Press Release 2016

Indonesia takes UOB Southeast Asia Painting of the Year Award for the third year running

Ms Yin Yen Sum wins UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) Award 2016

Singapore, 9 November 2016 - United Overseas Bank (UOB) today announced that an Indonesian artist has won the UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year for the third consecutive year. With Mr Gatot Indrajati's win, Indonesia is the first country to be recognised with the competition's top award three times in a row.

'Right or Wrong My Home', the 36-year-old artist's winning relief acrylic painting, resonated strongly with a panel of established industry experts from Southeast Asia. The judges commended his innovative use of wood, a medium for traditional art in Indonesia, and paint to create a visually compelling and contemporary art work. They observed Mr Indrajati's intelligent treatment of composition and layering to create range of perspective in the painting which 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 behind the visual elements.

Mr 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. I am extremely honoured to represent Indonesia on the regional stage with this award."

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.

Mr 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," Mr Wee said.

Over the years, the UOB Painting of the Year competition has launched the careers of well-known artists in Singapore and the region including Singapore Cultural Medallion winners Mr Raymond Lau, Mr Chua Say Hua and Ms Hong Sek Chern.

The regional panel of judges comprised representatives from each of the four participating countries: Mr Agung Hujatnikajennong, an independent curator and lecturer at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia; Mr 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 Mr Amrit Chusuwan, an artist and Dean of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University in Thailand. 

The 'Floating Castle' wins 2016 UOB Malaysia Painting of the Year
Ms Yim Yen Sum was presented the Malaysia 2016 UOB Painting of the Year for her artwork titled 'The Floating Castle'. The 29-year old artist impressed the panel of judges with her delicate needlework which conveyed the fragility of cultural traditions and how easily they could disintegrate if they were not given the proper care and attention.

The winning mixed medium artwork is of a traditional Chinese house embroidered on a sheet of gauze. It was chosen from among four finalists in the Established Artist1 category at the UOB Malaysia Painting of the Year competition. 

Ms Yim said, "I hope my art will highlight the shared responsibility of a community to preserve and to nurture age-old customs for future generations. I am honoured to receive this award and I look forward to representing Malaysia on the regional stage," Ms Yim said.

As the 2016 UOB Malaysia Painting of the Year winner, Ms Yim received a cash prize of US$25,000 (RM100,000). Ms Yim's winning artwork, along with other winning artworks are currently being exhibited at Curate Henry Butcher, LG1-1, SENI Mont' Kiara, 2a Changkat Duta Kiara, Mont' Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur until 21 November 2016. The winners from the four participating countries received their awards at a ceremony held at Clifford Pier in Singapore on 9 November. The Guest of Honour was Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore.

Winners of the 35th Southeast Asia UOB Painting of the Year competition

2016 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year Award: Mr Gatot Indrajati,
Right or Wrong My Home
2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Indonesia: Mr Gatot Indrajati,
Right or Wrong My Home
2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Malaysia: Ms Yim Yen Sum,
The Floating Castle
2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore: Mr Carey Ngai,
Industry 2.0 III
2016 UOB Painting of the Year, Thailand: Mr Jongjit Moolmat,
Awaiting Enlightenment 2


1 The Established Artist category is open to experienced professionals with an established portfolio of work. They must have shown their paintings in solo or group exhibitions (excluding school graduation shows), be represented by a gallery, or have achieved recognition through art awards.

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