P'u Hua received a solid Confucian education and became a proficient scholar, poet, painter, and calligrapher. P'u became a close friend of the artist, Wu Ch'ang-shuo in Shanghai and, as member of Wu's circle, became successful at interpreting traditional styles with a new found freedom and personality.
Completed late in life, this extraordinary set of four, large calligraphic hanging scrolls is executed in a wild, effusive hsing-shu (running script) trembling with barely controlled vitality. The four early texts are only randomly connected, and were apparently selected by the dedicatee, Mr. Chin-i; one from the I Ching and one from Chuang-tzu, the other two being accounts of emperor T'ai-tsung and empress Wu of the T'ang dynasty (8th century). The verse (concerned with the relativity of things) from the I Ching (1st century b.c.) reads:
If water is not deeply enough accumulated, then in supporting a boat, it will lack sufficient strength. If you pour a cup of water in a small hole in the ground, then a mustard seed can serve as a boat therein, but if you place a cup in it, it will get stuck in the shallow water as it is too large a boat.