Artwork inspired by the silence and serenity experienced during the pandemic wins the 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) award


Walk in Silence

‘Walk in Silence, Don't Walk Away in Silence’, Mr Saiful Razman, 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia)


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 26 October 2021 – UOB Malaysia today presented the 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) award to 41-year-old Mr Saiful Razman for his artwork titled, ‘Walk in Silence, Don't Walk Away in Silence’. As the winner of the prestigious award, Mr Razman received a cash prize of RM100,000 and stands a chance to win a one-month residency programme at either the renowned Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan or the UOB Art Gallery in Shanghai, China.

Pushing the limits of imagination and ingenuity, Mr Razman’s artwork created during the COVID-19 pandemic was inspired by the quietness and serenity experienced during self-isolation. Through his mixed media piece, he experimented with thin-rolled tissue paper and gauze to create ethereal, opaque and tonal layers. At the centre of his artwork lays a haven that is pure and peaceful, designed using simplified shapes to illustrate a house. Surrounding it is a backdrop of dimensional landscape patterns symbolising mountains. They are displayed in a high contrast environment depicted by the shades of colours.

Explaining his artwork and commenting on his win, Mr Razman said, “‘Walk in Silence, Don’t Walk Away in Silence’ is a minimalistic and monochromatic artwork that subtly captures the attention of the viewer while invoking equivocal narratives. I am honoured to win the 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) award and I am delighted that my artwork will represent Malaysia for the overall UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award.”

Ms Bibi Chew, Chief Judge of the 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) competition, said, “Each year, we are extremely encouraged to see more artists challenging themselves creatively. Besides a surge in the number of entries we received this year, we are seeing a diversity in the type of materials and subject matters used for their artwork. We are thankful that UOB Malaysia continues to support local artists by providing a platform to display their art, to express themselves and to voice their message especially in unexceptionally challenging times. We are excited with Mr Saiful Razman’s win and we look forward to seeing him compete with other UOB Painting of the Year country winners.”

Mr Razman’s painting will compete with other winning entries from Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand for the 2021 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award, which will be announced at a virtual award ceremony on 26 November 2021.

Mr Razman joins the ranks of past UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) winners, including Mr Sabri Idrus, Ms Cheng Yen Pheng, Ms Cheong Kiet Cheng, Mr Chok Yue Zan, Ms Yim Yen Sum, Ms Minstrel Kuik and Mr Gan Tee Sheng, who have gone on to receive national and international acclaim for their artworks.



‘Hi’, Ms Jaclyn Teh Ya Zi, Emerging Artist Category: 2021 Most Promising Artist of the Year (Malaysia)


In the Emerging Artist Category, 24-year-old Ms Jaclyn Teh Ya Zi won the Most Promising Artist of the Year award for her artwork titled ‘Hi’. The artwork is a visual representation of someone with social anxiety trying to hide from everyday interaction. Using a combination of thread, cotton and acrylic paint, Ms Teh has designed an artwork that conveys the true feelings felt by a person struggling with social anxiety and how they would react in such a situation.

Mr Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia, said, “Although the movement control order led to some restrictions, the UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) carries on albeit digitally and virtually. This underlines the Bank’s commitment to promoting and to developing art in the country, built on the belief that art has the ability to unite community, to bring people closer together and to improve our well-being during these challenging times.

“Now in its 11th year, we continue to recognise and to elevate Malaysian artists through the UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) competition. This is an annual competition that uncovers homegrown talents and gives them the opportunity to display their skills across the region. Despite the current challenges, we saw many talented artists continue to persevere and to rise to the occasion by taking experiences from the pandemic as a source of inspiration for their works. The quality and mastery of the winning artworks tell a multitude of stories, including those of hope, strength, resilience and overcoming adversity. We are pleased to have received yet another year of record entries from both established and emerging artists from across the country. This is testament to the competition's stature and reputation as one of the most recognised art competitions in the region,” Mr Wong said.

The public may view the winning paintings from the Established and Emerging Artist Categories of the 2021 UOB Painting of the Year (Malaysia) at the virtual UOB Art gallery.