Wednesday, June 9, 2010

American warships meet Japanese shores




Attendees of NAAAP-Seattle’s monthly mixer got a special treat this past Friday, June 4, when organizers moved the mingling to a more artistic setting—the ArtXchange Gallery in Pioneer Square. NAAAPsters were greeted by American warships and Japanese shores; nineteenth century world history and twenty-first century pop art; graffiti spraypaint and ukiyo-e woodblock printing, as embodied in the paintings of local artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer.

This is the first time NAAAP-Seattle has organized an event at the gallery.
Cora Edwards, the director and owner of Art Xchange, said she wants the “space to be for the community.” She enjoyed collaborating with NAAAP-Seattle to organize the special showing.

“This is just the most energetic, outgoing and engaging group,” said Edwards. “I loved learning about what everyone does. As an audience, they are intelligent and curious and they asked great questions.”

Over sixty people circulated the ArtXchange, a gallery that often exhibits works by Asian and Asian Americans or that feature Asian culture. Eight attendees became new NAAAP-Seattle members.

NAAAP-Seattle members, old and new, enjoyed the event.

“It was an impressive event. It good to see Japanese culture,” said Barret Seifer, who has been a NAAAP-Seattle member for three years. “The Art was beautiful. I wish I could buy some!”

Seifer added, “The NAAAP organization is the best. It has something going on all the time!”

“This was my first time going to a NAAAP event and it was great to talk to a lot of people,” said Jialin Jiao. “I do wish there were more events on the Eastside though.”

Artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer said he was “impressed with the turn-out and by the crowd.” Although he nows lives in Ballard, Fischer is from Wisconsin, which has a much smaller Asian population.

“When I came to Seattle, there were Asians and it was a really different experience,” said Fischer. “I hadn’t lived in a community like this before. It was something I was searching for, but I didn’t know it.”

And last Friday was proof of a strong community of Asians, Asian Americans and those interested in Asian culture coming together, through NAAAP-Seattle.

Photos: NAAAP-Seattle PR/Marketing chair Julie Pham interviewing artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer, sitting under his signature work, "Future’s Past: The Black Ships"; the crowd listening to Jonathan Wakuda Fischer talk about his paintings; the ArtXchange team, including gallery owner and director Cora Edwards (far right).

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