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The Little Detective

Yung Ho Chang

The unconventional world of an uncommon detective.


While perceiving space around them, children build their own, unique world. "Little Detective" does the same. A child investigating on two mysterious cases, he is the protagonist of this video by Yung Ho Chang. The story narrated in the short film was taken from a paper book by the Chinese architect who invites us to measure our relationship with our environment by means of a lively glance, open to accept diversities. At the same time, the video, and the paper book before it, tell us more about the architect' approach, always in search of stimuli that go beyond the architectural field, in the arts and interdisciplinary research.

The story comes from far away and began during Yung Ho Chang's childhood. In a way, the architect decided to share with the viewer his private life. The pretext for this video-narration are the bedtime stories narrated to him and his brother by their father, an architect too. The protagonist of such stories was "Little Detective" indeed. Yung Ho Chang recovers his childhood memories and dresses them up with new features, thus filling the gaps left by memory; he redesigns Little Detective's world and retraces his investigations.

Yung Ho Chang gives a new birth to the young protagonist of his story, recreates his clothes and designs the space in which the child returns to life and lives again. All the new stuff is conceived as a kid would, hence a strange world is revealed to us adults: one where people live in a long long building and move from one far end to the other by taking a subway; one where a homogeneous grid reveals many different microcosms each one being the expression of a story-character - the auntie, the collector, the golf player - and moulded on his or her desires.

Images flow and, as observers, we follow the daily life of this unique detective. His lifestyle is unaffected by the adults' stereotypes. The story of the Little Detective is an advice to observe facts from different points of views and is a door open to multiple realities which could even be in conflict one with the other, almost bordering the absurd.

The first episode of the Little Detective's saga is Yung Ho Chang's homage to De Chirico and Magritte. The second episode celebrates perspective and the camera obscura. The short film was released together with a soon to be published paper book. The video and the book draft were produced by Yung Ho Chang for the "Cloud of Unknowing: A City of Seven Streets" exhibition, curated by Ching Yueh Roan and Thomas Tsang and held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 2014.

Authors icon Credits

Script: Yung Ho Chang
Planning: Gao Shiming
Art Director: Cao Xiaoyang, Zheng Duanxiang
Director: Cao Shu
Deputy Director: Wei Yu
Texts: Zhang Sitian
Assistant director: Liang Jiewei, Xu Yujie
Edit: Liang Jiewei
Sound: Chen Shuai
Animation: Lu Zhouheng, Xu Xi Yun, Xue Wanting, Lin MiaoMiao, Wang Yiheng, Zhy Jiaming, Wang YuYan, Zhou Linwei, Gu Qiai, Li Nanlin, Chen Yinyan, Wu Zheng Yi, Zheng Yujia, Wu Lihan, Wen Zhening, Mao Mao, Chen Yu Iong, Di Yan, Wu Yizhou, He Jiali, Wang Ping Ping, Yang Enyu, Hua Zhangyi, Lin Ying, Huang Xiuxiu, Ye Congying, Gao Yingyi

China 2014
Duration: 4'38''