|The auction scene when Zhang Daqian's painting was up for sale|
|Peach Blossom Spring|
The brash Liu turned heads when in 2014 the taxi driver turned billionaire bought a tea cup for HK$281.24 million (US$36.3 million). He paid for it by maxing out a stack of credit cards and then celebrated the transaction by drinking tea in it in front of the media.
|Wang Wei (left) and Liu Yiqian in their Long Museum|
However the end result is fantastic, magical almost, glorious. Google "Peach Blossom Spring" and it's a fable by Tao Yuanming, who talks about a chance discovery of an ethereal utopia where people have an ideal existence with nature and are completely unaware of the outside world.
Liu thinks so, exclaiming, "Nothing beats a painting by Zhang Daqian!" on his WeChat social media account.
We do too, but driving up the price that high makes one wonder if it's worth it. Like the Japanese before them in the 1980s, the Chinese are inflating prices on fine art... how long before we come back down to earth?