Zhang, born in Shanghai in 1932, became known for such classics as The Brainless and The Unhappy and Chinese traditional ink-painting cartoon A Little Swallow in the 1960s.
The artist participated in the creation of 200 episodes of various Chinese cartoons and won awards domestically and abroad. He was a director, scriptwriter, and art director with the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. In 1985, he helped to found China Animation Association, where he remained an honorary president.
Zhang also contributed to cartoon chapters for various Chinese dictionary tomes such as Encyclopedia of China, Motion Picture Art Dictionary and China Film Yearbook.