Space City with AIA Seattle present a talk by New York-based architect Mimi Hoang. Hoang is a founding principal of nArchitects and Adjunct assistant Professor at Columbia University. The firm is known for designing for a variety of experiences within a systematic approach – from buildings & pavilions to interiors across cultural, residential and commercial use. nArchitects have won numerous awards and are currently designing four kiosks for Seattle’s new waterfront. Thurs., Nov. 3, 2016 at 6:30pm at Seattle Central Library downtown in the Microsoft Auditorium. For tickets and details, go to www.spacecityseattle.org. Hoang will also remain in town to serve on a jury for this year’s AIA Seattle 2016 Honor Awards on Mon., Nov. 7 at Benaroya Hall.
“Minidoka: Artist As Witness” is a group show that details the incarceration of Japanese Americans along the West Coast. From 1942 – 45 more than 13,000 evacuees were incarcerated at Minidoka War Relocation Center in South Central Idaho. This show at the Boise Art Museum features significant works by five artists with personal or family history at Minidoka, now a National Historic Site. In this show are works by Takuichi Fujii, Kenjiro Nomura and Roger Shimomura. Sculptor/installation artist Wendy Murayama has a body of work including photos and found objects and an installation of 10 sculptures made from paper ID tags worn by internees. Photographer Teresa Tamura’s photo series from her book, “Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp” are also on view. Wendy Murayama will give a talk on her work on Nov. 9 at 6pm in the Boise State University Special Events Center located at 1800 University Drive. The Boise Art Museum is closed on Mondays. Located at 670 Julia Davis Dr. in Boise, Idaho. 208-345-8330.
Korean Canadian artist and researcher Christine Lee repurposes mundane materials in her sculptural pieces, compelling the viewer to reconsider the latent potential of ready-made objects and disregarded material such as cedar shims and phone books. Her work is part of a group show currently on view through Oct. 29, 2016 entitled “Growth Rings: 6 Artists Working in Wood” Traver Gallery at 110 Union St. in downtown Seattle. 206-587-6501 or go to www.travergallery.com.
Jae Won Lee, Gunyoung Kim, Patti Warashina, Jason Huff, Kyung Soon Park and Sam Chong all have work included in Part II of the group show entitled “Invitational Ceramics” on view through Oct. 29, 2016. Gallery IMA in Pioneer Square. 123 South Jackson. [email protected].
Junko Yamamoto has work in a group show entitled “Select 2016 Marathon Artists: Going The Distance” which is a sneak peek at work by artists who will participate in CoCA’s annual “CoCA New Wave Ball Art Marathon & auction set for Nov. 10 – 12, 2016.” CoCA’s new gallery space is in the Tashiro Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square at 114 Third Ave. S. The show on view through Oct. The benefit auction in Nov. takes place in the Summit Building at 420 E. Pike. If you can volunteer for this event, email [email protected]
Minh Nguyen is an organizer of events and exhibitions who is interested in media studies, the role of design and urban planning in the creation of equitable spaces , and collective protest. She is official “Artist in Residence” for fall at Town Hall Seattle. Here is her statement – “I’m looking forward to using Town Hall’s upcoming events, specifically on digital communications and internet law, as a starting point to engage with the community on these issues. I’m excited to develop projects that synthesize art and civic engagement.”
The 2016 Museum of Northwest Art 2016 MoNA Luminaries Legacy Artist & Award Recipients were recently announced at a ceremony in Seattle. Each category of award is named in honor of a Northwest artist who has contributed to the region. Ceramic artist Patti Warashina is named for the award given to the “Emerging Artists” category. Congratulations to Saya Moriyasu who won the Alfredo Arreguin Award for Mid-Career Artists. She is represented by G. Gibson Gallery. Winners receive $1,000 award and inclusion in a group show at the museum located in La Connor, WA.
“River Run” by sculptor June Sekiguchi was a yearlong progressively cumulative installation responding to sites around Puget Sound from Bainbridge, Ellensberg, Bellingham, Seattle and in its most expansive iteration culminating at Edmonds. This final Edmonds segment is on view now through Dec. 8, 2016. At Edmonds Community College Art Gallery. The gallery is on the third floor of Lynnwood Hall. Regular hours are M – Th. From 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m, Fridays from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and weekends from 1 – 5 p.m. 2000 – 68th Ave. W. in Lynnwood, WA. 425-640-1459.
Aldo Chan is well known for his graphic design skills having worked for the International Examiner, Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Seattle Times. But how many of you know him for his creative ability in the field of ceramics? Just in time for Christmas, come to a “Home Art Sale” featuring Aldo’s ceramics and affordable paintings, drawings, prints & greeting cards by his friends Ann Daley Ryherd, Kathy Roseth and Adama Kay. Sat., Nov. 5, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Refreshments provided. Cash/checks preferred. Ditch the mall, forget online shopping and get that something special, personal and handmade for your loved ones in an intimate, friendly environment. 2306 – N. 46th St. in Seattle.
“The Eclectic Collection” is a group show of artwork by former artist-in-residents at the James & Janie Washington Foundation. The home of the late, great Northwest sculptor & painter James Washington has been turned into an artist-in-residence residency for Northwest artists to live at and create work. This group show includes work by MalPina Chan, Romson Bustillo, June Sekiguchi and many others. The show is on view at the Anne Focke Gallery through Oct. 28. Opening reception on Oct. 20 from 4 – 6pm. Regular hours are M – F from 7am – 6pm. 600 Fourth Ave. downtown in the Seattle City Hall Lobby.
“Cultural Perspectives, Part III” is a group show that looks at recent acquisitions to the Seattle Public Utilities Portable Collection on view through Dec. 28, 2016 at the Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery located on Level 3 Concourse of the building located at 700 Fifth Ave. Hours are M-F from 7am – 7pm. 206-684-7132.
The work of Leslie Wu and June Sekiguchi is included in a group show entitled “Revering Nature” at the Koch Gallery at Vashon Center for the Arts as curated by Greg Robinson, Director of BIMA. Opening reception is Nov. 4 from 4 – 6pm. Remains on view through Nov. 26. Hours are M-F from 10am – 5pm and Sat. from 12 – 5pm. 19600 Vashon Highway Southwest on Vashon Island. 206-463-5131.
The work of Fumi Matsumoto, Gary Groves, Mary Balcomb, Lynn Brofsky and Stephen McFarland is included in the annual “Printmaking Exhibition” at Roby King Galleries through Oct. 29, 2016. 176 Winslow Way E. in Bainbridge Island, WA. 206-842-2063 or go to [email protected]
“Art Interruptions” is an annual temporary art program created by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture with the Seattle Department of Transportation. Temporary art installations will offer ephemeral moments of surprise and reflection in the Rainier Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway including New Holly, Othello, Brighton, Lakewood and Seward Park. You will find these temporary art installations up through Jan. 2, 2017. Vikram Madan and Junko Yamamoto are some of the artists who have work in this project.
Ekphrasis is Greek for the art of using words to describe something beautiful, usually visual art. “Ekphrastic Assimilations – Finding Poetry in Art” is an interactive project designed to bring together poets, artists and art-lovers from China and the US. The art was created by six Chinese and six American artists for this project. Viewers are encouraged to contribute their own poems in response to the artwork on display. All images and poems will be exhibited at the FALA Art Center in Redmond in partnership with ryan james fine arts. On view through Oct. 30, 2016 with a poetry reading & closing reception on Oct. 30 from 6 – 8pm. 7325 – 166 Ave. NE #F115 98052 in Redmond Town Center. Presented by Chiang Chiang-kuo Foundation, the Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas, Pacific Lutheran University, ryan james fine arts and VALA Art Center. Sponsors are 4 Culture and Marriott Seattle Redmond. Go to ekphrasticassimilations.org for complete details.
The Design Lecture Series presents a talk by Kenya Hara on Oct. 28, 2016 at 7pm. Hara is a Japanese designer, curator, author, educator and renowned design thinker. At Seattle Public Library’s Central Branch downtown. Go to www.designlectur.es for information.
Tacoma-based Cambodian American artist Silong Chhun runs the Red Scarf Revolution, a clothing line that gives voice to the once silent art, culture and legacy of Cambodia. He was nominated for the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s “Foundation Art Award.” His work can be seen in the “Foundation Of Art Award Exhibit” on view from Oct. 1 – 31, 2016 at Spaceworks Gallery at 950 Pacific Ave., Suite 205 (Entrance on 11th St.) in Tacoma, WA. To learn more about all the artists who were nominated for their outstanding achievements in the Tacoma community, go to www.gtcf.org/art.
Seattle artist Louie Gong is the cover story for the October 2016 City Arts magazine. The story details his mixed-race identity and his push for Native Americans to take back their heritage in the selling of their cultural property. He has opened 8th Generation in Pike Place Market, a store owned by Native Americans that sells products by Native Americans. Gong is represented by ArtXchange Gallery in Pioneer Square.
There is a foreboding tension apparent in Elizabeth Jameson’s drawings, paintings and constructions of garments and gowns empty of human occupancy that pulls the viewer in with an edgy anticipation of the unknown. Her unique work is included in a group show entitled “Frocks & Vestments” which looks at the way artists create through the form of frocks, costumes and vestments on view through Nov. 3. SAM Gallery located inside Seattle Art Museum downtown at 1300 First Ave. 206-343-1101. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.
Back in 1966 artists Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Kluver came up with an event in New York entitled “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering.” They put together 10 artists from various disciplines and matched them with 30 engineers from Bell Labs. That event brought forth video projections, Doppler sonar and infrared cameras utilized in performance. Now art & ideas producer, John Boylan hopes to create some more startling results locally by combining the creativity energy of local artists and Seattle technology wizards in a project he titles “9e2”. A rooster of over 50 artists and just as many scientists of various disciplines – including artists like Romson Bustillo, Tamiko Thiel, Midori Thiel and Butoh dancer Kaoru Okumura and on the science side, people like Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Ranjit Bhatnagar and Neel Joshi will join this creative collaboration set for Oct. 21 – 29 at King St. Station downtown. Go to 9e2seattle.org for details.
“We Are a Crowd of Others” is an installation by Gail Grinnell, Samuel Wildman and Eric Johnson on view through November, 2016. Besides the installation, there will be a series of performances, readings, and projects nestled in the site specific space. This will be a forum for people to engage with this reality: A person’s identity often exceeds the limitations of their body, manifesting in words and actions. Poet Jane Wong addresses “The Poetics of Haunting” on Nov. 8 at 7pm. “Sonic Decoy/Rising Tone” is an all-day program led by Emory Liu & special guests. Mad Art Studio at 325 Westlake Ave. N. #101. Go to http://crowdofothers.com for details.
“Twisted Impressions” is a group show of aberrant and macabre fine prints from contemporary artists which includes the work of Toshihiko Ikeda, Sohee Kim and Tomiyuki Sakuta. Through October, 2016. Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. 206-624-7684.
The Henry Art Gallery located on the campus of the University of Washington joins MOTHRA and Chris E. Vargas in presenting the group show “TRANS HISTORY in 99 Objects” through June 4, 2017. This show gathers archival materials and works by contemporary artists that narrate an expansive and critical history of transgender communities. Related activities include the following – On Thurs., Sept. 15 at 7pm in the Henry Auditorium, there will be a panel discussion on “Local Transgender Narratives and Collective Identities.” Free. Vargas moderates a panel with Aleksa Manila, Luzviminda Uzuri Carpenter, Calvin Gimpelvich and Marsha Botzer. A related activity is the screening of “Third Antenna: A Documentary About the Radical Nature of Drag” screening on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 9:30pm at the Egyptian Theater as part of the Twist Film Fest. Go to www.twistfilmfest.org for details. At the gallery, there will be a Project 42 performance on Nov. 13 at 12:30pm with Seattle dancer/choreographer Anna Lizette Connor that memorializes transgender lives cut short by murder.
“To:Seattle/Subject: Personal” is a group show of significant works of contemporary art acquired by The Board of Trustees between 2009 and 2016 during the directorship of Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzke who curated the exhibition. It emphasizes the inclusion of work into the collection of local artists in the community. Includes work by DK Pan, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Liu Ping, Pan Gongkai and Susie J. Lee. “Seeing Art: A Multidisciplinary Critical Discourse on Twenty-First Century Art Practice” is a series of discussions on some of the issues brought up in the exhibition on a global, national and local level and the efforts on art practice. Sat., Oct. 15 from 2 – 3:30pm. Sat., Nov. 19 from 2 – 3:30pm. Sat., Dec. 10 from 3 – 4:30pm. 704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.
Winston Wachter Fine Art Seattle presents a solo exhibition by painter Miya Ando entitled “Tasogare/Twilight” (The time of day when sunlight, moonlight and starlight work together to transform the sky). In homage to her Japanese heritage of sword making and Buddhism, the artist creates landscapes on metal using dye, urethane and resin. On view through Oct. 29, 2016. 203 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-652-5855 or go to www.winstonwachter.com.
New work by Aaliyah Gupta comments on “geopolitical events occurring across the globe” using a variety of media. Through Oct. 29, 2016. CORE Gallery at 117 Prefontaine Place S. in Seattle. 206-467-4444 or go to coregallery.org.
The work of Akio Takamori is included in the group show “Neddy Artist Awards – 20 Years” which includes past winners and this year’s finalists. On view through Oct. 23, 2016. At Pivot Art + Culture at 609 Westlake Ave. N. in Seattle. Free and open to the public. Info. at www.cornish.edu/needy_artist_awards
The art collective known as SOIL has the following group shows. The group show “From Domesticity” features work by Tony Kim and opens Nov. 3 and remains on view until Dec. 31, 2016. Megumi Shauna Arai has work in a large group show curated by Serrah Russell and Rafael Soldi on view from Nov. 3 – Nov. 26, 2016. 112 Third Ave. S. 206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org.
The work of artists Ron Ho, Cheryll Leo-Gwin, Taiji Miyasaka & David Drake and Midori Saito is included in the BAM Biennial 2016 entitled “Metal Morphosis” on view through Feb. 5, 2017. The Northwest Designer Craftsmen also present a “Workshop with Ron Ho” on the weekend of Nov. 5 & 6 from 10am – 4pm. $175 for members and $200 for non-members.510 Bellevue Way NE. 425-519-0770 or go to bellevuearts.org for details.
“INK PLAY: Celebrating the World of Sumi” is a group show presenting the work of the Puget sound Sumi Artists (PSSA) at Hanforth Gallery located in Tacoma’s Public Library. On view from Oct. 4 – Nov. 12. A reception takes place on Sat., Oct. 8 from 1 – 4pm with free art demonstrations. 1102 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma. Go to www.tacomapubliclibrary.org for details.
La Connor Quilt & Textile Museum has two shows entitled “Beauty of Japan” and “Images of Japan” by Sachiko Yoshida and her students on view through Oct. 2, 2016. 703 South Second St. La Connor, WA. 360-466-4288. Hours are 11am – 5pm Tues. – Sun.
“Handmade in Camp – What We couldn’t Carry” (see review in this issue) is a group show that displays over 60 items including furniture, jewelry, tools, paintings, needlework, scrapbooks, games, toys and quilts – all handcrafted items made by Japanese Americans during their WWII incarceration. On view through Nov. 6, 2016.The museum says that most are family heirlooms borrowed from area households and have never been seen in public. Accompanied by quotes from local families. White River Valley Museum in Auburn. For details call 253-288-7433 or go to http://wrvmuseum.org.
“Witness To Wartime: Takuichi Fujii” is an exhibition devoted to the career of this Seattle artist (1891-1964). The bulk of the collection consists of almost 250 drawings depicting the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast. The artist’s illustrated diary depicts in detail the history of internment from start to finish and is augmented by paintings, watercolors and sculpture. After the war, Fujii relocated to Chicago where he continued to work in a more abstract expressionistic manner. Selections from this exhibition are featured in the current Boise Art Museum exhibition entitled “Minidoka: Artist As Witness.” The exhibition is curated by Northwest art historian Barbara Johns who also wrote the catalog which will be published by UW Press in 2017. For booking this exhibition, email or call Laura Sumser, Exhibition Manager at [email protected] or 626-577-0044.
- Gibson Gallery in Pioneer Square specializes in photography and art. They represent such artists as Saya Moriyasu, Diem Chua, Elizabeth Jameson and Thuy-Van Wu. Beginning in November, they will move to the lower Queen Anne neighborhood in the same building as On The Boards. Their new address will be 104 W. Roy St. The first new exhibit in the new space will be “Winter Gymnastics”, a group exhibit of gallery artists set for Nov. 16 – Dec. 30, 2016.
Seattle raised/ Germany-based installation artist Tamiko Thiel’s summer project at Olympic Sculpture Park through Sept. 30, 2016 is entitled “Gardens Of The Anthropocene.” She creates an augmented reality app that can be downloaded to your mobile device. This virtual tour imagines the future for the landscape as we enter a new geological age defined by human activity’s impact on climate and environment. You can download the free Layar app onto your iPhone or Android smartphones now and get ready for a surreal landscape.
“Monkey Way” is the title of a catchy multi-media installation by Seattle artist Saya Moriyasu. It’s in the walkway window just past Starbuck’s as you transition from Chinatown/ID to the street across that leads to the trains that take commuters to Everett and Tacoma. In a lot of ways, this transition between cultures/places parallel’s the artist’s work as well. Her statement reads, “The current political situation is awkward in that it seeps into the work via monkeys and lots of shelves that are not functional. This moment of instability in US politics leads to inspirations from moments in history in France and China. Putting all these elements all together is a visual mash-up that comes from my life in a family mixed both in class and culture.” History, culture and identity mixed with whimsy comes from this display and grabs the attention of passersby. The work is up until October, 2016. Moriyasu is also in a group show entitled “Peep Show” on the 2nd floor at The Alice at 6007 – 12th Ave. S. through August 13. For information on the artist, go to Saya Moriyasu.com. for information about the work, go to GGibsonGallery.com.
“Unsettled/Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is a new exhibit that tells the story of the Hunt Hotel’s role in the resettling of the Japanese community in Seattle after WW II. This traveling exhibit is now on view at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center through Sept. 25. 121 NW 2nd Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkei.org.
Local paper-cut artist Lauren Iida has a busy schedule of shows throughout the area. Her work can always be seen at ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. In addition, more shows include the following. A new retail/gallery space in Ballard called Venue carries a variety of her new cut paper work. 5408 22nd Ave. NW. [email protected] or call 206-789-3335. Her first public art project will be paper cutaways laser cut from metal and hung as banners along Aurora between 175th and 205th will be installed in August. Sponsored by the city of Shoreline. Her first “sculptural” paper cutaway will be on display starting Fri., August 4 at Sculpture Northwest in Bellingham. 11 feet long, it features images of diving Kamikaze planes along with framed work and found objects pertaining to her family’s incarceration during WWII in Japanese American internment camps. She has a new position as Gallery Director at Make Shift Art Space in Bellingham. She recently collaborated with Cambodian American designer Silong Chuun at Red Scarf Revolution in Tacoma to design t-shirts with her paper cutaway designs which are available online. Go to www.laureniida.com for full details. She is also always open to commissions. She has done custom cutaways for people from their special photos or a favorite poem etc. For details on commissions, go to http://www.laureniida.com/commissions.html.
Kobo at Higo hosts the group show “Varia: Seattle Metals Guild Jewelry Exhibition” through the month of October. Opening Nov. 12 and remaining on view until Dec. 30, 2016 is their always popular annual “Simple Cup Invitational Show.” Go down early and sign up if you want to have a chance to purchase a cup. 604 S. Jackson St. in Seattle. 206-381-3000 or go to koboseattle.com.
ZINC Contemporary presents “The Fish Jumped Laughing Into A Net”, a show of works on paper by Chelsea Ryoko Wong from Oct. 6 – Oct. 31. 119 Prefontaine Pl. S. in Seattle. Go to zinccontemporary.com for details.
The Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery in Bellevue has the following. “Geometric Abstracts from Beijing” is the title of a show of works by Chinese artist Chen Jin opening on Oct. 12 and closing Nov. 5, 2016. Opening Nov. 9 and closing Dec. 10, 2016 are works on silk by Keiichi Nakamura. 800 Bellevue Way NE #111. 425-827-2822 or go to gunnarnordstrom.com for details.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma currently has a group show by the Washington Overseas Chinese Artists Association through Oct. 28. 4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900.
Noted photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto will be the planned speaker for the annual Mitsubishi lecture sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program. In addition to the lecture, the Japan studies program plans to collaborate with local galleries, theaters and museums to host related events. The event will occur early next year. Details will be posted at https://jsis.washington.edu/japan later this fall.
The Portland Japanese Garden recently reopened after a six-month closure for construction on the Garden’s Cultural Crossing expansion project. More construction is coming to expand the facilities with new features such as classrooms, galleries, a café and seven garden spaces with public water features and a bonsai terrace. Design is supervised by internationally know architect Kengo Kuma. Improvements should be completed by Spring, 2017. Go to www.japanesegarden.com for full details.
The A6 Studio & Gallery’s major exhibit for 2016 is entitled “Opening Japan: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints” which features more than two dozen Japanese woodblock prints covers a wide range of topics and artists from the 17th, 18th and 19th century. Activities connected to the show include the following. Art historian Lorna Cahall traces the influence of Japanese prints on the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists on Nov. 1 at the Bend Downtown Library. Portland State University’s theater department provides an introduction to kabuki thatre and perfroms select scenes from “The 47 Loyal Samurai” at Tower Theatre on Nov. 13. On view through Nov. 20, 2016. A6 is a non-profit studio and gallery in Bend, Oregon centered on printmaking and boo arts. Go to www.atelier6000.org/japanese-art for complete details.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has the following upcoming shows. “Millennia – Astonishing Asian Art Throughout the Ages” is a new group show that showcases one of the best collections of Asian art in Canada taken from the gallery collection and remains on view through March 31, 2017. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
The Audain Art Museum in Whistler, Canada has “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimono of Ichimaru” which showcases the kimono and personal objects of one of Japan’s most famous geisha. Opens Oct. 22 and remains on view through Jan. 9, 2017. 4350 Blackcomb Way. 604-962-0413 or go to audainartmuseum.org.
Steveston is one of the earliest Japanese settlements in British Columbia. Sculptor Judy Nakagawa remembers her hometown and her mother in “Steveston Beginning: Remembering My Mother”. A show of abstract sculptures at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site in the Murakami Boatworks Building at 5180 Westwater Dr. in Richmond, BC, Canada. Through Oct.
“hyung-nae-ne-gi” is a show based on a Korean word that has no direct English translation but is interesting enough for Khan Lee to come up with sculptures to capture its elusive meanings. Republic Gallery in Vancouver, BC, Canada through Oct. 22. 732 Richards St. 3rd floor. 604-632-1590 or go to republicgallery.com.
“Splashes of Color: Chinese Woodblock Prints from the You Wei Du Zhai Collection” is on view through Oct. 9, 2016. A tattered folded painting of five Buddhas found in an old chest in a Korean antique shop by an American collector has become a rare re-found treasure. When Robert Mattielli bought the painting for ten dollars and brought it back with him to Portland. And when he bequeathed it to Portland Art Museum. He had no idea of its origins. Visiting scholars from the Korean National Research Institute for Cultural Heritage verified it had been stolen from the famous zen temple, Songgwangsa. Now, before it is returned, visitors to the museum can see this special painting accompanied by a special informative symposium which takes place on Dec. 3, 2016 from 1 – 4pm. Portland Art Museum. 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or go to portlandartmuseum.org.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – “Everything Has Been Material For Scissors To Shape” is a new group exhibition on textiles and how they move through history and myth, commodity culture and art, linking women’s hands and machines to Asian American identities.” It features the work of Surabhi Ghosh, Stephanie Syjuco and Aram Han Sifuentes. This show is on display through April 16, 2017. Opening Sat., August 20 is “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”. Opening March 3 from 6 – 8pm is “Seeds of Change, Roots of Power: The Danny Woo Community Garden”, an exhibit that celebrates this neighborhood resource which preserves culture, tradition and identity. Nov. 3 from 6 – 8pm is the opening reception for a new show entitled “We Are the Ocean: An Indigenous Response to Climate Change”. Free. Another exhibition opening member reception takes place on Thurs., Dec. 8 from 6 – 8pm for “Who’s Got Game? Asian Pacific Americans in Sports” set for Dec. 8 from 6 – 8pm. This event includes speakers, games and refreshments. RSVP online. Tatau/Tattoo: Embodying Resistance. Explores the practices and cultural significance of tattoos, highlighting the unique perspectives of the South Pacific communities in the Pacific Northwest. “Khmer American: Naga Sheds Its Skin”. War has had a huge impact on Khmer culture and identity. Despite these challenges, the community continues to shape the US and Cambodia. “Tales of Tails: Animals in Children’s Books is a recent show to open at the museum. “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? opened on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”. It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends. FAMILY FUN DAY takes place on Sat. Nov. 19 from 10am – 5pm. Free admission all day with family fun activities like story time, face painting and special appearances by local heroes. Toddler Story Time has the following events which are all free. On Nov. 3 at 11am hear the story of a child and her grandpa in “Joone.” Thurs., Dec. 1 at 11am, hear the story of a bear looking for a new home in “Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats” with a fun art activity to follow. The Wing wishes happy holidays to its members with a Dec. 3 “Holiday Member Appreciation Day: Asian American Santa” which takes place from 12:30 – 3:30pm in the member lounge. Bring your kids and enjoy special discounts in the Marketplace. Every gift membership purchased includes a limited edition Year of the Rooster glass. On Sat. ,Dec. 10 from 10:30am – 12:30pm, join fashion designer Malia Peoples for a sewing workshop in which you can make your very own Kinchaku (Japanese drawstring pouch). Great for kids ages 8+ accompanied by an adult. Free if you bring your own fabric. If not, $5 for materials. (Does not include access to the Museum galleries). “SHOP-O-RAMA” is when you get the best deals at the museum gift store. Every Sat., from Nov. 19 – Dec. 17, enjoy discounts and local artist pop-up shops. Visit wingluke.org/shop for details. 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.
“Voices of Nisei Veterans – Permanent Exhibition and Collections” is composed of rare collections preserved by the Nisei Veterans Committee and tells the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after WW II. Access is by pre-arranged tour only. For reservations or information, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Jointly sponsored by the NVC Memorial Hall and The Wing. 1212 South King St.
“Pacific Voices” is an ongoing exhibit that celebrates the language, teachings, art, and cultural ceremonies of seventeen cultures from the Pacific Rim. Burke Museum at the University of Washington. 17th Ave. NE & E 45th Streets. (206) 543-5590 or try Washington.edu/burkemuseum.
Original sumi paintings and prints by Japanese modern master Toko Shinoda now in her 90’s and still working will be shown locally at Azuma Gallery. The show opens Nov. 3 and remains on view until Nov. 30, 2016. 530 First Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-622-5599 or go to azumagallery.com.
The work of Long Gao is included in a group show ending Oct. 29, 2016 at Jeffrey Moose Gallery. 1333 Fifth Ave. in Rainier Square downtown. 206-467-6951 or go to jeffreymoosegallery.com.
New Zealand’s largest art show “World of Wearable Art” (tm ) makes its North American debut at EMP Museum in Seattle. A spectacular fusion of fasion and art, the exhibition showcases 32 award-winning garments from the annual competition in Wellington. One of the highlights is ‘Born to Die”, a dress made completely of cable ties woven into a sculptural “vertebrae” to look like a fish skeleton, by design student, Guo Xia Tong from China. On view through Jan. 2, 2017. 325 – 5th Ave. N.
Chiyo Ishikawa, Seattle Art Museum’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture talks with Bethann Hardison, supermodel and advocate about bringing awareness to the representation of people of color within the fashion industry. Wed., Nov. 2 at 7pm in Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheeff Auditorium. Ichikawa gives a “First Friday Lecture” on Nov. 4 at 11am. She will discuss the show on Yves Saint Laurent. Both events are part of the activities connected to Seattle Art Museum’s current show “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style now on view through Jan. 8, 2017. The SAM Families “Free First Saturday” event for Nov. 5 at 11am is “Celebrating Diwali” in which you can celebrate the Indian festival of lights by making your own votive candle holder, see a fashion show and listen to traditional Indian music. “Conversations with Curators” is a popular series designed for SAM members. It starts up again with the following – All talks start at 7pm in the auditorium with a Happy Hour preceding the event at 6pm. Japanese and Korean Art Curator Xiaojin Wu gives a talk on Nov. 16. Chinese Art Curator Ping Fong speaks on Dec. 14. Curator of African and Oceanic Art, Pam McClusky talks on Jan. 18. Next year will see a show by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama spanning over five decades. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will focus on her original series done in 1965 in which she displayed a vast expanse of red-spotted, white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, creating a jarring illusion of infinite space and move on throughout her whole career developing this concept. Opens Sept. 29, 2017 and remains on view through Sept. 10, 2017. The exhibit comes from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. where it will be exhibited Feb. 23 – May 14, 2017. Other dates for this touring exhibit TBA. Seattle Art Museum downtown at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3100.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Awakened Ones: Buddhas of Asia” comes from the museum’s own collection and features 20 sculptures and paintings of Buddhas from across Asia that span nearly 13 centuries. On view through Feb. 26, 2017 is “Terratopia: The Chinese Landscape in Painting and Film.” The importance of landscape is a key feature of Chinese art and this show gives it a new wrinkle by comparing Chinese landscape paintings from the collection with the sounds and images of artist and cinematographer Yang Fudong taken from his five-part film entitled “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-7). The film experiments with ideas about what nature holds for people in the modern world by reimagining ancient history’s seven philosophers as seven successful youths who are disenchanted with the banality of daily urban life. Filmed in the famed Yellow mountains of eastern China, a place that inspired poetry and literature for centuries as well as a major school of landscape art. Chinese art curator Foong Ping says, “It’s a thinking person’s show…You have to look at something and ask ‘Why is it there? Why did you choose this one?’ and there will be an answer. It’s a puzzle.”. Immersed in both the audio and visual elements of the film, viewers may very well begin to see the Chinese landscapes on the wall in a new light. In a related activity, SAM Families “Free First Saturday” on Dec. 3 from 11am – 2pm will have families tour the show and then inspired by traditional Chinese paintings and Northwest landscapes, create their own landscape to take home. Tabaimo is a Japanese artist who currently has her first solo show of video installations at San Jose Museum of Modern Art. She will curate a show of her existing and new works as well as works from SAM’s collection that she has selected for their close connections with her own work entitled “Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi.” Her immersive and thought-provoking installations combine hand-drawn traditional Japanese wood block prints with digital manipulations. This is the first major exhibition curated by the artist and it is organized around the concept of “utsushi” which refers to the emulation of a master artist’s work as a way to understand their technique. Opens Nov. 11, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 26, 2017. On the opening night of the exhibit, the artist Tabaimo will talk about her work with SAM Curator Xiaojin Wu at 7pm. Also Wu will give a free talk again about Tabaimo’s work at a “First Friday Lecture” on Dec. 2 at 11am. On Oct. 29, Sat. from 11am – 5pm in the Alvord Board Room, there will be “Ekphrastic Assimilations: Word/Image Symposium. This event examines relationships between writing in poetic format and Chinese visual art. A related event on Sat., Oct. 30 has a poetry reading with digital images. All events are part of “Ekphrastic Assimilations”, an exhibit held at VALA Arts Center in Redmond on view through Oct. 30. Aung Zaw is the founder and editor in chief of The Irawaddy Magazine. After the military crackdown, former student leader Zaw started this magazine in Thailand to give a critical view of politics, economics and the current state of affairs in Myanmar and the rest of S.E. Asia. In 2012 he relocated back to Yangon. As one of the country’s most independent news sources, he speaks today about the challenges facing a country in transition. The talk is on Wed. Nov. 2 at 7pm in Stimson Auditorium. Presented with Partners Asia. The Gardner Center’s “Saturday University” series this time centers around the theme of tea. All talks start at 9:30am in the auditorium. On Oct. 22, Selena Ahmed from Montana State University speaks about “Tea Horse Road: China’s Ancient Trade Route to Tibet. On Nov. 5, Piya Chatterjee from UC Riverside talks about “Consuming Empires, Consuming Desires: Images of Tea Times and Tea Labors. On Nov. 12, Morgan Pitelka from the University of North Carolina talks about “The Power and Pleasure of Tea Bowls in Japan.” On Nov. 19, Erika Rappaport from UC, Santa Barbara talks about how “Tea Revives the World: Advertising a Global Commodity during the Great Depression.” The Gardner Center’s “Asia Talks” series presents Professors Clark Sorenson and Andrea Arai from UW who speak about “Spaces In, Between and Beyond Korean and Japan on Dec. 1 at 7pm in the auditorium. Please note that when the museum closes for extended renovation, Gardner Center’s Winter 2017 “Saturday University” series activities will continue at the alternative site of Seattle University at Pigott Hall and other places on the campus. Seattle Asian Art Museum is at 1400 Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. 206-442-8480 or go to seattleartmuseum.org/gardnercenter or [email protected].
The works of Patti Warashina and her late husband Robert Sperry and Lead Pencil Studio (Annie Han & Daniel Mihalyo) are included in a unique group show curated by Vicki Halper entitled “Matched Makers-Northwest Artist Couples” on view through Jan. 1, 2017. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor, WA.
Seattle artist Carina del Rosario brought her “Passport Office” art installation to Burien’s Arts Aglow Festival on September 10, 2016. “Every time I have to fill out a form, I bristle at the boxes I have to squeeze myself into. I know a lot of people who feel that way too.” Instead the artist creates new passports that lets people fill out with what they want to say about themselves and the meaningful things in their lives. The artist wants to provoke deeper questions like “why do we have categories like race, gender and immigration status anyway?” A portion of this series will be featured in the exhibition “Liberty Denied” at the Museum of Culture and the Environment” in Ellensburg through Dec. 10, 2016. For details, go to [email protected].
The Seattle Asian Art Museum known for its classic Art Deco design built in 1933 will receive a major overhaul and renovation. The museum will close in the spring of 2017. The museum seeks input from the community in a series of meetings about what people envision for the Asian Art Museum of tomorrow. Go to visitsam.org/inspire or email SAM at [email protected] for more information about upcoming community forums about the future of SAAM. Some goals include expanding educational and programming spaces, protecting the collection, restoring a historic icon, enhancing the museum’s connection with Volunteer Park and adding new exhibition space. Coming up are community meetings on Nov. 19, 2016 and Dec. 10, 2016 both at 1pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum at 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. Come come and bring your imput and suggestions.
Seattle artist/performer/filmmaker Etsuko Ichikawa has won the grand prize Dave Bowen Award for her video entitled “Echo at Satsop”. Submissions were received from artists from over 40 countries. Juror and Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has this to say about the work. “Equal parts performance documentation and otherworldly cinematic experience the mesmerizing video reveals the dramatic potential of a simple gesture made in an extraordinary setting. I was not only struck by the professional and creative cinematography, but also by the powerful soundtrack. Nearly every shot would make a compelling still image; the meditative sound could also stand alone. Both contribute to a sense that this clearly real place could be on earth or elsewhere – in the past, present, or far-off future.” Congratulations, Etsuko! The artist is represented locally by Winston Wachter Fine Art Gallery/ [email protected]. Currently she is working on a public art project for Pullman High School sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission. She will do a residency at Museum of Glass in Tacoma. She is also working on “Jomon Vitrified”, an examination of the radioactive decay of uranium glass inspired by Jomon pottery and concerns over the disasters at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant and Hanford Nuclear Waste Management. She has a new facebook page and is working on a podcast as well. For details on any of the above, email [email protected]
Comparing his own journey from China to Canada, the Yangtze River to the Frazier River, with that of the salmon migration, Canadian multi-media artist Gu Xiong has an installation entitled “A River of Migration”. Xiong says, “When the salmon returns, the river flows red. A spiritual river. A river of migration.” On view through Nov. 28, 2016. San Juan Islands Museum of Art on 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor. 360-370-5050 or go to www.sjima.org.
“Cosmic Leaves” is a show of new work by veteran Portland sculptor/artist Kanetaka Ikeda. Imagine larger than life-size white leaves filled with sections of patterned color fluttering down out of the sky and you might start to get an idea. Show runs through Oct. 29, 2016. Blackfish Gallery at 420 Ninth Ave. in Portland. 503-224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.
“Eyes Water Fire” is a show of new work by Tomoyo Ihaya. As a nomad, the artist has a sensitivity to people forced to migrate because of social political situation. The work in this show reflects Ihaya’s emotional and visual diatribe against “. . . the suffering of people (because of) wars, suppression, abuse of human rights and loss of homelands and dignity.” Includes mixed media installations, mixed media drawings and an art video. On view through Nov. 25, 2016. Art Beatus Gallery. 108-808 Nelson St. in Vancouver, BC. 604-688-2633 or go to www.artbeatus.com.
If you missed the “Juxtapoz x Superflat” group exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami and Evan Pricco, Editor of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine that showed for a few days at Pivot Art + Culture during the Seattle Art Fair, you now have a second chance. It will be on view Nov. 5 until Feb. 5, 2017 here in Vancouver. The emphasis is on art outside the mainstream dipping into subcultures of contemporary design, anime and manga. Includes work by Chiho Aoshima, Toilet Paper Magazine, Kim Jung Gi, Lucy Sparrow, Takashi Murakami and many others. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-662-4722 or go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.
“Taiken – Japanese Canadians Since 1877”, photography and artifacts that chronicle the hardships of pioneers to the struggles of the war years to the Nikkei community today. Nikkei National Museum at 6688 Southoaks Cres. In Burnaby B.C., Canada. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
The first Honolulu Biennial looks at Hawai’i not as a remote outpost but more like the crossroads of the Pacific Rim showcasing work from Japan, the Pacific Islands, Maoris and local talent. Opens March 8, 2017 and on view until May 8, 2017 at various venues. To get the whole schedule, go to honolulubiennial.org.
The Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90’s” gives you a look at 70 works by avant-garde designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Kansai Yamamoto and Yohji Yamamoto. On view now through May 28, 2017. “Depth & Detail – Carved Bamboo from China, Japan & Korea” looks at this intricate decorative art that includes religious imagery, people, animals, birds, insects, plants and landscapes. All with a story to tell or having symbolic meaning. On view through Jan. 15, 2017. 100 W 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver. 720-865-5000.
“Japanese Photography From Postwar To Now” features over 400 recently acquired images from the 1960’s to the 1990’s with work by Daido Moriyama, Shomei Tomatsu and Miyako Ishiuchi. On view through March 12, 2017. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Go to sfmoma.org for details.
The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco at 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500. In recent news, the museum is planning a massive expansion and renovation underwritten by donations from board members which include the wife of the original founder of Yahoo! and the President of Dreyer’s Ice Cream. Thai-born Kulapat Yantrasast’s wHY architectural firm of Los Angeles will oversee the project which begins in 2017. In an effort to step up its contemporary art programming, the museum recently hired curator Karin G. Oen from Dallas where she worked as curator at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The museum better known for historical exhibitions in the past is adding more contemporary shows as well. “28 Chinese” is a group show opening this summer with Xu Zhen, Zhang Huang and Ai We Wei organized by Miami collectors Mera and Don Rubell. The museum’s recent acquisitions of new art will debut in the fall with a group show entitled “First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian” with work by Ahmed Mater, RongRong & Inri, Zhu Jinshi, Okura Jiro, Lu Shoukun and C. C. Wang.
A new exhibition entitled “Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints” remains on view through Jan. 9, 2017. The show includes forty-eight examples of woodblock prints made from the 16th century to 19th centuries on loan from the National Library of China in Beijing, the Nanjing Library, the Shanghai Museum and 14 other institutions and private collections. At the Huntington Library located at 1151 Oxford Rd. in San Marino, California. 626-405-2100.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of the sites for Mel Chin’s land art project “The Tie That Binds: Mirror of the Future” which is part of the new public art biennial “CURRENT: LA Water. Chin, is internationally known for his public art installations that involve community and this one is no different. As you know California is in the midst of a long drought. The project begins at the Bowtie, a piece of land in Atwater village near the Los Angeles River. Here, “mirror makers” guide viewers through eight unique, drought-resistant sample gardens created by the artist. Visitors can commit to creating a mirror of a sample garden in their own yard, and receive a blueprint for one of the sample gardens with instructions on how to plant and maintain their very own mirror garden, It is hoped this will help drought-resistant gardens proliferate all across the city. For details, go to the CURRENT:LA website.
Craft in America Center in Los Angeles has the following – The work of Taweesak Molsawat is included in a group show entitled “Politically Speaking: New American Ideals in Contemporary Jewelry” now on view through Nov. 5, 2016. Upcoming May 20 – July 1, 2017 is “Kazuki Takizawa: Catharsis Contained.” This LA-based artist puts human emotions in the shimmering, fragile form of glass. Of his work, he says “The harmonization of the radically different, such as violence and meditation, spontaneity and meticulousness, and destruction and repair is found in the process, as well as the result of my work.” Craft in America Center is at 1120 South Robertson Blvd. #301 in Los Angels. Go to 310-659-9022 or [email protected]
Yuki Kimura’s photographs are like staged domestic environments with his own shots and those taken from other sources juxtaposed with furniture, potted plants and various objects. This marks Kimura’s first solo show in the US. Opens Dec. 8, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 25, 2017. CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco. 360 Kansas St. 415-355-9670.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows –“Tatau: Marks of Polynesia” on view until Jan. 8, 2017 showcases the art and legacy of the over 2,000 year old Samoan tattoo tradition. Opening March 12, 2007 and remaining on view until August 20, 2017 will be “New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei” which looks at the life and career of Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu. 100 North Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 1-800-461-5266 or go to janm.org.
Currently on view through Dec. 4, 2016 is “Alternative Dreams: 17th Century Chinese Paintings From the Tsao Family Collection” which showcases works by many of the most famous painters of this period, including scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents “No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki.” Co-organized with Colby College Museum of Art, it is the first retrospective of the work of this artist (1920-2013) in the United States. This Chinese-French artist melded eastern and western aesthetic sensibilities in his paintings to great effect and was a key figure of the post-WWII abstract expressionist movement. Zao was born in Beijing but grew up in Shanghai and Hangzhou, where he studied at the China Academy of Art. In 1948, he emigrated to Paris where he became a major name in the European art world. His work found its way into American collections in the 50’s and 60’s. He was one of the first artists to adapt the visual characteristics of Chinese art within twentieth-century oil painting idioms. The show is curated by Melissa Walt, Ankeney Weitz and Michelle Yun and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. On view through January 8, 2017. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org.
Alfonso Ossorio was one of the first contemporary Filipino American artists and lived on Long island near Jackson Pollock , a friend and contemporary. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery represents his estate. They have a show entitled Alfonso Ossorio- Congregations: The First Decade 1959 – 1969” now on view through Oct. 29, 2016. 100 Eleventh Ave. in New York City. Go to michaelrosenfeld.com for details.
The Japanese minimalist sculptor Kishio Suga gets his first US museum exhibition at DIA in Chelsea in New York City. Nov. 5 – April 2, 2017. Go to diaart.org for details.
Opening in the Spring of 2017 will be the Whitney Biennial which was started in 1932 and is still considered one of the pre-eminent biennials in the country. This 2017 edition is co-curated by Asian Americans, Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks. 99 Gansevoort St. in New York City. Go to www.whitney.org.
Drawings, paintings and photos illustrate the great architectural sites and buildings of Tibet in the exhibition entitled “Monumental Lhasa: Fortress, Palace, Temple” on view now through Jan. 9, 2017 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Go to rubinmuseum.org for details.
“Isamu Noguchi – Archaic/Modern” explores how pyramids, burial mounds, temples and the gardens of the ancient world shaped one of America’s most innovative sculptors. Nov. 11, 2016 – March 19, 2017. Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. Free and open daily. 8th and G Streets NW. Go to AmericanArt.si.edu for details.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following. “The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps of the 18th and 19th Centuries” through Nov. 6, 2016. This exhibition of maps showcases the beauty of Japanese printmaking. Coming up is “Provoke”: Photography in Japan Between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975.” Opens Jan. 28, 2017 and remains on view through April 30, 2017. 111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.
“Narcissus Garden” was an installation created by the grande dame of contemporary Japanese art, Yayoi Kusama for the 33rd Venice Biennale back in 1966. She re-creates that piece consisting of over 1,000 mirrored spheres at the famed American architect Phillip Johnson’s historic glazed building in New Canaan, Connecticut known as the Glasshouse Museum. Kusama floats a landscape of metallic orbs that sweep across the meadow and forest of the grounds on the way to the building. “Narcissus Garden” is on view through November, 2016. For tickets for a tour, go to [email protected].
The Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University has the following – Upcoming is a group exhibition that investigates a wide range of themes surrounding the changing role of women in China in an exhibition entitled “Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Women Artists”. Included are the work of twenty-eight emerging working in painting, installation, sculpture, video, animation, photography and performance. The generation of artists born in China during the 1970s and 1980s witnessed significant changes throughout their society as the country opened up to foreign markets and international exchange. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by the curator, Dr. Wang Chunchen and interviews with the artists. There will be various activities including performances by Hu Jiayi, Lin Ran, and Luo Wei. On view through February 12, 2017. This museum was designed by the late Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. 504 East Circle Dr. in East Lansing, Michigan. 517-884-4800 or try [email protected].
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has re-designed the display for their superb collection of South Asian art. It re-opened on Oct. 2 after an 18 month, $2.7 million re-do, the first in over 40 years. Now collections and genres for each country are linked into two major themes – “Art and the Devine” and “Art, Power, Status.” 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Go to www.philamuseum.org for details.
Cleveland Museum of Art has a show entitled “Art And Stories From Mughal India” through Oct. 23, 2016. See over 100 detailed paintings and decorative objects on loan from museums across the country. 11150 East Blvd. 216-421-7350 or go to www.clevelandart.org.
“Bingata! Only in Okinawa” is an exhibit on the textile art of that country that opens Nov. 5, 2016 and remains on view through Jan. 30, 2017 at George Washington University Museum’s Textile Museum in Washington D.C. Okinawa was an independent kingdom until 1879, with its own language, culture and distinctive textile traditions. This exhibition has textile treasures from Okinawan museum collections with brightly colored bingata traditional resist-dyed fabrics and contemporary works by Okinawan artists and fashion designers. Organized in partnership with the Okinawa Prefectural Government. 701-21st St. NW. Call 202-994-5200 or go to [email protected].
“Winter in Jeju-Do” is on view through Dec. 16, 2016. Photographer Caroline Philippone’s attempt to document this Korean island’s mountains, coastal towns and temples in winter. This island is located in the southernmost area of South Korea. Miami University Art Museum’s Douglass Gallery at 801 S. Patterson Ave. in Oxford, Ohio. Go to miamioh.edu/artmuseum for details.
Another large exhibit in Seoul honoring the artist is “The Paik Nam June Show” where over a hundred of his pieces are arranged in thematic sections including a huge turtle sculpture composed of over 166 TV monitors. On view through Oct. 30, 2016 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Go to www.ddp.or.kr for details.
The National Arts Council chose multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning to represent Singapore at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
If current shows in Japan are any indicator, that country is in a navel-gazing mood with shows that look back to the past to evaluate the future. In the 1960’s there was an explosion of new graphic art that graced the covers of albums and rock concert posters. Japan was not exempt from this trend and Tadanori Yokoo is best known for his vibrant poster art and album covers. “Yokoo Maniarism Vol. 1” looks at his works based on diary entries in which he attempted to draw/scribble down images from his dreams and whatever else he could catch before they dissolved from memory. On view until Nov. 27, 2016 at the Yokoo Tadanori Musem of Contemporary Art at 3-8-30 Harada-dori, Nada Ku, Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. “Charm of the Scholar’s Desk – Water Droppers of the Joseon Dynasty” on view until Nov. 27, 2016. In the Asian tradition of calligraphy, the “four treasures of the study” are considered brush, ink, paper and inkstone” but the water dropper (used to wet inkstones) is not far behind. In the Joseon Dynasty (1397-1910), calligraphy was a popular art form for the ruling class and literati alike. Water droppers were made in a variety of shapes and sizes and decorated with ideas and motifs. This show brings together 126 water droppers from the Museum of Oriental Ceramics collection. 1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita-Ku in Osaka, Japan. “The Power of Colors – Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Kikuchi Collection” on view until Dec. 4, 2016. Colors take on various significance in the world of ceramic art. This show shows the vast array of possibilities and the power of unique hues. All pieces taken from the Tomo Kikuchi Collection. At Musee Tomo in the Nishikubo Building, 4-1-35 Toronomon, Minato-Ku in Tokyo.
“The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?”) is the title of this year’s Gwangju Biennale taken from Persian mysticism and refers to a state that reaches beyond the senses. Held in various venues around Gwangju, South Korea from September 2 – November 6, the art event includes more than a hundred artists from thirty-seven countries. This is the eleventh edition of this global art survey to be held.
Thirty-three year old artist Hao Liang offers his contemporary version of “gongbi”, a static and meticulously refined style that reached its apex during the Song dynasty. Features eight ink- on -silk works that reprises the theme of “Eight Views of Xiaoxing”. Nov. 4, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017 at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. 4 Jiuxianqiao Rd., Chaoyang, Beijing, China. Call +86 10 578 0200 or go to [email protected]
Like Morandi, the Japanese artist Yamada Masaaki (1930-2010) spent his whole life doing the same paintings over and over again. His abstract pieces use unusual hues and imprecise horizontal stripes with drips. Opens Dec. 6, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 12, 2017 at National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. 3-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda in Tokyo. Call 81 3-5777-8600.
The Southern Branch of the famed National Palace Museum in Taipei has opened in Chiayi County, Taiwan. Unlike its namesake which features the cream of Chinese art that Chang Kai-shek was able to take with him when his Nationalist army fled China during the Communist take-over, this museum has a different agenda. Instead of an emphasis on Chinese culture, it presents a more global view of Asia as a whole. It focuses on how Asian cultures across the region have a shared culture using motifs in the way of objects such as textiles, ceramics, tea and references to Buddhism and Islam.
“Learning The Magic of Painting” is Takashi Murakami’s show of new work at Gallerie Perrotin in Paris on view until Dec. 23, 2016. It includes new pieces from his “500 Arhats” series which was unveiled recently at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo as his response to the 2011 East Japan Earthquake. He also continues his exploration of the “Enso” series (literally ‘circle’ in Japanese), a Zen Buddhist motif for emptiness. A new wrinkle for the European audience is his triptychs and diptychs inspired by Francis bacon’s tortured figures. At 76 Rue De Turenne in Paris.
A catalog for “Simultaneity II”, the recent Art Beatus Gallery exhibition of esteemed Korean abstractionist Suh Seung-Won has been published. The publication brings together works from 1970 to the present day and discusses Suh Seung-Won’s meditative, monochrome paintings with respect to the Danseakhwa movement. With essays by Dong Jo Chang and Oh Kwang-Soo. For shipping costs email [email protected] or call 604-688-2633.
The non-profit organization known as Washington Lawyers for the Arts provides the following workshops for artists. “Intellectual Property Fundamentals Workshop on Oct. 26 at noon at the Vera Project at 305 Harrison at Seattle Center. “Art Law Institute” on Mon., Dec. 5 at noon at Perkins Coie LLP. For more information, go to [email protected].
Lisa Sasaki, Oakland Museum of California’s Director of Audience and Civic Engagement has taken a new position as Director of the Asian Pacific American Center of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D. C. Sasaki previously worked as director of program development at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) from 2003 – 2012.
Anicka Yi is one of the nominated artists for the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize. Winner will be announced Oct. 20, 2016. Go to Guggenheim.org/hugobossprize.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts in the Philippines chose “The Spectre of Comparison” by Joselina Cruz as the winning proposal for the Philippines Pavillion at the 57th Venice Biennale.
Bangladeshi-born, London-raised artist Rana Begum won the top prize in the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017.
Vancouver-based architect Bing Thom who died recently at the age of 75 was one of Canada’s most respected architects whose reputation was closely related to the work he did around the city of Vancouver. He was behind the Central City Project with Simon Fraser University that transformed the downtown core in Surrey, B.C. He also designed the mead Center for American Theatre in Washington D.C. and the Tarrart County College in Ft. Worth, Texas. His recent project was the Xiqu Center, a modern home for Chinese opera in Hong Kong. He studied locally with architect Arthur Erickson and worked for Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki in the 70’s. His work was known for swooping forms, the warmth of wood and the play of light.
SIS Productions presents a new play by Dipika Guha entitled “Mechanics of Love.” (see related article in this issue) What do a ballerina with an artificial spine, a well-organized housewife, a mechanic who wants everything and a man with keeps forgetting have in common? Well, they’re all looking for love in a mythical European city. This modern fairytale produced in association with Theatre Of Jackson has a run at that theatre from Oct. 19 – Nov. 5 (Wed. – Sun. ) Sunday performances at 4pm. Sat., Oct. 29 has an added 2pm performance but no 7:30pm performance. Directed by David Hsieh. Cast includes Mona Leach, Kathy Hsieh, Manny Golez or Laurence Hughes, Josh Kenji Langager and Lauren Wilder. 409 – 7th Ave. S. in Chinatown/ID neighborhood. [email protected] or via #MoLOVE!
Interested in the Japanese flute music of the Shakuhachi? Then you are in for a double-treat. On Sat., Oct. 29 the Seattle Shakuhaci Matsuri 2016 takes place from 10am – 6pm. Features performances by Kazushi Matama, Teruo Furiuya and Kaoru Kakizakai from Japan. Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. 1414 S. Weller St. in Seattle. Contact Patrick Johnson at [email protected] for details. In related news on the same evening, there is a concert entitled “Tone Colors of Autumn: An evening of Japanese bamboo flute music” at 8pm. Kaushi Matama, Teruo Furuya and Kaoru Kakizakai of K&K Shakuchachi Trio perform. Also includes Mitsuki Dazai on koto and Larry Tyrrell on shakuhachi. At Seattle Asian Art Museum at 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. $25 general ticket and $15 for seniors. Advance tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2589388. For details, contact Patrick Johnson at [email protected].
“Phase#5” is the title given to three live evening performances at Suyama Space choreographed by Isabelle Choiniere with Fernanda D’Agostino centered around D’Agostino’s current installation “GENERATIVITY” there through Dec. 16, 2016. The performances take place on Sat., Nov. 19 at 6, 7 and 8pm. This live performance integrates 5 dancers’ bodies simultaneously as one mass, 5 voices and one choir as an organic electro-acoustic soundscape. The performers are Lisa Kusanagi, Juju Kusanagi, Tahni Holt, Eliza Larson and Lucy Lee Yim. Creative coding provided by Jim Bell, Karim Lakhdar and Kevin McDonald. $5 tickets can be purchased at http://phase5.bpt.me/ (specify time preference from the drop-down menu). There will be no cellphones or mobile devices allowed during the performance. For more information, go to www.suyamaspace.org or call 206-256-0809.
Meany Center For The Performing Arts at UW has as usual an exciting assortment of programs for every taste whether under the categories of “Dance”, “Piano”, “World Music” or “Chamber Music” for their 2016-2017 season. The Shen Wei Dance Arts group with their special blend of contemporary dance and Asian tradition performs “Neither” set to Morton Feldman’s opera of the same name with a libretto by Samuel Beckett March 16 – 18, 2017 at 8pm. Korean concert pianist Joyce Yang has been getting rave reviews for her recitals. She visits on Nov. 3, 2016 at 8pm. KODO, the Japanese group that started the world phenomenon for the sound of the Japanese drum, the taiko make a welcome return as well. They take the stage on Feb. 3 – 4 , 2017 at 8pm. 206-543-4880 or go to MEANYCENTER.ORG for details. Single tickets and subscriptions on sale now.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the programs Seattle Symphony has to offer under the baton of Music Director Ludovic Morlot later this year going into 2016/2017. Bass vocalist Jonathan Lemalu is part of the choir performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ludovic Morlot conducting January 5 and 7. Kevin Ahfat is featured pianist during the Symphony’s “Shostakovich Concerto Festival”. He’s perform with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting the following. On Thurs., January 19 – Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2 and Cello Concerto No. 1. On Friday, January 20 – Cello Concerto No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 2 and Violin Concerto No. 1. Cellist Yo Yo Ma makes what seems to be one of annual Seattle visits when he performs a program of Bartok, Mozart and Haydn with Seattle Symphony under the baton of Pablo Rus Broseta on Friday, October 14 at 8pm. On Sunday, March 26 at 4pm, the annual “Celebrate Asia” concert returns featuring movie music by famous Chinese and Indian composers including Grammy and Academy Award winners Tan Dun and A. R. Rahman. Finally on Friday, February 10 at 8pm, catch violinist Leonidas Kavakos & pianist Yuja Wang in a program featuring Medtner’s “Two Canzonas with Dances for Violin and Piano and other works by Schubert, Debussy and Bartok. For details on tickets, go to seattlesymphony.org or call (206) 215-4747.
Tea ceremony demonstrations continue at Seattle Art Museum downtown on Third Thursdays at 5:30pm and Third Sundays at 2:30pm in the Japanese teahouse on the third floor of SAM. Free with admission. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details.
Emerald City Music is a new local organization specializing in chamber music. They recently announced their first season featuring over 40 world-class musicians with many performances all over Puget Sound. There will be seven in Seattle, two in Tacoma and five in Olympia. The concerts are curated by Kristen Lee, Artist Director and violinist. Some of the musicians include Ben Hong, Tien-hsin Cindy, David Requiro, The Dover Quartet, Gloria Chien, Hyeyeon Park, Windsync, Yura Lee and Kristen Lee. Concerts will be at Washington Center, 415 Westlake, Lagerquitt Concert Hall, Minnaert Center and St. Michael Westside Church. Go to http://www.emeraldcitymusic.org/blog/2016/5/16/announcing-season-one for details.
Seattle Rep presents the world-premiere of a compelling new medical drama by local playwright Karen Hartman entitled “Rox And Ray.” It’s the story of Ray, a single dad of two hemophiliac boys who believes he’s found a miracle in Dr. Rox until tragedy strikes. Through NOV. 13 In the Leo K. Theatre. Directed by Chay Yew (Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago where the play goes next). 206-443-2222.
The 5th Avenue Theatre’s “Second Annual Next Fest: A Festival of New Musicals” runs through Oct. 22, 2016. It’s a chance to premiere and try out new material. Actors Diane Huey and Ray Tagavilla are part of the assortment of different casts participating. For a complete rundown, go to www.5thavenue.org.
The Japanese Community Service present their 5th annual benefit entitled “Musical Bridge Concert” on Sat., Nov. 19, 2016 from 1:30 – 3:30pm. The concert features jazz pianist/composer Senri Oe, Seattle vocalist Minami Hughes, Seattle Matsuri Taiko/Fujima Dance Ensemble and Voice of Kids – 2016 with Fumi Tagata. $10 for ages 7 – 18 and 65-84 and $20 for ages 19 – 64. Free for ages under 7 or over 84. Held at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. Go to www.jcsseattle.org for details.
Hmong New Year Celebration brings traditional hilltop Chinese, Lao and Thai performances, arts and activities with food, market vendors and games. Free. Nov. 5, 2016 at Seattle Center Armory all day long.
“Diwali: Lights of India” celebrates the Festival of Lights, one of the most popular festivals in India. Dance lessons, henna booths, sari stations, puppet show, face painting, food and vendors. Nov. 6 all day at Seattle Center Armory. Free.
Chan Centre, the premier performing arts theatre space for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C. presents the following. The China Philharmonic with conductor Long Yu and solo pianist Serena Wang perform Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto and Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” on Nov. 30, 2016. The Taiwan Philharmonic conducted by Shao-Chia Liu with solo violinist Yu-Chien Tseng perform the first Vancouver performance of the late composer Tyen Hsiano’s “Violin Concerto” on Dec. 9, 2016. Anda Union, a nine-member band that unites tribal and musical traditions from all over Inner Mongolia. A wide range of traditional instruments and vocal throat singing styles are used. They are part of the new season and will perform on March 26, 2017 at 8pm. Go to http://chancentre.com/subscribe/ for details on their complete season. Single tickets on sale on June 14, 2016 from noon on.
The Asian American/Asian presence in the area of jazz continues to be a strong influence. It’s no more apparent than in the 2017 version of “Earshot Jazz Festival 2016”” which brings over 50 events in venues all over the Puget Sound from Oct. 7 – Nov. 11. Kobe-born trumpeter Takuya Kuroda has two releases on the classic Blue Note label and his excursions in nu-jazz funk has graced the likes of singer Jose James. He appears with his group on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 8pm at Cornish College of the Arts’ Poncho Concert Hall. Radresh Mahanthappa is one of the leading jazz innovators of his generation and his tribute to Charlie “Bird” Parker ranked high on many critic’s lists. Hear him do his “Bird Calls” with a stellar band on Fri., Oct. 21 at Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheeft Auditorium at 8pm. On the talented local front, the duo Bad Luck with composer/percussionist Chris Icasiano (see related article in this issue) and composer/sax player Neil Welch continue to break down barriers and appear on Oct. 23 at Seattle Art Museum downtown at 8pm. Guitarist Rez Abbasi has turned heads with his unique approach and topped polls in the “Best Guitarist Category.” Catch him with his quartet with ace saxophonist Mark Shim on Thurs., Oct. 27 at the Royal Room at 8pm. Pianist Vjay Iyer has gotten increasing attention in recent years for his compositional prowess and innovative playing, most recently as musician-in-residence in a series of informal concerts at the Met Breuer Museum in New York. He appears in tandem with trumpet giant Wadada Leo Smith, a mentor and friend. The two recently recorded “A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke” for ECM. An inspiring influence on the local scene is UW jazz instructor/composer and jazz trumpeter Cuong Vu. He plays a new composition with the Seattle Symphony in an evening of orchestral and ensemble works that is an homage to Quincy Jones. Entitled “Seattle Symphony: Sonic Evolution”, it also includes the Garfield Jazz band under the direction of Clarence Acox. A fitting conclusion to a great jazz festival. Buy tickets at www.earshot.org or call 206-547-6763.
Town Hall Seattle always has eclectic and provocative programming for every taste and genre. Oct. 29 at 9am the Bishop’s Committee presents a public forum entitled “Islam in the Public Square” which looks at American Muslims and their contribution to American society and a discussion of the misunderstandings and fears that tend to divide us. On Nov. 14 at 7:30pm, Yale University astronomy and physics Professor Priyamvada Natarajan gives a talk entitled “Mapping the Heavens” which looks at recent cosmological discoveries that “reshaped our universe.” Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 8th Ave. downtown in the First Hill neighborhood. 206-652-4255.
Oct. 23 brings the UW debut of Frequency. This is a new chamber ensemble composed of UW Faculty members Saeunn Thorsteinsdottie on cello, Melia Watras on viola and Pacific Northwest Ballet Concertmaster Michael Jinsoo Lim on violin. They perform “The Kreutzer Sonata” which includes innerconnected works by Beethoven, Janacek and Watras with special guests Cristina Valdez and Cordula Marks. 7:30pm at Meany Theater on the UW Seattle campus. 4001 University Way NE. Call UW Ticket Office at 206-543-4880 or go to www.music.washington.edu.
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts present as part of the South Puguet Sound Community College Artist & Lecture Series, the return of Taiko Project on Oct. 20 at 7:30pm. This newer generation of young American taiko players formed in Los Angeles takes the tradition of taiko into the next century with their savvy and exciting blend of thundering drums interlaced with techno and hip hop influences. Masato Baba, son of American taiko tradition stalwarts Russel Hisashi Baba and Jeanne Aiko Mercer is part of the group. Baba previously studied and performed with another taiko innovator, Kenny Endo. At Kenneth J. Minnaert Center at 2011 Mottman Rd. SW in Olympia, WA. Go to http://www.taikoproject.com/ for more information about this group.
Katsura Yamauchi is a veteran experimental saxophonist from Japan known for his intimate explorations of music in nature. He plays with Old Time Relijun frontman Arrington deDionyso who contributes bass clarinet and multi-phonic throat singing. Sat., Oct. 22 at 8pm. $15 suggested donation. All in the warm sonic air of the Chapel Performance Space nestled on the 4th floor of the Good Shepherd Center at 4649 Sunnyside N. in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Go to [email protected] for details.
Indian tabla whiz and world music percussionist Zakir Hussain makes a welcome return to the area with “Zitar” (amplified sitar) master Niladri Kumar on Oct. 23 as part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents series. Go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
Every year Theatre Puget Sounds hosts their local version of the Tony Awards, with a ceremony acknowledging nominees in every category for outstanding achievement. Winners are announced at the annual event and given Gregory Awards. Various Asian American theatre groups/performers in the area received nominations in various categories. Pork Filled Productions’ “The Tumbleweed Zephyr” by Maggie Lee was nominated for “Outstanding New Play.” Jocelyne Fowler was nominated for “Outstanding Costume Design” for another Pork Filled Production by Maggie Lee entitled “A Hand of Talons.” Seattle Rep’s production of “Constellations” got a couple nods. “Outstanding Production” and Director Desdemona Chiang for “Outstadning Director.” Ray Tagavilla was nominated for “Outstanding Actor” for his role in Sound Theater Company’s production of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.” In the category of “Outstanding New Play”, playwright Don Nguyen was nominated for “Sound” in this production by Azeotrope. If you want to cheer on your favorite or see who the winners are, the ceremony takes place on Oct. 24 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Go to gregoryawards.org for details. For more on sponsor Theatre Puget Sound, go to [email protected] or call 206-770-0370.
Seattle Gamelan Pacifica will perform pieces from a new album at the University of Puget Sound’s Rasmussen Rotunda on Oct. 29, 2016 in Tacoma. As part of the 2016 Southeast Asia Symposium Oct. 28 – 29, 2016. The ensemble works within the tradition while simultaneously pushing forward to also perform works for gamelan by contemporary composers. For details email [email protected] or call 253-879-3743. The group also performs on Cornish College of the Arts Poncho Hall on Sat., Dec. 3, 2016 at 8pm. 710 E. Roy St. 1-800-726-ARTS. In 2017, they celebrate the centenary of great American composer Lou Harrison who wrote many modern compositions for gamelan on Sat., May 13 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space at 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. (4th floor) in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Arahmaiani (see related article in this issue) is one of the keynote speakers at the 2016 Southeast Asian Symposium- The Culture and Nature In Indonesia, Thailand And Malaysia. Oct. 28 – 29, 2016 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Arahmaiani is a respected performance artist and graphic artist from Indonesia. Her practice incorporates video, installation, painting, drawing and sculpture. She advocates an Islam that is open and tolerant, fighting to eradicate the violent and military-like interpretations of it in the Western world caused by radical Islamic groups. She is also an advocate for the rights of women. She appears on Sat., Oct. 29 at 5pm. The UPS campus is at 1500 N. Warner St. in Tacoma. Call 253-879-3743 or email [email protected].
Korean American composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Bora Yoon appears in concert on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at 8pm. She is known to conjure up audio-visual soundscapes using digital devices, voice and found objects that fit each architectural space she inhabits. Cornish College Poncho Hall. 710 E. Roy St. 1-800-726-ARTS.
“Historama” is a cultural show featuring short plays, songs and dances that depict significant periods of Philippine history. Set for Oct. 29 at 5pm at Salem’s historic Elsinore Theatre at 170 High St. SE in Salem, Oregon. For info, call 503-285-1994. For tickets, visit www.elsinoretheatre.com or go to www.philippineshistorama.com.
Portland Piano/Clearing Presents sponsor a recital of short pieces for solo piano by Claudia Chan and Yihan Chen. On Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 at 8pm. Lincoln Recital Hall in Room 75. 1620 Southwest Park Ave. in Portland, Oregon. Go to http://portlandpiano.org/theclearingevents/ for details.
We hear all about the Vietnam war told from the American viewpoint but rarely do we get a Vietnamese perspective. That changes when Seattle gets a double dose of playwright Qui Nguyen’s work. His play “Vietgone” has earned rave reviews in New York and sold out quickly at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Now it comes to Seattle Repertory Theatre for a one month run from Dec. 2 – Jan. 1, 2017. Two Vietnamese immigrants travel around the country learning the language and navigating the complexities of refugee camps. Directed by May Adrales and produced in association with Oregon Shakespeare Festival.155 Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to seattlerep.org. In addition another Nguyen play entitled “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G” gets a UW School of Drama LAB Project workshop production Directed by Ali el-Gasseir. This play tells the story of character revolt. When playwright Nguyen refuses to finish his “Gook Story Trilogy”, he gets kidnapped by his main character who forces him to pen the story he’s been avoiding for 10 years. It’s a fun ride filled with racist puppets, ninjas and one very angry David Henry Hwang. Runs from Dec. 6 – 11, 2016 at Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre in the “U” District . Located at the north entrance to the UW campus between NE 45th S. & 17th Ave. NE. For tickets, try 206-543-4880 or go to artsuw.org or [email protected]
The famed Peking Acrobats make two appearances in the Puget Sound area. They are at the Edmonds Center For The Arts on Jan. 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595. They appear again hosted by the Broadway Center at Pantages Theater on Jan. 29, 2017. 253-591-5894.
Coming early in 2017 will be the touring production of the new edition of the musical “The King And I” as re-imagined by former Seattle Intiman Theater director Bartlett Sher. Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. Part of Seattle Theatre Group Presents’ new season. Go to stgpresents.org/season or call 206-812-1114 for details.
On The Boards presents their new fall season of performance art. Geumhyung Jeong from Seoul was trained as a dancer and puppeteer. This Korean artist makes work centered around the human body and inanimate objects. She performs “CPR Practice” on Jan. 25 – 26 in the theatre and “Oil Pressure Vibrator” (in which she operates industrial equipment) at an outside site to be announced on Jan. 28 – 29. On The Boards is located in Queen Anne at 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886.
The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue has the following events scheduled at their venue. Seattle Chinese Chorus performs on Oct. 23. Seattle hula Productions present “Hawai’i’s Legends.” Seattle East West Performing Arts Group hit the stage on Jan. 14, 2017. Chinese Radio Seattle has a program set for Feb. 4, 2017. 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue. 425-637-1020.
“SAM Performs” series presents a concert entitled “Legendary Children” on Nov. 5 at Seattle Art Museum downtown from 8 – 11pm. The QTPOC communities celebrate with performances, DJs, and art from some of Seattle’s most talented queer artists of color, and community conversations sparked by the current exhibition, “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style. For tickets, go to visitsam.org/tickets or call 206-654-3210 or just visit the SAM or SAAM desk.
“Global Party” is a celebration with young local talent performing music and dance from around the world. Produced by STG Education & Community Programs. Nov. 18 at the Moore Theatre. 1932 Second Ave. 206-812-3284 or go to stgpresents.org.
Seattle favorite stand-up comic/storyteller Hari Kondabolu comes out with a new album entitled “Mainstream American Comic” (Kill Rock Stars) and celebrates with an album release show. Dec. 5 -7, 2016. The Triple Door at 216 Union St. downtown Seattle. 206-838-4333 or go to thetripledoor.net.
“Those Who Remain: Concerto for Installation and Improvisor” is an international collaboration which will feature a sound and video installation by video artist and DJ Yohei Saito and dancer/choreographer Yukio Suzuki from Japan and a new electronic score by Seattle composer/musician Wayne Horvitz. Suzuki who was named “Choreographer for the Next Generation” by Toyota will perform several short dance improvisations daily within the installation. Horvitz will give an evening performance with Sherik and Beth Fleenor on Jan. 27 at 7:30pm. Additional after-hours performances on Jan. 31 at 7:30pm, Feb. 3 and Feb. 4. Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Go to visitsam.org/gardnercenter for more details. Supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program.
Fans of Hawaiian music will want to take note of this one. Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson appear at the Edmonds Center For The Arts with Moanalani Beamer representing the younger generation on March 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. 425-275-9595.
LA based performance artist Kristina Wong hits the stage in Portland with her wild one-woman show entitled “The Wong Street Journal or How Kristina Wong Became a Hip-Hop Star in Northern Uganda.” Oct. 20 – 23 at Headwaters Theatre at 55 N. Farragut St. #4 (entrance near the Yoga shop) in Portland. Produced by Boom Arts. 503-404-2350 or go to www.witd.org/ or email [email protected]
Shannon Chan Kent plays Rose in the ArtClub’s new production of Annie Baker’s play “The Flick” about young ushers in a theatre that talk art as they sweep and try to make connections. Sept. 29 – Oct. 29. At Granville Island Stage in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-687-1644.
Lauren Yee is one of the hottest playwrights around now and her play, “King of the Yees” feels like one of her most personal. The plot has the protagonist Lauren looking for her dad who has suddenly disappeared. The playwright describes it as “an epic joyride through Chinatown” and it may well be worth the trip up from Seattle to see it. Through Oct. 22 at the Gateway Theatre. 6500 Gilbert Road in Richmond BC, Canada. 604-270-1812. Seattle ACT Theatre has included this play on their 2017 schedule. Set for Sept. 8 – Oct. 1, 2017.
Canadian playwright Anusree Roy shows her versatility with two new plays running simultaneously in Vancouver BC, one for adults and one for kids. “Brothel #9” pits a woman thrown mistakenly into a desperate situation with a madame who feels she must resign herself to her fate. Nov. 17 – 27 at Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch. 1895 Venables St. 604-251-1363 or go to tickets.thecultch.com. Her other play entitled “Sultans of the Street” looks at the lives of Indian street urchins. It plays from Oct. 29 – Nov. 13 at Carousel Theatre for Young People located at 1411 Cartwright St. 604-669-3410 or go to [email protected].
Tetsuro Shigematsu and her father were both broadcasters. Shigematsu wrote and stars in “Empire of the Son”, a one person performance that tells the story of two generations of broadcasters and the radio silence between them. This show completely sold out when it premiered in 2015 so the folks at Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch in Vancouver, BC are bringing it back for a second run Nov. 1 – 13. Get your tickets quick. 1895 Venables St. 604-251-1363 or try tickets.thecultch.com.
Tapestry Opera of Toronto under the direction of Artistic Director Michael Mori will kick off their 37th season with “Naomi’s Road” which covers events based on the Japanese-Canadian internment camps in the BC interior and Alberta during WWII. The opera is taken from a novel by noted Canadian writer Joy Kogawa as adapted by librettist and director Ann Hodges and composer Romona Luengen. Nov. 16 – 20 at St. David’s Anglican Church, home of the last Japanese-Canadian Anglican parish in Toronto. Go to https://tapestryopera.com/2016-2017-season/ for details.
Bay Area Filipino American theatre group Bindlestiff Studio has named Aureen Almario as their new Artistic Director. Almario has a long history with the theatre having been a resident artist and performed in many of their productions. Their latest production “Stories High XVI” is a series of six one act plays. On stage now through Oct. 29 from Th. – Sat. at 8pm. For details, go to http://www.bindlestiffstudio.org.
The world premiere of Ravi Shankar’s only opera will have its premiere in May 2017 at Leicester’s Curve Theatre in England. It was composed in his final years and brought to completion by his longtime collaborator David Murphy and his daughter, Anoushka. Named “Sukanya” (after his second wife), the opera tells the story of a Princess Sikanya. The libretto is by Amit Chadhuri and it is directed by Suba Das. After its debut, it will do a brief tour of England.
It’s been twenty years since revered Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu died. Recently the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra led by Takemitsu friend/colleague Oliver Knussen marked that occasion with an all Takemitsu program of his compositions primarily from the 1960’s at Takemitsu Memorial Concert Hall in Tokyo. Takemitsu was a largely self-taught composer who had the uncanny ability to combine traditional Japanese musical elements into Western music. He also composed scores for over 90 movies and loved pop music. He was quoted as saying, “My music is something like a signal sent to the unknown.”
Miya Masaoka is a Japanese American composer and koto player. She has pushed the koto into the future with her experimental playing. “Triangle of Resistance” (Innova) may be her most personal recording yet. Taken from her mother’s memories of incarceration in internment camp during WWII, Masaoka has written a soundtrack for the experience of Japanese American internees.
Young Chinese piano whiz Lang Lang’s new recording is a valentine to New York in song entitled “New York Rhapsody” (SONY) with a goldmine full of special guests like Andra Day, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandance Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux, Sean Jones and Herbie Hancock. A similiarly titled television program aires November 25, 2016.
Some of the young talent of the improvised/experimental scene in New York can be found in the group Elder Ones and their new recording entitled “Holy Science”. The group is led by composer/singer/harmonium player Amirtha Kidambi who understands Carnatic and Western classical traditions but also loves Coltrane, Black Sabbath, Varese, Xenakis and Robert Ashley.
Singer/songwriter/musician Norah Jones (her dad was the late sitar virtuoso, Ravi Shankar) returns to her jazz roots with a new Blue Note recording entitled “Day Breaks” with a solid back-up group of Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade and John Patittiuci.
In 1977 in San Jose, a group of Asian American musicians got together and recorded an album under the name of Yokohama, California borrowed from a title of a book of short stories by legendary Japanese American writer, Toshio Mori. They wanted to put their feelings about the Asian American movement into their songs about the community in a folk/pop rock style. Principal songwriters were Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, Sam Takimoto and Peter Horikoshi. Now that long out -of -print album has been re-released in a CD format with a booklet and 7 live bonus tracks. Copies can be ordered from Eastwind Books in Berkeley, CA. Try [email protected] or call 510-548-2350 for details. This bookstore also has one of the comprehensive collections of books for sale on Asia and Asia America on the West Coast.
Noted contemporary composer Bun-Ching Lam who formerly taught at Cornish College and now splits her time between Paris and the East Coast has a series of concerts in Europe with compositions inspired by and using the poetry of Etel Adnan. “Musique Et Poesie – Compositions de Bun-Ching Lam et Poesie de Etel Adnan” will be performed with baritone vocalist Thomas Buckner, Caroline Delume on lute , Gionata Sgambaro on flute with Trio K/D/M (vibraphones and accordion) & Quatuor Tana (string quartet). They perform Nov. 6 at “Cite des Arts” in the Edmond Michelet Auditorium in Paris and Nov. 8 at Galerie Deletaille in Brussels.
Film & Media
Local Seattle filmmaker David Chen engages character actor Stephen Tobolowsky in conversation as he does a live episode of “The Tobolowsky Files” on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 7:30pm. Town Hall Seattle at 1119 Eighth Ave. 206- 652-4255.
NHK World TV’s “Dive Into UKIYOE” TV series comes to Seattle where segments will be filmed with Rakugo performer and host Katsura Sunshine. The series pays tribute to the Edo Period and the urban culture of Tokyo at the time through the use of Japanese woodblock prints. Filming will be held on Nov. 1 & 2 at UW’s Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center. Filming is free and open to the public with advance registration. Part of the UW Japan Studies Program Mitsubishi Corporation Lecture Series for 2016-17. To register, go to https://jsis.washington.edu/japan/events.
The Grand Illusion, one of Seattle’s oldest independent cinemas has an interesting mix of classic films and new anime from Asia. Oct. 21, 22 and later on Oct. 27 brings the late Kaneto Shindo’s classic “Kuroneko” (Black Cat), an eerie twilight tale of a female spirit ripping out the throats of wandering samurai in a war-torn medieval Japan. Screening Oct. 22 & 24 is “Kwaidan”, Masaki Kobayashi’s masterful retelling of 4 Japanese ghost stories adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s collection of Japanese folklore. Colorful sets and luminous cinematography make this a must-see. Oct. 29 brings Young Nam Ko’s “Suddenly In The Dark” considered one of the best examples of pre-millennial Korean horror films. Akiyuki Shinbo & Tatsuya Oishi’s animated series about a blonde vampire plays in Nov. Nov. 1 is “Vampire Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu.” Nov. 2 – 8 brings “Part 2:Nekketsu.” 1403 NE 50th in the University District. 206-523-3935 or try [email protected].
Seattle-raised poet Paisley Rekdal joins Erin Belieu and Ek Skoog to pay tribute to the work of Northwest poet legends Carolyn Kizer and Theodore Roethke in a program entitled “Pulitzers in Person (Part Two) broadcast live on Nov. 13, 2016 at 7pm (PST) on The Roots Channel. Th9s program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfire Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes.
Coming soon are these films. “The Free World”, the story of an ex-con who becomes involved with a married woman abused by her husband. Written and directed by Jason Lew. “Tharlo” directed by Pema Tseden and starring Shide Nyima as a Tibetan shepherd who is forced to go into town and interact with people where he meets a certain woman who opens up his world. “M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” is a biopic look at the rags-to-riches story of cricket star starring Sushant Singh Rajput as directed by Neeraj Pandey. Look for these new films in October. “Miss Hokusai” is a full-length animated feature film from Japan about a woman artist who draws amazing portraits inside her studio while her father takes all the credit. Directed by Kenichi Hara. Opens Oct. 28 and screens through Nov. 3 at SIFF Film Center. Go to siff.net for details. “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang” is a documentary film by Kevin McDonald on this Chinese artist who uses pyrotechnics, fire and gunpowder for his performance works set again the canvas of a dark night sky (although those in Seattle may know him for his hanging cars installation recently taken down at Seattle Art Museum downtown). Release date is Oct. 14, 2016.”Creepy” is a redundant title for the new film by Japanese master of horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which a former detective is called back to work on a very peculiar case. “The Eagle Huntress” is a unique documentary film about Alshoipan, a 13 year old Kazakh eagle hunter in Mongolia, the first girl to be trained for the job in 12 generations of her family. Directed by Otto Bell. Opens Nov. 18 at a Landmark Theatre in Seattle. In November, look out for these films. “Lion” is taken from a true story and a book that tells the story of an Indian boy found on the streets of Calcutta who is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. When he is an adult, he returns to India determined to find his real parents. Stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and directed by Garth Davis. “Red Stone” is a Chinese film of injustice and retribution by Johnny Ma who wrote and directed. A taxi driver distracted by a customer accidentally hits a motorcyclist and then takes him to the hospital. For his good deed, he is forced to pay medical fees and almost loses his job.
Ang Lee’s next film will be an adaptation of the novel “Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk”, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner written by Ben Fountain. It is the story of an Iraq war veteran returning home on a “victory tour.” Opens in theatres on Nov. 11, 2016.
One should never go hungry to see the late Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo”, a “Ramen Western” search for the best ramen in all of Japan. But you won’t worry about that because as an added bonus when you attend this screening of this gastronomic classic, a bowl of ramen is offered to each customer so you slurp along to each reel. SIFF Cinema Uptown. Nov. 23, 2016. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. 206-324-9996.
Sure to get a wide release in movie theatres locally is Zhang Yimou’s latest film in which Hollywood star Matt Damon plays a Chinese soldier who saves China in “The Great Wall,” What? Chow-yun “Donald” Fat wasn’t available or maybe Yimou wanted a crossover hit that would fill theatres with Western audiences. Opens Nov. 23.
Also coming to local theatres in is “The Handmaiden” by one of South Korean’s most popular filmmakers, Park Chan-Wook (“Old Boy”). This film takes place in 1930’s Japan. Newcomer Kim Tae-Ri steals the show as a Korean servant hired to care for a wealthy woman with more on her mind than work. The film is a lesbian revenge thriller based on a Victorian-era novel by Sarah Waters. The film takes you on a jarring joyride of moods alternatively rich in graphic sensuality, then horror and then slapstick or a sudden turn to a silly comedy of manners, often within a single scene. It was favorably reviewed at the Cannes Film Festival. Opens Oct. 28 at the Egyptian through Nov. 3 and then moves to the SIFF Uptown on Nov. 4. Also opens Oct. 28 at the Guild 45th in Wallingford.
Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz won the 73rd Golden Lion Prize at the Venice Film Festival for “The Woman Who Left Nothing” which tells a tale of a woman framed by a man who ends up imprisoned for 30 years. When she gets out she seeks revenge but returns to a world and society she no longer recognizes. Shot in black & white, the film runs almost 4 hours but is short by the director’s standards. Previous films of his have clocked in at 11 hours plus. In his acceptance speech, Diaz said “This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle and the struggle of humanity.” A stark, unflinching look at the division of power among classes in Filipino society. Obviously not a commercial venture, one hopes that one of the local art house theatres in Seattle will pick it up.
The Seattle South Asian Film Festival returns with the best of South Asian cinema. The 11th annual version zeros in on films from Bangladesh and celebrates the theme LoveWins in its selection of movies. Through October 23. Remaining highlights include the following Centerpiece Gala at Seattle Asian Art Museum on Oct. 20 is the acclaimed comedy “ANT Story” by Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. The Festival’s closing awards and reception in Renton on Oct. 23 features “Waiting”, a heartrending story about confronting grief with courage and hope. Directed by Indian director Anu Menon. At various locations around the Puget Sound. Go to www.tasveer.org for details and see our latest print issue of the International Examiner for a complete program. Program online also at ssaff.tasveer.org/2016/. You can email [email protected] for more information as well.
The 4th Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival takes place Nov. 4 – 6 with “Stories of the Pacific Rim & Beyond” at 5 venues with 40+ documentary films and a “Young Filmmakers Project” and “Filmmakers Forum.” Go to fhff.org for details.
Celebrate and honor the duty of Chinese American veterans with the premiere of two documentary films. “Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese” and “Cathay Post #186 Project”, a local project of the International Examiner. Films screen at 10am on Sat., Nov. 12. Executive producers of the Mississippi documentary, Gwendolyn Gong and E. Samantha Cheng and crew members of the Cathy Post documentary will be on hand at the screening and throughout the day for questions. Free. Reserve your tickets online at wingluke.org. Part of the Tateuchi Story Theatre Performing Arts Series sponsored by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience at 719 South King St. 206-623-5124 or go to wingluke.org.
The Sixth Annual Seattle Shorts Film Festival comes to town Nov. 11 – 13 with guest speakers and short talks. SIFF Film Center. Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center. 206-324-9996. www.seattleshort.org.
“Doctober” is a series of nothing but documentary films for the serious lover of that genre. Runs five weekends & everything in between through Nov. 3. With special guests, panel discussions and receptions to accompany the over 50 documentaries that will be screened. At Pickford Film Center in downtown Bellingham. 1318 Bay St. Go to pickfodfilmcenter.org/doctober for details.
Filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki is finishing up a documentary film entitled “Monkey Business: The Curious Adventures of George’s Creators.” In it, she traces the origins of the internationally loved children’s book character, the monkey known as “Curious George” and his creators, the Ray’s. For a story on this project, go to http://www.wnyc.org/story/celebrating-curious-his-creators/.
“Mixed Match” is a documentary film by Jeff Chiba Sterns. He is the founder of Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in Vancouver BC. It looks at the important human story told from the perspective of mixed blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a difficult search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine. It has its World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in Oct. For more information, email [email protected] or go to www.meditatingbunny.com.
“Ghost Cinema” is the title of an article by Travis Jeppesen that looks at the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul in the September 2016 issue of Art in America magazine.
The Written Arts
We Are a Crowd of Others (=put this in italics, please) presents “The Poetics of Haunting” (http://poeticsofhaunting.com) , a multimedia event facilitated by the poet Jane Wong. Wong states that “A poetics of haunting insists on invocation: a deliberate, powerful, and provocative move toward haunted places.” Several readings/performances will be shared by Asian American artists in the project including Don Mee Choi, Diana Khoi Nguyen and Pimone Triplett. The project tries to respond to the following questions. How does history—particularly the history of war, colonialism and marginalization—impact the work of Asian American poets across time and space. How does language act as a haunting space of intervention and activism?” The event takes place on Tues., Nov. 8 at 7pm. Done in conjunction with an art installation and event series at MadArt Studio located at 325 Westlake Ave. N. #101 south of Lake Union.
Dusie is an on-line literary magazine. Their “Asian-Anglophone” issue #19 is guest edited by Cynthia Arrieu-King and features local poets Don Mee Choi, Shiny Yu Pai, Jane Wong and yours truly. Former Seattle residents Brandon Shimoda and Anna Maria Wong are also included. Go to http://dusie.org/ and then push the small number 19 and you will see the cover of the magazine. Push your indicator on that cover and the magazine should pop up. The issue is a good cross-section of newer generations of Asian American poets as well as some older ones.
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. Things switch over to the Seattle Asian Art Museum Auditorium as Selena Ahmed, co-author with Michael Freeman talks about their book entitled “Tea Horse Road – China’s Ancient Trade Road to Tibet” on Sat., Oct. 22 at 9:30am. This event co-sponsored by Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, the Dunhuang Foundation and the UW Jackson School for International Studies. 1400 E. Prospect in Volunteer Park. 206-654-3210. Three leading scholars of Japanese American history will talk about “Lessons from WWII: Endearing Legends of Japanese American Incarceration” on Sun., Oct. 23 at 12:30pm. Karen M. Inouye is the author of “The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration” (Stanford). Lon Kurashige is the author of “Two faces of Exclusion: The Untold Story of Anti-Asian Racism in the US” (University of North Carolina Press). Greg Robinson is the author of “The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches” (University Press of Colorado). Co-presented with the Seattle Public Library and Densho. This event will be held at the Seattle Public Central Library at 1000 Fourth Ave. Go to www.spl.org or call 206-386-4636 for information. Jade Chang’s debut novel “The Wangs Vs The World” (HMH) has gotten some advance buzz and tells the story of a Chinese American family who loses it all and then take a healing, amusing road trip across the U.S. She reads at the store on Oct. 24 at 7pm. “Four Chinese Poets: Li Li, Lo Chi’ng, Lv De’an and Yan Li with Darren Byler” is presented in conjunction with a range of programs such as art exhibits at VALA Arts Center in Redmond and the ryan james gallery in Kirkland as well as panels & conferences at PLU & Seattle Asian Art Museum via the Gardner Center. This reading and discussion by four prominent Chinese poets and UW translator Darren Byler takes place on Fri., Oct 28 at 7pm at the book store. Jane Wong and Don Mee Choi join Aharanth Borsuk, Jennifer Kronovet, Sarah Mangold and Sarah Rosenthal in a reading. All local poets with new books to read from. Thurs., Nov. 3 at 7pm. Writer Ha Jin reads from his new novel entitled “The Boat Rocker” (Pantheon) which looks at the price of integrity in the internet age as a Chinese expatriate reporter goes after his unscrupulous ex-wife only to find Communist officials trying to take him down in return. This reading on Fri., Nov. 4 at 7pm at the Microsoft Auditorium at Seattle Central Library downtown. Also on Nov. 4 at 7:30pm, the Hugo Literary Series presents Alexander Chee, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore and music group, The Royal Que. All read from and perform new material centered around the theme of “Animals”. This takes place appropriately at Fred Wildlife Refuge located at 128 Belmont Ave. E. on lower Capitol Hill. $25 general, Hugo House members $20 and $10 students for this event. For details, go to www.hugohouse.org. Singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama joins a host of other writers and artists in celebrating Forterra’s magazine, Ampersand in “Ampersand Live” on Thurs. Nov. 10 at 7:30pm at Town Hall Seattle hosted by David Schmader. Doors open 6:30pm Go to Ampersandlive.org for tickets. 1119 Eighth Ave. at Seneca. Back at the book store come the following – Elliott Bay & Seattle Review of Books present Sherman Alexie, E.J. Koh and Robert Lashley who reprise what was considered one of the best readings at Bumbershoot. Koh’s debut collection won the Pleiades Press Editor’s Prize and comes out in 2017. Lashley’s “The Homeboy Songs” (Small Doggies Press) has received hearty praise as well. With all the genres that Sherman Alexie can write in, it’s easy to forget he started out as a fine poet first. He reads from his latest collection, “What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned” (Hanging Loose Press). On Fri., Nov. 11 at 7pm. Seattle writer Donna Miscolta who previously looked at the Filipino side of her lineage (“When the De La Cruz Family Danced”) now takes a look at the Mexican side of her family in a book of short stories entitled “Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories” set for Nov. 12 at 7pm. This new book won her the 2015 Doris Bakwin Prize for Writing by a Woman. Northwest poet Leah Lakshmi Pipezna-Samarainha joins Imani Sims and Annah Anti-Palindrone in a lively evening of poetry and sound as all read and perform from new books on Sat., Nov. 19 at 7pm. Bruce & Ju Chan Fulton are here with two new translations of literature from Korea. They read from “The Future of Silence: Fiction by Korean Women (Zephyr Press) and Cho Chongnae’s “The Human Jungle” (Chin Music Press) on Mon., Nov. 28 at 7pm. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
Chris Higashi who has been program manager of Seattle Public Library’s Washington Center for the Book officially retires on Sept. 6, 2016. For 12 years, she ran the library’s Washington Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Many will know her for The Annual Washington State Book Awards as well as the “Seattle Reads” program in which the whole city reads the same book and then meets and interacts with the visiting author. Thanks for all you’ve done to enrich literature in Seattle, Chris! Happy retirement!
On Oct. 24, Moon-Ho Jung talks about the timely theme of “The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence and Radical Movements Across the Pacific.” 7pm. Free. The Renton Branch of King County Library. 100 Mill Ave. S. 425-226-6043 or go to kcls.org/.
Hugo House has announced its temporary re-location during construction of its new building across from Cal Anderson Park. Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by, and adjacent to, the Frye Art museum at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill. Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, book launches, workshops, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will take place here and in the Frye’s auditorium as well at the nearby Elliott Bay Book Company and Sorrento Hotel. Beginning May 21, classes continue at Hugo House’s temporary home at 1021 Columbia near Frye Art Museum. By 2018, Hugo House will return to its original site and occupy a ground-floor space in a new six-story, mixed-use building. In related news, Hugo House has produced “The Writer’s Welcome Kit”, an exclusive e-course that combines guidance on the writing craft and resources to help the writer excel. Go to hugohouse.org for details. The organization has announced their “Writer-in-Residence and Made at Hugo House Fellows” for 2016-2017. Local journalist-turned-novelist and Seattle University professor Sonora Jha will be a writer-in-residence. She will assist writers during free hour-long appointments. She is currently working on a memoir entitled “This Little Matter of Love”. She writes that “As woman writer and professor of color whose research and active service work is rooted in representation, I am particularly excited also about extending the reach of Hugo House into under-represented communities in Seattle to clear the path for such writers to emerge in mainstream, meaningful, and lasting (rather than token) ways.” Shankar Narayan was chosen as one of the “Made at Hugo House Fellows” Narayan is a 2016 Kundiman Fellow whose work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He works as an attorney and advocate for civil rights. “Made at Hugo House” is a yearlong fellowship for emerging writers selected by an anonymous advisory panel of writers. The six fellows chosen will complete writing projects with guidance and support from Hugo House. Narayan is working on a chapbook of poems influenced by technology, race and power.
Award-winning novelist Alexander Chee (“The Queen of the Night”) comes to the Hugo Literary Series to read on Nov. 4, 2016 under the theme of “Animals” with Kristin Valdez Quade and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. This reading takes place at Fred Wildlife Refuge at 7:30pm and costs $25. Find it at 128 Belmont Ave. E. Spoken word artist Anis Mojgani who spins sublime tales of the imagination from personal encounters and childhood memories of the deep South comes in from Portland to perform on April 7, 2017. Other writers coming from the fall events calendar include the following –Up-and-coming talented Seattle poet Jane Wong reads from her much anticipated debut collection “Overpour” (Action Books) on Oct. 21 at 7pm at Hugo House. Free. Wong is also part of the Poetry World Series on Oct. 22 at 7pm at The Pine Box located at 1600 Melrose Ave. in Seattle (206-588-0375). Two teams of award-winning poets take turns batting at topics pitched to them by the audience. A book sale and signing follows the competition. Oct. 30 at 4pm at Hugo House beings the “Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award Reading with Arlene Naganawa and others. Nov. 2 at Hugo House at 7pm brings “Contagious Exchanges: Queer Writers in Conversation” with Vivek Shraya with Chase Joynt. Dec. 7 from the same series again at 7pm brings Randa Jarrar with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. “Made at Hugo House 2015-2016” presents a final reading by the “Made at Hugo House” current fellows who will read from their respective writing projects on Nov. 11, 2016 at 7pm. Prose writer Diana Xin is in this group. Reading is free. Hugo House now adds manuscript consultations to its long list for resources for writers. There are currently five consultants for short fiction, novels, memoirs, essays, poetry, young adult and literary journalism and more to be added as the program continues. For details on this, go to hugo house.org/manuscript-consultants. For general information, try 206-453-1937. Hugo House is at 1021 Columbia St. in Seattle.
Seattle poet Koon Woon (see related article in this issue) reads from his new memoir “Paper Son Poet” around the Puget Sound. He reads with Dan Raphael and Willie Smith with Open Mic at Couth Buzzard Books at 8310 Greenwood Ave. N. on Thurs., Nov. 3 at 7pm. 206-436-2960. Then again as part of the “It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series” at the Ballard Branch Library on Nov. 10 at 6pm. He shares the evening with fellow writers Katie Tynan and Roselle Kovitz. With an Open Mic. Free. 5614 22nd Ave. NW in Seattle. 206-684-4089.
October is Filipino American History Month as sponsored by PWEKA & FANHS National Office. Come celebrate with a reading by Robert Flor and Patty Enrado. Seattle poet/playwright Robert Flor reads from “Alaskero Memories”, poems based on his younger days working the Alaskan canneries. Bay Area based writer Patty Enrado reads from her debut novel, “A Village in the Fields” which is a book about a Filipino American labor organizer during the grape strike in the fields of Delano. A short clip from Marissa Aroy’s film, “Delano Manongs” will serve as an introduction. Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7pm. Third Place Books at Seward Park. 5041 Wilson Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-474-2200. The same program with a full screening of the film happens on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7pm at El Centro de la Raza’s Centralia Community Center and again on Oct. 22 at 4pm at the Filipino Community Hall in the Yakima Valley. These activities are part of a series of events during Filipino American History Month throughout the state. For full details, go to http://fanhs-national.org/filam/about/.
Readings at the Seattle Central Library downtown include the following – Liz Wong (“Quackers”) joins fellow authors/illustrators Jessica Bagley, Ben Clanton, Jennifer K. Mann and Julie Paschkis in a Picture Book Author Panel to discuss their work on Nov. 6 at 2pm. Noted poet and novelist Ha Jin (“Waiting”) reads from his new novel about corruption, integrity and writing entitled “The Boat Rocker” on Nov. 4. 7pm. Tim Wu comes on Nov. 17 at 7pm to talk about his book entitled “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads”. All events are free.1000 Fourth Ave. 206-386-4636 or go to spl.org/.
Jack Straw Cultural Center & Raven Chronicles Press present: “A Reading/Reception Celebrating 20 Years of the Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997 – 2016” on Fri., Nov. 18 at 7pm. Free. Vol. 23 of Raven Chronicles also publishes new work from 40 out of the 255 alumni from the first twenty years of the Jack Straw Writers Program. Some of the writers expected to read include Maliha Masood, Harold Taw, Sharon Hashimoto, EJ Koh and many others. Former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken emcees. 4261 Roosevelt Way NE.
Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan discusses her book “Mapping the Heavens” (Yale) on Mon. Nov. 14 at 7:30pm. She explains the ideas that reshaped our universe over the past century. At Town Hall Seattle at 1119 – 8th Ave. Presented by University Book Store and Town Hall Seattle.
Bharti Kirchner and Donna Miscolta are just some of the 27 local authors expected to be at the Seattle Writers Holiday Bookfest with readings and book signings, a boutique bookstore and treats made by the authors. Nov. 19 at 3pm. Free. Phinney Neighborhood Center.6532 Phinney Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-784-2244 or go to phinneycenter.org/authors/.
“Sherman Alexie Loves” is a new series that Seattle Arts & Lectures has started with the noted Northwest writer. It features three evenings of conversation with authors that the author loves. Of special note is the evening entitled “First Loves: Debut Novelists Alexie Loves” on Thurs., May 11, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Includes a conversation with Patricia Park, Ariel Schrag and Sunil Yapa. For tickets & information, go to lectures.org.
“Singapore Unbound” was the name of the Singapore Literature Festival which recently concluded in New York City. For details, go to singaporeliteraturefestival.com. In addition, the September 2016 issue of the Brooklyn Rail had a special feature on new fiction from Singapore. Go to www.BrooklynRail.org for more.
The September, 2016 edition of Opera News magazine has a review of Alexander Chee’s novel about a famous opera singer based on nineteenth-century popular icon Jenny Lind entitled “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Russell Leong retired as editor of Amerasia Journal, the respected magazine from the UCLA Asian American Studies Department that he ran with a steady hand for almost 30 years only to re-surface on the East Coast founding a new magazine along similar lines for The City University of New York. It is entitled “CUNY Forum – Asian American/Asian Studies.” For details, go to www.aaari.info/cunyforum.
Karan Mahajan, the author of the novel “The Association of Small Bombs” has been nominated for a National Book Award. The book puts a human face on those terrorists who make and set off these bombs as well as those victims who are affected by them. The finalists will be announced on Oct. 13, 2016.
Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York who teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Early in her career, she worked in the corporate world in Tokyo always feeling unsatisfied but carefully saving her money. Eventually she made the move to New York and created a career in illustration. Her work is in the new paperback edition of Michael Cunningham’s “A Wild Swan And Other Tales” (Picador). ROADS Publishing out of Dublin will publish a new book of her art with the title, “Living With Yuko Shimizu.”
Shaun Tan, award-winning Australian (his father immigrated from Malaysia) whose books include “The Rabbits”, “The Arrival”, “The Red Tree” and “The Lost Thing” (he received an Oscar for the short film version of the book) has a completely new project. He has traded in his pencils for clay to tackle the psychological complexity found in fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm in “The Singing Bones” (Arthur A. Levine Books). Having long wanted to do a sculptural project and inspired by Inuit soapstone carvings and pre-Columbian pottery seen during his travels, he found he needed to depict the stories in a more 3 dimensional mold to really make them come alive. As an artist he had often found drawing more labor intensive especially when it came to correcting mistakes. Working with clay was more liberating. “The great thing about sculpture is that if a line is in the wrong place, you just push it. And if it truly isn’t working, you just squeeze until it becomes something new.” Already well received in Australia and England the American edition is due out here on Arthur A. Levine Books in October, 2016. Excerpted from an article in The Guardian.
Congratulations to contemporary Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan who is the winner of the 2016 FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Award. Within the past year, he had two novels – “Beauty Is A Wound and “Man Tiger” translated into English and published to glowing reviews.
One finds it hard to keep up with the steady stream of new titles coming out even in the limited categories of works by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia but here’s a recent sampling. Please contact me if anyone is interested in reviewing any of the below titles for the International Examiner. Thanks! –
“Women of Abstract Expressionism” (Denver Art Museum in association with Yale University Press) edited by Joan Marter with an introduction by Gwen F. Chanzit, Exhibiton Curator is a new book that serves as a catalog for a traveling exhibition that seeks to give renewed attention to the women artists in that American art movement. Although the exhibition only highlights the work of twelve of the women artists, the book encompasses more with reproductions and information on other women not represented in the show itself. In the essay entitled “The Advantages Of Obscurity – Women Abstract Expressionists in San Francisco” by Susan Landauer, the work of painters Bernice Bing and Emily Nakano is discussed. The only West Coast stop for this groundbreaking exhibition is the Palm Springs Art Museum, February – May, 2017.
“The Blind Photographer – 150 extraordinary photographs from around the world” (Princeton Architectural Press) is a collection edited by Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding with an introduction by Candia McWilliam. These revelatory photographs suggest a deeper truth: that blindness is itself a kind of seeing, and that those who can see are often blind to the strangeness and beauty of the world around them. Includes work by Pragati, Pranav Lal, Satvir Jogi. Shivam Naik, Fahim Tamboli, Dharmarajan Iyer, and Rahul Shirat from India and Li Yan Shuang, Fu Gaoshan, Li Qi, Ma Tao and Jin Ling from China.
Anuradha Roy’s new novel “Sleeping on Jupiter” (Graywolf Press) has three old women on their way to a seaside town who witness an assault on a young documentary filmmaker. Disturbed, they shrug off the encounter until all their lives intersect in the long, dark history of the place.
“The Kidney Hypothetical Or How To Ruin Your Life In Seven Days (Scholastic) by Lisa Yee turns the classic stereotype of the straight “A” Asian American student going to an ivy league college success story on its head.
“Subversive Lives – A family History Of The Marcos Years” (Ohio University) by Susan F. Quimpo and Nathan Gilbert Quimpo is an oral history of the tumultuous years of resistance during the Marcos regime as personally witnessed by every member of a single family.
In “Ghost Month”, writer Ed Lin created a memorable character in Jing-nan, a guy who works in Taipei’s night market with a group of mis-fits. Now he’s back with a sequel entitled “Incensed – A Taipei Night Market Novel” (Soho). When the character’s gangster uncle asks Jing-nan to look after his troubled sixteen-year-old daughter, he and she get into more trouble than they bargained for.
In “Super Sushi Ramen Express – One Family’s Journey Through The Belly Of Japan” (Picador) by Michael Booth, the title says it all as he takes his family through a culinary journey throughout the country exploring its food and culture.
“Problems” (Coffee House Press) tells the story of a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill and a heroin habit that isn’t much fun anymore. How she tries to survive in New York when her life turns to chaos is the tale here.
National book Award-winning author Ha Jin is back with a new novel entitled “The Boat Rocker” (Pantheon). The story is about a Chinese expatriate internet reporter known for his exposes of Chinese Communist corruption. When his ex-wife, an unscrupulous novelist who becomes a pawn of the regime in order to realize her dreams of literary fame, he is assigned to take her down. But in doing so, he jeopardizes his life and career. Elliott Bay Book Company and Seattle Public Library bring him to the Central branch downtown on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7pm. 1000 4th Avenue.
As part of the “Made in Michigan Writers Series” comes a new volume of poetry by South Asian poet Zilka Joseph entitled “Sharp Blue search of Flame” (Wayne State University) that Linda Gregerson calls “Deeply felt and lushly rendered, these poems weave a tapestry of sorrow and celebration, tenderness and outrage, bodily longing and bodily vulnerability.”
“Filipino Studies – Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora” (NYU) as edited by Martin F. Manalansan IV and Augusto F. Espiritu offers aup a collection of vibrant voices, critical perspectives, and provocative ideas about the cultural, political, and economic state of the Philippines and its diaspora and gives convincing evidence that the field of Philippine studies has come into its own. Includes an essay by UW Professor Rick Bonus.
“Justin Chin – Selected Works” (Manic D Press) edited by Jennifer Joseph. Chin was a queer Asian American poet from Southeast Asia who found his home in the Bay Area. A legend for his spoken word performances, his poems found dualities from the sacred to the profane, health to illness and hope to despair. He also explored the experience of living with HIV which progressed into AIDS in his final years. With commentary and appreciations by fellow writers like R. Zamora Linmark, Timothy Liu, Michelle Tea and many others.
“Dothead” (Knopf) is a new book of poems by Amit Majmudar. Don Patterson writes that his poems “reflect the uncomfortable complexity of the human animal. He has no hesitation in juxtaposing the serious and the grave, the base and the transcendent, and those acts of gentleness and brutality which define us, but his ability to turn on a dime will often have the reader laughing or shivering before he has a chance to prepare his defenses.”
“Blackacre” (Graywolf Press) is a new collection of poetry by Monica Youn already longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award For Poetry. The title refers to a term for a hypothetical plot of land. Youn uses that term to suggest landscape, legacy or what is allotted to each of us. This book fearlessly explores new territories of art, meaning, and feeling.
“The Attention Merchants – The Epic Scramble To Get Inside Our Heads” (Knopf) by Tim Wu looks at how the internet has absorbed and taken over our lives. Wu looks at this industry that works 24/7 at the capture and resale of human attention and how it grew into the defining industry of our time and at what cost to our personal lives.
In “100 Chinese Silences” (Les Figues Press), poet Timothy Yu uses his wicked humor to take on stereotypes of Asians in the media, Hollywood, popular culture and literature and skewers the Western representation of China and the Chinese.
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s “Temporary People” (Restless Books) won the “Restless Books Prize For New Immigrant Writing” and this book of stories is one of the first to look at the lives of foreign nationals in the United Arab Emirates who make up the 80 percent of the population, brought in to construct the towering monuments of urban wealth. This group works without the rights of citizenship, endures harsh working conditions and must eventually leave the country. This debut novel gives voice for the first time to these “guest workers” of the Gulf.
Respected Japanese literary scholar Donald Keene is out with a new book entitled “The First Modern Japanese – The Life of Ishikawa Takuboku” (Columbia) which looks at the short life of a Japanese poet who served as a pivotal figure of modernity as Japan ushered itself into the 20th century.
9/11 completely changed the landscape of America but it also threw suspicion upon any Americans who remotely looked like they came from the Middle East or South Asia as possible terrorists or threats to national security raising again the specter of wrong-headed patriotism that threw Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Two books address this issue head-on. “The 9/11 Generation – Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror” (NYU) by Sunaina Marr Maira looks at how young people from Muslim and Arab American communities born after 9/11 have forged political coalitions based on new racial and ethnic categories, even while under constant scrutiny and begun to fight for their civil and human rights as American citizens. “Brown Threat – Identification in the Security State” (University of Minnesota) by Kumarini Silva is a contemporary meditation on the issues of race in this post 9/11 era. He argues that “brown” is no longer just a cultural, ethnic or political identity but now after 9/11, the Patriot Act and wars in the Middle East has codified into a strategy of identification rife with xenophobic, imperialistic and racist ideologies to target those who do not fit neatly into ideas of nationhood.
“The Story Of A Brief Marriage” (Flatiron) is a novel by Anuk Arudpragasam that captures intimate human emotions in the face of war. During the civil war in Sri Lanka, a young man in an evacuee camp is desperate to avoid conscription into the rebel army. Fate hands him an offer of escape when he gets an unexpected proposal from a stranger to marry his daughter. Poetic and philosophic, this slim novel is unafraid to look at issues of death, war, life and love when everything else has been uprooted and torn asunder.
“Hurry Home Honey” (Burning Deck) is a new book of love poems by poet/translator Sawako Nakayasu collected over ten years. Craig Watson calls it “An extraordinary voice—“ and “A sense of youth that is marked by a hope, a sense of possibility.”
Internationally known Japanese crime novelist Keigo Higashino’s sweeping new novel entitled “Under the Midnight Sun” (Minotaur) looks back at a twenty-year old murder, two teenagers linked by the crime, and a detective’s obsession to finally uncover the truth. A complex, psychological story that looks at crime and its reverberating after-effects.
“VIETNAM: A New History” (Basic Books) by Christopher Goscha looks at the events that created the modern state of this country, forty years after the end of the American war in Vietnam. The author examines the many ways Vietnam has historically been divided, and shows how Western colonialism was far from the only force bringing the country into the modern age.
“A Tibetan Grammar” (Burning Deck) by Benedicte Vilgrain as translated from the French by Keith Waldrop. Cole Swensen says this book “explores language from an almost architectural perspective, using the structure of Tibetan to examine how a language creates categories—and then immediately overflows them.”
“The Black Panthers – Portraits From An Un finished Revolution” (Nation Books) Edited by Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams. In this book, photojournalist Bryan Shih and historian Yohuru Williams offer a reappraisal of the party’s history and legacy using portraits, interviews with surviving Panthers and illuminating essays by leading scholars to tell their unique story.
“The Human Jungle” (Chin Music Press) is a scathing look at China as it heads into the 21st century not fully cognizant of its own uncontrollable power in this new novel by Cho Chongnae. The author is one of Korea’s accomplished writers and he sees China through the eyes of the immigrant. Another masterly translation by Seattle couple, Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton.
“Goze – Women, Musical Performance, and Visual Disability in Traditional Japan” (Oxford) by Gerald Groemer looks at the tradition of blind women musicians who once roamed rural Japan and makes their story come alive.
“Slow Boat To China And Other Stories” (Columbia) by Ng Kim Chew as translated and edited by Carlos Rojas gives us a look at Malaysian Chinese literature today. The author observes issues of ethnicity, language, and culture and how they create both identity and conflict in the multiethnic world of Southeast Asia.
“Eve Out Of Her Ruins” (Deep Vellum) by Ananda Devi as translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman gives us a rare look at the hidden life of an impoverished neighborhood in the capital of Mauritius and the hopes and dreams of this island nation.
“Meet Me at the Bamboo Table – Everyday Meals Everywhere” (Chin Music) by A. V. Crofts explores the intimate ritual of breaking bread and sharing food amongst strangers all over the world.
“Memorials To Shatterted Myths – Vietnam to 9/11” (Oxford) by Harriet F. Senie looks at how Americans today honor the loss of civilian life and what we make of memorials to those we lost.
“Ten Thousand Waves” (WingsPress) by Wang Ping gives collective voice to the people of China, their cries of outrage, their wishes and their unfulfilled dreams.
The Idemitsu family and brand is well known in Japan as Shell Oil is in the West. Now comes a novel by Mako Idemitsu, daughter of that family entitled “White Elephant” (Chin Music) as translated by Julie Winters Carpenter. The story revolves around two sisters from an illustrious Japanese family who struggle to uphold the family legacy while maintaining their own identity as women on both coasts of America.
“Not A Self-Help Book – The Misadventures Of Marty Wu” (Shade Mountain Press) is a novel by Yi Shun Lai. When her career melts down in the states, a young woman returns to what she hopes will be the comforts and security of home in Taiwan only to find it isn’t easier there either. This is the journey of a woman who tries to balance familial expectations and her own creative dreams.
“A Japanese Name – An American Story” (Third Place Press) by Suma Yagi is a beautifully designed and illustrated volume of poetry by this Seattle Nisei poet about the internment camp experience and how it affected her family. From the poem, “December, 1941” comes this opening stanza. “Our lives turned like a glass jar/flipped upside down, suffocating us./ Hairline cracks grew deep and wide/until the glass shattered and our world/ collapsed.” Go to www.thirdplacepress.com for details.
“The Invisibility Cloak” (NYRB) is a comic novel by Ge Fei translated by Canaan Morse about an amiable loser just trying to survive in contemporary Beijing. Peppered with witty commentary and an emotional depth that will have you turning the pages as you root for the protagonist.
Joy Kogawa is one of Canada’s most revered novelists and “Gently To Nagasaki” (Caitlin Press) is her look back on a life and family filled with heartache, the history of internment, connections to Hiroshima/Nagasaki. She comes away from it all in the end, not bitter, but compassionate and forgiving.
“Bushido – The Soul Of The Samurai” (Shambhala) is a graphic novel taken from the book by Inazo Nitobe adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and illustrated by Akiko Shimojima.
“The Problem With Me And Other Essays About Making Trouble In China Today” (Simon & Schuster) by Han Han collects the thoughts of one of China’s most popular bloggers. For the younger generation looking for a way to process today’s China, its culture and politics.
Montreal-based writer Madeleine Thien’s new novel “Do Not Say We Have Nothing” (Norton) was shortlisted for the ManBooker Prize and has received extensive praise in Canada. The book tells the epic story of a musical family through decades of modern Chinese history including the Tianamen Square protest of 1989. It will be released in the US in October of this year on Norton.
“Alice Iris Red Horse: Selected Poems” (New Directions) by Japanese avant-garde poet Gozo Yoshimasu as translated by Forest Gander comes out soon. The poet himself will do a series of readings in New York and the West Coast.
In “Geisha Of A Different Kind – Race and Sexuality in Gayasian America” (NYU Press) by C. Winter Han, the former editor of the International Examiner takes a sword to previously held stereotypes about beauty, nativity and desirability in the study of race and sexuality in Gay Asian America and sparks a new understanding of a unique identity.
“The Conjoined” by Jen Sookfong Lee tells the story of a foster mom whose death sets off a controversy. Her daughter discovers the bodies of two teenage Chinese Canadian sisters frozen in her mom’s freezer. Authorities had always assumed that they had run away. Re-opening the case, this taut thriller of a novel reveals the cracks in society’s social fabric based on family, class and race. This novel comes out on ECW Press of Toronto in Sept., 2016. Email is [email protected]
“Land Of Fish And Rice-Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China” (Norton) is the latest book on the cuisine of China’s Lower Yangtze region by award-winning China food specialist author Fuchsia Dunlop.
“Gendered Bodies – Toward A Women’s Visual Art In Contemporary China” (UH Press) is a new book by Shuqin Cui that zeroes in on the art of women artists in today’s China.
“Deep Singh Blue” (Unnamed Press) by Ranbir Singh Sidhu tells the story of a California teenager in a conservative California town from an immigrant family who wants out. He falls in love with a married woman trapped in an abusive relationship. Coming of age is never easy.
“The Gun Room”(Bloomsbury) is the fourth novel by Georgina Harding about those who witness war and can’t forget it. A war photographer takes a classic shot of the Vietnam war only to flee and lose himself in the vastness of Tokyo. But history catches up with him, bringing the responsibility for the image he took.
“Not A Self-Help Book – The Misadventures of Marty Wu” (Shade Mountain Press) by Yi Shun Lai tells the story of a young women’s career meltdown in New York that sends her back to Taiwan and the comfort of relatives but even there, she finds herself in the middle of surprising family secrets that come out of the closet.
“PICTURE BRIDE – Stories” (UH Press) by Barbara F. Kawakami is like opening an old chest of family stories. An oral history full of an earlier generation of courageous women who crossed the seas to marry strangers working in a harsh and unforgiving land.
“The Song Poet” (Metropolitan Books) by Kao Kalia Yang (“The Latehomecomer”) chronicles the life of her father, a poet who sacrifices his gift for his children’s future in a new land.
“The Translation of Love” (Doubleday) by Lynne Kutsukake is a debut novel that tells the story of a young woman who disappears in the middle of the American occupation of Tokyo after WWII and the younger sister who tries desperately to find her.
“We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation” (Picador) is a new book of essays by Jeff Chang (“Cant Stop, Won’t Stop”, “Who We Be”) arguing for an end to racially charged violence/discrimination and a plea for global open-mindedness to the struggle of the oppressed.
“Japanese American Ethnicity – In Search of Heritage and Homeland across Generations” (NYU Press) by Takeyuki Tsuda looks at the notion of ‘ethnic heritage” through cross-generational lens.
“The Border of Paradise” (Unnamed Press) by Esme Weijun Wang tells the tale of a dysfunctional American family as they navigate the trials and tribulations of money, madness and their chaotic life on the road in Brooklyn, Taiwan and California.
Seattle playwright/writer/poet Robert Francis Flor has a new book of poems based on his younger days working in the Alaskan canneries. It is “Alaskero Memories” (Carayan Press). Go to www.carayanpress.com for details.
“MOTHSUTRA: For Bicycle Delivery Men” is a self-published graphic novel by Russell Leong. In its unique format with compelling illustrations that give urgency to the story of the inner life of fast-food deliverymen in New York, it provides a glimpse of the inner life of these immigrant workers beyond statistics and media generalizations. Leong lived in the Bowery and heard these stories first-hand and spins them into a history of a sub-culture that many of us know little about. Leong is a recipient of an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Poetry Award and a founding editor of CUNY FORUM/Asian American and Asian Studies, City University of New York. He was also Editor of UCLA’s Asian American Studies seminal publication, “Amerasia Journal.” Go to www.mothsutra.com or email [email protected] for details.
The University of Minnesota has come out with a new paperback edition of “Living For Change: An Autobiography” by Grace Lee Boggs. This book chronicles the remarkable life of an untraditional radical on the American left with a new foreward by Robin D. G. Kelley. Cornel West writes that “Grace Lee Boggs has made a fundamental difference in keeping alive the traditions of the struggles for freedom and democracy.” Go to http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/living-for-change for details.
“Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone” (Black Lawrence Press) is a new collection of short stories by Sequoia Nagamatsu that spins tales of modern Japan , pop culture icons and its ancient folklore into dreams to stir your imagination. Go to sequoianagamatsu.net for more information on this writer.
“Striking Distance-Bruce Lee & The Dawn Of Martial Arts In America” (University of Nebraska) by Charles Russo is a new book drawing on hundreds of interviews that chronicles his time in the Bay Area and the thriving martial arts scene there in the 1960’s.
“Tropical Renditions – Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America” (Duke) by Christine Bacareza Balance continues the tradition of Filipino American scholars looking deep into their own contemporary musical traditions and culture.
“Radicalism in the Wilderness – International Contemporary and 1960s Art in Japan” (MIT) by Reiko Tomii explores the burst of energy in Japanese modern art in the 60’s and how it related to the world.
“The Fortunes” (HMH) by Peter Ho Davies due this fall is a new sly and witty collection of short stories exploring the lives of Chinese Americans throughout our tumultuous history here on Gold Mountain and beyond.
“Islands of Protest – Japanese Literature From Okinawa” (UH Press) is a crucial and much needed collection edited by Davinder L. Bhowmik and Steve Rabson that offers literary riches from that island nation in various forms such as poetry, fiction and drama showing what a vital and distinct culture it really is.
NYRB Books continues to re-print and find classics that have gone out of print. Two recent Chinese masters of modern fiction have re-surfaced thanks to their efforts. The late Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin’s last book “Last Words From Montmarte” as translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich explores her impassioned letters to the world that are part-love letter, part-fiction, part-memoir and part-suicide note. “Naked Earth” brings back to print the much loved Hong Kong writer Eileen Chang. Perry Link’s translation tells the story of two young people during the early years of Mao’s China and uncovers the dark corners of human experience where idealism is replaced by repression.
“A Good Time For The Truth – Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press) is a fascinating anthology of first-hand essays edited by Sun Yung Shin that goes way beyond the Vikings and Lake Wobegon to get at the real ethnic strands of that state’s diversity and how, in some ways, it has failed many of its citizens.
Bamboo Ridge Press continues in its mission to publish the freshest and best writing by writers in Hawai’i. Their latest issue (#106) of the magazine features Editors’ Choice Awards with new work by Rajiv Mohabir, K.L. Quilantang, Jr. and Joseph Han. Also an Artist Portfolio by Joy Enomoto and the usual evocative variety of Island talent. Guest edited by Gail N. Harada and Lisa Linn Kanae. Also two new titles. Brenda Kwon’s “The Sum of Breathing” mixes genres as the author ventures to find an identity she can call her own moving from Hawai’i to Korea and L.A. and dealing with issues of memory, loss, feminism, racism and place. D. Carreira Ching’s “Between Sky and Sea – A Family’s Struggle” is a powerful debut novel about three Hawaiian brothers and how love, loss, addiction, violence set against the backdrop of a colonial past keep their lives churning through waves of doubt while still trying to find a way back home.
“The Future of Silence – Fiction by Korean Women” (Zephyr) is the latest translation by Seattle couple Bruce & Ju-Chan Fulton that spans generations of writers from the 1970’s to the present as they grapple with day to day complex issues in Korean life and literature. Includes important writers such as O Chong-hui, the late Pak Wan-so and younger ones like Kim Sagwa, Han Yujkoo and Ch’on Un-yong. Again, another crucial contribution to the life of women in today’s Korea.
Krys Lee (“Drifting House”) is back with a searing novel entitled “How I Became A North Korean” (Viking) that tells the inner and outer journey of three characters who flee North Korea only to find themselves trying to survive in dangerous Chinese territory.
Vi Khi Nao is a double threat with two new books debuting in two different genres. Her novel “Fish in Exile” (Coffee House Press) examines how a family copes with the loss of a child. Her poetry collection “The Old Philosopher” (Nightboat Editions) won the 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize.
“Love Letters to the World” (Poetose Press) by Meia Geddes is a new book of lyrical prose poems addressing the world as body, concept and stranger.
“Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920-1940 is the exhibition catalog by Dennis Reed of a show originally held at the Japanese American National Museum. Reed, a long-time specialist in the field of Japanese American photography looks at the many photographers who were members of various camera clubs up and down the West Coast during the era of “Pictorialism.”
“In Order To Live – A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom” (Penguin) by Yeonmi Park with Maryanne Vollers is the latest in a series of memoirs by people fleeing North Korea. At the age of thirteen, she makes the perilous journey with her mother to South Korea after betrayal and being sold into sexual slavery in China. “Every Falling Star” (Amulet) by Sungju Lee & Susan McClelland tells the story of a son from a military family who is forced to live on the streets after the mysterious relocation of his father to another city. He joins a dangerous street gang feared throughout North Korea to survive.
Jade Chang’s “The Wangs Vs. The World” (HMH) is her debut novel about an immigrant family who falls on hard times and takes a cross-country journey across America that brings them back together.
“BUSHIDO – The Soul Of A Samurai” (Shambhala) is a graphic novel from the book by Inazo Nitobe adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and illustrated by Akiko Shimojima.
“The Problem With Me And Other Essays About Making Trouble In China Today” (Simon & Schuster) by Han Han is by China’s most popular blogger with piquant essays on Chinese culture and politics.
“Great Fortune Dream – The Struggle And The Triumphs Of Chinese Settlers In Canada, 1858 – 1966” (Caitlin Press) is a groundbreaking book on the little known history of Chinese settlers in that region by David Chuenyan Lai & Guo Ding.
The Sept./Oct. issue of “World Literature Today” has the following articles.Dipika Mukherjee’s “What To Read Now-Malaysia.” Poems by Korean poet Lee Young-Kwang. Reviews of new books including Radhika Swarup’s “Where the River Parts” (Sandstone Press), Ryu Murakami’s “Tokyo Decadence” (Kurodahan Press) translated by Ralph McCarthy, “Sharp Blue Search of Flame”, poems by Zilka Joseph (Wayne State University), “I Dreamt a Horse Fell from the Sky” (Hachette India) poems by Adil Jussawalla, “Dothead: Poems” (Knopf) by Amit Majmudar, and “Fractals” (Wings Press), poems by Sudeep Sen.
The International Women’s Media Foundation gave a 2016 Courage in Journalism Award to Stella Paul, a freelance journalist in India, who has focused extensively on development issues such as gender-based violence and sex trafficking. Go to iwmf.org/courage for details.
The City of Seattle is transforming the upper floors of the King St. Station into a cultural hub that meets the needs of the city. They want your imput. Open to all Chinatown/ID community members. Meeting is on Thurs., Oct. 20 at 5:30pm. 303 S. Jackson. (Enter via S. Jackson St.) For details, go to http://www.seattle.gov/arts/king-street-station.
The 1stAnnual Hing Hay Arts & Crafts Fair will feature over 30+ local API artisans is set for Dec. 10. If you’re a vendor and would like a booth, apply by Oct. 30, 2016. Go to http://bit.ly/HHC_ARTS. A program of SCIDpda in collaboration with KulturaArts. If you have questions, email Rachta Danh at [email protected].
Artist Trust recently awarded a number of GAP grants to Northwest artists. David Jaewon Oh is a Seattle photographer working on documenting the lives of female boxers in the gym. Tacoma artist Lisa Kinoshita got one for her upcoming project with Susan Surface on an exhibit of photographs, sculpture and installation on the experience of Japanese immigrants as seen through the eyes of two contemporary Japanese Americans. Set for SOIL Gallery in 2017. Chicago raised artist Satpreet Kahlon got a grant to cover a residency at Twilight Gallery and fund a show of over a hundred hand-piped porcelain vessels she created after collecting and compiling the oral histories of women of color. Kamla Kakaria received a grant to go to India and research the visual influences that permeate her work and check out the work of Indian artists working today. Tacoma artist , Beijing-born Qin Tan has a project where she looks at the accents, inflections and cadences found within sound performances by translating them into a visual format depicted by rhythm and movement. Sofia Lee is a Seattle-based visual artist and GIF journalist fascinated by consumer culture and the way electronics shape our lives. Her installation will explore contemporary global culture’s obsession with the aesthetics of “authenticity.” MISS TANGO is a Chinese-born, first generation queer-identified, multi-media artist working on “New Queer Creation Mythos” based on the ancient myth of a brother-sister/husband-wife pair that are responsible for the creation of the world. Taiji Miyasaka was born and raised in the ancient city of Kyoto and now lives in Eastern Washington. He wants to discover spaces in Kyoto that have an intense relationship between light and darkness. Artist Lauren Iida will use the grant to take her stories and paper cutaway art and bring them to life through animation. Her project tells the story of Khmer culture which she hopes to show in the US and Cambodia. D.K. Pan is a multimedia artist who is working on “36 Views of The Sun: Meditations on Time, Hands, and Infinity” which is a photo project that investigates the temporary construction wall of the future rail station in the “U” District. He will use 36 convex mirrors which utilize un-contracted Braille to spell out “Time Is Memory.” Romson Regarde Bustillo is a Seattle-based world traveler and an inter disciplinary artist who works in printmaking, painting and installation and is active as a teaching artist. For his life in art & teaching he was given an award from SADA (Seattle Art Dealer’s Association). Congratulations to all! We look forward to seeing their future projects.
The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation seeks an artists from Oregon/WA to develop site-specific artwork and design elements for the Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit Project. The selected artist works with SDOT & SDOT consultants from design, through construction of the new BRT. Deadline is Mon., Nov. 7 at 11pm (PDT). For more info., call or email Maija McKnight at [email protected] or 206-684-7311.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Go to [email protected] or call (206) 522-5438.
Washington 129 is a projected anthology of poems to be written by Washingtonians. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. Go to http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/03/28/23877586/submissions-are-now-open-for-washington-129-an-anthology-of-poetry-from-citizens-of-washington-state for details.
Photographic Center Northwest issues a call for entries for their 21st Juried Exhibition with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017. Juror is San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Curator Emeritus Sandra Phillips. The exhibit takes place March 27 – June 11 in 2017. For details, go to pcnw.org/submissions.
Applications for the 2017 Jack Straw Artist Residencies are available now with a deadline of Mon., Oct. 31, 2016. To see what’s available and pick up an application, go to www.jackstraw.org/programs/asp/2017/2017_apps.shtml.Programs.
Artists are wanted for temporary art in Seattle Center’s Poetry Garden. Each selected artist will receive $1,000. Deadline is 11pm on Mon., Oct. 24, 2016 (PDT). For details, call Elisheba Johnson at 206-684-0182 or try [email protected].
The Wing presents their “Twilight Noodle Slurp Tours” throughout Oct., Nov., and Dec. Warm your soul and your belly with different kinds of noodles in the Chinatown-International District. Go to wingluke.org/tours for details and to book online.
The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing is now accepting non-fiction submissions. Winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books. Submissions accepted iuntil Feb. 28, 2017. Go to Restlessbooks.com for details.
The Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale 2017 Korea International Competition invites ceramic artists to send in submissions. Cash prizes and exhibition opportunities for winners. Preliminary screening starts Oct. 4 – 31,2016. For application, go to http://ic.gicb.kr/kor/main/index.asp. For more information, try ic.gicb.kr.