Hm, I have to confess I don’t always pay much attention to cinematography, at least not enough to say which one is the best. So I’m just going to go with some Chinese films off the top of my head.
I think film-watchers would be familiar with Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who in his earlier days had a string of critical successes that were also pretty much social commentaries on Chinese society in the 1980s and 1990s. Zhang is known for his use of colours to tell a story, and this is evident in his earlier works such as Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern and Judou. In fact, he was already employing such techniques when he served as cinematographer for Chen Kaige’s 1984 film Yellow Earth, which was a very interesting film in its own right and worth a watch. I think the example most Western viewers would be familiar with would be Hero, where Zhang used five dominant colours to show different perspectives of the various assassins. It wasn’t really a wuxia film, but it was very beautifully shot by Christopher Doyle, who also shot In The Mood for Love, among other illustrious works. All the films mentioned above are recommended.