Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Aboriginal art products catching on

BOOMING MARKET The nation's artists are cashing in on growing interest in everyday objects such as lamps and mugs that use Aboriginal or rural themes

By Hou Chien-chuen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Aboriginal artist Feng Chih-cheng of the Paiwan tribe decorates a cup with traditional Aboriginal motifs in this Feb. 25 file photo. Aboriginal art is becoming increasingly popular in the international marketplace.

PHOTO: HOU CHIEN-JUAN, TAIPEI TIMES

Artistic products with images of Taiwanese female farmers have become the latest rage in Europe and the US, and the unique cultures and totems of Taiwan's Aborigines have also attracted international attention.

Although the Paiwan artist Feng Chih-cheng (馮志正) has yet to announce his new artistic creations for this year, European and Japanese companies are already placing their orders.

When analyzing the European and US markets, Feng found that items in daily use have the greatest potential.

Therefore he has directed his efforts toward lamp shades with batik patterns, coffee cups, tiles and hanging decorations.

He has also produced plates with images of the Formosan Sambar deer in the hope that this could increase Taiwan's presence on the world stage by combining images of Taiwan's unique wildlife with images from Aboriginal culture.

Disabled painter Pan Chih-hung (潘枝鴻) has put images of onion-picking female farmers from Pingtung on mugs and tiles. She has already received orders for 5,000 mugs from the EU and the US.

Pan says that Asian art is internationally popular right now, and that while images of women wearing traditional hats to block the sun and colorful gloves to protect their hands while picking onions may be commonplace for Taiwanese, they seems exotic to Europeans and Americans.

This month, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (原住民族委員會) will lead a delegation of 22 Aboriginal artists to Vancouver, Canada, to participate in a gift fair, in the hope that they will be able to boost exports of everyday Aboriginal art.

Pingtung artists joining the delegation include Hsiao Ai-lin (蕭愛林), Kao Fu-kui (高富貴), Wu Yu-ling (武玉玲), Juan Lai-yin (阮來銀), Peng Chun-lin (彭春林) and Feng.

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