Taiwanese indigenous artist Chang En Man (張恩滿), who hails from the aboriginal tribe of Paiwan (排灣族), will hold her first solo exhibition in North America this fall.
Chang's works are characterized by a dynamic interplay among stories, traditions, and the struggles faced by indigenous peoples as they battle colonization. She also explores how art can become a force for personal and social transformation.
For "As Heavy as a Feather,” her solo exhibit at the Vancouver's Centre A, Chang employs a traditional signaling device - a large kite - to call out to those who know the weight of millennia while retaining a deep connection to the land.
In the shadow of this kite stands an editorial laboratory - a participatory site of dialogue - where oral tradition, performance, and academic practice come together to assert indigenous personhood and identity.
"As Heavy as a Feather” was conceived following Chang's participation in the Summer Indigenous Art Intensive Program at the University of British Columbia. From the Okanagan Campus, she traveled across the province and developed new works addressing issues related to reconciliation, decolonization, and indigenizing identity.
Curator Tyler Russell also pointed her towards Unist'ot'en Camp, an indigenous-led pipeline blockade in the central mountains of British Columbia, and Musqueam, a First Nations reserve community within Vancouver City. There, she conceived "As Heavy as a Feather,” in which even the most marginalized life leaves a footprint behind.
Chang's powerful and resilient pieces of cultural resistance, which are conveyed through video, performance, and social practice, will be hosted by the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art from Nov. 12 through Feb. 11, 2017.
"As Heavy as a Feather” will also be shown at the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles after the Vancouver leg of the exhibition.
‘As Heavy as a Feather'