Pour Sanyu, dont la vie de bohémien est menacée par certaines difficultés financières dans les années 1930, la rencontre avec Roché fut providentielle. Celui-ci lui ouvre toutes les portes du monde de l’art et adopte une triple casquette à son égard : le marchand de ses œuvres, l’agent de ses talents, l’ami de ses pensées. Roché achète environs 111 tableaux et 600 dessins de Sanyu, Tout en sortant ainsi l’artiste de l’anonymat, Henri-Pierre Roché lui donne les moyens financiers de se consacrer à son travail. Et si des querelles d’argent mettent fin à cette belle relation, les écrits de Roché témoignent d’une amitié qui fut fructueuse au développement de l’art moderne.
Pierre-Henri Roché is well known for his novels, two of which were famously adapted by François Truffaut for two of his films: Jules et Jim and Deux Anglaises et le continent. And yet his calling as a writer was constantly kept in check by a persistent passion: collecting – a passion to which he devoted the greater part of his life. Roché, on the strength of his socials skills and keen eye, devoted himself energetically to his taste for art in general. He followed the artists of his time with a tirelessness that was both professional and personal, keeping a sharp eye out for promising talent and making the Paris stage available to young artists like Picasso, Braque, Picabia, Duchamp, Man Ray and other well-known figures. For Sanyu, whose Bohemian life was jeopardised by financial difficulties during the Thirties, his meeting with Roché was providential. Roché opened the doors of the art world to him and wore three hats as dealer for his works, agent for his talents and trusted friend. Roché purchased some 111 paintings and 600 drawings. All the while bringing the artist out of anonymity, Henri-Pierre Roché provided Sanyu the financial means to fully devote himself to his art. Although quarrels over money brought an end to this fine relationship, Roché’s writings bear witness to a friendship that considerably influenced the development of modern art.
Sanyu , peintre chinois de Montparnasse par Pierre Joffroy- Le Parisien Libéré, 25.12 1946