8 Chinese Oscar Winners and Nominees Over the Years

As the Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, is fast approaching, it’s worth noting the Chinese who have dedicated their lives to the cinematic world and have been recognized and awarded at the prestigious annual ceremony, bringing honor to the country they represent.

Here are some Chinese Oscar nominees and winners:

Ruby Yang (Best Documentary Short Subject, 2006 and 2010)

Ruby Yang won in 2006 and was nominated again in 2010. Her first recognition was from the short film documentary titled, The Blood of Yingzhou District, which depicts the effect of AIDS on orphans in the Yingzhou District in China. In 2010, she was honored for her 39-minute documentary film, The Warriors of Quigang, which follows the story of a group of Chinese locals putting an end to the threat and poisoning of their land.


Gu Changwei  (Best Cinematography, 1993)

Chinese cinematographer and film director Gu Changwei was nominated for an Oscar for the historical film, Farewell My Concubine. Born in Xi’an and a graduate of Beijing Film Academy, he is considered as one of the major Chinese cinematographers working today.


Lü Yue (Best Cinematography, 1995)

For the crime-drama film, Shanghai Triad, Lü Yue was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography. On top of being one of the most significant cinematographers of recent Chinese cinema, he has had success as a director as well.


Peter Pau (Best Cinematography, 2000)

Contributing to the long list of Oscar wins and nominations for the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Peter Pau, a known director, and cinematographer also nabbed an Oscar in 2000. He is also a member of the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers.


Zhao Xiaoding (Best Cinematography, 2004)

Chinese photographer and cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for the wuxia romance film, House of Flying Daggers. The acclaimed film tells the story of a police captain who breaks a beautiful rebel out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows.


Cong Su (Best Original Score, 1987)

For the biographical drama film, The Last Emperor, Chinese composer Cong Su, together with Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Byrne, won an Oscar for Best Original Score. This was a milestone achievement as Su and Sakamoto were the first Asians to win Best Original Score. Su studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing before studying in Germany.


Tan Dun (Best Original Score, 2000)

In the year 2000, Chinese composer Tan Dun received an Oscar for Best Original Score for the award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He is known for his resourcefulness, being able to make meaningful sounds from various organic materials, such as water, paper, wind, ceramics, metal, and stone.


Ai-Ling Lee (Best Sound Mixing, 2016; Best Sound Editing 2016)

Sound editor and audio engineer Ai-Ling Lee, who is of Singaporean and Chinese descent, was the first Asian woman to be nominated for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing for the well-known musical romance drama La La Land. The movie, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is about a pianist and an actress who fall in love while trying to achieve their dreams of stardom in Los Angeles. She has also worked in many popular Hollywood films, such as Bruce Almighty, Twilight Saga: New Moon, Tangled, and Deadpool to name a few.


The list doesn’t stop there! Check out other notable Oscar nominees and winners here.

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