Tau Art

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namegiver
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Tau Art

Post#1 » Jan 23 2018 01:43

Does anyone have any examples, visual or in stories, of Tau art? That is, art *by* Tau, not our art depicting Tau. I've an idea for a project and would like some canonical source material to reference before I get overly creative :biggrin:

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau Art

Post#2 » Jan 23 2018 06:49

Here's some discussion from an older thread:
viewtopic.php?t=26161

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Re: Tau Art

Post#3 » Jan 23 2018 08:56

Arka0415 wrote:Here's some discussion from an older thread:
viewtopic.php?t=26161


Thanks for linking that since I had completely forgotten about that discussion thread. But it's only part of what, I think namegiver was asking about. Certainly the descriptions of fio'sorral artwork in Kill Team are the only canonical one we have (maybe wrong - some one tell me if I am). And as far as I know there are no "official" Tau art styles depicted anywhere. There are only the illustrations from the first two codices to go by, as the later ones radically changed the depictions of Tau architecture.


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namegiver
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Re: Tau Art

Post#4 » Jan 23 2018 09:40

Thanks for the link, it didn't even occur to me to search for what I thought was a totally obscure question. ATT is wide AND deep.

My project is to build a terrain table (6'x4') to go along with my Shi'ar sept cadre. My basing scheme is desert/badlands, so to go along with that I thought a Tau archaeological dig would be cool... along the lines of a Tau version the Petra ruins in Jordan, but as if in Bryce Canyon USA. From a fluff point of view it makes no sense (skirmishes on the Tau homeworld?!) but I think it'd be fun and cool, so rule of cool triumphs ;-)

I'm farming for ideas as to how ancient Tau cultures (pre-Ethereal) viewed themselves, from a visual-arts point of view so I can get the ruin bits feeling right. Falling back on ancient Earth cultures for inspiration, I can see various Tau cultures (Earth, Fire, etc.) being similar to Aztec, Olmec, ancient Japanese, maybe Polynesian. Something in the style of the Dragon Priest masks from the Skyrim video game could work too.

I guess I'll just experiment a bit and see what works best. It's all just made up anyways :P

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau Art

Post#5 » Jan 23 2018 09:57

namegiver wrote:I'm farming for ideas as to how ancient Tau cultures (pre-Ethereal) viewed themselves, from a visual-arts point of view so I can get the ruin bits feeling right. Falling back on ancient Earth cultures for inspiration, I can see various Tau cultures (Earth, Fire, etc.) being similar to Aztec, Olmec, ancient Japanese, maybe Polynesian. Something in the style of the Dragon Priest masks from the Skyrim video game could work too.

Very cool! It seems that, both in canon and generally-discussed lore here on ATT, that the Tau were very Asian, even before the Ethereals. Communal farming, tribal/family system, martial arts/culture, poetry, etc. The Earth Caste (tribe) was definitely building castles (or at least enormous fortified earthworks) before the Mont'au with the largest example being the fortress at Fio'taun.

An archaeological dig into an old pre-Earth Caste fortress could be a very cool setting, otherwise I imagine the Tau were largely building with wood, paper, straw, and other materials common in Asian agricultural societies.

At any rate, the age of the Mont'au (pre-Ethereal) and before definitely has a Japanese/Asian aesthetic, and that's ancient history to us now. How far back do you want to go?

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namegiver
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Re: Tau Art

Post#6 » Jan 23 2018 10:20

Arka0415 wrote:How far back do you want to go?


That's a good question. I'm certainly no artist, so was thinking something very stylized. Later, more realistic sculpture would be WAY beyond my skills. Early then, along the lines of (from Japanese history) the 1000 - 500 BCE clay Dogū statues or ~2000 BCE Olmec head sculptures. I think either of those could be a cool pattern. Do you have any suggestions?

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Arka0415
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Re: Tau Art

Post#7 » Jan 23 2018 10:50

namegiver wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:How far back do you want to go?

That's a good question. I'm certainly no artist, so was thinking something very stylized. Later, more realistic sculpture would be WAY beyond my skills. Early then, along the lines of (from Japanese history) the 1000 - 500 BCE clay Dogū statues or ~2000 BCE Olmec head sculptures. I think either of those could be a cool pattern. Do you have any suggestions?

If you want to model things on Japanese history I can definitely help. Olmec, not so much :D Pottery figrines like dogū largely were from the Jōmon period, and many date back as far as several thousand years BCE. Sculpture from this era was very small, most surviving examples in museums today are about 20-30cm. These objects are essentially pre-historic, since no written or known record describes what they were for. Jōmon people also produced a large amount of clayware, but again, nothing really large.

The best-known and most common form of ancient Japanese sculpture would be funerary figurines called haniwa. These figurines appeared around the Kofun period, which is named after the large burial mounds called kofun. These large hill-like tombs were Japan's first real "monolithic" sculptures- Japan never had a monument-building culture, and ancient Japanese did not construct pyramids, castles, statues, or large stone buildings.

If you want a large sculpture or construction, I think there are two places to take inspiration from- first would be Japanese ancient monolithic structures like kofun, and second would be the giant carved Buddha statues found in mainland Asia.

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namegiver
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Re: Tau Art

Post#8 » Jan 23 2018 11:25

Oh wow, the haniwa figurines are fantastic. I love the eye and mouth openings on the very old ones. It's easy to imagine a Tau version with an exaggerated nasal slit in place of the nose ridge. The kofun would also come across well on the tabletop.

I did a bit of looking around at southeast Asian artworks, particularly Angkor Wat and Buddha statuary. It's all beautiful, and would be fantastic for the style of the facade if I decide to go that way. Heck, Angkor Wat could be the inspiration for an entire set of tables.

Great suggestions, thanks.

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