Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery shown in Taipei
The image on a poster, "Astral Plain Scouts", acrylic on canvas
Gatherings provided an excellent and vivid backdrop to celebrate the existing Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and Taiwan in support of developing relations between aboriginal peoples which has now been in place for the past five years. A delegation of Canadian parliamentarians, led by Hon. Judi Longfield, were able to visit the exhibition while on a Taiwanese government sponsored visit, reinforcing the positive and constructive elements of a challenging relationship that does not include diplomatic recognition. Together, both Elijah Harper and Dr. Kung Wen-chi, Chairman of the Council for Indigenous Peoples of the Taipei City Government, toured the Gatherings exhibit. Harper, a regular visitor to Taiwan and a major contributor, as is Dr. Kung, to the momentum of growing Canadian-Taiwan Aboriginal ties, provided uniquely personal insight into the exhibition as he personally knows - or is closely related to - a majority of Gatherings' featured artists.
Jointly organised by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Taiwan's National Museum of History and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Gatherings received strong support from Taiwan's Council for Indigenous Peoples (CIP), Taipei City's Council for Indigenous Peoples, and EVA Airlines. Through all these partnerships and the creative energies of the featured Canadian artists, Gatherings allowed thousands of Taiwanese to experience this diversity and broaden their experience of Canada's First Nations well beyond existing stereotypes.