Dapeng has been a PhD candidate since March 2012 in the Department of Art History and Film Studies at the University of Sydney. His doctoral dissertation focuses on modern art in China in the early 20th century.
In late 2011, Dapeng received the degree of Master of Arts (by research), from the University of Sydney. His Master’s research focused on pre-modern Buddhist art in China.
He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Visual Communication from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK. The course was undertaken in conjunction with the Raffles Design Institute in Beijing, China, an affiliated institution.
Between 2001 and 2002, Dapeng studied at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he majored in Design Studies.
Born in Beijing in 1982, Dapeng started to practice live sketching from the age of four under the tutelage of his father - Yumin LIU (b.1955). Although not himself a professional artist, Yumin spent most of his spare time in painting, calligraphy and seal engraving. In his childhood in the late 1950s and early 60s, he was taught drawing by a renowned Western-style Chinese artist Sun Zhijun (1907-1966). Years later, Yumin adapted the method learnt from Sun and trained his son, Dapeng. In his early years in China, Dapeng was a frequent award winner in a variety of youth and junior art competitions. Some of his early works were featured in newspaper articles and were also exhibited in Europe. He moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2007.