In 1970, American futurist Alvin Toffler’s iconic work Future Shock was published. One year later, a translation by Zhiwen Publishing House hit the market in Taiwan, thus introducing the writer’s theories to readers of Chinese.
The premise of the book can be summed up as: “A future that comes too quickly creates more apprehension than that of a foreign land. Future society will be stricken with a plethora of choices, throw-away society, information overload, and unethical technology.”
The work Future Shock was inspired by Toffler’s original, from which the artist adapted and developed Toffler’s theories. The artist decided to shoot the film in the southern city of Kaohsiung for its industrial facilities, modernist architecture, power plants, commercial institutions, and deserted amusement parks, which were driven by economic policies in the 1970s, but today evoke feelings of strangeness and nostalgia for the city’s golden age.
This past which felt so futuristic 50 years ago is now both confusing and familiar. Future Shock leads audience members to revisit retro Kaohsiung from a contemporary perspective and look back as if in a dream at the influence of “modern” and “future” when they were completely new concepts in Asia.
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Su Hui-Yu obtained an MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2003, and has remained active in the contemporary art scene ever since. Su is fascinated by the intricate tapestry interwoven by images, media, history, and daily life. In his videos, he explores both mass media’s impact on viewers, and the projection of viewers’ thoughts and desires onto media. Recently, Su’s interest in old books, from which he re-reads, revises, and appropriates texts for his work, has led him to a new understanding of physicality, existence, and history. His work has been exhibited at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, MOCA Taipei, Double Square Gallery, Tina Keng Gallery, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, San Jose Museum of Art in California, Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Casino Luxembourg and Power Station of Art in Shanghai.
This project is kindly supported by Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.
The production is sponsored by Kaohsiung Film Archive and National Culture and Arts Foundation.
Producer: Huang Jing-Han and Kuo Yi-Hsuan
1st Assistant Director: Liu Yueh-Min
Cameratographer: Chen Kuan-Yu
Art director: Liao Yin-Chiao and Su Hui-Yu
Custome Designer: Huang Jing-Han
Music: Su Hui-Yu