In southern Taiwan the initial collision of the Luzon volcanic arc with the passive continental margin of China results in the emergence of an accretionary prism of, predominantly, turbidites in composition, thus providing an appropriate place to study the temporal and spatial variation of deformation during the transition of subduction to arc-continent collision. Field surveys have recently been carried out in slightly metamorphosed rocks along the well-exposed Jinlun-Taimali coast in southeastern Taiwan. Three folding phases are identified in the area. The first phase is characterized by gently dipping but widely distributed phyllitic cleavage (S1). The second phase is represented by sparsely distributed crenulation cleavage (S2) that folded the phyllitic cleavage. The third phase is characterized by E-W trending antiforms (F3) that involved both types of pre-existing cleavages. Restoration of such an antiform in the north using a method proposed in this paper reveals that phyllitic cleavage in the overturned beds dips gently towards the southeast or east-southeast before the antiform, in relation to the first-phase thrusting or folding under regional ESE-WNW compression. From the first to third phase, the maximum horizontal compression underwent an about 90° anticlockwise rotation from ESE-WNW to E-W or NE-SW to N-S, and the deformation depth seems to decrease drastically, in terms of the decreasing proportion of pervasive deformation. All these variations are attributed to the oblique arc-continent collision that exhumed the whole accretionary prism and induced a local stress perturbation in southeastern Taiwan.