23, 2019 at 7:30pm at Town Hall Forum, he leads his East West Alliance which features Yasuhiro Kohama on tenor sax, Yuki Hirate on piano, Atsushi Ikeda on alto sax, Daisuke Kurata on drums, Maya Hatch (a Seattle vocalist popular in Japan) and Seattlite Phil Sparks on bass.  Tickets now on sale. The Triple Door is at 216 Union St. downtown. Go to thetripledoor.net. For details on Town Hall, go to townhallseattle.org. For complete festival details, go to earshot.org.

Seattle Art Museum presents their 12th Annual Diwali Ball on Saturday, October 12 at 7:30pm at SAM with Indian food & drinks, dance, Bollywood and Bhangra beats, henna, tours of SAM’s collection and surprises.  For tickets, call 206-654-3210.

“Diwali Family Festival” which celebrates the Hindu Festival of Lights takes place on Sat. Oct. 26 at Seattle Art Museum downtown.  1300 First Ave. Free. 11am – 2pm. Includes live performances.

Another Diwali celebration takes place on Sat., Oct. 26 at noon for free at Seattle Center.  Go to Seattlecenter.com for details.

On Sat. Nov. 9, 2019 there will be a Hmong New Year Celebration at Seattle Center. Celebrate the Hmong cultural traditions of China, Laos and Thailand with a New Year celebration along with a ball-tossing ritual, flower cloth sessions, food and live performances.  At Seattle Center. Free. Go to Seattlecenter.com for details.

A concert entitled “Music of India” includes percussionist Trichy Sankaran and violinist/vocalist Ganesh Rajagopalan on Oct. 19. 2019 at  7:30pm. Seattle Town Hall at 8th & Seneca. Go to townhallseattle.org for details.

The Olympia Symphony Orchestra presents “Seeing is Believing” on Nov. 17 at 3pm as part of their 2019-2020 season.  Violin virtuoso Kaia Selden is guest soloist in the “Winter” portion of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia. 1-360-753-0074 or try olympiasymphony.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 Sara Porkalob and 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.

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.

Award-winning playwright Laureen Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band” continues its run through Oct. 27, 2019 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Thomas Theatre.  A young woman tries to piece together her family history 30 years after her father fled the killing fields of Cambodia. Featuring actor/musicians who perform a mix of contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies live.  541-482-2111 or go to www.osfashland.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 Hillsbora, 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.

“Madama Butterfuly” by Puccini opens Portland Opera’s 2019/2020 season on Oct. 25, 27, 31 & Nov. 2, 2019 at Keller Auditorium.  Internationally acclaimed Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura makes her US debut in the lead role. Go to Portlandopera.org for details. 

The Okinawan drum dance & music troupe known as Chijunshu Wakatiida performs on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7:30pm at Michael J. Fox Theatre at 7373 MacPherson Ave.  in Burnaby BC, Canada. With special guests Hidekatsu & Mion. 604-250-9532 or try [email protected]

Joel de la Fuente stars in the play “Hold These Truths”, the critically-acclaimed play about Gordon Hirabayashi who fought against the forced removal and mass incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry in the US during WWII.  This is the international debut in Vancouver after a US tour. Oct. 18 – Nov. 2, 2019. Nov. 6 – 17, 2019 sees the world premiere of a new play by acclaimed Japanese Canadian playwright Tetsuro Shigematsu. “Kuroko” is a dark comedy about an agoraphobic daughter’s quest to find out the truth about her family.  Maya is an extreme recluse or “hikikomori” as they are called in Japanese but when a mysterious player online challenges her to journey out to save her father’s life, will she leave the house? Directed by Amiel Gladstone. The Cultch Historic Theatre. 1895 Venables St. in Vancouver. For tickets to this play, try thecultch.com/events/kuroko.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents an evening concert of compositions by Chinese composer Tan Dun entitled “Tan Dun – Crouching Tiger And Beyond” on Nov. 9, 2019 at 8pm.  Also set for April 3 & 4, 2020 is a concert of “The Music of Joe Hisaishi,” noted composer of movie soundtracks for Studio Ghibli films performed also by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, BC. 601 Smithe St. 604-665-3035.

 Pandemic Theatre/Rumble Theatre, Diwali in B.C. and New World Theatre present “Take dMilk, Nah?”, a performance piece written and performed by Jivesh Parasram.  This work blends storytelling and ritual to walk the audience through the complexities of his mixed culture experience. Oct. 16 & 17, 2019. Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre presents “Kuroko” set for Nov. 6 – 17. 2019.  This world premiere from acclaimed playwright/performance artist Tetsuro Shigematsu tells the story of a hikikomori (Japanese for extreme recluse) who is persuaded to come out by an online challenge but then what happens?  All events at the Cultch. 1895 Venables St. in Vancouver, BC. 604-251-1363 or try either [email protected] or [email protected]

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.

Puccini’s “Turandot” is an opera that is a pan-Asian tale set in a China of the composer’s imagination. Recent productions have been criticized for singers in “yellowface”, racial stereotyping and Orientalism. When the Canadian Opera Company wanted to mount a new production of the opera, they brought on board theatre veteran Richard Lee. Lee is a member of the company’s equity, diversity and inclusivity committee, They asked him to serve as production consultant and advise the creative team. Lee, a Chinese Canadian, stressed that he was not there to suggest changes for the artists. “I’m there to go, ‘Hey, this is something that I see that I have an issue with because I think it can potentially be very hurtful for an audience who comes to watch it.’” He said he was interested in starting conversations with the artists, especially those who don’t recognize that there  needs to be a change. Lee took issue with Turandot’s slapstick trio of imperial ministers named Ping, Pang and Pong. Created as jester-commentators in the Italian comedy tradition, the trio has often been depicted using negative stereotypes. In this new production, they are called Jim, Bob and Bill. Julius Ahn, a Korean American tenor who has played the role of one of the jesters finds the name change jarring. He believes that Turandot is a musical masterpiece that needs no apologies. He goes on to say “A lot of complaints that I’ve heard about this work came from interpretation—-I’ve heard ‘fake Chinoserie’ a lot but that’s not in the work. That’s actually part of the staging and it’s upon the artists to do a respectful interpretation of the work being presented.” Ahn feels that what the opera world needs is open discussion between artists and increased diversity across the board – everyone from the singers on stage to those in casting or marketing. Excerpted from the CBC News article by Jessica Wong. Appeared in the Sept. 28, 2019 issue. Go to cbc.ca for the complete article.

Film & Media

The Social Justice Film Festival screens at different venues around Seattle from Oct. 3 – 12, 2019. The opening night program entitled “Art As Activism” includes  a documentary film on Chinese dissident Hu Jie who, though banned by the government, has managed to make more than 30 documentary films critical of Chinese history and society. Directed by Rita Andreetti. On the same program is “Living in the Story” by photographer Patrick Nagatani. It looks at three of his series dealing with immigration/internment and nuclear issues. Directed by Lynn Estomin. Oct. 3 at 7pm at University Heights Center at 5031 University Way. On Oct. 6, 2019 at 7pm, the documentary film “Complicit” follows the journey of Chinese factory worker and migrant worker Yi Yeting who though battling work-induced leukemia, continues to protest the safety standard of the global electronic industry with a legal challenge against his former employers.  This film screens at Seattle University’s Wyckoff Auditorium at 11th Ave. & E. Columbia streets. Go to socialjusticefilmfestival.org or call 206-538-3663 for details about all the films in the festival.

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe & Uwajimaya present a screening of the recently released documentary film “Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story” directed by Dianne Fukami. The former US Secretary of Commerce and former US Secretary of Transportation will be present at the screening. Free and open to the public. Free parking in the underground garage, enter  at 15th Ave. NE.  On Sun., Nov. 10, 2019. 1:30pm at Kane Hall on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. For details, go to http://www.hokubaeihochi.org/mineta or conact [email protected] or call 206-519-5469. 

The Northwest Film Forum presents a tribute to the late Japanese anime director Satoshi Kon by showing some of his classics. “Perfect Blue” is the story of a rising pop star who changes careers and starts acting when suddenly people around her are murdered. Screens Nov. 10 &  13, 2019. Screening Nov. 17 & 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. 

The Tasveer South Asian Film Festival returns to the Northwest from Sept. 26 – Oct. 6, 2019 bringing with it some of best new cinema from that area.  Some highlights include the following. Opening night gala includes the screening of the film, “The Illegal” on Sept. 26, 2019 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian with a post-film Q & A with actress Suraji Sharpra and director Danish Renzu.  It tells the story of a middle class Indian student who must drop out of school to support his family while living in the US. A 9:30pm dinner and dance with DJ Kazan at The Summit on Pike to follow. Also on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 5pm, catch two shorts by Tanuja Chandra.  “A Monsoon Date” and “Aunty Sudha, Aunty Radha” which will be screened followed by a discussion by the filmmaker. On Sept, 27 at 6:30pm, “Kaifinama” by Sumantra Ghosal will be screened at Seattle University. It is a documentary celebrating the life and times of Kaifi Azmi, an Urdu progressive poet for social change as well as a major lyricist in Hindu film.  Sept. 28 at 7:30pm at Seattle Art Museum brings a documentary entitled “The Price of Free” which tells the story of Kailash Satyarthi who left a career as an electrical engineer to start a movement to rescue children from slavery. Directed by Derek Doneer. Also a part of the festival is a series of film workshops. “The Film Day Symposium – Screenwriting Deconstructed” takes place at Northwest Film Forum on Sept. 30 at 5pm.  “Deep Dive Into Making Short Films” happens on Oct. 1 at 5pm also at Northwest film Forum at 1515 – 12th Ave. “South Asian Films & The Rise of Nationalism” accesses the situation for film in India at a time of rising nationalism on Oct. 4 at 4pm.  Free but you must register with RSVP with eventbrite.com. At the Simpson Center for the Humanities on the Seattle UW campus in Communications Building 120. 2023 King Lane NE.  For information on all events, go to tasaff.tasveer.org.

The SIFF Uptown has the following. Takashi Miike’s latest film “First Love” opens Oct. 4, 2019. It tells the story of a boxer with a brain tumor who falls for a drug-addled prostitute and the two of them soon fall themselves caught in the cross-fire of ayakusa war. Justin Chon’s “Ms. Purple” which played at the 2019 SIFF Film Festival returns for a regular run Oct. 4 – 10.  A Korean American woman works as a hostess in L.A’s Koreatown to earn enough in tips to care for her dying father. When a careworker quits, she must ask an estranged brother to return and assist her. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. Go to siff.net for details.

The Tacoma Film Festival brings in films from around the world Oct. 3 – 10, 2019. Includes talks by filmmakers, a VR studio, workshops and parties.  Students get in free. At the Grand Cinema in Tacoma. Try [email protected].

“Seattle Queer Film Festival” takes place Oct. 10 – 20, 2019 around the Puget Sound with local shorts, indie features and national/international releases.  Some highlights include the following. “Kattamaram” tells the story of a SE Indian fisherman who must try to hold together his shattered family after a tsunami.  “Bille & Emma” is a Filipinx drama about an estranged city girl in the countryside who finds an ally and companion at a rural school. “Chance Encounter Shorts” includes a short film entitled “Kiss of the Rabbit God” that tells the tale of a Chinese American restaurant worker and his encounter with a mysterious spirit.  “Queer Japan” is a documentary about individuals in Japan who are part of that society. “Song Lang” is a feature film from Vietnam that tells the story of a troubled loan shark who meets a traditional Vietnamese opera singer under unusual circumstances. 206-323-4274 or try [email protected].

The 6th Annual Orcas Island Film Festival happens Oct. 10 – 14 with over 30 films from around the world, panels, parties and special events.  Go to orcasfilmfest.com for details.

The Friday Harbor Film Festival brings stories of The Pacific Rim and beyond. Oct. 25 – 27.  Over 35 documentaries focusing on Pacific Rim topics from culture to environmentalism as well as discussions with filmmakers and special events.  In Friday Harbor, WA. Try 360-298-1939 for details.

The Beacon is a new art house cinema showing unusual finds of international cinema from around the world. “Shree 420” is a 1955 film by Raj Kapoor about a drifter from the country who moves to Bombay only to fall into a life of petty crime.  He becomes infatuated with an honest school teacher and woos her while living a life of deceit. Screens Oct. 5 at 3pm. “IO Island” by Kim Ki-Young is a feminist folktale about the rotting capitalist system. It’s a thriller about a mysterious island populated by women divers and what happens to the men who visit. Screens Oct.  8 & 9, 2019. Oct. 26, 29 & 30, 2019 brings “The Boxer’s Omen” by Kuei Chih-Hung. This is a Shaw Brothers classic from the 70’s, a surreal “Rocky” squeezed through a “Holy Mountain” kind of vision. Every Sunday, the series entitled “Anime Sunrise” will screen some rare Japanese anime classics. Oct. 6 brings Hiroshi Ikeda’s “Vampire Hunter”, Oct. 13 has “Flying Fanthom Ship”, Oct. 20 has “The Curse of Kazuo Umezu + Mermaid Forest” by Naoko Omi & Takaya Mizatani. Oct. 27 is a program of spooky anime shorts billed as “Old School Halloween”.4405 Rainier Ave. S. 206-420-SEAT or try [email protected].

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “Hausu” is a 1977 haunted house tale of schoolgirls trapped in a house full of ghosts.  Screens Oct. 18 – 23 at Central Cinema. 1411- 21st Ave. 206-328-3230.

Takashi Miike is a maverick Japanese workhorse director with over 100 productions to his credit since his 1991 debut.  His films range from violent, bizarre, sexual, dramatic to even family friendly. It is generally agreed though that it was his “Black Society Trilogy” (includes “Shinjuku Triad”, “Rainy Dog” and “Ley Lines”) that put him on the cinematic map.  “Shinjuku Triad Society” tells the story of a dirty cop who pursues a Chinese warlord through the night world of Tokyo and eventually over to Taiwan. Screens on Sept. 28 and Oct. 1 & 3, 2019. “Rainy Dog” is the story of a hitman working for a Triad boss in Taipei.  When an ex-girlfriend leaves a boy with him who she says is his son, the boy tags along. Screens on Sept. 28 & 30 and Oct. 2. “Ley Lines” is the story of a trio of Japanese youths of Chinese descent who escape their rural upbringing to Tokyo where they befriend a troubled Shanghai prostitute and run afoul of a local crime syndicate. Screens on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 & 3.  A retrospective in honor of the late, great Japanese director Satoshi Kon whose anime films are loved to this day will screen. On Nov. 10 & 13, catch “Perfect Blue”, a thriller about a retired idol whose first film haunts her. 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. “Spirited Away” on Oct. 27, 28 & 30. “Princess Mononoke” on Nov. 17, 18 & 20.  “The Tale of the Princess Kageya” Dec. 16 & 18. Tickets online at www.FanthomEvents.com or at the box office. 

The Vancouver International Film Festival takes place Sept. 26 – Oct. 11, 2019.  An interesting component of the festival is their celebrated “Dragons & Tigers” series put together by London-based East Asian film scholar and critic, Tony Rayns and Shelly Kraicer, respected Canadian scholar of Chinese cinema now based in Beijing.  Every year brings a selection of cutting-edge films from South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. The 2019 edition includes Jill Li’s “Lost Course” which will be a world premiere from Hong Kong, Lau Kek Huat & Vera Chen’s “Boluomi” which will be a North American premiere from Taiwan, Chan Oliver Siu Kuen’s “Still Human” from Hong Kong which will be a Canadian premiere and Korean super-star actor now turned director Kim Yoon-seok’s film, “Another Child”.  Comic director Yamashita Nobuhiro brings his film “Hard-Core” based on a 90’s cult manga which stars Takayuki Yamada in a low-tech sci-fi comedy about a drifter who goes digging for gold with friends and finds instead an old robot who could be the answer to their dreams or not? Also includes the Canadian premiere of “Melancholic”, a Japanese film about an awkward Tokyo University grad who gets a new job at a workplace only to learn that is used as a secret Yakuza execution ground. There’s been a buzz about the South Korean film “Birthday” which looks at the sorrow of a broken family on the anniversary of a son’s death.  Also screening is Derek Chiu’s “No. 1 Chung Ying Street” which played SIFF 2019 and looks back at early activist movements in Hong Kong. Ueda Shinichiro’s zombie film “One Cut of the Dead” which just played Seattle is in this series as well. For details, try viff.org.

Some new films set for release in the fall include the following – “Midnight Traveler” is a documentary film by Hassan Fazili and follows the filmmaker and his family after they became refugees when they were targeted by the Taliban.  Played SIFF 2019 and opens for general release on Sept., 19, 2019. Sept. 27 is the release date for the next two films. The animated feature “Abominable” is about a Shanghai girl who meets a yeti. She resolves to take him back home to the Himalayas.  Japanese director Takashi Miike’s latest “First Love” involves a boxer and a call girl caught up in the cross fire of a drug operation. Oct. 11 brings the release of Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” in which the actor Will Smith plays a younger cloned version of himself doing battle with the older version.   Also on Oct. 11 is the release of “Parasite”, the latest from Boon Joon-ho. A class satire in which a poor family gets to leech the resources of a wealthier one. Bong was the first South Korean director to win the Palme d’Or back in May. Oct. 18 will see the release of the following – “# Female Pleasure” is a documentary by filmmaker Barbara Miller which played the SIFF 2019.  It looks at five women who have challenged patriarchal social structures. Includes a look at women from Japan and India. New Zealand director Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) switches gears with “Jojo Rabbit”, a satiric comedy about a German boy during WWII whose imaginary friend is Hitler (played by the director, himself). Gu Shangwei stars as an undercover Chinese cop hunted down in the Cambodian jungle in “The Prey.”  Nov. 1 sees the opening of these films – “Earthquake Bird” tells the story of a women living abroad in Japan who is thrown off balance when she hears about a young woman who has gone missing. “The Kingmaker” is a new documentary by Laureen Greenfield that looks at the life of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. Breakout star Awkwafina is part of the cast in the sci-fi film, “Paradise Hills” about a remote island treatment center with a disturbing agenda.  Nov. 8 sees these opening – “Danger Close” is an account of the 1966 “Battle of Long Tan” in which an Australian army regiment are surrounded and outnumbered by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in a rubber plantation in South Vietnam. “Rich Asians” star Henry Golding plays a mysterious man who meets up with a Christmas shop elf in London in “Last Christmas.” Nov. 22 brings the release of “The Warrior Queen of Jhansi” in which Devika Bhise portrays the true story of a woman who in 1857 led a rebellion that challenged the British East India Company.

Japanese American director Miki Dezaki’s documentary film “Shusenjo” examines a question in Japanese politics. Why does a small group of conservatives in Japanese politics continue to dispute internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s wartime atrocities including the Imperial Army’s sexual enslavement of Korean women and others in military brothels during WW II.  Now he is being sued for defamation by some of these politicians for how they are portrayed in the film.

Josh (Joshua Dela Cruz) is the new live-action host for Nickelodeon’s “Blue Clues & You!” set to air on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 at 9am.  The program will feature brand-new elements alongside refreshed iconic items from the original series. For more information, try [email protected].

Violinist/conductor Scott Yoo hosts the new PBS series in classical discoveries entitled “Now Hear This” a four-part documentary mini-series on the world’s great classical composers and where they got their inspiration  from. Go to pbs.org for details.

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. Celebrated Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto discusses the diminishing role of American pop culture on the global stage with Lt. Governor of Washington Cyrus Habib as taken from her book “New Kings of the World: Dispatches from Bollywood, Dizi, and K-Pop” on Oct. 7 at 7pm at the book store.  On Sun., Nov. 10 at 3pm, catch Malaka Gharib as she talks about her graphic memoir entitled “I Was Their American Dream”. It tells the story of growing up in America in a Filipino Egyptian family. At the book store. 206-624-6600 or go to www.elliottbaybook.com.

Renovations are complete and the public is welcome back to the old building.  Town Hall Seattle presents the following events – Former NY Times Journalist Anand Giridharadas discusses his new book “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World” on Mon., Oct. 28, 2019 at 7:30pm.  A ticket gets you a copy of the book and entrance to the event. Go to Townhallseattle.org for details.

Jack Straw Writers read at It’s About Time Reading Series on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 6pm with Samar Abulhassan, Dianne Aprile and Rena Priest and Michael Schmeltzer will give a talk on craft. Ballard Public  Library at 5614 – 22nd Ave. NW. The group reads again at Open Books with Samar Abulhassan, Shankar Narayan, Michael Schmeltzer and others. On Sunday, Oct. 20 at 5pm. 2414 N. 45th St. in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. They also participate in the Seattle Lit Crawl on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 6pm as hosted by curator Kathleen Flenniken. 

Yuki Schwartz & Mindi Weston-Mitchell, co-editors of “When Kids Ask Hard Questions: Faith-filled Responses for Tough Topics” (Chalice Press) appear on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 3pm at the “U” District branch of University Book Store. 4326 University Way NE. 206-634-3400.

Readings at the different branches of Third Place Books include the following – New York Times best-selling young adult author Renee Ahdeh engages in conversation with Sabra Tahir and Somalya David on Wed., Oct. 8 at 7pm in the Seward Park branch about her new fantasy/thriller set in New Orleans entitled “The Beautiful.” This is a ticket required event where the ticket buys you admittance to the event along with a copy of the book. Also at the Seward Park store, rocker Simon Tan appears on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 at 7pm to talk about his book “Slanted: How An Asian American Troublemaker Took On The Supreme Court” which documents his case to keep his band’s name and protect his freedom of speech. 5041 Wilson Ave. S. 206-474-2200. On Nov. 4, 2019 at 7pm, Nicole Chung will talk about her book entitled “All You Can Ever Know”. It is a memoir about her search for her birth parents as a Korean adoptee with Kalani Kapahua. This reading is at the Lake Forest Park Third  Place Book store located at 17171 Bothell Way NE #A101. 206-366-3333.

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. 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. 

The Washington State Book Awards 2019 takes place on Sat., Oct. 12 at 7pm. Free. Northwest writers Kim Fu and Angela Garbes are among the many fine writers up for awards.  Seattle downtown Central Library. 1000 4th Ave. 206-386-4636.

“Lit Crawl Seattle” is the annual series of literary arts events all packed into one day.  Get ready to check out readings at many bars, cafes and businesses around Capitol Hill on Thurs., Oct. 24 from 6pm – midnight. A new feature in this year’s event are programs for youth and writing. Free. Go to  https://www.lit.quake.org/lit-crawl-seattle.html for details.

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 find out more.

The Fall 2019 issue of University of Washington Magazine’s cover story is on concert photographer/artist Jordan Nicholson. Nicholson whose father is black and his mother is Chinese grew up in the South End and attended Franklin High School. The article by Julie Davidow covers his spiraling career as a photographer of the Seattle street-wear and hip hop scene. In the same issue is an article by Rebekah Denn about restaurant owners Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid and their popular 10-course tasting menu at Archipelago restaurant in Seattle. A digital bonus at magazine.uw.edu leads you to a Filipino food guide.

Portland Book Festival is the largest festival dedicated to books and writers in the Northwest.  It occurs on November 9, 2019 at Portland Art Museum and other sites. Featuring 100+ authors. $15 advance and $20 day of festival.  Youth attend free. Go to literary-arts.org. 

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 survives 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 foreward 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.

“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.

“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.

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.

Art News/Opportunities

The Jack Straw Cultural Center Residency Programs offer established and emerging artists in diverse disciplines an opportunity to explore the creative use of sound in a professional atmosphere through residencies in our recording studios and participation in our various presentation programs.  Artists may apply to only one program per year with a deadline of Thursday, Nov. 1, 2019. Our residency applications are now online via Submittable! If this format is not accessible to you, please contact [email protected] or 206-634-0919.  Programs offered include the following – Jack Straw Artist Support Program with 20 hours of recording and production time with an engineer.  Jack Straw New Media Gallery Program where artists from various disciplines can present works in which sound is an integral or exclusive element.  The 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program in which twelve writers in all forms and styles are selected by an invited curator. 

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!

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