The Sigg Collection is recognized as the most important and comprehensive collection of Chinese art today. It was acquired by M+, a new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong, in 2012 from the Swiss businessman, diplomat, and art collector Uli Sigg. The collection consists of 1,510 works of contemporary Chinese art, dating from the 1970s to the present and ranging across all media. It offers a unique insight into the remarkable flowering of experimental artistic practices in China during this time—a period of unprecedented social and economic change in the country that saw artists devise new, sometimes radical, approaches to artmaking, formulating new connections between art and society, and developing ground-breaking conceptual methodologies.
Published to coincide with the presentation of the M+ Sigg Collection at the opening of the M+ building, Chinese Art Since 1970 features more than 600 works by more than 300 artists represented in the collection, among them Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, and Geng Jianyi. After introductory essays by Pi Li and Uli Sigg, an illustrated chronology spanning the years 1972 to 2020 highlights important social events, exhibitions, and artistic movements to establish a context for the discussion of the featured artists and their work that follows. Punctuating this discussion are contributions from renowned art historians, curators, and critics together with in-depth explanations of key concepts and events, from Cynical Realism to the seminal exhibition China/Avant-Garde. Through the medium of the world’s pre-eminent collection of contemporary Chinese art, this volume offers an unparalleled introduction to one of the most culturally dynamic periods in modern Chinese history.
Pi Li is Sigg Senior Curator, Visual Art, and Head of Curatorial A airs at M+. He holds a PhD in Art History and Criticism from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing.