Even though he runs one of the largest companies in the world, the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding, and has a wife and three kids, Jack Ma has become a painter in his free time.
And if you so desire, you can have a Ma original.
This Sunday in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s will auction off a painting created by
China’s second-richest man, and Zeng Fanzhi, one of China’s pre-eminent contemporary artists. The oil painting depicts planet Earth and is titled “Paradise.” The auction house expects it to go for 2.5 million Hong Kong dollars ($322,000).
Two years ago, Zeng set a record for an Asian living artist when his “The Last Supper” sold at Sotheby’s for $23.3 million
“This is the first time I’ve painted, and to have been able to do it with Fanzhi — I am deeply honored,” Ma, the co-founder and chairman of Alibaba, said in the catalog. “Together we have created an earth: to protect the earth, to protect the oceans, to protect the air.”
Ma and Zeng teamed up on the art piece to raise awareness of environmental protection. Proceeds from the sale will go to Paradise International Foundation, a non-profit environmental conservation organization founded by Chinese philanthropists and conservationists, according to Sotheby’s.
“The pair created the planet image by first coating the circular canvas with paint, then dotting it with additional paint, and using palette knives to scrape the land masses and other features into shape. Fanzhi is known for his abstract use of luan bi, or “chaotic brush,” and Paradise reflects that style.” reported Fortune.
The work will go on the block during Sotheby’s five-day fall sale. The Modern and Contemporary Asian Evening Art Sale runs from Oct. 2 to Oct. 7