Born in Hsiang-tan, Ch'i received several years schooling before working as a woodcutter. Taking up woodcutting and painting, he has encouraged by writers local to him and introduced by them to works of classical literature and poetry. His twenties saw him progress to seal cutting, poetry, painting and travel through China during which time he saw work by Shih T'ao and Chu Ta. Upon return to Hsiang-tan, Ch'i began to produce work influenced by the master Wu Ch'angshih (1844-1927) Working in Peking from 1911, Ch'i became a popular figure. It has been said that this was very popularity was detrimental to the quality of his artistic output however, he remains at his best, a fine decorative artist.