Political freedom and the economic boom in China have led to massive investment in contemporary Chinese art. There are more people not only willing but capable of spending on the sector as the number of millionaires has seen a sharp increase. The high net worth individuals in China have surpassed those in the United States. While many collectors do not want to be publicly featured others are not shy about it. The former are willing to expose contemporary Chinese art to the world.
Chinese art has also attracted global collectors with some spending huge sums to acquire the works either for public display or private collections. The following list contains some of the best and most influential Chinese art collectors you should follow.
After working as a sound engineer for some time, Qiao opened his first nightclub in Hainan. He later opened two more in Shanghai and Beijing. According to him, he did not start as a collector but rather just wanted to fill the space on the wall in his clubs way back in 2015. The most expensive piece he has purchased was worth one million pounds.
Qiao favors works from artists of his generation. In his possession are pieces by artists Zhang Enli, Liu Wei yang fudong among other international artists like Argentines villa Rojas. In 2019 he opened the tank shanghai complex which is a museum and recreational facility.
Cheng is the head of New World Development and the founder of K11 art malls. The business model of combining contemporary art with retail services has been very successful and replicated in several branches. In every K11 you will find an exhibition that supports contemporary Chinese artists by giving them a platform to showcase their work. The K11 foundation has held over sixty exhibitions. According to Cheng he aims to create contemporary Chinese culture through his business endeavors
In the west, the swiss collector is arguably the most influential collector of Chinese art. Though he donated his works to the M+ museum it numbered a massive 1520 pieces combining both contemporary and traditional artists alike. The collection was wide-ranging from sculptures, paintings, and photography. It also had videos and installations among others in addition to being representative of Chinese contemporary art history.
John Dodelande has focused his collection on mainland China and more so on the silk route. This is the trade route between China and Europe and his collection offers an insight into the rich history presented in pieces of artwork. He has held several exhibitions in China and Georgia, his current residence, and China. He has been viewed as an ambassador of contemporary Chinese art to the west and he argues it is not something he set out to do. According to him Chinese artists are raw and talented and have not conformed to the west market. John Dodelande has teamed up with fellow collector Adrian Cheng to release a book entitled Chinese art: the impossible collection. The book showcases artists’ works that the two admire.
Liu Yiquan and Wang Wei
In 2012 they opened their first museum, the long museum in Pudong, and two years later, they welcomed the second one but this time in west bund. The billionaire couples collection includes modern, traditional calligraphy, and contemporary pieces. Their museums showcase their works which are highly valuable and date back to the Song dynasty. In addition to holding exhibitions and collecting art, they also promote research and educate the people through their programs. The museum boasts of some of the best in the art world among its academic advisors.
Budi Tek concentrates on contemporary Chinese art in his collections of over 1500 pieces that he has amassed over 10 years. Initially, he worked in the food industry where he grew his wealth to the level of billionaire status. He is the founder of the Yuz Foundation, a non-profit organization through which he funds many institutions and artists in Asia.
Following the collectors on this list and their social media will be a sure way to know what’s happening in the world of Chinese art.