After graduating from the Northern Manchuria Art University, Northwest Normal University in 1986, he started as a painter but moved into producing performance art. In 1998 Yang Zhichao moved to Beijing. He attempts to raise social issues through his performances and has achieved notoriety through extreme actions such as branding his ID number on his body, planting grass on his back, and surgically implanting objects in his leg and stomach. His work is concerned with the body, and how, in an age of science and technology, our bodies no longer belong to ourselves but to society and the state. He has exhibited both in China and abroad, including the famous "Fuck off" show at the Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, the Guangdong Museum of Art Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, 2003, the Dadao Live Art Festival, Beijing, 2004 and a tour of eight major institutions in the UK organised by Beijing-based curator Shu Yang in 2006.