Subscribe to free Email Newsletter

  Chinese Way>Life

A museum of their own

2013-02-17 14:45:11

(China Daily)


Hard Times (1973), by Zhang Hongxiang, is an oil painting from the Long Museum's "red classics" collection. Photos provided to China Daily

Husband and wife art lovers realize their dream and take it to the public, Zhang Kun reports in Shanghai.

Art collectors have to follow their own ideas, Wang Wei believes. Academics and scholars may provide their suggestions and advice, but ultimately you have to find your own direction.

Wang and her husband, Liu Yiqian, are among the most renowned collectors of art in today's China. In June 2012, they were listed in The 2012 ARTnews 200 Top Collectors. This is the first time collectors from the Chinese mainland have been listed.

Their private establishment, the Long Museum, opened to the public in suburban Shanghai's Luoshan Road on Dec 18.

The museum's debut exhibition largely reflects the outlook of their collection. There are modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures with a special focus on "red classics" - items reflecting the modern Chinese revolutionary events and heroes.

The Long Museum

And there are ancient Chinese masterpieces and treasures such as the painted scroll Sketches of Rare Birds by Zhao Ji, an 11th-century emperor of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and an imperial throne from the 18th century. Liu bought the scroll for more than 61 million yuan ($9.92 million) in 2009 and the throne for HK$85.78 million ($11.06 million).

"We only buy occasionally nowadays, to complement and improve the existing series," Wang says. Her office sits on the third floor of the new museum building located in a cluster of luxurious villa residences, on Luoshan Road, in Pudong New Area of suburban Shanghai.

Liu, 50, made his first "barrel of gold" in China's emerging stock market in the 1980s. The couple's art-collecting dates back more than 20 years.

1 2 3