East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) declared the territory’s independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia’s 27th province the following year. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterized by a highly violent decades-long conflict between separatist groups (especially FRETILIN) and the Indonesian military.
In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002 and joined the United Nations and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. In 2011, East Timor announced its intention to gain membership status in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by applying to become its eleventh member. It is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia, the other being the Philippines.
East Timor Art comprises of the textiles, handicrafts, dances, music and the various paintings of Timor Leste. Timor Leste has a very important textile called the Tais. Tais conveys the beautiful and ancient traditions of East Timor and is mainly crafted by the women of Timor Leste. Timor Leste Art has a deep connection with Tais and consists of simple back straps. Tais also has a special place in the dances, religious gatherings and the special rituals of Timor Leste. Many kinds of products for daily use like Table runners, purses, bags and bookmarks are made out from it.
East Timor Art also involves certain kinds of training institutions and some of them are as follows:
Arte Moris Art School: The Arte Moris Art School provides adequate training in the fields of art, dance and music. It is situated in one of the beautiful sculpture gardens and has a set of 15 senior students who teaches the groups of students who visit there. It is also one of the most famous galleries of Timor Leste Art and is open to the visitors from Monday to Saturday every week. The gallery has a n unique collection of sculptures and paintings which are open for sale to the visitors. The founder of this famous place which promotes the legacy of Timor Leste Art is Swiss nationals Luca Gansser and Gabriela Gansser.
Bibi Bulak: This center is situated within the premises of the Arte Moris Art Gallery and conducts their classes on the second floor of the gallery building. The students of the group perform theatrical dance performances at various places of Timor Leste.