C66 郑板桥·吃亏是福


Zheng Ban Qiao · ‘Chi Kui Shi Fu’ (Losing is not the end, it only makes you stronger and more resilient)

郑板桥的《吃亏是福》原是他为一位远房亲戚郑煊而写的。有一次,郑煊将木材运到外地去时,货价却狂跌,以致血本无归。郑煊向郑板桥倾诉苦恼,郑板桥便送了这幅勉词给郑煊,使他的心情获得了平复。后来,郑煊带着自己的商船回洪江,没想到在回程时,木材价格却突然涨起,郑煊于是意外地发了财。回家后,郑煊静静地思考着郑板桥给他的题词,并从中体会出人生哲理,于是便将此题词作为家训,刻在窨子屋的高墙壁上以示后人。 板桥书隶楷参半,瘦硬之致,亦间以画法行之。



Dynasty: Qing (1644 – 1911)

Calligrapher: Zheng Ban Qiao (1693 – 1765)

Overview: The ‘Chi Kui Shi Fu’ (Losing is not the end, it only makes you stronger and more resilient) by Zheng Ban Qiao was dedicated to a distant relative of his, Zheng Xuan. Once, an outward bound wood shipment by Zheng Xuan was hit by a severe price collapse, causing him to lose outright. Zheng Xuan poured out his grievances to Zheng Ban Qiao and upon hearing it, the latter wrote a consolation piece to motivate him to move on. Zheng Xuan regained his composure, as a result. Later, Zheng Xuan’s vessel was on the business expedition again. On his return, the commodity prices for his wood soared significantly, leading him to make a big fortune out of it. When he was home, he thought about the written advice dedicated to him by Zheng Ban Qiao, over and over again. He finally came to realize the true meaning behind that piece of writing. That’s the philosophy of life he treasured as a decree for his family for many generations to come. He hung the meaningful piece of writing on the high wall of his courtyard house to remind people of such philosophy. The calligraphy of Zheng Ban Qiao carries the characteristics of ‘Li Shu’ and ‘Kai Shu’ interchangeably, with clever spacing alignment, width and thinning, delivered through his vigorous strokes. At times, he liked to embed his calligraphy into a painting.

Calligraphy Style: Xing Shu