UOB has conferred the 2020 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year (POY) award to Mr Prabu Perdana, a 36-year-old artist from Bandung, West Java, for his painting titled Isolated Garden. Mr Perdana’s painting was chosen from among the national winners of the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year competitions, which are held in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The Indonesian artist’s depiction of self-imposed solitude to combat the community spread of COVID-19 underscored the theme of ‘Solidarity’ for this year’s POY competition. This is the sixth time an Indonesian artist has won the regional POY award.
On winning the 2020 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award, Prabu Perdana said,
“Isolated Garden is a poetic representation of how the community stands united to fight the pandemic together, even as individuals remain isolated physically. The quiet garden reflected my solitude during this pandemic. The desire for connection and togetherness gives us hope in this time of crisis and I wanted this artwork to reflect peace in this uncertain period.”
Isolated Garden depicts the solitude Mr Perdana experienced during the pandemic with his studio represented as an open garden without walls and only his personal belongings for company. He based his painting on the Stone Garden in the highlands of Bandung in West Java.
The judging panel for the 2020 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year comprised the Chief Judges from each of the four participating countries: Dr Bridget Tracy Tan, Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore; Mr Agung Hujatnikajennong, Independent Curator, and Lecturer, Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia; Ms Bibi Chew, Industry Advisory Panel in Visual Arts for Cultural Economy Development Agency, Malaysia; Emeritus Professor Parinya Tantisuk, leading Thai artist, and Thailand’s 2018 National Artist in Visual Arts (Painting).
Singapore artist, Mr Zhang Chunlei, 51, was presented the 2020 UOB POY (Singapore) award for his painting titled Art Stages Pasar 2020. The oil on canvas depicts the hustle and bustle of life in Singapore grinding to a halt during the nation’s circuit breaker period, evoking a sense of loneliness and isolation. By masterfully composing famous characters, popular culture icons and landmarks from Eastern and Western cultures together, the artist hopes to convey how unity can overcome adversity.
Mr Zhang graduated from the School of Arts from Suzhou University, China. He came to Singapore 24 years ago and has been in the art profession since. He has participated in many international exhibitions, including the 8th Beijing International Art and Biennale, China 2019, China; Sea of Tears, Malaysia; and The Contemporary Asian Art Fair, Singapore.
Mr Emil Nicodemus Chew, 22 won the 2020 Most Promising Artist of the Year Award (Singapore) in the Emerging Artist Category for his oil on canvas painting titled Family Portrait. Family Portrait takes inspiration from the artist’s four siblings and how, while staying at home together as a family can foster close bonds, it can also be challenging with no clear boundaries on personal space. Clothes on a rack represent the family figures and symbolise the dynamics of their relationships. Mr Chew graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Established Artist Category (Regional)
2020 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year: Mr Prabu Perdana, Isolated Garden 2020
UOB Painting of the Year, Indonesia: Mr Prabu Perdana, Isolated Garden 2020
UOB Painting of the Year, Malaysia: Mr Sabri Idrus, Silent Fortress 2020
UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore: Mr Zhang Chunlei, Art Stages Pasar 2020 2020
UOB Painting of the Year, Thailand: Mr Thongmai Thepram, Super Strength in Unity
Established Artist Category (Singapore)
2020 UOB Painting of the Year, Singapore: Mr Zhang Chunlei, Art Stages Pasar 2020
Gold Award: Mr Ivan David Ng, Making Sense of Difference #2
Silver Award: Mr Esmond Loh, The Last Hawker Stall
Bronze Award: Mr Ben Puah, An Intimate Conversation
Highly Commended: Mr Wang Fei, S. R. Nathan in 1974 Laju Ferry Hijacking Incident
Highly Commended: Ms He Shu, United We Stand