Living organisms use musculatures with spatially distributed anisotropic structures to actuate deformations and locomotion with fascinating functions . Replicating such structural features in artificial materials is of great significance yet remains a big challenge . Here, a facile strategy is reported to fabricate hydrogels with elaborate ordered structures of nanosheets (NSs) oriented under a distributed electric field . Multiple electrodes are distributed with various arrangements in the precursor solution containing NSs and gold nanoparticles . A complex electric field induces sophisticated orientations of the NSs that are permanently inscribed by subsequent photo-polymerization . The resultant anisotropic nanocomposite poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogels exhibit rapid deformation upon heating or photoirradiation, owing to the fast switching of permittivity of the media and electric repulsion between the NSs . The complex alignments of NSs and anisotropic shape change of discrete regions result in programmed deformation of the hydrogels into various configurations . Furthermore, locomotion is realized by a spatiotemporal light stimulation that locally triggers time-variant shape change of the composite hydrogel with complex anisotropic structures . Such a strategy on the basis of the distributed electric-field-generated ordered structures should be applicable to gels, elastomers, and thermosets loaded with other anisotropic particles or liquid crystals, for the design of biomimetic/bioinspired materials with specific functionalities.