Embroidery by Taitung County’s first “national living treasure” artist Ljavaus Aluguljan is on display at the Taitung Art Museum in an exhibition that aims to bring attention to Paiwan art and culture.
The show organized by the Taitung Cultural Affairs Department showcases the artist’s traditional kinavatjesan embroidery, including works depicting the 100-pace snake, or Deinagkistrodon acutus, which is venerated as an integral part of Paiwan culture.
Ljavaus Aluguljan has put years of painstaking care into her work to build a record of the county’s traditional culture, the department said in a statement.
Photo courtesy of the Taitung County Government via CNA
The artist from Taimali Township (太麻里) has been practicing kinavatjesan embroidery for more than 60 years, establishing a diverse body of work.
When embroidering, she utilizes eight kinds of Paiwan techniques in addition to techniques introduced during the Japanese colonial era, blending local culture and memories into her work to depict scenes of daily life and mythologies, exhibition organizers said.
She has received numerous national awards for her work, which has been collected by museums across Taiwan and has also been exhibited in Japan.
Last year, she was designated an official preserver of Paiwan embroidery by the Ministry of Culture, becoming Taitung’s first “national living treasure” of traditional art.
Facing the continual loss indigenous traditions, many research projects and exhibitions have been working to preserve them, department Director Yan Chih-kuang (顏志光) said.
This exhibition of Ljavaus Aluguljan’s decades of work enables the public to experience the richness of Paiwan culture while also recognizing the artist’s contributions to the field of embroidery, Yan added.
Taitung County Commissioner Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴) said that making the county the “world capital of indigenous culture” is one of her six major policies as commissioner.
Passing on, preserving and promoting indigenous cultures is therefore of great importance, she said.
The exhibition showcases the precious and unique character of Paiwan culture, hopefully aiding its continuation among indigenous and non-indigenous people alike, she added.
The exhibition on the first floor of the Taitung Art Museum is to run until Jan. 27.
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