9 November 2016

Indonesia wins UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year Award

Indonesia has taken the UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year Award for the third year running. The United Overseas Bank (UOB) revealed that 36-year-old Gatot Indrajati has won the award for Right or Wrong My Home, a relief acrylic painting. Indrajati also picked up the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Indonesia award.

Judges commended his innovative use of wood, a traditional art medium in Indonesia combined with paint to create a visually compelling and contemporary artwork. They said Indrajati’s treatment of composition and layering to create a range of perspectives in the painting emphasised a sense of space while reflecting a typical Southeast Asian cityscape. The judges further noted that his application of light-hearted iconography invites the audience to contemplate the artist’s intent.

Indrajati said, “ I was inspired by the passion that Indonesians have for their country and how that attitude is such an inherent part of the Indonesian identity. Indonesians also have a wry sense of humour and we often use humour as a way to demonstrate the love for our country. I wanted my painting to portray that passion and patriotism."

Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said that the Bank remains committed to supporting the development of art in Southeast Asia for the long-term.

"We recognise the important role art plays in strengthening the fabric of a society. It connects people and communities, celebrates cultures and enriches lives. What is also distinctive about the UOB art programme is our focus on giving back. Beyond nurturing and profiling artistic talents, we also connect our artist alumni and our community partners to bring art appreciation to underprivileged and special needs children, " Wee said.

In the Established Artist category Carey Ngai, 49, won the UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore) Award. Ngai's entry was an oil on canvas painting, Industry 2.0 III. The judges were impressed by Ngai’s use of shades and colours in his realistic art piece. His painting draws a parallel between the obsolescence of industrial machinery and that of human abilities as societies evolve and as artificial intelligence becomes integrated into daily life.

For the Emerging Artist category: Yoko Choi Chi Mei, 38, was named the Most Promising Artist of the Year (Singapore). Choi created a diptych piece, City Wandering. Using ink marker on Chinese ink paper to create intricate, overlapping and multi-directional patterns, the artist explores how the search for change can reshape one’s perception of order and certainty.

The annual UOB Painting of the Year competition is held across four Southeast Asian countries. In Singapore, it is the longest-running art contest and is also the Bank’s flagship art programme. UOB’s focus on championing art as a key pillar of its corporate social responsibility programme began in Singapore more than 40 years ago. Over the years, the UOB Painting of the Year competition has launched the careers of artists in Singapore and the region including Singapore Cultural Medallion winners Raymond Lau, Chua Say Hua and Hong Sek Chern.

The regional panel of judges comprised representatives from each of the four participating countries: Agung Hujatnika Jennong, an independent curator and lecturer at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia; Choy Chun Wei, an award-winning contemporary artist from Malaysia; Dr Bridget Tracy Tan, Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore; and Amrit Chusuwan, an artist and Dean of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University in Thailand.

Other winners of the 35th UOB Painting of the Year competition include:

+2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Malaysia: Yim Yen Sum, The Floating Castle 
+2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Thailand: Jongjit Moolmat, Awaiting Enlightenment 2

+Established Artist Category (Singapore), Gold Award: Tang Kok Soo, Elephants Crossing the +Water Established Artist Category (Singapore), Silver Award: Yeo Tze Yang, Ah Ma’s Kitchen
+Established Artist Category (Singapore), Bronze Award: Kobayashi Satoshi, The Producer 

+Emerging Artist Category (Singapore) Gold Award: Ariel Dong Zixin, Self-portrait 
+Emerging Artist Category (Singapore) Silver Award: Shirly Koh Li Qing, Gentle Shade of Blue Beyond... 
+Emerging Artist Category (Singapore) Bronze Award: Ryan Lim Ding Xuan, Smithereens


The winning paintings from the 2016 Painting of the Year competition will be exhibited at the UOB Art Gallery, UOB Plaza 1 at 80 Raffles Place. The exhibition will run till the end of February 2017.