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The Collection of Time in the Polymer Age brings the stories about Kaohsiung Refinery, the first refinery, and light oil cracking plants in Taiwan. The Kaohsiung Oil Refinery was converted from a Japanese fuel plant after World War II.

Over the next 70 years, it underwent multiple expansions and renovations, which also triggered one of the earliest environmental protest movements in Taiwan. Finally, in 2015 It closed permanently as promised. Narrative songs of various styles and playful object installations, which are the trademark of Uncertain Studio performances, depict different characters surrounding the story of Kaohsiung refinery. From the crude oil which forms in a billion years to the middle-aged man working in the refinery for the second generation. Each character, human or non-human, has its own visage that changes over time. The stories of time are collected, fabricated and weaved into a grand picture, along with real personal experiences from three performers who have been working on the scene. How do we value time? The complexity presents the subjectivity of the scale of time from the perspectives of different subjects in the polymer age. The performance is one part of the creative project, Island of Plastic Dream. It aims to examine, through research and field work, the unique historical context of the petrochemical industry in Taiwan, and to create dialogue via artistic means in a greater global context.

Funded by Taiwanese artists from a theatre design background, Uncertain Studio's early works combine object theatre with ambient soundscapes to create mini-scale technical theatre with low-tech aesthetics. In more recent years, they have been questioning the nature of performing arts, moving towards the performative aspects of board games, workshops, and tourism to find new ways to discuss real world issues in a creative setting. 

  • Duration 60 minutes
  • in spoken English with songs in Mandarin and Taiwanese
Additional information
Text, performance Tao Chiang, Szu-Ni Wen, Yen-Ting Tseng Direction Yen-Ting Tseng Music Tao Chiang Lyrics Tiunn Ngá-Sûn (Yasi), Di-Hao Zhang Production management Yen Nin Tsneg Funded by National Culture and Arts Foundation Taiwan, Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture Guest performance in collaboration with Spielart Theaterfestival München