Xie Zhigao (1942) was born in Shanghai. In 1961, he entered the Chinese Painting Department of the Guangzhou [Canton] Art Academy. After his graduation in 1966, he was sent to work in the Hebei Provincial Publishing Office (now named the Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House), where he was involved in the publication of Hebei huakan [河北画刊, Hebei Illustrated]. He qualified for a refresher course in the Chinese Painting Department of the Central Art Academy in 1978. Upon his graduation in 1980, he took up teaching. In 1987, he transferred to the Chinese Painting Research Institute.
Xie, who specializes in Chinese painting and comic strips, collaborated with Hu Zhenyu.