Ang Lee (Chinese: 李安; Pinyin: Lǐ Ān) (born October 23, 1954) is an Academy Award-winning Taiwanese American film director.
Ang Lee was born in the town of Chaochou in Pingtung, a southern agricultural county in Taiwan. He grew up in a household that put heavy emphasis on education and the Chinese classics. Both of Ang Lee's parents moved to Taiwan from communist China following the Chinese Nationalists' defeat in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Lee's father, a native of Jiangxi Province in southern China, imbued his children with studying Chinese culture and art, especially calligraphy. Lee's grandparents died during the Cultural Revolution because they were accused of being one of the Five Black Categories (simplified Chinese: 黑五类; traditional Chinese: 黑五類; pinyin: hēiwǔlèi)
Lee studied in the National Tainan First Senior High School where his father was the principal. He was expected to pass the annual Joint College/University Entrance Examination, the only route to a university education in Taiwan. But after failing the Exam twice, to the disappointment of his father, he entered a three-year college, National Arts School (now reorganized and expanded as National Taiwan University of Arts) and graduated in 1975. His father had wanted him to become a professor, but he had become interested in drama and the arts at college. This early frustration set his career on the path of performance art. Seeing Ingmar Bergman's film The Virgin Spring (1960) was a formative experience for him.