The 51-year-old artist Xing Wanhe won the Best Painting Award in the Singapore Senior Painters Category of the 42nd UOB National Painting Competition 2023 for his mixed media “Gulliver’s Travels”, winning US$25,000 (approximately S$33,885). yuan) bonus. The Best Painting Award in Southeast Asia this year was won by 26-year-old Thai artist Prachaya Charernsook.
Xing Wanhe was not interested in participating in the competition after graduating from the Lhasa Art Institute. This time he encountered the digital competition and sent his work. He was very happy to win the award. In an interview with “Lianhe Zaobao”, he said that the winning work was from his virus series from the SARS crisis in 2013 to the 2019 COVID-19 epidemic, and it was a record of his life.
Inspired by the adventure stories of “Gulliver’s Travels”, Xing Wanhe created with pen, ink and acrylic. The outline of the human body is invisible, and only the ropes protrude. The human body is bound by viruses, animals and machines. Xing Wanhe, who founded “Your Mom Gallery” at home and curated exhibitions for his colleagues, said: “I wanted to use the iconic scenes from Gulliver’s Travels to depict an unforgettable but fairy-tale-like lockdown scene, similar to what humans felt during the epidemic. Restraint is helpless.”
A Thai artist defeated the best painting award winners from other regions and won the Southeast Asia Grand Prize for the third time. This is the third time that a Thai artist has won the Grand Prize. Challenshook won a total prize of US$30,500 (approximately S$47,439) for his work “Chunphon Estuary”.
Charon Shuk received a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of the Arts in Thailand. He collected microplastics from the beach in his hometown and crushed them into materials less than 5 mm. It took him two months to complete the work. She said in an interview: “The damage caused by microplastics to the environment is caused by improper human behavior. This problem is very serious. I hope people will pay more attention to it.”
Charon Schuck and other national award winners will have the opportunity to participate in the one-month artist-in-residence program at the Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan. It is the first time that UOB holds a competition in Vietnam. The grand prize for the best painting is “Water Palace” by Trinh Minh Tien. The Malaysian Grand Prize work is Zhang Jinchao’s “1953 Malaya and British Borneo Dollar”. The Indonesian Grand Prize entry is Ni Nyoman Sani’s “Serenity”.
This year’s competition saw a record number of entries in the region. Qian Manying’s “Commuting”, based on the motorcycle dragon on the Johor Causeway, won the Most Promising Painter Award in the Singapore Emerging Painters category. She believes that motorcycles are a symbol of freedom, individuality and cultural integration. They have been integrated into daily life and become an inherent part of the cultural identity of Singapore and Malaysia. The gold, silver and bronze award-winning works in the Emerging Painters Group are: “Start Counting From Here” by Afiqah M. Suhaimi, “Homeland” by Huang Caili and “Standing Ground” by Zhu Weilin. The gold, silver and bronze award-winning works of the senior painter group are: “Gathering/Dividing” by painter Hong Xuezhen, “Retaining Peaks – Unrestrained Brushstrokes” by He Shuzhi and “R152-QUF” by Yan Meiai.
The awards ceremony was held at the Victoria Theater on the evening of November 8 and was also broadcast live on UOB YouTube. In his speech, the award guest and Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing said that he hopes more companies and individuals will follow the example of UOB and support art and art workers to create, build connections, and contribute to the development of the country, pushing our society to the next level. More height.
Huang Yizhong, Vice Chairman and President of United Overseas Bank, was another award presenter. The winning works will be exhibited at the National Gallery Singapore and UOBandArt.com from 10am to 7pm from November 23 to January 30, 2024.