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Siki Sufin


Born and raised in Dulan, the Amis woodcarving artist, Siki, graduated from the National Taitung Junior College and had wandered around the cities as a construction worker tieing rebars when he was young. After the initial contact with some early indigenous woodcarving artist in Sanyi, he started creating wood carving arts as an indigenous artist with roots deep down in the village where his body and soul resides. Since he founded his art studio 25 years ago, he has been ceaselessly creating, learning and teaching woodcarving courses at schools including Dulabn Elementary and Junior High Schools, Taiyuan Elementary School, Ningpu Elementary School, Dulan, and Yongan Communities. He has also held numerous solo exhibitions with the National Tsing Hua University and Okinawa Art Museum. He started the series of artwork “Wings of the Mountain” in 2006, attempting to carve a way home for the lost souls of deceased indigenous soldiers recruited by the Japanese to join the army during the war. Several of his artworks have collected by the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Currently, he works as a full-time artist while managing Siki Sufin Art Studio in Dulan Village.


Matako no kelah / 被退潮追上 / Caught on the Ebb Tide

Masi’ac, an Amis term refers to the time period a tidal phase turns to lowering water level; when the flow of water is strong and turbulent as many forms of marine life and intertidal creatures move around during this time. Thus, this period is called the best time for Micekiw (collecting shells and seaweed) and Tafokod (casting fishing net). The elders said if one has the strength to go down during the Kasi’acan, one will catch more fish than at any other time. Masi’ac is a turning point when the instant changing of water level goes from very high to very low. During the Masi’ac, shellfish opens up from a close and self-defense state, seeking food and mating. However, the predators are also out during this time, making Masi’ac full of opportunities and dangers while questing for survival amidst risks. Whether they are creatures of the intertidal zone or villagers who collect them, regardless of they are hunters or being hunted, they must make the right decision. If creatures of the intertidal zone miss the best time to situate themselves in a location suitable for their survival, or if the fishers miss the best time to retrieve the net, as the coming ebb tide suddenly draws all the way back, lives will be trapped on the reef, and fishes caught in the net will die and rot as they are exposed in the air. Aren’t we often find ourselves in such a turning point in life?