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Budi Tek, 65, dies; His fortune built up a vast treasure trove of Asian art

However, unlike many of these collectors, he always insisted that he had a civic obligation to exhibit his art. After showing his pieces at a café in Jakarta for a few years, he opened the nearby Yuz Museum with free admission in 2007.

Even that wasn’t enough. As his collection of works from China grew, he focused on an emerging arts district in Shanghai along the Huangpo River to create an even larger venue. Settling on part of an old airfield, he opened his second Yuz Museum in 2014. (He later closed the Jakarta location.)

At nearly 97,000 square feet, the Yuz is one of the largest art museums in China, with huge open spaces in which to display its mega art — the main hall, built from a former hangar, offers 32,300 square feet of exhibition space. A work by Mr. Cattelan, a living olive tree growing from a cube called Untitled, greets visitors at the entrance.

The Yuz was just one of hundreds of museums to open in China over the past decade, a sort of aftermath of the country’s rapid, and some say unsustainable, real estate boom. But unlike many of these institutions, which function primarily as exhibition spaces for touring exhibits (and are often empty these days), the Yuz is always packed as it’s built on Mr. Tek’s immense personal collection. It has also used its connections with other collectors and institutions around the world to host frequently blockbuster exhibitions, including solo shows of work by Andy Warhol and Giacometti.

Mr. Tek strove for the Yuz to become a Chinese analogue of American museums like the Frick, the Guggenheim, and the Getty, public-access institutions that build on the strength of an individual’s vast personal possessions and continue to be culturally influential long after their inception remain relevant ‘ deaths.

He announced in 2018 a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that would create a joint-venture foundation to oversee the majority of his collection while providing the Yuz with access to that American museum’s extensive holdings.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/arts/budi-tek-dead.html Budi Tek, 65, dies; His fortune built up a vast treasure trove of Asian art

Brian Ashcraft

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