回到文化,山海生活的羈絆 – 藤木植人:陳豪毅

回到文化,山海生活的羈絆 – 藤木植人:陳豪毅

Returning to Culture, the Bonds of Mountain and Sea Life

okaf_crafts :Chen Haoyi (Akac )Orat


The town formerly known as " Madawdaw " was renamed "Xingang" and later "Chenggong" after World War II. It is the largest fishing port town on the east coast. Its population includes various ethnic groups such as the Amis, Siraya, and Han. In the past, it was the location of the largest Amis tribe on the east coast. As early as the late Qing Dynasty, the Amis people migrated here to cultivate the land, forming a settlement. The former name of Chenggong, "Maloluo," is derived from the Amis language, Madawdaw, meaning "light," symbolizing the place where the sun rises.



At the foot of the mountains in Xingang, Chenggong Town, stands a traditional Amis house facing the sea, with a thatched roof, walls woven from bamboo, and interiors constructed of wooden pillars, rattan beds, and stone stoves. Smoke gently wafts through the entire space, adding a glossy layer to the overhead rattan pieces and warding off dampness and pests from the house.


家屋的主人陳豪毅 Akac Orat,一位藤編工藝創作者。於2018年便開始構思與採集的「Malacecay阿美傳統家屋構築」計畫,「Malacecay」意為「一起共作而美好合一」。從材料的採集、處理;到房屋的落柱、楯卯建構、屋頂茅草的鋪設歷時了約三年多的時間與各地的夥伴共作完成。

The owner of the house is Chen Haoyi, also known as Akac Orat, a craftsman specializing in rattan weaving. He initiated the "Malacecay Amis Traditional House Construction" project in 2018, with "Malacecay" meaning "together in beauty and unity." It took over three years of collaboration with partners from various places to collect and process materials, set up the house's structure, and lay thatched roofs.




Why did you want to build this traditional house in your grandfather's field? It all goes back to Haoyi's decision to return to his hometown and become a teacher, after graduating. Haoyi, who graduated from the Department of Art History at the Taipei National University of the Arts, returned to Chenggong Town to teach at Heping Elementary School. However, faced with the cultural rupture between the tribe and contemporary life, modern children, though living in the tribe, are primarily educated in urban contexts. So Haoyi initiated experimental educational programs on campus, taking children to pick snails, weave, and harvest bamboo. Through learning about counting from snails, recipes, painting, etc., he integrated tribal traditional culture with textbook content across subjects and disciplines, bringing the curriculum out of the classroom and into life. Teaching children their own maternal culture, learning from tribal elders, making and experiencing together, their bodies would remember. Haoyi humbly said he was also a learner, learning alongside the children.





The construction of the house is also like this, through starting from scratch, experiencing, learning, and growing one's own strength. The first difficulty faced was the loss of traditional knowledge. The house types of the Amis can generally be divided into post-and-beam and mortise-and-tenon structures. From the mouths of the elders, it was learned that there were still a few hundred-year-old houses in the tribe that used mortise-and-tenon construction, but it was found that the elderly familiar with this construction method could no longer be found. Haoyi gradually figured out the construction method through studying existing house structures.



It is also this attitude of living through embodied practice that whenever there are young people in the tribe who want to consult Haoyi, he always responds, "Just go ahead and do it, don't keep taking photos or reading literature. If you want to do it, you'll ask, and then you'll do it, record it on your phone, you won't learn by studying."

Furthermore, there is reflection on the current phenomenon where some projects are only carried out if there is funding available. "If culture relies on government subsidies or funding to be done, does everything have to be so utilitarian?" When all learning is driven by utilitarianism, people forget about the present life.



With the housing exchange program underway, it also attracted Haon, who originally lived in Hong Kong, to join the ranks of working partners. Apart from collectively maintaining the land and houses, more time is spent in the mountains and forests. "We often say we go hunting, gathering, but I feel it's more like the land is hunting, setting traps of abundance for us to fall into, to stay here and work for it." Whether it's for gathering, hunting, cutting grass on the mountain, organizing mollusks for the curriculum, or tending to livestock and fields, it's the bonds of mountain and sea life that keep people living in the fields, unable to escape.




Initially, Haoyi found his connection to tribal culture through learning rattan weaving from the elders. His journey in learning rattan weaving was unique. Often venturing into the mountains and forests alone for collection, he faced many younger individuals eager to learn. Initially, he always asked them to start by being able to collect rattan themselves. However, this year, he began a different approach - establishing the Rattan Weaving Academy and implementing a master-apprentice system. This allowed aspiring craftsmen to collaborate collectively, help each other, and build companionship.




bserving many people learning weaving techniques and skills, it seemed they were superficially understanding without grasping the context behind it. They used easily accessible imported materials without understanding the wisdom of their ancestors, forgetting what gifts the land had given them. Thus, there was a desire to establish a solid curriculum with contextual transmission.





More importantly, there was an emphasis on establishing land ethics in forest management. Haoyi realized that even though his grandfather had long passed away, most of the collection was still on his grandfather's land, the land he cultivated. The impact was profound. If the land could be effectively managed and utilized, its effects could be inherited for generations and continue to circulate. "When we collect, when we plant, we must be aware of the crisis when taking from the mountains and seas." Perhaps this was also the core spirit of the house. Regardless of future changes, the essence and wisdom of culture will continue to shine on this land.