Entertainment; nonprofit organization (Tank Shanghai art center)
Chinese collector Qiao Zhibing made his fortune by operating nightclubs and karaoke bars in Shanghai and Beijing. In just ten years, he has made a name for himself as one of the leading buyers of international contemporary art in China.. He told ARTnews that the artists in his 500-piece collection include Sterling Ruby, Theaster Gates, Thomas Houseago, Olafur Eliasson, Michaël Borremans, Damien Hirst, and Wilhelm Sasnal, as well as Chinese artists like Zhang Enli, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen, Qiu Xiaofei, Yang Fudong, and Ou Yangchun. Among the most notable works in his holdings is the Argentine sculptor Adrián Villar Rojas’s series “The Theater of Disappearance” (2017); he also holds in special regard Danh Vo’s Untitled (2015), a glass piece that was engraved by the artist’s father and appeared in the Guggenheim Museum’s Vo survey in 2018.
Qiao started collecting in 2006 because he one day “realized I’d love to fill in my blank walls,” he said. His Tank Shanghai complex, an art museum and recreational facility built from five empty oil tanks standing on the shores of the Huangpu River, plays home to exhibition spaces, gardens, a bookstore, education center, restaurants, and more. The complex, designed by Beijing-based OPEN Architecture, measures some 640,000 square feet, with about 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. It is officially a part of the West Bund Cultural Corridor initiative, a government-led program facilitating programming at art spaces such as the Long Museum and the Yuz Museum (which was founded by Budi Tek, who has also appeared on the ARTnews Top 200). Tank Shanghai opened in 2019 with Villar Rojas’s solo exhibition “SOMETIMES YOU WONDER, IN AN INTERCONNECTED UNIVERSE, WHO IS DREAMING WHO?”