Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2022 Korean film Broker (브로커), starring Song Kang-ho, remains in Pittsburgh through January 26.

The 2022 Korean film Broker (브로커), which opened in Pittsburgh on January 12, will remain here through at least January 26. A synopsis, from Han Cinema:
A film about people who have become involved around 'the Baby Box' which is designed to allow people who cannot raise children to leave their babies anonymously.
Broker was the 18th highest-grossing film in Korea last year, 10th among domestic films there. It plays locally at the AMC Loews Waterfront through the 19th and at the Squirrel Hill Manor through the 26th.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Pittsburgh Taiko Beginner Class four-week session, Sundays starting February 12.

Pittsburgh Taiko will start its next series of Beginner Classes on February 12. From the Japan America Society of Pennsylvania:
On Sundays starting February 12, Pittsburgh Taiko will hold a four-week introductory class for people who are interested in joining our performing group or anyone who wants to just give taiko a try. No experience necessary!

Taiko combines energetic hits with calm focus, balances group unity with individual expression, and requires both power and subtlety.

For more information, see www.pittsburghtaiko.org/classes.

Proof of full vaccination is required, and masks must be worn in the building, including during class.

Please note that the studio is only accessible by stairs.
The cost is $30 for JASP members and high school or college students, and $40 for the rest of the community. Classes are held at 2 N. Balph Ave. in Bellevue (map). Those interested can contact Pittsburgh Taiko via the form here.

Removing the Thorns of Human Suffering with Hiromi Itō & Jeffrey Angles, February 26 at City of Asylum.

The City of Asylum wlll host "Removing the Thorns of Human Suffering with Hiromi Itō & Jeffrey Angles" on February 26.
Co-Presented by the University of Pittsburgh Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures and MONKEY x Stone Bridge Press, award-winning author Hiromi Itō and esteemed translator Jeffrey Angles present a reading of The Thorn Puller, Hiromi’s first novel to appear in English. The semi-autobiographical and incomparable novel explores the absurdities, complexities, and challenges experienced by a woman caring for her two families: her husband and daughters in California and her aging parents in Japan. As Hiromi shuttles back and forth between these two starkly different cultures, she creates a powerful and entertaining narrative about what it means to live and die in a globalized society. She channels a myriad of voices drawn from Japanese folklore, poetry, literature, and pop culture, the result of which is a generic chimera—part poetry, part prose, part epic. As her world delves into waves of chaos coming from seemingly every direction, Hiromi relies on sardonic humor and Buddhist bodhisattva Jizo, a being believed to remove the thorns of human suffering, to ease her anguish. The Thorn Puller is a darkly humorous novel with observations on life, death, and the in-between that make for a fearless look at what every adult in every country must face: growing older as their loved ones do too.

You can purchase your own copy of Hiromi’s book, The Thorn Puller, at City of Asylum Bookstore.

It runs from 3:00 to 4:30 pm both in person and online; it's free but tickets are required. The in-person discussion will be held at Alphabet City on the North Side (map).

New Pirates signee Shim Jun-seok to be at PNC Park on the 26th for introductory meeting.

from @Pirates 

Shim Jun-seok (심준석), an 18-year-old Korean pitching prospect signed by the Pirates on January 15th, will make his way to Pittsburgh on the 24th and will has a formal introduction to the team on the 26th, according to SBS.
심준석은 오는 24일 미국으로 출국해, 현지 시간으로 26일 미국 펜실베이니아주 피츠버그 PNC 파크에서 열리는 입단식에 참석합니다.
Shim pitches for Duk-soo High School (덕수고교) in Seoul, and has drawn comparisons to fellow Korean (and forer Pirate) Chan-ho Park.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Pittsburgh Pirates sign top Korean pitching prospect Shim Jun-seok.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 18-year-old pitcher Shim Jun-seok (심준석), considered among the best prospects in baseball and the top Korean prospect, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Shim, South Korea's top prospect, throws a fastball that tops out at 100 mph and consistently sits in the 94-96 range. He features a true 12-6 curveball and shows good command of all of his pitches. What’s more, the big and strong-bodied Shim has been praised for his clean arm action and his athleticism.

It’s also worth noting that his slider and changeup are also emerging and could eventually develop into plus pitches in the future. He’s been compared to a young Chan Ho Park since his early teens because of his poise, makeup and fastball.
Chan-ho Park also pitched for Pittsburgh at the end of his career. The Pirates have had Korean prospects in their system since the 1990s, but it's only been recently that they've made an effort to scout and sign top prospects from the KBO, and from East Asia in general.

Dancing Peacock: An Asian Dance Performance by Yanlai Dance Academy, February 25.

Yanlai Dance Academy will present "Dancing Peacock: An Asian Dance Performance" on February 25.
Yanlai Dance Academy presents Dancing Peacock, an Asian dance performance. Dancing Peacock is Yanlai Dance Academy’s annual recital, featuring performances in styles and costumes from the mountain regions of Tibet, to the Dai minority group, and to the ancient caves of Dunhuang.

Yanlai Dance Academy is Pittsburgh’s leading dance studio in the art of Chinese dance. Founded in 2004 by Yanlai Wu, a graduate of Bejing Dance, Yanlai Dance Academy is the only studio in Pittsburgh that teaches Chinese dance. The studio also offers ballet, modern, K-Pop, and Pilates from ages 4 to adult.
The performance runs from 7:00 t0 10:00 pm and at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in downtown's Cultural District (map). Tickets are available online and range from $25 to $50.

Friday, January 13, 2023

"Intensional Particle and Mold 1 Installation," video installation by Hiroaki Umeda, through March 19 at Wood Street Galleries.

The work of Japanese artist and dancer Hiroaki Umeda will remain in Pittsburgh with his "Intensional Particle and Mold 1 Installation," a video installation on display at the Wood Street Galleries downtown through March 19.
In Intensional Particle Installation (Adapted Version), Umeda reinterprets particles in space as not static molecules but rather as 'active particles (or, mass points)'; and, visualizes, in space, the 'intensional force' that particles conceal.

Asia Pop Lecture Series: Fan Cultures, with Pitt this spring (starting January 24).

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will present a series of lectures on fan cultures, "Asia Pop Lecture Series: Fan Cultures," this spring.
Want to learn about fan cultures of East Asia? Interested in the online culture of k-pop fans? What is Otaku and how does it help define Japanese fandom? This semester's lecture series will explore the fan cultures of East Asia and their influence on contemporary fan cultures across the world.
The schedule; the first three talks will be held in 5201 Posvar Hall (map), while details for the fourth have not been announced: 
  • January 24 6:00 pm - Dr. Keisuke Yamada, University of Pittsburgh, virtual vocaloid culture. 
  • February 21, 6:00 pm - Dr. Patrick Galbraith, Senshu University, Otaku fandoms. 
  • March 28, 6:00 pm - Dr. Jade Kim, Texas A&M International University, K-Pop online fan culture 
  • April 4, 6:00 pm - Dr. Lu Chen, Guangzhou University, discuss traditional fandoms.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Moon Rabbit Rave, Lunar New Year Bash, from JADED on January 21.

JADED, Pittsburgh’s first Asian American & Pacific Island (AAPI) artist collective, in collaboration with Stephanie Tsong will host Moon Rabbit Rave on January 21. This Lunar New Year's Bash at Cobra Lounge will feature local AAPI DJs, singers, artists, and more.
You all asked and so here we are throwing another JADED X FORMOSA party. Come dance the night away into the Lunar New Year with our amazing line up of ALL NEW AAPI heritage performers, dancers, and DJs!

Our Moon Rabbit Rave is inspired by the 2023 Lunar New Year Zodiac Element of the Water Rabbit. Based on cycles of the Moon, the lunar calendar starts in conjunction with the new moon. 

Every year there is a different zodiac animal sign combined with one of the five elements (metal, water, fire, wood, and earth) which predicts the year’s flow and rhythm. 

The rabbit in Eastern Asian cultures is a sign of longevity, peace, and prosperity. 

The water element will amplify psychic ability and negotiations in the new year.Come dress up in your best outfits to bring the best luck for the new year - rabbit themed of course and celebrate the Lunar New Year with us.

All of the money made that night will be solely going to pay all of Asian talent and creatives a competitive rate for their work!! Support AAPI ARTISTS by buying your ticket. 

🔥Ciringe (NYC)

🐲 Mai Khoi 
🐲 MIMI Jong

🎐Temporary tattoos and an interactive writing station🎐
🎐 Yang Zhen Lee

💥Video Visuals💥
Caroline Yoo and the Han Diaspora Group 

Poster by Ricky Chen

Tickets are $10 prepaid in advance at $10 at the door until 11 pm, and $15 after 11. Cobra Lounge is located at 4305 Main St. in Bloomfield (map). An introduction to Jaded, which kicked off its programming last year:
Named the 2022 People of the Year by Pittsburgh City Paper, JADED is Pittsburgh’s first Asian American & Pacific Island (AAPI) artist collective. Led by women and non-binary artists, Lena Chen, Bonnie Fan, Sara Tang, Caroline Yoo, and Elina Zhang, we create spaces for AAPI representation and empowerment. From large, public celebrations to intimate AAPI-only gatherings, JADED addresses the trauma of racial violence, reveals the hidden history of AAPI migration in the region, and offers mentorship and networking opportunities for our communities. Our upcoming socially engaged art initiative, KIN, supports women and queer AAPI folks through events and workshops uplifting the work of local filmmakers, writers, artists, and activists.

Founded by Anny Chen, Lena Chen, and Caroline Yoo, JADED has been featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper, 90.5 WESA, and The Pitt News. Our work has been supported by Carnegie Museum of Art, Office for Public Art, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Pittsburgh, Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Pittsburgh, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and The Opportunity Fund. JADED was awarded Pittsburgh’s People of the Year in the Visual Arts Category at the Pittsburgh City Paper in 2022.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

2022 Japanese animated movie Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -プログレッシブ- 冥き夕闇のスケルツォ) in Pittsburgh from February 3.

The 2022 Japanese animated movie Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -プログレッシブ- 冥き夕闇のスケルツォ) will play in Pittsburgh from February 3. A synopsis, from the distributor, on the next film installment in the series based on a manga:
This may be a game, but it’s not something you play. The world’s first VRMMORPG (Sword Art Online) became a game of death. Over a month has passed since 10,000 users were trapped inside the game world. Asuna, who cleared the first floor of the floating iron castle of Aincrad, joined up with Kirito and continued her journey to reach the top floor. With the support of female Information Broker Argo, clearing the floors seemed to be progressing smoothly, but… Conflict erupts between two major guilds who should be working together – the top player groups ALS (the Aincrad Liberation Squad) and DKB (the Dragon Knights Brigade). And meanwhile, behind the scenes exists a mysterious figure pulling the strings…. In a dangerous battle of death, there is an assault that differs from the threat, and it will involve Asuna and Kirito…!
It plays locally on February 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 at the Cinemark theaters in McCandless and Monroeville and tickets are available online.