Legendary Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai recently received an honorary degree from Harvard University along with six other talented international professionals.
Wong’s honorary degree of doctor of arts for his contribution to the film industry was awarded to him during Harvard University’s 367th Commencement last Thursday. It was the first time an Asian filmmaker received such a recognition from the prestigious university.
In a Facebook post on his company Jet Ton Films’ page, he wrote that he was honored to receive the degree and join distinguished Harvard alumni including Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Winston Churchill.
“I’m born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong. This honor is not only for me personally but also a recognition for the two cities that are dear to me,” Wong wrote.
The six others who received the Harvard honorary degrees were civil rights leader John Robert Lewis, oceanographer Sallie Watson Chisholm, poet Rita Dove, physician Harvey Vernon Fineberg, activist Ricardo Lagos, musician George Emanuel Lewis, and choreographer Twyla Tharp, according to the South China Morning Post.
Wong, who made his directorial debut in 1988 via the critically-acclaimed crime film “As Tears Go By,” is known for his visually unique, highly stylized work.
Throughout his fruitful career, Wong has earned numerous awards with his memorable hits such as “Days of Being Wild” (1990), “Ashes of Time” (1994), and “The Grandmaster” (2013).
Written by Paul Attanasio, the series will focus on the gang wars that took place between tongs — criminal organizations among the city’s Chinese immigrants — in the Chinatown neighborhood from 1905 to 1971.