Sheng Qi was born in Anhui Province, China, in 1965. He is a graduate of the Central Academy of Art and Design in Beijing. Sheng moved to Italy in 1989, where he lived and worked until 1992. He graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 1998.
Sheng employs a wide range of media in his work including photography, painting, sculpture and performance. He is widely known for his act of personal defiance to the June 1989 events in Tiananmen Square, which saw him he cut off the little finger of his left hand. He has since combined the image and concept of cutting off his finger into his work.