“Introductions” is a group show of contemporary printmakers from around the world. Includes the work of Koichi Yamamoto, Boonmee Sangkhum, Mitsushige Nishiwaki, the team of Kyoko Imazu + Damon Kowarsky and Kumi Obata and others. On view through Oct. 1, 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 7 p.m. 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 9:30 p.m. 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 12:30 p.m. with Seattle dancer/choreographer Anna Lizette Connor that memorializes transgender lives cut short by murder.
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 Sept. 8 – Oct. 29, 2016. Opening reception with the artist in attendance will be on Thurs., Sept. 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. 203 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle. 206-652-5855 or go to www.winstonwachter.com.
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 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. – Sun.
New work by artists Junko Yamamoto and Akiko Masker at Arts West Gallery on view during the month of August until Sept. 4. Regular hours are 1:30 – 7:30 p.m. on weekends and Sundays from 11 – 3 p.m. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. 206-938-0339.
“Handmade in Camp – What We couldn’t Carry” 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.
What is your favorite lullaby? What do you sing to your little ones to put them to sleep? The Wing invites you to share your lullaby with them to be featured in the new upcoming KidPLACE exhibition, “Stars Above: Wrapped in Lullabies”, opening Sat., August 20, 2016. The Wing invites the community to participate in this exhibition by recordings their favorite lullabies. Go to http://www.wingluke.org/lullaby for details.
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 SayaMoriyasu.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. She has five works on view at The Gallery at Shoreline City Hall through Sept. 9. 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.
Humaira Abid’s carved wood sculptures and paintings use a personal approach to reveal world issues whether it’s the bombing of children in Pakistan by US warplanes or issues of women. A solo show of her new work opens August 4 and runs through Sept. 24. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S. 206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Open Tues. – Sat.
Seattle Municipal Tower presents “Cultural Perspectives”, a group show from the Seattle Public Utilities Portable Works collection with a focus on the voices and experiences of communities of color. On view through Sept. 30, 2016. Part 2 has work by Minh Carrico, Carina del Rosario, Midori Hirose, Hyunju Kim, Cheryll Leo-Gwin, Naomi Shigeto, Roger Shimomura, Tara Tamaribuchi, Thuy-Van Vu and others. 700 Fifth Ave. Open Mon. – Fri. Go to seattle.gov for details.
Z. Wei’s by now familiar landscapes from travels in the Northwest will be shown in September at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. “At One In The Landscape” features new works and a release party for a video documentary on the artist produced by John Forsen. On view through Oct. 3, 2016. 1111 1st Ave. in downtown Seattle. 206-223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
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.
Midori Hirose has a show of work that explores material changes, both perceived and actual, using resources and media drawn from science, early childhood education and history. On view through Sept. 18, 2016 at Morin Print Building at 308 Washington St. in The Dalles, Oregon. Part of Disjecta’s “Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art” series. Call 503-286-9499 or go to www.disjecta.org. For more about the artist, go to www.midorihirose.us.
Charlene Liu has a show that explores pictorial space by turns illusionistic and graphic, combining head-drawn, digitally constructed, and mechanically reproduced tropes and motifs. On view through Sept. 18 at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 48004 St. Andrews Rd. in Pendleton, Oregon. Part of Disjecta’s “Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art” series. 503-286-9449 or go to www.disjecta.org. For more on the artist, go to www.charlene-liu.com.
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. Their present show entitled “Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists In The Garden” on view until Oct. 16, 2016 features the work of Jiro Yonezawa, Shigeo Kawashima, Charissa Brock and Anne Crumpacker. Brock will do a bamboo splitting demonstration entitled “Bending Nature” on Sept. 10 in the East Veranda from 1 – 3pm. Also Sept. 15 – 17 from 7 – 9pm will feature “O-Tsukimi, Moonviewing” in the East and West Veranda. 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 17, 18th and 19th century. Activities connected to the show include the following. Marjorie Yap holds a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at the gallery on Friday, Sept. 30. Art historian Ann Wetherwell of Willamette University discusses the pop culture aspect of ukiyo-e prints at Central Oregon Community College on Oct. 11. 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. Printmaker and OSU faculty member Yuji Hiratsuka visits the gallery with an art talk and a pop-up exhibit of his own prints on Sept. 11. Midwestern artist Mary Brodbeck visits the gallery on Oct. 14 to give a talk and teaches a weekend workshop in traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking Oct. 15 – 16. 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. “Millenia – 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. Opens Sept. 17, 2016. “Modernization in Meiji Japan (1868-1912) – Images of Changing Architecture, Transportation and War” through August 28, 2016. “China’s Favourite Pottery for Tea, Yixing Ware” through Oct. 18, 2016. 1040 Moss St. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Call 1-250-384-4171.
“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”. Family Fun Day celebrates this show with a Pajama Party. The museum asks participants to wear their favorite pajamas to celebrate this opening day. Free with family fun activities like art workshops, lullabies, recording booth and kid -focused concerts throughout the building. 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. 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. Opens Oct. 4th with the full support of the Lee Family. 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. Year 2 of the exhibition opens Oct. 3rd, 2015 and digs deeper into the significance of Bruce Lee and his impact in media during a time of racial stereotypes and barriers. Includes text panels by national blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) plus Green Hornet toys, personal letters, behind-the-scenes photos from the sets of “Way of the Dragon” and “Enter the Dragon”, hand-written film notes, rare photos inside his early Chinatown studio and much more. Celebrate the closing of this Bruce Lee show on Sept. 3 & 4. Special activities include an outdoor film screening on Sat. and giveaways. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit opens on Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 but if you become a museum member, you can attend the special member-only party preview before it officially opens to the public. On Friday, Sept. 30 from 5 – 8pm. To become a member contact [email protected] or call 206-623-5124×126. The new installment is entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: Do You Know Bruce? Part 3” 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. 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.
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. 206-770-270
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. Seattle Art Museum downtown.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – Opening April 9 and staying on view through Oct. 9, 2016 in the Tateuchi Galleries is “Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World.” The show looks at how the color blue creates so many moods in cloth around the world. Drawn primarily from SAM’s global textile collection, the show illuminates the historic scope of this vibrant pigment. On view will be tapestries from Belgium, a Chinese silk court robe, kimonos from Japan, batiks and ikats from Indonesia and Africa, and ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt. An immersive contemporary installation devoted to indigo by Rowland Ricketts with a soundtrack by sound artist Nobert Herber will also be featured. Also on view now – “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. Opening on July 2 and remaining 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 and 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. Now on view through Oct. 9, 2016 is a show entitled “GOLD: Japanese Art from the Collection.” Japanese art curator Xiaojin Wu created this show with diverse elements from the museum’s collection, which showcases all things gold including textiles-such as kimonos-as well as paintings, metalwork, and lacquerware. Gardner Center presents an Asia Arts Workshop entitled “Hand Papermaking of the Islamic World” on Sept. 10, 2016 from 10 am – 4pm with book artist and papermaker Radha Pandy. Pandey will share her rare expertise about paper history with samples of work made in the Islamic world. Paticipants will learn sheet forming, dyeing, sizing and burnishing. On Sept. 15 at 7pm, the Gardner Center presents their Asia Talks series with textile artist Azumi Hosoda who will show you how to use resist dyeing to create kimonos and more. She will discuss techniques that allow layering and depths of color and talk about her contemporary designs that explore themes of food, sea life, games and more. 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. Opens Nov. 11, 2016 and remains on view through Feb. 26, 2017. 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 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 meetings on Sat., Sept. 10, 2016 at Nagomi Tea House at 519 6th Ave. S., Ste. 200 and Oct. 15, 2016 at Seattle Asian Art Museum at 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park.
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.
“Matter” is the first North American retrospective to highlight two decades of art by Bharti Kher, a UK-born, New Delhi-based artist. The exhibition presents elements of painting, photography, and sculpture that have been the hallmarks of her practice over the past two decades. On view through Oct. 10, 2016. Organized by Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis and Diana Freundl. Her use of the bindi (a popular fashion accessory that once was a symbol of the third eye) is reclaimed by the artist to show the resilience of women. Ideas of hybridity and the female cyborg are also explored in her art. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue co-published with Black Dog Publishing. Vancouver Art Gallery is at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver BC, Canada. 604-662-4722 or go to www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.
On view through Sept. 4, 2016 is “Chino Otsuka: Arrival”, an audio visual multi-channel installation that combines archival images and new photographs as a way to explore the early history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, stories of young women who came as picture brides. It captures a time of anticipation, hope and adventure as they begin their journey to a new country. Otsuka is based in England and this project was inspired by a 2014 residency at the Nikkei archives here. Also ongoing is “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 Denver Art Museum has the following shows. “All That Glistens – A Century of Japanese Lacquer” has on display containers, trays, plaques, braziers and screens all handcrafted by the Japanese artisan tradition. On view through September 7, 2016. “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.
Korean American artist Soo Sunny Park is known for using everyday building materials to create large, experiential installations that rely on repetition and the interplay of light. Her “Unwoven Light” piece is a suspended sculptural composition of chain-link fencing and iridescent Plexiglas formed in organic shapes that changes color, light and shadow as the viewer walks through it. On view through Sept. 4, 2016 at The Dennos Museum Center at 1701 E. Front St. in Traverse City, Michigan. 231-995-1055. Go to http:/www.dennosmuseum.org/exhibitions/current/soo-sunny-park-unwoven-light.html for details.
The East-West Center Arts Program presents “China Through The Lens of John Thomson 1869-1872”. In 1868 the Scottish photographer and travel writer spent four years in Hong Kong and China documenting the people and landscape. The range, depth and aesthetic quality of his photographic vision makes him stand out as one of the pioneers of travel photography. On view through Sept. 11, 2016. East-West Gallery is located in the John A. Burns Hall at 1601 East-West Rd. in Honolulu. Hours are weekdays 8 – 5pm and Sundays noon – 4pm. 808-944-7177. Go to http://arts.EastWestCenter.org for details.
“Summer Trees Casting Shade – Chinese Paintings at Berkeley” highlights the collection of the late highly respected Chinese art historian and UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill. The works date from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. Highlights include the Song Dynasty galleries and the Ma Yuan Paintings. On view through Sept. 25, 2016. A related activity is art historian Patricia Berger’s talk entitled “A Passion for Grapes – Thoughts on a Chinese Painting” set for Sept. 24 at 1:30pm. At the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) which has moved from its former UC Berkeley campus location to downtown. 2155 Center St. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected].
“Emperor’s Treasures – Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei” is on view through Sept. 18, 2016. Nearly 150 imperial masterworks from across eight centuries and four dynasties with many making their North American debut. The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco at 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500. In related 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.
“Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” is the title of a new show at the Huntington Library. Photographs made by Ishimoto of architecture by these early 20th-century designers on assignment for the Japanese design magazine, “Approach” (on loan from Museum of Art, Kochi) plus images from his “Katsura Imperial Villa” series are now on view until Oct. 3, 2016. This show coincides with the reopening of a refreshed permanent display of Greene & Greene furniture in an adjacent room. A new exhibition opens Sept. 17 entitled “Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints” and 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. 1151 Oxford Rd. in San Marino, California. 626-405-2100.
Los Angeles 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 her 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.
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 September 9, 2016 – January 8, 2017. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org.
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. Also as an added bonus during the month of September, visitors can see how she has turned the interior of the Glasshouse into a colorful polka-dot infinity room. “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 – A show by Yan Xing through Oct. 16, 2016. “Epic Stories and Cultural Flux: A Brief Visual History of South Asia” though Sept. 11, 2016. 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 August 27, 2016 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 Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has the following. “Divine Pleasures: Paintings from India’s Rajput Courts – the Kronos Collection” through Sept. 12, 2016. “Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection” through Oct. 11, 2016. 1000 Fifth Ave. Go to metmuseum.org 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.
A major new work by installation artist Kimsooja entitled “Archive of Mind” encourages visitors to make clay balls at a giant oval wooden table to the soundtrack of dried clay balls rolling on the table. When dry, the audience-made balls of clay will be set against the black walls transforming the room into the landscape of an alien planet. Also on view is the latest piece of Kimsooja’s “Thread Route” film series. This series shows how a region’s sewing and weaving culture is intertwined with residents’ lives and history. The current show is part of “The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2016”, the museum’s annual solo show given to a leading artist as sponsored by the auto giant. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary art in Seoul. +82 23701 9500. 30, Samcheong-Ro, Jongno-gu in Seoul.
The National Arts Council chose multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning to represent Singapore at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Jompet Kuswidananto’s “After Voices” is a haunting memorial to the voice of protest in Indonesia utilizing pairs of worn out shoes in procession, above them suspended are empty busts formed by motorcycle helmets or balaclavas made from t-shirts. A noisy fan blows on large banners with printed figures ready to shoot at the crowd accompanied by an audio visual video portrayal of an re-enacted 1949 military offensive. Also includes a film entitled “Noda/Stains” in which a lone figure mops up a dark stain. Through Sept. 10, 2016 at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney. Yuan Gong’s “The Shape of Scent” takes the use of fog to invoke a visual depiction of scent in a series of six large oil paintings and three video pieces. Closed on August 27, 2016 at Tang Contemporary Art in Hong Kong. Excerpted from Artsasiapacific’s website.
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.”1945+5: War and Reconstruction – How artists Faced the Turbulent Period” is on view through Oct. 10, 2016. The show looks at the oil painting tradition in the years before and after WWII and how it affected Japanese artists. At the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art at 1-1 Hijiyama Koen, Minami-ku in Hiroshima. “A Feverish Era: Art Informel and The Expansion of Japanese Artistic Expression in the 1950s and 60s” on view until Sept. 11, 2016 looks at the year of 1956 when Parisian art critic and collector Michel Tapie brought an influential collection of Western “art informel” abstract art to Japan. This trend stressed gestural styles that broke with artistic tradition. 100 works in various genres by Japanese artists influenced by this Western style. National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Okazaki Enshoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. In 1946 as Japan was reeling from WWII, the first Japanese woman manga artist – cartoonist Machiko Hasegawa gave the nation some light relief with her hit manga entitled “Sazae-san.” This exhibition entitled “The 70th Anniversary of Sazae-san: The Best of Machiko Hasegawa” runs from August 27 – Oct. 10, 2016 at Itabashi Art Museum in Tokyo. 5-34-27 Akatsuka, Itabashi-ku. “Okazaki Kyoko: Exhibition – Battlefield of Girls Life” looks at this manga illustrator whose work focuses on the lives of contemporary young women living in major cities, and their desires and insecurities facing the changing environment of a capitalistic society. On view until Sept. 11, 2016 at Itami City Museum of Art at 2-5-20 Miyanomae in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture. 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 theme for the 3rd Aichi Triennale as coined by curator Chihiro Minato is “Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan.” It takes place in the cities of Okazaki, Toyohasi and Nagoya, Japan. Parameters are wide for this festival of art that will include photography, moving image, performing arts and architecture. Through Oct. 23, 2016.
The ever controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been eliminated from the Yinchuan Biennale just two weeks before its scheduled opening due to his “political status” according to a post by the artist on Twitter. Displeasure of the artist’s inclusion in the show was voiced by domestic media. Yinchuan MoCA is just starting out in that area of China and didn’t want controversy to be a stumbling block in its growth as a contemporary art institution. Work of over 70 international artists are included in this inaugural show including contributions from Anish Kapoor, Song Dong and Yoko Ono. Ai Weiwei had this to say about his elimination. While acknowledging that censorship is a given under Communism, he said “it still comes as a surprise to me for an ‘international art biennale’…to remove a single artist for the reason of defending human rights and freedom of speech. That shows what we face is a world which is divided and segregated by ideology, and art is used merely as a decoration for political agendas in certain societies.” He closed his remarks by saying “China is trying to develop into a modern society without freedom of speech, but without political arguments involving higher aesthetic morals and philosophies, art is only served as a puppet of a fake cultural efforts. Therefore I am happy not to be part of that effort as a political decoration.” Excerpted from The Art Newspaper. Go to http://theartnewspaper.com/news/news/ai-weiwei-dropped-from-biennial-in-china-/ for the complete story.
Kyoto Arts & Antiques have been wholesaling Japanese antiques for 25 years. Based in Kyoto, Seattle is their only U.S. port of call for two weeks in the spring and fall. They will open up their warehouse to the Friends of Asian Art Association for a special evening of discovery. Space is limited so register now. Oct. 7 from 7 – 9pm. The warehouse is at 5840 Airport Way South in Georgetown. Tickets are always cheaper for organization members so you might consider joining before making your reservation. To register, go to www.friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer4.html.
The non-profit organization known as Washington Lawyers for the Arts celebrates 40 years of providing legal services to people in the arts on Thurs., Oct 6, 2016 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Columbia Tower Club at 5 Columbia Center at 701 – 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle. Tickets are $25 and available at www.thewla.org. WLA members get complimentary tickets. For more information, go to [email protected]
Seattle Kokon Taiko formed in 1980 and is still going strong. To celebrate they plan a 35th Anniversary Concert entitled “Rhythm, Movement & Spirit” on Oct. 1, 2016. Tickets are on sale now. This will be a big production with special guests they have been collaborating with the last few years including Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe of UNIT SOUZOU, singer-songwriter Aura Ruddell and the rock band, Ravenna Woods. Concert takes place at the Shorewood Performing Arts Center in Shoreline. Planning a concert this big takes lots of money and the organization would appreciate any financial support it can receive from friends, family and community. This group has always been there for the community performing at rallies, concerts and community events. Now it’s our turn to step up and support them. For more information on the concert, go to http://seattlekokontaiko.org/skt35/. To keep up with the group’s activities, go to their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Seattle-Kokon-Taiko-SKT-101296766070/. And more importantly, to send donations to the group so they can put on their concert, go to https://www.gofundme.com/skt35.
Singer/songwriter/musician Kishi Bashi was born in Seattle but raised in in Virginia, the son of academics. He studied film scoring at Berklee School of Music and founded the rock band “Of Montreal” before going solo. He will be touring on behalf of his latest release “Sounderlust.” This recording came out of the ashes after touring and marital problems saw him at a spiritual and creative impasse. He appears in Seattle on Oct. 18 at 8pm at the Showbox in downtown Seattle at 1426 – 1st Ave. 1-888-9-AXS TIX or try the ShowBox or SODO ShowBox offices for tickets in-person fromWed. – Fri. from 10am – 2pm. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
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., Januanry 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 Pymphony 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. No tea ceremonies will be held in August. Go to vistsam.org/performs for details. Also at Seattle Art Museum on Sept. 8 at 6pm will be an “Opening Reception for Travelers”. Travel from Shanghai to Bakersfield and beyond as visitors get a chance to explore the world with artists as they exhibit work based on their expeditions. Free and open to the public.
Friends of Asian Art Association present “Glimpses of India” on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 2 – 4pm. Enjoy dancing, music, henna, sari draping, chai and snacks. Kids under 12 are free. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. At the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center at 7700 Sand Point Way NE. To register for this event go to www.friendsofasianart.org.
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. Opening concert of Brahms kicks off on Sept. 16 at 415 Westlake in Seattle. Go to emeraldcitymusic.org.
Aerialist Rui Ling performs in Teatro ZinZanni’s romantic production of “Hotel L’Amore” staring Lilliane Montevecchi. Through Sept. 25. 222 Mercer St. in Seattle. 206-802-0015 for details.
Sept. 11 from 11am – 7pm is the annual “Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival”. Hula and mele performances, music, ono food and lei making workshops. Go to www.seattlelivealohafestival.com for details. Both events at Seattle Center Armory & Fisher Rooftop. Free.
The 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards is a free program in which Mayor Ed Murray, The Seattle Arts Commission, and The Office Of Arts & Culture invite you to the ceremony in which many of Seattle’s strongest proponents for the arts will be honored. In the “Arts & Innovation” category, artist Louie Gong is honored. Under the category of “Philanthropy”, Ellen Ferguson who is Co-President of the Wing Luke Asian Museum and Huong Vu are both honored. The event takes place on Friday, Sept. 1 at 12pm at the Mural Amphitheatre at Seattle Center. Free but reservations are suggested. Go to [email protected] for details.
Coming to Jazz Alley are two pianists of contrasting styles. The pop/jazz of singer/songwriter/pianist L.A.-based Keiko Matsui is on stage Sept. 1 – 4. Jazz prodigy Joey Alexander hails from Bali but is presently based in New York. He’s a storehouse of the jazz tradition and though only 12, plays with the warmth of a musician years older. See him with his trio Sept. 13. Shows start at 7:30pm. 2033 6th Ave. 206-441-9729 or go to jazzalley.com.
Book-It Repertory Theatre kicks off their 2016-17 season with an adaptation of Ruth Ozeki’s best-selling novel “A Tale For The Time Being” set fro Sept. 14 – Oct. 9. The story centers around a woman on an island off the coast of British Columbia who finds the diary of a young Japanese young girl washed up on the shore as part of the tsunami debris and how she imagines her story from reading the pages. Cast includes Khanh Doan, Mi Kang, Mariko Kita, Scott Koh, Keven Lin, Michael Patten, Rachel Rene and Annie Yim. Adapted by Laura Ferri and directed by Desdemona Chiang. For tickets, go to book-it.org or call 206-216-0833.
“Narae 2016 – A Korean Folktale” is Morning Star Korean Cultural Center’s annual concert. Translated into English as “Wings”, it will have the Northwest Korean ensemble “spreading their wings” over the community in a cultural embrace. Expect traditional Korean music, costumes, choreography and beautiful set design. This year’s theme explores and brings to life an old traditional folktale through music and dance. On Sunday, Sept. 18 from 7 – 9pm. At McCaw Hall at 321 Mercer St. in Seattle Center. For details email [email protected]
Access To Ustads presents: Master of Tabla Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla’s North Indian concert with Hindustani vocalist Srivani Jade and Master Artist Anindo Chatterjee on the table. Both artists perform and talk about their art form. Sat., Sept. 24 at 2pm. For more information, go to wingluke.org.
Singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata comes to the Tractor Tavern on Oct. 17. Presented by Monqui. Go to monqui.com for details.
Chan Centre, the performing arts theatre space for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver B.C. presents 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.
UW instructor/composer/trumpet player Cuong Vu continues his association with noted jazz guitarist Pat Metheny in a new recording on Nonesuch entitled “Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny”. It includes five tunes written by Vu and features a rhythm section of Stomu Takeishi on bass and Ted Poor on drums. For details, go to publicity.nonesuch.com or contact Melissa Cusick at [email protected]
Bleachbear is an all-girl Asian American indi-rock band consisting of two sisters and a cousin. They were named “Seattle’s Best Underage Band” by Seattle Weekly. Their sophomore EP entitled “Cowboy Movie Star” will be released on July 30, 2016. For details, go to www.bleachbear.com.
Catch local singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama in the fall when he joins fellow singer/songwriters Jeremy Enigk and Laura Gibson at a song fest for “Cathedrals XIII” at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Oct. 8, 2016 at 1245 10th Ave. E. A benefit for Greening the Abbey campaign.
Ukulele whiz Jake Shimabukuro’s new tour includes a stop at Pantages Theater in Tacoma on Sept. 7, 2016. The musician’s new set up for his electric ukulele will give him “access to new sounds and timbers that I never incorporated before.” Go to http://www.jakeshimabukuro.com/ for details.
Tokyo-based Bunka Gakuen University has their annual Fashion Show on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 in two sets at 1pm and 3pm. At Seattle Central Community College’s Broadway Performance Hall at 1701 Broadway. Free but reservations are suggested. Go to [email protected] for details.
Experience Chinese music in a series of two concerts by the Guangdong National Orchestra Of China. “Autumn Memory- A Collection of Chinese Classic Works is on Sept. 12. A newly-created symphonic work entitled “Silk Road Melody” will be performed on Sept. 13. Presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group at Benaroya Hall. 200 University St. Tickets at benaroyahall.org or call 206-215-4747. Also at Benaroya Hall, the East Meets West Concert Series present “Year of the Monkey: Chinese Music in the Great Northwest” presented by the Seattle-based Chinese arts and Music Association. Includes performances by Seattle Chinese Orchestra, Zhenlun’s Cello Orchestra, NW Guzheng Ensemble and NW Jigu Ensemble. Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3pm. You can email [email protected] or call 206-817-6888 for details.
A Polynesian Festival with food and entertainment takes place on Sept. 20 & 21 at Renton Uwajimaya from 11am – 5pm. Go to uwajimaya.com 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.
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.
Seattle composer Byron Au Yong (just back from a Lucas Artists Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA) has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in the University of San Francisco Performing Arts and Social Justice department. He will also serve as the lead artist working with American Conservatory Theatre and AA technology professionals on an audience development Program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Pianist/composer Miseung Kang from Seoul had her composition “The Whale” selected as the winner of the 4th Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers. She graduated from Berkelee College of Music. The composition will be performed live and recorded by the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra at the Shoreline Performing Arts Center on Oct. 15, 2016. Go to www.swojo.org for details.
South Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf takes on the multi-nationals with a new piece entitled “Dow vs. Bhopal: A Toxic Rap Battle” demanding that Dow Chemical pay more in compensation to the victims and for environmental damage stemming from the gas leak that killed thousands of people in 1984. This disaster is considered one of the world’s worst industrial accidents and killed more than 15,000 and sickened a half-million more. Thousands of children have been born with brain damage and twisted limbs. Her video has dancers wearing gas masks as she raps “This ain’t road kill, death’s still taking its toll/ There’s water, water everywhere/ corroding our copperware/ It’s so polluted, quit deluding.”
Cleveland Symphony has chosen Jessica Lee, a member of the Johannes String Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two as their new Assistant Concertmaster replacing the recently retired Yoko Moore.
Film & Media
Opening soon in Seattle will be Mira Nair’s new film for Disney, “Queen of Katwe.” It tells the true story of Chess champion Phiona Mutesi who rose from poverty to become a Grandmaster in Uganda. The filmmaker Nair also grew up in Uganda. The film is an adaptation of a book by Tim Crothers. Stars Maolina Nalwanga as Phiona, Oscar-winner Liupita Nyong’o as her mother and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher. Screens at the Majestic Bay in Ballard, Seattle Sundance and other Seattle theatres.
Missed academy-award-winning film “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee about a boy, a boat and a tiger? You’ve got another chance to catch it on the wide screen in the Seattle summer outdoors. August 27 at dusk at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater.
And speaking of Ang Lee, his 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.
Also opening last week of August is the long-delayed theatrical run for Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” starring Naomi Watts, Ken Watanabe and Matthew McConaughey. The story concerns a crisis in an American couple’s marriage and eventual spiritual renewal after the husband contemplates suicide in Japan only to help save a Japanese man who has already attempted suicide lost below Mr. Fuji.
The movie musical version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” starring Yul Brynner screens on Aug. 31 at the Varsity at 4329 University Way NE in the University District. 206-632-2267.
Screening Sept. 9 – 15 is Nanfu Wang’s documentary film on “Hooligan Sparrow”, the name for maverick activist Ye Haiyan and her group. The film documents the group as it goes to Southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who have been sexually abused by their principal. Grand Illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th St. in the University District. 206-523-3935 or go to [email protected].
Opening Sept. 13, 2016 at a Seattle Landmark location is “Rurouni Kenshin Part II: Kyoto Inferno” reputed to be an exciting new live action thriller in the Japanese Samurai film tradition. It is an adaptation of the classic series. A former Samurai assassin and his friends after a brief return to civilian life are called back into action when a ghost from their past wrecks havoc across Japan.
Seattle Asian American Film Festival is issuing a call for submissions for their SAAFF 2017 series set for early next year. Deadline is Oct. 1, 2016. They are also sponsoring an outdoor film series in Chinatown/ID’s Hing Hay Park this summer with the Bruce Lee classic, “Enter The Dragon” on August 27. For details on all of the above, email [email protected].
Cinerama Theater down town has a “70MM Film Festival” set for Sept. 9 – 19. Set to screen on Sept. 19th at 8pm is “Year Of The Dragon”. The film by Michael Cimino and starring Mickey Rourke, John Lone and Ariane is about a White cop breaking up crime rings in Chinatown. When the film made its debut, it drew protests from the Chinese American community for presenting an inaccurate and stereotypical image of Chinatown. For tickets and information on this festival, go to Cinerama.com.
The opening night film for “TWIST Filmfest (formerly the “Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival”) will be Clyde Petersen’s “Torrey Pines”, a queer coming-of-age tale done in stop-motion. There will be a live score on opening night. Sound artist Susie Kozawa will provide live foley and soundscape. Thurs., Oct. 13 at the Egyptian Theatre. To see the full program for this festival, go to threedollarbillcinema.org. For passes to the festival, to to twistfilmfest.org.
Examiner film writer Yayoi Winfrey is a filmmaker herself and she is working on a new production entitled “War Brides of Japan”. Her production team is about to embark on a trip to interview 11 Japanese war bridges and their children in 8 cities and 3 states. They need more donations to their crowdfunding campaign so they can have enough money to cover expenses. If you can help make this film a reality, please donate what you can to https://fromtheheartproductions.networkforgood.com/projects/15778-documentaries-war-brides-of-japan. If you have any questions about this project, email [email protected]
The Written Arts
Elliott Bay Book Company presents a series of readings and events. All are at the bookstore unless noted otherwise. Ed Yong, award-winning science writer for the Atlantic and creator of the National Geographic blog, “Not Exactly Rocket Science” has a new book out entitled “I Contain Multitudes – The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life” (Ecco). He’ll be in Seattle to talk about it on Sept. 9 at 7pm. Anuratha Roy is considered one of India’s most respected fiction writers today. She makes her first trip to the US & Seattle on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7pm. She will read from her third and latest novel “Sleeping Jupiter” (Graywolf Press) which has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the DSC South Asian Literary Prize. It examines the brutality that men practice against women in India. Roy is also co-publisher of the well-received literary press, Permanent Black. “EYE ON INDIA: WORDS & SONG” is the sixth annual Eye on India program featuring writers and other artists of the Indian/South Asian diaspora. This year’s program co-presented with the Gardner Center For Asian Art & Ideas and TEAMWORK ARTS presents Amitava Kumar, Karan Mahajan & Vidya Shah. Novelist, essayist and scholar Amitava Kumar has a book of essays entitled “Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World and a travel memoir entitled “A Matter of Rats” (both on Duke University Press). Karan Mahajan is the author of the highly praised novel “The Association of Small Bombs” (Penguin) that puts a human face on both victims and perpetrators of terrorist attacks. Vocalist Vidya Shah has written a recent book entitled “Jalsa: Indian Women and the Journeys from the Salon to the Studio” (Tulika Books). She will talk about and perform songs recorded by early female recording artists in India.Wed., Sept. 28 at 6:30pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum. Tickets to this event are available online at www.seattleartmuseum.org. The museum is at 1400 East Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. In “The Fortunes” (Houghton Mifflin) Harcourt), award-winning fiction writer Peter Ho Davies looks at the experience of early Chinese American immigrants in the American West. Thurs., Sept. 15 at 7pm at the bookstore. Jade Chang’s debut novel “The Wangs Vs The World” (HMH) 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 tentatively set for Oct. 24/25. Elliott Bay Book Company is at 1521 Tenth Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 206-624-6600.
The University Book Store (www.bookstore.washington.edu or 206-634-3400) co-sponsors the following events. Local author Sharon H. Chang talks about her important new book entitled “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge) on Thurs., Sept. 29, 2016 at 7pm. Seattle Public Library Central Branch at 100 Fourth in downtown Seattle. Akhil Reed Amar talks about his new book entitled “The Constitution Today” (Basic Books) on Sept. 23 at 7:30pm at Town Hall Seattle. On Wed., Sept. 27 at 7:30pm, Seattle author and Pinchot University Professor Jimmy Y. Jia talks about his new book entitled “Driven By Demand: How Energy Gets its Power” (Cambridge) also at Town Hall. Seattle Town Hall is at 1119 8th Ave. 206-652-4255 or go to www.townhallseattle.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 chose 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 comes to the Hugo Literary Series to read on Nov. 4. Spoken word artist Anis Mojgani from Portland appears April 7. Other writers coming from the fall events calendar include the following – Local poet/translator Don Mee Choi reads as part of the “Wave Books Celebration” on Sept. 30 at 7pm at the Fred Wildlife Refuge with Tyehima Jess, Anselm Berrigan, Lisa Fishman and Joshua Beckman, the press’s editor. 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. 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.
“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.
The 2016 Jack Straw Writers continue to do readings at various venues in the area throughout the year. On Oct. 13, you can catch Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Casandra Lopez and Anis Gisele in the “It’s About Time Writer’s Series at 6pm at the Ballard Branch of Seattle Public Library at 5614 22nd Ave. NW. 206-684-4089. On Oct. 18 at 7pm Ramon Isao, Shin Yu Pai, EJ Koh and Casandra Lopez read at University Book Store in Seattle. 4326 University Way NE. 206-634-3400.
“Your Body of Water” is the title of the new poetry on the buses competition. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2016 by 11:59pm. In 50 words or less, local poets can send in their poems inspired by the theme of water. Go to poetryonbuses.org for details.
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! –
“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.
“The Yoga of Max’s Discontent” (Riverhead Books) by Karan Bajaj is a new novel of a young American who finds himself on a voyage of discovery as he journeys to India and is tested physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs – An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World” (Ecco) by Padma Lakshmi with Judith Sutton and Kalustyan’s tells you the stories behind and how to use the world’s spices and herbs.
“Deep Singh Blue” (Unnamed Press) by Ranbir Singh Sidhu tells the story of a California teenager in a conservative California town in 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.
“Dying to Wake Up – A Doctor’s Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back”(Atria) by Rajiv Parti, MD with Paul Perry is an account of a NDE experience and how it changed the author’s life.
“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.
“Tibet in Agony – Lhasa 1949” (Harvard University Press) by Jianglin Li is a meticulous recounting of the events that led to the Dali Lama to flee from Tibet as China rushed in to suppress a people’s rebellion.
“Asian Pulp” (Pro Se Press) ” is a collection of short stories by various authors featuring characters of Asian origin that run the gamut of the fiction genre. Co-edited by Tommy Hancock and Morgan McKay with a foreword by mystery writer Leonard Chang.
“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.
Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis-based poet/writer/editor and finalist for the Believer Poetry Award and 2008 Asian American Literary Award Winner has a new book due out in October, 2016 on Coffee House Press. “Unbearable Splendor” uses poetry as essay approaching topics of identity and personal interest as building blocks to form a well-rounded construction of home.
“Standing Strong! (Pease Press) is a new anthology of voices from the Black American/Japanese American communities of the Bay Area situated in the Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods. Both communities have suffered from displacement, urban renewal and gentrification. How has dislocation impacted ordinary people? What do they carry from the old days? What do they treasure? What are their challenges today? What keeps them going and what can they teach us? This anthology edited by Shizue Seigel attempts to address those issues and more.
“After Disaster” (Little A) is a new novel by Viet Dinh. This O Henry Prize-winner tells a moving story of four aid workers who journey to India in the wake of a devastating earthquake only to find they may need help as well in this risk-taking environment.
“By the River – Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas” (University of Oklahoma) is a new collection of the best writers in that form as edited by Charles A. Laughlin, Liu Hongtao, and Jonathan Stalling.
“Finding Samuel Lowe-China, Jamaica, Harlem” is a new memoir by Paul Williams Madison. It is the universal story of one woman’s search for her roots and her self-identity. Because of her Jamaican mother, the author’s mother was cut off from her Chinese father as a baby when he left for China. It was up to the granddaughter to piece together the full story of her grandfather’s life.
“The Lost Garden” (Columbia University Press) is a novel by Li Ang (“The Butcher’s Wife”) that draws an eloquent portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions. It is an important edition to their “Modern Chinese Literature From Taiwan” Series. Translated by Sylvia Li-Chun Lin and Howard Goldblatt.
“Mission Mumbai – A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets” (Scholastic) by Mahtab Narsimhan is a young adult story of a street-wise New York kid who joins his best friend Rohit Lal on a family vacation to one of the largest cities in India. Both get more than they bargain for and more adventures than they ever expected to test the bonds of their friendship.
“between MEMORY and MUSEUM – a dialogue with folk and tribal artists” (Tara) edited by Arun and Gita Wolf looks at the indigenous communities where a wide range of rich and vibrant traditional art forms are still practiced. The book forms a dialogue between folk and tribal artists and the museum.
“Screen Ecologies – Art, Media, And The Environment In The Asia-Pacific Region” (MIT) is a new anthology of essays edited by Larissa Hjorth, Sarah Pink, Kristen Sharp, and Linda Williams.
“The Star-Touched Queen” (St. Martin’s) is a new young adult fantasy novel by Roshani Chokshi that delves deeply into Indian mythology.
“A Fantasy Chinaman- Fantasy And Failure Across The Pacific” (Harvard) by Hua Hsu looks at Chinese American immigrant writer H. T. Tsiang and the handful of writers and thinkers who helped shape the construction of China in the American imagination in the 1920s and 30s.
Mike Masilamani’s “Th3 8oy Who 5p3ak5 1n Num83r5” (Tara) is a dark tale of life in times of war, violence and refugee camps set in Sri Lanka. A boy who is a witness to these troubled times seeks solace in the company of a constantly chattering and prophetic cow. This surreal, satiric tale captures the daily horror of prolonged civil strife.
“Before We Visit The Goddess” (Simon & Schuster) is the latest novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni that tells the story of three generations of mothers and daughters both in India and America as they struggle to find home.
“Points Of Origin” (Comma Press) by Diao Dou as translated by Brendan O’Kane is a series of short stories that make palpable the Kafka-esque absurdity that accompanies modern Chinese life.
“Half a Lifelong Romance” (Anchor) brings back into print a classic novel by a sometimes forgotten author. Eileen Chang is considered a giant of modern Chinese literature and her novel of the complex relationships between men and women through love and betrayal carries a convincing power. Translated by Karen S. Kingsbury.
“JewAsian – Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews” (Nebraska) by local Washington authors Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt. The authors look at the intersection of race, religion and ethnicity in cases where Jews and Asian Americans marry.
“The Taxidermist’s Cut” (Four Way Books) by Rajiv Mohabir was the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize In Poetry. This poet delves into what its like to be human and how different it is from being animal in incisive poems that cut close to the bone.
Vancouver, WA-based author Curtis C. Chen is getting good reviews for his new sci-fi thriller entitled “Waypoint Kangaroo” (Thomas Dunne). What can a spy do when he discovers a plot that could unravel the entire solar system?
“The Book Of Tokyo – A City in Short Fiction” (Comma) edited by Michael Emmerich, Jim Hanks & Masashi Matsuie. It’s often said that you remember your travel experiences not from just seeing places but meeting people. This slim anthology of short stories allows you to do just that. With stories by Mitsuyo Kakuta, Kaori Ekuni, Nao-Cola Yamazaki, Banana Yoshimoto and many others.
“Japanese Prostitutes in the North American West, 1887-1920” (UW Press) by Kazuhiro Oharazeki sheds light on a little known chapter of Japanese American history.
“The Halo” (Four Way Books) by C. Dale Young is a new book of poetry that is a quasi-autobiography about a man with wings who desperately wants to be simply human.
“Yayoi Kusama -Inventing The Singular” (MIT Press) by Midori Yamamura grounds this internationally known Japanese artist within the fabric of pre and post WW II history from which she emerged to engage the world with her artistic visions from Pop Art to Minimalism.
“Alien Capital – Asian Racialization And The Logic Of Settler Colonial Capitalism” (Duke University) by Iyko Day explores what the dynamic of the Asian workforce brought to the American economy at the turn of the century.
The Global Music Series from Oxford University Press has interesting volumes which all come with music CD inserts. Recent titles include Gavin Douglas’s “Music in Mainland Southeast Asia” and “Music in Pacific Island Cultures” by Brian Diettrich, Jane Freeman Moulin and Michael Webb.
William Wei’s “Asians in Colorado – A History of Persecution And Perseverance in the Centennial State” (UW Press) by William Wei gives breath and depth to the history and contributions of that immigrant population to that state.
Noriko Manabe’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Protest Music After Fukushima” (Oxford University Press) is a vital new contribution to the way music plays such a vital part in protest and social movements.
Terayama Shuji’s surrealistic theatre works rose out of the ashes of WWII to bring forth a ribald humor and energy and that may be what he’s best known for in the West. But Terayama was also a writer of fiction. In “The Crimsom Thread of Abandon” (MerwinAsia), translator Elizabeth L. Armstrong has done us all a favor by collecting his stories that read like thought-provoking fairy tales for adults.
“The Face” (Restless Books) is a new series of personal non-fiction in which well known authors are asked to write essays about their face and its place in race, culture and identity. March 2016 has essays by Ruth Ozeki, Chris Abani and Tash Aw. Other volumes will follow.
“Diamond Head” (Harper Perrenial) is a new paperback edition of the debut novel by Cecily Wong that tells the story of a Chinese family’s immigration to Hawai’i and how a tragic sense of fate and history haunt them wherever they go.
Two Sylvias Press, a small local publisher in Kingston, WA has over the years been bringing out some fine titles. Some recent titles of note by Asian American writers include the following. “The Cardiologist’s Daughter” by Natasha Kochicheril Moni explores her dual Indian/Dutch heritage with tender poems that explore the mysteries of the human condition in and out of the operating room. “Blood Poems” is the debut collection by West Seattle poet Michael Schmeltzer that embraces our shared humanity, imperfect as it is with poems of redemption and compassion. And “Naming The No-Name Woman” is an homage to silver screen icon Anna May Wong and the trials and tribulations of Asian American women in a society that would rather stereotype rather than confront the real. Written by third-generation Chinese American poet Jasmine An who won the 2015 Two Sylvia’s Press Chapbook Prize. “Fire Girl: Essays On India, America, & The In-Between” by Sayantani Dasgupta. Dasgupta teaches at the University of Idaho. Her essays and stories have garnered a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and a Centrum Fellowship. This is her first book. For information on the author, go to www.sdasgupta.com. For more on the press, go to www.twosylviaspress.com for details.
“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.
“Global Asian American Popular Cultures” (UH Press) edited by Shilpa Dave, Leilani Nishime and Tasha Oren expands the field of Asian American cultural studies with some insightful essays addressing a variety of topics.
“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.
Sean Michael Wilson continues his exploration of Japanese classics by re-telling stories in the graphic novel form. “Cold Mountain –The Legend of Han Shan and Shih Te” (Shambhala) with illustrations by Akiko Shimojima tells the tales of famous Chinese zen monks whose spiritual poems have resonated through the years. In “Lafcadio Hearn’s The Faceless Ghost And Other Macabre Tales from Japan” (Shambhala), Wilson collaborates with graphic artist Michiru Morikawa to re-tell these chilling ghost tales discovered by Hearn.
“Ancestral Places – Understanding Kanak Geographies” (OSU Press) by Katrina-Ann R. Kapa’anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira explores the deep connections native Hawaiians have with their environment.
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.
“Ruined City” (Oklahoma) by Jia Pingwa as translated by Howard Goldblatt looks at the rapid transformation of today’s China through the eyes of a Chinese writer who goes through a myriad of sexual and legal difficulties. Originally banned in China for its sexual content, it is now considered a classic.
“Postcards from Stanland – Journey in Central Asia” (Ohio University Press) by David H. Mould explores the complex issues at hand in this forgotten intersection of cultures in the world.
“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.
Janice Y. K. Lee, bestselling author of “The Piano Teacher” is back with “The Expatriates” (Viking) that tells the story of three American women living in an expatriate community in Hong Kong struggling with demons of the past, trying to move on.
A Chinese teenager lures his best friend into a trap, kills her and moves on in A Yi’s “A Perfect Crime” (Point Blank), winner of the English Pen Award.
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.
“Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008” (Wave ) collects a decade of poems culled from handmade chapbooks, journals and out-of-print books by Hoa Nguyen, co- editor of the important literary magazine, Skanky Possum with Dale Smith. Her use of language remains funny and refreshingly honest. Also Wave Books has just published her latest book of poetry entitled “Violet Energy Ingots.” As grounded in the earth as in the stars, her poems are reminders of the possibilities of contemplation in every space and moment. Go to http://wavepoetry.com/products/violet-energy-ingots for details.
Local author Sharon H. Chang is the author of “Raising Mixed Race – Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World” (Routledge). It is one of the first books to look at the difficulties of raising mixed-race Asian children in a system that neither embraces or welcomes their participation.
“Everything Begins Elsewhere” (Copper Canyon) is the new poetry title by Tishani Doshi, poems real and written with a beautiful simplicity that resonates across borders of migration and cross-cultural context.
The dark consequence of China’s “one child” policy is deeply explored in two new titles. “One Child – The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment”(HMH) by Mei Fong and “China’s Hidden Children – Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy” (University of Chicago Press) by Kay Ann Johnson.
“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.
“Apricot’s Revenge” (Minotaur) is a new crime novel by Song Ying translated from the Chinese by the prolific Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin. Not just an ordinary mystery but a in-depth look at human relationships and the complexities of social issues in today’s China.
“Here Come the Dogs” (The New Press) is a new novel by Malaysian Australian performance poet, &hip hop artist Omar Musa that looks at the world of suburban, multicultural youth in Australia dealing with issues of powerlessness, ethnicity and masculinity.
“What Lies Between Us” (St. Martin’s) by Nayomi Munaweera looks at the struggles a daughter and mother must go through leaving war-town Sri Lanka for the promise of America. The author’s first novel won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013.
“Hard Love Province” (Norton) is the new and powerful book of love poems by Marilyn Chin that can’t stay still, fueled by a passion that crosses borders, cultures and snatching bits of victory from the hands of defeat.
In Alexander Chee’s “The Queen of the Night” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a sprawling epic of a novel looks at the career of a true diva – an opera singer that through continual self-reinvention ascends to the role of a lifetime.
Local poet/translator gives us another powerful slice of the powerful Korean poet Kim Hyesoon with “Poor Love Machine” (Action Books) where myth, politics and the everyday engage in a stimulating conversation.
“A Girl on the Shore” (Vertical) is a book of yearning and teenage romance by Inio Asano. Asano is the author of “Solanin” and “Nijigahara Holography” and has been nominated for the Eisner Award.
“Standing Water” (FS&G) is the powerful debut of poet Eleanor Chai who looks at Little Hanako, the bust of a head by Rodin and weaves a tale of loss and longing and the separation of mother and child across time.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri sets the bar even higher by writing “In Other Words” (Knopf) in Italian. She bumps up the limitations of a newly acquired language and takes us along in her search for those words that can express what she has to say. Translated into English by Ann Goldstein.
“Wild Grass on the Riverbank” (Action Books) by Japanese poet Hiromi Ito as translated by Jeffrey Angles in which she explores the fecund yet hazy border between the living and the dead in a wasteland of our own making.
Hmong American poet Mai Der Vang won the Walt Whitman Award for outstanding debut book by the Academy of American Poets. Her book entitled “Afterland” will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017.
Congratulations too go out to Sjohnna McCray whose title “Rapture” was the winner of The Walt Whitman Award Of The Academy Of American Poets for 2015 as selected by Tracy K. Smith. In this award-winning debut, Mc Cray movingly recounts a life born out of wartime to a Korean mother and an American father serving during the Vietnam War. Go to www.graywolfpress.org for more details.
Ocean Vuong’s “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” makes his poetic debut with a new book from Copper Canyon Press. He appears in a recent video by the press enlisting donations to continue their goal of publishing new books of poetry.
“Jade Dragon Mountain” (Minotaur) is a new paperback edition of a mystery novel by Elsa Hart set in 1700’s China when Jesuit scholars were favorites of the Chinese court. When one is poisoned, exiled librarian Li Du must uncover the killer.
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.
Congratulations to Noelani Pantastico, principal ballerina at Pacific Northwest Ballet who has been nominated for a 2016 Stranger Genius Award. The awards ceremony takes place on Sat., Sept. 24. Go to strangertickets.com for reservations.
The Wing offers Game Day BBQ’s. Sept. 23/30. Go to wingluke.org/tours for details.
Soil Art Collective/Gallery is currently accepting proposals for group shows that will take place June 3, 2017 through May 2018. Soil exists as an alternative venue for artists and curators to exhibit, develop, and advance their work. We are committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content. Proposals including three or more artists are encouraged, but two-person shows will be considered if the work and concept are very strong. Deadline is Sunday, Oct. 9th, 2016 at midnight. Go to [email protected] for details
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. 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.
The Storyteller Award in fiction of $10,000 is given out to a Washington State artist who is engaged in storytelling through their work. The award recognizes excellence in storytelling through their primary artistic discipline. The discipline for 2016 is fiction. Deadline is Sept. 12, 2016. Go to www.callforentry.org.
The NIKO support group composed of local Japanese parents who have children with developmental challenges will hold their annual fundraising yard sale on Sat., Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Location is at Jubilee REACH at 14200 SE 13th Pl. in Bellevue. Visit http://nikonokai.weebly.com for details.
Friends of Little Saigon and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority are seeking design proposals for four crosswalks in the Little Saigon/International District. Artists interested in submitting proposals can contact An Huynh at [email protected] or call 206-838-8715.
On Thurs., Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the Seattle branch of Radical Women will have an event to give community a sense of how to get involved in activism to liberate women around the world. At New Freeway Hall at 5018 Rainier Ave. S. in Seattle. Go to www.radicalwomen.org 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.
There are currently some grants available for arts and cultural events in Seattle parks. Deadline is Oct. 19, 2016 with instructional workshops on the application process available in various areas of the city beforehand. To get complete information on these events, contact Jenny Crooks at 206-684-7084 or email [email protected].
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.
Stan Shikuma, best known for his work with Seattle Kokon Taiko has a day job at UW Medical Center. He was recently honored with the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses for his caring work with patients. Congratulations, Stan!
Space is still available for “Dementia, Art, and Legacy – A Conference on Creative Aging” set for Friday, Sept. 30 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. For details, email or call Renate Raymond. [email protected] or 206-432-8217.
Diwali, a Hindu festival celebrated world wide and also known as the “Festival of Lights” celebrates good over evil. Soon, it will be commemorated by a new postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.