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Paul Yeou Chichong, 84 years old and owner of 350 paintings from the great masters

Paul Yeou Chichong, 84 years old and owner of 350 paintings from the great masters
PAPEETE, le 12 janvier 2018 - Brueghel, Miro, Pissarro, Monet, Gauguin, Andy Warhol, Keith Harring, Estève ... Paul Yeou Chichong personally owns 350 paintings from the great masters. This exceptional collector dreams of seeing French Polynesia build a museum able to host his treasures for perpetuity in Papeete, Tahiti. He has agreed to show us his collection.

From Pop Art to Impressionism to Australian aboriginal art, Paul Yeou Chichong values his collection of 350 painting at around 61 million US dollars. In his house – he requested that we remained silent about its location – his personal museum keeps centuries-old and timeless treasures.
If the Polynesian collector has some local painters among his belongings, they represent a tiny minority of his incredible collection.
The businessman, who retired only in 2016, is proud of his personal museum. He, the little Chinese "kaina" who grew up in poverty, is today, at the age of 84, the proud owner of unique pieces. His two key pieces are a Brueghel and a Monet, which he keeps preciously in the most remote room of his museum.

At 84, Paul Yeou Chichong continues to go into raptures over his paintings. He especially collects pieces representing fishes. He has a room in his museum dedicated to them. When we ask him "why fish?", he answers with a smile: "I'm Pisces, and I like to eat fish because my doctor recommends it (laughs). And of course, I love fishes. Moreover can you name me a painter who has never painted a fish in his life?" He stops in front of a painting by the American Keith Harring and proudly drops: "the first time Keith Harring painted a fish, I bought it right away." Beside it thrones a piece by Andy Warhol, followed by several paintings and drawings signed Boullaire.

But Paul Yeou Chichong wishes to loan for perpetuity his collection to French Polynesia, so that Polynesians can enjoy and admire the work of some of the most renowned artists worldwide, from here in the small Island of Tahiti, in French Polynesia. A generous gift for the community, but with strings attached: the collector insists on the notion of a "loan", explaining "I do not want a politician or an elected official to appropriate one of my paintings, I want to keep a right to oversee the use of these pieces". The retired businessman also explains that he will only lend his collection if the government of French Polynesia builds a museum with all the security standards required by the insurance companies. In addition, the collector insists that this museum should be at least 3,500 m² (that means an average of 10 m² / 108 ft² per work), and located in Papeete.

If the government has shown its interest in the past, nothing has happened in the last four years… To the great displeasure of the collector. He is now resigned. "I'm not naive, I don't think that I'll see my museum one day".

Rédigé par Marie Caroline Carrère le Vendredi 12 Janvier 2018 à 14:46 | Lu 2543 fois