Originally named Sha Yinnian, Sha was born in Zhejiang, and in 1932 began studies at the Shanghai Arts School, later entering the art department of the Central University of China. In 1937 he entered the Belgium Royal Academy of Arts, and in 1942 his "Flautist" was shown at the Petite Galerie and acquired by the royal family. In 1978, he donated all his works from the period in Belgium to the Zhejiang Provincial Museum. In 1983, at touring exhibition of his works organized by the Zhejiang Provincial Museum, the Zhejiang Institute of Fine Art and the Chinese Association of Artists was shown in Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhejiang. In1984 he was engaged as a fellow at the Shanghai Cultural-Historical Research Society. In 1985, he exhibited throughout China and created a series of landscapes.