You might not even have heard of some of them!
Crazy Rich Asians continues to make headlines. The all-Asian ensemble cast impresses as much as it draws laughter. But not all of it is entirely fiction.
There are real life crazy rich Asians among us and it’s interesting to see how they made their wealth and what they are doing with it now.
A contemporary artist unlike any other. Ms Kusama’s unique art style is portrayed in her honest portrayal of her mental states. She admitted herself into a psychiatric institution in 1977. Her art expresses what goes on in her head onto empty canvases. And the results resonate worldwide, as her White No. 28 (1960) sold over US $7 million at Christie’s New York. The 90-year-old is going strong. Exhibitions in Jakarta, Indonesia, Cleveland, US, and Massachusetts, US are currently running at the same time.
Her art changed hands in 2017 for a total of US$4 billion (S$5.5 billion).
Khun Sumanee Guna-Kasem is a Thai socialite and billionaire businesswoman who also has many philanthropic ventures. Maneemondcha Foundation provides scholarships for underprivileged students. And the foundation also helps care for more than 500 canines, thanks to her passion for looking after stray animals.
As shown above, the 81-year-old is endearingly known as Thailand’s Barbie.
Significantly, her spending power is evident in her hobby as an antique collector. She managed to outbid the Sultan of Brunei!
The widow of John Lennon is undoubtedly rich from the Beatles fame. But since the death of her high-profile husband, she has also made a name for herself as an artist.
But her diverse art portfolio is both lauded and often ridiculed. Check out her Voice Piece for Soprano and Wish Tree, at the MoMA, New York, where she screams into a microphone for 3 minutes! Hate her or love her, Yoko Ono belongs on this list as her net worth is estimated to be around US$600 million (S$825 million).
The e-commerce giant recently announced his retirement from Alibaba, which he co-founded, and his subsequent retirement. Indeed, Alibaba is valued at US$420.8 billion currently, and Jack Ma’s individual net worth stands at US$38.6 billion. Unsurprisingly, he’s said that he will give his time contributing towards philanthropy and education. Previously an English teacher and from a poor family, his rag to riches story inspires people worldwide. He is often described as eccentric (starred in 功守道 or Gong Shou Dou, sings karaoke sessions with students and does Michael Jackson impersonations)! We look forward to his future endeavors.
Best known as the partner of Hong Kong casino billionaire, Ji Xiaobo, her wealth came through illicit means. Formerly a B-grade actress, the Taiwanese tai tai is now a stay-at-home mother of three (when she’s not modelling for her provocative Instagram pics!). She’s valued at a net worth of HK$6 billion (S$1.05 billion). She’s also got a luxury apartment estimated to cost HK$2 billion (S$350 million).
The heiress to Korean Air made headlines for her unreasonably high standards. In 2014, Cho Hyun-ah, who was seated in first class, was served nuts in their original packaging. But she expected them to be served on a plate, considering she was in first class. Because she was so peeved with this, she demanded the plane head back to JFK airport so the cabin crew member would be swapped.
Unfortunately, this power move backfired on Ms Cho, as public backlash revealed. Consequently, the “nut rage” scandal caused the sale of macadamia nuts to shoot immediately afterward. Since then, she has stepped down as vice president of the airline. But this didn’t stop her from serving 3 months of a 12-month jail time sentence for obstructing aviation safety! However,she’s got a 2.5% stake in the airline worth US$13.24 billion (S$18.43 billion).
The eccentric billionaire is controversial, at best. But which rich Asian isn’t! He is made his fame from recycling and going green. In fact, Mr Chen even went as far as changing his family names! Now he goes by Chen Ditan (meaning “low carbon” in Mandarin) and his wife goes by Zhang Luse (meaning green). His actions seem to have good intentions though often executed questionably. For example, in giving away cash to the poor, he posed in front of a literal wall of money. He even attempted to sell “canned air”. Whatever the means to gain his weath, the chairman and founder of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Limited is estimated by Hurun Report to be worth US$810 million (S$1.1 billion).
Seems like there is no one way to get rich!
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