The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg
M/A/D | Documentaries
“Creativity is the only inexhaustible resource.” So speaks Uli Sigg, international power broker and art collector. He’s a great subject for a documentary: imposing, influential, tinged with the sense of mystery we associate with powerful figures from fiction. As a teen Sigg mastered the sport of rowing, which gave him a taste for high achievement. As an adult he became Vice President of a business that would embark on the first joint venture between a Western corporation and Communist-controlled China. Here’s where the story picks up: as a visitor to that nation he encountered art that would change his life, and he, in turn, changed the international art world.
This is a man with 2,200 pieces in his collection—a man of vast, cultivated appetites. There’s much more to learn about him in this probing and revelatory film. It’s the story of large-scale success and virtue joined as they rarely are in the world of big business and power politics; it’s a portrait of an exceptional figure; and it’s an eye-opening peek into the art world, with all its intrigue and splendour. It’s men like this one who are behind so much of the modern art we enjoy in museums, and here is a fitting tribute—an act of gratitude that we can share in with pleasure.