SINGAPORE - Artists around the region can brush up on their skills to enter UOB's annual Painting of the Year competition.
The contest, Singapore's longest-running annual art competition and now in its 40th edition, is open to citizens and permanent residents from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Submissions open from Thursday (April 29) until July 31.
An overall winner will be picked from four individual winners from each country.
UOB will mark the contest's 40-year milestone by allowing the four country winners to participate in a month-long art residency programme either in Shanghai or Fukuoka, instead of just one winner as in previous years, the bank said on Wednesday.
It will also host a special commemorative exhibition later this year featuring 45 winning artworks from the past four decades, along with virtual tours.
Deputy chairman and chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said: "Art has the power to transcend culture, geography and time in lifting the human spirit and unifying minds. This has been most evident during the pandemic."
Mr Wee added that the competition has helped foster a deeper appreciation of other cultures and perspectives.
The competition has helped uncover around 1,000 painters across the region over the past 40 years, UOB noted.
These include local artists Goh Beng Kwan, Anthony Poon and Chua Ek Kay, who have all received the Cultural Medallion, Singapore's pinnacle arts award.
Mr Goh said winning the UOB Painting of the Year was one of the most important moments in his career as an artist.
"As a result of it, I was invited to participate in many local and overseas exhibitions. It also led to my artworks gaining tremendous recognition," he added.
"Winning the award was what encouraged me to become a full-time artist."