Yang Qiuren was born in Guilin, Guangxi province in 1907. In 1929 he went to the Shanghai Fine Arts College where he studied oil painting. He graduated in 1931 and, in 1932, joined the "Storm Society", whose members included Guan Liang and Yang Taiyang. During World War II, Yang Qiuren moved to Hong Kong, but returned to his home in 1942 to
teach at the Guilin Fine Arts College and Chunnan Fine Arts College, where he was appointed Deputy Director in 1949. During the Cultural Revolution many of his paintings were destroyed and today what remains come mostly from the period of the 1960's and are much sought after by collectors of Chinese oil paintings worldwide.