Chinese Collector Zhang Rui: "Buying Art Is Like A Drug Addiction"

    One of mainland China's new generation of "super-collectors," Beijing businessman Zhang Rui now boasts one of the country's largest private art collections.
    Chinese art collector and businessman, Zhang Rui (Image: China Daily)
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    Mainland Chinese "Super-Collectors" Still Dominate Domestic Contemporary Art Market#

    One of mainland China's new generation of "super-collectors" -- who have spent the last decade surpassing the formerly dominant Westerners to become the most active buyers of Chinese contemporary art -- businessman

    Zhang Rui#

    now boasts one of the country's largest art private collections. Holding onto his 800-strong collection through the early days of the boom market around 2005, through the price corrections of 2008-2009 and now amid the blue-chip revival seen since 2010, Zhang is unique among Chinese collectors in that he seems to have no intention to follow the likes of

    Wang Wei#


    Liu Yiqian#

    -- whose private Dragon Art Museum is set to open in November -- or

    Budi Tek,#

    and build an art venue open to the public, nor to flip works by top artists at domestic Chinese auction houses like the small-time speculation-focused Chinese buyer.

    Rather, Zhang is that type of art collector who verges on a high-end hoarder, displaying many of his works in his Beijing mansion while keeping the vast majority tucked away in storage. This week, the AFP profiles Zhang and his impressive collection of important works by the likes of Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi and Fang Lijun:

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