Yu Tsai (Chinese: 蔡宇; pinyin: Cài Yǔ) is an American photographer based in Los Angeles and New York. He also works in television, appearing as a creative consultant and judge in America’s Next Top Model and Asia’s Next Top Model.
Yu Tsai was born in Taiwan to a Chinese father from mainland China and a Taiwanese native, and spent his childhood in Taipei. He moved to a farm in Indiana with his family when he was 12. The family then moved to Chino, California, where Yu Tsai spent his adolescence. He attended Don Antonio Lugo High School, where he was a member of the Future Farmers of America and the track team. After high school, Yu Tsai attended the University of California, Riverside and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he majored in biology and zoology with an intention of becoming a veterinarian. He then attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, studying painting and graphic design. It was during this time in his education that he discovered his passion for the arts, along with directing and photography as a means of telling a visual story.