UOB Painting of the Year competition marks 40th year

Ms Bridget Tracy Tan, regional chief judge for this year's UOB Painting of the Year competition, with former winners (from left) Goh Beng Kwan, Ian Woo and Khairulddin Abdul Wahab at a panel session during the launch of the competition on Tuesday. Ms
Ms Bridget Tracy Tan, regional chief judge for this year's UOB Painting of the Year competition, with former winners (from left) Goh Beng Kwan, Ian Woo and Khairulddin Abdul Wahab at a panel session during the launch of the competition on Tuesday. Ms Tan was the moderator.PHOTO: UOB

Artists around the region can brush up on their skills to enter UOB's annual Painting of the Year competition.

The contest, now in its 40th edition, is Singapore's longest-running annual art competition. It is open to citizens and permanent residents of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Submissions are open till July 31.

There will be an overall winner picked from among the four winners from the countries.

To mark the 40-year milestone, UOB will allow the four country winners to participate in a month-long art residency programme either in Shanghai or Fukuoka, instead of just one winner doing so in previous years, the bank said on Wednesday.

UOB will also host a special commemorative exhibition later this year featuring 45 winning artworks from the past four decades, along with virtual tours.

UOB 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."

He added that the competition has helped to foster a deeper appreciation of other cultures and perspectives.

The competition has helped uncover around 1,000 painters in the region over the past 40 years, UOB noted. They include local artists Goh Beng Kwan, Anthony Poon and Chua Ek Kay, who all went on to receive the Cultural Medallion, Singapore's pinnacle arts award.

Mr Goh said winning the UOB Painting of the Year award 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. Winning the award was what encouraged me to become a full-time artist."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2021, with the headline 'UOB Painting of the Year competition marks 40th year'. Subscribe