Annual General Meeting: Chinese Contemporary Art with Guest Speaker Dr. Uli Sigg
The Executive Committee is honoured to present Dr. Uli Sigg as the guest speaker for this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). A significant early collector of Chinese contemporary art, Dr. Sigg is widely recognized for his generosity in providing the cornerstone collection for Hong Kong’s newly established M+ Museum for Visual Arts.
Although having first arrived in China in the 1970s at the time when Deng Xiao Ping initiated China’s policy of openness to the world, Dr. Uli Sigg waited until the 1990s before beginning to amass his huge collection of Chinese contemporary art. At one time his magnificent Sigg Collection comprised of over 2300 works by 400 Chinese artists, including Ai Weiwei, Gu Dexin, Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiao Gang, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Peili and Geng Jianyi. Universally considered the pre-eminent, most comprehensive collection of Chinese contemporary art, the Sigg Collection spans China’s recent decades of modernization from the Cultural Revolution to the present, and mirrors the historical development of Chinese contemporary art as well as that of modern Chinese society.
The M+ Sigg Collection was assembled in 2012 when Dr. Sigg chose to donate 1450 pieces as well as to sell a further 50 artworks from the original Sigg Collection to M+. In sharing his art collection, Dr. Sigg sought to display the breadth and depth of Chinese experimental art against the backdrop of one of the most culturally dynamic periods in modern Chinese history.
Dr. Sigg will recount the fascinating story of his long association with the Chinese contemporary art scene since its early days, the extensive journey which he undertook to build his collection, his many exchanges in getting to know each one of his artists, his exhibition activities, as well as his thoughts on the future of this distinctive Chinese phenomenon.
Dr. Uli Sigg grew up in Switzerland where he completed his studies with a Ph.D. at the University of Zurich Law Faculty. Originally a journalist and editor for various Swiss newspapers and magazine, Dr. Sigg joined the Schindler Group in 1977 first as the Area Manager for Asia Pacific and subsequently, as a member of the Group Executive Committee and Shareholders Board. Credited with establishing the first Western joint venture with China in 1980, Dr. Sigg served on the boards of numerous global companies until his appointment from 1995 to 1998 as Swiss ambassador to China, North Korea and Mongolia. Over the years, he continued to assume board memberships
or senior advisory roles for a number of prominent global and Chinese institutions. Presently Dr. Sigg is vice chairman of Ringier, Switzerland’s largest media company. He is Honorary Director of China Foreign Investment Association, Beijing and Founder and Honorary Member of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
As one of the most renowned collectors of Chinese contemporary art, Dr. Sigg has throughout the past 30 plus years assembled the furthermost important collection in this genre. In 1997, he established the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) for Chinese contemporary artists living in China; in 2007 he created the CCAA Art Critic Award. He is on the board of the Museum and Acquisition Committees of M+, and serves as a member of the International Council of New York MOMA, as well as the International Advisory Council of Tate Gallery in London.