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Basel 2017

The East & West: Chinese pilgrimage to Switzerland, understanding, living, and building a narrative of contemporary Chinese history through collectors of contemporary art

Objectives and Significance:

This field study examined three important aspects of collecting:

1) A critical comparison of how the first and second generation of Chinese collectors of contemporary art have built relations outside of China, what methods were used in building these relations and who did they build them with.


2) To what extent have private Chinese collectors of contemporary art been influenced by Western culture, institutions, and gallerists? 


3) What East and West relationships have been built through international art fairs, especially in Switzerland and how has this enabled Chinese collectors of contemporary art to connect with the local communities in China.


  • Exhibited the significance of patriating and repatriating contemporary art through philanthropy, a case study of two of the most influential Swiss art collectors of the twentieth century Ernst Beyeler and Uli Sigg

  • Extensively studied the Vitra Design collection and architectural planning to expand knowledge and the significance a corporation plays in generational education of the public, through art and contemporary culture

  • Conducted informal interviews and collected statistical data at ArtBasel, Design Miami, and six other art events in the Greater Basel vicinity that would be used as a comparative study for Hong Kong and future trips to Switzerland

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