February 7, 2018—Arts Etc.

Alan Chong Lau February 7, 2018 0

Design by Kanami Yamashita

Visual Arts

Core Gallery’s newest member Tara Tamaribuchi shows her work in a double series entitled “Craft Abstracts + Ancestral Landscapes”. “Craft Abstracts” are square constructions of Perler Fusible Beads (a children’s craft material) set in an acrylic box. “Ancestral Landscapes” are mixed media paintings on wood panels that allude to the artist’s ancestral  homeland of Japan and considers the in-between state of Asian American identity, marginalized in both America and Japan. In both of these series, she involves her daughter in an effort to connect her artist’s life with her parenting life. On  view through Feb. 24, 2018. Hours are Th. – Sat. from 1 – 6pm. Core Gallery is at 117 Prefontaine Pl. S. 206-467-4444 or go to https://www.coregallery.org/.

“blind film” is an installation by Sangjun Yoo employing a real-time composition of a kinetic system based on window blinds, controlled by digital interface. The installation embraces intimacy based  on ruptures of absence, distance and space that reconstruct actual and virtual spaces including the viewer. Opening reception on Fri., Feb. 9 at 7pm. Artist talk is on Fri., March 16 at 7pm. On view through March 30, 2018. At Jack Straw located at 4261 Roosevelt Way NE.

Shruti Ghatak, a visual artist from India has a solo show entitled “Anthology – A Collection of Paintings & Drawings” on view now through Feb. 26, 2018. It’s a rare chance to see work here based on Indian mythology and folklore. At the Virginia Inn at 1937 First Ave. near Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. 206-728-1937. For more information on the artist, go to www.shrutighatak.com.

Seattle-based artist Ko Kirk Yamahira deconstructs his paintings by painstakingly removing individual threads from the weave of the canvas, turning surface into form. Recent work offers a meditation on identity, duality and the relativity of perception. An exhibition of his work is at the Frye Art Museum Feb. 17 – June 3, 2018. 704 Terry Ave. 206-622-9250.

“My Shadow Is A Word Writing Itself Across Time” by Gazelle Samizay is a video installation using poetry and sweeping landscape imagery. The artist draws connections between her experience as a Muslim American from Afghanistan and the wrongfully imprisoned Japanese Americans during WWII. On view  now at 4 Culture’s E4C Media Screens in rotation with other videos. 101 Prefontaine Place South. 206-296-7580.

“The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection” is the title of a museum-wide show of artworks that have entered the HenryArt Gallery’s contemporary collection during the last two decades. More than half the work here is being shown for the first time. Upper level galleries remain up until April 22. Lower level galleries  will be on view until March 25, 2018. On the Seattle UW campus in the University District.  206-543-2280 or email info@henryart.org.

Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park hosts a series of winter programs for all ages that bring together art, the environment and the winter season. “Winter in the Parks” programs run through March, 2018 including Kids Saturdays (with artist Romson Bustillo) and Art Encounters featuring an artist-in-residence. For details, try seattleartmuseum.org/lights.

Seattle Art Museum presents a new series for SAM members entitled “Conversations With Curators” from January – June 2018. All lectures start at 7pm in the Auditorium with a Happy Hour starting at 6:30pm. Some highlights – June 20 brings Foong Ping, Curator of Chinese Art together with Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art talking about “Transforming An Icon: Behind-The-Scenes At The Seattle Asian Art Museum.” You can buy tickets online at visitsam.org/conversations or call 206-654-3210 or stop by the Ticketing Desk at SAM. As part of SAM’s “Asia Talks” series at 9am, check out the following. March 29 will be “Kashmir Shawls of the West”. April 17 will address “Islamic Architecture of Deccan India”. April 26 will feature the topic of “The Social Life of Ink Stones.” The Gardner’s Saturday University Lecture Series has the following – “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia” looks at different boundaries in Asia and how they affect people and cultures.  Feb. 10 is “Photography in Duerte’s Drug War.” Feb. 17 is “Racism, Vulgar and Polite. March 2 is “Caste & Sexual Politics in South India.”The museum also has the following exhibition  planned for the fall. “Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India” set for Oct. 18, 2018 – Jan. 21, 2019. 1300 First Ave. Go to seattleartmuseum.org for details.

Jun Ahn likes heights. The South Korean photographer shoots from tall buildings and gets views that are eye-popping. Her show entitled “On the Verge” is on view through  March 24 at Photographic Center Northwest at 900 12th Ave. 206-720-7222 or go to pcnw.org.  Other events at PCNW worth checking out  are these. Documentary photographer Beb Reynol will share his work done in Afghanistan and beyond on March 23, 2018 at 6:30pm. “Foto Revu” is a great way for budding photographers to get some feedback. A leading panel of nationally and locally known people in the photography field will sit down and go over your work with you. Five 20 minute review sessions over a two day time-span. Feb. 24/25 from 12:305:30pm. Register at www.pcnw.org. $195 fee for five reviews.  

A group show entitled “Existential Horror” in which artists anticipate the awful events of the year to come in their various media includes the work of Elaine Lin. Through  Feb. 14, 2018. Push/Pull Gallery  at 5484 Shilshole Ave. NW. 206-789-1710 or go to facebook.com/pushpullseattle.

A group show that focuses on birds includes the block prints on teabag papers by Fumi Matsumoto. Ends Feb. 24, 2018. Roby King Galleries. 176 Winslow Way E.  on Bainbridge Island. 206-842-2063 or try robykinggallery.com.

“In the Shadow of Olympus” is a group show by Art Beasties, a collective of Japanese artists  that spans continents and includes work by artists from Seattle, Kobe, Tokyo, New York and London. Collaborating over skype, for this show they create work addressing the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Includes work by local artists Junko Yamamoto, Ko lrkt (Ko Kirk Yamahira with a show currently at the Frye) and Paul Komada. The artists from the other cities include Yuki Nakamura (formerly from here but now in London), Maho Hikino, Tokio Kuniyoshi, Masaya Nakayama, Kakaeru Asai, Saki Kitamura and Mayu Kuroda.  March 1 – 30, 2018. Opening reception on March 1 from 6 – 8pm. Regular hours are Th. – Sun from 11am – 4pm. SOIL is at 112 Third Ave. S. in Pioneer Square.  206-264-8061 or go to soilart.org. Funded in part with a 4Culture Project Grant.

A group show entitled “Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition” given out by Cornish College includes the work of Che Sehyun, Tuan Nguyen and many other distinguished local artists. Through  Feb. 24, 2018. Studio e at 605 Brandon St. 206-762-3322 or try  studioegallery.org.

“Craftsmanship And Wit – Modern Japanese Prints from the Carol and Seymour Haber Collection” is a group show curated by Jeannie Kenmotsu – Japan Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art. Includes work by Munakata, Hamaguchi, Ida and Kurosaki. On view through April 1, 2018 at  Portland Art Museum. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try info@pam.org.

The Blackfish Gallery in Portland presents a group show featuring Blackfish member Kanetaka  Ikeda and his sculptural series entitled “Parts of the Cosmic Tree”, guest artist Christy Wyckoff with “Paintings and Works on Paper” and guest artist Alan Lau (full disclosure – yes, that’s me) with “Quiet Days”, a group of paintings.  Monica Mitchell’s New Member Show entitled “Habitat” is in the back room. On view through Feb. 24, 2018. There will be Artist Talks on Sat., Feb. 24 at 2pm.  420 NW Ninth Ave. 503-224-2634 or go to www.blackfish.com.  

Internationally known ceramic artist and former UW Professor Patti Warashina has a show of new work set for the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center April 13 – August 5, 2018. She will do a 2 day workshop May 12 – 13 and give a talk about her work on Sat., May 12 at 6pm. One East Main St. in Mesa, Arizona. 480-644-6560 or go to boxoffice@mesaartscenter.com.

The Friends of Asian Art Association and Bonhams present appraiser Daniel Herskee who has appraised and cataloged works of Asian art for Bonhams since 2007. He will address the topic of “The Eight Friends of Pearl Mountain: Porcelain Production in Late Qing China (ca 1900) through WWII. Sat., Feb. 10, 2018 from 10am – noon. At the Seattle Tennis Club located at 922 McGilvra Blvd. E. Light refreshments will be served. $20 registration fee. Herskee is willing to examine/review one Chinese work of art per participant after his talk. Go to http://friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer.html.

It’s a match made in culinary/art heaven. Artist/photographer/writer Dean Wong often hangs out at Tai Tung Restaurant in the CID. Now the restaurant has returned the favor with an ongoing presentation of his iconic photographs entitled “Made In Chinatown USA.” Sit at the counter deep into your chow mein and looks at images of the neighborhood on the wall. 655 South King St.  Ongoing.

“Searching for Home” is a site-specific installation by Humaira Abid featuring personal narratives, stories and portraits of refugees in the Northwest woven into socio-cultural themes of immigration, women and families. It is her first solo exhibition in the U.S. In her work, she tackles issues of culture, gender and relationships both in her Pakistani homeland and her adopted U.S. home. Now through March 25, 2018. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way N.E. Closed Mon. & Tues. Wed. – Sun. 11am – 5pm. Free Frist Fridays from 11am – 8pm. 425-519-0770.

Humaira Abid returns with new work that’s just in from Philadelphia entitled “My Shame” which looks at feminine shame and the issues it brings up. Feb. 1 – March 1, 2018. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S.  206-839-0377 or go to artxchange.org. Current show entitled “Color and Light: Marcio Diaz and Elaine Hanowell” is up unitl Jan. 27, 2018.

KOBO  at Higo at 604 South Jackson features many small arts & crafts/textile shows and activities inspired by Asia or work by Asian American artists. Seattle Metals Guild has a Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop Feb. 3 – 18, 2018 at KOBO at Higo. Also from Feb. 3 – 10, KOBO will be collecting discarded, unwanted costume jewelry and better jewelry to donate to the Seattle Metals Guild Women’s Shelter Jewelry Project which will be held from Feb. 11, 2018 from 10am – 5pm at Pratt Fine Art Center at 1902 S. Main St. Bring your items to either KONO location from Feb. 1 – 10. 206-381-3000  or hello@koboseattle.com or go to www.koboseattle.com. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.

New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following –“Pacific First” on view now through Nov. 30, 2018 looks at Pacific Islander artists who incorporate tradition while looking towards the future.   “What’s In Your Cup? – Community Brewed Culture” is a new exhibit honoring the beverages that have given life to communities – from farmers and families who nurture the raw materials to friends & kin who bond over shared drinks. Hear histories of commerce, colonization and survival. Share tales from a Japanese family who brewed sake from Fukushima to Seattle, the Seko’s who ran the beloved Bush Garden, Carmel Laurino who pioneered the value of Filipino coffee, Lydia Lin who cultivated  tea appreciation through her Seattle Best Tea and Koichi Kitazawa, a brew master at Starbucks. On view through  Sept. 16, 2018. 206-623-5124×127 or email msu@wingluke.org for details. “Neighborhood Voices: Stories Of Immigrants & Communities In The ID” opens on Jan. 20.  “Teardrops that Wound: The Absurdity of War” is a group show that looks at how art can deflate war’s destructive weight by exposing its absurdity. Contemporary Asian Pacific American artists pull back the curtain and invite visitors to examine war from another angle. Curated by SuJ’n Chon.  “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” with poems by Lawrence Matsuda and art by Roger Shimomura is a small but potently meaningful show now extended until April 23, 2018 .  “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. A new installment of the Bruce Lee exhibit entitled “Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: So You Know Bruce? Closes on Feb. 11, 2018. The new installment explores what it took to become “Bruce Lee”.  It delves into his daily work habits, routines and strategies to his written & visual art, reading, and personal time spent with family and friends.  Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards.   A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened  and experienced.   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.

On view through July 15, 2018 is “Beauties and Talents: Art of Women in Japan” which features “women’s self-fashioning” including literature-inspired paintings, prints, kimono and lacquerware. Seattle Art Museum is at 1300 First Ave. downtown. 206-654-3100.

Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is now closed for what is projected to be a renovation and extension that will take several years.

“Familiar Faces & New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” opens May 13, 2017 and stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Roger Shimomura, Joseph Park, Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me)  and many others. “In Search of the Lost History of Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroads” is the title of a new exhibition by UW Professor and internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin who looks at the thousands of Chinese men who came to America to work on the railroads and mine for gold. He travelled extensively to historic sites and painted at these locations to evoke the contributions of Chinese to the history of the American west.  Writer/Professor Shawn Wong of the UW English department has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalog.  Other Free Third Thursday events include  a community panel on immigration and exclusion on Feb. 15, 2018. This  show up until Feb. 18, 2018. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email info@TacomaArtMuseum.org or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – Japanese American Life in Oregon” is an ongoing exhibit. 121 NW  Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org.

Portland Japanese Garden collaborates with architect Kengo Kuma on the launch of a major expansion opening April 2, 2017. The Cultural Village expansion provides additional space and will enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture. Three new Japanese gardens will be added as part of this. The garden will host major art exhibitions this year with related lectures, demonstrations and activities. Also in development is the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts & Culture which will offer classes in traditional garden arts such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. Recently Suminori Awata, a stone mason from Japanese came to help direct constriction of a stone wall. Granite was gathered from a rock quarry in Pendleton, Oregon and moved to Portland for placement. This opens to the public in 2018.  On view now through April 1, 2018 is “HANAKAGO – The Art Of Bamboo And Flowers”, exquisite bamboo vessels brought to life by the ikebana arrangements of a Kyoto master, Hayakawa Shokosai V (A Living National Treasure). For more information, go to japanesegarden.com.

On view through March 4, 2018 is a two-person show with Srijon Chowdhury and Bobbi Woods. The Art Gym in Marylhurst. Go to theartgym.org for details.

“Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America” chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine art world. On view through May 6, 2018.  Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building in Bellingham, WA. Info@whatcommuseum.org or go to www.whatcommuseum.org.

On December 7, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, launching America into war. In Canada, this action resulted in the confiscation of nearly 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats by Canadian officials on the British Columbia coast, which were eventually sold off to canneries and other non-Japanese fishermen. The exhibition entitled “The Lost Fleet” looks at the world of Japanese Canadian fishermen in BC and how deep-seated racism played a major part in the seizure, and sale, of Japanese Canadian property and the internment of an entire people. Curator Duncan MacLeod states   that “the history of Japanese Canadian fishermen is inextricably linked to the history of Vancouver. The city was a gateway in the Pacific for all immigrants looking to forge a brighter future for themselves.” The exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese Canadian built fishing vessels in its collection, made by model shipbuilder, Doug Allen.  These models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have  since been lost to history. On view  through March 25, 2018. Vancouver Maritime Museum at 1905 Ogden Avenue in Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC Canada. Open Tues. – Sat. from 10am – 5pm and Sundays from noon – 5pm. Also open late on Thursday nights until 8pm. Go to https://www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/exhibit/lost-fleet-exhibition for more details.

Vancouver Art Gallery –  “Emptiness: Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan” pairs Emily Carr’s forest paintings and charcoal drawings with the founder of the New Art Movement in Hong Kong. Kwan’s early Hong Kong landscapes and zen paintings will be placed in dialogue with Carr’s Northwest landscapes. On view through  April 8, 2018. Also featured, an offsite installation by New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif which combines architecture with a strong contextual reference. Look for the current retrospective on the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago  entitled “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” to make its West Coast debut Feb. 3 – May 6, 2018 (advance tickets for this show at murakami.vanartgallery.bc.ca).Vancouver Art Gallery is  at 750 Hornby St. in Vancouver, BC Canada. 604-662-4719.

Nikkei National Museum presents “Beta Vulgaris: The Sugar Beet Project”. This exhibit by Kelty Miyoshi McKinnon with Keri Latimer explores the relationship between the material of sugar and Japanese Canadian history in Western Canada (especially, BC and Alberta). During WWII, the labor shortage and other factors resulted in the BC Securities Commission Council organizing “The Sugar Beet Projects”. As part of the internment, Japanese Canadian families were allowed to remain together only if they agreed to move to the prairies or Ontario to work the sugar beet fields. The Museum will be transformed into a Japanese dry garden, punctuated by sculptural boulders made of molten, burnt and sculpted sugar. A wooden boardwalk will cover this landscape resembling the furrows of sugar beet fields. The video images of labor will be projected over  sugared surfaces while a contemporary koto soundscape will be overlayered into this space. Opens with a reception on Feb. 10 from 2 – 4pm with live music and a tea ceremony. A film screening of “Facing Injustice – The Relocation of Japanese Canadians to Manitoba” by Past Perfect Productions will be screened on March 3 at 2pm. There will be an artist talk on March 10 at 2pm with music and a tea ceremony.  On March 11 from 12 – 4pm, there will be a musical instrument  making workshop for children. There will be a Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) making workshop on April 7 from 2 – 4pm. The exhibit ends May 27, 2018. Kayla Isomura’s “The Suitcase Project” opens in June and will be on  view through Sept. 2018.The museum  has numerous online exhibits as well as offsite exhibits. Check their website for details. The Nikkei National Museum is at 6688 Southoaks  Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.

The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series by Ai Weiwei is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that  once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Old Summer Palace outside Beijing. On view in the North  Courtyard through June 24, 2018. “Long Nineteenth Century in Japanese Woodblock Prints” features more than fifty works from the collection of Dr. Lee and Mary Jean Michels. Through July 1, 2018. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. 1430 Johnson Lane. 541-346-3027.

The Thatcher Gallery at the University of San Francisco presents a  show entitled “South Asian Contemporary: Works On Paper From Bay Area Collectors”  on view through Feb. 18, 2018. Borrowed from private collectors, this show presents recent works on paper from India and Pakistan. Includes internationally known artists rarely shown in the U.S. including Zarina Hashimi, Anita Dube and Viba Galotra. Curated by the USF MA in Museum Studies Curatorial Practice class.  Located in the Gleeson Library-Geschke Center, the Thatcher Gallery at USF is free and open to the public from noon to 6pm daily. 2130 Fulton St. (at Cole). 415-422-5178 or go to www.usfca.edu/thatcher-gallery.

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following – “When Pictures Speak – The Written Word in Japanese Art” on view through August 19, 2018.   “Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories” is on view through March 11, 2018.  Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry, textiles, Christian devotional statues, postwar genre and landscape paintings and contemporary works of this island nation fill this show. On going are two installations. In front of the museum is “Dragon Fortune” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi which meshes together Taiwanese folk art, Japanese textile design and pop art kids cartoons. In the lobby is “Collected Letters” by Liu Jianhua, a cutting edge installation of porcelain letters and fragments of Chinese characters suspended in mid-air. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.

The De  Young Museum in Golden Gate Park has the following – “Beyond the Surface: World-wide Embroidery Traditions” on view through March 25, 2018. “The Maori Portraits: Gottfiried Lindaver’s New Zealand” is on view through April 1, 2018. Thirty-one compelling historic portraits of men and women of esteem and rank at a time of great political, cultural and social change and complex intercultural exchange. 50 Hagiwara  Tea Garden Dr. 415-750-3600.

The Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive has the following shows –  “Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Avant Dictee” through April 22, 2018. View artworks and ephemera from the Cha archive in dialogue with her most famous work, the late artist’s book entitled “Dictee”. “Cal Conversations: Dreaming the Lost Ming” opens on Feb. 21 and remains on view through May 13, 201`8. This show was created in collaboration with a UC Berkeley Chinese art history class. Here you can see the cataclysmic end of the Ming dynasty as evidenced by paintings and literature of China’s 17th century. “Buddhist Realms” is a collection of exquisite examples of Buddhist art from the Himalayan region. On view  through April 22, 2018. 2155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to bampfa@berkeley.edu.

The San Jose Museum of Art presents a show entitled “The Propeller Group” set through March 25, 2018. This art collective based in Vietnam and L.A. takes on ambitious projects connected to Vietnam’s history and its paradoxical present through all media including film. 101 South Market. 408-271-6840.

“For-Site”, the non-profit art organization that helped set up and design Ai Weiwei’s installation on Alcatraz Island when he was under house arrest in China is back with another thought-provoking project. Entitled “Sanctuary”, it investigates the idea of a safe haven both physical and psychological. In this era of frenzied global migration and rising nationalism, the right to a safe haven is under threat. For “Sanctuary”, 36 artists from 21 different countries helped design contemporary rugs reflecting their idea of a sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic need for refuge, protection and sacred ground. The rugs were actualized in Lahore, Pakistan by skilled artisans. Includes work by Mona Hatoum, Ai Weiwei and many others. On view through March  11, 2018 at the Fort Mason Chapel in San Francisco. Free. Go to for-site.org for details.

LACMA or Los Angeles County  Museum of Art has a show on Chinese master brush painter Wu Bin entitled “Wu Bin: Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone” through June 24, 2018. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.

The Japanese American National Museum has the following show  –  “Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Sao Paulo” is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. By looking at the work of Latin American artists the exhibit will show how ethnic communities, racial mixing and the concepts of homeland and cosmopolitanism inform the creativity and aesthetics of hybrid culture. A few years ago, a controversy brewed when a collection of artworks and artifacts from Japanese American internment camps were about to go on the auction block. A group of Japanese American activists did not want to see pieces of their own cultural history to be sold piecemeal to private collectors. Luckily through their intervention, the collection was instead given to the Japanese American National Museum. The original collector of these items was Allen Eaton who was researching a book later published as “Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps.” Many of these objects were given to

Eaton by detainees with the  expectation that they would be used for educational purposes. Now that wish is fulfilled. An exhibition entitled “Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Collection” is now on view at the Hirasaki National Resource Center (located within the confines of JANM). It includes more than 450 paintings, photographs, sculptures, pieces of jewelry and other handmade objects. On view through  April 8, 2018 after which the exhibit will go on tour to other-as-yet-undisclosed locations. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org.

The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena is one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. It closed its 1924 building for more than a year for a seismic retrofit and a makeover of its galleries. The museum has now re-opened to the public with a new exhibition entitled “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century” which explores the influence of  visiting Mexican artists on the development of art in China. 46 N. Los Robles Ave. 626-449-2742 or email info@pam.usc.edu.

A show tracing the influence of Caribbean Chinese artists from earliest times to the present is jointly presented at two museums in Los Angeles. The exhibition at the Chinese American Museum looks at early artists of Chinese descent in Cuba, Panama, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica and beyond. Both shows  will reveal the hidden complexities of the transcultural art of the Carribbean. Part I at the Chinese American Museum traces the history of Chinese Carribbean art from the 1930’s through the period of the region’s independence movements. Works by Sybil Atteck (Trinidad & Tobago), Manuel Chong-Neto (Panama) and Wilfredo Lam (Cuba) will be featured. On view through  March 11, 2018.  425 N. Los Angeles St. 213-485-8567 or go to caml.org. Part II of the show at the California African American Museum through Feb. 25, 2018 focuses on contemporary artists such as Albert Chong, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons as well as artists of today’s ongoing Chinese Caribbean diaspora as they explore issues of the post-colonial history, popular culture, and the body.  600 State Drive in Exposition Park. 213-744-2084 or go to caamuseum.org or email reception@caamuseum.org.

“Chiura Obata: An American Modern” is the first retrospective of this noted Bay area artist whose work reflected the glories of the American landscape from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite. His influence could also be felt at UC Berkeley where he had a distinguished teaching career. He also helped found art schools in internment camps during WWII. On view at the  Santa Barbara Museum of Art through April 29, 2018. Curated by ShiPu Wang with a catalogue. 805-893-2951. After Santa Barbara, the exhibition travels to the following sites. May 25 – Sept. 2, 2018 at Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City. Jan. 18 – March 10, 2019 at Okayama Prefecture Museum of Art in Okayama, Japan (the artist’s hometown), June 23 – Sept. 29, 2019 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA.

Denver Art Museum is planning a major exhibition from their collection entitled “Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion” which will look at cross-regional and cross-cultural influences in Asian art. The works come from over 20 countries and spans 2,000 years. The show remains on view through April 1, 2018.  “Eyes On” is a show of work by contemporary Chinese artist Xiaoze Xie now on view through July 8, 2018. The show is the first in a series of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists that the museum feels  should have fuller exposure in the region. Xie has had a lifelong passion for books. In this show he has created still-life paintings of books, videos and installations based on banned and forbidden books in China. In the Logan Gallery and FuseBox in the Hamilton Building’s fourth floor. 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver, CO. Call 720-865-5000 or go to www.denverartmuseum.org.

The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall has been undergoing renovation. It reopens on Oct. 14, 2017 with “Resound: Bells  Of Ancient China” which examines the discovery in China’s Bronze  Age, of a way to make bells that resonate at two different pitches.Go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.

The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows.”Chitra Ganesh” through Nov. 4, 2018. “Sacred Spaces” through Oct. 15, 2018. “The Second Buddha” through Jan. 7, 2019. “Masterworks of Himalayan Art” through March 26, 2018. “Gateway to Himalayan Art” through July 16, 20198. “A Guided Tour of Hell” runs from April 20 – August 12, 2018. After collapsing in a hospital following surgery, longtime Buddhist teacher Sam Bercholz felt himself being pulled into an underworld of dramatic suffering. Telling his story to Tibetan American artist Pema Namdol Thaye, the artist drew on his training in traditional Tibetan arts as well as his childhood obcession with graphic novels to transform these visions into vibrant acrylic paintings of sufferers in hell. 150 W. 17th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to rubinmuseum.org.

A look back and a reappraisal of the Vietnam War and American’s involvement in that conflict this year has renewed interest what with a PBS series and numerous books coming out. The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library joins in with their exhibition entitled “Vietnam War – 1945-1975” which is on view through April 22, 2018. 170 Central Park West. Go to nyhistory.org for details.

The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – “In Focus: An Assembly of Gods” is on view through March 25, 2018. “Masterpieces From the Asia Society Museum Collection” on view through March 25, 2018. Opening Feb. 27 and remaining on view through May 20, 2018 is “Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expedition and Buddhist Painting”  which presents recently restored paintings collected by guiseppe Tucci during his expeditions to Tibet and now in the collection of the MNAO Rome. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.

“A Giant Leap – The Transformation of Hasegawa Tohaku” is a special exhibition that focuses on the life and legacy of one of 16th century Japan’s leading artistic innovators. It traces the artist’s evolution from a provincial painter of Buddhist subjects to a master favored by shogun, samurai and cultural luminaries. Viewers will see vibrantly painted screens, scrolls and Importatant Cultural Properties. Shown in two parts. First rotation runs from March 9 – April 8. Second rotation from  April 12 – May 5. At The Japan Society. 333 E. 47th St. 212-832-1155 or go to japansociety.org.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has the following –

The Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” show continues its tour with a stop here July 7, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2018. 11150  East Blvd.  216-421-7350.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics – A collection with Nobuo Tsuji and MFA, Boston” is on view through April 1, 2018. The popular Japanese artist Murakami whose work is influenced by popular culture and manga also has roots in Japanese eccentric traditional art. Noted Japanese art historian Nobuo Tsuji looks at pieces in the MFA collection of Japanese art for some examples of traditional art that inspired some of Murakami’s present work. “Black And White – Japanese Modern Art” is a show centered around  a large scale calligraphy piece by Inoue Yuichi. This exhibition showcases a selection of avant-garde works in the monochrome aesthetic. On view  through June 3, 2018.  9300  Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.

“Sacred Spaces”  features contemporary works by Ghiora Aharoni and Arthur Liou which focus on religious journeys for the benefit of one’s future self.  From Nov. 17, 2017 through Oct. 15, 2018. “The Second Buddha: Master Of Time” presents work from the permanent collection, loans and “technological activations” centered on Guru Rinpoche, founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and his mastery of space and time. Feb. 2, 2018 – Jan. 7, 2019. Rubin Museum  of Art in New York. 150 West 17th St. 212-620-5000 or email info@rubinmuseum.org.

The Guggenheim presents a museum-wide, thematically organized survey of the work of Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo. It includes a focus on the dreamy collective self-image of the U.S.  Feb. 9 – May 9, 2018. Go to guggenheim.org for details.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents the following.  “India Modern: The Paintings of M. F. Hussain” shows eight large triptychs from the “Indian Civilization” series which celebrates India’s rich and diverse culture. Hussain was one of India’s first modern artists. Up through March  4, 2018.  111 South Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600.

“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” on view through June 24, 2018 and curated by Andres Marks. Minneapolis Institute of Art.  For centuries, the making of lacquer ware has served a utilitarian and decorative function. But now with modern advances in technology, contemporary artists are pushing into new frontiers. This show is a window into the future of abstract sculpture and installation using the sheen of lacquer as another texture. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787

“Living Proof: The Art Of Japanese Draftsmanship In The 19th Century” gives visitors a rare chance to see original drawings by Edo-period printmakers Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi together in one location. Through March 3, 2018. Pulitzer Arts Foundation  in St. Louis, Missouri. Go to pulitzerarts.org for details.

The Dallas Museum of Art has the following – “The Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery is on view through April 26, 2020.  “Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins” installation is on view through Feb. 25, 2018. “Asian Textiles: Art Along the Silk Road” opens Dec. 16 and stays on view until Dec. 9, 2018. 1717 N. Harwood  in Dallas, TX. 214-992-1200.

Los Angeles County Art Museum presents “Atmosphere in Japanese Painting” which shows a series of techniques that the Japanese painter both yesterday and today, could use to evoke to atmosphere of weather and the changing seasons. Work by Ikeaki Yoshio, Yamamoto Kakurei, Senju Hiroshi and Miya Ando. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.

The oil paintings of Kumagai Morikazu (1880 – 1977) are universally loved in Japan. The paintings have a flatness and animal subject matter that many ascribe to the Japanese woodcut tradition but his thick  oil paint texture and muted tones have a Nihon-ga feel  that touch the hearts of people with their gentle charm. Coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of his death, this retrospective covers his entire career with some two hundred works. Through  March 21, 2018. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

“Ishiuchi Miyako: Grain and Image” on view through March 4, 2018. Yokohama Museum of Art. Of all the post-WW II photographers in Japan, the work of Ishiuchi stands out for her unique vision and the fact she was often the one lone female image maker amidst a sea of men. She grew up in Yokosuka, a town near an American army base and she presented a frank and honest look at that town in her first show entitled “Yokosuka Story.” She would go on to document the damaged belongings of A-bomb survivors, Frida Kahlo’s personal belongings and a very personal investigation of bodies and the map of skin that covers them. This retrospective covers images from her whole career as well as previously unreleased photographs. The museum is at Minatomirai Station in Kanagawa Prefecture. 045-221-0300 or go to http://yokohama.art.museum/eng.

“A View of Prints: The Trajectory of the Gendai Hanga Center. Through March 25, 2018. This center was established in 1974 to exhibit and promote contemporary Japanese art prints. This exhibition highlights the impact the center had on the world and explores the possibilities of Japanese woodblock printing from a modern and contemporary perspective. The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama. Go to www.pref.spec.ed.jp/momas.

“The 40th Memorial of Shoji Hamada: From Tamesaburo Yamamoto Collection” on view until April 8, 2018. Yamamoto made most of his money from beer but he loved collecting folk art, expecially the pottery of his good friend Shoji Hamada. Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art outside of Kyoto. 075-957-3123 or go to http://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/.

“Decoration Never Dies, Anyway” through Feb. 25, 2018. This exhibition helps us understand how decoration permeates all of our lives via exhibits by seven different artists from around the world. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum of Art.

“Nara’s Traditional Crafts: Akahadayaki Pottery, Nara Itto-bori Carving And Nara Lacquerware” through March 25, 2018. Nara Prefecture is still home to many aspects of Japanese traditional culture. This exhibition outlines historical and contemporary interpretations of traditional crafts. Nara Prefectural Museum of Art.

“Tomb Dynasty Figures of Hu People: Portraying the Multicultural Vigor on the Silk Road” is on view through March 25, 2018 at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka.

A retrospective of controversial Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki entitled “Nobuyoshi Araki – I, Photography” is on view through March 25, 2018 at Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in Marugame, Kagawa Japan.

The Yayoi Kusama craze seems insatiable. To that end, the artist herself has had a museum dedicated to her work that will open in October of this year in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo. It is a five-story white, large-windowed, curved structure designed by Kume Sekkei. The second and third floors will show her paintings, sculptures and other works. The fourth floor will be dominated by her Infinity Rooms  and other installations. The top floor will have a reading room and archival material. Timed tickets are now on sale. Excerpted from Art World.

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang known for using gunpowder as his brush is in residency at the Prado Museum in Madrid where he will work in the Salon de Reinos. A solo exhibition by the artist entitled “The Spirit of Painting” will be on view from Oct. 24, 2018 – March 4, 2019. It will come out of his long-standing admiration for and dialogue with the Spanish master, El Greco.

Sometimes it is the artists and not the politicians that come up with the best ideas. Backed by noted architect Shigeru Ban and other major names in the art and design world who have submitted design ideas, South Korean installation artist Jae-Eun Choi is pushing to build a bridge in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. She is concerned over increased tensions in the region and has come up with a proposal. Left alone as a buffer zone, the area has turned into a wildlife sanctuary for endangered species.  The bridge tentatively titled “Dreaming of Earth” for starters would have a pedestrian walkway, observation spaces to view the wildlife and meditation towers but many more ideas are being proposed by designers, architects and installation artists as I speak. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHQGQZwUOQ to see the video.

A group of Chinatown activists are exploring the idea o buying the landmark Empress of China building to turn it into the first museum in the U.S. devoted to Chinese

American history as a way of honoring the late Ed Lee, San Francisco’s first Chinese American Mayor who grew up in Seattle. Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action came up with the idea and has enlisted support from local groups including the Chinese Historical Society of America. Some politicians are also pushing to rename historic Portsmouth Square after the late mayor. For 48 years, the Empress of China restaurant was a key gathering spot for celebrities and neighborhood regulars. It closed in 2014. Excerpted from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Takayuki Echigoya originally from Wallanai, Japan runs Bowery Blue Makers in New York. He makes custom-made blue jeans withamerican cotton dyed in Japan. He averages 25 pairs a month. Each takes eight hours to make. He will not use new machines and instead uses old singers that gives a more uneven, hand-made look.

Junko Oki hails from Kanagawa, Japan. Her abstract work as a textile artist is a revelation. Instead of a brush, thread is her palette. Go to https:www.pinerest.com/acuriouswork/stitched-junko-oki/ and prepare to be amazed.

Performing Arts

Each February, FIUTSCulturalFest celebrates the diversity and talent of the international community at UW and the region. The festival is produced by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) staff and student board. The CulturalFest is a two-day event. On Thurs., Feb. 8 from 10:30am to 3pm in the Huskey Union Building Ballroom at UW Seattle, student volunteers present Culturalfest International Expo with booths from more than 35 countries, regions and cultures represented. Free and open to the public. For details, go to www.fiuts.org/culturalfest-expo. On Sat., Feb. 10 the Culturalfest Performance Showcase starts at 7pm in Meany Hall on the Seattle UW campus. Music & performances from around the world include Korean drumming, Mongolian dance and much more. Tickets in advance are $10 for students and $15 for the general public. All tickets at the door will be $15. Doors open at 5:30pm for pre-show entertainment in the lobby. For information, go to http://www.fiuts.org/events/culturalfest/performances. For info., call 206-616-7025.

Tabla player Anil Prasad is a guest artist in  guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Andre Feriante’s concert “In The House of Beauty” set for Feb. 10, 2018 at Benaroya Hall’s Nordstrom Recital Hall. 200 University St. 8pm. Go to www.andreferiante.com for details.

Theatre critic and educator Misha Berson curates a new series presented by UW School of Drama entitled “State of the Theatre: Seattle Artists in Conversation” with some of Seattle’s most accomplished theatre people. All events are free and open to the public. Dates and topic titles are as follows – “Shakespeare, Our Contemporary” on Mon., March 12 at 7pm with Rosa Joshi, Darragh Kennan and Nike Imoru. “The Sound and the Fury” on Mon., April 30 at 7pm. Features a panel of sound designers, names TBA. All talks at the Jones Playhouse on 4045 University Way NE in Seattle’s University District. Go to https://drama.washington.edu/events/2018-01-22/state-theatre-playwriting-age-trump for details.

“Kamishibai” is a from of Japanese street theatre and storytelling popular in that country before the advent of television. A narrator/storyteller would situate him or herself on a street corner with sets of illustrated boards that they would place in a miniature stage-like device and narrate the story by changing each image. Now  present-day practitioners of this performing art come to the Puget Sound’s Youth Theatre Northwest from Nagoya, Japan to work their magic, perform and teach local kids how to make their own “kamishibai.”  Tatsuo Kawakami and Takamitsu Terukina perform. One is the last kamishibai artist still performing and the other is the kamishibai artist.Sign up now! Starts Jan. 31, 2018 and goes on through Feb.  Free drop-in workshops on Feb. 4, 11 & 18 for both kids (grades 4 & up) and adults. For the details, go to http://youththeatre.org/on-stage/spring-play-through-the-looking-glass-kamishibai-project/ or try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8wz6iU16BM. 206-232-4145×101 or go to youththeatre.org.

Pacific Northwest Ballet mounts “Swan Lake” for a Feb. 2 – 11 run at McCaw Hall.  This particular production of the ballet will be using a set design by the great set designer Ming Cho Lee. 321 Mercer St. at Seattle Center. 206-684-7200 or try mccawhall.com.

What happens when the first generation patriarch of a Korean American family in a West Texas suburb returns after a 15 year absence spent in his homeland of Korea? Find out in Lloyd Suh’s play entitled “American Hwangap” on stage at West of Lenin. Feb. 1 – 25, 2018 as directed by A. J. Epstein. Stars Michael Cerado, Kathy Hsieh, Mara Palma, Stephen Sumida and Moses Yim. Playwright Suh currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark. He has authored numerous plays that have been staged nationally and internationally. Thurs. – Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 2pm with an additional performance on Mon., Feb. 12 at 8pm. 203 North 36th St. in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. For tickets try Brown Paper Tickets or go to www.westoflenin.com.

ReAct Theatre, a multicultural company run by David Hsieh open their 25th Anniversary Season with two plays. They encore their Seattle premiere of “Sex With Strangers” by Laura Eason Feb. 9 – March 11, 2018. They also revive the popular musical “The Last 5 Years” by Jason Robert Brown from Feb. 16 – March 10. In the summer, they encore “Aliens” by Annie Baker, a comedic drama with music that explores the friendship between three millennial misfits. A 12th Avenue Arts on Capitol Hill. All tickets at Brown  Paper Tickets.

Sam Tsang performs in a “Be My Valentine” concert on Sun., Feb. 11 at 4pm at the Snoqualmie Casino. Tickets at snocasino.com or The Snoqualmie Casino Box Office. Go to www.snocasino.com.

The Highlands Concert Series present Violinist Kristin Lee and Pianist Kwan Yi performing music by Debussy, puts and Saint-Saens at Florence Henry Memorial Chapel. Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at 5pm. 14823 Boundary Lane in Seattle. Tickets at  the door. For more details, go to www.thehighlandsseattle.org.

Pianist Kuan Yi participates in a concert entitled “Spiritual Journey” featuring Grammy-nominated baritone Christopher Herbert in two concerts. Feb. 16 at 8pm at 415 Westlake in Seattle and Feb. 17 at 7:30pm at Minnaert Center in Olympia. Presented by Emerald City Music. 206-250-5510 or go to www.emeraldcitymusic.com.

As part of the “Live@Benaroya Hall” series, ukulele whiz Jake Shimabukuro returns with his music. Feb. 19, 2018. For tickets, go to benaroyahall.org.

The 4th Bellevue World TAIKO Festival takes place on Sunday, March 3, 2018. Performers include special guests from Japan – Miyake Geinou Doushikai as well as CHIKIRI & Cascades Taiko Drummers and more performers to-be-announced. Matinee  performance at 2pm and Evening performance at 7pm. Tickets on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets. Bellevue High School Performing Arts Center.

The “Masters of Hawaiian Music” tour stops at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle for 2 nights with slack-key guitarists George Kahumoku, Led Kaapana and Jeff Peterson playing in the Hawaiian cowboy tradition. March 2 & 3, 2018 at 8pm. 216 Union St. 206-838-4333.

Monqui presents singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata on Tues., March 6, 2018 at Columbia City Theater. Go to www.columbiacitytheater.com for details.

On the Boards will  present the 2018 NW New Works Festival June 8 – 10 & June 15 – 17, 2018. Susan Lieu and Majinn are two of the performers for the Studio Theatre Showcase on June 8 at 8pm & June 9 – 10 at 5pm.Pam Tzeng is on the bill at the Studio Theatre Showcase June 15 at 8pm & June 16 – 17 at 5pm. 100 W. Roy St. 206-217-9886 or go to https://www.ontheboards.org for details.

Sendai Era, a Seattle-based hip hop duo released a new music video in commemoration of the International District entitled “My
ID”. Go to https://vimeo.com/243962975 to check it out. For more information on the group, try http://www.sendaiera.com/

The UW keyboard program presents their “Catch A Rising Star”, a quarterly guest artist series featuring younger talent making their presence felt.  On April 29, 2018 at 4:30pm  in Brechemin Auditorium, catch thirteen-year old Yesong Sophie Lee, winner of the 2016 International Menuhin Competition in a free recital.   Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.

ARTSWEST in West Seattle presents the following – Sara Porkalob will direct Jiehae Park’s play entitled “Peerless” which is an irreverent re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The plot revolves around two Asian American high school students who are twin sisters both vying an affirmative action spot at a college only to be thwarted by a white male colleague who is 1/16th Native American. 4711 California Ave.  “Peerless” opens Jan. 18, 2018 and closes Feb. 11. Next up is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “An Octoroon” directed by Brandon J. Simmon which is a genre-defying play on the performance of race. April 19 – May 12, 2018. The season closes with Kiss of The Spider Woman” June 7 – July 8, 2018. 2018.S.W.  in West  Seattle. 206-938-0339 or go to artswest.org.

“The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq – An All People of Color Burlesque Revue”, a perennial audience favorite returns to Theatre Off Jackson through Feb. 18, 2018. 409 Seventh Ave. S. 206-340-1049 or go to theatreoffjackson.org.

The annual  “Celebrate Asia” concert this time around is conducted by DaYe Lin with  sitar player Nishat Khan and Seattle erhu virtuoso Warren Chang & his Seattle Chinese Orchestra. Feb. 11, 2018. Go to www.seattlesymphony.org for details.

The Meany Center For The Performing Arts has released their 2017/2018 schedule. Some of the many highlights include the following – The popular return of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Of Taiwan led by founder Lin Hwai Min with a new work entitled “Formosa – (beautiful island)” which uses gesture, script, song and other elements from the landscape and history of his native Taiwan. Thurs. – Sat. on  March 22 – 24, 2018 at 8pm. The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin in the lead violin chair performs on Thurs., Nov. 9 2017 at 7:30pm. Calidore String Quartet with David Finckel and Wu Han perform on Tues., April 24 , 2018 at 7:30pm. “Feathers Of Fire – A Persian Epic” updates the classic shadow play traditions of Asia & the Near East with cinematic “live animation” shadow-casting actors and puppets along with projected imagery in the magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th century Persian epic “Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)” set for Wed., March 14, 2018 at 8pm. With  an original score by Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali. All concerts at Meany Center located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Series tickets  on sale now. Single tickets go on sale on August 1, 2017.  You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way  NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.

The Music of Remembrance organization exists so that the voices of musical witness can be heard. In the past they have organized music of composers who perished in the Holocaust. This year, they shine their light on Japan and the internment camp experience of Japanese Americans in two concerts. A concert set for Spring is entitled “Gaman” by Christophe Chagnard. After Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent – a majority of them American citizens – were forced into detention camps scattered across the United States. Chagnard explores this dark chapter of American history incorporating the stories of individuals, families and artists based on their personal accounts, journals, letters and art works. This multi-media work will tell the story through the imagery and words of Seattle artists Takuichi Fujii and Kamekichi Tokita who were interned at Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. Instrumentation will combine traditional Japanese and classical Western instruments along with a narrator/singer combined with visual media projections. Also featured is a composition (as yet untitled) scored for string quartet, piano and voices by Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is planned as a participatory work with members of the public to join performers on stage to honor the names of those who perished in WW II – balanced equally between Japanese and non-Japanese victims of the conflict. Both compositions are world premieres commissioned by  Music of Remembrance. Set for May 20, 2018 at 5pm at Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. For details, go to musicofremembrance.org.

J. Tancioco is the musical director for a new production of “Mamma Mia!” at the 5th Avenue Theatre downtown. Filipino American actor/singer Paolo Montalban makes his 5th Avenue debut as Sam Carmichael. He is best known for his performance in the 1997 Disney TV film “Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” as Prince Christopher, a role he later reprised in stage versions of that musical. Running  from Feb. 2 – 25, 2018. Directed by Bill Berry with Choreography by Bob Richard. 1308 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle.206-625-1900 or go to www.5thavenue.org.

Ring in the new year on Feb. 11 with a Lunar New Year’s celebration in the Chinatown/ID neighborhood from 11am – 4pm. Free. With dragon & lion dances, Japanese taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations and many other cultural performances

Seattle Classic Guitar Society brings Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang to Benaroya Hall on March 3, 2018 at 7:30pm. Yang performs Chinese compositions and chamber music for guitar. 206-365-0845 or go to SCGS@seattleguitar.org.

Sumire Yoshihara (percussion) and Kazue Sawai (7 and 15 string koto) are respected performers of Japanese contemporary music. This is a rare opportunity to hear this duo present a selection of Japanese contemporary music showcasing duo and solo works by Kitazume, Matsumura, Sugiyama and others. Presented by Vancouver New Music. Tickets are $15. March 17, 2018 at 8pm. 823 Seymour St – 2nd floor. Vancouver BC. 604-665-3035

Seattle Children’s Theatre presents “The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559”. Adapted from the young adult novel of the same name, this play deals with a 12 year old Japanese American boy who must leave with his family to be imprisoned in an internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how he processes the whole experience. Feb. 8 – March 4, 2018. 201 Thomas St. 206-441-3322 or go to sct.org.

Crossroads Bellevue, the Eastside’s live music venue presents free live performances every weekend. On the 2nd Saturday of every month at 5:30pm is 2nd Saturday Family Night with free kid-friendly music performances. On the 3rd Saturday of every month at 6:30pm is Northwest Folklife which presents diverse, family-friendly cultural arts performances. To see the schedule, go to crossroadsbellevue.com. 15600 NE 8th in Bellevue. 425-644-1111.

Edmonds Center for the Arts presents the following –   Mystical Arts of Tibet conclude a 5 day residency with a performance of traditional music and the creation of a mandala sand painting

Daisha, a classical trio composed of UW undergraduates Halie Borror on violin, Daniel Richardson on piano and Isabella Kodama on cello give a concert at Brechemin Auditorium on  May 4, 2018. At 7:30pm and admission is free. On the Seattle UW campus. Go to www.music.washington.edu for details.

The Miles Electric Band brings alumnus from various Miles Davis ensembles to play the music from his electric/funk period. Includes tabla player Badal Roy, Blackbyrd Mcknight, Vince Wilburn Jr. and Daryl Jones. Feb. 23 at  7:30pm. Moore Theatre.

Steve Aoki, Designer plays Showbox Sodo on Wed., March 14 at 8pm.

Zhenni Li of the McGill School of Music in Montreal has been hailed as a classical pianist with a gorgeous tone and mesmerizing touch.  On April 24, 2018 she will give a recital at Brechemin Auditorium at 7:30pm. The following day she leads a master class with UW piano students at the same location  on April 25 at 4:30pm. Both events are free. Seattle UW campus in  the Music Building. Go to  www.music.washington.edu for details.

“Global Rhythms 2017-18” series curated by Jon Kertzer and Daniel Atkinson for Town Hall Seattle brings a concert entitled “Summit in Seattle” with pianist/composer Vjay Iyer in a night of collaboration and improvisation with some of his illustrious and gifted musical colleagues including Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet, Tyshawn Sorey on drums and trombone and Howard Wiley on saxophone and drums all for the first time together. Set for March 2, 2018 at 7:30pm.  Cornish  Playhouse at Seattle Center. A week later, the human vocal project known as Roomfull of Teeth  blends elements of various genres to explore the limits of the human voice on the frontier of classical music on March 9 at To keep in the loop and find out all the other great players in this series, go to www.townhallseattle.org.

Playwright Laureen Yee has a Seattle World Premiere of her play “The Great Leap” set for March 23 – April 22, 2018 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The company shares this world premiere with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. The plot revolves around Beijing University basketball coach Wen Chang and Manford, a young rough-around-the edges basketball talent from San Francisco’s Chinatown and how their worlds intersect. At the Leo K. Theatre. 155 Mercer St. Box Office # is 206-443-2222.

The UW faculty chamber group Frequencies welcomes special guest violinist Yura Lee in a concert entitled “Dialogues” set for May 27, 2018 at 7:30pm. Lee, the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant will perform duos with each member of Frequency and the trio will then perform Erno Dohnanyi’s “Serenade”. At Meany Theater on the  UW Seattle campus. Go to  www.artsuw.org for details.

The Broadway Center in Tacoma has the following – Best-selling new age/spiritual writer /Deepak Chopra gives a talk on April 12, 2018 at 7:30pm at Pantages Theatre.

Singer/songwriter Emi Meyer who grew up in Seattle is profiled in the January 2018 issue of the jazz magazine, Downbeat. Her latest recording entitled “Monochrome” is just out on Seattle’s Origin Records. After performances in Japan, she will tour the U.S.  in the latter half of 2018.

Portland Opera’s new season includes “Faust”, “La Cenerentola”, “Rigoleto” and “Orfeo Ed Euridice”. Some of the singers in these productions include Shi Li and Helen Huang plus conductor Carolyn Kuan is also involved. Performances are at the Hampton Opera Center in Portland. 503-241-1802 is the box office number.

UC Santa Barbara-based playwright Frances Ya-chu Cowhig’s latest play “Snow in Midsummer” plays the Oregon Shakespeare Festival later this year from Aug. 2 – Oct. 27, 2018 at the Angus Bowner Theatre in Ashland. This play is a thrilling update of a classical Chinese drama (The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing) that she turns into a modern ghost story in which a young woman is haunted by a mysterious apparition seeking revenge for an older injustice. Directed by Justin Audibert who oversaw the play’s premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2017. With Jessica Ko in the lead. 15 South Pioneer St. in Ashland, Oregon. 800-219-8161 for tickets.

“Allegiance”, the Broadway musical inspired by actor George Takei’s childhood in internment camp during WWII will come to Los Angeles Feb. 21 – April 1, 2018 with previews from Feb. 21 – 25. East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will co-sponsor the production set for the JACCC’s Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. No word yet on whether the production will include the original cast but George Takei will reprise his role. For updates, visit East West Players website.

Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim has been named to replace the disgraced ex-Met. Conductor James Levine in his hometown of Cincinnati. She will conduct Verdi’s Requiem at Cincinnati’s May Festival.  Kim is just starting to make her mark with US opera houses and this prestigious engagement should give her more exposure.

A new play by David Henry Hwang entitled “Soft Power” runs from May 10 – June 10, 2018. It is a futuristic Chinese musical about present day America. Music by Jeanine Tesori and directed by Leigh Silverman. World premiere under  the auspices of the Center Theater Group. At the Ahmanson Theater in New York before it goes to East-West Players in Los Angeles. Go to centertheatergroup.org for details.

Violinist Charles Yang, a member of the crossover group, “Time for Three” has been awarded the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award from the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany.

The Royal Opera’s professional development program known as the Jette Parker Young Artists announced their winners for 2018/19. Chinese mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu was one of the winners. The program is designed to support the artistic development of talented singers at the beginning of their career. Selected artists are employed or salaried members of the Royal Opera for two years during which time they are immersed in the life of the Royal Opera House to help them form their own artistic identity and give them guidance on their training through the business of a career.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “I Puritani” set for early February, 2018 sports a set design by the renowned set designer Ming Cho Lee.

Teng Li, principal viola of the Toronto Symphony has been hired by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to replace Carrie Dennis.

Film & Media

Acclaimed director King Hu’s classic “Legend of the Mountain” that inspired films like “The Matrix” has been restored in a new digital 4k version. It will be shown in the original director’s cut. Set during the 11th century Sung Dynasty, the film stars Feng Hsu, Sylvia Chang and Chun Shih in a supernatural fable. Screens locally at Northwest Film Forum March 1 – 4.1515 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.

“Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie” will open March 12, 2018 nationwide, presented by Fanthom Events and 4k Media. This is a digitally remastered version of the 2004 anime box office hit inspired by the popular Yi-Gi-Oh! Trading card game, manga and TV series. In addition, a sneak peek of the first episode of the sixth series will be screened. Locally you can catch  it at Pacific Place downtown, Southcenter 16 in Tukwila and Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue.

“Oh Lucy!” directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi (now based in the Bay Area) and starring Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Shioli Kutsuna and Megan Mullally was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award in 2018. It tells the story of a single, emotionally unfulfilled woman in Tokyo stuck with a drab, meaningless life who enrolls in an unorthodox English class that changes her life. She becomes infatuated with her teacher. When he suddenly disappears with her niece for Southern California, she enlists the help of her sister and flies to Los Angles to find him. Opens on March 16. “Saturday Morning Cartoons” is a monthly celebration of animated films from across the globe. Coming to the series on April 28, 2018 is Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata’s 1999 film, “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. This is a multi-generational look at the hardships and joys of a Japanese family. Both at SIFF Uptown. 511 Queen Anne Ave. N.  206-464-5830 or info@siff.net or try Go to siff.net for details.

The Everett Film Festival screens Feb. 16 – 17 with films that shed light on the lives of women from various cultures, times and experiences. Everett Performing Arts Center.

The Seattle Asian American Film Festival (see a special feature on the festival in the Jan. 17 print issue of the IE) returns Feb. 22 – 25 with features and shorts, music videos, and  documentaries all pertaining to the Asian American experience.  Northwest Film Forum. 1515 – 12th Ave. 206-329-2629.

This year’s Academy Award Nominations included the following – Ru Kawahata & Max Porter received a nomination for “Best Animated Short” for “Negative Space”. Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani for “Original Screenplay” for their film, “The Big Sick”. Steve James, Mark Mitten & Julie Goldman for “Best Documentary Feature” for “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”, the gut-wretching story of a small  family-owned New York Chinatown bank that was prosecuted for the crime of one of their employees. Kazuhiro Tsjuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick were nominated for “Best Make-up and Hair” for “The Darkest Hour”.

When widower Lee Chan Lee died in the mid-1970’s, the contents of May’s Photo Studio was tossed into the trash. More than 700 photos and glass negatives were rescued from oblivion by then-peniless art student Wylie Wong (now a successful Asian art & antiques dealer) Soon after, the art collector George Berticevich found and bought some 1.200 more photographs and backdrops from the same studio at a Sausalito flea market. Together this body of work by Leo and Isabelle May Chan Lee constitute an invaluable portrait of a vibrant Chinatown community that flourished despite racial discrimination and restrictive immigration laws. These images are a composite of Chinatown’s socio-political, economic and cultural history from an insider’s perspective. Now, Lydia Tanji, Wylie Wong, Gayle Yamada, Wendy Slick and Emiko Omori are attempting to turn this material into a documentary film entitled “Trashed: The Lost World of May’s Photo Studio” but they can’t do it without your help. Send your donations and be part of preserving a community’s history. Go to trashedsf.com or https://apicc.nationbuilder.com/trashed for details.

Maya Jeffereis has completed a new video installation entitled “They Were The Silent Generation”, an experimental documentary video installation featuring interviews with survivors of Japanese Canadian internment. It was recently screened at a group show entitled “Just Being Polite” in the DUMBO area of New York. Jeffereis is artist-in-residence at the NARS Foundation International Residency Program.

The Written & Spoken Arts

Town Hall Seattle is undergoing renovation but that doesn’t mean their activities have ceased. They have just taken their events to places all over the city. On Thurs., Feb. 15, 2018, they along with Seattle University present a political doubleheader. Historian Jeremy Suri and former Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran will explore America’s disenchantment with the office of the US President with a talk entitled “The Impossible Presidency” at 6pm. Journalist Steve Coll gives a definitive explanation of how America became ensnared in an elaborate and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia with a talk entitled “America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan at 7:30pm. Both events at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium at Marion off Broadway on Capitol Hill. On Wed., Feb. 21 at 7:30pm, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist Sang-Hee Lee reveals cutting-edge human evolution research and surprising new conclusions about the societies of our Neanderthal ancestors in a talk entitled “Investigating Our Evolving Species” set for Greenwood Senior Center at 525 N. 85th St.  Co-presented by Town Hall Seattle, Phinney Neighborhood Association and University Bookstore. Coming on Sat., Feb. 24 at 7:30pm at Rainer Arts Center at 3515 South Alaska St. is a talk by writer and historian Shaun Scott with exhibitions curator Minh Nguyen that examines the social and cultural factors that have helped shape the Millennial generation in “Millennials and the Moments that Made Us”. At the Rainier Arts Center at 2515 S. Alaska St. Amy Chua is an expert on ethnic conflict and globalization. She will be joined by Seattle moderator/talk show host Bill Radke as she examines the span of American identity politics from left to right, and contends that we must transcend our political tribes and rediscover a new national identity. Thurs., March 8, 2018 at 7:30pm at University Lutheran Church at 1604 NE 50th St. For information on all these events,call 206-652-4255 or email info@townhallseattle.org or  go to townhallseattle.org. For details on their music events, go to the “Performing Arts” category of this calendar.

Former food editor at the Seattle PI and vice-chair of the James Beard Foundation cookbook committee,writer/journalist/cooking instructor  Hsiao-Ching Chou releases her debut cookbook entitled “Chinese Soul Food – A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups and More” (Sasquatch Books). She appears on Mon., Feb. 12 at  the all food book store, The Book Larder in Fremont at 6:30pm. This free event includes a recipe demonstration, a Q & A and a book signing. 4252 Fremont Ave. N. 206-397-4271 or email info@booklarder.com. If you want more, check out Chou’s talk at the downtown library Feb. 12 (see below).

Elliott Bay Book Company continues to sponsor readings in their Capitol Hill bookstore as well as co-producing events all over the city. Below you will find a partial listing of some of their events. Events are at the bookstore located at 1521 Tenth Ave. unless otherwise noted. 206-624-6600. Local prose writer Richard Chiem whose book of fiction entitled “You Private Person” was selected one of the “10 Essential Books of the American West” by Publishers Weekly appears with fellow writers Andrea Eberly and Jennifer Haupt in a Seattle Federation #10 group reading on Wed., Feb. 7 at 7pm at Hugo House. Free. 1021 Columbia St. For details, go to www.hugohouse.org. Vincent Rafael appears as part of the Saturday University winter lecture series on Sat., Feb. 10 at 10am at Seattle University’s Pigott Audtorium. 901 – 12th Ave. 206-654-3210. He will speak on “Photography in Duarte’s Drug War”. Seattle-based writer/poet Kim Fu (“For Today I Am A Boy”) returns to Elliott Bay  with two new books on Tues., Feb. 13 at 7pm. Her second novel entitled “The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore” is a coming-of-age novel of five girls who meet at a summer camp in the Pacific Northwest and their lives thereafter. She also reads from her debut book of poetry entitled “How Festive The Ambulance”. Noted Northwest food writer Hsiao-Ching Chou gives a talk on her new book entitled “Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More” on Tues., Feb. 13 at 7pm.  Free. At The Seattle Public Central Library at 1000 Fourth  which co-sponsors this event. Go to www.spl.org for details. T. Fujitani from the University of Toronto will speak on the topic of “Racism, Vulgar and Polite” as part of the Saturday University winter lecture series entitled “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia”.  Feb. 17 at 10am at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. 901 – 12th Ave. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. The bookstore co-sponsors with Densho and CAIR-WA, the Washington Chapter of the Council On American Islamic Relations a “Day of Remembrance” on Feb. 19 at 2pm at Fisher Pavillion at Seattle Center. Special guests include Khizr Khan, author of “An American Family” and singer/songwriter Kishi Bashi who will present a segment of his forthcoming documentary about Japanese American incarceration during WWII as well as singing a few songs. Reserve free tickets at BrownPaperTickets.com. For details, go to www.densho.org. S. J. Sindu reads from her novel about Sri Lankan immigrant culture and the intersection of migration, sexuality and culture in “Marriage of a Thousand Lies” on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7pm at the bookstore. Novelist Ruth Ozeki appears as part of the Hugo House “Words Work” series on Feb. 23 at 7pm at Washington Hall. She will conduct a workshop entitled “Meditation For Writers”.  153 – 14th Ave. Co-presented by Hugo House and Seattle University’s “Search For Meaning Book Festival. For details on Ozeki’s workshop, go to www.hugohouse.org. On Sat., Feb. 24 from 8am – 6pm the “Search For Meaning Book Festival” takes place on the Seattle University campus where over 50 nationally & internationally known authors will appear in a series of workshops, talks  and readings. Some of those appearing include Ruth Ozeki, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Taylor Branch, Barbara Brown Taylor, Marwa Al-Sabouni (via Skype), Moustafa Bayoumi, SJ Sindu, Dave Boling, Jessica Bruder, Robin DiAngelo, Laurie Frankel, Samrat Upadhyay and Anuk Arudpragasun. On Sat., Feb. 24 at 9am at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium, Azeem Ibrahim, Senior Fellow at The Center for Global Policy will address the topic of “ Rohingya: The World’s Most Persecuted Minority” “. Part of the Saturday University  “Boundaries of Belonging in Asia – Winter Lecture Series” as well as the “Search For Meaning Festival”. 206-654-3210 or go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. At 901 – 12th Ave.

The University Book Store sponsors or co-sponsors  a reading series at their location on University Ave. as well as other sites throughout the city. Below are some upcoming events – Sang-Hee Lee, Korea’s first paleontologist gives insight into humanity’s dawn and evolution with her international bestseller “Close Encounters with Humankind. On Wed., Feb. 21 at 7:30pm. At the Greenwood Senior Center at 525 N. 85th St. $5 tickets at http://bit.ly/2CNVZXv. For more information, go to www.ubookstore.com or call 206-634-3400.

Less than two weeks after his reported government detention in China, publisher Gui Minhai has been selected to receive the 2018 Prix Voltaire from the International Publishers Association (IPA). The prize honors struggles faced by those in international book publishing who have endured serious adversity for the sake of freedom to publish. Minhai is a Swedish citizen and he was abducted on a train to Beijing.

Writer Laurel Nakanishi of Hawai’i has been selected for a 2018 Japan US Friendship Commission Creative Artists Fellowship. She will study the pilgrimage routes of Japan and write a memoir of her experience incorporating the experiences of fellow pilgrims.

Ocean Vuong whose debut collection of poetry entitled “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” (Copper Canyon) has already won the Forward Prize, the Whiting Prize and the Thom Gunn Award has added to his laurels being the recipient of the TS Eliot Prize. He becomes only the second debut poet to win this prize, two years after Sarah Howe (British/Chinese mixed race) became the first, winning for “Loop of Jade” in 2016. One of the jurors, Bill Herbert called Vuong’s book “A compelling assured debut, the definitive arrival of a significant voice”. It’s interesting that the 10-strong short-list for this award was initially criticized by some for its lack of diversity as Vuong was the only non-white poet listed.

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! –

“My Museum” (Prestel) by Joanne Liu is a colorful, vibrant and wordless exploration of one child’s visit to a museum and the wonders of shape, color and humanity that lie there.

“Some Say The Lark” (Alice James Books) by Jennifer Chang is a new book of poems that narrate grief and loss, intertwining them with hope for a fresh start in the midst of new beginnings. Her previous book was a finalist for the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers.

“A State of Freedom” (Norton) by Neel Mukherjee is a novel set in India in which five characters set in very different circumstances find out the meanings of dislocation and the desire for more in this life.”The Reciprocal Translation Project” (Roof) is an exciting cross-cultural experiment in which six Chinese and six American poets (with the aid of professional translators) try to translate each others’ poems. Edited by James Sherry and Sun Dong. Includes work by Rae Armantrout, Che Qianzi, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Lan Lan, Fred Moten, Na Ye, Bob Perelman and many more.

“PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year” (Sleeping Bear Press) written by Virginia Loh-Hagan & illustrated by Renne Benoit. This picture book shows how a little girl learns all about the customs of Chinese new year from a helpful grandmother.

“The Milk Lady of Bangalore – An Unexpected Adventure” (Algonquin) by Shoba Narayan is the story of the author’s return to Bangalore after living in Manhattan for years and how an encounter with a woman and her cow in her apartment elevator turns into a friendship bonded by cows, family, food and life.

“One Daughter Is Worth Ten Sons” (Hanging Loose Press) by Jiwon Choi is the poetry debut of this Brooklyn-based urban gardener and pre-school teacher whose poems laced with acerbic wit evoke the complexity of our own human contradictions.

“A Dream of Resistance – The Cinema of Kobayashi Masaki” (Rutgers) by Stephen Prince looks at the life and films of this great Japanese director whose work mirrored his humanism and fierce political convistions tempered with a Buddhist philosophy.

“Things She Could Never Have” (Mawenzi House) by Tehmina Khan is a book of short stories that take us into the varied lives of modern Pakistanis in Karachi and Toronto – whether privileged, poor, gay, trans or straight. They offer a window into the complexities of a sometimes troubled and often misrepresented Muslim society.

“Dolls of Hope” (Candlewick Press) by Shirley Parenteau is a young adult novel that tells the true story of the friendship doll exchange in which American and Japanese children sent each other dolls as a gesture of peace and friendship.

In “Invocation to Daughters” (City Lights) by Bay Area poet Barbara Jane Reyes unleashes a book of prayers fro Filipina girls and women trying to survive and make sense of their own difficult situations.

“Paper Son – Lee’s Journey to America” (Sleeping Bear) by Helen Foster James & Virginia Shin-Mui Ong and illustrated by Wilson Ong is a picture book that tells the story of Chinese immigrants who passed through Angel Island in search of a better life in America.

In “Nobu – A Memoir” (Emily Bestler), Japanese celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa tells the story of how he failed three times before starting the restaurant that would grow into an empire.

“Hu Wan And the Sleeping Dragon” (Sleeping Bear) by Judy Young and illustrated by Jordi Solano is a picture book that tells the tale of two boys in ancient China. One is a peasant who carves gourds and the other, the new emperor of China. This story tells us how their lives intertwine.

“Empire of the Son” (Talonbooks) is the debut play by Vancouver BC playwright/performer Tetsuro Shigematsu. As a play, it combines cinematography with the raw immediacy of performance art. A one person performance piece starring the playwright, it looks at two generations and anchors on the premise that “no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves – across decades and oceans – we never stop being our parents’ children.” The play was nominated for six Jessie Awards and sold out its entire run.

“The Book of Cord” (Tinfish Press) by Leona Chen looks at growing up both Taiwanese and American and is a tender tribute to the tangled pieces of her Taiwanese heritage (indigenous, Japanese, Chinese). The poems cross multiple languages in an effort to search for a Taiwanese identity out of a repeatedly colonized history.

In “Angel in Beijing” (Candlewick Press), Belle Yang uses her double skills as artist and storyteller to weave a tale of  a wayward cat and the simple pleasures of life in one of the largest cities in the world.

“VIJ – A Chef’s One Way Ticket To Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase” (Penguin Canada) by Vikram Vij is the rags-to-riches memoir of one of the Northwest’s premiere restaurant impressarios/chefs and the owner of the legendary Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC – the go-to spot for Indian food in that city.

“Days With Dad” (Enchanted Lion Books) by Nari Hong comes from the author’s own childhood. A wheelchair bound father regrets he can’t do the things a regular dad can with his daughter yet the girl thinks otherwise. In clear color pencil drawings, the story of what a father and daughter can do together is a poignant lesson in tolerance and love.

“Raghubir Singh – Modernism On The Ganges” (Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Mia Fineman is the exhibition catalog for a show of photography by this master photographer from India that captured the energy of life on its teeming streets.

“Dumpling Dreams – How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge” (Simon & Schuster) Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Kathy Wu. In lively verse, the author tells the true story about how one woman’s cooking gave Americans in the Northeast an appreciation for Chinese food. A book for the  young “foodie” in your family.

“Hua Shi Hua” (Ahsahta Press) features drawings and poems from China by Jen Hyde. It’s a lyrical quest for heritage, language, and poetry itself.

“Multi-Racial Parents – Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race” (NYU Press) by Miri Song. This book is a deep look at how mixed-race parents identify and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising their children.

“Vij’s Indian – Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes” (Penguin Canada) by Meeru Dhalwala & Vikram Vij is the revealing book of mouth-watering recipes put together by this famous Canadian restaurant couple who for a brief time, even had a restaurant in Seattle.

“The Filipino Primitive – Accumulation and Resistance in the American Museum” (NYU Press) by Sarita Echavez See. If you’ve ever gone through a museum and looked at their ethnic artifacts, you may wonder at how this system looks at other civilizations. The author analyzes how some museums present their Filipino artifacts and stacks that against how Filipino labor has contributed to America’s capitalist colonialism.

“Let’s No One Get Hurt” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is a forthcoming novel by Jon Pineda. It’s a Southern Gothic tale of a fifteen year old girl squatting in an abandoned boat house with her father and his two friends. It’s a coming-of-age story that deals with race, class, gender and environmentalism while at the same time espousing a “Huck Finn” magical universe of community and exploration.

“The 8th House” (Black Ocean) is the second poetry collection by Feng Sun Chen. In it she peels away the exterior of life’s pink underbelly and “exposes by being exposed” the way true poets do.

“Too Much And Not The Mood” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Durga Chew Bose is a collection of essays-meet-prose poetry about identity and culture in today’s rapidly changing world.

“Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures” (Bloomsbury) by Roma Agrawal. This engineer/author with a mix of personal stories, history and science is able to articulate to the general reader civilization’s root in engineering.

“The Newspaper Widow” (Philippine American Literary House) is veteran fiction writer Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s new novel  which is a literary mystery set in turn-of-the-century Philippines. When her son is unjustly accused, a mother takes it upon herself to solve a murder to clear his name.

Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes continue their popular “Secret Coders” graphic novel series about secret high school coders stuck in an unfriendly high school but determined to unlock its dark secrets. So far in the series on First Second Press are “Secret Coders”, “Secret Coders – Paths & Portals” and “Secret Coders – Secrets & Sequences”.

“An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments With Truth – A Critical Edition by M. K. Gandhi “(Yale). Seventy years after his death, this is the first critical, annotated edition of the Indian leader’s most famous work.

“Facing the Rising Sun (NYU) by Gerald Horne tells the true story of the wide-spread pro-Tokyo sentiment that spread among African Americans during WWII and why.

“A River, One-Woman Deep” (Philippine American Literary House) by Linda Ty-Casper is a new collection of fiction. In a novella, a Filipino American woman uncovers a family secret during her visit to Manila.  Other short stories in this collection concern the lives of Filipino and Filipino American women.

“Swimmer Among The Stars” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Kanishk Tharoor. This book of short  stories are dazzling fables where the exotic and mundane collide with incendiary  literary results.

“Chimi & Chirra, The Snowy Day” (Enchanted Lion Books) by Kaya Doi as translated by Yuki Kaneko brings back these two bicycling adventurers as they uncover the beautiful mysteries of winter in this delightful kids picture book.

In “Stir Crazy” (Kyle Books), Ching-He Huang who is host of the Cooking Channel’s “Easy Chinese” program explains the techniques of good stir-fry for amateur cooks at home.

“Gravel Heart” (Bloomsbury) by Abdulrazak Gurnah takes place in 1970s Zanzibar. An Indian boy grows up in a house full of secrets and a father who does not want him. As a teenager, an uncle in London offers an escape. Only then will he understand the darkness at the heart of his family.

UW Creative Writing Professor Pimone Triplett’s “Supply Chain” (University of Iowa Presss) is chock full of poems popping with musicality that also deliver in meeting the complexities of life that connects the domestic to the political.

“Ramen At Home” (Rockridge Press) by Brian MacDuckston. Ramen is the latest food phenomenon to hit these shores and one can see a ramen shop on every street corner. The author simplifies the process and explains how you can prepare this humble soup in your own kitchen at home.

“Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories” (Philippine American Literary House) is the debut short story collection by Veronica Montes. Two American born sisters find themselves in a Manila nightclub staffed by dwarves, a lonely woman creates a family with a surrogate son and teenage girls grieve the loss of their grandmothers. These are just some of the tales found in this volume.

In “An Indian Beach By Day And Night” (Tara Books), French artist Joelle Jolivet observes life along a South Indian beach and finds it teeming with activity 24/7. A fun multi-activity project that  will involve your kids in many different ways.

“The Life of Paper – Letters And a Poetics of Living  Beyond Captivity” (UC Press). This book by Sharon Luk looks at how people who face systematic social dismantling have engaged in letter correspondence to remake themselves. Examples include the early immigration detention of Chinese migrants, the internment of Japanese Americans and the mass incarceration of African Americans. The author makes it clear how correspondence becomes a poetic art of reinvention and a way to live for those imprisoned.

“The Princess and the Dressmaker” (First Second) is a graphic novel by Jen Wang that explores the lives of two people who grow closer and yet must tread lightly between their feelings and their dreams.

“Diasporic Intimacies – Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries” (Northwestern University Press) is an anthology edited by Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo and Fritz Pino that looks at the contributions of queer Filipinos to Canadian culture and society.

“What  What  What?” by Ryoji Arai (Enchanted Lion Books) is illustrated by Arata Tendo and translated from the Japanese by David Boyd. There’s a nervous energy to this curious kid who can’t stop asking questions. Initially annoying, soon his inquisitiveness is infectious and he has the whole community responding to his curiosity. The illustrator’s artwork adds a pulsing energy to this kid’s book.

“Hard Bodies – Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture” (MIA) by Andreas Marks. A curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art has written this exhibition catalog for a show that opens this year. Artisans in Asia have worked in lacquer since the Neolithic era but this book looks at recent trends in the field and how today’s artists are pushing the medium into fresh and dynamic directions beyond their original utilitarian/decorative purpose.

“The Epic City – The World on the Streets of Calcutta” (Bloomsbury) by Kushanava Choudhury. This book tells the story of an immigrant family who moved back and forth between India and the US and their son who returns to Calcutta to live after graduation. He paints a compelling picture of the everyday lives of people who make up this thriving city.

“Hurray For Books!” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by as written and illustrated by Brian Won is a delightful celebration of reading for children with each animal in the story from page to page sharing their favorite book.

“A History of the World in Seven Cheap  Things – A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet” (UC Press) by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore. This book proposes a radical new way of reclaiming the planet in the twenty-first century. Are you listening?

“The Five Forms” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Barbara McClintock is a playful picture book exploration of Chinese martial arts done in vibrant watercolors.

“Silent Days, Silent Dreams” (Arthur A. Levine Books) by Caldecott Medal-winning author Allen Say is a  bit of a departure from his usual autobiographical story lines. In this book he tells the story of James Castle who was born deaf, mute, autistic and probably dyslexic. Yet his will to draw was so strong that when those in charge deprived him of drawing materials, he used waste paper, sticks dipped in soot and his own spit to keep making images. When he died, he left more than 15,000 pieces of art work. Simply stated, this is a moving tribute from one artist to another.

“Lola’s House” (Curbstone Books) by M. Evelina Galang looks at the Filipino “comfort women” who survived the kidnapping and rape that was the Japanese army strategy during WWII. Galang listens to their stories and takes their testimony for the world to hear. Intensely  personal yet globally political.

“Shine On Me” (Tri-quarterly/Northwestern) is a novel by A. G.  Mojtabai about an auto dealership in West Texas that stages a contest – whoever keeps his or her hands longest on a new pickup will own it A study of fast food, various personalities and the power of slow perseverance.

“These Violent Encounters” (Griffith Moon) is a novel by Victoria Namkung set in modern-day L.A. It looks at the unyielding pressures that so many women and girls experience and analyzes the ways in which our institutions and families fail to protect or defend them. A timely  story in today’s world where respected male figures are being taken down for inappropriate behavior towards women.

“Race And America’s Long WAR” (UC Press) by Nikhil Pal Singh. This shatters the myth of any US administration ever really being at peace as it looks at our country’s brutal and racially inflected wars on many fronts.

“Ahimsa” (Tu Books) by Supriya Kelkar. The author, inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi shines a light on the Indian Freedom Movement in her young adult literary debut.

“Some Beheadings” (Nightboat Books) by Aditi Machado goes to the desert to unlock answers to questions like “How does thinking happen?”, “What does thinking Feel Like?” and “How do I think about the future?” in this intriguing new book of poetry.

“The Serpent’s Secret – Kiranwala And The Kingdom Beyond #1” (Scholastic) by Sayantani Dasgupta. A teenage girl in Jersey must become a smart, tough princess if she is to solve the mystery of her missing parents. A young adult  mystery/thriller.

“A New Literary History of Modern China (Belknap Harvard) Edited by David Der-wei Wang is a monumental undertaking that looks to show China through a rich and varied literary microscope from the seventeenth century to the present. With over 140 contributors that cover everything from pop songs to political speeches and prison diaries. Definitely a desert island read for lovers of Chinese literature.

“Kith” (Fence Books/Book Thug) by Divya Victor brings us an astute poet whose imagination tackles every genre to reveal the blood beneath the bandage and a reflection of our forgotten lives that need to be remembered.

“The Years, Months, Days” (Black Cat) by Yan Lianke takes 2 novellas by this award-winning writer about lies stretched to the limit and the strong will  of its characters to live well and with purpose.

Ha Jin is known for his fiction but he started out as a poet and in “A Distant Corner” (Copper Canyon Press), he returns to his first love. Poems of exile and immigration and personal memories of the pain of an uprooted life fill this new volume.

In “Brokering Servitude – Migration And The Politics of Domestic Labor During The Long Nineteenth Century” (NYU) by Andrew Urban, the author examines how domestic service shaped American life and employed Irish immigrants, Chinese immigrant men and emancipated Black women from the South.

“like a solid to a shadow” (Timeless)  by Janice Lobo Sapiago is a post-memoir book of poems that explore the space between solid and shadow, father and daughter, love and migration and grief and love. Written as transcripts, translations, notes, maps, love letters and elegies.

“A Harvest of Thorns” (Thomas Nelson) by Corban Addison is a novel current as today’s news. When a garment factory burns to the ground in Bangladesh killing hundreds, it opens a wound that leads to a trail of sweat shops, labor rights issues and the ethnics of globalization. Does a once-disgraced journalist have the guts to listen to a whistleblower and fight to reveal the ugly truths behind the glamorous fashion industry?

“Katana At Super Hero High” (Random House) by Lisa Yee is a young adult novel in the noble warrior tradition. A high school girl enlists the help of a few friends to find the answers to her mysterious past.

“Real Friends” (First Second) is a graphic novel by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham about how hard it is to find real friends in this world and why it’s worth the journey.

“Barbie Chang” is a new volume of poetry out by poet/editor Victoria Chang just released on noted local small press poetry publisher, Copper Canyon Press out of Port Townsend. The poet looks at what it means to be a good daughter, mother and wife within a complex and ever-shifting world and the price to be paid. An energetic social  commentary in verse.

“All That Remains: The Legacy of the World War II Japanese American Internment Camps” by Delphine Hirasuna is a slim but beautifully designed catalog for a recent show that was recently on view at the University of San Francisco showing the  elegant art and craft work fashioned by internees out of scraps and makeshift material. With color  illustrations. On sale for 20.00 at the Japanese American National Museum shop in Los Angeles. Go to www.janm.org/.

“A Bestiary” (CSU) by Lily Hoang uses fragmentation, myth, language and fairy tales to forge a book bursting with life’s questions. The winner of The Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2015 Essay Collection Competition.

“Adventures in Starry Kitchen” (Harper One) by Nguyen Tran. When an unemployed  couple start an illegal restaurant out of their North Hollywood apartment, celebrity chefs and food writers beat a path to their door. But so does the city health inspector. Interesting stories and recipes fill this book that tells the true story of an underground restaurant that turns legit and becomes an established culinary landmark in the city of angels.

“Moon Brow” (Restless Books) by Shahriar Mandanipour is a stunning novel of love and war, steeped in Persian folklore and contemporary Middle East history.

“Oceanic” (Copper Canyon Press) by Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the poet’s fourth collection and in it she sings a sensuous love song for the earth and its inhabitants. Catch this poet reading in Seattle from this book later this year. (see  elsewhere in this calendar for details).

“Ghosts of The Tsunami – Death And Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Richard Lloyd Parry is the definitive account of what happened, why and how it felt when this catastrophe hit Japan. He examines the social and political ramifications of this post-disaster landscape and the impact upon its people.

“How To American – An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents” (Da Capo) is by Jimmy O. Yang, stand-up comic and actor in the HBO series “Silicon Valley”. This is his memoir of growing up as a Chinese immigrant who pursued a Hollywood career against the wishes of his parents.

“Confucius – Great Teacher of China” (Shen’s Books) is the latest picture book by noted children’s book author/illustrator Demi. It chronicles the life of this philosopher whose teachings shaped the beliefs of a whole nation.

“Arranging Marriage – Conjugal Agency in The South Asian Diaspora” (Minnesota) by Marian Aguiar looks at the tradition of arranged marriage historically and geographically and shows how it’s changed over time and according to place.

“How Do I Look?” (Metatron) by Chinese Canadian poet Sennah Yee is a poetry that encompasses whole words in just a few sentences.

“Postcolonial Biology: Psyche And Flesh After Empire” (Minnesota) by Deepika Bahri looks at how minds and bodies have been shaped by colonial contact and the impact of colonialism on the colonized body.

“Jottings Under Lamplight” (Harvard) by Lu Xun is an anthology of essays by this seminal contemporary Chinese writer as edited by Eileen J. Cheng and Kirk A. Denton. It shows his versatility of prose forms and his brilliance as a cultural critic. Includes sixty-two essays, twenty of which are translated for the first time.

“Salvage” (Triquaterly/Northwestern University Press) by  Cynthia Dewi Oka is a new book of poems by this poet originally from Bali. Her immigrant experience allows her to craft poems that defy history’s dislocation and gives us revealing images of power and elegance.

“Draw The Line” (Roaring Brook) by Kathryn Otoshi. This acclaimed author/illustrator pairs black and white illustrations with splashes of lcolor to create a powerful, multi-layered statement about friendship, boundaries and healing after conflict. Without a line of dialogue, the author provides important life lessons to children.

“Under The Skin” (Hatje Cantz) by Chiharu Shiota is the first retrospective exhibition catalogue of this internationally known Japanese installation artist based in Berlin who received world recognition for her 2015 work at the Venice Biennale. To enter her work is to enter another world instantly recognizable yet startlingly strange.

“Confessions” (Mulholland Books) by Kanae Minato is a debut crime novel which was a best-seller in Japan where it won several literary awards and was adapted into an Oscar short-listed film. When a teacher resigns in the wake of a tragedy, she delivers a final lecture that sets the school, the teacher and her students into a whirlwind of punishment, revenge and tragic love.

“The Illustrated Wok” edited by The Cleaver Quarterly is a collection of hand-illustrated Chinese recipes from the “next-generation” of chefs who are rethinking Chinese food to serve the needs of 21st century diners.

“Go In Clean, Come Out Dirty” (Rabbit Fool Press) by Kevin Minh Allen is a second book of poetry by this former Seattle-based poet now on the East Coast. This book is a philosophical exploration of the internal and external halves that comprise our self-identity. This American adoptee poet peers into the legacy of war and resettlement with a sharp and sensitive lens.


Seattle artist Megumi Shauna Arai is working on an installation entitled “Unnamed Lake” for a group show opening at the Wing in June 2018. She needs volunteers to participate. If interested, go to https://unnamedlake.com/ for details.

Congratulations to poet Janet Wong who nabbed a 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award and to Veronica Lee-Baik, director and choreographer for The Three Yells who got a 2017 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. The awards were  administered by Artist Trust/Frye Art Museum Consortium.

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. Some upcoming program events include the following –Go to FriendsOfAsianArt.org or call (206) 522-5438 for details on all these events.

Seattle Art Museum received a $35 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow the Asian Paintings Conservation Center at Seattle Asian Art Museum The only one of its kind in the Western United States, the Center will be devoted to the conservation, mounting and study of Asian paintings, serving SAM’s collections as well as institutional and private collections in the region. SAM must raise $2.5 million in matching funds over four years to create an endowment supporting the Center’s program.

Applications for Jack Straw Writers Program, Artist Support Program and New Media Gallery Program are now available.  Go to www.jackstraw.org/programs/asp/2018_apps.shtml or email arts@jackstraw.org for details.

Every year, Town Hall Seattle selects exceptional local artists andscholars for paid residencies where they engage with Town Hall programs and collaborate with the programming team to develop original events for the community. Each resident will co-curate a series of hyper-local Town Hall events in close collaboration with their neighborhood Steering Committee from March through June of 2018. All events will be free and open to the public. Congratulations to those selected. Support and residency stripends provided by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Work space provided by the Cloud Room.  Writer/educator/doula Jordan Alam will create events in the Columbia City/ Hillman City area. She grew up at the intersection of Bangladeshi American, Muslim, queer and femme identities. Her work focuses on social forces such as poverty, racism and trauma and finding ways to articulate how these experiences live in our bodies and shape the course of our lives. Poet Laureate/multidisciplinary artist Shin Yu Pai will represent the Phinney Ridge/ Greenwood neighborhood. Her poetic origins inform an artistic style that has grown beyond the written word to encompass photography, installation/public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. She encourages us to reflect upon the essential questions of our lives, and to explore how we see that interrogation expressed or mirrored around us. Other participants selected include photographer/Everyday Africa founder Peter Dicampo representing  University District/ Ravenna and Designer/organizer Erik Molano from the Capitol Hill/ Central District. To learn more, go to townhallseattle.us6.list-manage.com.

Artist Trust offers workshops state-wide and webinar workshops on topics of interest to artists of all genres such as assistance on how to apply for an Artist Trust Fellowship, a Twining Humber Award, resources on how to get to know local arts organizations, cultivating professional relationships, organizing your resume and much more. Artist Trust can be found at 1835 – 12th Ave. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill or go to artisttrust.org for more details.

Filmmaker and sound designer Chu-Li Shewring received the Jules Wright Prize in England which recognizes female creative technicians who are making significant contributions to artist films.

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