A Warm Welcome to SoFTA New Faculty Member

March 02, 2023

We are pleased to welcome and introduce new faculty members to the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, the Academy of Film and Creative Technology, School of Film and TV Arts. They are Yao Ge, Yiqing Virginia Yang, Yibin Yu and Wai Kit Leong. Having them on board, the School can further improve the teaching quality, expand the faculty capacity, and provide an excellent education for our programmes.

Yao Ge

Courses taught 

  • FTA117 Introduction to Storytelling
  • FTA216 Producing Craft and Practice

Research interests

Adaptation of Chinese mythic and folktales in films.

Yao Ge received B.A. degree in University of Denver, double majored in International Studies and Media Studies, M.F.A degree in Film & Television Production at the University of Southern California.

As a writer-director, her film works have been screened internationally, including Hainan International Festival, Canada International Short Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, etc.

In 2021, Yao was selected as Young Talented Director in Shanghai International Film Festival SIFF NEXT program. She is now also working on feature script development and international documentary production.

Dr Yiqing Virginia Yang

Courses taught 

  • FTA 312 Final Year Project
  • FTA426 Marketing and Branding for CCI
  • FTA427 Visual Cultures

Research interests

Contemporary Art, Phenomenology, Feminist Theories, Curatorial Practice, New Materialism, Semiotic Theories, visual cultures, creative industries


Dr Yiqing Virginia Yang is a researcher and curator. She came from a graphic art background and gradually developed her interests into contemporary art practice and social science. Her academic footprint exists around installation/sculptural art from a feminist perspective, through concepts including phenomenology, new materialism, and semiotics. Virginia was educated and lived in the UK for the past 10 years. Her distinctive expertise is in identifying the cultural touchpoints in diverse artworks as a way to capture transient, fluid, or intra-secting moments where ideas meet.

Virginia received her PhD degree in Design and Visual Arts in the UK. Her research articles have been published in international journals and books. She was the co-curator of Laura Knight: A Panoramic View and Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning with the MK Gallery, UK.



Yibin Yu

Courses taught

  • FTA309 - Single Camera Project
  • FTA308 - Mediated Project
  • FTA215 - Directing Craft and Practice

Research interests

  • Feature Film, Documentary, and Commercial Film
  • Online Education
  • Exhibition

Yibin Yu graduated from Beijing Film Academy in China and received his master’s degree from Daejin University in Korea. He has been working and playing many roles in feature film and commercial film production domestically and internationally. He is a director, producer, and musician who has also dedicated himself to the game industry, online education, and exhibition activities. He has served as a workshop teacher at XJTLU since 2019.


Wai Kit Leong

Courses taught

  • FTA118 Studio Roles and Responsibilities
  • FTA230 Global Media and Entertainment

Research interests

Innovative teaching and learning pedagogy with the implementation of technologies in class, animation, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligent especially synthesis voice usage in digital media contents.

Wai Kit started her career at Television Corporation of Singapore and was later renamed as MediaCorp, produced dramas and nominated for Best Drama award in Star Awards 2001, Singapore. She returned to All Asia Broadcast Centre ( A Malaysian and ASEAN digital-first media and lifestyle company in the Digital, TV, Radio and Commerce space) as producer to develop the First Malaysia Chinese Reality Game show. She also produced variety shows, musical programmes and kids programmes before she joined the local IPTV as the Head of Production Planning and Contents for the station and visited Film markets (such as Busan Film Festival, TIFF, HKiFF, Asia tv forum and market and etc) to sourcing for the contents.




SoFTA: Why teaching at XJTLU/SoFTA?

Yao: I believe that the best way to learn is to teach. SoFTA is a young and energetic group of talents, I am very proud to become a member of SoFTA.

Virginia: Suzhou is actually my hometown. It was so nice to come back here and teaching in an international joint university. I enjoy the knowledge exchange process in cultural and creative studies within SoFTA.

Yibin: I got acquainted with XJTLU in 2019 when I was engaged in the film industryin Shanghai. I was invited to XJTLU to do workshops for students in myspare time. And I participated in the post-production of graduate works fortwo years and had the honor to participate in two documentary projects ofthe School of Film and Television Arts and the Department of Architecture.We are all products of our past. I met lots of wonderful people and had somuch fun during that period. And the fantastic experience with XJTLUfinally brought me here.

Wai Kit: I would like to venture to a new environment and bring a new challenge to my teaching career that enable me and the students to explore an enjoyable and meaningful learning experience together.


SoFTA: Your expectations for teaching at SoFTA…

Yao: I hope every student can find their passion and their own voice in the art of storytelling.

Virginia: I am transferring my knowledge and expertise but also being the co-learner with peers and students.

Yibin: I hope to share what I have learned and experienced from the industry with the students and be able to accumulate some knowledge in the academic field. As an assistant professor of practice at SoFTA, I hope my teaching willstrike some chord that will vibrate in my students’ films.

Wai kit: I also would like to take this opportunity to showcase the diversity of my teaching and learning experience, gain leadership and management skills in a more dynamic, fast-paced, multi-tasking facility environment which enable me to contribute to the School’s role in producing industry-ready graduates.


SoFTA: Please say something to our students…

Yao: The ultimate lesson of film is your life. We are all taking it together. Enjoy it.

Virginia: Keep calm and have fun learning.

Yibin: You are supposed to have fun. Have fun making content. The shots are all you have to tell a story. A good story should be open to interpretation. Filmmaking can not be learned in isolation. You have to be around people - irritating, imperfect, and frustrating people.The real technique should be based on something that is under your control. The purpose of filmmaking is not to make films, but to build intimate relationships with others and express your love tothem. I struggle with the same thing you struggle with. Just because I have a larger platform to put my work on doesn’t meanmy work means more than yours. It doesn’t mean that I’m more valuable than you. It doesn’t mean that the films I makeare always going to be superior to yours. We all experience the same road bumps. And I hope you push forward. At the end of the day, it’s just a film.

Wai Kit: Hi everyone, welcome to my class, let’s venture together to our amazing industry based facilities and the beautiful school. I hope you will excel in studies and make us proud with your best efforts and results.


SoFTA: Thank you! Hope you enjoy teaching at SoFTA.


Edited by Wenzhen Li

Pictures provided by Yao Ge, Yiqing Virginia Yang, Yibin Yu and Wai Kit Leong

March 02, 2023