The National Museum of History will showcase Taiwanese aboriginal artifacts from the personal collection of veteran abstract artist Chen Cheng-hsiung (陳正雄) from June 24 through Sept. 10.
Known as "the father of abstract art in Taiwan,” Chen is a renowned Taiwanese artist who has dedicated over half a century to the research of abstract art. Active since the 1970s, Chen has been featured in exhibitions in Japan, France, and the United States. He was also the first Asian artist to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florence Biennial.
As Chen sought new stimuli from nature and everyday life, he soon encountered the wearable and unique schools of art practiced by Taiwan's indigenous peoples. Their cultures became a major source of inspiration for Chen.
"Amazing Homeland: Cheng-Hsiung Chen's Collection of Taiwanese Indigenous Artifacts” will reveal how Chen appreciated art from an early age and how he achieved the prime of his artistry by "pursuing the beauty of human nature.”
Over 280 aboriginal artifacts spanning clothes, sculptures, pottery, and woven containers will be showcased to highlight the aesthetics of aboriginal art and the unique culture of each tribe. Each group developed diverse skills to adapt to different environments by recruiting natural materials such as rock, wood, bamboo, and rattan to build houses and pavilions and craft tools and containers.
Weaving also plays a big role in indigenous cultures, and each tribe has specific patterns, symbols, and colors. Ramie fiber is also dyed and then garnished with glass beads, sea shells, pearls, and knitted accessories to convey status and individuality.
From clothing and sculptures to pottery and woven art, aboriginal artifacts are part of Taiwan's cultural heritage. These artifacts preserve historic memories and a way of life that embodied indigenous traditions such as ancestral worship, social hierarchy, and cultural identification.
'Amazing Homeland: Cheng-Hsiung Chen's Collection of Taiwanese Indigenous Artifacts'