UOB Malaysia launches the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year competition in solidarity with Malaysian artists; extends reach amid COVID-19 restrictions through digital submissions and virtual UOB Art Gallery

Bank rolls out UOB Art Explorer, an online visual arts programme to bring Southeast Asian arts to homes around the world


Kuala Lumpur, 20 August 2020 – United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (UOB Malaysia) today announced that artists in Malaysia will be able to submit their entries for the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) competition digitally given the COVID-19 restrictions. The annual UOB Painting of the Year competition is in its 10th year in Malaysia and is one of Southeast Asia’s most prestigious annual art awards.

The UOB Painting of the Year is the Bank’s flagship art programme that aims to uncover and to nurture artistic talent across the country. This year, UOB Malaysia is inviting emerging and established artists to share their impressions on the theme of ‘Solidarity’ and the importance of staying united in the face of adversity. The Bank hopes to draw out artwork that showcases the resilience of the human spirit in overcoming COVID-19-related challenges.

Mr Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia said, “The beauty of art is that it transcends language, culture and geography. It also has the ability to bring people together. This year’s theme highlights the importance of the solidarity within the community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the power of art to unite people globally. Through the UOB Painting of the Year, we hope to uncover and to recognise talented artists in Malaysia, and also to lift the community spirit through the appreciation of art, especially during these trying times.”

The 2020 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) competition is now open for submissions. Submission closes at 11.59pm on 11 October 2020. The winner of the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) award will be announced at a virtual award ceremony in November.

The 2020 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) winner will walk away with RM100,000 and stand a chance to compete for the prestigious UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award in Singapore (worth an additional US$10,000) as well as win a one-month residency programme at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan.

For further details of the competition, please visit

Uniting people globally through the creation of art
Against the backdrop of uncertainty and social isolation experienced by many people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UOB Malaysia has launched the UOB Art Explorer, an online visual arts programme designed to bring the benefits of art into the homes of people around the world. The UOB Art Explorer aims to connect all, from children to adults, to new worlds and perspectives through its five art initiatives which are Art As Therapy, Art At Home, Art In Colour, Art In Story, and Art Virtually.

The UOB Art Explorer is part of UOB’s broader global #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme which brings together the strength of the UOB network and its like-minded partners such as UOB Painting of the Year artist alumni to help see communities, customers and colleagues through to better times.

Beyond art appreciation, the UOB Art Explorer aims to promote mental well-being through its Art As Therapy initiative. Sixteen art therapy sessions were formulated with the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore), Most Promising Artist of the Year, Emerging Artist Category winner Ms Yoko Choi who holds a Master in Art Therapy and is also a registered art therapist and art educator.

The UOB Art Explorer also enables people of all ages to create their own artworks through Art At Home, which features tutorials led by past winners on various art techniques using home-based materials such as coloured pencils and crayons. For those looking to fill in their time by exploring their creativity, the programme’s Art In Colour initiative offers eight line art adaptations of artworks from the UOB Art Collection.

Showcasing Southeast Asian art to the world
In line with UOB’s commitment to championing Southeast Asian art, the Bank will also continue to showcase selected artists and artworks from the region through this online visual arts programme. Viewers will be able to explore these works of art through Art Virtually, a series of virtual exhibitions displayed at the UOB Art Gallery and Art In Story, which features selected artwork from the UOB Art Collection every month.

To take part in the five initiatives of the UOB Art Explorer, namely Art As Therapy, Art At Home, Art In Colour, Art Virtually and Art In Story, please visit