Xiaobai Su was born in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in 1949. In 1984, he studied oil painting at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated from the Wuhan School of Art and Design in 1969, and later joined the Oil Painting postgraduate studio at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1986. He was awarded an Arts and Culture Scholarship from Germany in 1987, which allowed him to pursue his postgraduate studies at the Düsseldorf State Arts Academy, from which he graduated in 1990. After meeting Gerhard Richter, George Baselitz, and Joerg lmmendorff he came back to Fujian, where he started working with lacquer.