2013 marked the final chapter to the artist’s journey in New York. Chen was at a loss about his future, whether to leave or stay, as his US visa was close to expiry. The time to go home drew near and Chen felt a familiar sense of detachment. As an attempt to figure out what may lie ahead, he set off examining his personal history in the past few years through organizing old photographs. 100 photos from the past were selected. Each photo was reassigned a future date, spanning one year in total and beginning from the date when Chen would leave the US (Aug. 31st, 2013—Aug. 30th, 2014): The Past in the Future was thus created.
After returning to Taiwan, Chen continued documenting his days for a year using an old date stamp camera. The photos taken turned into vintage images that alluded to a past prior to studying abroad, the Future in the Past. These two sets of photographs, The Past in the Future and the Future in the Past, became mirrors of a predicted future and an imagined past, reflecting on each other’s accuracy and authenticity.
2013年，旅美最後一段旅程，在美國簽證期滿之際對未來的去留感到茫然，近鄉開始情怯，於是又著手整理舊照片，研究近年來的個人生命史，試著觀察出未來可能的生活情節與套路，共挑選了100張舊照片加上未來的日期，從離開美國那一天算起的一年內對未來預測（2013/08/31 – 2014/08/30），稱為「過去的未來」。