Signature: Accompanying Shitao's signature is his intaglio seal, which quotes Wen Tong's saying: "He ko yiri wu cu zhun" ["How can I live one day without this gentleman!"] i.e., the bamboo.
Four-line inscription: Wen Yuku [Wen Tong, 1018–1979] painted bamboo in ink without colors and regarded it as fine bamboo. A guest saw it and was startled. Su Zuyu [Su Che, 1039–1112] explained, "Walking a month bamboo in the morning, being a companion to bamboo in the evening; drinking and eating amid bamboo, relaxing in the shade of bamboo. Only after much observation of the transformations of bamboo can one completely understand them. If this is not done, then whether horizontal or slanting, crooked or straight, its character will be obscured". If that guest had not been startled, my heart would not be on the right path and I would always have been an outsider in bamboo painting.
The Bitter Melon Monk of Qingxiang, Ji.