Tim graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic with a degree in photography. Since working on his first film A Better Tomorrow directed by John Woo in 1986, he has accomplished costume designs and art direction for many film and theatrical performances over the past two decades. Tim has collaborated with film directors of international acclaim such as John Woo, Ang Lee, Tsai Ming Liang, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Li Shaohong, Stanley Kwan, Chen Guofu, Chen Kaige and Feng Xiaogang etc. Tim has also worked with many renowned Taiwan theatrical groups such as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Contemporary Legend Theatre, Han Tang Yue-fu Dance Ensemble, Tai-Gu Tales Dance Theatre, U Theatre, with performances that have toured China, Austria, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore etc. His striking costume design and art direction for the theatre production Medea, television drama Oranges Turn Ripe, feature films Temptation of a Monk and Double Vision have further attracted worldwide attention to his work.
In earlier works, Tim introduced his concept of the “New Orientalism” aesthetic, making him an important artist in helping the world understand the beauty of Chinese culture and arts. Since 2002, he has held many costume exhibitions such as Faces of the Time at the Taiwan National Palace Museum, Bourges Maison de la Culture in France and a special photography exhibition in Spain, conveying his interpretation of beauty in Oriental art to Western audiences. In 2004, Tim Yip was the art and costume director for the Beijing handover performance at the Olympic Games closing ceremony in Athens. In recent years, he has held various solo art exhibitions in New York, Beijing and Shanghai, and in 2005 he was invited by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to participate in the China Red exhibition. The Beijing Today Art Museum organized his solo art exhibition Illusions of Silence in late 2007. Tim has several publications including Lost in Time, Flower of the Wind, Floating, Circulation, Rouge: L’art de Tim Yip (published in both French and English), Illusions of Silence and Passage.