Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park

North-South-East-West at Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park, Ping Dong 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was exhibited at the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park in Ping Dong Taiwan in March 2005.

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The Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan

The indigenous peoples in Taiwan refer to the inhabitants who had been living on the islands before major Han Chinese immigration began in the 17th century. Culturally and linguistically, they belong to the Austronesian group. The Austronesian peoples, covering the most inclusive peoples in the world with the majority in Southeast Asia, originates from Taiwan in the north, extends to Easter Islands in South America in the east, and reaches Madagascar in the eastern coast of Africa in the west. The common characteristics to the Austronesian peoples are building houses on stilts to protect against damp, insects, and snakes; adopting slash-and-burn farming style; keen on chewing betel nuts, good at bamboo and rattan weaving; relying on hunting and fishing; and among others.

Taiwan is located in the very north point of the distribution of the Austronesian people and has been maintaining close contacts with the Austronesian peoples in the nearby South Pacific Islands for the last hundred thousand years. The various archaeological evidences suggest that Taiwan should be the origin of the distribution of the Austronesian peoples thousands years ago and should have played a critical geographical location as the origin of Ancient Austronesian peoples and in the process of migration to the South Pacific Islands.

The Origins of the Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan

It is currently said that there are two approaches to explain the origin of the Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan. One advocates that the origin of the indigenous peoples is located outside of Taiwan; the other one discerns that Taiwan is the ancient origin of the Austronesian peoples. The former theory is commonly popular and scholars testify in terms of languages, archaeology, literature review, folklore legends to conclude that the origin of the indigenous peoples should be the southeast coast of China. Scholars even predict the plausible era when the indigenous peoples migrated to Taiwan. For example, Saisiyat and Atayal must have immigrated to Taiwan around 3000 B.C. during the Paleolithic Age. Paiwan and Puyuma must have immigrated to Taiwan during the prime time of Southeast Asia Rock Age. The latter approach indicating that Taiwan is the origin of Austronesian peoples is a newer theory, a research result of many linguists.

Taipei National University of the Arts

North-South-East-West at Taipei Nat’l University of Arts, Taiwan 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was exhibited at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taipei Taiwan in March 2005.

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The National Institute of the Arts

The National Institute of the Arts was founded in 1982 as an institute of higher learning for the arts. The institute was housed in Luzhou, Taipei County (now New Taipei City), from 1985 until its move in 1991 to its permanent campus in Kuandu, Taipei City. The buildings are designed in a neo-Chinese classical style and house state-of-the-art technology. The Institute was renamed Taipei National University of the Arts in 2001. Aside from the colleges and departments, the university houses the state-of-the-art Music Hall, the Performing Arts Center, including a theater hall and a dance recital hall, the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, a library, an Olympic-size swimming pool, the Center for the Study of Traditional Arts, a computer center, and the Center for the Study of Art and Technology.

Festivals organized by TNUA or using its campus include the Guandu Arts Festival and the Guandu Flower Festival (Guandu Flower Art Festival).

National Donghua University, Hualien Taiwan

North-South-East-West at Nat’l Donghua University, Hualien Taiwan, 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the National Donghua University in Hualien Taiwan in March 2005.

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National Dong Hwa University

The National Dong Hwa University a comprehensive public institution of higher learning in Hualien County, Taiwan. The school serves over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The name Dong Hwa signifies NDHU’s East Asia location while inviting a poetic allusion to the image of flowers. The school colours are green and yellow. The mascot is a native pheasant. The present university results from the 2008 merger of two public institutions: the National Dong Hwa University founded in 1994 (today’s Shoufeng campus in Shoufeng Township), and the National Hualien University of Education founded in 1947 (today’s Meilun campus in Hualien City)

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

The North-South-East-West at the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Taipei Taiwan in March 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Taipei Taiwan in March 2005.

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The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is a museum located just 200 metres diagonally across from the National Palace Museum in Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan.

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It houses exhibits relating to the cultures and histories of the Taiwanese aborigines. The aboriginal tribes live mainly in the mountainous east and south of Taiwan and have historically spoken a variety of Austronesian languages, so it was thought important to have a central location in the capital where their cultures could be on display. Both permanent and rotating exhibits are a part of the museum. The museum is notable for its architectural design, featuring a 13.2 x 1.1 metres (43 x 3.6 feet) white granite totem pole at the entrance.

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The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines was established in 1994 as a specialist museum founded on the collection and display of artefacts of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. It is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between different ethnic groups, through careful research, preservation and explanation of the essence of Aboriginal cultures. Achievement of these aims of mutual respect and appreciation will help to create a harmonious and gentle society.

The museum was originally based on the donation by its founder and chairman Safe C.F. Lin of his personal collection of Taiwanese Aboriginal artefacts acquired over many years in keeping with his desire to put something back into the community. By sharing his treasures with the whole of society he hoped to contribute to the ideal, “In loving our native place we must cherish each other’s cultures.”

Shung Ye Museum’s main displays introduce the natural environment of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, their daily utensils, clothing and personal decoration, ritual objects and religious life. Films shown in the auditorium provide an understanding of the present conditions of Aboriginal life. The museum also has a special exhibition room where related exhibitions are held at regular intervals to broaden visitor’s field of concern, and to present the many faces of humankind’s culture.

Artist Magazine of Taiwan, NSEW

Artist Magazine of Taiwan reviews North-South-East-West, December 2005.

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Digital media professor Walis Diing-Wuu Wu of the Chung Yuan Christian University of Chung Li District Taoyuan City reviewed the North-South-East-West Installation in the Artist Magazine of Taiwan in December 2005.

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Artist Magazine <-> Taiwan Art

Ever since the first issue was published in 1975, Artist Magazine has been instrumental in disseminating discourse on art in Taiwan. A two-way arrow appears between (Yi shu jia) Artist Magaine and (Taiwan mei shu) Taiwan Art connotes interaction.

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Professor Walis Labai (Diing-Wuu Wu)

Professor Walis Labai (Diing-Wuu Wu) whose academic specialties include Digital Culture Studies, Media Art Creation, Communication Design,  Indigenous Culture and Arts,  Fashion Design, and Digital Media Design. Walis Labai is presently the Chairman of the Chung Yuan University, College of Design.

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The Department of Commercial Design

The Department of Commercial Design at Chung Yuan Christian University was founded in 1984, as an academic unit under the College of Business. In 1992, the university established the College of Design which was the first of its kind in the nation. The college now consists of Departments of Commercial Design, Architecture, and Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture. In 1999, the Department began to offer Master Degree Programs, including a Master Degree Program for Working Professionals. The curriculum comprises of four core areas: design, humanities, technology and marketing. The objective of both undergraduate and master degree programs is to nurture students becoming strategic thinking and problem-solving design professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

Kindred Spirit Mag, Darlington England

Survival, Wisdom and Indigenous Digital Culture in Kindred Spirit Magazine, Darlington England, 2005.

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Thompson’s article Survival, Wisdom and Indigenous Digital Culture was featured in the Kindred Spirit Magazine of Darlington England in its September/October 2005 issue. See the reprint below.

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Kindred Spirit Magazine of Darlington England

Kindred Spirit has been the UK’s go-to guide to spiritual and compassionate living for over 25 years. It combines ancient wisdom with practical advice from contemporary teachers and authors. The magazine showcases new healing modalities, shares insightful interviews with the leading lights of the  Mind, Body & Spirit world, and reports investigations and the latest discoveries in the field of spirituality, well-being and the inner workings of the human mind. KS is a source of information, inspiration and contemplation.

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Kindred Spirit was founded in 1987 by Richard Beaumont and Patricia Yates, following the inspiration of ‘The Harmonic Convergence’ in which thousands of spiritual seekers gathered at sacred sites throughout the world. Seeing so many different people and spiritual paths, yet sensing a common direction of deep respect for natural wisdom and a yearning for higher truth, Patricia and Richard created Kindred Spirit to offer a platform to serve such wisdom and higher truths. While the founders have now moved onto different paths and projects, the magazine keeps their wonderful vision alive.

Since the very first issue published in November 1987 the magazine has featured all kinds of discoveries, whether they be in the field of spirituality or physical health and well-being or revelations concerning the inner workings of the human mind. New and progressive forms of complementary healthcare such as Zero Balancing and Holographic Re-patterning appear in Kindred Spirit next to articles on angels and the latest explanation of the workings of Stonehenge. We featured ground-breaking stories such as the inner temple of Damanhur, the psychic surgery of John of God, and the link between our genetic conditioning and the I-Ching – years before such news hits the mainstream publications.

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Since summer 2014 Kindred Spirit has become part of Watkins Books, London’s oldest and largest esoteric bookshop founded in 1893 by John Watkins. Kindred Spirit continues to offer a variety of wisdoms, investigations and windows into the huge remit that comes under the title of Mind, Body and Spirit. We are here to put forward some of the alternatives, in line with a natural wisdom that elevates us all.

Int’l Conf of Creative Design, Aboriginal Culture

North-South-East-West at Creative Design Conference  Taiwan, December 2005.

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Thompson presented North-South-East-West at the An International Conference on
The Exchange of the Cultural Creative Design of International Indigenous Peoples at the  Chung Yuan Christian University of Chung Li District Taoyuan City  Taiwan, December 2005.

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The North-South-East-West interface ( http://medicine-wheel.co ) illustrates Canada’s ancient past, its present day mass media culture, and its technological future. The piece is inspired by the meaning of the four sacred directions as taught by the Anishinabe Peoples of North America. The Ancient Medicine Wheel and its four directions help us to see where we are and in which areas we need to develop. 24 modern computer generated animations offered by the interface provide an alternate tomorrow that is connected closer to the earth.

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From the Web site http://medicine-wheel.co, visitors load the interface. The interface scales to fill any size of monitor screen, Since it uses scalable vector graphics, the animations are played at the highest resolution, The initial map sequence shows southern Ontario, the industrial heart land of Canada,  A land with a past, a present and future.

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The Past Symbolized by Rolling Horizon

The prominent symbols are based on rock carvings from the Canadian Shield. Actionscript programming techniques move the visitor forward in time through a rolling horizon.

Future as an Off-Planet Colony

Looking into our future, at a world whose natural resources have been depleted, Man ventures forth into the universe.

Present Day as Mediterranean Satellite Dishes

Global communications provide car chases, a constant rhythm of violence, and an environment saturated with electromagnet transmissions. Looking through the portal of a computer display we see the blue Mediterranean sky.

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International Conference of the Creative Design

Digital media professor Walis Diing-Wuu Wu of the Chung Yuan Christian University of Chung Li District Taoyuan City organized the the International Conference of the Creative Design Exchange of Aboriginal Culture in December 2005.

Professor Walis Labai (Diing-Wuu Wu)

Professor Walis Labai (Diing-Wuu Wu) whose academic specialties include Digital Culture Studies, Media Art Creation, Communication Design,  Indigenous Culture and Arts,  Fashion Design, and Digital Media Design. Walis Labai is presently the Chairman of the Chung Yuan University, College of Design.

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The Department of Commercial Design

The Department of Commercial Design at Chung Yuan Christian University was founded in 1984, as an academic unit under the College of Business. In 1992, the university established the College of Design which was the first of its kind in the nation. The college now consists of Departments of Commercial Design, Architecture, and Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture. In 1999, the Department began to offer Master Degree Programs, including a Master Degree Program for Working Professionals. The curriculum comprises of four core areas: design, humanities, technology and marketing. The objective of both undergraduate and master degree programs is to nurture students becoming strategic thinking and problem-solving design professionals.

Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples

Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won the Presidential election of Taiwan on January 16, 2016 by a large margin, earning 56.1% of the votes versus 31.0% for the runner up, Eric Chu (朱立倫). The election results signaled a turning point in Taiwan’s democracy, with the Democratic Progressive Party winning a majority of the seats in the Legislative Yuan (the lawmaking body) as well.  Tsai accepted the “will of the Taiwanese people” as a sign that citizens wanted a significant change from former failed policies and unfulfilled promises.

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Tsai Ing-wen (born 31 August 1956) is a Taiwanese politician currently serving as the President of the Republic of China, commonly referred to as Taiwan. Tsai is the second president from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Tsai is also the first woman elected to the office.[1] She is also the first president to be of Hakka and aboriginal descent (a quarter Paiwan from her grandmother), [2] the first unmarried president, the first to have never held an elected executive post before presidency, and the first to be popularly elected without having previously served as the Mayor of Taipei. She is the incumbent chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and was the party’s presidential candidate in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. Tsai previously served as party chair from 2008 to 2012.

Soon after her inaugration on May 20, 2016, the President’s administration quickly declared a commitment to transtitional justice. Their plan included setting up a transitional justice commission for abuses against citizens during the Martial Law era and a commission for abuses against Taiwan’s Indigenous citizens.

The Formal Apology to Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples

When the President announced she would make a formal apology to Indigenous Peoples on behalf of the government, some were surprised and hopeful, but many were apprehensive and doubtful that it would lead to much change. Doubters referenced the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, established on February 5, 2005 during the Chen Shui-bian administration, claiming that it did not adequately protect their rights, especially when their traditional practices conflicted with Taiwan’s laws. Pessimism among Indigenous people also came from promises made by former President Chen, which did not materialize.

Leading up to the formal apology, Indigenous leaders and protestors expressed their hopes to see improvements in a variety of issues, such as land rights, hunting rights, and tribal autonomy. There was concern that various Indigenous groups would fight over limited resources offered for reconciliation, especially if the government includes the Pingpu (lowland) tribes, which are not officially-recognized. There was concern that the new policies would be made without direct consultation with Indigenous Peoples and communities. Most took a wait-and-see approach, and wanted to see policies that would be meaningful and enforceable. They wanted to commission to be able to have the legal power to investigate past abuses. A professor at National Dong Hwa University reminded indigenous people that the seeking of truth and justice would be complicated, as this was “a crime with no perpetrators, and no beneficiaries – but only victims.”

The formal apology to c took place on the hot, sunny morning of August 1, 2016, which the President’s Cabinet officially declared as the national Indigenous People’s Day. Indigenous leaders from every recognized Taiwanese tribe dressed in traditional outfits and regalia entered the front entrance, greeted by the President. After the doors closed, protesters, consisting of activists who had walked for hundreds of kilometers from their home villages, and had been occupying the street in front of the presidential palace since the previous night, rushed towards the entrance, wanting to be heard. They were held at bay by a police with riot shields, and no one was hurt.

The president’s speech surprised many for being both substantial and specific.  The acknowledgment of  responsibility was clear and direct.