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Li Xiong-Cai was born in Gaoyao of Guangdong province in 1910. His father, Li Junting, was good at Chinese calligraphy and painting and excelled in the art of rubbing making. He supported his family by mounting paintings and rubbings for others. Li Xiong-Cai had therefore received a basic training in art from his father since childhood. At the age of thirteen, Li studied in the Zhaoxing Middle School where he started to learn Chinese painting from his school teacher, Chen Jian. Chen was a favoured student of the well-known Guangong painter, Ju Lian. At the age of sixteen, Li got acquainted with Gao Jianfu, the founder of the `Lingnan School' of painting. Gao gave a very high appraisal of his artistic talent. A year later, Li followed Gao to Guangzhou and became a student of the Gao's art school, the Chunshui Art Studio. He not only studied Chinese painting in school, but also received other training in art. It was during this period that he built up a very good foundation in the technique of sketching.

In 1932, he was financially supported by the Chunshui Art Studio to study fine arts in the Tokyo Art Institute. He therefore had the chance to observe various innovations that were made in painting by Japanese painters at that time. He returned to China in 1935 and from that time onwards, he had held various teaching posts in the Guangzhou Art Institute, the Guangzhou Art Academy and the National Art Academy in Chonqing.

During the war of China against Japan, Li traveled extensively in the western part of China. He toured Qujiang, Guilin, Chongqing, Chengdu, the three gorges of Chang Jiang, Mount Emei, Xinjiang and Inner Mongoia. He studied the details of the cultural relics found in historic sites and made a series of sketches of the places he visited. There appeared a stylistical change in his paintings after this long journey. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Li often visits rural and industrial developing centres for life ketching. He has recently made a tour to the remote region of the Qinghai Highland. Li has presented a number of one-man exhibitions and the most recent one was held in Hong Kong in 1982. During these few decades, he has produced thousands of sketches and creative paintings. Many paintings are huge in size, varying from a few metres to over ten metres long.

Since 1949, Li has taught at the Huanan Arts Institute, Zhongnan Art Academy and the Guangzhou Institute of Fine Arts. At present, he is the Professor and Deputy Director of the Guangzhou Institute of Fine Arts.





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