Cheng Shifa was born in 1921 in Shanghai. He was graduated from the Chinese Paintings Faculty of the Shanghai Fine Arts Academy, and was specialized in various genres including figure, landscape, flowers, birds and animals, comics and illustrations for books. In the 1960s, ethnic minorities of South West China was the common subject of depiction. In the 1970s, theatrical, historical figures and Flower-and-Bird in thin strokes were common subjects. By the 1990s, Cheng focused on majestic landscape paintings instead.