United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched the UOB Art Explorer, an online visual arts programme designed to bring the benefits of art to everyone from children to adults in homes around the world. Against the backdrop of uncertainty and social isolation experienced by many people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the UOB Art Explorer aims to connect all to new worlds and perspectives through its five art initiatives.
The UOB Art Explorer is part of UOB’s broader global #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme1 which brings together the strength of the UOB network and our like-minded partners such as UOB Painting of the Year (POY) artist alumni to help see communities, customers and colleagues through to better times.
Ms Lilian Chong, Executive Director of Programmes and Partnerships, Group Strategic Communications and Brand, UOB said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has kept most of us home, art has the power to release us into the openness of other worlds and experiences. By making art accessible to all, the UOB Art Explorer aims to promote mental well-being especially in this time of isolation and uncertainty. We also hope it will inspire creativity within the community. For this digital programme, we are drawing on the talent of Southeast Asian artists and their winning artworks in UOB’s 38-year-old POY collection. By doing so, we also hope to showcase the richness and vibrancy of the region’s art cultures to a global audience in the comfort of their homes.”
Beyond art appreciation, the UOB Art Explorer aims to promote mental well-being through the process of creating art. Sixteen art therapy sessions are being offered through its Art as Therapy initiative. These sessions were formulated with the 2016 UOB POY (Singapore), Most Promising Artist of the Year, Emerging Artist Category winner Ms Yoko Choi. Ms Choi, who holds a Master in Art Therapy, is also a registered art therapist and art educator.
“The process of creating art can help people practise mindfulness and encourage self-awareness. These in turn help manage stress and anxiety. During each of the 16 Art as Therapy sessions, participants will be encouraged to explore through the art making process a range of themes and causes that may be affecting their thoughts, emotions and actions so that they can understand themselves better in order to manage their mental well-being,” Ms Choi said.
The UOB Art Explorer also enables people of all ages to create their own artworks through Art at Home which features tutorials led by POY winners on various art techniques using home-based materials such as coloured pencils and crayons. A new tutorial will be released every fortnight until December 2020.
For those looking to fill in their time by exploring their creativity, the programme’s Art in Colours initiative offers eight line art adaptations of artworks from the UOB POY art collection. These line art adaptions can be printed out or uploaded onto most digital colouring apps for aspiring artists to experiment with different colouring mediums and to define their own interpretation of the artwork through the colours they choose.
As part of making art accessible to everyone, UOB will also provide UOB Art Explorer starter kits, comprising drawing pads, watercolour pencil sets, paint brush sets and print-outs of Art in Colours to 500 children from disadvantaged families across the region.
In line with UOB’s commitment to champion art in Southeast East Asia, the Bank will also continue to showcase selected artists and artworks from the region through this digital art 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. By the end of the year, more than 60 Southeast Asian artworks will be featured on the UOB Art Explorer.
To take part in the five initiatives of the UOB Art Explorer, namely Art as Therapy, Art at Home, Art in Colours, Art Virtually and Art in Story, visit their website here