Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
Chinese Proverb Calligraphy Scroll

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks - Chinese Proverb Calligraphy Scroll
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks - Chinese Proverb Calligraphy Scroll
159cm
62½"
50.3cm
19¾"

Typical Gallery Price: $220.00

Your Price: $98.88


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Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks - Chinese Proverb Calligraphy Scroll living room view

This calligraphy artwork will look great in your home or office.

Approximate Measurements

Artwork Panel: 32.1cm x 98.3cm ≈ 12½" x 38¾"

Silk/Brocade: 41.3cm x 159cm ≈ 16¼" x 62½"

Width at Wooden Knobs: 50.3cm ≈ 19¾"

Information about caring for your wall scroll
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百折不屈

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks - Chinese Proverb Calligraphy Scroll close up view

Close up view of the calligraphy artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks". More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching". This is of Chinese origin, but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery, but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks", "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable".

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks", the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times". The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up".
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning, but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also...  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence


Written by Master Calligrapher Xing An-Ping using Chinese ink on handmade tan paper, and mounted to a handmade silk brocade wall scroll.

The style of these characters is the calligrapher's "Kaishu".


About the calligrapher:

Caobin 2017

I met Cao Bin years ago, and long before his fame. At that time, his wife was running a small house cleaning business. One day she was tidying up my mother-in-law's home in Beijing and overheard that I am in the business of selling Chinese calligraphy and artwork. She asked if I'd like to meet her husband who was a pretty good calligrapher as she described him with modesty.

The next evening, I visited his modest studio and saw some really nice calligraphy and great black ink bamboo paintings that he'd just finished. After a lot of tea drinking and chatting, I asked if I could commission a few pieces.

Through the years, I would occasionally buy a few more pieces, not realizing how famous he had become. I might pop by his studio, only to hear from his wife that he was down in Anhui receiving an award for his calligraphy (calligraphy competitions are comparable to the fervor that sports championships have in the rest of the world). It finally dawned on me that this man I had known for about 7 years was a premier calligrapher for whom books had been published featuring his work, and the recipient of numerous awards.

The best part is that I have guanxi (a word that kind of means "special relationship" in Chinese), he gives me better prices than anyone else. This really fits well with my philosophy to offer high quality Asian artwork that everyone can afford.

Ponytail Cao Bin

When I first met him, Cao Bin had a shaved head like a Buddhist monk. Years later, he has traded in that look for the ponytail that is expected of the eccentric Chinese artist

Frenzy of people watching Cao Bin

A frenzy of people watch Cao Bin create his calligraphy during a special event

Caobin in Studio

Cao Bin at his studio

Calligraphy Studio of Cao Bin

Full view of Cao Bin's calligraphy studio


More about the artwork:

This is painted on xuan paper (often incorrectly called "rice paper"). The raw artwork was then taken to my workshop in east Beijing where the master mounter built it into a handmade wall scroll.

This item was listed or modified
Sep 22nd, 2021

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Typical Gallery Price: $220.00

Your Price: $98.88


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