Clothing can be revealing. A garment can say a lot about the society that produced it- at least to those who know what to look for. The clothing of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples has a lot to say in particular, revealing something of local conditions, social structures, and outside cultural influence, as well as a keen sense of the practical and the beautiful. The varied clothing of indigenous Taiwan is the subject of “Innumerable Efforts on the Art of Clothes”, an ambitious exhibit going on now in Chiayi, at the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum.
This is a joint exhibit that’s bringing together more than 200 real examples of clothing from museums around Taiwan. In a museum devoted to artworks from all over Asia, this exhibit shines a spotlight on the beauty to be found in our own Taiwanese backyard. With me this week to discuss the exhibit is museum curator Lai Yu-ling.