Hu Yichuan (1910-2000) was born in Yongding, Fujian Province. Hu started his studies in Xiamen in 1925, and in 1929 he entered the Hangzhou Academy where he studied Chinese painting (under Pan Tianshou), Western painting and woodcut. Here, he joined the League of Left-Wing Artists. In 1937, he went to Yan'an where he taught at the Lu Xun Art Academy. He took part in setting up the Central Art Academy in 1948, where he became a professor in the following year. In 1953, he went south to Wuchang to set up the South-Central Art School, which he headed. After the Art School moved to Guangzhou and was renamed the Guangzhou Art Academy in 1958, he continued to head the institute.
Hu was known for his oil paintings and woodcuts. His works have been included in the collections of the China Art Gallery and the former Museum of the Chinese Revolution (part of the National Museum of China since 2003).