Budi Tek is not one to be slowed down by pancreatic cancer. The Indonesian-Chinese collector behind the Yuz Museum on Shanghai’s West Bund posted yesterday on Instagram that he was on Chongming Island, off the city’s coast, looking for a new location. The image showed Tek’s back as he faced a large industrial space, not dissimilar to Yuz’s historic airport hanger before its renovation into a museum building, and set his location as Chongming. “Keep looking for permanent house of #yuzcollection #yuzmuseum #chongmingisland”, he wrote in the post.
Sources close to the Yuz Museum say that consideration of a Chongming space is in its very early stages, and would be a second location rather than a replacement for the West Bund site. Yuz leases rather than owns the West Bund museum’s property, which first opened in 2014.
Chongming Island, a 1,267 sq. km landmass in the Pacific Ocean on the mouth of the Yangtze River, is mainland China’s second largest island. Located around 50 km from downtown Shanghai and 55 km from the West Bund area, it is best known for its massive bird sanctuary and its excellent Sichuan food, after a large population of Sichuanese were displaced by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and was resettled there in the mid-2000s.
Tek, who is seriously ill with pancreatic cancer, announced last year that he was joining forces with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) to ensure the long-term future of his collection. The unprecedented East-West cultural partnership focuses on joint exhibitions and programming. Tek’s Yuz Museum in Shanghai and Lacma are also in discussions about setting up a joint foundation, which Tek likens to a “marriage”.