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Top 200 Collectors

Portrait of an Asian man with graying hair, glasses, and white collared shirt, shown against a gray background.
Budi Tek. Courtesy Yuz Museum

Budi Tek

Jakarta, Indonesia; Shanghai

Philanthropy (Yuz Foundation and Yuz Museum)

International contemporary art, especially Chinese and Western


Few collectors could amass enough artwork in a decade to fill two museums, but that is exactly what Budi Tek, the late Chinese Indonesian entrepreneur, managed to do. He began collecting in 2004 and acquired more than 1,500 works, many of which are large-scale, over the next 18 years.

It is a sad truth that you can’t keep a sculpture like Adel Abdessemed’s Like Mother, Like Son (2008), consisting of three airplanes woven together, in your backyard. Tek needed something bigger. In 2006, he opened the Yuz Museum in Jakarta. In 2014, he opened a second Yuz Museum, this time in Shanghai. At almost 97,000 square feet, the Yuz Museum Shanghai has plenty of room to house Tek’s holdings—even those giant installations that Tek says are so important to his collection.

“[They] matter to me because they are three dimensional,” he has said. “Each dimension has a message. . . . There is something hidden, something unspoken, and something unclear.” In 2018, the Yuz Museum launched a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum that allowed the institutions to share programming, bringing together Eastern and Western museums in an unprecedented way. The year afterward, the institution also began a collaboration with the Qatar Museums in Doha.

In 2022, Tek died of pancreatic cancer at 65. “Budi Tek has been a great inspiration to me and LACMA, encouraging us to link East and West, Los Angeles and Shanghai, with contemporary art,” LACMA director Michael Govan said in a statement at the time. “Budi helped energize the growth of museums in Shanghai, which is now truly an international center for contemporary art. Personally, to me, Budi was a great inspiration in his commitment to art and his many creative ideas, especially as he bravely confronted his advanced illness for many years.”