Cheng Man-Ching was born in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. He lost his father and lived in poverty during his childhood. He learned poetry and calligraphy from his mother and learned painting from Wang Xiangchan. He was famed as "Elderly Man with Five Masteries" for his mastery in poetry, calligraphy, painting, Tai Chi and Chinese medicine. His painting style of flower and birds started from court-style and later began to incorporate life drawing. His work was influenced by Bada Shanren, Green Vine (Xu Wei) and Wu Changshuo. For landscape painting, he studied the style of the famed painters of the Song and Yuan Dynasties and was influenced by Xia Gui and Huang Gongwang.
The piece "Single Bamboo" is an ink wash painting on paper. The piece does not have any background and only consists of a single bamboo standing tall and elegant. The bamboo leaves are presented in different shades of ink in order to distinguish the priority and distance. The style is light, elegant and natural with a classic and simple touch. The brushes and the usage of ink were flowing and demonstrated the charm and spirit of the bamboo plant. In addition, the dignity and integrity, elegance and handsomeness symbolized by the bamboo plant itself was also the personality that the painter desired.
This audio guide is made by National Taiwan Library. Docent: Chen Yu-Jung (陳毓容)