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Personal profile


Dr. Kiki Tianqi YU is a filmmaker, scholar, and film curator. 


Research focus: 

  • Documentary theory and Practice, first person documentary;
  • essayistic nonfiction in non-Western cultures and languages;
  • Chinese cinema and film industry, East Asian Cinema;
  • Amateur home movies on China and/or by Chinese diaspora; 
  • Online self construction on live streaming broadcast technology.  
  • Film Curation 



China's iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the 21st Century (2014).

‘My’ Self on Camera - First Person Documentary Practice in an individualising China (Edinburgh University Press, Sep 2018) is the first and highly original study exploring first person narrative documentary in the post-Mao era of PRC. Since the individual emerges as an ever more important social figure in China, this mode of independent filmmaking and cultural practice is also growing in significance. Combining the approach of cultural ethnography, interviews, and textual analysis of selected films, this study examines the motivations, key aesthetic features and ethical tensions of presenting self on camera, and the socio-political, cultural, historical and technical conditions surrounding this practice. This book problematises how the sense of self is understood in contemporary China, and provides illuminating new insights on the changing notion of individual self through cinema as developed in twenty-first century China. 


Film works:

  • Photographing Shenzhen, dir. Tianqi Yu, Documentary, Discovery, 2007
  • Memory of Home, dir. Tianqi Yu, Essay film, 2009. Collected by DSLCollection on Contemporary Chinese Art
  • China’s van Goghs, dirs. Haibo Yu & Tianqi Yu, Producer Tianqi Yu, Feature documentary film, 2016.


          With 7 international awards, and shown at over 20 international film festivals. 


PhD supervision interest:

Documentary theory

practice-based research on various forms of documentary and nonficiton film 

Chinese cinema and film industry 


Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2014 2018

‘My’ Self On Camera: First Person Documentary Practice in an Individualising China

Yu, T., 1 Oct 2018, Edinburgh University Press. 240 p. (Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

human being

China's Van Goghs

Yu, H. & Yu, T., 2016

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products



Yu, T., 10 Mar 2016, In : Journal of Chinese Cinemas. 10, 1, p. 7-11

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Internationalising memory: traumatic histories and the PRC’s quest to win an Oscar

McKenna, A. T. & Yu, T., Jun 2016, Chinese Cinemas: International Perspectives. Chan, F. & Willis, A. (eds.). Routledge, 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

human being


Best Director Award

Kiki Yu (Recipient), Jul 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

TRT Documentary Award- Third Prize

Kiki Yu (Recipient), May 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2016 2017

Memory Talks-Series of nonfiction films on family and memory

Kiki Tianqi Yu Yu (Invited speaker)
Apr 2017Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (Journal)

Kiki Tianqi Yu Yu (Peer reviewer)
Jan 2017Nov 2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Essay Film and Narrative Techniques: Screenwriting Non-fiction

Kiki Tianqi Yu Yu (Invited speaker)
18 Nov 201719 Nov 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

The autobiographic in cinema

Kiki Tianqi Yu Yu (Speaker)
3 Jul 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Memory Talks-Series of nonfiction on family and memory

Kiki Tianqi Yu Yu (Invited speaker)
Apr 2017Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

Interview of Kiki Tianqi Yu at VPRO

Kiki Yu


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities