Born in Nanhai, Guangdong, Tony Au Ting-ping worked in fashion design when young. He studied at Toronto School of Art in Canada, and then went to England and studied film at the London Film Academy. Upon returning to Hong Kong, he immediately worked as an art director, providing his service to more than twenty films, many of them key works of the Hong Kong New Wave, such as Dennis Yu’s See-Bar and The Beast, Tsui Hark’s Dangerous Encounter – 1st Kind, Ann Hui’s The Story of Woo Viet and Boat People, Stephen Shin’s Eclipse, Ronny Yu’s The Postman Strikes Back and Clifford Choi’s Teenage Dreamers. His work on Boat People won him the Best Art Direction trophy at the 1983 Hong Kong Film Awards.
1983 also marked Au’s debut as director, making The Last Affair (1983), a drama set in Paris, starring Chow Yun-fat, Carol Cheng and Pat Ha. The film won Best New Performer (Cheng) and Best Cinematography (Bill Wong) at the Hong Kong Film Awards. He teamed up with Chow again for The Dream Lovers (1986), starring him opposite Brigitte Lin in a much celebrated pairing; the film won Best Original Music at the Film Awards.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Au maintained the dual role of director and art director, his work in both areas marked by unique and often iconoclastic imageries. Directorial works, often characterized by a baroque sensibility, include Profiles of Pleasure (1988), I am Sorry (1990) and Au Revoir, Mon Amour (1991). His The Christ of Nanjing (1995), was conferred the Best Artistic Contribution Awards at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Some of his noted art direction projects are Love in the Fallen City (1985, nominated for Best Art Direction at the Hong Kong Film Awards), Women (1986, nominated for Best Art Direction at the Hong Kong Film Awards) and Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2003, nominated for Best Art Direction at the Hong Kong Film Awards).
Au married actress Teresa Mo and immigrated with her to Canada in 1995, returning to Hong Kong in 2002, working in art direction, on such films as Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002), Men Suddenly in Black 2 (2006) and Magic Boy (2007).
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||A Touch of Evil|
||The Christ of Nanjing|
||A Roof with a View|
||Au Revoir, Mon Amour|
||I am Sorry|
||Profiles of Pleasure|
||The Last Affair|