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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming Family Activity At Seattle's Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Links A Bit Of History With Active Imaginations

Above: New Year's "Nengajo" created by Mizu Sugimura, copyright 2011.

While New Year's parties in most Puget Sound basin households have come and gone, there's still time to prepare for the advent of the Asian lunar calendar which welcomes in "2011 -The Year of the Rabbit" on February 3. Families and guests visiting Seattle's Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience on Saturday, January 15 can join in the celebration by making traditional Japanese "nengajo" or New Year's postcard greetings from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the Community Hall.

The free family oriented art activity will be led by Federal Way artist Mizu Sugimura, a third-generation American of Japanese descent whose grandparents exchanged nengajo with relatives they left behind in their native land after immigrating to the United States shortly after the advent of the 20th century.

In days of yore Sugimura shares, correspondence with family living beyond the Pacific Ocean was at most sporadic. In some cases, no messages were ever received. Also, many immigrants who were for the most part often single men with no families of their own, independent and hungry for jobs moved often leaving no forwarding addresses to the consternation of parents and siblings hungry for news.

The annual exchange of New Years greetings by postcard begun in the first years of postal service in Japan, was a perfect reminder for "immigrant workers to send not only their good wishes at the dawn of a new year" but communicate as well a second more important message: "I am still alive."

Sugimura likens these early postcards as kind of a pioneer era form of Twitter, an observation which may tickle the creative imagination of audiences who have been heretofore unable to make the study of family history or any history ring familiar with their younger family offspring.

She also hopes to share yet another idea with her audiences in this era of cost-cutting, downsizing and economic reduction that: "Ideas are free." The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is located at 719 South King Street in the heart of Seattle's International District. For more information including hours and directions click here.


Anonymous said...

The correct name of the museum is Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, or The Wing. Great post on Mizu's workshop there. Thank you!!

Mizu Sugimura said...

Correction received and noted!

Kim Thompson said...

Looking forward to seeing you there Mizu!

scott davidson said...

How are we looking at the paintings of Mark Rothko these days?
Is he old hat, replaced in America by more contemporary concerns? Looking at his minimal canvases and their enticing floating squares of subdued paint live at the MOMA recently, I had to stop to wonder whether he still communicates to a modern and younger audience., the site that sells good canvas prints to order from their database of digital images, has many Rothko prints. I ordered this one, Blue and grey,, that I have now hanging in my study. I can spend a long time looking at this elusive image that takes me to some other place not in this world.