Looking Back, a Place of Gathering

Language Used / Song

This work casts a retrospective look on Baishou in Shihtang (known as “kaSpalawan,” or “a place of gathering” in the Saisiyat language) through a newly built traditional “viewing tower.” The meaning of “viewing tower” is re-defined in the contemporary time. Through looking into the past, the artist continues to tease out her own history, and awakes local elders’ memory of the past—looking back on the land to compose ancestors’ stories of migration.

Artist hewen a ta:in tawtawazay is of the Saisiyat descent from kahkahoe'an in Miaoli. She holds an MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts. Through her practice, she strives to open up a pathway leading to her native home. In 2015, she began looking for the path, her name, and self through cultural-historical reexamination and field research on her family history, and was eventually able to complete her Saisiyat name – hewen a ta:in tawtawazay in 2020. In the same year, she launched the art project, lohizaw – Revisiting the Saisiyat Migratory Route, and has endeavored in making herself a cultural learner until today. She is the recipient of the Grand Prize (visual arts) at the Pulima Art Award (2020), the Next Art Tainan (2019), and the First Prize at the Taoyuan Contemporary Art Award (2018).

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