Thai artist Sukit Choosri beat out other artists from four Southeast Asian countries to win the 2017 UOB Painting of the Year competition, organisers in Singapore have announced.
This is the first time that a Thai artist has won the award since the regional competition was launched in 2013.
The judges praised the intricate attention to detail in his winning painting, titled “One Life”, where the fleeting nature of life is portrayed in the different stages of a decaying Bodhi tree. Sukit also earned praise for his painstaking technique in using a small round brush to apply tempera, a form of powdered pigment and acrylic paint.
“Each of the four winning works had its own strengths but Sukit’s painting ‘One Life’ stood out with its particular resonance. It is a very striking image, yet everything about the painting is subtle and delicate. Most exceptional is the painting’s use of symbolism, the painstaking and meditative process of its making, and the way it speaks about life and its transience,” commented Beverly Yong, director and co-founder of RogueArt gallery in Malaysia.
“My artwork seeks to encourage people to reflect upon themselves and see beyond the immediate form of their lives. Change, both positive and negative, is inevitable. We need to remain open-minded and to embrace all forms of changes in our lives to learn and to achieve wisdom,” says the artist.
Tan Choon Hin, president and chief executive officer of UOB (Thai), said that the Painting of the Year competition is part of the Bank’s efforts to give back to the community and to help strengthen the fabric of society.
“The bank believes that through the medium of art we can help draw people across the region closer together as one community. UOB would then be bound not just by our geographical and economic ties, but by a deeper understanding and appreciation of our common roots and linkages. And by nurturing and promoting young talent in the region, we are also helping to open the hearts and minds of future generations.”
The regional panel of judges comprised representatives from each of the four participating countries. They were Dr Agung Hujatnika, an independent curator and lecturer at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia; Rogue Art’s Yong, Bridget Tracy Tan, director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore; and Amrit Chusuwan, artist, consultant and curator of Art Mill, Songkhla Art Centre.
The winning and participating paintings from the 2017 Painting of the Year competition will be exhibited at the UOB Art Gallery, UOB Plaza 1 at 80 Raffles Place, Singapore. The exhibition will run from November 16 to the end of February.