Anli Ganu (Lai An-lin, 1958-) of the Atayal Tribe, was born in Jianshih Township in Hsinchu County. He graduated from the Chinese Cultural University with a degree from the Department of Fine Arts in 1986, and received a graduate degree in 1992 from the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 1997, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Yushan Theological School and Seminary, and currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Taiwan Shanguang Presbyterian Church. Anli Ganu is the fi rst Taiwanese indigenous person to have completed third level art school education. He specializes in oils and mixed media. His work has been exhibited extensively at the Taipei Cultural University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Hualian Cultural Center, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and the Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park, as well as in numerous joint exhibitions.
According to Atayal legend, facial tattoos symbolize “life.” For Anli Ganu, they are symbols that describe the lives and experiences as well as a shared cultural asset of his tribepeople. Facial tattoos express the many struggles and experiences of the Atayal people, and these life experiences are literally written on the face, and are ultimately markings that identify the tribe. The work The Face-Tatooed Tribe was created in 1996, and includes a collage of 132 images of facial tattoos in various sizes. The work explores not only questions about individuals, but about group identity. The work is vibrant in parts, and sparse in others. Some emphasize texture and contrast to mitigate the work as a cohesive whole. This is not merely an aesthetic preference for texture on the part of the artist, but the strong textures and rich rhythmic hues and patterns are a comment on the elusiveness existence, and possible disappearance, of these tribal cultural assets within the larger environment.
Taiwan’s indigenous cultures have long been marginalized and decontextualized. In the 1980s, as the nation began to embrace diversity in national development, and indigenous people around the world began to raise awareness, the cultural elite among the indigenous tribes actively sought the right to interpret their history, identity and culture of their tribes. In the 1980s, against a background of unprecedented political change, indigenous artists began to express identity and cultural concerns in their work. Anli Ganu is arguably the most representative of contemporary artists in the 1990s, as Taiwan’s contemporary art world began to embrace indigenous cultures.
|English title：||The Face-Tatooed Tribe|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Artist：||Anli Gaun (Lai An-lin)|
|Collection Unit：||National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||Unique Vision：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|