Wang And Husband Liu Yiqian Crowned “Best Collectors” At 2010 Art Power Awards
On February 21, “Art Finance” magazine and BMW held the fourth annual “Art Power” award ceremony in Beijing. During the event, the online portal Sina’s Art Collection Channel interviewed Wang Wei, the wife of the Shanghai billionaire collector Liu Yiqian. Although it was her first time attending this event, Wang said she felt honored to be shortlisted, telling Sina that “the Art Power List is great and [this] event is very impressive.” Wang said she thought the event would positively impact society as a whole, and that she thought it would benefit art lovers as well. Additionally — and most importantly — in the interview, Wang said that she and her husband had finalized the opening date for their long-discussed private museum. Called “Dragon Art Museum” (龙美术馆), Wang and Liu’s museum will open its doors in November 2012 in Shanghai.
From the interview (translation by Jing Daily team):
Sina: Last year, you bought a lot of important work in the sector of Chinese Oil Painting. You were almost in a combat by yourself.
Wang Wei: In 2009, I launched the exhibition “The Revolutionary Era,” which I’d been planning for eight years. After the show, I felt like I should do a little more, and ultimately I thought it’d be a good thing for those of us who had become wealthy earlier to make a contribution to society. The motivation for opening the Dragon Museum is to show and promote Chinese contemporary art. I think that [the museum] can contribute to the art scene and community.
Sina: We know that you are preparing for the opening of the Dragon Museum. How is it evolving?
Wang: The architectural design of the museum has been finalized. Now we’re focusing on the interior design. I actually came here yesterday to participate in an expert discussion on how best to develop the Dragon Museum. Participants included museum director Wang Huangsheng, the deputy director of the National Gallery Chen Lüsheng, and other professionals. The museum should be completed in June of this year, and I plan to open it on November 18, 2012.
Sina: What types of exhibitions will take place at the Dragon Museum?
Wang: I think the major exhibitions in this museum will come from the collection that my husband and I have built up. The first floor will focus on contemporary Chinese art, while the second floor will be “Red Classics” (Mao-era artwork from 1949-1979) and a base for “patriotic education,” and the third floor will exhibit traditional and ancient pieces.
Sina: We assume that you will attend many auctions this year. Will you expand your collection portfolio of Chinese contemporary art?
Wang: People can see that I collected lots of artwork from auction houses over the past two years, because I was planning to open this museum. At the beginning, I mostly collected ancient artwork and contemporary paintings, but then I started to collect oil paintings from the Republican period (1912 – 1949). Later on, I had the idea of opening an art museum, so I started to collect more contemporary art. Now, my collection includes pieces from virtually every established Chinese artist.
Sina: Will you constantly adjust your collection portfolio in the future? For example, will you add more high-quality pieces to your portfolio and sell off others?
Wang: I will probably not make any adjustments to my oil painting collection. As for my husband, some of the pieces he collected need to be re-evaluated, since they were lesser-known pieces.
Sina: Does this mean that you’ll make adjustments to your ancient paintings and calligraphy works?
Wang: A little bit. We’ll figure it out after we get more advice from experts. We plan to include more high-quality pieces to further enrich the museum collection.
Sina: Do you plan to devote a great deal of energy to the art scene in the future?
Wang: Yes. I regard the museum as my career.
Sina: Will you let your children inherit your career in the future?
Wang: I do have that idea. I’ve already spent over two hundred million yuan (US$30.4 million) on this museum, and I want it to be permanent. The reason why it is named “Dragon” is because the Chinese pronunciation of “Dragon” is “Lóng,” which means “long-term” in English.
Sina: It sounds interesting. Has your husband come with you to the Art Power event today?
Wang: No, but I brought my staff. We are about to start working soon, but first we need to sort through our collections. I’ve selected a very professional publishing house to help us categorize our collections and publish a book. Then I’m going to move on to making plans for the museum, and gradually get everything finalized.