In 2016, the Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group embarked on a three-year international co-production project of Notes Exchange with the Dainanagekijo from Japan, and Café Lumiere is the production of the third and final year of this project.
At the request of Shochiku Company Limited, Japan, the film "Café Lumiere"was created by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien as an homage to the deceased Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu. The film features the "everyday life" style of YasujirōOzu, which is the perfect match with the long take style Hou Hsiao-hsien excels at.
Director Wang Chia-ming obtained permission from Director Hou, and with reference to the text Hou co-created with Chu Tien-wen, he began his own adaptation. Meanwhile, based on his co-production experience with Japan over the past few years, exchanges with local artists whilst working in Japan and the field investigations he conducted, the theatre version of Café Lumiere was co-produced with the Dainana(7th) Arts Theater director Kohhei Narumi, integrating both the cultures of Taiwan and Japan. The production involves not the direct quotes of the script, plot nor images in the film, but rather transforms the elements, relationship setting and the texture in the new production. The story surrounds the most common theme in films by YasujirōOzu, namely the exploration of familial relationships, especially that of the mother and daughter, parents and children, or inter-generations. Wang Chia-ming quotes Chu Tien-wen in stating that "writing about life is as easy as it is difficult, involving not only techniques but one's breadth of mind and disposition.
" Café Lumiere"is the second time Wang Chia-ming explores the technique of prosaic writing on stage since Dear Life , symbolizing at the same time the transition of Uncle Theatre entering his middle age, bringing back to the stage the meticulous approach of long takes, and the life of potato stew and lilac.
The highlight of this production would be how Wang Chia-ming and Kohhei Narumi were able to maintain the stage empty and clean up until the end and enrich the character, environment, and background only with the inner voice and the multiple voiceovers off the white stage like a ventriloquist.