With a net worth of $1.96 billion as of 2016 (according to Forbes) Pierre Chen has been collecting art since 1976, the year before he founded the Taiwanese electronics behemoth Yageo. His first purchase was a sculpture by the Hong Kong artist Cheung Yee priced at 25,000 Taiwanese dollars, which took him a year and a half to save, according to a 2014 profile in Sotheby’s magazine. His purchases over the years have ranged from works by Thomas Struth and Gerhard Richter to pieces by Tan Ting-pho and Cai Guo-Qiang. He finds his collection comforting. “My business changes very quickly,” he told Sotheby’s. “I am fighting everyday because there is always some new technology coming to the market. For me to have balance in my life, I need art and music.” Asked about his favorite works in his collection, he told ARTnews those would be Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Rome), 1971, and Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud (1965). In May 2015, at Christie’s, New York, Chen dropped $26 million on Peter Doig’s painting Swamped (1990), setting a new auction record for the artist.
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