Chen Yifei (1946-2005) hailed from Zhenhai, Zhejiang Province. In 1965, he graduated from the Shanghai Art Training School. He studied with Yu Yunjie. In the years following, he specialized in oil painting.
His painting 'The destruction of the Jiang dynasty', 1978, in which Wei Jingshan participated, initially met with serious criticism. In the eyes of the critics, the depiction of the tired soldiers, with their soiled and torn uniforms, was harmful for the splendid image of the People's Liberation Army. The fact that it has been included in the collection of the Museum of the Chinese Revolutionary Army is an indication of its later acceptance.
Chen studied in the United States in 1980-1981. He travelled to Europe in 1982, and studied the classical European masters of oil painting. Returning to China, he started a series of nostalgic paintings of the 'waterside villages' of Jiangnan. Around 1990, Chen travelled to Tibet and made a series of paintings of Tibetans and the local scenery.
In 1999, Chen launched a clothing brand named Layefe. A year later, he set up two homeware outlets in Shanghai, called Layefe Home. At the same time, he also acted as manager for several successful Chinese fashion models. As a result of this, he was invited to become the art designer for China's thickest fashion magazine, sponsored by the China Youth Magazine under the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League. The first issue of monthly Vision Magazine, carrying articles on art, fashion, cosmetics and technology, was published in December 2001. The glossy's inaugural issue, weighing two kilograms and numbering more than 400 pages, had a circulation of 100,000 in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.