Born in 1942 in Exi within the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hubei Province . Li is a renowned philosopher, activist and artist. He is a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Management Science and the director of the Institute of Post-Modern Research and further was a teacher at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, where as the founder of Studio 105 (105 Huashi) he was a major force in the Cantonese part of the Chinese avant-garde of the 1980s. In September 2011, he was invited as professor of aesthetics and research in philosophy at the International Institute of Science in the US.
Li Zhengtian’s position within contemporary China is rather unique—the rare combination of a scholar who is at once a philosopher, artist and activist who was struggled against during the Cultural Revolution. He earned his place in Chinese history with the wall poster "On Socialist Democracy and the Legal System" which co-published with Chen Yiyang and Wang Xizhe in 1974. After rehabilitation in 1978, he worked in the field of library science in the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Thereafter, he mainly focused professionally on art and philosophy. While he was a teacher and professor, he created large numbers of oil paintings like “The Nine Chapters of Life”, portrait series, landscape series, and abstract series, among others. Philosophical works include Guangyi Benti Lun [General Ontology], Gonghe Lun [Theory of the Republic], Xianding Panduan Piduan [Critique of Predetermined Judgment], Minzu Xinli Bixu Gengxin [The Mentality of the Nation Must Be Renewed], Di Si Chanye Lungang [Outlines of the Fourth Estate].
In September 9, 2008, “The Life and Affection of a Great Spirit—Li Zhengtian Exhibition” was held at the museum of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and attracted much attention. At the same time, Li Zhengtian is also an outstanding designer: in 2005, he was the creator and overall consultant for the proposal of the Chinese pavilion at the World Expo.