UOB raises $750,000 for charity though sale of painting by award-winning artist

A brush of good luck at the UOB Commercial Banking Lunar New Year dinner. (From left) Mr Eric Tham, Managing Director, Group Commercial Banking, UOB Group, Mr Fred Chin, Managing Director, Group Wholesale Banking, UOB Group, Minister Chan Chun Sing,
A brush of good luck at the UOB Commercial Banking Lunar New Year dinner. (From left) Mr Eric Tham, Managing Director, Group Commercial Banking, UOB Group, Mr Fred Chin, Managing Director, Group Wholesale Banking, UOB Group, Minister Chan Chun Sing, Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO, UOB Group, Mr Ma On May and Mr Ma Wong Ching, winners of the charity auction, Ramatex Group and Mr Gong Yao Min, artist. -- ST PHOTO: ANN WILLIAMS

SINGAPORE - United Overseas Bank raised $750,000 on Tuesday night in a charity auction of a painting by two-time winner of the UOB Painting of the Year award, Gong Yao Min.

The painting went to a pair of brothers, businessmen Mr Ma On May and Mr Ma Wong Ching who own the Ramatex Group, a regional textile business.

The auction was held at the bank's annual Chinese New Year Commercial Banking client dinner, held at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

The art piece was a 1.5 metre by 1 metre painting which mixed the contemporary Chinese brush ink with a canvas of traditional rice paper, juxtaposing Singapore's present with its past in the subject.

Bidding was lively with UOB kicking off the auction with a $250,000 donation. The remaining sum, $500,000 was raised in just 20 minutes.

Proceeds of the auction will go to young underprivileged students through the BT Budding Artist Fund and the elderly through the Sage Counselling Centre.