Li Shan (1926-2019) was born in Qingdao, Shandong Province. After his graduation from the Chinese Painting Department of the Zhejiang Fine Arts Academy in 1958, he worked in the offices of the Xinjiang Pictorial (Xinjiang huabaoshe, 新疆画报社). In 1962, he became a professional painter at the Jiangsu Chinese Painting Academy but after 1965, he was 'sent down' to the rural areas and ended in cadre schools, including the Zhenjiang Public Park Office and the Nanjing Park and Forest Office. In 1979 he was rehabilitated and moved back to Nanjing. In 1981 he went to the U.S.A., exhibiting in San Francisco and teaching at the Nebraska State University. He moved to live in the U.S.A. after 1984.
Li was specialized in Chinese painting.