Yu Qiwan (1935) was born in Kaiping, Guangdong Province. He joined the People's Liberation Army in 1956, and while in the Navy he engaged in propaganda work. Yu took a refresher course at the Guangzhou Art Academy in 1960-1962. In 1981, he transferred to the Cultural Office of Xinhui District, Guangdong Province.
Yu's specialty is woodcuts.