David Tang

I have been very upset to hear news of David Tang’s death.    Of course, it doesn’t come as a great surprise since I, alongside probably several hundred of his other close friends, had been invited to an event at the Dorchester next week to bid farewell to him, a characteristically flamboyant way for him to announce his imminent departure.   He was a Trustee of the Royal Academy, and had been for over twenty years, playing a lively part at Trustee meetings, always with particularly strong views on anything to do with catering.   I got to know him best when he invited not just me, but Romilly as well (it was, after all, over Easter) and a large chunk of the British museum world, to an event which he was organising in Hong Kong to consider the future of the West Kowloon Cultural District.   Again, this was wholly characteristic.   He had not been asked to organise the event, but did it off his own bat, arranging for us all to fly out, putting us up at the Mandarin Oriental, and encouraging us to talk about the experience of running art institutions in London and how this experience might benefit what was being planned in Hong Kong.   He was funny, lively, totally irreverent, sometimes spectacularly rude, a brilliant pianist, supporter of Bach, collector of Chinese paintings, and proprietor of the China Club, where he hosted huge parties and one could smoke cigars on a balcony overlooking Hong Kong.   Life will be poorer without him.

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9 thoughts on “David Tang

  1. Amanda Kinsman says:

    Very sad. I enjoyed his diary columns in the Spectator. I hadn’t realised he was so young (relatively). Certainly lived life to the full though.

  2. Kate Woodhead says:

    I am sorry to read about David Tang, I only know him from the weekend Financial Times but would have liked to have met him.

  3. Tom Ponsonby says:

    How very sad. He will leave an unfillable gap in the world of culture,both for his enthusiasm & for his generosity. And he was a delightfully trenchant writer.

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