Culture / Art Republik

UOB Painting of the Year 2017 and young aspiring artists in Asia

The 36th UOB Painting of the Year competition is launched, and the alumni give back to young aspiring artists.

Aug 03, 2017 | By Art Republik

Goh Beng Kwan, ‘The Dune’, 1982

With the launch of this year’s Painting Of the Year (POY) competition in late May, UOB announced that it is organising sharing sessions between its artist alumni and secondary school and junior college students enrolled in the Art Elective Programme offered by the Ministry of Education in Singapore at Bukit Panjang Government High, CHIJ Secondary, Hwa Chong Institution and Nanyang Girls’ High School in July. Among the seven UOB POY artists taking part are Carey Ngai, the 2016 Winner in the Established Category (Singapore) and Aaron Gan, the 2015 Gold Award Winner in the Established Category (Singapore).

This new initiative is a continuation of UOB’s commitment to identify artistic talents and to provide them with opportunities to hone their skills and showcase their works to a wider community. UOB also runs a series of community-based art initiatives, including partnerships with the Little Arts Academy and Northlight School to support their visual arts programmes. In addition, it holds monthly art workshops with previous UOB POY winners for children from underprivileged backgrounds or with special needs. In total, UOB expects to engage with more than 1,600 students, beneficiaries and aspiring young artists in Singapore through its art education initiatives in 2017.

Stefanie Hauger, ‘Space Odyssey’


The UOB art education programme is not restricted to Singapore. In Thailand, art workshops and art sharing sessions with UOB POY alumni artists such as Ketsakda Wimolsong, the 2016 Most Promising Artist of the Year (Thailand), will be held at universities and colleges across the country. And in Indonesia, similar art sharing sessions will be held by established art collectors and UOB POY judges, such as Agung Hujatnikajennong and Nindityo Adipurnomo, in Bandung and Yogyakarta.

The 36th UOB Painting of the Year competition will be accepting entries for Singapore-based artists from 18 to 20 August at Helutrans. The theme for the year is ‘Reciprocity’, relating to how the viewer perceives meaning from looking at an artwork, highlighting the crucial role the viewer plays in giving meaning to an artwork.

This year’s judges are Dr Bridget Tracy Tan, Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore;  Ms Vera Ong, Vice-President of Art Galleries Association of Singapore and Owner of Art-2 Gallery and  Mr Milenko Prvacki, artist and Senior Fellow, LASALLE College of the Arts.

Ng Swee Keat, ‘Portrayal of Development’, 2011

In November, the Singapore winners and the regional winner of the UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year, awarded to the most outstanding of the four UOB Painting of the Year Award country winners, will be announced. Aside from attractive cash prizes, UOB POY country winners will also be considered for a month-long residency programme at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, which has been offered since 2009 to encourage artists to exchange ideas with their peers in the region. The artworks will also be exhibited at the UOB Art Gallery.

More information at

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