Seattle ARTRESOURCE Gallery presents a mini-retrospective of the late Northwest painter Frank Okada from Dec. 4th – Jan. 25th. Okada’s work is should be better known, his mastery of brush and color tonalities is unmatched but subtle. Layers of pigment upon pigment brings forth an accumulation of shadings that culminate in a sublime meditation upon mood, spirit and color that can be easily overlooked by a casual glance. Take time to absorb the presence of each painting and you will be richly rewarded. Born in Seattle and the younger brother of noted Seattle writer John Okada, author of the classic Northwest/Asian American novel, “No No Boy” (UW Press), Frank Okada taught for almost 30 years at the University of Oregon in Eugene while at the same time maintaining a full-time career as an artist. He received his B.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy and spent time in New York during the heyday of the Abstract Expressionist movement. He also received Whitney, Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships and spent time in Europe and Asia before settling into a teaching career. Okada spoke of his work as “the remembrance of the anguish and subsequently the stoicism of (his) parents’ generation, as a consequence of their internment during the Second World War, which evokes a mesmerizing melancholy and sadness.” Seattle ARTRESOURCE Gallery is at 625 First Ave. upstairs in Suite #200. Hours are Tues. – Sun. from 10:30am – 5:30pm. (206) 838-2695 or email email@example.com.
Korean American Seattle-based fashion designer Jean Glover and husband Craig Glover open their new store located in Pacific Place highlighting their sophisticated women’s designs and a sneak preview of their upcoming spring 2015 line.
“Castle Rock is for Lovers” is a show of paper cuts by Laureen Iida. The artist writes that the show “is an homage to the matriarchs of my family who both endured incarceration during WW II at Tule Lake Relocation Center in Northern California. These images come directly from my grandmother’s sister’s collection of personal photos dating back to the 1930’s. Through examining these glimpses into the past I learn about my family’s complex history.” On view now through Dec. 19th. Artist’s reception is on Wed., Dec. 10th from 7 – 9pm. Cornish College of the Arts Alumni Gallery at 1000 Lenora.
“Hand and Wheel – Contemporary Japanese Clay” looks at the long-standing ceramic tradition in Japan and surveys the work of modern ceramic artists working from the traditional to the contemporary. Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D., The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art. On view from Nov. 1 – June 21, 2015. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. (503) 226-2811.
“Withered Lotus Cast in Iron” is the title of the first solo exhibit of the distinguished Chinese artist Pan Gongkai, son of the renowned twentieth-century master Pan Tianshou. A contemporary master of ink painting, Gongkai prepares large-scale compositions without interruption, in sessions that often last more than twelve hours. He considers this physically demanding process as a key performative element of his work. For the Frye Art Museum show, Pan has created a large-scale, site-specific ink painting which will extend the entire length of the museum’s largest gallery. (206) 432-8288. Frye Art Museum is at 704 Terry Ave. or go to to www.fryemuseum.org.
“Art Prints of Sadao Watanabe” is on view through Dec. 30th. This exhibit showcases Christianity through the folk art “Biblical Prints” of Japanese printmaker and artist Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996). On display will be stencil prints, original stencils, and tools of the artist as well as monographs from the East Asian Library Collection on mingei and mingei artists. At the Allen Library North Lobby, East Asia Library in Gowen Hall on the 3rd Floor. (206) 543 – 4490.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District has the following – The ever popular annual fall show, “8th Simple Cup Show Invitational” opens on Sat., Nov. 1st, 2014 and remains on view until Dec. 31st. This version features work from not only North America/Japan but for the first time introduces to the Seattle audience, the work of Korean contemporary ceramic artists as well. The Japanese word “nuno” means fabric but is is also the name of a Tokyo-based textile studio led by Reiko Sudo. The firm combines tradition nal practices with new technologies to create, experimental textiles. Now KOBO at Higo presents an exciting array of their scarves, shawls and garments on view through Dec. 15th. Go to koboseattle.com for updates. 604 S. Jackson St. (206) 381-3000.
“Red Ribbon Salon” is a group show of Northwest artists including the work of Paul Horiuchi. Opens Nov. 11th and remains on view until Dec. 23rd. Seattle ArtREsource Gallery. 625 First Ave. #200. (206) 838-2695 or go to seattleartresource.com.
“Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop” – The disaster of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and nuclear accident came as both a shock and inspiration for Japanese Neo-Pop artist Mr. In response he created a massive installation composed of everyday objects from Japanese life. It forms the centerpiece for this show with a series of new paintings and other work. Organized by SAM, this retrospective is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. A protégé of Takashi Murakami, the icon of Japanese Pop art and a member of the otaku subculture, Mr.’s work is marked by an obsessive interests in anime and manga. This exhibition is organized by SAM in collaboration with Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., Galerie Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Opens Nov. 22nd, 2014 in the Tateuchi Galleries of the Seattle Asian Art Museum and remains on view until April 5th, 2015. 1400E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. (206) 654-3100 or go to seattleartmuseum.org.
Curator/sculptor/installation artist June Sekiguchi unleashes a whirlwind of activity by showing the fruits of her creative labors in various guises/projects/exhibitions and we are the richer for it. Her massive piece entitled “Pineal Canopy” comprised of 36,000 hand tied knots dipped in wax and threaded through 368 router pinecone disks is included in the BAM Biennial “Knock on Wood” on view through March 29th, 2015. 510 Bellevue Way NE. (425) 519-0770. As a compliment to the Bellevue Arts Museum show, ArtXchange Gallery will feature a three -person show of their gallery artists in “Knock on Wood” at their space from Dec. 4th – Jan. 31st, 2015. The work of June Sekiguchi, Humaira Abid and Elaine Hanowell will be on view with opening reception on Dec. 4th from 5 – 8pm. 520 – 1st Ave. S. (206) 839-0377 or go to www.artxchange.org. “Taki” (waterfall in Japanese) is a site specific piece to be permanently placed in the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery of Seattle Municipal Tower inspired by the famous woodblock print by Hokusai entitled “A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces”. 700 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle on the 6th floor. This piece can be seen from Oct. 23rd, 2014 on along with other pieces by Marita Dingus, Humaira Abid and Gustavo Martinez as curated by Preston Hampton. Finally Sekiguchi will be involved in a group show entitled “The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human” which intends to examine the stigma and silence surrounding mental illness. A variety of people, from mental health advocates to community leaders/organizations will come together to speak about mental illness and its effects on our society. Sekiguchi’s son, Quin Breeland has created QR code links to the artists’ works and will have an audio/visual experiential multi-media piece. Opening reception for this show is Jan. 9th, 2015 from 4 – 6pm. Tours by artists paired with mental health professionals are scheduled throughout the exhibition. Sekiguchi tours with Eli Hstings, marriage and family counselor and assistant director of Pongo Teen Writing on Jan. 13th at 12pm. At Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave. in the 4th floor lobby and Anne Focke Gallery.
“To Be Alone Together” is an group exhibition co-curated by Emma Jane Levitt and Shelly Leavens through the Dana and Toni Rust Curatorial Fellowship at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor. The curators try and capture the solitude and interaction of Northwest art by having contemporary Northwest artists respond to work by Northwest artists in the museum’s collection. Work by Paul Horiuchi and Norie Sato are in the group that are shown. Contemporary artists Paul Komada and singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama respond to specific artists as well. 121 S. First St. in La Connor. Oct. 4 – Jan. 4th. (360) 466-4446 or go to www.museumofnwart.org.
“Near/Far” is the title of a show by former Seattle Cornish student Lauren Iida (see related article about Iida’s current shows and her Cambodia project in this issue) now living in Cambodia. Her show of intricate paper cutaways Guest Curated by David Strand help her process and preserve her experiences with the people of landscape of that country. She is working on literacy campaigns and establishing libraries for children in rural areas. Her work explores notions of figure and place that transcend geographic and cultural borders. On view through Jan. 23rd in the Entry Gallery. Artist’s reception will be on Thurs., Dec. 11th from 5 – 8pm. Gage Academy Of Art at 1501 10th Ave. E. in Seattle. (206) 323-4243 or email info@GageAcademy.org.
“Chiang Mai Art: “A Thai Print Studio” highlights the contemporary print art scene in this ancient Thai city to the North. Forthcoming at Davidson Galleries at 313 Occidental Ave. S. in Pioneer Square. Go to www.davidsongalleries.com for details or call (206) 624-6700.
“The Momentum of Beauty” is an “Art Conversation” group show featuring local Northwest Artists as well as nationally known and internationally known artists/curators. Dec. 4th – 27th at Seattle’s SOIL Gallery. Includes Jo-ey Tang of Palais de Tokyo in Paris who recently curated a group show entitled “Inside China” (for more on that go to http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/blog/joe-ey-curator-palais-de-tokyo-paris-discusses-inside-china/. 112 Third Ave. S. in downtown Seattle. Go to www.soilart.org for details.
Local artist Naoko Morisawa received 2nd place in the “miniature work” category during the White River Valley Museum’s Art Walk.
Seattle photographer/educator Carina del Rosario has the following events now up or upcoming. Her “Passport Series” is on view until Feb. 9th, 2015 in the Paul Schell Gallery at the Mayor’s Office in Seattle City Hall. On view by appointment only. On Dec. 7th from noon to 4pm, she will have a “Small Works Sale” with fellow artists Romson Bustillo and Kamla Kakaria. On wed., Dec. 10th at 6pm, her Passport Office Interactive Installation and Exhibition will be on view at the Seattle Human Rights Awards at Seattle Town Hall. You must RSVP to attend this free event. On Thurs., Dec. 11th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm, She will be leading different art activities for the whole family with fellow artists Celeste Cooning and Romson Bustillo at SAM Lights at Olympic Sculpture Park. There will also be live music. Check SAM’s website for details. Starting from March 2015, a selection from Carina’s “Passport Series” will be included in Wing Luke Museum’s upcoming post-1965 Immigration Act exhibition. For complete details on all these events, contact the artist direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger Shimomura’s “American Knockoff” has an autobiographical ring pitting the artist against the world of Asian stereotypes and what it means to live as an Asian American in this “land of the free and home of the brave.” It was last seen in the fall of 2013 at Greg Kucera Gallery. Now an expanded version of this show with a new catalog is at the Museum of Art at Washington State University Gallery in Pullman. On view through Dec. 13th. (509) 335-1910. In related news, The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences has a profile of 1945 alumnus Tom Kitayama whose family was originally from Bainbridge Island. He was the first Japanese American to hold public office in California as Mayor of Union City. Go to http://museum.wsu.edu/shimomura.html for complete details. This touring exhibit comes to Tacoma Art Museum and Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon in 2015.
In related news, Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon presents “Roger Shimomura: Works on Paper” which will open Nov. 8th and remain on view through Feb. 1, 2015. Organized by Director John Olbrantz to complement the travelling exhibit, “Roger Shimomura : An American Knockoff” which opens at the museum next January. The exhibition features 29 prints drawn from local and regional collections, including works from his “Minidoka Snapshots” and “Minidoka Identities” suites, both of which deal with internment camp issues. 900 State St. in Salem, Oregon and part of Willamette University. (503) 370-6855 or go to willamette.edu/arts/hfma.
“Labor: A Working History” is an exhibit following the path of workers’ rights locally and on a national scale beginning in the 1800’s with Hawaiian and Native-American laborers for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Through Dec. 31st, 2014 at Clark County Historical Museum at 1511 Main St. in Vanouver, WA.For details, call (360) 993-5679 or visit www.cchmuseum.org.
“Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II” is an exhibit about Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII. This exhibit tells the story of the first such labor camp in Nyssa, Oregon in which interned Japanese Americans did seasonal farm labor in the sugar beet industry. Photos by Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee document these camps. On view until Dec. 12th, 2014 at Four Rivers Cultural Center at 676 SW Fifth Ave. in Ontario, Oregon. For details, call (541) 889-8191 or visit www.4rcc.com or www.uprootedexhibit.com.
The work of Z. Z. Wei and Kensuke Yamada is included in Patricia Rovzar Gallery’s “Celebrate Art – 22nd Annual Group Exhibition” from Dec. 4th – 31st. 1225 Second Ave. (206) 223-0273 or go to www.rovzargallery.com.
“MOE, Elements of the Floating World”, a show by Japanese artist Yumiko Glover (now based in Hawai’i) looks at the complex patriarchy-based structure and gender division in Japanese society through a series of satiric, cleverly nuanced paintings. Bryan Ohno Gallery at 521 Main St. (206) 459-6857. Through December.
New and recent shows due to open at the Wing include the following – “Do You Know Bruce?” is a major new show on the personal, intimate story of martial arts artist and film star Bruce Lee and the significance of Seattle in his life. Opens Oct. 4th with the full support of the Lee Family. The Wing is the only museum in the world, outside of Hong Kong, to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee’s life. The Lee family has plans to eventually open a permanent museum on Bruce Lee’s life and legacy in the Chinatown-ID neighborhood. This show will make for a good initial introduction. “RESIST – Asian American Acts of Struggle” remains on view through Jan. 18th, 2015. Wing Luke also co-sponsors a new exhibition “Voices of Nisei Veterans” at the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) Hall. Oral history testimonies and rare collections tell the story of Japanese American veterans before, during and after World War II. “BOJAGI: Unwrapping Korean American Identities”, a new show on our local Korean American community opened Nov. 13th and remains on view through the spring of 2015. A new exhibit entitled “Puppet Power! Asian Traditions Come to Life” opened on July 19th. See innovative creations from Asian American puppet artists, video performances and hands-on puppet play. Created in partnership with the Northwest Puppet Center and the Valentinetti Puppet Museum. Still on view is “ART IN MOTION: The Evolution of Board Culture” From surf board to skate board, learn how Asian Americans have contributed to this thriving culture. Curated by Gabriel Goldman of Platform Inc. Includes the work of Wally Inouye, Nhon Nguyen, Nin Truong, Junichi Tsuneoka and Mike Yoshida. Free Fa- Still on view is “#iconic: Power and Pop Culture” which explores how Asian American pop icons are made and what it means to look up to – or challenge – these figures. “Hometown Desi: South Asian Culture in the Pacific Northwest” is a semi-permanent display that opened Oct. 3. It will explore the history of South Asians in this area up to the present. The Family Fun Art Activity list reads like this – The Family Fun Art Activity for Sat., Dec. 10th at 1pm will be with calligrapher/Chinese watercolor artist Maggie Ho who will show you how to try traditional painting techniques yourself. Museum members are invited to a “Holiday Member Appreciation Day” on Sat., Dec. 6th from 1 – 4pm. Enjoy a program themed around the “Bojagi” exhibition and visits from an Asian American Santa and popular local graphic artist Enfu. 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.
Currently on view at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park – “Colored Vases” is the first work by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei acquired by Seattle Art Museum. The artist took ancient earthenware vases and dipped them in buckets of industrial paint allowing them to drip dry. By covering the surfaces with a new paint, what is underneath – like history itself – is “no longer visible, but is still there.” The irony is that they play on the question on and question authenticity issues that the artist likes to raise in today’s market for Chinese Art. On view until December 7th is “Ink. History. Media” by Chen Shaoxiong. The artist examines the history of protest as a universal political expression. He downloaded images of protest form around the world and did ink drawings from these images, turning them into a video installation. Another video installation consists of ink drawings of historic photos of major events in Chinese history during the 20th century. The artist was a founding member of “Big Tail Elephant Group”, a collective of Guangzhou-based conceptual artists in the 1990’s. Today he works independently and also collaborates as a member of an Asian artist collective known as “Xijing Men” and another Chinese collective known as “Project Without Space.” He is a multi-media artist using painting, photography etc. For complete information on all events, go to seattleartmuseum.org.
“Nature and Pattern in Japanese Design” is a related exhibition to “Deco Japan” in two parts that will be shown at Seattle Art Museum downtown. Part 2 begins August 16th, 2014 and continues till April 19th, 2015. Coming August 30th is “City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India” which looks at the shift towards urban centers and the culture and arts of the city. Organized by SAM from the collection of Sanjay Parthasarathy and Malini Balakrishnan.Visit sam.org or call (206) 654-3100.
“BAM Biennial 2014: Knock On Wood”, a group show of artists working with wood on view through March 29th, 2015. Includes work by Humaira Abid and June Sekiguchi. Bellevue Arts Museum. 510 Bellevue Way NE. Go to www.bellevuearts.org.
Tacoma Art Museum has opened a new wing to accommodate the gift of a new collection. “ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST: The Haub Family Collection at Tacoma Art Museum just opened. Included in the present show is work by contemporary Chinese American artist Mian Situ. He creates epic paintings in the European tradition but inserts Chinese American immigrants as protagonists in scenes in which they’ve previously been missing. “Photographic Presence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur’s Project 562” is the first installment of Matika Wilbur’s ambitious project to capture contemporary Native American life by documenting people from all 562 federally recognized tribes in the US. The photography of Seattle photographer Chao-Chen Yang is included in a group show entitled “Northwest in the West: Exploring Our Roots”. This show explores the distinct identity of Northwest art and how it has adopted, adapted and reacted against its western roots. A theme particularly apt and timely since the museum is building a new wing to house their new collection of Western art. Both shows through the fall of 2015. Tacoma Art Museum is at 1701 Pacific Ave. (253) 272-4258 or go to TacomaArtMuseum.org.
“Nature as Is” is a show of new work by Tacoma artist Patsy Surh O’Connell now on view through Dec. 15th. Tacoma Community College on the Gig Harbor Campus at 3993 Hunt St. in Gig Harbor. For information, call (253) 460-2424. For details on the artist, go to www.patsysurhoconnellart.com.
Tacoma artist Fumiko Kimura has had a long-time career in Puget Sound exhibiting her work and keeping busy with her Puget Sound Sumi Art Group. This year brings a new opportunity to see her life’s work. A retrospective of her work takes place at Tacoma Community College Art Gallery through Dec. 13th. She shares the space with artist Rob Fornell. 6501 S. 19th St. (253) 566-5000.
Seattle artist Diem Chau has her work reproduced in a new book entitled “Big Art/Small Art” (Thames & Hudson) by Tristan Manco.
Juliet Shen will be in a group show entitled “Duwamish Artist Residency” set for March 5th – 26th, 2015 at Gallery4Culture. The show sheds light on the activities of twelve studio artists who gather every summer to work together for a week at various spots along the river. For details on their work, go to duwamishresidency2012.wordpress.com. Please note that as of 2015, Gallery4Culture will no longer have shows during the months of December and August. Shows continue during the other ten months.
The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham has an interesting show entitled “Reaching Beyond: New Designer Craftsmen at 60” juried by Ben Mitchell. On view until Jan. 4th, 2015. 121 Prospect St. (360) 676-6981 or go to whatcommuseum.org.
Discover the history and culture of the Tulalip tribes at the Hibulb Culture Center. Currently showing an exhibit on “Coast Salish Canoes”. 6410 – 23rd Ave. NE in Tulalip. (360) 716-2600 or email email@example.com.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland has “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community” a show that celebrates the lives and contributions of Oregon’s Nikkei community, and evokes memories of shared experiences – from early settlement through the trials and tribulations of WWII and into the 21st century. Upcoming exhibit is “Before Memories Fade: Uncovering the Story of the Kida Family of White Salmon” tentatively scheduled to Open Nov. 8 and remain on view through Feb. 22, 2015. Open Tu. – Sat. 11am – 3pm and Sundays, noon – 3pm. 121 NW 2nd Ave. (503) 224-1458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Museum of Contemporary Craft. Upcoming April 17th – August 16th in 2015 is “The New Frontier: Young Designer-Makers in the Pacific NW”. 724 NW Davis St. in Portland. (503) 223-2654 or go to mocc.pnca.edu.
The Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver BC, Canada has a show entitled “The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors” which captures the atmosphere and aesthetics of the Ming and Qing Dynasties with paintings, ceremonial clothing and more. Includes nearly 200 treasured objects from the collections of Beijing’s Palace Museum. Worth the trip up north. Opens Oct. 18th and on view until Jan. 11th. Opening Nov. 15th and on view until April 6th is “Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art” which looks at how Chinese artists today view their tradition. Re-working traditional aesthetics in conceptual ways, artists use new forms and media – such as digital animations and site-specific installations-to provide a myriad of means to understand and examine traditions influence on visual culture in present-day China. Work by Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Yunfei Ji, Sun Xun, Chen Shaoxiong, Zhang Enli, Madein Company, Liu Jianhua, Qiu Shihua and Jennifer Wen Ma. In related news, VAC will launch a new Institute of Asian Art expanding its exhibitions, collections, programs and create a new endowed Senior Curator of Asian Art. Future exhibitions planned include a project with Tsang Kinwah, a major exhibition of contemporary art from India and the continued growth of the museum’s permanent collection of contemporary Asian Art. 750 Hornby St. (604) 662-4719 or go to vanartgallery.bc.ca
“Meet Me at Higo” permanent exhibit- Part Two” presented and sponsored by the Wing is a multi-media presentation and self-guided tour that tells the origins and history of the store as a Japanese American five and dime. At Kobo at Higo, 604 South Jackson. E-mail email@example.com or call (206) 381-3000.
The surreal work of multi-media New York-based artist Ryo Toyonaga is given his first major museum retrospective drawing on 20 years of ceramic and mixed sculpture, drawing and painting in “Awakening”. The images come forth from a well-spring of recurrent dreams. On view rom Oct. 11 to – Jan. 4, 2015. On view till Dec. 28th is “Ten Symbols of Longevity and Late Joseon Korean Culture”. “Japanese Impressions from the Vault: The Rare, the Beautiful, and the Bizarre” is on view until Feb. 8th, 2015. On view till June 7, 2015 is “Elegance & Nobility: Modern & Contemporary Korean Literati Taste”. And finally “Vistas of a World Beyond: Traditional Gardens in Chinese Material Culture” is on view until July 5, 2015.University of Oregon Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene. (541) 346-3027 or visit jsma.uoregon.edu.
“Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth” is a group show that shows “contemporary, conceptual and Native art” that features 25 young artists across Canada, the US, Norway and New Zealand, “to define what it really means to be an urban Aboriginal artist today.” On view Through Jan. 4th, 2015 at Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC. On the UBC campus. 6393 NW Marine Dr. (604) 822-5087 or go to moa.ubc.ca.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has a number of Asian art shows on display now. On view until Jan. 11th is “Hiraki Sawa: Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds”, the first comprehensive exhibition of Sawa’s work in Canada, featuring intimately scaled and monumental video works from the artists’s career. Through Jan. 4th, “Visualizing a Culture for Strangers: Chinese Export Paintings of the Nineteenth Century” is on view. Oct. 31st – Jan. 25th is a group show entitled “Shin Hanga: The New Print Movement of Early 20th Century Japan” which look sat the new print movement that replaced ukiyo-e prints in popularity in the 20th century. 1040 Moss St. (250) 384-4171 or go to aggv.ca.
“Sacred Trees of India: Photographs by Deidi von Schaewen collects large-scale images taken by the artist over years travelling through India. Through Dec. 3rd. Evergreen Gallery at Evergreen State College at 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW in Olympia. Go to evergreen.edulgallery for details.
The contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is today always in the news, more so since he was placed under house arrest by Chinese authorities. In 1983, he left China for the first time and lived in New York for a decade. Those early years were to prove to have a lasting influence on his consciousness and future art activities. Now 227 black-and-white photographs of that period the artist took are on view in the show “Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993” at Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia at 1825 Main Mall. On view through Nov. 30th. (604 822-2759 or go to belkin.ubc.ca)
Every fall, the Brower Center in the Bay Area presents the Art/Act Award & Exhibition, created to honor established artists who have dedicated a significant part of their careers to using art’s unique transformative power in the service of activism. In 2014, the Center recognizes internationally acclaimed sculptor, architectural designer, and environmentalist Maya Lin, known most widely for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but whose most recent work has focused on threated ecosystems. ART/ACT: Maya Lin is on view till Feb. 4th, 2015. The show will highlight the fragility of bodies of water around the world such as the San Francisco Bay and Tuolumne River. For details, try http://www.browercenter.org/exhibitions/maya-lin. In further news, it was announced that Maya Lin has won the $300,000 Gish Prize. This prize was established by Lillian Gish’s will to be given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Lin will collect the award at a prevent event at the Museum of Modern Art on Nov. 12th. Lin was chosen from among 100 nominees in all fields of the arts. The playwright David Henry Hwang was the chairman of the selection committee and stated that “With her design for the Vietnam memorial, Maya Lin created arguably the most important piece of public art of our time. Since then, she has continued to achieve greatness, through a singular vision which has come to embrace her passionate concern for the environment – in America, China and throughout the planet.” Lin is currently engaged with an ongoing multisite work, “What Is Missing?,” which combines art and science to increase awareness about the loss and biodiversity and natural habitats.
“Kimono: A Modern History” is a new show in The Arts of Japan Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on view through Jan. 19th, 2015. Some twenty-five kimono robes on loan from private, public and museum collections are now on view. 1000 Fifth Ave. in New York. Go to www.metmuseum.org for details.
Wang Qingsong’s “ADinfinitum, a series of colossal photo-murals is on view at the Frost Art Museum as part of Art Basel in Miami in Nov. Known for walking the streets of China with a camera and setting up massive crowd scenes for his photo murals. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Thai contemporary artist Jakkai Siributr is known for his sociopolitical installations with layered surfaces that are stitched, embroidered and filled with sequins. His work is profiled in an article entitled “The Fabric of Memory” by Gregory Galligan in the Nov. 2014 issue of Art in America.
Aimee Ng is the new associate curator at New York’s Frick Collection. She starts work in February. She is currently pHd candidate at the Drawing Institute at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York.
“In The Land Of The Dead, Stepping On The Tail Of A Rainbow” is the title of a show of new work by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami now on view through Jan. 17, 2016 at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. Go to www.gagosian.com for details.
The President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Lee Yong-woo resigned in protest following the censorship of a painting satirizing Korean President Park Geun-hye in a Gwangju Biennale satellite show entitled ‘Sweet Dew – After 1980”.
“Upbeat on Jackson” features a concert by M9 and jazz pianist Sumi Tonooka on Sat., Dec. 22nd at Ernestine Anderson Place located at 2010 S. Jackson St. at 7:30pm. Go to upbeatonjackson.org for details.
Seattle singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama expands upon his solo career but unveiling new songs from his latest recording at the Tractor on Dec. 3rd. 5213 Ballard Ave. NW in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. (206) 789-3599.
Justin Wong (formerly with Ponytail) and Takako Minekawa share a double-bill at The Sunset in Ballard on Wed., Dec. 3rd at 8pm. 5433 Ballard Ave. NW. Go to sunsettavern.com for details.
JACL Puyallup Chapter will hold its annual Mochi Tsuki event at Tacoma Buddhist Church at 1717 S. Fawcett St. in Tacoma on Sun. Dec. 13th. Come join in the mochi pounding and get ready for New Years.
The “Poetry On Buses” Project is back. Expect the unveiling of poems by over 360 poets due to appear on Metro buses across the city. Go to www.poetryonbuses.org for details.
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma presents the Peking Acrobats to the Pantages Theatre on Sat., Jan. 17th at 7:30pm. Also booked is a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado” set for Feb. 6 at 7:30pm and Feb. 8th at 2pm at the Rialto Theatre. On May 16th, Northwest Sinfonietta presents “The Taiwanese Connection”, a classical concert highlighting Taiwanese contemporary composer Gordon Chin’s premiere of his composition dedicated to Taiwan. Also Taiwanese violinist Mae Lin plays Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto.7:30pm at the Rialto. 901 Broadway in Tacoma. (2530 591-5840.
Seattle Symphony plays host to a full season of events. Here are some highlights. Dynamic young pianist Yuja Wang gives a piano recital on Dec. 3 at 7:30pm. “Celebrate Asia!” is the annual East meets West signature Seattle Symphony event set for March 1st.. Carolyn Kuan conducts the orchestra in a program of music by A. R. Rahman, Yugo Kanno in a Seattle Symphony Commission U.S. Premiere and music by Tan Dun. Musical guests include Chiaki Endo on koto, Dozan Fujiwara on shakuhachi and Meeka Quan DiLorenzo on cello. Yuja Wang returns as piano solist with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas in a program of Britten, Gershwin and Shostakovich on April 1st. April 21st brings the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to town under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung with Sunwook Kim on piano. Yo Yo Ma, cello virtuoso plays one afternoon only with the symphony on May 3rd at 2pm. On May 26th, violinist Pinchas Zukerman performs with pianist Angela Cheng. Visit Seattlesymphony.org or call (206)215-4747.
Book-It Repertory’s adaptation of David Guterson’s “Snow Falling on Cedars” plays the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center March 13th – 28th, 2015. (206) 842-8569.
The Ahn Trio, a family of classical siblings perform at the Edmonds Center for Performing Arts on Jan. 9th, 2015. 410 Fourth Ave. n. in Edmonds. (425) 275-9595.
Soprano Haeran Hong sings in the Seattle Opera production of Richard Strauss’ “Aradauf Naxos” set for May 2 – 6th, 2015. Go to http://seattleopera.org for details.
The Undergraduate Theatre Society at UW will present a new production of David Henry Hwang’s play, “Yellow Face” as directed by Eliza Wu from Jan. 22nd – Feb. 1st, 2015. When Tony-Award winning playwright Hwang protests the casting of a white actor as the lead Asian Character in the musical “Miss Saigon”, he becomes the poster boy for Asian American rights in the 1990s. But in a comical twist of fate, he mistakenly casts a white actor in the lead Asian role of his own play. As he attempts to pass the character off as a Siberian Jew, the playwright himself is forced to question the constitutions of race, identity and nationality in this satiric send-up documentary of Hwang’s life in the theatre. Presented by the Undergraduate Theater Society in association with the School of Drama at Cabaret Theater in Hutchinson Hall. Go to http://artsuw.org/event/yellow-face for details.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with Myung-Whun Chung conducting and Sunwook Kim on piano take on Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 and Brahms Symphony No. 4 on April 21st, 2015 at 7:30pm. Noted American cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs with Seattle Symphony on May 3rd at 2pm. At Benaroya Hall downtown at 3rd & Union. (206) 215-4747 or go to seattlesymphony.org.
Town Hall Seattle “Global Rhythms” series has the following. Kekuhi and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole sweeten the romance on Valentine’s day with a performance of Hawaiian music and dance. Sat., Feb. 14, 2015 at 8pm. The Hamsaz Ensemble play a concert entitled “Iran Through the Centuries” on Thurs., March 26, 2015 at 7pm. Rounding off the “Global Rhythms” Series is Saigon’s Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre featuring Rup Tung Cack on Fri., May 15th at 8pm. This is a 1,000 year-old folk art form. 1119 Eighth Ave. (206) 652-4255 or email email@example.com or go to townhall.org for details.
UW Music Faculty member Melia Watras and violist explores improvised and notated music with an all-star group of local musicians including jazz trumpeter Cuong Vu and Pacific Northwest Ballet concertmaster/ violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim. Sun., Jan. 11th at 7:30pm. $20 tickets with $12 student rate. Meany Theater on the Seattle campus of UW. (206) 543-4880.
The Nile Project was inspired by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Project. Egyptian musicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian American singer Meklit Hadero follow the source of the river and combine the musical riches of musicians from 11 countries lined by the Nile Basin. Expect to hear a concert of music from the polyrhymic styles of Lake Victoria and the Ethiopian highlands onto the shores of Egypt and Sudan. Fri., Jan. 30th at 8pm. Meany Theatre on the Seattle UW campus. Go to uwworldseries.com or call (206) 543-4880.
UW Music collaborates with the student-led Improvised Music Project for a series of concerts for IMPFEST VII with a house band of UW instructors and visiting faculty and jazz studies students. Hard to go wrong with a band consisting of Steve Swallow, Chris Cheek, Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu and Ted Poor. May 1st – 3rd, 2015. All performances at the Ethnic Cultural Center on 3931 Brooklyn Ave. NE in Seattle. $20 general and $12 students. (206) 543-4880.
It’s always refreshing to hear young talent. Trio Andromeda consisting of violinist Allion Salvador, cellist Hye Jung Yang and pianist Li-Cheng Hung won the 2014 UW Strings and Piano Chamber Ensemble Competition. They give two concerts in 2015 on Jan. 31st at 4:30pm and Sat., May 30th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $5. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880.
Srivani Jade, Indian vocalist is the UW Winter Quarter Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist. She gives a recital with her students on “Hindustani Khyal Music from India” on tues. , March 10th at 7:30pm in Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880. $5 tickets. (206) 543-4880.
UW School of Music alumna Wendy Yamashita, now a faculty member at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa returns to UW Seattle to give a “Master Class and Recital” on April 28th and 29th, 2015. Expect a program of Mozart and Chopin for the 28th recital at 7:30pm with $15 tickets. The April 29rd Master class is free and starts at 4:30pm. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building on the Seattle UW campus. (206) 543-4880.
Advance warning – Noted award-winning jazz pianist Vjay Iyer will be one of the many highlights of the Portland Jazz Festival set for Feb. 18th – March 11th. Tickets available at PDXJazz.com or call (503) 328-5299.
Seattle composer/musician/performance artist Byron Au Yong remains busy as always. He is working on “TRIGGER” with writer Aaron Jafferis prompted by the April 16th tragedy at Virginia Tech, where a Korean American student shot 32 people and then killed himself. He is also working on a performance piece entitled “TURBINE” for over 88 singers and nine dancers set for May at the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia. Current compositions are for a piano trio entitled “Lost Fireflies” and Mo Sheng: Ink Sound for string quartet.
Bay Area performing arts couple “First Voice” consisting of performance artist/storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki and composer/musician/jazz bassist Mark Izu has a lot of creative irons in the fire. Their new project entitled “SUITE J-TOWN – The Art Of Resilience” has its world premier in the May of 2015 in San Francisco’s Japantown community. It pays tribute to the 100-year history of Japantown through music, dance, visual art, story, sound collage, video and site-specific installations performed in different historic sites. Created by First Voice with the collaboration of the next generation ‘hapa’ artists, “the project will rediscover and strengthen the soul of a community in an effort to continue our presence in today’s rapidly changing San Francisco landscape.” Other projects include a new commission with conductor Kent Nagano, Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal in a work for chamber ensemble, story and dance. The concert will be workshopped in San Francisco in the Spring and premiered in Montreal in August 2015. Locally we can expect to see Brenda and Mark come to Seattle with a production entitled “Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend” August 12th, 2015, a tale from Brenda’s family history. For booking information you can contact calartists.com or the artists direct at www.aokizu.com.
Classical violinist Kyung Wha Chung has not performed in the West since 20015 due to a severe finger injury. She defined the classical music scene of the 1970’s/80’s and served as a role model for many Asian women interested in entering the classical field. During her absence she continued teaching and worked on personal charities. She re-enters the performing circuit a new person. Now recuperating, she told the New York Times “losing my career opened new doors. I got off the train that traps you in the music world with too much pressure.” Now she paces herself and performs when she wants to.
Film & Media
“Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” is mid-career Japanese film director Sono’s tribute to 35mm film and the kind of swashbuckling over-the top tribute to the heyday of the “yakuza” (Japanese gangster) film genre of the 60’s/70’s. The plot involves a renegade film crew trying to make a documentary film about a yakuza clan feud. Stars Jun Kunimura. Has been compared favorably to Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill!” Screens on Dec. 5th & 6th at 9pm at the Grand Illusion Cinema at 1403 NE 50th in the University District. (206) 523-3935.
“Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa tells the tale of a Japanese village and their inhabitants. Desperate for protection from invading bandits, they hire warriors to be their army and help them defend themselves. It is considered one of the greatest films ever made. Northwest Film Forum screens a 16mm print on the film’s 60th anniversary for one night only on Thurs., Dec. 4th at 7pm. During the screening, film editor Richard D. Pepperman will join the audience via Skype to talk about his forthcoming book entitled “Everything I Know About Filmmaking I Learned Watching Seven Samurai”. He is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Sponsored by the Seattle Film Institute. 1515 – 12th Ave. (206) 267-5380 or go to nwfilmforum.org.
The Japan Foundation presents “Japanese Currents” a new series of films from Japan ranging from anime to samurai epic, documentary to family melodrama while exploring issues important to contemporary society. This year, the series will be screened at the Northwest Film Center in Portland from Dec. 5th – Dec. 14th. Films to be screened include Takeshi Watanabe & Yoshitaka Yamaguchi’s “Neko Samurai”, Yosuke Fujita’s “Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats”, Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s “Patema Inverted”, Mami Sunada’s “The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams”, Ken Ochiai’s “Uzumasa Limelight” (also screening in Seattle at the downtown Meridian 16 at 1501 Seventh Ave. Dec. 5th – 11th – see story in this issue), Kazuyoshi Kumakiro’s “My Man”, Tatsushi Omoir’s “Disconcerto”, Tetsuichiro Tsuta’s “The Tale of Iya” and a “2014 Sapporo Shorts Program” with highlights from this annual event held in Sapporo, Portland’s sister city. For details on this program, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Northwest Film Center is located at 1219 SW Park Ave. in downtown Portland. (503) 221-1156 or go to www.nwfilm.org for details on all films.
The Japanese Cultural & Community Center presents a Japanese film series entitled “Matinee Eiga” every Sunday at 2pm. $5 for non-members and $3 for JCCCW members. 1414 S. Weller St. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org. Call (425) 369-1012 for details.
The 9th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival recently concluded one of its’ most successful events in its’ history. Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage received the Tasveer Emerald Award. Vivek Kajaria, producer of the film, “FANDRY” received a special award for “Outstanding Film in a Social Category”. Indian director Kanu Behl’s “TITLI” received the SSAFF Jury Award. SSAFF 2014 Audience Awards were given out in three different categories. The Bengali mystery-drama “Teenkahon” by Bauddhayan Mukherji received an award for “Best Narrative”. Puja Maewal’s “JAYS” received an award for “Best Short Film”. Finally for “Best Documentary”, Kamar Ahmad Simon’s “Are You Listening!” got the nod in that category. The 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival is lated next for the fall of 2015. Go to http://said.tasveer.org/ for details.
The number of independent film theaters in Seattle continues to shrink. Landmark Theatres announced recently that they will close both the Harvard Exit and Guild 45th theatres soon.
Wanda Group is China’s largest commercial property developer and owner of the AMC theater chain in the US. Now they have upped the stakes and announced it will buy the former Robinsons-May department store in Beverly Hills to build a mixed-use development on the site. The company said that this development would serve as “its first important step into Hollywood aid in China’s entry into Hollywood’s film industry and generally promote Chinese culture abroad” according to the New York Times. The new Los Angeles office would handle entertainment-sector investments – including those dealing with local film production companies and global theatrical releases. In addition, the company has broken ground on a new studio construction in Qingdao. There will be over 20 studios, an underwater stage, a film museum and an amusement park. Plans are in place with foreign film and TV producers to shoot about 30 foreign co-productions and domestic productions at this facility. Wanda is the biggest owner of shopping centers, luxury hotels, department stores and cinemas in China.
The Written Arts
ARCADE is a Seattle-based magazine that focuses on Northwest architecture and design. Their latest issue 32.3 entitled “Living by Design in the Pacific Northwest” will have a launch party and community celebration on Fri., Dec. 12th from 5:30pm – 8:30pm at The Studios in the Times-Square Building located at 1801 – 5th Ave. in Seattle. $20 suggested donation brings you drinks, refreshments and a copy of the latest issue. For details, go to. http://arcadenw.org/events/arcade-issue-323-launcch-party-com.
Just out is Hugo House’s schedule of “Creative Writing Classes – January – April, Winter 2015. This Seattle institution is a haven for writers seeking to hone their craft through workshops, classes and readings by local and nationally known writers. Some highlights include the following –Poet, translator and author EJ Koh teaches a class entitled “The Novel You Want To Write VS. The Novel You Need To Write” Feb. 25th to April lst. Seattle author Bharti Kirchner teaches a class entitled “The Everyday Personal Essay” on Jan. 24th. Seattle poet and recent Jack Straw Writing Fellow Michelle Penaloza teaches a class entitled “Let’s Get Poetical: Poetry Calisthenics” Jan. 13th – Feb. 17th. Western University Professor and Award-winning poet Oliver De La Paz teaches “Your Poetic Obsessions” on Feb. 28th. UW graduate student and published poet Jane Wong teaches a class entitled “Short But Not Sweet: Writing Short Poems” on Feb. 28th and March 7th. Schedules are available around town or go to hugohouse.org for details. Hugo House is located at 1634 – 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill. (206) 322-7030.
“Author, Poet, and Worker: The World of Carlos Bulosan” is a new exhibit on view from through March 13, 2015 at the Allen Library Basement – Special Collections Lobby and Reference Room. In commemoration of the centennial of poet and author Carlos Bulosan’s birth, the exhibit draws on the papers of Bulosan, the cannery workers union, and various Filipino American labor leaders and community members within the broader context of Seattle’s Filipino American community and the progressive political culture in which he participated.
As part of the Saturday University “New Worlds of Science: The Heritage of East Asia Lecture Series” presented by the Gardner Center For Asian Art And Ideas with UW Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company, Professor Dong-Won Kim of Johns Hopkins University will lecture on “Images of Science and Technology in South and Noth Korea” on Sat., Dec. 6th at 9:30am. Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. For details and the planned next series for late winter/spring 2015 on relations between Asia and Africa, go to www.seattleartmuseum.org.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church presents the annual St. Peters Holiday Arts, Crafts and Book Fair on Sat., Dec. 6th at the Church from 10am – 3pm. A fun one-stop shopping event for the holidays. 1610 S. King St. For details, call (206) 323-5250. Free admission.
The Washington Center For The Book At The Seattle Public Library and Elliott Bay Book Company co-present Pakistani-American diplomat, scholar and researcher Haroom K. Ullah (who grew up on a farm in Washington State) reading from his book entitled “The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore” (Public Affairs) on Sat., Dec. 13th at 2pm in the Seattle Public Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium. 1000 Fourth Ave. downtown. Free admission. Go to www.spl.org for details.
Seattle poet Lawrence Matsuda (“A Cold Wind From Idaho”) has collaborated with artist Roger Shimomura to produce a new book entitled “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner – Poetry & Artwork Inspired by Japanese American Experience”. Shimomura was jailed as a youngster with his family at Minidoka War Relocation Center during WW II and Lawrence Matsuda would be born there. For both, the concentration camp experience would have a profound influence on their work. This book grew out of a common interest in that experience and their desire to express their concern about the injustice. Shimomura read the unpublished manuscript of poems and selected the poems he wanted to illustrate. The powerful poems find fortuitous company with the artist’s razor sharp artwork. Available locally at Elliott Bay Book Company and Kobo at Higo and through Amazon. The poet and artist appear in person in a reading/slide talk at Elliott Bay Book Company on Tues., Dec. 16th at 7pm. 1521 10th Ave. (206) 624-6600 or go to elliottbaybook.com.
Every year, the Office of Arts & culture manages dozens of permanent and temporary public art projects. “Making Art Work – Public Art 2014” celebrates the artists who worked on projects in 2014. Wed., Dec. 3 at 6pm at Northwest African American Museum at 2300 S. Massachusetts St. in Seattle. RSVP by Thurs., Nov. 20th by going to making-art-work-event-brite.com. Megumi Shauna Arai, Jason Hirata and Joana Stillwell are just some of the artists who completed art projects during this past year. For more information. Go to email@example.com or call (206) 684-7171.
Poet Shin Yu Pai is an Ambassador for On The Boards and has planned an interesting literary event set for their Open Studio Series set for Dec. 13th at 3:30pm in the Studio Theater. Portland poet/activist Kaia Sand will read her poems and talk about her efforts to excavate the city’s history of Japanese American internment as well as other projects related to archival research and documentary poetics. Seattle poet/playwright Bob Flor reads his poems and talks about the history of the Alaskeros generation. $5 suggested donation.100 W. Roy St. (206) 217-9888 or go to ontheboards.org.
Copper Canyon Press, a noted Northwest publisher of quality books of poetry has a January 15th deadline for a reading period in order to consider new manuscripts of poetry for publication. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle paper cut artist/activist Lauren Iida and her Antipodes Collective is currently in Cambodia distributing donated books for their children’s library in Prasot village in Cambodia. Donations fund things like pre-class meals for students, library construction and materials. For details on this project, go to www.theantipodescollective.org.
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 –
New in paperback editions are these important University of Washington Press titles. “Roots & Reflections – South Asians in the Pacific Northwest” by Amy Bhatt and Nalini Iyer is the first book to cover this fast-growing immigrant community. “A Principled Stand – The Story of Hirabayashi V. United States” by Gordon K. Hirabayashi with James A. Hirabayashi and Lane Ryo Hirabayashi gives close scrutiny to this important civil rights case.
“The Walls of Delhi – Three Stories” (Seven Stories) is by master storyteller Uday Prakash as translated by Jason Grunebaum. These stories of contemporary India is an unflinching look at todays Indian society.
“The Exquisite Corpse Of Asian America – Biopoliticsm Ciosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies” (NYU Press) by Rachel C. Lee teases out the preoccupation with human fragments and posthuman ecologies in the context of Asian American cultural production and theory.
“I Did Not Kill My Husband” (Arcade) by Liu Zhenyun is Howard Goldblatt’s latest Chinese literary translation done with Sylvia Li-Chun Lin. This subtle satire is an examination of the intersection of politics and human nature whether in the smallest village of the corridors of power in Beijing.
“The City of Devi” (Norton) is Manil Suri’s (“The Death of Vishnu”) latest novel. It asks the provocative question, “Whom would you seek if the world were to end in four days”?
A perfect book for Christmas is Hayao Miyazaki’s early drawings for the anime film “Princess Mononoke”. “Princess Mononoke- The First Story” (VIZ) gives you an inside glimpse at the master animation artist’s first attempt at drawing up a storyboard for this wonderful story.
“Ancestral Places – Understanding Kanaka Geographies” (Oregon State University Press) by Katrina-Ann R. Kapa’anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira explores the deep connections that ancestral Native Hawaiians enjoyed with their environment.
Xiaolu Guo received the 2013 GRANTA Best Young British Novelist Award. Now she is back with “I AM CHINA” (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), a new novel set in Post-Tiananamen contemporary China.
“A God In Every Stone” (Atavist) is an ambitious novel by Kamila Shamsie set from 1914 – 1930 that follows the intertwining stories of a young, English female archeologist, her protégé in British India, and a young Pashtun Lance corporal fighting for the British in France during WW I.
“Without You, There Is No Us- My Time with the Son’s of North Korea’s Elite”(Crown) by Suki Kim (author of “The Interpreter”) recounts the time she spent teaching English to sons of North Korea’s ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il’s reign.
“Cities of Others – Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature” (UW Press) by Xiaojing Zhou looks at how Asian American writers depict urban settings in their literature.
“The Lives of Others” (Norton) is the latest novel by Neel Mukherjee that looks at the soul of a nation through ties and turmoil that tear asunder a large Indian family at a time of change . Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
“The Wilderness” (Norton) is the latest book of poetry by Sandra Lim that tackles myths of the American landscape, the fatalism of American Puritanism, family history, New England winters and the anxieties of contemporary life.
“Van Gogh on Demand – China and the Readymade” (University of Chicago Press) by Winnie Won Yin Wong looks at the burgeoning industry of thousands of Chinese villagers producing an astonishing five million fake Western art masterpieces in Dafen for a hungry market. It appears that cheap material goods are not the only thing produced in China.
“Doctored – The Disillusionment of an American Physician” (FS&G )is the latest book to be critical of our care of the aged by New York Times columnist and doctor, Sandeep Jauhar (author of “Intern”).
“A View From The Bottom-Asian American Masculinity And Sexual Representation” (Duke University Press) by Nguyen Tan Hoang is a critical reassessment of male effeminacy and its racialization in visual culture with examples drawn from protrayals of Asian and Asian American men in Hollywood cinema, European art film, gay pornography, and experimental documentary.
“The Emperor Far Away – Travels At The Edge Of China (Bloomsbury) by David Eimer looks at some of the ethnic minorities who populate the borderlands of China and their relationship with Han Chinese. Especially timely in the wake of recent unrest in these areas.
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” (Knopf) is a novel by Richard Flanagan tells the story of an Australian surgeon that begins in the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma border and transcends to the present. It explores love, death and family and losses accrued in a single life.
“The Gurkha’s Daughter”(Quercus) by Prajwal Parajuly is a book of short stories that explore characters from Nepal and their lives as they are dispersed throughout Nepal, Bhutan, India and beyond.
“Dear Leader- Poet, Spy, Escapee – A Look Inside North Korea” (37INK) by Jang Jin-Sung tells the story of a high-ranking counter-intelligence agent who worked as a former poet laureate to Kim Jing-il.
“Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe” (Adams Media) is a new book by award-winning comic book artist Yumi Sakugawa erases the boundaries of the standard self-help book and sets readers free on a visual journey of their own self-discovery.
“The Descartes Highlands” (Akashic) by poet and prose writer Eric Gamalinda tells the story of two men who were sold for adoption by their American father shortly after their births in the Philippines.
“Separated @ Birth – A True Story of Twin Sisters Reunited” (Putnam) by Anais Bordier and Samatha Futerman begins on Facebook when two women discover the fact that they are indeed long lost twin sisters separated at birth. The journey of their re-discovery is chronicled here.
“Hunt For The Bamboo Rat” (Random House Children’s Books) is the concluding saga of a true story by Graham Salisbury that tells the story of a Japanese American soldier from Hawai’i who volunteers to spy on the Japanese army in the Philippines during WWII and his perilous escape at war’s end.
“When Half Is Whole – Multiethnic Asian American Identities” (Stanford) by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu tells the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional stories of mixed-race identities and Asian Ameri