Qu Guliang was born in 1936. He is a native of Jiading district in Shanghai. He studied Western art under Chen Qiucao (1906-1988) when he was nineteen years old. Qu worked at the Shanghai People's Publishing House of Fine Arts in 1956. In 1957, he participated in the Shanghai Young Artists Exhibition and was awarded a prize. In 1959, his works were shown in the National Art Exhibition held in Beijing and in an international art exhibition held in Moscow. In 1962, his paintings were included in Masterpieces of Contemporary Chinese Painters published in Leipzig, Germany. He taught in the Shanghai Institute of Fine Arts in 1971. Qu moved to America in 1982 and held his first solo show in New York in 1983. His work was awarded the first prize by St. John's University, New York in 1984. He founded the Research Institute of Chinese Art in America in 1987 and was elected its president.
Qu climbed Mount Huangshan for the first time in 1957, and second time in 1974. His memory of Huangshan never faded, even after he migrated to America. Almost every year from 1990, Qu flew from New York to Huangshan, where he sketched and painted the multi-faced mountain range. The exhibition "Faces of Mt. Huang" was held at China 2000 Fine Art in New York in 1994, and then "The Magic of Yellow Mountain" in 1997, and "Paintings of Mount Huang" in 1999. Qu moved back to Shanghai in 2003. By 2011, Qu has a record of climbing Mt. Huang twenty times. He strives to paint Mount Huangshan as he feels it in his heart. Each Huangshan painting is a different impression of the mountain which changes from moment to moment. The light, the mist, and the changing seasons keep it in a constant state of flux. The philosophical footings, time-honored history, breathtaking scenery and profound culture of Mount Huangshan are fully reflected on Qu's works.