Kuncan was born in Wuling (today’s Changde in Hunan province) with his original family name being Liu and mainly lived in Niushoushan in Jiangning. His courtesy name was Shixi and his literary names included Baitu, Candaoren, Dianzhudaoren, and Shidaoren which he used in his later years. Kuncan was a landscape painter who specialized in shading (cunca) with dry brush. His works feature prosperous scenes as well as robust and vigorous brush strokes. He was among the “Four Monks of the Early Qing Dynasty” along with Hongren, Zhuda, and Shitao.