United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd is exhibiting the artworks of winning artists until 24th November at the bank’s branch in Bangunan Bangsaria, Bangsar.
With two categories; Established Artist for artists who had had exhibitions of their work and Emerging Artist who are up and coming, the UOB Painting of the Year Award oversee many submissions from Malaysian artists as they present a range of paintings of differing mediums to convey certain messages whether it’s on family, friendship, gender and religion. The winner of the award and RM100,000 in cash is Cheong Kiet Cheng for her painting titled Through the Eye of the Flower which explores symbolism and surrealism in order to tell a story of hope and rejuvenation by having a portrait of her two daughters at the core entwined with images of the sun and curved whale that represents the golden crescent moon and star of the Malaysian flag in her interpretation of the nation’s recent change.
“I created Through the Eye of the Flower in response to changes in Malaysia brought upon by recent events which evoked feelings of optimism and joy within me. I am delighted to receive this award and I look forward to representing Malaysia at the 2018 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award in Singapore,” mentioned Cheong Kiet Cheng. She will also go on to compete for a one-month residency programme with the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.
Since the award also focuses on new artists finding a footing in the art industry, works like Red of Desire (I am Siti) by Nurhidayat Bin Arshad was also featured (winning the Silver Award) whose painting is of a woman in red with horns which is quite striking and Nurhidayat stated that, “The surrealist piece is of a woman who is rebellious and a metaphor for a person wanting to try something new and is contrasted from the persona of “Siti” which reflects the Malay women previously limited to a perception of being graceful and sweet.”
With distinctive works displayed in the gallery, there is even a kindling of various themes such as the controversy of the hijab in this age that’s interpreted in Unveil by Ruzzeki Bin Harris and a unique presentation of two paintings that represent one topic; Yu-Lan Expression I & II by Koh Kai Ting (who won Most Promising Artist Award) showcasing two images of the same woman but with different emotions. Visit the works of the winning artists of UOB Painting of the Year Award that is ongoing until 24th November.
Featured Image: The Double Portrait by Koh Kai Ting (Photo: Emma Abdullah)