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Su Mai (1059–1119) was fifty-one years old (in sui) when he wrote this colophon in regular script for a painting by Zheng Tianjue. His calligraphic style was clearly influenced by that of his father Su Shi (1037–1101). Binghua referred to in the text is, in fact, Qian Shixiong, one of Su Shi’s students. Throughout Su’s life, the two maintained a good relationship. Qian followed Su on some of his travels, and when Su died Qian served at his side.
Born at Meishan in Meizhou (present-day Meishan, Sichuan Province), Su Mai was the eldest son of Su Shi. With the courtesy name (zi) Boda, he was a talented writer proficient at calligraphy. In his official capacity, he served as a vice-director in the Bureau of Equipment.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu