United Overseas Bank (UOB) has announced that artists in Southeast Asia will be able to submit their entries for the 39th UOB Painting of the Year (POY) competition digitally given the COVID-19 restrictions. The annual UOB POY competition, Singapore’s longest-running and one of Southeast Asia’s most prestigious annual art awards is open to artists in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The UOB POY is the Bank’s flagship art programme that aims to uncover and to nurture artistic talent across the region. This year, the Bank 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. UOB hopes to draw out artwork that showcases the resilience of the human spirit in overcoming COVID-19- related challenges.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB said: “The process of making art can often be a solitary experience but the result of the artist’s effort can connect people across time, geography and language. In our current situation, bringing people together through art and fostering a sense of solidarity within the community helps lift our spirits and strengthen our resolve. As Southeast Asian artists will be able to submit their artwork digitally, we hope more of them will step forward to help us see through the current challenges and focus on the brighter days ahead.”
Meanwhile, the UOB Art Gallery, which features the works of the competition’s winners, is now also a virtual one. The online Gallery will enable UOB POY artists to connect with a broader audience and to reach more potential buyers with art exhibitions being cancelled and galleries seeing fewer visitors as people avoid public places.
Ms Lilian Chong, Executive Director, Group Strategic Communications and Brand, UOB, said, “Artists play a vital role in creating art that shapes how we view, feel and think about the world around us and it is important that we continue to support them, especially during this challenging time. By taking the UOB Art Gallery online we hope that it will not only drive greater interest in the artists’ collection but also provide the community with more avenues to experience art as they stay safe at home.”
The Bank will also promote the artworks exhibited at the virtual UOB Art Gallery through its social media channels and other online marketing initiatives such as electronic direct mail.
The first UOB POY alumni to be featured at the virtual UOB Art Gallery is Ms Stefanie Hauger, winner of the 2013 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year, top winner of 2013 UOB POY (Singapore), and 2019 UOB POY (Singapore) Bronze Award, Established Artist Category. Her solo exhibition, Gravity, showcases a combination of Ms Hauger’s latest body of work – Stone Stacks – and some of her earlier pieces, displaying a breadth and variety of techniques she continues to experiment with for new forms of creative expression.
Gravity will be featured at the UOB Art Gallery as well as the virtual gallery online till 6th September 2020. Thereafter, the gallery will show the works of Ms Ho Seok Kee, 2018 UOB POY (Singapore) Silver Award, Established Artist Category followed by lecturer and artist, Mr Wong Tze Chau, top winner of the 2019 UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore).
UOB Painting of the Year submissions will open from 12th August to 11th October 2020. The winners will be announced at a virtual award ceremony in November. There, UOB will also announce the regional winner of the prestigious UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award for the artist with the most outstanding work. For more details, visit their website here
Gravity – A Solo Art Exhibition by Stefanie Hauger runs till 6th September 2020 at both the UOB Art Gallery at UOB Plaza 1 and online on their virtual art gallery