Xiaohong Chen was born in1966, in Szechuan, China at the beginning of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Her parents were scientists; her father was exiled to a remote farm, her mother took baby Xiaohong and her older sister into hiding. To find ways to learn, Xiaohong began to draw at age 6. After the end of the revolution, Xiaohong, now 12, passed the qualifying exam and entered the boarding high school of Szechuan Fine Art Institute. In 1981, at 15, she was accepted at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Beijing. She continued graduate studies and taught classes at the school.
She came to study at the USC in 1987. After completing MA, she moved to San
Diego to pursue studies in Communication Designs. Since then, Xiaohong has exhibited her works in galleries, did illustrations, established a private teaching studio as well as lectured at San Diego Miramar College Art Department.