Chinese artist Maleonn creates elaborate photo tableaus that blend the real and the surreal in ways that echo his own memories. He follows in the artistic footsteps of his parents: his mother was an actress and his father, Ma Ke, was a long time director of the Peking Opera Theater. Maleonn is excited to collaborate with his father on his new project, a theater production of an intricately-designed father and son machine puppet. His father, however, is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and slowly forgetting his past.
Through the lens of a father-son relationship, Our Time Machine is the story of what it means to be an artist in China in the 20th century and today. From the condemnations of the Cultural Revolution to contemporary financial and social challenges of putting on a complex and wholly original hybrid art performance, directors S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun probe the artistic impulse across generations. Using evocative imagery and with haunting, yet universal, moments, Our Time Machine is about the consolation and mystery of art against the ravages of time.