文：彼勇 ‧ 依斯瑪哈單
“I do not change existing shapes, but I arrange them differently in a virtual space, to make accessible to others the elegance [and] simplicity of using elastic cord and strapping for important structures, and new designs for inventing Indigenous minimalism and native inventions of installation art in Taiwanese Aboriginal culture.”
Installation artist, environmental and textile sculptor, Eleng Luluan was born in 1968 in the Kucapungane (Haocha) community, Pingtung County in southern Taiwan. She started her exposure to contemporary Indigenous art to seek a space for self-determination and artistic life in 2002, at the age of 28, when she moved to the Dulan community in Taitung in eastern Taiwan. In 2011, she was nominated for the tenth Taishi Arts Award competition. In 2012, she was invited to attend an artist residency programme in New Caledonia and participated in the joint exhibition Beyond the Boundary: Contemporary Indigenous Art of Taiwan. In the same year, she had her first solo exhibition Fractures in the Memories of Life: Silently Awaiting.
Adhering to the concept of getting close to nature, Luluan uses natural and plain materials in her artistic creation. Constructing and deconstructing mixed-media materials, whose tensile and conceptual strength challenges delimiting gender identities, discourses of settler-colonial, diasporic, migrant, other transnational and transcultural histories of Indigenous ways of knowing in contemporary art, she specialises in sculpture and composite media and environmental installations. Her art practice faces the monumental issues of Indigenous Taiwanese and their communities’ colonial wound and land disaster by inviting us to be witnesses and to engage in caring about what we feel and see. Her deeply intuitive process of the sculpture towards our own poetic and beautiful responses.
by Biung Ismahasan