was born in Lucerne on 29 April 1946. He is a Swiss business journalist, entrepreneur, art collector, patron, castle owner, rower (he was Swiss champion in the eights discipline at the age of 22) and a former Swiss ambassador to Beijing (1995-1998) for the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and Mongolia.
Uli Sigg studied law at the University of Zurich from 1968 to 1972 and graduated with a doctorate. Sigg is considered a great expert on China. He spent a large part of his life in the country. Not only was he the founding president of the Switzerland-China Chamber of Economics, he also established CSE China Schindler China Elevators Co. for the Schindler Group; it was the first joint venture involving a Western industrial enterprise and a Chinese state company. Sigg worked for the Schindler Group from 1977 until the end of 1990. Sigg was appointed as the general commissioner for the Swiss pavilion at the World’s Fair, the Expo 2010, in Shanghai by the Swiss Federal Council on 18 April 2007.
At the end of the nineties, Uli Sigg returned from China to Schloss Mauensee in Lucerne, Switzerland. Even today, Uli Sigg’s close relationships motivate him to stay in China for several months every year.
Sigg has had and still has a seat on various administrative boards, including the Ringier Publishing company, CIBA and Vitra Design. He is also a member of the advisory board for the China Development Bank. Sigg advised the Herzog & de Meuron architects’ office during the construction of the national stadium in Beijing. Sigg is also a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and is on the International Advisory Council of the Tate Gallery in London.
Uli Sigg is well-known as an art collector to a wide circle of people. He began to collect Chinese contemporary art in the 1990s. As a result, he accumulated the world’s largest and most significant collection in this field within a few decades. Sigg personally knows many of the artists, whose works form part of the collection.
In 2012 Lars Nittve, former director of the ¨M+ museum, announced that Rita and Uli Sigg donated 1463 works of their collection to the M+ in Hong Kong, for a total amount of 163 Mio US Dollars. In return, the Hong Kongese government offered to buy 47 pieces of art for 22 Million US Dollars. Thus Uli Sigg has fulfilled his promise of giving the collection back to China. The M+ museum is scheduled to open in 2019.