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Director | Chen Kun-hou

  • Date:2024-05-10
Director | Chen Kun-hou

Chinese Name: 陳坤厚

Born: July 25, 1939

Birthplace: Taichung City (Central Taiwan) 


Did You Know That…? 

In 2023, Chen Kun-hou received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 60th Golden Horse Awards.



Chen Kun-hou is a noted cinematographer and a prominent figure in the Taiwan New Cinema movement. In 1962, he enrolled in Central Motion Picture Corporation and studied cinematography under his uncle Lai Cheng-ying (賴成英). His first involvement in film production was as a assistant cameraman for Shaw Brothers’ (邵氏公司)  “Songfest (山歌姻緣),” directed by Yuan Chiu-feng (袁秋楓). In 1971, he assumed the role of cinematographer in director Sung Tsun-shou’s (宋存壽) film “The Story of Mother (母親三十歲).” Chen’s distinct style caught the attention of famous director Li Hsing (李行), leading to their collaboration in 1978 on “He Never Gives Up (汪洋中的一條船).” Chen received Best Cinematography at the 15th Golden Horse Awards for his work on this film, establishing his position as Li’s regular cinematographer for subsequent projects. 


Starting in 1979, Chen began working with renowned director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and made a series of romantic urban comedies, in which Chen directed “Lover on the Wave (我踏浪而來),” Spring in Autumn (天涼好個秋),” “Longing (蹦蹦一串心),” and “Six is Company (俏如彩蝶飛飛飛).” In 1982, Chen, along with Hou, Hsu Shu-Zhen (許淑真), and Chang Hua-kun (張華坤) founded the Evergreen Film Company (萬年青影業公司) and produced “Growing Up (小畢的故事),” with Chen serving as both director and cinematographer. This film was a huge success at the box office and garnered top honors at the Golden Horse Awards in 1983, winning best feature, best director, and best script, cementing its status as the quintessential work of Taiwan New Cinema. In the same year, Chen also contributed to the production of “The Sandwich Man (兒子的大玩偶),” assisting young directors Wan Jen (萬仁) and Tseng Chuang-hsiang (曾壯祥) in overcoming technical challenges by conceptualizing visual elements of the narrative. His contributions played a pivotal role in shaping and advancing Taiwan New Cinema.