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Budi Tek Announces Landmark Partnership with LACMA

Budi Tek, the Indo Chinese art collector and founder of the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, has made a historic agreement with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in order to preserve his collection of around 1,500 works of Chinese contemporary art. According to Ann Binlot of Artnews, at a panel discussion in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Tek announced that the Yuz Museum and LACMA will be partners in a new foundation to which he will donate all of his artworks.

The unprecedented deal between the two institutions will secure the long-term future of Tek’s collection. The arts patron has been battling pancreatic cancer and is currently in Frankfurt receiving treatment. He appeared via video at the panel, which was titled “The Future of the Museum: The Rapidly Evolving Roles of Nations, Directors and Collectors” and was presented by Sotheby’s partner Art Agency at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, where Art Basel Hong Kong is being held.

“If I share more than a thousand pieces of artworks worth a lot of money . . . [that] actually means nothing,” Tek said. “I’d like to group it together to preserve the legacy, and actually to keep it forever. Then it means something to the world, because the collection’s meant to belong for the world.”

LACMA director Michael Govan confirmed that the museum has been in talks with Tek about collaborating on programming and exhibitions for the last two years. While the plan is still in an early phase—contracts have yet to be signed—an agreement was reached four months ago. Govan said that for Yuz, the partnership means having “access to possibilities that just don’t exist anywhere else because there’s nothing like that. There’s nothing in China that has access to global collections that easily.” He added, “We’re going to do things specifically for there, we’re going to connect collections, we’re going to come up with programs that don’t exist anywhere else.”

The two institutions are currently organizing their first collaborative show, which is slated to open in 2019. The venue has yet to be announced. Govan said that the Chicago-based art historian Wu Hung will serve as consulting artistic director for the project.

In addition to the news of the partnership, LACMA announced that it has been promised four-hundred works of contemporary Chinese and global ink-related art from collectors Gérard and Dora Cognié. Among the four-hundred works are pieces by Gu Wenda, Li Huasheng, Li Huayi, Lin Tianmiao, Qiu Shihua, Xu Bing, Yang Jiechang, and Zheng Chongbin.