Born in Hong Kong, he entered the film industry in the 1980s as a props master. His many credits for props include Ching Siu-Tung's A Chinese Ghost Story (1985) and Swordsman 2 (1992), Yuen Bun’s Once Upon a Time in China IV (1993) and Tsui Hark's Green Snake (1993), for which he also took care of the special effects props. He has worked in the same capacity on four of Wong Kar-Wai's previous films (Days of Being Wild, Ashes of Time, Fallen Angels and Happy Together). He would have had only a crew credit on In the Mood for Love if Wong had not been struck by his 60s look and style and decided to write him into the film. Wong created the role of Ah Ping in December 1999, mid-way through the shoot; it gave Ping-Lam his first ever serious acting role, and he was glad to accept the challenge.He says he has enjoyed the experience, but intends to remain working as a props master for the rest of his career.

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