Is it crazy to think we can be rich and happy?

I went to see Crazy Rich Asians, the crazily successful film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's book, while on holiday in Los Angeles. The cinema trip followed a visit to the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, the hillside museum conceived by the billionaire industrialist J. Paul Getty as a replica of the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, and stuffed with his collection of ancient treasures.

As parallel narratives about the whims and caprices of the super-rich, the two outings offered a fascinating cross-study into the shifting textures of global wealth, socio-economic change and the nuances of cultural taste.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'Is it crazy to think we can be rich and happy?'. Print Edition | Subscribe