Eugene Tang reports on Bloomberg the details of the upcoming sale of works from the Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation, the leading center for Chinese Contemporary art in Beijing:
The Ullens wanted poly, China’s largest auctioneer, to handle the sale to underscore his wish for his collection to remain in China. The Chinese government bans the export of most calligraphy, paintings produced before 1949. Even among artists who produced after the founding of the People’s Republic 60 years ago, most major works are banned from exports.
Ullens, scion of a family of Belgian diplomats and sugar industrialists, last month announced his plan to sell three pieces of work from one of the world’s largest collection of Chinese contemporary art to fund his namesake private museum. Poly’s auction, scheduled for May 25 in Beijing, will also include a dozen pieces from his collection of artwork from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Ullens, 74, began his collection with classical Chinese scrolls. As he began traveling frequently to China to run the family’s sugar business in the mid 1980s, his interest expanded to contemporary Chinese art.
The Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation owns about 1,500 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works in its collection. They opened the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in November 2007 in Beijing’s 798 art district, housing their collection in a Bauhaus-style former arms factory. [ . . . ]
Ullens and his wife Myriam bought 15 pieces of Chinese contemporary art last year, including an Ai Weiwei chandelier for $657,000 from Sotheby’s sale of Asian art in New York. Their collection includes paintings by Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi and Wang Guangyi.