Fifty-One Ships —— Penghu Refugee Camp Archive Research

This project is based on director Asio Liu Chihsiung’s decade-long documentary and experimental film project Penghu Refugee Camps Trilogy from 2013, which is based on the Penghu Vietnamese refugee camps (1977-1988) that were dismantled in 2003. There were two Vietnamese refugee camps in Penghu, located in Zhugao Bay, Xiyu Township (1977-1979) and in Jiangmei Village, Baisha Township (1979-1988). During the past 12 years, fifty-one refugee vessels are known to have been received, but the lives of Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Chinese refugees have not been recorded in contemporary Taiwanese history, nor have they been recorded in the United Nations’ global refugee rescue records.

This project researched the national archives and media visual archives and organized the material into 16 chapters and over 300 pages of bilingual text. Three sharing sessions were held in Kaohsiung City’s Takao Renaissance Association, Taipei City’s Lightbox Photo Library, and New Taipei City’s Southeast Asian Brilliant Time Bookstore. The content of the sharing sessions was planned based on the different characteristics of the event locations to arouse the audience’s interest in the topics. For instance, at the Kaohsiung Takao Renaissance Association, the focus was on the connection between the fishing ports in Southern Taiwan and this project; at the Lightbox Photo Library, the focus was on senior photographer Lee Pei-Hui (1935-2019); at Brilliant Time Bookstore, the focus was on the four foreigners’ shelters of the National Immigration Agency and their link to the Penghu refugee camps and the recently closed Hsinchu shelter (commonly known as “Jinglu” (1991-2018).

The visual archives and written materials of Fifty-One Ships have been compiled and written into a book together with a documentary film project that has taken nearly a decade, presenting this unseen period of history through the filmmakers’ work.

Mimeo Films Ltd.

Mimeo Films Ltd. is a film and television production company founded by Director Asio Liu Chihsiung, the first winner of the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute’s (TFAI) Award of Excellence in Screenplay. In addition to making documentaries and PSAs, it continues to develop and produce television movies, feature films, and XR/VR immersive content.

Asio Liu Chihsiung

He is currently a cinematographer and film director. His cinematography, short films, and documentaries have been screened at the Philadelphia Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Golden Horse Awards, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Asia Culture Center in Gwangju.