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Tang Yin -- An Exceptional Artist in the History of China and His Pathos Life

Tang Yin (1470 -- 1524), also named Tang Bohu, was a great painter, litterateur and calligrapher in the history of China. Currently, one of his paintings was sold for 0.59 billion dollars.


As an exceptional artist, however, his life was full of pathos encounters. 


A Wrongly Accused Wunderkind and His Lost Dream

Tang Yin was born into an ordinary family, whose father run a small restaurant. Tang was not a hard working person, but was indeed a genius.


He won the first place in the Imperial Examination of his province; then he went to capital city Beijing to participate in the National Imperial Examination.


Tang did a good job, and was supposed to be top three in that year, but soon he was put into prison under the name of cheating. 


On Tang’s way to Beijing, he met another person from a very rich family, and they became good friends.


Before they took the National Imperial Exam, Tang was very confident and proud, and claimed in public that he would be the champion.


Later, people found that year’s exam was very difficult, and only two participants answered excellently: Tang Yin and his rich friend. Then they both were captured and investigated.


It turned out that his rich friend did buy the exam paper from the main examiner’s servant using big money.


Tang Yin, however, didn’t do that. But his announcement of being the champion before the exam made him suspicious; people didn’t believe a student could predict the result, unless something unspeakable happened. 


Then, the main examiner who got the exam topic stolen by his own servant was forced to resign; he was angry and sad, and passed away very soon. 


Tang Yin and his rich friend had their scores cancelled and were forbidden to join the Imperial Examination anymore.


This meant that Tang Yin would never be involved in politics, as most of the educated people's dream, in the history of China. 


A Castaway Genius Living in Poverty

After Tang Yin was set free from prison and went back home, people all changed their attitude into disrespectful.


During that time, Tang Yin’s beloved parents, siblings, and his first wife all departed; his second wife became mean, she soon took his money and left him.  


Tang Yin changed from an intelligent and ambitious young man to a deviant, dissolute person, who spent most of his time drinking and painting and visiting bawdy houses.


When those less talented people were serving the country as decent officials and fulfilling their political dreams, the genius Tang Yin had to sell his paintings for living.

Some Masterpieces of Tang Yin

Strayed into A King's and Pretended to Be A Lunatic


A decade later, a king invited Tang Yin to be an assistant official in his vassal state, which made Tang very excited.


Deep inside, Tang Yin still wanted to be politically useful. 


So he accepted the offer happily and soon arrived there; now he was 44 years old.


However, after having lived in the king’s palace for a while, he found out that the king was secretly preparing to rebel; because the king was training soldiers and stocking weapons, which was a felony in the Ming Dynasty.


Tang Yin was proved right later, this king initiated a rebel war years later, and was defeated by great general Wang Shouren soon


Tang Yin didn’t want to rebel, but he couldn’t leave safely, after knowing the king’s horrible secret either.


So Tang Yin started to act as an insane person, by streaking on the street, eating disgusting garbage, and telling everyone that he was the king’s honorable guest.


Soon the king was embarrassed and sent Tang Yin back to his hometown.


Leaving the World Desperately 


Tang Yin finally was safe, but also super disappointed and dispirited.


Again, he buried himself to alcohol and brothels, and passed away a few years later. 

This extraordinary genius never got the chance to realize his dream because of bad luck and his overly confidence; however, he glowed in another way.


The Ming Empire lost a smart politician, but gained an outstanding artist. Most of Tang Yin's exceptional masterpieces were finished in his most desperate times.


Before he departed old, sick and poor, he lamented that among the big world, the heaven and the hell, there was nowhere that he could ever belong.