New York–based nonprofit Public Art Fund announced today that Chinese billionaire Adrian Cheng has joined its board of directors, which also includes Ugo Rondinone and Rob Pruitt. Despite holding a number of positions in the art world, including Tate’s international council and the Centre Pompidou’s international circle, this is the first position on a New York board Cheng has held.
In the past few years, Cheng has made it his mission to bring emerging Chinese art to international audiences, and to make art accessible to the average Chinese citizen. Using the money he made as chairman of the Chinese real-estate empire New World Development, the 36-year-old billionaire founded K11, a foundation that is responsible for opening “art malls,” or places where art can be seen alongside commercial shops, in China. (The work, by artists like Damien Hirst and Yoshitomo Nara, isn’t for sale.) Cheng has also partnered with museums like the Palais de Tokyo and the ICA London to bring work by emerging Chinese artists outside Asia.
In a statement, Cheng said, “I’ve always said, ‘in art we live’, and I am honored to be part of New York City’s public art scene through my commitment to Public Art Fund.”
“Like Public Art Fund, Adrian Cheng is committed to breaking down barriers between the great art of our time and broad, diverse audiences,” Nicolas Baume, the director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund, said in a statement. “His innovative work to foster the development of contemporary art in China has created new models for exhibition, education, and philanthropy in the region. Adrian’s unique experience and global perspective will be a tremendous asset to Public Art Fund.”