Born in China, Ma Yi graduated in traditional Chinese art from the University of Shanghai in 1997. He then learned the profession of storyboard art before participating in the CCTV series 'Journey to the West'. In 2000 he switched to illustration. He illustrated a great many novel covers and in 2006 he was introduced to European comics at the Angoulême comics festival. In 2007 he founded the manga and animation studios Shanghai Youth Animation with Du Jun. In that same year, he returned to Angoulême and got the opportunity to draw the series 'Yuna' from scripts by Jacques Lamontagne for the French publisher Soleil.