Lectures, Articles, Videos and Educational Resources

The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg

by Alexandra_Munroe on April 4, 2017

Featuring Major Contemporary Artists

Zeng Fanzhi, Cao Chong’en, Cao Fei, Fang Lijun, Feng Mengbo, Shao Fan, Ai WeiWei & Wang Guangyi


THE CHINESE LIVES OF ULI SIGG Official Trailer from Icarus Films.

April 03, 2017: Icarus Films is proud to announce the acquisition of all North American rights to Michael Schindhelm’s new feature documentary, The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg. The film documents the work of diplomat and collector Uli Sigg in championing contemporary Chinese artists. It features interviews with leading contemporary artists including Cao Chong’en, Cao Fei, Fang Lijun, Feng Mengbo, Shao Fan, WAng Guangyi, Ai Weiwei and Zeng Fanzhi.

Art world sensation Ai Weiwei credits him with launching his international career. Renowned pianist Lang Lang describes him as a mentor to Chinese artists. Chinese art curator Victoria Lu says his influence has been felt around the world. When Swiss elevator company representative Uli Sigg first went to China, fine art was far from his mind. But when he turned his attention to work of contemporary Chinese artists, however, Sigg changed his life, theirs, and the international art scene in the process.

Directed by art historian and scholar Michael Schindhelm (Bird’s Nest: Herzog & de Meuron in China) and produced by Marcel Hoehn (Dark Star: H. R. Giger’s World), The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg, is a history of China’s opening to the West, and of the West’s embrace of Chinese contemporary art, through the eyes of Sigg and the dazzling array of contemporary Chinese artists whose work he he championed. Artists, curators, diplomats, architects and business colleagues contribute in this colorful documentary survey of contemporary Chinese art.

The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg is now available for movie theater, cinematheque, film festival and museum audiences.

About the Film

““I always tell him: it doesn’t matter how famous I become, he is the maker.”

—Ai Weiwei

Required viewing for contemporary-art fans.

Here’s a definitive portrait not just of the soft-spoken collector who brought the likes of Ai Weiwei and Cao Fei to the world’s attention but of the birthing pains of post-Mao China.”

—The Georgia Straight

“A surprising film! [Uses] the impenetrable Uli Sigg to show us the hidden side of a complex and mysterious country… An intimate yet delicately icy portrait of a character who nurtures mystery like a defense weapon.”



Selected Film Festivals

2016 Locarno International Film Festival

2016 Vancouver International Film Festival

2016 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

2016 Milano Design Film Festival

2016 Rio Film Festival

2016 Beirut Art Film Festival


Alexandra_MunroeThe Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts

Join the conversation