Huayi Brothers Chief Wang Zhongjun Buys Van Gogh for $62 Million

Vincent van Gogh's "Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies"

'Still Life, Vase With Daisies and Poppies' was acquired at auction in New York

The Chinese film mogul Wang Zhongjun, a co-founder with his brother of the Huayi Brothers Media group, has bought a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece at Sotheby's in New York for nearly $62 million, local media reported.

In a press release, Sotheby's described Still Life, Vase With Daisies and Poppies as one of the few works that Van Gogh sold during his lifetime. The 1890 painting is one of only a handful of great works by the artist to appear at auction in recent decades.

The painting had been valued at between $30 and $50 million, and it marks a new auction record for any still life by the artist, as well as the highest auction price for a van Gogh painting since 1998. It is also the highest amount paid by a Chinese collector for Western art.

In September, the Shenzhen-listed Huayi Brothers announced that it was setting up a $130 million subsidiary in the United States to invest in distribution and production of movies and TV shows.

The group had previously linked up with Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 project, but then pulled out, although it said it might become involved in future distribution opportunities.

In June, Huayi Brothers, which Wang runs with his brother Wang Zhonglei, announced plans to raise $403 million from a share issue and said it would use the capital to invest in film and TV projects.

China's tycoons certainly like their art — Wang Jianlin, head of Wanda, which owns AMC, spent $28 million last year on the 1950 Pablo Picasso painting Claude and Paloma.