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PROFILES

Yan Shijie

Brick By Brick

BY TIFFANY WAI-YING BERES 

Portrait of Yan Shijie. Courtesy Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing.


Yan Shijie is probably China's only real-estate mogul who rarely emails, and only sparingly uses WeChat on his smartphone—with the help of his staff, he eschews the writing and prefers to read. The Hebei native conducts his business by surrounding himself with talent and relying on instinct, passion and his own eyes, befitting his original training as a painter at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1980s. After graduating, Yan decided it was…

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