Ma Changli (1931), a member of the Hui minority, was born in Shanhaiguan, Hebei Province. In 1953, he graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Central Art Academy and stayed on for another ten years to do research. He assumed a teaching position in 1963. Ma now serves as a professor in the department from which he graduated.
Ma is known for his oil paintings, a number of which have been included in the collection of the China Art Gallery. He collaborated in poster design with Yin Rongsheng and Yang Xianrang.