Indonesian artist Prabu Perdana, 36, has won the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year award for an artwork born out of isolation.
Drawing on the idea of solidarity in solitude during the Covid-19 pandemic, the work depicts his studio as a garden littered with personal belongings.
The scene was partly based on Stone Garden, a park not far from his home in Bandung, West Java.
"It's about isolating ourselves in order to end the pandemic," the artist told The Straits Times.
His win was announced yesterday at a virtual award ceremony, which was streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The competition, organised by United Overseas Bank (UOB), is Singapore's longest-running art contest and is now in its 39th year.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, the guest of honour, said that the theme of this year's contest, Solidarity, "resonates in these difficult times".
He acknowledged UOB's continued support for the arts.
"To recover from this crisis and better position the arts in a post-Covid world, we will need to work closely with all stakeholders, including artists, arts patrons and audiences."
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will host a series of Emerging Stronger Conversations for the arts community, he added.
Prabu received US$10,000 (S$13,400) for winning the regional prize, in addition to 250 million rupiah (S$23,700) for the UOB Painting of the Year (Indonesia) award.
The full-time artist, who rents a room in Bandung and watched the ceremony in a cafe on a friend's laptop, plans to use the prize money to buy his own house, where he might set up a second studio.
Before the regional prize was introduced in 2013, artists competed only in their respective countries.
The South-east Asian winner is selected from the national winners of the UOB Painting of the Year contests in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Indonesian artists have long had a strong showing and have won the regional prize six times.
Singapore artists Zhang Chunlei, 51, and Emil Nicodemus Chew, 22, topped the island's established and emerging artist categories, winning US$25,000 and US$3,000, respectively.
Zhang's oil on canvas work, Art Stages Pasar 2020, is crowded with masked cultural icons from the East and West - such as Astro Boy, the Mona Lisa and Spider-Man - sitting in an open-air dining area.
The freelance artist, who was struck by the sight of an empty market during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period, said in Mandarin: "This has been a difficult year, but we need to stay positive and press on."
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