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IRENE CHOU, Untitled, 1995, ink on paper, 152.4 × 106.7 cm. Courtesy Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford.

Understated Visionaries

Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang

“When I first started to think about collecting, I really had no basis for judging what was good or bad,” the ever-humble Jerry Yang said when I asked him about the beginnings of his journey as a collector. Yet after getting married in 1997 and settling down together in California, he and his wife Akiko Yamazaki agreed that they would focus on “collecting works that reflect [their East-Asian] heritage.” They have since built a three-tiered collection, which comprises traditional calligraphy, overseen solely by Yang, Song-dynasty ceramics—Yamazaki’s pursuit—and their joint passion, contemporary Chinese ink paintings. 

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