• George Wong's vast collection of Italian art is displayed in Beijing.

George Wong's vast collection of Italian art is displayed in Beijing. (Photo : Getty Images)

George Wong, a businessman from Hong Kong, is displaying his collection of contemporary Italian art in Beijing. The exhibition is called "Challenging Beauty-Insights of Italian Contemporary Art."

The pieces cover four phases, from "poor art," avante-garde art to modern art of the 1980s. There are 47 paintings in total.

Like Us on Facebook

"It showcases the development of Italian contemporary art after World War II. And it also bears the distinctive personality and preferences of the collector," said the curator Lorand Hegyi.

Wong is the President of the Parkview Green Group and has been an avid collector of Italian art for many years. Some pieces are hard to find.

Hegyi commented, "Even for Italian collectors, it's not easy to amass such a comprehensive collection of Italian art."

Most of the pieces are from the "arte povera" or "poor art" movement which was popular during the 1960s and 1970s. The artists who were prominent during this period are Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Mario Merz.

Wong started collecting Chinese contemporary art and then moved on with Italian art. He is not like other billionaires who only collect art from famous artists. He collects pieces that he can connect with.

"I used to think that Chinese contemporary art is amazing when I started collecting it," Wong said. "But when I went to Italy, the art there made a deep impression on me. The art there is deeply integrated with daily life."

Marina Paris, an emerging artist in the current era, is one of the artists being shown in the exhibition. This is the first time that her work is being displayed in China.

Wong acquired her photos of old houses in Rome and asked her to take photos of abandoned houses in China.

The exhibit will run until Oct. 15 at the Parkview Green Museum in Beijing and is open daily.