Check out past 10 winners of the UOB Painting of the Year prize

This year's big winner was Indonesian Antonius Subiyanto, 34, who bagged the UOB Painting of the Year (Indonesia) as well as the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year award, worth US$10,000 for his acrylic work Old Stock Fresh Menu. -- ST PHOTO:
This year's big winner was Indonesian Antonius Subiyanto, 34, who bagged the UOB Painting of the Year (Indonesia) as well as the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year award, worth US$10,000 for his acrylic work Old Stock Fresh Menu. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE 

The United Overseas Bank (UOB) Painting of the Year is the richest painting prize in Singapore, with a cash award of US$25,000.

As a result, the 33-year-old prize attracts a lot of entries, media attention, and controversy.

This year's big winner was Indonesian Antonius Subiyanto, 34, who bagged the UOB Painting of the Year (Indonesia) as well as the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year award, worth US$10,000 for his acrylic work Old Stock Fresh Menu.

The winner for the Singapore country award is Om Mee Ai in the established artist category for her oil-on-canvas work, N-PIN56L.

New categories, including different country awards as well as for emerging and established artists, were introduced last year after prolonged debate over the fact that amateurs and professionals were lumped together in previous years.

We look back at some of the winners in the past years.

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2013Artist Stefanie Hauger won both the UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore) and the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year Award for her 170cm by 170cm acrylic on canvas work, Space Odyssey. The former interior designer, a 44-year-old German and permanent resident, has been living in Singapore since she was 24.

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2012An upset win this year by 17-year-old Esmond Loh, a Hwa Chong Institution student who snagged the prize for his first attempt at oil painting titled Just Let Me Sleep. It was the third time in eight years that the award had gone to someone 18 or younger and the resulting uproar over Loh's win led to the organisers revising the rules of the competition.

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2011Gong Yao Min won this year's prize with his work which used traditional Chinese ink techniques to render Singapore's contemporary cityscape. The 47-year-old art teacher's work My Dream Land took more than two years to complete.

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2010This year's winner produced a double whammy controversy. The self-portrait by 18-year-old Bai Tian Yuan is based on a photograph. The Chinese native-turned-Singapore citizen took art as an A-level subject and her win led art practitioners here to question the credibility of the competition. Critics questioned her age, her technique as well as her decision to base her work on a photograph.

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2009 Another controversy this year as the prize went to a series of photographs by 26-year-old artist Zhao Renhui. Titled The Space In Between, the three 90cm by 130cm photographs of a person in a camouflage cloak, an animal trap and a lifeless bird were accompanied by wall texts about a fictional Institute of Critical Zoologists which had developed a cloak for zoologists to blend into nature and used acupuncture to prolong the lives of endangered animals.

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2008 The first time that a set of photographs had snagged the top prize. Nanyang Technological University student Joel Yuen, 25, won for Anatomical Fantasies Of Meat, a series of three 1m by 1m black-and-white prints of cow, chicken and pig organs which had been artfully arranged. Critics thought the photographs were grotesque and morbid.

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2007 Hong Sek Chern, 40, a lecturer and artist who had been taking part in the competition since 1995, won for her Chinese ink rendition of SIngapore's cityscape titled Aspects Of The City II.

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2006 The nude portrait of a longtime friend won art teacher Namiko Chan Takahashi, 32, the top prize. The work, titled Charisse, was painted from memory.

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2005Alvin Ong became the youngest winner of the award this year. The 16-year-old National Junior College student's acrylic painting, The Window, beat 577 other artists to the top prize.

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2004Artist Tan Juat Lee became the first person to win the prize twice. The 49-year-old's oil painting The World Of Xi You Ji. She had won the prize in 1997.