Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013 – Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM) presents “Out of Taiwan: Shared Connections in the Pacific” exhibit October 26, 2013 to April 20, 2014 in Long Beach, California. Through the artistic lens of photographer Danee Hazama of Tahiti, French Polynesia, the shared cultural heritage between the people of the Pacific Islands and the indigenous people of Taiwan becomes apparent. Hazama will make a special appearance at the exhibit opening.
The origins of Pacific Islanders have been the subject of interest and controversy for many decades. Significant Western research in archaeology, historical linguistics and molecular genetics shows common patterns with the indigenous Taiwan people and the peoples of the Pacific Islands.
Taiwan (Republic of China), also known as Formosa, lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from China – an island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who remain today are divided into 14 tribes: the Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami (or Tao), Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizayu, and the Sediq.
Hazama has worked internationally as a professional photographer since 1984. He specializes in artistic images taken in the air, on the land and in the sea. He has worked for many prestigious clients to include National Geographic. His passion for Pacific culture has involved him in many projects ranging from archaeology to dance. Danee has participated several times in the Heiva I Tahiti, a yearly cultural dance competition, as well as other cultural events throughout the Pacific. His interest in Polynesia migration led him to a field study with indigenous people in Taiwan from 2007 to 2009. In his recent endeavors from 2010 to 2013, he sailed in 12 different Polynesian Voyaging Canoes as a crew member/photographer. The historic voyages he took across the great Pacific Ocean were guided by nature and with non-instrumental celestial navigation.
“There comes a time in your life where you humbly want to give back what you have received. After a wealth of experience in the field, I would like to share the knowledge that I have received. I have found out that it is my responsibility to help make a difference in this world by making positive contributions through culture. After my extensive travels and voyages throughout the Pacific, I can attest that in general, the Pacific is one big family separated by political boundaries. Through cultural bonding, we can help create a relationship in friendship that interweaves us all together” says Hazama.
Co-curating the exhibit is Wennifer Lin-Haver, PhD (World Arts and Cultures, UCLA), a folklore and mythology scholar. Dr. Lin-Haver specializes in women’s narratives, female sexuality and birthing rites. She has published on folk and alternative medicine and has conducted fieldwork in Hawai‘i and in Los Angeles. She is currently researching the cultural connections between her Taiwan ancestries with other Pacific Island cultures.
This exhibit has been made possible by Robert Gumbiner Foundation, Edison Internation, Air Tahiti Nui, Arts Council for Long Beach and Shiitake-Ya™
Paiwan tribe: The women marked the backs of their hands in accordance with their social status and mastery of weaving. Copyright ©2013 Danee Hazama