Zhang Xiaotao was born in Hechuan, Chongqing, China in 1970 and graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 1996. In 2011, he co-founded the New Media Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, where he works as a professor, and master's degree supervisor. In 2016, he completed his PhD thesis at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, with Xu Bing as his PhD adviser. He lives and works in Beijing
Zhang Xiaotao's artworks are exhibited widely, both domestically and internationally, including the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the 6th Moscow Biennale (2015), Prague Biennial, Guangzhou Triennial, Chengdu Biennial, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennial, Holland Film Festival, Tokyo International Animation Fair, Asia Animation Contest, London Saatchi Gallery, Museum of Art for the XXI Century, Luzern Art Museum, Albright Knox Gallery, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Florida Valencia Museum of Modern Arts, Bologna Museum of Modern Arts, Vienna Essl Museum, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Norway 3.14 Foundation, National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, Shanghai Art Museum, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Guangdong Art Museum, He Xiangning Art Museum, Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Arthur M.Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University.
He is one of the active and outstanding cross-media artists in neo-painting and new media experimental animation in China's contemporary art. He is one of the directors of the 1st Shenzhen Biennial of Independent Animation. He always focuses on the torment and struggle of our souls that lies behind China's legendary modernization. This is a unique experience with both hope and destruction which is very complicated in China. He uses cross-media to concerns about the paradox between social change and personal spiritual history and attempts to convert the personal experiences into public experiences. The concept of epidemiology is both pathological and sociological, both individual and social. Each generation faces a different predicament, and he hopes to present these complex epidemiological reports. The Director of the 7th and 8th Kassel Documenta, the famous German Critics Manfred Schneckenburger considered him as a marvelous artist because of his research approach of infinitesimal narration.