kids encyclopedia robot

Tsai Ming-liang facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Tsai Ming-Liang
Tsai Ming-liang at Tokyo Filmex 2013.jpg
Tsai at the 2013 Tokyo Filmex
Born (1957-10-27) 27 October 1957 (age 66)
Kuching, Crown Colony of Sarawak (present-day Kuching, Malaysia)
Alma mater Chinese Culture University, Taipei
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1989–present
Awards Venice Film FestivalGolden Lion
1994 – Vive L'Amour
Grand Jury Prize
2013 – Stray Dogs

Berlin Film Festival
Silver Bear
1997 – The River

Golden Horse AwardsBest Feature Film
1994 – Vive L'Amour
Best Director
1994 – Vive L'Amour
2013 – Stray Dogs

Chinese name
Chinese 蔡明亮
Hanyu Pinyin Cài Míngliàng

Tsai Ming-liang (Chinese: 蔡明亮; born 27 October 1957) is a Malaysian filmmaker based in Taiwan. Tsai has written and directed 11 feature films, many short films, and television films. He is one of the most celebrated "Second New Wave" film directors of Taiwanese cinema. His films have been acclaimed worldwide and have won numerous awards at festivals. In 1994, Tsai won the Golden Lion at the 51st Venice International Film Festival for the film Vive L'Amour.

Early life

Tsai was born in Malaysia, is of Chinese descent and spent his first 20 years in Kuching, Sarawak, after which he moved to Taipei, Taiwan. This, he said, had "a huge impact on [his] mind and psyche". "Even today", Tsai has said, "I feel I belong neither to Taiwan nor to Malaysia. In a sense, I can go anywhere I want and fit in, but I never feel that sense of belonging."

Tsai graduated from the Drama and Cinema Department of the Chinese Culture University of Taiwan in 1982 and worked as a theatrical producer, screenwriter, and television director in Hong Kong. From 1989 to 1991, he directed several telefilms. One of these, Boys, starred his muse, Lee Kang-sheng.



Tsai's first feature film was Rebels of the Neon God (1992). A film about troubled youth in Taipei, it starred Lee as the character Hsiao-Kang. Lee went on to appear in all of Tsai's feature films through 2019. Tsai's second feature, Vive L'Amour (1994), is about three people who unknowingly share an apartment. The film is slow-paced, has little dialogue, and is about alienation; all of these became Tsai's trademarks. Vive L'Amour was critically acclaimed and won the Golden Horse Awards for best picture and best director.

Tsai's next film was The River (1997), in which a family has to deal with the son's neck pain. The family is similar to one that appears in Rebels of the Neon God and is played by the same three actors. The Hole (1998) is about two neighbors in an apartment. It features several musical numbers.


In Tsai's next film, What Time Is It There? (2001), a man and a woman meet in Taipei before the woman travels to Paris. This was Tsai's first film to star Chen Shiang-chyi, who starred in his next few films alongside Lee. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003) is about people inside an old cinema that is closing down. For this film, Tsai included even longer shots and fewer lines of dialogue than in previous films, a trend that continued in his later work. ..... This film, like The Hole, features several musical numbers.

Tsai's next film, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (2006), was his first set in Malaysia and is about two different characters, both played by Lee. In 2007, the Malaysian Censorship Board banned the film based on incidents shown depicting the country "in a bad light" for cultural, ethical, and racial reasons, but later allowed it to be screened in the country after Tsai agreed to censor parts of the film according to the board's requirements. Tsai's next film, Face (2009), is about a Taiwanese director who travels to France to shoot a film.


Asian Filmmaker of the Year, 2010
Tsai (left) was named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the 2010 Busan International Film Festival.

Tsai's next feature film was Stray Dogs (2013), about a homeless family.

Most of Tsai's output in the 2010s was dedicated to his exhibition films, in particular the Walker series (2012-22), the subject of which was a monk played by Lee who travels by walking slowly, usually surrounded by a busy background.

In 2020, Tsai released Days, which competed for the Golden Bear at the Berlinale film festival.

In 2021, Tsai released Wandering, a short installation film with no dialogue, which follows a woman visiting an exhibition of Tsai's "Walker" series in Taiwan.


Tsai's honours include a Golden Lion (best picture) for Vive L'Amour at the 51st Venice International Film Festival; the Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize for The River at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival; the FIPRESCI award for The Hole at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival; and the Alfred Bauer Prize and Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for The Wayward Cloud at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival; the Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice International Film Festival for Stray Dogs. In 1995, he was a member of the jury at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival.

In 2003, The Guardian voted Tsai No. 18 of the 40 best directors in the world. In 2014, he was named an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France.


Feature films

Year Title
1992 Rebels of the Neon God
1994 Vive L'Amour
1997 The River
1998 The Hole
2001 What Time Is It There?
2003 Goodbye, Dragon Inn
2005 The Wayward Cloud
2006 I Don't Want to Sleep Alone
2009 Face
2013 Stray Dogs
2020 Days

"Walker" series

Year Title
2012 No Form
2012 Walker
2012 Diamond Sutra
2012 Sleepwalk
2013 Walking on Water
2014 Journey to the West
2015 No No Sleep
2018 Sand
2022 Where

Other exhibition works

Year Title
2001 Fish, Underground (or A Conversation with God)
2002 The Skywalk Is Gone
2008 Madame Butterfly– part of the Lucca Film Festival project "Twenty Puccini"
2015 Xiao Kang
2017 The Deserted
2019 Light
2021 Màn bù jīng xīn [Casually] [aka Wandering]
2021 Liang ye bu neng liu / The Night
2021 The Moon and the Tree
2022 Where do you stand, Tsai Ming-Liang?


Year Title Notes
2004 Welcome to São Paulo "Aquarium"
2007 To Each His Own Cinema "It's a Dream"
2012 Beautiful 2012 "Walker"
2013 Letters from the South "Walking on Water"
2015 Beautiful 2015 "No No Sleep"


Year Title
2008 Sleeping on Dark Waters
2015 Nà gè xià wu [That Afternoon, aka Afternoon]
2018 Your Face


Year Title
1989 Endless Love
1989 The Happy Weaver
1989 Far Away
1989 All Corners of the World
1990 Li Hsiang's Love Line
1990 My Name is Mary
1990 Ah-Hsiung's First Love
1991 Give Me a Home
1991 Boys
1991 Hsio Yueh's Dowry
1995 My New Friends


Tsai frequently recasts actors he has worked with on previous films:

Actor Rebels of the
Neon God

Vive L'Amour
The River
The Hole
What Time
Is It There?

Dragon Inn

The Wayward

I Don't Want
to Sleep Alone

Stray Dogs
Lee Kang-sheng YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Lu Yi-ching YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Yang Kuei-mei YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Chen Shiang-chyi YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Chen Chao-jung YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Miao Tien YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Norman Atun YesY YesY

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Tsai Ming-liang para niños

kids search engine
Tsai Ming-liang Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.