Nobuyuki Sugihara (Art Director, Shinano Primitive Sense Art Festival) received an ACC Fellowship in 2019 to continue his research on Taiwanese indigenous culture and festivals, as well as connect with artists for his annual art festival in Nagano, Japan. His fellowship coincided with unique events—Taiwan's Paiwan indigenous group’s “five-year festival,” Maljeveq, and, less fortuitously, the COVID-19 pandemic. For the month of May, he remains in Taiwan.

I am currently in Taiwan on a 6-month ACC grant to research Taiwan's indigenous culture... While the world has declared a state of emergency, I have been able to continue my research and production in Taiwan.

I believe that this hybrid culture, along with the aboriginal culture, gives rise to Taiwan's kind-hearted, diversity-accepting, festival-loving, creative, and female and child-centered society. This contrasts with the continued unevolvement in Japanese society, where male-centered authoritarianism is widespread. In the aboriginal cultures that live with the land, women who give birth to life have power, and life is valued there. I feel that making such an ordinary choice is one of the solutions in this critical situation.

Nobuyuki Sugihara

Nobuyuki Sugihara and his partner Ayaka Nakamura are pictured with their artworks created for Taiwan's East Coast Land Arts Festival in Taitung (above) and Kacalisian Art Festival (Art Festival on the Slopes) in Pingtung (below). “Having the materials from the land," he wrote, "learning the expression which is created by the people who live at the place, I am creating the place where human and nature can live together.”

Grantee Reflections is a platform for ACC alumni to share their collective voice as an international community of artists, scholars, and cultural ambassadors. This is a cultural exchange of words, image, video, and sound from around the world. While our bodies cannot travel, our minds can still meet.