Presented by Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Center, with Council of Indigenous Peoples and Ministry of Culture as advisors, the 1st edition of Taiwan International Austronesian Art Triennial (TIAAT) launches its grand opening on October 28 at Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park in Pintung, Taiwan, and will open until February 18, 2024.
The Triennial’s theme, “RamiS” (“root” in Proto-Austronesian), was co-curated by Nakaw Putun and Etan Pavavalung. In response to the theme, the two curators each proposed exhibition subtitles, “Becoming Spiritual” and “Why We Are Us.” The inaugural Triennial brings together a total of 25 artists to be showcased in the Octagonal Special Display Hall, Artifact Display Room, and Lifestyle Exhibition Hall, presenting a series of paintings, prints, sculptures, videos and mixed-media installations.
Among the highlighted artworks include a large installation in a high ceiling hall, “Cevulj, Path of a Family. It is an extension of the artist Aluaiy Kaumakan’s ongoing Rubbings series, which was exhibited at the Biennale of Sydney 2022. There is also Rawus Tjuljaviya’s “Snail Paradise Trilogy: Setting Sail or Final Chapter” exhibited at documenta 2022 that looks into the great exchange of species caused by human travel.
Meanwhile, New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana’s epic multi-channel video installation “Nomads of the Sea” not only examines the European narrative of colonial history in the Pacific, but rethinks the traditional culture and gender values of the Maori people.
Participating in the Biennale of Sydney 2024, Idas Losin responds to the Tahitian women often seen in Gauguin’s paintings with portraits of indigenous Taiwanese men, exploring a perspective different from that of the West.
Milay Mavaliw’s large-scale installation “Dalan” features intertwined, woven hemp-colored materials that are suspended from above and cascade down to scatter across the floor, creating a beautiful metaphor for the millennia-long historical ties of the Austronesian people.
Finally, there is Malaysian artist Chee Wai Loong’s five-meter high dynamic mechanical installation “Homesick” — the largest country artwork in the exhibition. Centered with a traditional Malaysian stage house, the artist hopes to reunite with the ancestors through the drifting forms, the sound waves, and the play of light and shadow.
The TIAAT forum was also held on October 29, which featured co-curators Nakaw Putun and Etan Pavavalung, exhibition consultants Gong Jow-Jiun and Tung Yuan-chao, participating artists and international curators including Reuben Keehan, Zara Stanhope, Hsu Manray, Pan Sheau -shei, Kao Jun-honn, Chen, Horng-yi and Lin Yu-shih.