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2016.07.15

TICA JOURNAL

Yosifu: Supporting Wildlife Conservation

Yosifu: Supporting Wildlife Conservation

Yosifu: The Aboriginal Artist Supporting Wildlife Conservation
Written by Eugenia P.G. 2016.07.11 


The first time Yosifu saw an elephant, he was 17. It was during a visit to Taipei Zoo where the gentle giants made an impression on him.
 “ When I saw them I fell in love; they are humble, big and beautiful.”
 
At the time, he never imagined that he would end up making them part of his art. Yosifu and other artists’ unique designs coat elephant sculptures at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi for Elephant Parade, a social enterprise that integrates art, business, and charity, and aims to preserve a future for the Asian Elephant.
 
Yosifu's piece was chosen from 55 other artworks to represent the Elephant Parade Taiwan 2016. His choice of simple but bold color schemes evoke those seen in Amis Tribe traditional clothing: red, black and white.
 
The sun, wind and waves are the three key components used to create “ Life Without End” by Yosifu. “These elements represent the energy of my tribe. Before the introduction of Christianity, in the past, our ancestors believed they came from the sun, and worshiped it.”
 
Taiwanese Aboriginals have a deep respect for nature and aspire towards balance in the environment. Through his art, Yosifu wants to remind the audience that all life forms are significant and play a meaningful role in the world. Yosifu gained this understanding and perspective of the world in part from his father, who was a fisher and hunter. “ Even hunting is done in a conscious way. Female animals that are pregnant are not hunted. We believe if we treat Mother Earth nicely, she will be good to us.” 
 
At the beginning of his career, he used a lot of animals in his work mainly because he cared for them and they were popular among the audience. This time he is firmly placing emphasis on animal rights and other inequality issues. “ I just want to keep reminding people we are equal and that we must respect each other and our differences. I hope my work can also create a dialogue about this.”
 
Issues pertaining to inequality have been a consistent theme throughout his work as aboriginal culture has suffered throughout the years in Taiwan. His art is a weapon with which he can fight back, but as for the present project, he is focusing on animals—specifically on elephants.
“Poaching is something that enrages me. Animals can’t talk, but they can feel. With my art, I am giving them a voice.”
 
When the Manager of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi offered him to get involved he didn’t hesitate. Elephant Parade Taiwan 2016 would be the perfect transition for his exhibit upcoming December, ‘I Love You Too’ which will draw attention to animal protection.
 
“If we can love humans we can love animals too. And ‘Life Without End’ is my wish for the Asian Elephant.” Yosifu added.

 
原住民藝術家與動保議題的連結——優席夫於《2016大象巡游》之創作採訪
文:Eugenia P.G. 2016.07.11 

  優席夫17歲那年,在台北市立動物園第一次親眼看見大象,那溫和而魁梧的動物在他心中留下了深刻的印象。
  當時他從沒想過,有一天大象會出現在他的藝術創作當中。優席夫和其他的藝術家們在新光三越的「大象巡游」展覽中,分別用畫筆為大象雕塑穿上獨特的外衣。這個展覽的目的為保護亞洲象的未來,結合了藝術、商業以及慈善。
優席夫的作品從其他55件作品中脫穎而出,被選為2016台灣「大象巡游」的主視覺。他選擇使用簡單卻大膽的顏色,紅、黑和白,做為他阿美族身分的表態。
  台灣原住民崇敬大自然並嚮往與環境共存。優席夫希望透過他的藝術創作提醒大眾,所有生命來到這個世上都是有意義與價值的。優席夫對這個世界的觀點來自於他漁夫兼獵人的父親。他父親說:「打獵也要小心謹慎,必須避開懷孕的動物,我們相信當我們善待土地,她自然會對我們好。」
在他事業的初期,動物是他創作的主要題材,因為他關心動物,同時這也是大眾所喜愛的題材。這一次,他堅定地要為動物的權利以及其他不平等議題發聲。「我希望大眾知道,我們是平等的應該要尊重彼此以及我們之間的差異性。我也期望我的作品能為這個議題開啟一場對話。」優席夫說道。
  不平等的相關議題一直以來都是他的創作題材,在他的作品中也能看到原住民文化在台灣主流社會下遭遇的困境,他的藝術成為一個能夠反擊的武器,不過他現在當前的計畫打算專注在動物議題上—特別是大象。
  「侵佔是一個會激怒我的行為!動物雖然無法言語,但他們是有感覺的。透過我的藝術,我要為牠們發聲!」優席夫激動地述說著。
  所以當初新光三越的經理邀請他參加這場展覽時,他毫不猶豫的就加入行列。2016台灣「大象巡游」也將成為他12月「我也愛你」展覽的前導,接下來他將透過「我也愛你」展覽喚醒人們對動物保護的意識。
  優席夫最後補充:「如果我們能夠愛人,我們同樣也能愛動物。願「生生不息」這個作品如同亞洲象的未來。」
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