Zhang Daqian was born in Neijiang, Sichuan province. His original name was Zhengquan, which was later changed into Yuan, nickname Ji, thus he was also known as Jiyuan, and his literary names were Daqian and Daqianjushi. During his early years, he travelled eastward to Japan to learn dyeing and weaving. After he went back to Shanghai, he started to practice calligraphy under the tutelage of Zeng Xi and Li Ruiqing, both of whom were well-renowned calligraphers. He later initiated the organization The Lanman Society with Zhang Shanzi, Yu Jianhua, and Huang Binhong. He lived abroad from 1949 and onward. Zhang was adept in painting figures, flowers and birds, and was particularly good at painting mountains and water, a field in which he had made great achievements by creating the painting techniques of ink-splashing (pomo) and color-splashing (pocai). His fame was equally known with that of Qi Baishi and Pu Ru, so there had been such honorary titles as “Zhang of the South and Qi of the North” as well as “Zhang of the South and Pu of the North”. He was also revered as one of the “Three Masters across the Taiwan Strait”, with the other two being Huang Junbi and Pu Ru.