Forum: Painting award should include all Asean countries

This is the sixth time in just eight years that an Indonesian artist has bagged the UOB South-east Asian Painting of the Year award (Indonesian artist bags UOB award for work on solidarity amid solitude, Dec 11).

I find it misleading to call the award a South-east Asian award, as artists from only four countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand - are eligible. If more South-east Asian countries were included, it would create a more level playing field.

The Philippines, which has a rich tradition of painting, is a glaring omission, as are Myanmar and Laos.

The now-defunct Philip Morris Asean Art Awards was open to all Asean countries.

For a regional art prize to be legitimate, it needs to be more inclusive so that it will truly represent the best in the region. I hope that UOB will consider opening up the competition to more South-east Asian countries.

Jeffrey Say Seck Leong

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