Love creating art? Your masterpiece could win you up to S$46,000

Love creating art? Your masterpiece could win you up to S$46,000

UOB Painting of the Year winner can win up to S$46,000 cash & overseas art residency stint

From prehistoric cave paintings to modern digital art, creative expression has always been an important part of human culture.

Even as children, our early doodles reflect an innate urge to express ourselves through art. Then, as we mature, our skills and life experience empower us to create works like Singaporean artist Jeremy Hiah’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, “a haunting yet fairytale-like scene of a lockdown . . . during the pandemic”.

Image courtesy of UOB

This compelling piece was crowned the Top Winner (Singapore) in the Established Artist Category at the UOB Painting of the Year (POY) art competition last year. Fun fact: if you look closely, you can see a man lying down while being held captive.

If you, too, have a story to tell through art, don’t miss your chance to join the 43rd edition of the UOB POY competition, where you stand a chance to bag a cash prize of up to S$46,000 along with a sought-after overseas art residency programme. Pretty cool, huh?

43rd UOB Painting of the Year competition launches with food art showcase

UOB POY isn’t just any art contest — it’s Singapore’s longest-running annual art competition and one of Southeast Asia’s most recognised.

Since 1982, it’s been a launchpad for budding artists, several of whom have gone on to win top honours such as the Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Awards, like pioneering abstract artist Goh Beng Kwan.

UOB POY’s first winner Goh Beng Kwan
Image courtesy of UOB

The 43rd UOB POY competition kicked off in style with a multi-sensory food art showcase at Gillman Barracks on 3 May.

Executive chefs from the Pan Pacific Hotels Group created an enticing array of edible treats inspired by the works of six UOB POY artists. Talk about art you can eat.

Image courtesy of UOB

These culinary delights will take turns hitting up various restaurants until December this year, so you’ll have a chance to feast your eyes — and your tastebuds — on them, too.

And guess what? It’s all for a good cause.

A portion of the proceeds from the menu sales and full proceeds from an auction of artworks donated by UOB POY artists will go to ART:DIS, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering artists with disabilities to develop professional careers in the arts.

Click here for more information on this delectable collaboration.

2023 winner inspires 2024 programme identity

The launch event also marked the unveiling of the logo for the 43rd UOB POY competition.

uob painting year

Image courtesy of UOB

Inspired by Thai artist Pratchaya Charernsook’s artwork ‘Chumphon Estuary’, which clinched the 2023 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award, the logo highlights the threat of microplastics as a “breaking wave bringing invasive particles”.

‘Chumphon Estuary’ itself was crafted using microplastics collected by the artist from a beach in Thailand’s Chumphon province, vividly illustrating the transformation of pristine beaches into plastic dumping grounds.

uob painting year

Source: @prat_sook on Instagram

Through her artwork, Ms Pratchaya aims to shed light on the hidden dangers of microplastics and their environmental impact.

Our Singaporean talents shine just as bright. Check out this intriguing piece by William Goh, titled ‘Everyday Tapestry’, the 2023 Highly Commended Winner in the Established Artist Category.

Image courtesy of UOB

Mr Goh took a familiar scene — the humble but iconic void deck — and transformed it into a magnetic image using recycled sandpaper and pigments sanded off various objects.

You don’t need extravagant materials to create something extraordinary. Afiqah M. Suhaimi, the 2023 Gold Winner in the Emerging Artist Category, crafted ‘Just Here and Counting’ with a simple ink pen, forming ethereal blue mountains on paper.

uob painting year

Image courtesy of UOB

Her work reflects on her formative years with family, presenting overlapping nature imagery through time.

Competition accepting entries till end-July

If you, like the artists above, have a cause close to your heart or a thought-provoking concept that you’re itching to share through art, now’s your chance to be recognised for your talents in the 43rd UOB POY competition.

The contest — a regional affair spanning Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia — is open to all citizens and permanent residents in each of these countries.

Entry is free and there are no age restrictions.

uob painting year

Artist Afiqah M. Suhaimi painting her signature mountains on a chocolate canvas
Image courtesy of UOB

Each participant may submit up to three paintings in one of these two categories:

  • Established Artist Category — open to experienced professionals with a strong portfolio or gallery representation
  • Emerging Artist Category — open to aspiring artists, including those who simply paint as a hobby

Most media are accepted with the exception of video artworks, installations, and sculptures.

Since there’s no prescribed theme, feel free to let your artistic instincts run wild. The judging panel will evaluate entries based on the message, creativity, composition, and technique.

Submissions are open from now till 31 July so don’t dilly-dally and get those masterpieces in.

Win up to S$46,000 in cash in UOB Painting of the Year competition

Now, on to the prizes.

In Singapore, the top winner of the UOB POY award — reserved for the Established Artist Category — will pocket a cool S$33,000 in cash. There will also be one winner from each of the other four regional participating countries.

All five regional winners will then contend for the UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award, which grants an extra S$13,000 cash prize.

That’s a grand total of S$46,000 if the Singapore top winner clinches both titles. Whistles.

There’s more: one of the five UOB POY champs will snag their own overseas art residency programme to fuel their next big artistic adventure.

Last year’s pick, Trinh Minh Tien from Vietnam, is heading to Paris later this year as part of the UOB-NAFA partnership, so expect something just as exciting.

uob painting year

Image courtesy of UOB

Even if you miss out on the top prize, there’s still a shot at the Gold Award with a S$15,000 cash prize. Silver and Bronze Award winners get S$10,000 and S$6,500 respectively, while rising stars in the Emerging Artist Category can win up to S$5,000.

Each country will have its own set of winners, with the prize money adjusted to local currencies.

For further details and to submit your entry, visit the website and follow UOB on Facebook and Instagram for more exciting updates.

Art isn’t just about pretty pictures — it sends messages, stirs emotions, and sparks conversations. Plus, giving artists cash prizes doesn’t just give them a pat on the back — it gives them the means to keep creating and inspires others to chase their own creative dreams as well.

This article was brought to you in collaboration with UOB.

Featured image courtesy of UOB.

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