Patrons taking their collection public through the private Long Museum in Shanghai
Husband-and-wife Liu and Wang are the most conspicuous Chinese art collectors in the world, making waves for a $170m purchase of Modigliani’s Nu couché (1917–18) at Christie’s last year – the second most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction. This year, Liu (once photographed sipping tea from a $36m Ming dynasty cup shortly after he’d put it on his American Express) continues with his, er, refreshingly honest ways. Earlier this year he uploaded a picture of himself standing in front of Gerhard Richter’s 11m-wide 930-7 Strip (2015) on social media platform WeChat – a purchase Artnet News later confirmed. With an estimated fortune of $1.29b, taxidriver- turned-tycoon Liu is chairman of Sunline Group, which has investments in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and financial services. In 2012, he and his wife set up the private Long Museum, which has two branches in Shanghai, where they are based. This year they opened a new outpost in Chongqing in Southwest China, a metropolis of over 30 million people.