The Collection of Time in the Polymer Age

Yen-Ting Tseng (Kappa)



Taipei, Taiwan


“Does anyone remember the old barking deer who would bark loudly before the rain?”
The local grandma, who was raising her children next to the factory, has been cooking rice noodles for the protesters.

Is time getting shorter and shorter?

Taiwanese artist Yen-Ting Tseng, aka Kappa, presents an installation with toys and music exploring the subjective perception of time from the perspectives of different subjects in the polymer age.


The 4 videos below offer a space for reflection on our relationship to time through the items that we consume, the life cycles of those items and the factories that produce them.

It’s about time

Much of the polymers that are produced stimulate inefficiencies in our lifestyles and industries. Our systems fail when we throw away plastic after a short lifetime despite how long it could be used and reused. In most cases, practical case studies show that supply chains can be organized so zero throw-away packaging is needed while augmenting convenience for all parties involved.


Still, financial markets in Taiwan and other petrochemical strongholds speculate and drive new plastic production, based on an imaginary demand.

The life of a pink plastic bowl from its origin as petroleum underground 180 million years ago to microplastics in the ocean.

Read more about the root cause of system inefficiencies in Taiwan.

Foreman Lin works in an oil refinery, where his father died because of an occupational accident.
An oil refinery was the backbone of the economic miracle, closed down after a series of operation accidents.

Isn’t it strange that we haven’t heard From that old barking deer lately?

Reuse-focused stores, such as Unpackaged, are popping up in Taiwan. Its mission is to solve the outdated problem of expired products and piling up empty bottles – what if we only bought the exact amount that we required, and reused the excess containers to give them a new life?


In the era of excessive packaging and waste of resources, Unpackaged adheres to zero-waste and hopes to spread its model to benefit Taipei’s citizens, the environment, and all parties involved.

It is not only entrepreneurs who are taking notice of the opportunity.


Food delivery giants, such as FoodPanda, are also jumping into the reuse wagon and expanding their reusable take-out container scheme for food delivery services to Taiwan and other regions in a bid to reduce the use of throwaway tableware. 

With the right mix of policy, investment and innovation in supply chains, the existing working solutions can easily scale. It is already being done in other regions of the world, showing that consumers favour packaging-free options when the right systems allow and encourage it.

Isn’t it time to listen to that old barking deer?

A safe future for the region (and for other ambitious cities around the world) implies:


  • A change in the narrative from “recycling will save the day” to “reuse is the new normal”.
  • Local and national policies and investment schemes that enable zero-waste business models.
  • Knowledge sharing and support packages to help large and small businesses transition to package-free, new-generation supply chains.
  • Aborting the permitting process of unnecessary plastic production infrastructure.

Get involved: Strengthen reuse in Taiwan

Join a group of like-minded citizens, creators, students and entrepreneurs to contribute to projects that enable the reuse evolution in Taipei. Help Taiwan transition away from absurd, harmful petrochemical projects and toward a sustainable economic plan that truly benefits its citizens, the environment, and all parties involved.

About this Story

Producer: Camille Duran

Coordination & Media Relations: Megan Neill Andrés

Creative & Operations Support: Laura Weiland

Operations Support: Tatiana Quiroz Marín

Art Producer: Yen Nin TSENG
Artist: Yen-Ting TSENG (Kappa)

Technical Director: Menu MA Song
Writer: Chiang TAO/ Tiunn Ngá-Sûn (Yasi)/ Di-Hao ZHANG
Singer: Chiang TAO/Tiunn Ngá-Sûn (Yasi)/Di-Hao ZHANG/Phoenix LU
Straw Plaiting: Shao-Yung HSU / zooanddust
On Set Manager: Spring CHEN
Key Visual Design: Rachel CHEN
Photographer: Chien-Che TANG

Presented by Uncertain Studio

In partnership with #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

Funded by the Cosmic Foundation and the Plastic Solutions Fund.

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