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Guy and Myriam Ullens Look for New Owners for UCCA and Art Collection

Guy Ullens, collector and founder of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, has announced that he is looking to hand over ownership of the UCCA to someone who can continue to support and develop the institution in the years to come.

In a joint statement from the UCCA and the Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation, the organizations confirmed that the center will still run under its current leadership. The Ullens will also be selling their art collection of more than two thousand works through private sales and at auction later this year.

“I have been a patron of the arts in China for over thirty years and have found this a hugely interesting and fascinating experience,” Guy Ullens said. “I’m now in my eighties and need to look at how to hand over the stewardship of the UCCA and my art collection to younger patrons of the arts.” Until a new benefactor is found, Guy Ullens said he will continue to support the UCCA and its team.

CEO May Xue said that the center respects his decision and is grateful for his support these past nine years, and that it “will stand strong and uphold our core values of highlighting artists from China and beyond.”

The center, which encompasses four main exhibitions spaces—more than 26,000 square feet—has welcomed more than three million visitors since it was established in 2007. Each year, the UCCA hosts around fifteen exhibitions and offers a wide range of programming that focuses on recent developments and historical movements in Chinese contemporary art.

Guy Ullens, whose father was a diplomat in China, was involved in various successful business endeavors in sugar and other food-related companies, including Weight Watchers. Since the 1980s, he has regularly traveled to China for his family’s firm.