Faces of Tsai Ming-Liang: About the Director

Director Tsai Ming-Liang.

CITI Series on Asian Arts and Culture presents

Faces of Tsai Ming-Liang

Co-presented with Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York

November 13-21, 2009
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

One of world cinema's most significant auteurs, Tsai Ming-Liang, Malaysian-born and Taiwan-based, is a regular at the most renowned film festivals, including Cannes, New York, Venice, Toronto, and Berlin, where his films have garnered major awards. Called a “poet of urban anomie” (New York Times), Tsai has created a uniquely coherent oeuvre and film language to express ideas of desire, alienation, loss, and emotional bankruptcy, punctuated by moments of absurdist humor.

"Contemporary cinema's reigning poet of solitude”—Jared Rapfogel, Cineaste
"Tenderly absurdist and deeply humanist vision” —Leslie Camhi, New York Times

Box Office:
Phone: 212-517-ASIA
Web: https://tickets.asiasociety.org


About Tsai Ming-Liang
Born and raised in Kuching, Malaysia, Tsai Ming-Liang (1957- ) is son of Chinese parents who were farmers and operated a noodle stall in Kuching. Tsai was raised mainly by his maternal grandparents from the age of three, since his younger brother was born. His grandparents, who were film buffs, took Tsai to the cinema every night. Often watching two films each night, Tsai was introduced to popular Hong Kong, mainland Chinese, Malay, Indian, and American cinemas from an early age.

At the age of 20, in 1977, Tsai went to Taiwan and enrolled in Taipei’s Chinese Culture University, majoring in Dramatic Art. It was during that time that Tsai was exposed to European art cinema. The aesthetics of Truffaut, Antonioni, Bresson, and Fassbinder would later inform Tsai’s artistic vision. After graduation, Tsai wrote and directed several plays, including one he starred in, all dealing with issues of loneliness and contemporary society, which became a lasting theme in his career. Tsai then went on to work as director and writer for television. It was during the making of The Kid (1991), a TV film, when he was scouting for an actor, that he encountered Lee Kang-Sheng, who would become the director’s muse and star in every single one of his films.

Filmography and select festival highlights:

Rebels of the Neon God (1992)
Tokyo International Film Festival – Tokyo Bronze Award

Vive L’Amour (1994)
Venice International Film Festival – Golden Lion Award
Singapore International Film Festival – Best Film Award

The River (1996)
Berlin International Film Festival – Golden Bear, Fipresci Awards

The Hole (1998)
Cannes International Film Festival – Fipresci Award

What Time Is It There? (2001)
Cannes International Film Festival – Best Technical Award
Asia Pacific Film Festival – Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress Awards
Bangkok Film Festival – Best Director Award
Chicago International Film Festival – Special Jury, Best Director, Special Jury Cinematography Award
Golden Horse Award – Special Jury Award

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
Golden Horse Award – Best Taiwanese Film of the Year
Venice International Film Festival – Fipresci Award
Chicago International Film Festival – Gold Plaque for “its highly distinctive vision”
Asia Pacific Film Festival – Jury, Best Supporting Actress Awards
Hawaii International Film Festival – Golden Maile Award
Festival des Trois Continents Nantes – Best Director, Young Audience Awards

The Wayward Cloud (2004)
Berlin International Film Festival – Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution, Alfred Bauer, Fipresci Awards
Festival des Trois Continents Nantes – Best Director Award

I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006)
Toronto International Film Festival
Italian Venice Film Festival
Sao Paulo International Film Festival

Face (2009)
Cannes Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival

Faces of Tsai Ming-Liang main page

This film series is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by Hotel Roger Smith New York.