Ba Ho Street – talented, adventurous life

ChinaDuong Ba Ho, a famous talent of the Ming Dynasty, became a prisoner for his involvement in the exam bribery case.

The life story of Duong Ba Ho has been adapted into movies many times. The image of an artist on the screen is often associated with affluence and love. Movie Ba Ho Street, Thu Huong point depicts Duong Ba Ho with nine wives, pretending to be beggars to flirt with Thu Huong. Page Sohu Comments in real life, Tang Ba Ho is more unhappy, not rich, romantic, funny like in the movie.

Chau Tinh Tri plays Duong Ba Ho in “Ba Ho Street, Thu Huong Point”. Video: Golden Harvest

Tang Dan, formerly Ba Ho (1470-1524), born in the year of the Tiger, is an outstanding painter and poet in Chinese history. He is from Suzhou, showing his intelligence from a young age. At the age of 16, Duong Ba Ho passed the baccalaureate exam with the highest score, famous throughout Suzhou.

Since the age of 20, Duong Ba Ho’s life has been full of difficulties. At the age of 25, his parents, wife and sister died one after another. Thanks to the encouragement of his close friend Chuc Chi Son, Duong Ba Ho put his heart into grinding history. In 1499, Duong Ba Ho and Tu Kinh – the son of a rich family – entered the scriptures to apply for the exam. Follow CCTV, went to the capital, Tu Kinh, Duong Ba Ho paid money, asked to be a disciple of Trinh Man Chinh – an erudite scholar and court mandarin. Some time later, Trinh Man Chinh was appointed as one of the examiners of the exam, in charge of the questions.

After completing the exam, Duong Ba Ho, Tu Kinh and many candidates drank alcohol in the inn. Duong Ba Ho confidently told the contestants that he would win the poinsettia. Tu Kinh, who admired Duong Ba Ho’s education, also nodded to express his belief that Ba Ho would honor and worship his ancestors.

Portrait of Duong Ba Ho by Thanh Ly painter Nhac Van.  Photo: Xinhua

Portrait of Duong Ba Ho by Thanh Ly painter Nhac Van. Photo: Xinhua

However, when the results were announced, both were not on the yellow board. Duong Ba Ho and Tu Kinh were also accused of cheating on exams, buying exam papers from Trinh Man Chinh. All three were incarcerated. Xu Kinh repeatedly changed his testimony. Once, he said that he bribed Cheng Min Chinh’s servants to get the exam papers, and then asked Tang Bo Hu to solve the problems. Another time, Tu Kinh confessed that because of corporal punishment, he confessed to bribery, the truth is that he and Duong Ba Ho only accepted Cheng Min Chinh as their teacher, in the learning process, Cheng Min Chinh used to lecture on difficult topics, later on. Some of the content he once taught became exam questions.

The case was personally handled by King Minh Hieu Tong. During the investigation, a number of people were determined to slander to harm Trinh Man Chinh. However, he was still accused of making unfair test questions. After more than a year in prison, Tu Kinh, Duong Ba Ho and Trinh Min Chinh were all released. Cheng Min Chinh died four days after being released from prison, and Tu Kinh and Duong Ba Ho were sentenced to forever not be able to participate in the examination, extinguishing their hopes of becoming an official.

Tang Ba Ho escaped from bribery to buy exam papers, but his reputation was inevitably tarnished. Feeling that he no longer had the face to go home, at the age of 31, he began a life of adventure, traveling through the mountains to entertain himself day by day. After more than a year in exile, Duong Ba Ho ran out of money and was forced to return to his homeland. Back home, the second wife criticized him as poor, so the two split the road.

The stain of imprisonment made Duong Ba Ho turn into a different person. He fell, licentious, often went to the green house, the brothel, and drank freely. Duong Ba Ho and a few close friends – including Chuc Chi Son – pretended to be beggars, the proceeds were used to drink alcohol.

At the age of 35, Duong Ba Ho met Shen Cuu Nuong – a prostitute on the green floor. She is good at painting and appreciates Duong Ba Ho’s talent. When he met his soulmate, he decided to start over again. The two built a house and named it Dao Hoa Am. Duong Ba Ho makes money selling paintings and calligraphy. He no longer attaches importance to exams, power and fame, repeatedly expressing his opposition to the times, satirizing society through poems and paintings.

Part of the picture Tung chews goodbye.  Photo: Sohu

Part of the painting “Tung chewing farewell”. Photo: Sohu

In 1512, Shen Cuu Nuong died due to labor and illness. Since then, Tang Ba Ho did not submit a concubine. At the end of his life, he lived in poverty, dying in 1524.

Duong Ba Ho left behind many literary and painting works of high artistic value. Currently, most of his paintings and calligraphy are displayed in museums. Some works have appeared on the auction market. Follow Thepaper, in 2021, his 178-word calligraphy work was sold for 57.5 million yuan (more than $9 million). In 2013, the picture Tung chewed his goodbyes sold at 71 million yuan ($11.1 million).

Nghinh Xuan


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