Wong Kar-Wai and his art

A famed Hong Kong director and his work

Wong Kar-wai, born 17 July 1956, is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker.

He is famous internationally as an auteur for his visually unique and emotionally resonant work. This includes Ah fei zing zyun (1990), Dung che sai duk (1994), Chung Hing sam lam (1994), Chun gwong cha sit (1997), 2046 (2004) and My Blueberry Nights (2007). His film Fa yeung nin wa (2000), starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, garnered widespread critical acclaim.

Firstly, the strong personal style of his movies is what set them apart. And he likes to use a slow rhythm with appropriate music to bring out the atmosphere of the movie.

They leave beautiful impression on the screen. He uses both a chaotic story line and unique visuals to share emotions.

Then, his photographic techniques are also unique, and his “hand-held” and “semi-mask” techniques have become his hallmarks.

On the right is a picture of him at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013.

Wong Kar-Wai

Wong was the President of the Jury at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, which makes him the only Chinese person to preside over the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was also the President of the Jury at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013.

In 2006, Wong accepted the National Order of the Legion of Honour: Knight (Highest Degree) from the French Government.

Some of his most famous and highly regarded creations include “In the Mood for Love” (2000), or “Chungking Express” (1994).

Awards won by Wong Kar-Wai
In the Mood for Love (2000)

The pinnacle of art-house filmmaking and the crown jewel in Wong’s exceptional body of work.

This sublimely crafted and flawlessly narrated tale of conflicted desires finds Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk as next-door neighbours who flirt with infidelity – and yet vehemently, almost masochistically, refrain from it – after their married spouses are found cheating behind their backs.

Probably the most famous movie of Wong Kar-Wai, and for sure one of his most elegant masterpieces.

Wong Kar-Wai
Chungking Express (1994)

Wong’s films take years to wrap. So it’s a beautiful irony that one of the director’s greatest hits is actually a fast one.

Shot during a break in the lengthy post-production for Ashes of Time, this spontaneous and impossibly romantic tale of chance encounters and intimacy in a frenetic Hong Kong urban setting is a charmer that lives by its vividly drawn characters, from Brigitte Lin’s Cassavetes-inspired drug dealer and Faye Wong’s delightful fast-food store waitress, to the pair of lovesick policemen amusingly portrayed by Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Takeshi Kaneshiro.

In this masterpiece by Wong Kar-Wai, two melancholic Hong Kong policemen fall in love. One with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Wong is famous for producing art films that focus on mood and atmosphere, rather than following convention.

Stephen Teo describes his general style as “a cornucopia overflowing with multiple stories, strands of expression, meanings and identities: a kaleidoscope of colours and identities”.

Structurally, Wong’s films are typically fragmented and disjointed, with little concern for linear narrative, and often with interconnected stories.

In other words, a unique director.