Billionaires turning into collectors who build museums may be a trend to watch in China.
A prominent Hong Kong billionaire is set to open his considerable private art collection to the public.
The Liang Yi Museum opens on Hollywood Road. One of the first private museums of its kind in Hong Kong, it is the product of four decades of collecting by corporate tycoon Peter Fung Yiu-fai. The museum’s exquisite displays, rich cultural heritage, and exclusivity are sure to draw crowds of affluent visitors looking for a taste of history.
Peter Fung’s daughter, Lynn Fung, serves as the museum’s managing director. She says that the exhibition aims for a unique and immersive experience for its visitors, even allowing them to touch and sit down on valuable antique furniture, and offers tours in Putonghua, Cantonese, and English.
“The admission fee, waived for full-time students, comes with a personalised guided tour which we hope our visitors will value. Any walk-ins will be entertained when possible, but we want to keep our tours intimate, and we recommend making appointments ahead of time,” Fung said in an interview with the South China Morning Post.
Fung, who studied the culinary arts and postcolonial literature at universities in the United States, aims “to make something as fusty as old furniture appeal to the younger generation,” according to SCMP. Her “modern day skills” in social media and online marketing will help to attract younger consumers, and connect them to their country’s historical and artistic legacy.
The museum includes about 400 pieces of furniture, including rare pieces from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its location on Hollywood Road pays tribute to the street’s rich Chinese antique trade; indeed, it is the place where Peter Fung first began to acquire pieces for the collection in the 1980s. But despite its strong Eastern roots, the museum also features treasures from the West, such as beautiful European vanity cases from the early 20th century.
Fung says she hopes to expand upon the museum’s fusion of East and West.
“We are in preliminary talks with the Victoria and Albert museum in the UK. We would like them to them to exhibit their collection in this space. I’d love to bring the museum to that level,” she said.