Xu Zhaohai (1928) is from Kaifeng, Henan Province. After he joined the Army in 1948, he worked in the Secretariat of the East China Office of the Central Committee of the CCP in Shanghai. From 1954-1959, he studied in the Chinese Painting Department of the Zhejiang Art Academy. Afterwards, he taught in the Hunan Art Academy and the Hunan Normal University.
Xu is now retired.