Sayun Simung

Sayun Simung, an Tayal artist, is from Sqoyaw community. She graduated from the Department of Radio and Television at National Taiwan University of Arts. Sayun went to Taipei and worked as a journalist and documentary planner in Taiwan Indigenous TV in 2005 and later in Era News and Public Television. During her journalism career, she came across a documentary, "Smangus," where she saw a big millet field, which she thought to herself, "why isn’t there a millet field like that in my community?"

Therefore, Sayun returned to her hometown in 2012. The local elderly told her that they have given up growing millets for cash crops such as pears, apples, and peaches. Traditional millet farms disappeared due to the low economic benefits. Sayun began to think about issues of culture after the modern economy being introduced to indigenous communities. 

Although Sayun’s hometown is almost over 3,000 meters above sea level, she still does not have enough knowledge of local history and culture. 

After living in her hometown for ten years, she understood better about local people’s connection with their land, and no word can describe such importance of land to them. She also started to reflect, "what are the reasons that make the land so profound to the Tayal people?"

Therefore, she decided to make a three-dimensional map of her community as a cultural practice to find an answer. Every visit and time spent with the local elders made her understand that no matter where originally the Tayal people come from, they all aim to survive and produce offspring, and such Gaga (traditional doctrine from ancestors) still exists in our daily life.

泰雅族atayal/Sayun Simung

Adaw Palaf Langasan

In the contemporary indigenous performing arts community, Adaw Palaf Langasan's experience is unique, from the collectivism of his culture to his philosophical individuality, from being a member of the Formosan Aboriginal Singing and Dance Troupe to a participant in international art festivals. Adaw has been to a variety of performing venues. To a certain extent, his career reflects the development of Taiwan's indigenous performing arts. Adaw established the "Langasan Theatre" in the Tafalong community and created dance collectively and co-living with the local people. 

He rearranged all the dance works presented by the participants from the Start Fire, Ritual Ground, Atavan - Indigenous Performing Arts Workshop. He made them into a dance called "Misa-Lisin," for which Adaw was invited to participate in the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and 2015 Festival d'Avignon.

Adaw has repeatedly used mud and mirrors in his performance in recent years. These objects have become his signatures.  He puts mud on the performers, mirror, stage, sprinkles water, and places small stones on stage. Those objects naturally transform the actions on the stage into unbalanced sliding and wiping, conveying people's ever-existing desire to be close to the earth. The mirror held in the arms or above the head is like eyes and light that have just been enlightened in chaos. The moment dialectically reflects the dimensions of the virtual image. However, Adaw doesn't answer in his dance as to which side is the dreamy illusion.


Written by Huang Yingying

阿美族Amis/Adaw Palaf Langasan

太魯閣族Truku/Dondon Houmwm

Dondon Houmwm

Dondon Houmwm, an artist belonging to the Turuku people from Hualien, was born in Hualien County and raised in the Donmong community. When he was a teenager, he left his hometown to work in Taipei. While living in Taipei, Dong Dong received training from a theater. Gradually, he starts to create artworks in the forms of performing and performance art. In 2009, he returned to his hometown as an artist and creator and continued to create arts in his land. Besides, he established the Erlu Creative Art Workshop dedicated to youth empowerment, local affairs, and cultural development.


Dondon started from indigenous contemporary art in

the 2010s when he gained popularity with his unique outfit and performing style. His flamboyance contrasted the indigenous art’s focus that natural resources being the dominant creative material. After that, he combined video, installation, performing art, visual art as the main creative form. There is a sense of past and modernity in Dondon’s work. In his artwork “Prayer”(2013) and “Smapux”(2016), as the heir of the traditional ritual of his hometown, Dondon depicted the ambivalent mindset among the people between the traditional religion the new one introduced to his community. “Face of Road”(2012, and 3M-MAKEUP, as a sexual minority, Dondon responds humorously and sharply to the existing gender identity structure in traditional society.  These works are with personal experiences and consciousness. Dondon, through his art, directly explored issues that may not be appropriate to discuss in the community openly.


Written by Lu, Wei-Lu