Tsai is a notable filmmaker in Taiwan’s Second New Wave movement. He was born in Malaysia and lived there for twenty years, before moving to Taipei, Taiwan. His first film was "Rebels of the Neon God" (1992). In 2015, he won Best Director at the Taipei Film Awards for the short film No No Sleep.
Tsai Ming Liang was invited to the Berlin International Film Festival for his debut film Rebels of the Neon God (1992) and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Vive L’ amour (1994), and the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for The River (1997). Recently, Tsai Ming Liang has been attempting various exhibitions linking films to art, and has presented a series of Slow Walk in 2012. Through a series of work, Tsai Ming Liang proposes a new way of watching movies in the over-commercialized film market. Other representative works include The Hole (1998), Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003), The Wayward Cloud (2005), Stray Dog (2013), and Your Face (2018).