Chi Man Lai was born in Hong Kong in 1949.
He graduated from the National Taiwan Art Academy in Taipei, Taiwan. From 1973 to 1977 he worked in the Henraux Studios in Querceta, Italy, as an independent artist.
There he started to make sculptures that were inspired by the concept behind Chinese characters.
In 1977 and 1978 he was awarded the Robert. Russin Fellowship in Sculpture, in Wyoming, U.S.A.
He received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wyoming in 1980 after which he returned to Europe where he settled in Holland. There he started to combine stone with organic materials like rice and beans, to explore the concept of Chinese philosophy; which emphasizes how man can live with nature in harmony.
He was invited to teach at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan in 1984.
Won a grand prize in the First R.O.C. Sculpture Exhibition of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan, in 1985. Organized the first International Taiwan Sculpture Symposium in Tainan, Taiwan in 1989.
Has participated in personal and group exhibitions in Taiwan and abroad. His works are in public collections in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, China, Holland and the U.S.
Lives and works in Taiwan.