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Showcasing Global Indigenous Cultures: The First Austronesian Art Triennial Announces Exhibition Theme and Curators

The First Austronesian Art Triennial in Taiwan

Curated by Nakaw Putun and Etan Pavavalung

Exploring the Origins (RamiS) to Uncover the Legends, Migration Routes, and Future Art Practices of the Austronesian Language Family

Following the ancestral paths of the Austronesian language family, in October 2023, the first Taiwan International Austronesian Art Triennial, with its theme “RamiS: Tracing Our Origins,” will be held at the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park. This exhibition, hereafter referred to as the Triennial, is organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Council of Indigenous Peoples. Zeng Zhi-yong, the director of the Council of Indigenous Peoples’ Indigenous Cultural Development Center, expressed, “Taiwan, located at the northernmost end of the Austronesian language family, is regarded as the ‘mother island’ by many Austronesian-speaking nations. While Taiwan is seen as the original homeland of the Austronesian language family, it has lacked stable and continuous artistic exchanges with Austronesian-speaking countries for an extended period. The Austronesian Art Triennial aims to bridge this gap.”

The Indigenous Cultural Development Center is taking on this significant responsibility due to its accumulated 36-year experience. The Center manages the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park, a historical site where the Indigenous people of Taiwan were officially recognized as “Indigenous.” It has also served as a crucial platform for the public sector to promote Indigenous culture and art development.

Through resident artist programs, collections, international art cooperation agreements, and over a hundred exhibitions, the Center has provided a platform for Indigenous artists to present their interpretations and engage in dialogues with mainstream art. They have especially focused on the history, culture, and contemporary status of island and maritime Indigenous communities globally. Through the connections, narratives, and constructions in art, they hope to explore the future and sustainable worldview of global Indigenous cultures, starting as RamiS suggests, and continuing as the Austronesian vessels carrying the wisdom, language, and cultural systems of the Austronesian language family.

More information on participating artists and event details will be announced soon. Please stay tuned to the Indigenous Cultural Development Center’s official website (https://www.tacp.gov.tw/) and the dedicated website for the Austronesian Art Triennial (https://tiaat.tacp.gov.tw/).

Dual Curators Seek Sustainable Answers through “RamiS: Tracing Our Origins”

The inaugural Austronesian Art Triennial features dual curators. Nakaw Putun, an Amis tribe member from Makotaay, returned to his tribe in 2020 to co-found the “Makotaay Art Village” and establish the Wata Art and Culture Platform. His curatorial direction focuses primarily on the contemporaneity of international Indigenous art and narratives centered on Indigenous perspectives. In recent years, he has organized various cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and regional exhibitions to explore art’s local practice and the relationship between community, tribes, and the natural environment, connecting Indigenous art communities across borders, embodying Indigenous cultural spirit and contemporary art trends.

Etan Pavavalung, a Paiwan tribe artist and curator from the Dafalan tribe in Sandimen Township, Pingtung, Southern Taiwan. In his artistic creations, he incorporates literary perspectives and contemporaneity into his detailed and boldly colored works. His “Inlaid Engravings” style has been exhibited in various domestic and international spaces, including the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Etan’s curatorial research focuses on the encounter between traditional Indigenous artistic vocabularies and contemporary art trends, emphasizing the diversity and subjectivity of self-cultural artistic values. In recent years, his curatorial experience includes exhibitions like “The Distance Between Us and the Future: Contemporary Indigenous Art in Taiwan” (2021), “10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art – Special Exhibition of Contemporary Indigenous Art in Taiwan” (2021), “Future Tide – Indigenous Contemporary Art in Dashan” (2020), and “qadjai Connection Line: Art Village on the Slope and Southeast Asian Women’s Creative Exhibition” (2020).

The First Austronesian Art Triennial

Exhibition Dates: October 17, 2023, to February 18, 2024

Opening Ceremony: October 28, 2023

Curators: Nakaw Putun and Etan Pavavalung

Location: Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park, Scenic Lane 104, Beiyi Village, Majia Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan

Guided by: Ministry of Culture, Council of Indigenous Peoples

Organized by: Indigenous Cultural Development Center, Council of Indigenous Peoples

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