Born in 1963, Yuma is an Atayal with a Han Chinese name “Ya-li Huang.”Cultivated in the Han Chinese education system, Yuma obtained her Master’s degree at the Graduate Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Fu Jen Catholic University. She had once worked as a civil servant and a junior high school teacher. During her job at the local textiles exhibition hall in Taichung County Cultural Center, Yuma started to connect her self deeper to her roots and the Atayal culture, and later headed toward the road to the renaissance of Atayal weaving.
Since 2010, Yuma has also linked together folk education with dyed and woven handcrafts, creating the “Sear-Uraw Folk Education School”to push child folk education. She hopes to pass on her knowledge and techniques, and hopes that her tribespeople will regain their confidence in their own culture.
The artist who was educated in the Han cultural system used to hold public positions and teach in a junior high school. While working at the Weaving Museum of the Taichung County Cultural Center, she came across Atayal weaving through exhibitions and events, which encouraged her to reconnect her ties to her maternal Atayal culture. For the first decade of her return to the tribe, she was shocked to find that the aboriginal had been researched, recorded and written in an indifferent approach. Therefore she aspired to engage in field research with a goal to restore the original classifications of Atayal weaving, bringing back the nearly disappearing dyeing techniques and memories. She then devoted her second decade to establishing the workshop and nurturing talent. As for her future plans, in addition to art creation, she also hopes to start the first Atayal weaving school in Taiwan.
HONORS AND AWARDS
Yuma Taru is recipient of the 2016 national living treasure honors at Taichung Cultural Innovation Industrial Park. She is Taiwan’s top traditional arts and cultural heritage preservationists, also known as national living treasures. In 2013 she was on behalf of Taiwan being interviewed by National Gallery of Canada Artist Interview.