Chronicle of Nowhere

CHEN Chun-Tien

Taiwan〡2022〡Exp〡Color, BW〡24 min〡Mandarin
✧ 2022 Taiwan International Documentary Festival
✧ 2022 Experimental, Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films

During the martial law period, along the coastline engulfed by solemn silence, a group of anachronistic architectures emerged out of nowhere. UFO Houses, featuring colorful and smooth oval-shaped plastic contours, were elegantly named “Exquisite Space Pod Houses” by the locals.In a way, it secretly became a hub of futurism even before Taiwanese society fully embraced modernism. Man-made landscapes manifested a brand-new value in line with the great utopian vision: the future is light, colorful, technological, consumer-oriented and sentimental.Even an enduring myth passed down from generation to generation cannot escape the fate of word of mouth. A half century later, we stood on the same coast with a retrospective gaze. The landscapes of the past looked utterly foreign, but when we attempted to look into the future, we were soon overwhelmed by a sense of déjà vu.

Director

CHEN Chun-Tien

​​CHEN Chun-Tien studied at the Tainan National University of the Arts, Graduate Institute of Studies in Documentary. As a filmmaker, he explores various fields of visual arts including documentary, animation and experimental films. His animation work SICK BUILDING SYNDROME (2015) was presented at domestic and international festivals, including Taipei Film Festival and Kaohsiung Film Festival. His documentary IN MEMORY OF CHINATOWN (2016) uses experimental methods to explore urban renewal issues, selected in the New Asian Currents competition of Yamagata International Film Festival.

11.04 ㊄ 17:20〡台南新光影城 4 廳
11.09 ㊂ 18:30〡台南新光影城 4 廳〡 Q&A session with the Director
同場放映:《As Time Goes By》《K 的房間》《非常,非常,非常地》《你誰》
Buying Tickets

1980年代彼時,台灣的現代主義尚未解嚴,烏托邦式的未來想像,卻跟著經濟起飛而從西方(極樂)世界隨著飛碟橫空降落於西海岸。作者以散文電影的口述形式結合膠卷、數位、靜照等不同影像媒材,為觀者疊床架屋了一段由歷史記憶所組成的,冷冽、疏離,卻可能重複而不自知的島嶼近未來。

An architecture can manifest the multiple facets of political, economic, and cultural influences within a specific time frame. My previous work, IN MEMORY OF THE CHINATOWN, documents the last days of the “Chinatown” in Tainan City before demolition. The once bustling residential and commercial complex, an architecture style popularized in the 1990s, has embodied some older generation’s nostalgic imagination toward China. This time, I am drawn to spaceship houses made of plastics, the so-called “UFO Houses”, on the northern coastline. Originating from futuristic mania in Western societies, the idea of UFO Houses was repackaged into beachfront resort advertisements in Taiwan. Catering to the fantasy of American life, such an idea was embraced by frenzy phenomena of housing transactions and tourism brought by economic boom. After decades, real estate speculators and opportunists were long gone, what remains is the northeast monsoon wind howling across the semi-abandoned houses. After all, history is repeating itself, akin to annual crab migration. With this essay film, I attempt to combine still photography, digital and celluloid materials, as to document a peculiar sight that once conjured thoughts of a more hopeful time and has witnessed never-ending repetition and futility of human behaviors.

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