The Beauty of Indigenous Power: A Taiwanese Indigenous Poster Competition

The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is pleased to collaborate with the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines in Taipei, Taiwan on this exhibit. These posters feature designs and traditions inspired by the many indigenous peoples of Taiwan.


About the Formosan Aborigines

Taiwan’s indigenous peoples share historical and linguistic origins with Austronesian groups ranging from Taiwan eastward to Easter Island, westward to Madagascar, and from Hawai’i southward to New Zealand.

Starting in the 1980s, the Formosan Aborigines began to demand recognition, rights, and respect. In countless ways, indigenous peoples and scholars have disseminated new understandings about the rich cultures of these peoples. The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines opened on June 9, 1994, as an urban window into these cultures.


Posters to spread cross-cultural understanding

To stimulate new understandings of the diverse peoples of Taiwan, the Shung Ye Museum, in collaboration with the Taiwan Poster Design Association, began organizing a national student poster design competition in 2006. Over the years, the posters have been exhibited in cultural centers, museums, and schools both in Taiwan and abroad. Previous venues have been the National Museum of Ethnology and the Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo, with support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture; and the University of London and the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom.


Over 1,500 entries on “sports and rhythmic beauty”

The posters you see here are based on the theme of “sports and rhythmic beauty,” to complement the 2017 Summer Universiade athletic competition in Taipei. A call for submissions began in September 2017, with a record-breaking 1,500 entries. A panel of experts reviewed the posters and selected 70 for awards, based on the ingenuity and creativity of the designs and the way they connect youth and indigenous culture.


A celebration of the Shung Ye Museum’s 25th anniversary

To spread awareness of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples in Western countries, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines coordinated with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology to exhibit the award-winning works. This exhibit is also a celebration of the Shung Ye Museum’s 25th anniversary. In the words of the Shung Ye Museum’s staff, “We sincerely welcome everyone to visit this exhibition and to admire these outstanding graphic designs that are expressions of movement and the beautiful rhythms of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.”


About the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

In 1985, Mr. Safe C.F. Lin, Chairman of the Shung Ye Group, established the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines under the N.W. Lin Foundation for Culture and Education, named after the founder of the Shung Ye Company. When the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines officially opened in June 1994, Chairman Lin donated his personal collection of indigenous Taiwanese objects, which he had amassed over 20 years. From Mr. Lin’s initial collection, the museum began to work on field studies and research projects and continued to collect indigenous objects, including purchases abroad and donations by others interested in indigenous culture. Today, it cares for a collection of over 2,000 items. In 2015, Dr. Kristin C.C. Lin, Mr. Lin’s daughter, succeeded him as the Chairperson of the N.W. Lin Foundation. For 25 years, the museum has been a hub for research, scholarship, and collaborations with Taiwan’s indigenous cultures.