Future Shock

2019 / Video installation / 20 minutes

In 1970, American futurist Alvin Toffler’s iconic work Future Shockwas 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.

About the artist

SU Hui-Yu

SU Hui-Yu (b. 1976, Taipei), 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, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Hong-Gah Museum, Double Square Gallery, Tina Keng Gallery, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, San Jose Museum of Art in California, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Kunst Museum Bonn, Casino Luxembourg- forum d’art contemporain, Art WuZhen, and Power Station of Art in Shanghai. In 2017, International Film Festival Rotterdam dedicated a retrospective to SU’s video works, while his video piece Super Taboo had its world premiere in the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films. SU returns to the Tiger Short Competition in 2019 with The Glamorous Boys of Tang. SU has been awarded the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship Award and participated in a residency program in New York City. In 2019, SU wins the 17th Taishin Visual Arts Award, in addition, his upcoming production Future Shock is awarded by Kaohsiung Film Festival.

Other artworks


Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab

No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.)