Walasse Ting was born in Wuxi, China in 1929, but was raised in Shanghai where, by his own account, he first began painting on sidewalks. In 1952 he moved to Paris where he formed close friendships with members of the CoBrA group.
In 1964 he published a book of his poems entitled One Cent Life illustrated with original lithographs by numerous American and European artists. In 1977 he was awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and published Red Mouth, a book of erotic drawings and paintings. He is the author of many other books, and has had numerous exhibitions throughout the world.