TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In December of last year, one of the largest Taiwanese banks came up with a new credit card featuring indigenous art. The designs belong to Yosifu Kacaw, a member of Taiwan's Amis tribe.
Every time users pay with the card, Fubon Bank will donate 0.1 percent of the payment to social welfare groups related to indigenous people. During the first three months of 2021, the donations went to the Luma Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting indigenous languages.
The bank will focus on more collaborations in the future, with the hopes of helping Taiwan's culture thrive, according to a spokesman.
Yosifu painted portraits of himself and his sister that were later used on credit cards. (Facebook, Yosifu Photo)
Yosifu, who uses bold colors and wild brush strokes in his paintings, once had his work featured on a New York subway carriage.
"I paint to cure the pain," said Yosifu, who at the age of 30 left Taiwan on a one-way ticket, back when ethnic tensions ran higher in the country. Indigenous people earned little respect and struggled to live outside the tribe, Yosifu recalled, adding that plenty of indigenous teenagers still struggle with a sense of identity.
"Can't Speak" is related to when Indigenous children were not allowed to speak their native tongues at school. (Cheng Hsiao-wen photo)
Living in Edinburgh, Scotland for 21 years, Yosifu has devoted himself to painting and now has earned a reputation with his art. Not until he came back to Taiwan did he change his name from Jimmy to his tribal name, "Yosifu." That was the moment he could finally hear himself, he said.
Yosifu was delighted to see his paintings on the credit cards. He hoped that if people enjoyed the art, more indigenous culture would gain the opportunity to be seen.
Yosifu presenting his portrait "I Heard Myself" during a talk on ethnic equality and indigenous pride in Taiwan. (Taiwan News, Wendy Wu photo)