Hu Wei was born in 1957 in Jinan, Shandong Province. He graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 1982, and stayed at school as a teacher afterwards. In 1983, he worked as the assistant of Mr. Ye Qianyu. His artwork, Li Dazhao, Qu Qiubai, Xiao Hong, won the Gold Award of International Youth Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1985. Sponsored by the State Education Commission, he went to Japan in 1987 to work on the researches on the comparison of Chinese and Japanese fine arts and the preservation and restoration of ancient paintings with Professor Hirayama Ikuo, the President of Tokyo University of the Arts. He gained Master's Degree of Fine Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1991. In 1995, the "Hu Wei Exhibition" was held at the UNESCO headquarter (Paris). He received Doctor's Degree of Fine Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1996. In 1997, he went back to work at CAFA, where he was exceptionally promoted to the rank of Professor and established and chaired the "Material and Expression Studio". In 2010, he was transferred to National Art Museum of China to serve as Deputy Director.
He has successively presided over the art project of National Centre for the Performing Arts, art concept design project of the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing Olympic Games. As the project leader, he completed the special project of preserving and restoring ancient Chinese murals, a state key project in the "Tenth Five-Year Plan" for National Arts and Sciences. Besides, he was honored the "National Candidate for the New Century Hundred Thousand Ten Thousand Talents Project" jointly issued by seven national ministries, and the "Outstanding Teacher Award of Colleges and Universities in Beijing" by Beijing Education Commission. Hu independently created Chen Duxiu and New Youth for the "Art Creation Project on National Major Historical Themes" jointly implemented by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture. He also created Zhang Juzheng's Reform on his own for the "Art Creation Project on Chinese Civilization and Historical Themes" carried out by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture.
He serves as a judge in National Fine Arts Exhibition, National Youth Fine Arts Exhibition, Beijing International Art Biennale, Overseas Study Project of Chinese Young and Middle-aged Artists, China Fine Arts Prize · Lifetime Achievement Award, and for the senior title in fine arts of Ministry of Culture. He is also entitled to special government allowance from the State Council.
At present, he is a second-grade Professor, a doctoral supervisor, a council member of China Artists Association, and the Director of Comprehensive Material Painting and Artwork Conservation and Restoration Art Committee.