Thailand’s Chomrawi takes the ‘Asian Painting of the year’ prize at the prestigious UOB award contest

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Thai artist Chomrawi Suksom won the 41st UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award 2022 for his artwork titled Dystopia, a piece that depicts the world undergoing a constant change.

The oil, acrylic and gold foil on canvas painting that the 28-year-old Chomrawi took a year to paint was the winner among the various contestants who participated in in the annual event that sees artists from other Asean region such Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore participating.

Chomrawi is a professional artist who has won many art competitions in Thailand from 2015 till date, with his artworks showcased in many renowned exhibitions in the country. He and the other three country winners will stand a chance to attend a one-month residency programme at the renowned Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan.

Chomrawi composed with acrylic, oil, and gold leaf on canvas over a period of one year and explores how the constant developments and changes experienced by our society today can lead to social tensions.

The piece conveyed a strong message by bringing attention to pertinent human struggles in a complicated world but also showed the great techniques used and intricate details portrayed in the artwork were simply outstanding.

We are forced to constantly learn and adapt to keep up with life, due to issues such as global conflicts, pandemics and natural disasters, and I wanted Dystopia to capture that loss, chaos, and tension felt by the people, Chomrawi said.

Singapore’s Strait Times reported that the winner for Singapore was Lester Lee, 58, who took home the Regional Painting of the Year for his work ‘A Painting About Nothing and Everything’.

Lee’s piece depicts a collection of colourful everyday items to illustrate his idea of a work without concept or preconceived notions. It also emphasised the importance of mindful living and being present.

Meanwhile Singaporean Dillon Poh, 19, was the youngest winner this year. His work Greying won the Singapore Emerging Artist category. 

The judging panel for the 2022 UOB Southeast Asian painting of the year comprised of the Chief Judges from each of the four participating countries: Dr Bridget Tracy Tan (Regional and Singapore Chief Judge), Dr Agung Hujatnikajennong (Indonesia Chief Judge), Bibi Chew (Malaysia Chief Judge) and Amit Chusuwan (Thailand Chief Judge).

The 41st UOB painting of the year awards ceremony was held at Victoria Theatre on November 3rd.  It is considered to be one of the most prestigious art awards in Asean region.

The award will expand to having Vietnam included in the category going forward in 2023, said Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UOB group.

“Art inspires and connects people, reflecting culture, identity and aspiration. Guided by our Purpose of ‘Building the future of ASEAN’, we are committed to doing right by the art community in the region, uncovering and nurturing talents, and providing them with opportunities to showcase their creativity. Our partnership with the National Arts Council Singapore to foster a thriving art ecosystem in Singapore, and the expansion of UOB POY competition to Vietnam next year, are part of our continuous efforts to enable artistic talents in the region to scale greater heights,” Wee said.


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