Zheng Banqiao was born in the Xinghua district of Jiangsu Province. After passing the jinshi examinaion he served as magistrate of Fanxian and Weixian in Shandong Province. He had a reputaion for an unrestrained and independent disposition, and was a b it of an excentric.|
When he became maistrate of Weixian he had some hundred holes bored through the exterior walls of the magistrate's chamber. This he explained was the release the foul bureaucratic stench left there by his predecessors!
At odds with his superiors he soon resigned and returned to his native Xinghua and built his 'Garden of Embracing Green'. He planted willows, vegetables, louses and chrysanthemums.
He was a noted calligrapher, painter and poet and the most striking and admired member of the Yanzhou Literary Group known as the Eight Excentrics of Yangzhou.