When Enid Tsui asked Valerie Wang Conghui, the advisor working with Zeng Baobao, to build an art collection—already 200 pieces strong—for Fantasia Holding’s museum in Xinjin, China, why a Hong Kong-listed resort operator and property developer would build a museum in Sichuan province, the answer was simple: “Having a museum adds value to a company, both in terms of branding and by spreading good taste and design ideas…”
In the four years since Zeng decided to fill the museum, the two have been on journey of discovery through all of the world’s art fairs and auctions.
“Initially, there was no clear strategy about the museum’s content and we bought what we liked: fun works such as Li Jin’s contemporary ink paintings. But as we spent more time looking, a theme for the museum developed naturally: modern and contemporary art that conveys traditional Chinese aesthetics.”
But to be a museum, Zhi needs art worthy of being loaned out to other institutions. So the pair invested in works by Zao Wou-ki and Zeng Fanzhi. Whether those two artists were sought because of their art historical importance or their price points is something Tsui leaves unclear in the story.
Chinese art museum finally takes shape with big-ticket items bought on a billionaire’s budget (South China Morning Post)