A number of eschatological beliefs predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012 — the last day of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar. In preparation for the apocalypse, survivalists turned to YouTube to learn how to best live off-grid, while conspiracy theorists flocked to the French village of Bugarach to access a mountain thought to be the landing site of a UFO that would rescue them from disaster. In Taipei, art student Pin Chun Kuo was far more accepting of her fate, and settled on photography as the medium for her salvation.
“People kept telling me that artists are never recognized until after they’re dead,” she says. So on January 1, 2012, Pin — an installation artist whose work explores the relationship between pop culture, contemporary society and modern technology — picked up a polaroid camera and took her first self-portrait. It was an ominous shot, lit by