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Chinese Oscar Winners and Nominees Through the Years

Time and time again, the Chinese have proven mastery of their creative talents by making it to the prestigious Academy Awards. Some have been nominated for the Oscars, and others have won as well, bringing the golden trophy home.

Here are some Chinese Oscar winners and nominees:


Haing S. Ngor (Best Supporting Actor, 1984)

Chinese-Cambodian Haing S. Ngor won Best Supporting Actor for his acting debut in the movie, The Killing Fields, in 1984, making him the first-ever and only Asian to win the said award. This was a huge turn in the actor’s life as he had gone through trauma and tragedy. He had survived three terms in Cambodian prison camps, watching his wife die of childbirth in the camp and eating beetles, termites, and scorpions to keep himself alive in captivity.

Having been given a second chance at life, Ngor was able to get back on his feet and act in The Killing Fields, winning an Oscar for it and bringing honor to China.


Domee Shi (Best Animated Short Film, 2018)

Canadian storyboard artist Domee Shi, along with Becky Neiman-Cobb, won Best Animated Short Film in 2018 for the Disney film, Bao. Bao is about a Chinese-Canadian woman who has empty nest syndrome and gets a second chance at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive.

And that’s not Shi’s only achievement. As the director of Bao, she is also the first woman to direct a short film for Pixar. She has also contributed to many  successful Disney films like Inside Out, The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4


Wang Hui-ling and Kuo Jung Tsai (Best Adapted Screenplay, 2000)

For the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Wang Hui-ling and Kuo Jung Tsai, along with James Schamus, were nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The award-winning movie chronicles a young Chinese warrior who steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then embraces on a romantic adventure with a mysterious man. On top of that, their screenplay was the first Asian-language screenplay to ever make it to the Oscars. The film also went on to win four other Oscars.


Kant Pan (Best Film Editing, 1992)

Sound editor Kant Pan was nominated for an Oscar for The Crying Game. The film stars Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and is about a British soldier who is kidnapped by IRA terrorists but soon befriends one of his captors. The captor also then becomes drawn into the soldier’s world.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Malaysia and Singapore, Pan chose to dedicate his life to movies, working in Hong Kong’s film industry. He even continued further studies at the London Film School.


Timmy Yip (Best Production Design, 2000)

Working as an art director and designer, Timmy Yap was the first Asian to win Best Art Direction for the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in 2000. He has long been a significant figure in the Taiwanese theatrical industry, garnering recognition for both art directing and costume designing.


Yee Chung-Man (Best Costume Design, 2006)

Production and costume designer Yee Chung-Man was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 for the movie, Curse of the Golden Flower, being in charge of both costume and makeup design. The movie stars Chow Yun-Fat and Li Gong. Set during China’s Tang dynasty, it tells of the emperor who has taken the princess of a neighboring province as his wife.


William Chang Suk Ping (Best Costume Design, 2013)

Making a name for himself in the Hong Kong film industry, Chinese production and costume designer William Chang Suk Ping was nominated for an Oscar for the movie, The Grandmaster, in 2013. The Grandmaster centers on martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.


Read on here for Chinese Grammy winners and nominees.

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