Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Artist inspired by dream vision to revive weaving

By Chiu Chih-jou and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Aruwai Kaumakan poses next to a textile work, which last year won the Pulima Art Festival’s grand award, at a fashion show at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Neipu Township on Monday.

Photo: Chiu Chih-jo, Taipei Times

Paiwan artist Aruwai Kaumakan said she was inspired to revive the art of Paiwan traditional weaving after receiving a dream vision from her ancestors following Typhoon Morakot in 2009.

Aruwai, who last year won the Pulima Art Festival’s grand award in the visual arts, on Monday opened an exhibition at Pintung University of Science Technology, where she studies fashion design and business management.

Utilizing traditional totems and elaborate scrollwork, her woven creations tell the stories of home and the lives of women, with her award-winning series of work. Pulse (脈動), prominently featuring the motifs of swirling river water and black slate tiles of Paiwan houses.

Daughter of the chieftain of Dashe (大社) village in Pintung County’s Sandimen Township (三地門) — one of the three communities devastated by the typhoon — Aruwai said she grew up immersed in the rituals and symbols that designated a woman’s social status in Paiwan society.

Her mother and grandmother, who she said were her first artistic mentors, taught her how to wear ceremonial headgear and clothes, as well as the meaning of each item, she said.

Her mother is particularly adept at taking apart traditional textiles and reassembling them into new creations, which inspired her to weave her creations using recycled cloth and other everyday fabrics, Aruwai said.

The scrollwork that appears in her creations as veins, butterflies and women’s ornamental hair pins is a technique she learned from jewelry designer Lee Fang-yu (黎芳瑜), she added.

“An artist needs to know where she comes from and where she is going to for her creations to soar,” Aruwai said. “More than a scion to an aristocratic line, I see myself as a torchbearer of my culture, which I embrace through creativity.”

This story has been viewed 1495 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top