Coming Together

Coming Together, 2022 - Hand-woven and hand-embroidered textile

Coming Together, 2022
Hand-woven and hand-embroidered textile made with hand-spun nettle yarn and shoulang yam dye
In collaboration with Bulaubulau community, Yilan, Taiwan

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Japanese colonizers imposed the “five year aboriginal policy” (五年理蕃計劃), which banned tattooing on the face and restricted traditional weaving. Therefore, the knowledge of hand-crafting the yarn and dye from local plants passed down from generation to generation has been lost. Almost two decades ago, the Bulaubulau family revived this knowledge starting with the grandmother recollecting the weaving techniques and passing it down to her daughters and grand-daughters. In the recent years M’l’s (pronounced as Merlers) who is one of her grand-daughters, took the process further and relearned how to make plant based dye locally from plants such guava leaves, turmeric, twigs and berries. During Tsai’s stays with the family, she learned some basic techniques of weaving and together they conceived ideas of creating new textile pieces that honors the female labour and social impact on the community of reviving the craft. 

Green Island Human Rights Art Festival

Green Island Human Rights Art Festival, 2020 – If on the margin, draw a coordinate

Green Island Human Rights Art Festival, 2020
If on the margin, draw a coordinate
Curated by Sandy Hsiu-Chih LO
Green Island White Terror Memorial Park, Taiwan
Exhibited works: Numbers (2020), and Songs We Carry (2017~2018)

Participating artists: Ashmina Ranjit, Jiandyin in associate with Baan Noorg Collaborative Arts and Culture, WANG Ding-Yeh, Eleng Luluan, The Libera work-gang, Lin Tzu-Ning, LIN Hongjohn, LIN Yi-Chi, HUNG Wei-Ling+ HSIN Pei-Yi, HOU I-Ting, CHEN Eric, HSU Chia-Wei, CHANG En-Man, Charwei TSAI

The margin usually refers to the verge of an area. Borderlands and islands have some geographic significance. Borderlands are regions far from the center, and islands are isolated lands surrounded by water. In contrast, compared with borderlands and islands, margins can better refer to states of instability. Therefore, marginalization is often used to describe the phenomenon of people or things moving in the opposite direction of the mainstream—that is, non-mainstream and non-central.

Non-central and non-mainstream marginalization can take various forms of marginalization, such as politics, economy, culture, geography, race, gender, ecology, values, and so on. At the same time, various forms of marginalization may also be interconnected, and it is difficult to separate them for inspection. The marginalized groups are not pure and mean. Therefore, under the name of “If on the edge, draw a coordinate”, this art festival attempts to give utterance from the margins in order to unlock the initiative of the margins, focusing on the margins to draw coordinates in order to outline a new ethical map.

Green Island Human Rights Art Festival, 2020 – If on the margin, draw a coordinate 

Starting from the margins, artists use archival research, field investigations, image production, text writing, artistic actions, and other methods to dare to challenge mainstream norms, resist the existing social order, re-correct ethics, and draw critical, autonomous, and liberated marginal coordinates. Each margin is the center, where the coordinates are drawn. Individual artists use different reference systems to draw completely different margin coordinates. In these coordinates, the marginalized is no longer just the persecuted under humanitarian care, but a subject with its own initiative. In the 2020 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival “If on the margin, draw a coordinate” conducts marginal narration from marginal perspectives to carry out the social practice of emancipating the marginalized.

Green Island Human Rights Art Festival, 2020 – If on the margin, draw a coordinate