Born and raised in Gangkou Village, Hualien, Iyo has shown his talent and passion for artistic creation since he was a child. He returned home from the military service and started learning the craft from Rahic Talif, an artist from Gangkou Village. After almost twenty years of prolific and vigorous career, Iyo has become a representative artist of the contemporary arts on the east coast of Taiwan. Apart from his military service, Iyo has rarely ever left his village; however, fellow villagers have a hard time understanding why a smart and able man like him hasn’t gone to the city for work. Thus, when Iyo first returned to the village, he explored the mother culture to nourish himself and his creativity. His father taught him about the knowledge of the body related to the ocean.
Iyo still spends a lot of his time at sea or in the ocean these days. On the one hand, he learns traditional marine life skills from the elders, such as observing tides, casting and placing nets, shooting fish, and collecting seafood, showing himself as a useful man. On the other hand, he rediscovers his relationship with the sea to nourish the source of his creativity, and often, he likes to retreat by the sea to meditate and zone out. Therefore his creations always come from his caring about the ocean, so is his inspiration. Stacking small pieces of driftwood, rocks, and even scrap metal wires into flowing linear continuous structures has become Iyo’s unique creative vocabulary.
Title: The Moon Lives in the Sea
Artist: Iyo Kacaw
Dimensions: 500 CM Long, 200 CM Wide, 350 CM High
Location: Jialulan Park, on the Central Round Hill
Iyo’s creation, “The Moon Lives in the Sea” for the “Mountains Harmonize Ocean Songs- East Coast Land Arts Festival 2021,” is located in Jialulan Recreational Area. Through twisting and pulling recycled steel bars into a structure similar to the moonlight rising over the horizon, sprinkling a path of glowing waves shimmering and undulating on the sea. When Iyo was young, he always thought that the moon’s home was in the sea because it always rose from the sea. The moon has an important message for us to observe the changing tides; it’s like knowing when the sea inhales and exhales. Because of the gravitational influence of the sun and moon, there is the ebb and flow, twice a day, indicating good timings for the Banchas (the Amis people’s self-proclaimed name) to consider getting in the sea catching fishing, collecting shellfish, and seaweed. The tight relationship between humans, islands, the moon, and the ocean is the refrigerator for the Bonchas to seek proteins in both the material and spiritual realms.