Lei shows off an ancient official robe, a new collection purchased in Meizhou.
A 56-year-old art collector from Jiangmen city, Guangdong province recently became an internet celebrity after he turned an abandoned school into a folk museum to exhibit his extensive collection of antiques.
According to Jiangmen Daily, Lei Weiliang has traveled across Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces collecting more than 30,000 antiques over the past 40 years.
Lei said that as folk collections account for half of all his antiques, he decided to name his museum the “Lingnan Ancient Folk Cultural Heritage Museum.”
After visiting his museum, reporters found the school playground covered with antiques, including stone mills and stone blocks. The 15 classrooms are packed with ancient bowls, dishes, wooden beds, weapons, tillage tools and an assortment of pots and pans.
“My grandpa, an overseas Chinese, loves collecting antiques. Under his influence, I fell in love with antique collecting,” Lei told reporters, adding that he started collecting at the age of 16.
According to Lei’s son, Lei spends two to three months every year purchasing antiques and the rest of the time he stays at the museum to sort out his collections.
Lei is confident that his private folk museum will be a success as state-owned folk museums don’t can’t match the quantity of items he has to exhibit. He is currently organizing his collections and that he will open it to the public as soon as he is ready to do so.
When asked why he had such an enthusiasm for antique collecting, Lei smiled and said “I’m doing this to pass some things to the young generations, so they can understand more about how their predecessors lived their lives.”
Last month we reported on a man from Chongqing who had collected 150 antique beds over the course of 25 years, now estimated to be worth several million yuan.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]