Budi Tek, 65, dies; His fortune has built a vast treasury of Asian art

Unlike many of these collectors, however, he always insisted that he had a civic obligation to exhibit his art. After a few years exhibiting his pieces in a café in Jakarta, in 2007 he opened the nearby Yuz Museum, which is free to enter.

Even that was not enough. As his collection of Chinese works grew, he focused on an emerging art district in Shanghai along the Huangpo River for an even bigger venue. It settled on part of a former airfield and in 2014 opened its second Yuz museum. (He later shut down the Jakarta site.)

At nearly 97,000 square feet, the Yuz is one of China’s largest art museums, with vast open halls where it can show off its mega-art – the main hall, built from a former hangar , offers 32,300 square feet of exhibit space. A work by Mr. Cattelan, a living olive tree emerging 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 corollary of the country’s rapid and, some say, unsustainable property boom. But unlike many of these institutions, which operate primarily as exhibition space for traveling shows (and these days are often empty), the Yuz is always full, built on Mr. Tek’s huge personal collection. He also leveraged his relationships with other collectors and institutions around the world to mount frequent successful exhibitions, including solo shows of works by Andy Warhol and Giacometti.

Mr. Tek aspired to see the Yuz become a Chinese analogue of American museums like the Frick, the Guggenheim and the Getty, institutions open to the public built on the strength of one person’s vast personal holdings and which remain culturally relevant long after. their founders. ‘ deaths.

It announced a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2018, which would create a joint venture foundation to oversee most of its collection while giving the Yuz access to that US museum’s extensive holdings.

About Margaret L. Portillo

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