Cao Xinlin (1940) hails from Wangcheng, Hunan Province. After his graduation from the Oil Painting Department of the Guangzhou Art Academy in 1964, he worked as a teacher at the Xuchang Normal School, the Xuchang Mass Art Center and the Xuchang Museum. In 1973, he took up teaching at the Zhengzhou Youth Palace. He transferred to the Henan Art Institute in 1985.
Cao is specialized in oil painting, and has received prizes for his works.