The Long Museum
Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian may well have amassed his fortune via savvy investing and stock market prowess, but it’s the vast, predominantly Chinese art collection procured with and curated by his wife Wang Wei that has had the couple making headlines in recent years. After more than two years in development, the pair at last proudly cut the ribbon on their pet project this past December – China’s largest private art gallery, the Long Museum.
In a Zhong Song-designed, minimalist structure boasting 10,000 sq m of floor space sprawled over three floors, Liu and Wang present a centuries-spanning collection that’s been more than 20 years in the making. On the ground floor, Chinese contemporary art from the likes of Fang Lijun and Zhou Chunya takes centre stage; on the second level, revolutionary, Mao-era pieces created between 1949 and 1979 are displayed; and traditional works and historical artifacts are housed on the top floor, including pieces from the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasty eras, one of which is an ancient painting believed to have been hand-drawn by Emperor Huizong (1082-1135) himself, and purchased by Wang in 2009 for US$9.9 million. And not content to rest on their laurels, the art-loving couple plans to open a second museum location later in the year. Go Long!