Advance warning – Noted architect/sculptor/installation artist Maya Lin who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. will give a talk as part of the “SAM TALKS” series on June 29th at Seattle Art Museum. Go to seattleartmuseum.org and look for “tickets”.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. has just opened a major retrospective on the work of American artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi entitled “The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” which will be on view through August 30th, 2015. Kuniyoshi was an American modernist who taught for years at the Art Students League in New York. His work ranges from the subtle to sophisticated with traces of deadpan humor to deep tragedy. Kuniyoshi’s first arrival in the U.S. was in Seattle where he worked on the railroads as a teenager eventually making his way to New York. 8th and F Streets NW. Go to AmericanArt.si.edu for details.
“Scissors+Paper – Lauren Iida, Ann Leda Shapiro, Alisa Lahti” is a group show which shows the various ways that artists cut and shape their art using the simple implements of scissors and paper to create entirely new worlds. Lauren Iida’s work is inspired by family photographs that tell the story of her family who were incarcerated at Tule Lake during WW II. Also includes work from Cambodia where she is presently working on a non-profit educational organization. Show runs through May 2nd. There will be an artist talk on Sat., April 18th from 12 – 3pm. RSVP at email@example.com or call (206) 839-0377. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 1st Ave. S.
“Art Beasties – Time Difference: Seattle-New York-Tokyo” is an intriguing idea for a group show. It started with a Japanese artist collective based in New York and then became a collaboration between Japanese artists in different cities exploring time, locations, and surroundings from various perspectives. The projects include live music performance, photography, installation, video and painting. The Seattle contingent includes Paul Komada, Akiko Master and Yuki Nakamura. Participating artists from Tokyo include MAHO HIKINO, Saki Kitamura, Mayu Kuroda and Noriyo Yasunaga. The New York artists are Kakeru Asai, Ko Lrkt and Tokio Kuniyoshi. At SOIL through May 2nd. 112 3rd Ave. S. in Seattle (206) 264-8061 or go to www.soilart.org.
“HAKONIWA Project – to touch & to be touched” is a new show by artist Etsuko Ichikawa which explores the notion of not only a boxed garden but Sandplay therapy developed by Koa Kalff, a Jungian therapist. The artist explores the personal significance that hands play in our lives and our interactions with others. In this exhibit, narrow sandboxes are placed in the middle of the gallery and miniature hand figures are displayed on shelves on the walls. Visitors are encouraged to take the hand figures displayed and bring them to the sandbox to arrange. On view through June 14th. A group show from the permanent collection entitled “Study In Green” features the work of Boyd Sugiki and other Northwest artists. On view also through June 14th. Museum of Northwest Art at 121 South First St. in La Connor, WA. (360) 466-4446 or go to www.museumofnwart.org for details.
Chinese woodcut artist Zha Sai lives in Hubei Province surrounded by water and trees which provide inspiration for her finely detailed work. Opens June 2nd and remains on view until June 27th. Davidson Galleries in Pioneer Square. 313 Occidental Ave. S. (206) 624-1324 for details.
“Change-Seed: Art from Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution” is a group show of work generated by protests in Hong Kong last fall/winter against the Chinese Government for elections and democratic rule. Through May 15th. CoCA Georgetown at 5701 Sixth Ave. S. in Suite 158. (206) 728-1980 or go to cocaseattle.org. Open Mon. – Fri.
South Korean glass artist Keunae Song has a show of blown glass mirrors on view through April 25th. Aaliyah Gupta shows abstract compositions April 29th – May 30th. CORE Gallery. 117 Prefontaine Place S. (206) 467-4444 or go to coregallery.org. Open Wed. – Sat.
The work of April Higashi is included in a group show entitled “So Fine” which highlights works by nine contemporary jewelry artists who push the boundaries of what we know conventionally as jewelry with their experimentation. April 22nd – May 12th. Facere Jewelry Art Gallery at 420 Fifth Ave., Suite 108. (206) 624-6768 or go to facerejewelryart.com. Open Mon. – Sat.
The whimsical, funky charm of Saya Moriyasu’s ceramic installations will be on display in a show of new work entitled “Parlour” at G. Gibson Gallery April 24th – June 6th. Artist’s talk on May 9th at 1pm with Moriyasu and Linda Davidson. Open Wed. – Sat. from 11am – 5pm and Tues. by appointment. The artist will be at the gallery during both “First Thursdays” on May 7th and June 4th from 6 – 8pm. 303 South Washington St. (206) 587-4033 or go to ggibsongallery.com. Also the artist has a ceramic piece originally commissioned by Safeco that depicts the artist’s house with 2 apple trees and 2 cats in the show “Magic Windows/ Framing Place” up until May 17th, 2015 at Whatcom Museum. The piece is now part of the museum’s collection. 121 Prospect St. in Bellingham. The Alice is a new gallery in Georgetown. Their current show is “Wrappings” featuring the work of artists who use unusual everyday materials such as seed beads, staples and nylon in the construction of their work. Moriyasu shows her new series of intricately beaded and woven necklaces in this show. On view until May 3rd. 6007 – 12th Ave. S. on the second floor. Regular hours are every Sat. from 12pm – 5pm or by appointment.
“Woven Woods” is the title of a show by local Japanese artist Naoko Morisawa. She uses hundreds of slices of natural and oil- dyed wood chips on board to create an unusual mosaic/textural feel. April 30th – July 14th. Artist’s reception is on May 7th from noon – 1:30pm. Ethnic Heritage Gallery at Seattle Municipal Tower at 700 Fifth Ave. on the third floor. (206) 684-7132. Go to seattle.gov/arts for details. Open Mon. – Fri.
The work of Olympia artist Malpina Chan is included in a group show entitled “Carpe Librum: The Art of the Book” at Bainbridge Arts & Crafts at 151 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island. Through April 26th. (206) 842-3132 or go to www.bacart.org.
A special exhibit on Yama, an immigrant Japanese village that was on Bainbridge Island between the 1880’s – 1920’s is on view at Olympic College’s Art Gallery from April 13th – May 5th. Opening reception is April 18th from 1 – 4pm. The College is at 1600 Chester Ave. in Bremerton. For details, go to www.olympic.edu.
The artwork of Seattle artist Ken Taya (ENFU) adorns two new traffic control boxes at the corner of 6th and Jackson. The boxes were created to draw attention to the Japantown area of the neighborhood.
“Art In The Garden: Hakkodo, The Artisans Of Kamakura” is a new show on view through May 3rd in the Pavilion Gallery at Portland’s Japanese Garden. It shows the artistry of carved and lacquered wood passed down through generations of the Goto family in the ancient city of Kamakura. This is the first exhibition of this family’s tradition in the US in 110 years. Go to http://japanesegarden.com for details.
“@ Large: Ai Wei Wei on Alcatraz” is the name of a new series of installations that this Chinese artist and political activist has put together. For someone who has been under house arrest for years and unable to leave the country, this artist has been amazingly busy producing work through the tools of the internet. This latest installation has seven pieces in four locations, offering a new cultural lens through which to experience the notorious military and federal penitentiary turned national park. Presented by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the exhibition explores urgent questions about human rights and freedom of expression and responds to the potent and layered history of Alcatraz as a place of detainment and protest. To order advance tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/large-. For more information about the project, visit http://www.for-site.org/. On view through April 26th. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL named Chinese artist Ai Weiwei as a recipient of their Ambassador of Conscience Award which recognizes lifetime human-rights leadership. The other award went to folksinger Joan Baez.
“Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali’I” presents the first exhibition of Hawaiian featherwork on the U.S. mainland developed in partnership with the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu. Around 75 rare and stunning examples of the finest featherwork capes and cloaks in existence will be shown as well as royal staffs of feathers, feather lei, helmets, feathered god images and related paintings and works on paper. Opens August 29th, 2015 and remains on view through Feb. 28, 2016.
Seattle ceramic artist Akio Takamori has been traveling. A solo show entitled “Eros” in Switzerland and residencies where he worked out his skills in printmaking/drawing. So let’s see what new work he has produced since his UW retirement at this show of new work at James Harris Gallery set for May 14th – June 20th. 604 Second Ave. (206) 903-6220 or go to jamesharrisgallery.com for details. Open Wed. – Sat.
L.A. based sound and installation artist Joel Ong installs a piece entitled “Tuning Calibration of Tonal Awareness II” which is based on the theme of analog-digital exchanges, consisting of a grid of slectronic string resonators triggered by Seattle wind data. Opening reception is Thurs., May 21st at 7pm. Artist talk on Fri., June 19th at 7pm. On view May 21st – July 2nd. Jack Straw New Media Gallery at 4261 Roosevelt Way NE. (206)634-0919 or go to www.jackstraw.org.
The work of Canh Nguyen is included in a group show entitled “Low Res”. Artists in the Waterfront Art Program were asked to work on short residencies along the waterfront. The works produced will be digitally archived and used throughout the city as posters, performances or other ephemeral forms. Through May 13th. Seattle Presents Gallery in the Seattle Municipal Tower located at 700 Fifth Ave. Open Wed. – Thurs.
New and recent shows /activities at the Wing include the following – The Young Family Collection of Qing Dynasty robes opened Jan. 15th . “Who Gets To Belong?” is an exhibit that looks at the Immigration Act of 1965 that lifted the quotas for Asian Pacific Islander immigration . This exhibit which opens March 5th from 6 – 8pm will look at the cultural and political climate that pushed for this act. “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. “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. 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 – First Free Saturday family activity takes place from 11am – 2pm. May 2nd make watercolor landscapes and a collage frame. Each activity is complimented with a children’s film. “Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World” looks at the work of this pivotal member of the Japanese neo-pop art movement whose work merges the sweetness of kawaii culture with the cloudy future of a post-apocalyptic world. Includes photography, drawing and an animated video installation. Opens May 2nd and remains on view through Oct. 4th. “Calligraphic Abstraction” is a group show exploring the world of calligraphy in all its’ various forms of beauty from a Mark Tobey painting to Islamic, Chinese and Japanese examples. Opens May 9th and continues on view until October 4th in the Tateuchi Galleries. 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. “Visual Vertigo” is an intriguing new group exhibit of twelve Australian aboriginal artists whose canvases mesmerize you with their density of pattern. On view through July 6th, 2015. “Conversations with Curators” series presented for SAM members only presents a talk entitled “Monet by the Sea: Fishing Boats at Etretat” by Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. May 20th with Happy Hour at 6pm and the lecture at 7pm. Visit sam.org or call (206) 654-3100.
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.
“Ceramics Invitational: NW Clay” is a group show on view through May 2nd, 2015. Includes work by Beth Lo, Akio Takamori and Patti Warashina. Traver Gallery at 110 Union St. #200 in Seattle. (206) 587-6501 or go to travergallery.com for details.
“Elements” is a group show that explores aspects of the physical world we live in. Includes work by Alice Chew, David Ko, Jim Kurhihara and others. Now on view during winter at University House Wallingford at 4400 Stone Way North in Seattle. Curated by June Sekiguchi. (206) 545-8400.
The work of Koji Kubota and Junko Yamamoto is included in a group show entitled “The Moon Is Free” which highlights work with primary colors and playful shapes. May 7th – June 27th. ArtsWest Gallery. 4711 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. Thurs. – Sat. (206) 938-0339 or go to artswest.org.
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. “Sakura Sakura” is a new show of photography by Motoya Nakamura on the theme of cherry blossoms as photographed and filmed in video around Portland. 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.
“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.
On Sat., April 25th at 2pm, a Chinese painting workshop is presented in English & Mandarin at the downtown Seattle Central Library. Free. For details, go to www.spl.org.
UW Henry Art Gallery has the following – “Viewpoints: Hiroshi Sugimoto” is a show of work by New York-based Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto on view May 10th – July 26th. The “University Of Washington 2015 MFA + MDES Thesis Exhibition includes work by Scott Ichikawa, Zheng (Victor) Wu, Lanxia (Summer) Wu and Kun Xu. On view May 23rd – June 21st. In conjunction with the Henry Art Gallery’s current exhibitions, the museum presents a series entitled “ARTBREAKS” in which artists, scholars, and community members present different ways to think about and relate to the materials and ideas in the art on view. On Sat., May 30th at 2:30pm, Seattle commercial and fine art photographer Megumi Arai will speak. Painting + Drawing UW MFA student Lanxia (Summer) Xie will talk about her work on Sat., June 6th at 2:30pm.All events take place at the Henry unless otherwise noted. Visit henryart.org for tickets and more information.
“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 through June 21, 2015. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. (503) 226-2811.
KOBO Gallery at Higo in Japantown/International District always has interesting shows of new ceramic work or work that conveys an Asian aesthetic. Go to koboseattle.com for updates. 604 S. Jackson St. (206) 381-3000.
“Conceal/Reveal: Making Meaning in Chinese Art” is a show that features a collection of Chinese Art curated with the intent of drawing a thematic line of “layered meaning” between all pieces. On view through June 21st, 2015. 1400 E. Prospect St. in Volunteer Park. (206) 654-3100 or go to seattleartmuseum.org.
In connection with the current show at the Frye Art Museum, “PAN: A Graphic Arts Time Capsule of Europe, 1895 – 1900”, Seattle artist Jason Hirata joins fellow panelists Matthew Offenbacher, Neal Fryett and Mystical Orchid as they perform an experimental dive into the web to see the future of international arts communication. Free. April 30th at 7pm. 904 Terry. (206) 622-9250.
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. “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. Tours by artists paired with mental health professionals are scheduled throughout the exhibition. At Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave. in the 4th floor lobby and Anne Focke Gallery.
Seattle photographer/educator Carina del Rosario has the following events now up or upcoming. 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.
Local artist Etsuko Ichikawa has a new solo show entitled “Act of Drawing” at Michael Warren Contemporary, a gallery in Denver from May 12th – June 13th. A short film demonstrating her process of making Glass Pyrographs is part of the exhibit. The artist will attend the opening reception on May 15th from 6 – 9pm and also give a short presentation. 760 Santa Fe Dr. in Denver, Colorado. For details, email email@example.com or call (303) 635-6255.
The work of Paul Horiuchi is included in a group show entitled “55th Annual Anniversary Group Exhibition” from April 10th – May 23rd at Woodside/Braseth Gallery at 1201 Western Ave. (206) 622-7243 or go to woodsidebrasethgallery.com. Open Tues. – Sat.
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.
“Xu Bing: Writing Between Heaven And Earth” opens Feb. 21st and remains on view through May 24th . This epic installation is rarely exhibited in its entirety. The work challenges viewer’s perceptions of cultural identity and language. Trained in China as a master printmaker, Bing grew up in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. A core tenet of his work is the preservation of Chinese culture and traditions. Chinese characters and traditional landscapes feature prominently in his work. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at 10975 South 17th St. in Miami, Florida. Go to thefrost.fiu.edu or call (305) 910-7762.
Some upcoming shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston include the following – “In The Wake – Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11” on view April 5th – July 12th. Also opening April 5th and remaining on view until August 9th is “Hokusai”, a show of prints by the great Japanese woodblock printer. “Crafted Objects in Flux” is a group show that look at artists who “simultaneously blur and expand craft’s landscape.” Seattle artist Etsuko Ichikawa is included in this show and she has plans to do a live performance sometime during the run of the show. On view August 25th – January 10th, 2016. 465 Huntington Ave. in Boston. (617) 267-9300.
“Takahiro Iwasaki: In Focus” is the Japanese artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibition comprises a newly commissioned work by the artist known for creating detailed miniature landscapes using found and recycled materials. The transformation of these objects from trash into sublime sculpture underscores the artist’s belief in the “duality of chaos and order imprinted on everyday life.” For this show, the artist selected as his inspiration a pair of seventeenth-century Japanese folding screens from the Asia Society Museum Collection, titled “Flowers and Grasses of the Four Seasons” His newly crated work will be shown alongside the six-panel screens which are part of the Rockefeller Collection. On view through April 26th, 2015. “Buddhist Art of Myanmar” is the first exhibition in the West devoted solely to this country. Around 70 works on loan from collections in Myanmar and the U.S. from the fifth to the early twentieth century . Feb. 10th – May 10th. Asia Society Museum at 725 Park Ave. in New York City. Go to AsiaSociety.org/museum for details.
“After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997” is an ambitious group show that looks at the changing role of art in that country. Work by the Progessive Artists Group by artists like M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, E. N. Souza produced in the wake of that country’s newly won independence in the late 40’s will be paired with contemporary examples by artists like Shilpa Gupta and Dayanita Singh. Opened on March 8th and remains on view through June 28th at the Queens Museum. Located in Queens, New York in the New York City Building, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park. (718) 592-9700 or go to www.queensmuseum.org.
“On Kawara – Silence” is a retrospective on the work of the late contemporary Japanese artist who had a unique way of marking time in his art. Now on view through May 3, 2015. 5th Ave. at 89th St. (212) 423-3500 or try GUGGENHEIM.ORG/ONKAWARA for tickets.
For some reason, the state of Texas is bursting with new shows on Japanese art. The Museum of Fine Art in Houston has the following shows – “For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968 – 1979” in the Beck Building at 5601 Main St. through July 18th and “Unfolding Worlds: Japanese Screens and Contemporary Ceramics from the Gitter-Yellen Collection” till May 10th at the Law Building at 1001 Bissonet st. (713) 639-7300. And in Dallas at the Dallas Art Museum you’ll find “Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga” up till July 19th. Both artists were members of the Gutai group, the leading avant-garde organization of post-war Japanese artists that incorporated performance into their art events. 1717 North Harwood. (214) 922-1200.
In 1947, Britain partitioned India by religious belief creating Pakistan. More than a million people lost their lives during Partition as they were forced to move from ancestral homes to accommodate religious re-districting. Now, over 1,000 survivors of Partition have been interviewed on camera for the 1947 Partition Archive, a new museum dedicated to this event. It is quietly located on the upper floor of a bank building in downtown Berkeley, California. The 1947 Partition Archive founder is Guneeta Singh Bhalla. It is seen as a race against time as many of the survivors are now in their 70’s and 80’s. Bhalla reflects on her visit to the Hiroshima Memorial Museum and how the oral histories of that event stood out as so vivid. It inspired her to create an archive on the Partition, an event that was little known around the world but had tragic, long- standing consequences for generations of families. Go to http://www.1947Partition-Archive.org/ for more information.
Mary Griggs Burke, a late trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of art and renowned collector of Japanese art has given through her estate more than 300 works of Japanese art and a 17.5 million endowment to the museum. An endowment of equal size is being given to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Burke was a Minnesota native who eventually settled in New York.
The 2015 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art held in Singapore gave out the following awards. Tokyo-based collective Chim/Pom was named the Overall Best Emerging Artist. Hong Kong’s Asia Art Chive won Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution. Chinese artist Gu Wenda received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art.
Japanese Brazilian abstract artist Tomie Ohtake died in February. She was 101. Known primarily as a painter, she also did sculpture and prints. From 1950 – 62, she did a series of blindfolded paintings perceived as a critique of the extreme rationalism of the Brazilian art scene at the time. A cultural center bearing her name has opened up in Sao Paulo.
Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s early work centered on printmaking and sculpture. In the late 1990’s, she started making videos and films. She teaches at Chiang Mai University. Her most famous work is a series on corpses. In “The Class”, editions 1 through 3, she can be seen delivering lectures on death to a classroom of student corpses. A retrospective of her work was recently shown at the Sculpture Center in Long Island, New York. 44 – 19 Purves St. (718) 361-1750.
“Man of Letters” is an article by Brian Droitcour in the April issue of “Art in America” chronicling the publishing activities of experimental artist Paul Chan.
Comic book artist Norman Lee whose work graced the pages of books such as “X-Men”, “The Avengers” and “Supergirl” is missing and presumed dead after snorkeling in the Cayman Islands. His vibrant, inventive work brought each story alive. Our condolences to his family.
New generation soul and r’ and b’ singer/songwriter David Choi performs with Tess Henley opening on April 15th. Local pop reggae band Kore Ionz led by Daniel Pak join other supporting groups for the headliner, “Owuor Arunga: The Sultan of Swag” on May 3rd. All at Neumos at 925 E. Pike on Capitol Hill. (206) 709-9442.
A series called “History Café” presents a talk entitled “Seattle 1860 – 1910 – Through The Eyes of It’s First Chinese Resident” on Thurs., April 16th at 6:30pm. At the Mohai Café in the Museum of History And Industry (MOHAI). 860 Terry Ave. N.
Don’t miss the 40th Annual Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival April 24th – 26th at Seattle Center from 10am – 6pm. 305 Harrison St. Free. Go to www.cherryblossomfest.org/ for details.
Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington presents the Annual Kodomo no Hi or Children’s Day on May 3rd from 11am – 5pm with a host of Japanese cultural activities for children with live performances as well. 1414 S. Weller St. Free. (206) 568-7114 or go to www.jcccw.org.
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma. 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.7:30 pm at the Rialto. 901 Broadway in Tacoma. (2530 591-5840.
Seattle Bite of PINOY is a food & culture extravaganza taking place at the Filipino Community Center on Sat., April 18th from 4pm – 8pm. 5740 MLK Way.
Seattle Symphony plays host to a full season of events. Here are some highlights. 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.
Town Hall Seattle “Global Rhythms” series has the following. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or go to townhall.org for details.
Seattle Chinese Garden presents the Seattle Bamboo Festival and the Seattle-Luoyang Peony Festival over the weekend of May 18 – 19th from 10am – 4pm. Free. With cultural presentations, displays and artist demonstrations, peony arts and crafts sales and much more. Located at South Seattle Community College at 6000 – 16th Ave. SW in West Seattle. The Garden is just 5 minutes from the Deldrige Way exit off the West Seattle Bridge.
The Steve Griggs Ensemble plays “Music Made from Japanese American Memories of WW II” at the Panama Hotel Tea Room at 2pm every Saturday in 2015. Free. 605 South Main St. Sponsored by 4Culture, National Park Serice, and Earshot Jazz. For details, go to panamahoteljazz.blogspot.com.
The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas hosts a South Asian version of “The Vagina Monologues” entitled “Yoni ki Baat” every year in April. It is a featured program of the annual Aaina Festival produced by Tasveer. The festival celebrates and focuses on the artistic and activist work of South Asian Women through performance art, visual art, films, workshops, and conversations aimed at highlighting issues critical to the empowerment of South Asian women. Local women spend six months writing and rehearsing before the event. This year’s “Yoni ki Baat” takes place at the Seattle Asian Art Museum April 24th at 7pm, April 25th at 7pm with a reception and April 26th at 3pm. Purchase tickets online.
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.
The Gardner Center presents “Music of the Japanese Imperial Court” as performed by Chief Court Musician Tohgi Hiraoki of Japan’s Imperial Household Agency on May 8th at 7:30pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum Auditorium. Hiraoki performs court music and dance (gagaku). A rare opportunity to hear and see Japanese court music played and performed in costume with some of the most ancient instruments in Asia. Free but reservations are encouraged. Go to seattleartmuseum.org and look for “tickets”. Two other events with Tohgi Hiraoki are the following – Monday, May 4th at 3:30pm on the UW Seattle campus’s Allen Library Auditorium, he will give a lecture on Japanese court life. On Wed., May 6th at 7pm on the UW Seattle campus in the Music Building’s Brechemin Auditorium there will be a lecture on court music and an opportunity to do a workshop short performance with Hiraoki-san.
The Adventure Musical Theater Touring Company, an off-shoot of the 5th Avenue Theatre brings live musical theater to students across the state. “Baseball Saved Us” based on the award-winning children’s book by local author Ken Mochizuki follows the journey of a young boy, with his family. They are imprisoned behind barbed wire, and guarded by soldiers at the start of WWII for looking like the enemy. As the boy learns to play baseball on the hot, dusty fields, he learns more than a game, he learns how to survive. Touring schools now throughout May, 2015. To register, call (206) 625-1418 or email bookAMT@5thavenue.org. Plays one night only on May 9th at Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island.
Pianist/composer Vijay Iyer has been described by the Village Voice as “the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years” winning numerous awards and charting on many “best of” lists recently. He brings his working trio of drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Stephan Crump to Seattle for a special concert on Saturday, May 9th at 8pm at PONCHO Concert Hall at 710 E. Roy St on Capitol Hill just off Broadway. Presented by Earshot Jazz with Cornish College of the Arts. Part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Series. For tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com. For more information on the complete series, go to earshot.org.
Jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani is just one of many major jazz musicians appearing at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend, a weeklong workshop and festival directed by John Clayton from July 19th – 26th at Fort Worden State Park. Includes daily instruction from professional faculty and concerts as well. For details, go to centrum.org or call (360) 385-3102×109.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the programs Seattle Symphony has to offer under the baton of Music Director Ludovic Morlot later this year going into 2016. Chamber music by members of the Seattle Symphony including Xiao-Po Fei & Mae Lin with Eric Han on cello will perform a program of Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev on Sunday, May 10th at 2pm in Nordstrom Recital Hall. Dynamic pianist Lang Lang takes on Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor” along with works by Beethoven, Respighi and Greig’s “Piano Concerto” with the Seattle Symphony on Sunday, October 11th at 2pm. Gershwin’s American masterpiece, “Rhapsody In Blue” is performed Oct. 16th – 18th with Jeff Tyzik conducting, Jon Nakamatsu on piano and Doug LaBrecque on vocals. Meeka Quan Di Lorenzo on cello, and Jessica Choe on piano join other members of the Seattle Symphony as they perform a program of chamberworks by Bernstein, Carter, Prokofiev and Shostakovich on Oct. 27th at 7:30pm in Nordstrom Recital Hall. Want comedy with your music? The duo of Ingudesman & Joo return to Seattle after their success in 2012 at Benaroya with an all new show that mixes laughs with classical music and popular culture on March 3rd at 7:30pm.If you want a preview of the music the Symphony will be playing on their upcoming tour of Asia, check out the Ravel Piano Concerto as performed with Jean-Yves Thibaudet on piano along with music by Faure and Dvorak on June 5th.
Seattle Opera has announced their 2015/16 season under new General Director Aidan Lang. It marks a return to full-year programming with a total of six operas,, new productions and a world premiere. Many productions will also highlight new Asian and Asian American performers. Coming in August is “An American Dream” based on true stories from the Northwest. The opera tells the story of a Japanese American family forcibly removed from an island in Puget Sound during WW II. Nina Yoshida Nelsen, Adam Lau and Hae Ji Chang perform the roles of the family. Judith Yan makes her Seattle Opera debut, as conductor of the orchestra. Jonathan Lemalu, a Samoan from New Zealand makes his Seattle Opera debut singing the role of Nourabad in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” next. Finally, Director Lang returns to stage directing Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”. Chinese-born bass-baritone Shenyang makes his Seattle Opera debut as Figaro. McCaw Hall at Seattle Center at 321 Mercer St. (206) 389-7676 or try 1-800-426-1619 or go to email@example.com.
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.
Choreography by long-time Cornish College dance instructor Pat Hon and others is featured in Cornish Dance Theater Spring 2015 Concert set for April 17th – 18th at the Broadway Performance Hall at 1625 Broadway. (206) 325-3113 or go to seattlecentral.edu/wp/broadway-performance-hall for details.
Comedian Nico Santos appears in Vol. 2 of Seattle Pride Comedy Series at Parlor Live Seattle on April 23 – 25th. 1522 – 6th Ave. near Pine & 6th Ave. (206) 602-1441 or go to www.parlorlive.com.
Noted Seattle singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama sings songs from his latest release on Sat., June 6th at 4pm outdoors at UW’s Henry Art Gallery. Part of the “Senses of Summer” series at the museum which brings artists and audiences together for a series of intimate outdoor concerts that heighten the senses and embraces the possibilities of a warm summer evening. Go to henryart.org for details.
Comedian Aparna Nancherla performs in the Comedy Womb series at Theatre Off Jackson on June 21st. 409 – 7th Ave. S. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets available at Stranger Tickets.
Congratulations to jazz musician Chris Icasiano who as part of the Table & Chairs Collective nabbed a Golden Ear Award from Earshot Jazz for “NW Concert of the Year”.
ACT Theatre celebrates their 50th anniversary with their 2015 Season. Some highlights include the following –“The Ghosts of Tonkin” from May 2nd – May 10th is playwright Steve Lyon’s look at one of the more devastating incidents of the Vietnam War and Oregon State Senator Wayne Morse’s efforts to prevent it. Directed by Mark Kuntz. “Threesome” by Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi is a world premiere co-production with Portland Center Stage set for June 5th – 28th. Jeanne Sakata’s “Hold These Truths” based on the true story of UW student Gordon Hirabayashi who confronts the government over their orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast During WW II was a sold-out hit in a short run last year. Now it returns for a multi-week run July 17th – August 16th. 700 Union St. (206) 292-7676 or go to acttheatre.org.
Set for 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2015/2016 season is the World Premiere of “Waterfall, The Musical” based on the Thai novel “Behind the Painting” about a forbidden love affair between a young Thai student and the American wife of a Thai diplomat in 1930’s Thailand on the eve of WWII. It marks the U.S. debut of Thai music superstar Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew as the student and is directed by Tak Viravan. With book & lyrics by Richard Malty Jr. and choreography by Dan Knechtges. This is a co-production with Pasadena Playhouse and is billed as “a groundbreaking collaboration between Oscar and Tony-winning American and Asian theatrical artists”. October 1st – 25th. Subscribe by April 27th for the best seats. Go to www.thavenue.org or call (206) 625-1900.
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 based in Montreal. 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 at Trinity Church. Also composer/bassist Mark Izu has a new cd of all new compositions entitled “The Music of Mu” based on a musical about the magical journey of a young man from the land above and a Japanese mermaid from the deep blue sea. For booking information you can contact calartists.com or the artists direct at www.aokizu.com.
Film & Media
There is a screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime feature film, “Ponyo” on Sat., April 18th at 1pm as part of the NVC Foundation Movie Series. 1212 South King St.
“Man From Reno” , (see related article in this issue) directed by Dave Boyle is a mystery noir set in the Bay Area. It stars Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna and Kazuki Kitamura. It was a favorite of the 2014 Honolulu International Film Festival and was an Indie Spirit Award Nominee at the recent Los Angeles Film Festival. Screens in Portland from April 17th – 23rd at Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10 and again April 30th – May 4th in Seattle at the Northwest Film Forum.
A screening of “Scottsboro Girls”, a documentary film dealing with the issue of comfort women during World War II takes place Central Washington University in Ellensburg. A lecture by director Yujiro Tanimura accompanies the screenings. On Tues., April 28th at the schools Student Union Recreation Center and again on Wed., April 29th at at Randal Hall 118. 5pm. For details, go to http://japanbroadcasting.net/Seattle-Premiere.
“Translations – Seattle Transgender Film Festival” takes place May 7th – 10th at the Northwest Film Forum and the 12th Ave. Arts Building. One feature is the presentation of free screenings as well. Pride Asia presents a free screening of “Kamu Hina” on Sunday, May 3rd at the Seattle Public Library Central Branch downtown. The film is about a transgender teacher in Hawai’i and brings up the ancient culture perspective for the national debate on transgender rights. Directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson. Part of the PBS “Independent Lens” series in May. Check your local listings for your PBS screening times. For details on the festival, check out these links after April 18th – http://translations.strangertickets.com or www.threedollarbillcinema.org.
The Written Arts/Talks
Chef/writer Eddie Huang whose best-selling memoir “Fresh Off the Boat” was turned into a prime time TV series makes a rare Seattle appearance at the HUB Ballroom on the Seattle UW campus on Tues., April 21st at 7pm. $15.
“Gang Of Four – Four Leaders. Four Communities. One Friendship (Chin Music Press).” is the title of a new book by Bob Santos & Gary Iwamoto that chronicles the friendship of four different ethnic activists ((Bernie Whitebear, Larry Gossett, Roberto Maestas and Bob Santos) of various Seattle communities who changed the face of a city in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. There will be a book launch on Tues., May 12th from 6:30 – 8:30pm. MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) at 860 Terry Ave. N. Free admission with autographed books for sale. Co-sponsored by MOHAI. Booksponsorship provided by Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For press inquiries, email email@example.com.
“Fighting for America: NISEI SOLDIERS” is a graphic novel that tells the story of six Nisei soldiers from the Pacific Northwest who proved their loyalty and made a significant mark in American history. Profiles of Shiro Kashino, Roy Matsumoto, Tosh Yasutake, Jimmie Kanaya, Frank Nishimura and Turk Suzuki. Text by Lawrence Matsuda and illustrations by Matt Sasaki. This graphic novel is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2015. Go to wingluke.org/fighting-for-america for details.
Elliott Bay Book Company has another list of readings set for spring in their store as well as at various venues around the city. All readings at the bookstore unless other wise noted. Elliott Bay Book Company. The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, the School of International Studies and Elliott Bay co-present another event from their “Saturday University Crossing the Indian Ocean: Asia/Africa Connections Lecture Series”. Professor Chopurukha Kasimba will talk about “Ancient Networks of the Indian Ocean” on Sat., May 2nd at 9”30pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. 1400 E. Prospect in Volunteer Park. Go to www.seattleartmuseumlorg for details. Poet Timothy Liu reads from “Don’t Go Back to Sleep” (Saturnalia), a finalist for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award. He traces the trajectory of the Nanjing Massacre and how that event affected the history of his whole family. Two other poets read as well. Richard Reeves reads from his new book entitled “Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II” (Henry Holt) on Tues., May 12th at 7pm. Noted Seattle cellist Rajan Krishnaswami, founder and director of Simple Measures engages noted contemporary composer Philip Glass in conversation on the eve of his newly published book entitled “Words Without Music: A Memoir” (Liveright/Norton) on Wed., May 13th at 7:30pm. At Town Hall. A $37 ticket admits one and includes a copy of the book. 1119 8th Ave. at Seneca. Janice P. Nimura reads from “Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back” (Norton.) In 1871, the Japanese government sent five young girls from samurai families to the U.S. to learn about the West and receive an education. This book details what happened when they returned to Japan. Co-presented with Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas. Reading takes place on Thurs., May 14th at 7pm at Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium in Volunteer Park. Jay Rubin, former Professor of Japanese Literature at UW/Harvard University and noted translator of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s books returns to Elliott Bay but this time with his own book. His novel entitled “The Sun Gods” (Chin Music Press) is set in Seattle and Japan from the 1930s to the 1060s and tells the story of what happened to Japanese Americans here on the eve of World War II. Fri., May 15th at 7pm. On Wed., May 27th at 7pm, Bob Santos and Larry Gossett, the two surviving members of Seattle’s own “Gang of Four” talk about how four ethnic groups came together to battle city powerbrokers over issues related to civil rights, development, poverty, fishing rights and gentrification. It’s all detailed in the new book entitled “The Gang of Four: Four Communities, Four Leaders, One Friendship” (Chin Music Press) co-written by Santos and Gary Iwamoto, IE board member. Elliott Bay Book Company is on Capitol Hill at 1521 – 10th Avenue. (206) 624-6000.
UW Professor and author Shawn Wong gives the Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture this year entitled “Tourist to Traveler: The Transforming Experience of Study Abroad” on Thursday, April 16th. 5pm reception and 6pm lecture. Alder Hall Commons and Auditorium. On UW Seattle campus. Free but you must email or call to register by April 10th. firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 685-9594.
Local poet and teacher at Highline Community College, Lonny Kaneko reads from his new book entitled “Coming Home From Camp And Other Poems (Endicott and Hugh Books) on Wed., April 15th at 7pm along with Seattle poet Larry Matsuda at the Land Trust Building on Vashon Island sponsored by The Friends of Mukai. A block and two doors west of the intersection of Vashon Highway and Bank Road. For details, go to http://www.friends of mukai.org/ or email devon atkins at email@example.com.This is the kick-off reading for this new book by this local Washington publisher. The book is available at Vashon Bookshop on the island or by ordering at any local bookstore or on-line through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. For more information on the book and related reading activities by Lonny Kaneko, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Seattle poet Koon Woon who won the 2014 American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation for his volume of poetry entitled “Water Chasing Water” (Kaya Press). Now you have an opportunity to hear the poet read in person. Koon Woon reads with UCLA Professor, poet and Chinese poetry translator Keith Holyoak on Sat., April 18th at 3pm with an open mic. At the Wing Luke Asian Museum. 719 South King. (206) 623-5124. He also participates in a reading for Cat Kigerl and friends with an open mic on Sat., May 9th at 4pm. Seattle Public Library, Greenlake Branch. (360) 459-9288 for details.
In response to current national unrest due to race and gender inequality, Hugo House has added a class that provides insight to writers tackling the difficult task of writing about contemporary topics while avoiding clichés and stereotypes. Runs in a series from April 11th – June 13th on Saturdays from 10am – noon. Writer/instructors include Wendy Call, Jane Wong, David Schmader, Anne Liu Kellor, Charles Mudede, EJ Koh, Anastacia Tolbert, Corinne Manning, Michelle Penazola and Emily Warren. For details, go to Hugohouse.org or Facebook.com/HugoHouse or Twitter:@HugoHouse.
“The Sympathizer” (Grove Atlantic) by Viet Thanh Nguyen is told through the arresting voice of a double agent living among Vietnamese refugees in 1970’s America. Nguyen reads from his book and does a booksigning afterwords. Tues., April 2lst at 7pm. University Book Store at 4326 University Way NE in Seattle’s University District. (206) 634-3400 or go to ubookstore.com.
Noted Chinese American historian Judy Yung reads from the new revised and enlarged edition of “Island: Poetry And History of Chinese Immigrants On Angel Island 1910 – 1940” edited by Him Mark Lai, Ginny Lim and Judy Yung (UW Press). She will read May 2nd at 3pm at Wing Luke Asian Museum, May 3rd at 2pm at Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Victoria and May 5th at Vancouver Public Library at 7pm (these two readings with Eddie Fung). She returns to Seattle to give one last reading at Horizon House on May 6th at 3pm. For details, call 1-800-537-5487.
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:
Stanford University History Professor Gordon Chang’s latest book is entitled “Fateful Ties – A History of America’s Preoccupation with China” (Harvard University Press).
“From Both Shores – An Anthology of Japanese and Chinese American Women’s Family Memoirs” as Edited by Bay Area poet Ginny Lim is the latest pubishing project of the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California. To order copies, go to www.createspace.com.
“She Will Build Him A City” (Bloomsbury) is the latest novel by veteran New Delhi journalist and writer Raj Kamal Jhan. This blistering novel explores the terrible reality of India as seen through the eyes of various characters struggling to achieve their dreams deferred in New Delhi.
“What Pearl Harbor Wrought? Is a novel by veteran journalist Akio Konoshita. This novel traces the trauma of Pearl Harbor and how it affected Japanese Americans. The author is an Issei who was interned at Heart Mountain during WW II.
“For the Pink Dianthus” is a collection of haiku and tanka poems by Yoshie Hikage who also provided the illustrations. The English translation is by performing artist Brenda Wong Aoki. Published by Matsuhide of San Francisco. For details, go to www.matsuhidecompany.com.
“The Blind Writer” (UH Press) is a book of stories and a novella by Sameer Pandya. Pandya came to California from India when he was eight. The stories in this book follow the lives of first and second generation Indian Americans in today’s California as they navigate the memory of immigration in their everyday living. The book is anchored by a novella that tells the story of a triangular relationship between a blind, aging writer, his younger, beautiful wife and a young writer desperate to start his writing career.
“Sanyan Stories – Favorites From A Ming Dynasty Collection” (UW Press) is compiled by Feng Menglong and translated by Shuhui Yang & Yunqin Yang. These stories were pivotal to the development of Chinese vernacular fiction.
“A Far Corner – Life And Art With The Open Circle Tribe” (Nebraska) by Scott Ezell is a journey into the life and world of indigenous peoples in the mountains of Taiwan as told by a young American musician and poet
Frank Chin’s long-lost novel, “The Confessions of a Number One Son” (once entitled “Charlie Chan On Maui”) written during the 1970’s when he was stranded on the islands is finally seeing the light of day. It will be published by the University of Hawai’i as edited by Calvin McMillin. Set for March, 2015 publication. Chunks of the book were seen in a different format as the play-in-progress “Gee Pop!” back in the 70’s. Chin was recently in town to be interviewed for a filmed segment on his take on Asian American Theatre for the Theatre Communications Group. A tour with readings is planned for the book by McMillin at times in tandem with Chin.
“Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye” is a memoir by Marie Mutsuki Mockett that is part evocative travelogue and part lyrical meditation of grief in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan that affected her family in different ways.
Anne Elizabeth Moore’s books on her experience in Cambodia continues with “New Girl Law: Drafting a Future for Cambodia” (Cantankerous Titles). Moore works with young Cambodian girls in a year-long process to re -write the staunchly traditional and repressive Chbap Srei, a 17th century book intended to establish a code of conduct for young women. The book details that experience and how it affected the women involved. Go to cantankeroustitles.com for more information.
The late Ming Cho Lee was one of the most respected set designers in the history of American theatre. His new approaches radically altered the direction of American set design in the 20th century. “Ming Cho Lee – A Life In Design” (TCG) by Arnold Aronson is a book that looks at his life, his influences and lays out pictorially and in text, his major set designs for theatre productions across the country during his entire career.
“A Map of Betrayal” (Pantheon), the new novel by Ha Jin looks at the complex loyalties of a Chinese American spy who considers himself a patriotic citizen of both countries and the tragic results of those beliefs.
One of Chinese literature translator Howard Goldblatt’s projects was his translation of “Market Street – A Chinese Woman in Harbin” (UW Press) by Xiao Hong. Originally published in 1936, the then 20 year old author recounts two years of her life in Harbin from 1932-34. Hong is best known for “Field of Life and Death” and “Tales of Hulan River”. Comes with a new preface by the translator.
“The Seventh Day” (Pantheon) is the latest novel by Chinese writer Yu Hua. What happens to a young Chinese man who meets an accidental death and must roam the after world aimlessly, lacking the money for a burial plot. Hua tells his story as he encounters the souls of the people he’s lost.
“Soundtracks Of Asian America – Navigating Race Through Musical Performance” (Duke) is a new book by Grace Wang. In it she explores how Asian Americans use music to construct narratives of self, race, class, and belonging in national and transnational spaces.
Lisa See’s novel of Chinese American nightclub performers in pre-WWII San Francisco entitled “China Dolls” has just been released in a trade paperback edition by Random House.
Wave Books publishes poetry books but also has a pamphlet series. Each pamphlet is usually sent out to subscribers but a few copies of the latest Wave Pamphlet: Nine by local poet/writer Don Mee Choi entitled “Freely Frayed,ᄏ=q, & Race=Na