Page 6 - Maitri CollectionAsian Art Bonhams
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           T H E  CO LLE C T O R

           I have never considered myself a collector. It was just the beauty of each
           piece that attracted me. I fell in love with them. I didn’t ask many questions.
           I just knew each time I saw a great piece, that I wanted to own it. It was not
           a very professional approach.

           Our family has no history of collecting. I was born during the war, in 1942,
           so there were other priorities. But either you have this collecting instinct or
           you don’t, I suppose. And I always wanted to have beauty around me; that
           is quality of life for me. I started with Flemish minor masters when I was
           perhaps 20, a completely different field, and I still have quite a number at
           home. I did not care about whether they were fashionable or not. They are
           just beautiful paintings. That was the beginning. And then I started to work
           in finance, in an investment business. In June 1970, I was put in charge
           of Japan, because no one else was interested. When, two years later, the
           Japanese economy took off, I was in a very good position, and travelled to
           and fro for many years.

           Japan opened my eyes to beauty. I fell in love with Japanese ceramics and
           have built up a considerable collection. I learned to understand the beauty
           of imperfection. But it was when my wife and I moved to Japan, in 1989, at
           the end of the bubble, that I was first introduced to other parts of Asia. We
           travelled to Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. I had more time to look around, to
           go to galleries, and to learn a little about the art and culture of these places.
           Later, when I was working in London and when I had semi-retired, I took
           a series of courses at SOAS on Japanese art and culture, Korean art and
           culture, Chinese courses, Islamic courses, Indian art and then Buddhist art.
           But this is not to claim any expertise: these were short courses that helped
           to deepen my understanding of what I already owned and opened my eyes
           to new things. By that time, I was already buying avidly.

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