Cecilia and Chung-Kiu “C.K.” Cheung
Real estate (CC Land Holdings)
A gushing letter of thanks written in 1890 by Vincent van Gogh—“I rediscover my canvases in your article, but better than they really are–richer, more significant,” the iconic Impressionist wrote—to an art critic had long topped the list of correspondences that the Van Gogh Museum wished to acquire. In May 2019, the museum’s dream was realized, thanks to a donation from Hong Kong real estate tycoon Chung-kiu “C.K.” Cheung and his wife Cecilia of €107,900 (about $120,000 at the time)—the letter’s full sale price.
Little is known about the Cheungs’ art collection, which includes significant modern and contemporary works, though a record of art patronage follows the collecting couple. In 2018 the couple sponsored a major exhibition of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang—known for his pieces making use of unconventional mediums like gunpowder—at the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence. The couple also sponsored the show “Claude Monet: The Spirit of Place,” which included major loans from museums like the Musée d’Orsay in Paris as well as private collections, at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in 2016. The following year, Cecilia made her debut as an artist with “Sublimity,” a solo exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong featuring 20 works that drew on her and her husband’s experiences traveling the world over. (All sale proceeds from the exhibition were donated to charity.)
Born in Chongqing in 1964, Chung-kiu, known as “C.K.,” is the founder and managing director of Yugang International, a manufacturer of packaging materials; having ascended to leadership at only 29, he gained notoriety among Hong Kong’s business elite as one of the youngest listed company chairmen. In addition to Yugang International, C.K. also chairs real estate developers CC Land Holdings and YT Realty Group.