Finding Pathways to Temahahoi explores the Taiwanese Indigenous Atayal oral story of the place of Temahahoi. The multimedia installation (video, performance, cyberspace) engages with Ciwas’ journey to reconnect to this place. In Ciwas’ work, Temahahoi tells of a place deep in the forest where only women and gender non-conforming people live. The community flourishes by communicating with bees and its people become impregnated by wind.
The story of Temahahoi is interpreted as a queer space for sustainable relationships within communities and with the land. In a climate of disconnection and displacement, the work intertwines the bond between quiet queer bodies and environmental issues.
Parts of the installation:
The double-channel video work Perhaps She Comes From/To____Alang weaves together three distinct narratives. The first oral story connects the relationship between bees and the land in the telling of the place of Temahahoi. This story is fused with a second narrative of Ciwas’s personal queer journey. A third historical narrative tells how Japanese colonial-gifted brass pots caused infertility among the Taiwanese Indigenous Atayal people.
My land, glitched me is an online space that engages Ciwas’ desire to have a sense of place and connect to her ancestral land. It expands cultural knowledge and queer connections beyond the soil into the cloud. Find it via https://raxal-mu.glitch.me (raxal mu – my land) and via the QR codes on the glass panes.
Pswagi Temahahoi traces Ciwas’ search for Temahahoi by combining different sources of documentary video work and ceramic instruments. In Atayal language, ‘P’ is future tense, ‘S’ is the instrumental case indicating a tangible or intangible tool and ‘wagi’ means sun or sisters in some Atayal regions of Taiwan. One thread follows Taiwanese Indigenous Atayal Elder Yumin, who uses the Indigenous knowledge of sunlight and shade ‘pswagi’ to trace the locations of wild bees. Another thread documents a performance with a self-built ceramic instrument. This ocarina is used as a wayfinding tool to connect to the queer space of Temahahoi through shared intimate moments of sound creation and the sharing of air to belong beyond the physical.
Anchi Lin (Ciwas Tahos) is a New Media and Performance Artist of Atayal/ Itaṟal and Taiwanese Hō-ló descent. They are raised and based in Taipei, Taiwan. Ciwas’s body-centred practice weaves threads of Indigenous Atayal worldview, performance, moving image, cyberspace, ceramics and kinetic installation to claim a self-determined queer space. Ciwas’s work is an exploration of cultural and gender identity. They use their body as a medium to trace experiences with linguistic and cultural displacement and seek out new queer forms of understanding beyond the hetero-patriarchal status quo.
Following a BFA in Visual Art at Simon Fraser University (Canada), they are completing an MFA in New Media Art at Taipei National University of the Arts (Taiwan). Ciwas has exhibited, presented and performed across countries, including recent artist residencies in Vietnam for Ba-Bau AIR, the Portland Institute For Contemporary Art, USA and the Kyoto Art Centre in Japan. Most recently, Ciwas was awarded the Biannual Prize of Pulima Art Award and represented Taiwan in Australia as the inaugural Artist for the Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year Arts Exchange Partnership for 2023. Ciwas performed and exhibited work at Documenta 15 in Germany and Indonesia 2022, at the 2023 Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, as well as the Taiwan Austronesian Art Triennial in Taiwan. They are also the guest curator for the second year, running the 2023 ADAM Artist Lab for the Taipei Performing Art Centre.