Youn Woo Chaa
Having lived with the Tukano Indians of the Amazon forest for over half a year, Youn Woo Chaa learned the craft of weaving. By incorporating these acquired skills of the craft into the Western art of the portrait, we revisit the modern portrait through the renewed perspective of the primitive weave. Chaa has chosen the portrait because it represents a natural evolution for the native weaving work. The rendering of the human face, unlike religious symbols or abstract geometric shapes, translates artistic mastery across both Western and indigenous cultures purely and clearly. "There isn't a personal or preconceived cultural sense of 'this is art' that needs to taught or imposed to indigenous cultures of the Amazon. The Amazon Indios will immediately see and understand that their art can achieve new standards of excellence within their own cultural context," says Chaa. In the Western art world, no one has yet accomplished the Reed-Woven Portrait to the size, scale and quality of rendering.
Chaa hopes that the increased acceptance of his work will instill new pride in indigenous cultural values, an element necessary for the proliferation of self-expression and of the Third World.