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UOB Painting of the Year Award opens doors to the world for Vietnamese artists
Jenna Duong 22:14, 2024/03/26
The international painting contest is a great opportunity for young local artists to showcase their talents and confirm the position of Vietnamese painting in the global art market.

Hanoi's art-loving public and international visitors can view the spectacular winning paintings of the first UOB Painting of the Year (POY) Award in Vietnam, which are on display at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum until March 31.

 Thien Hau Pagoda, spray painted on a car bonnet by Trinh Minh Tien, winner of the UOB Painting of the Year 2023.

According to the organizers, the works on display are diverse in terms of expression and use a variety of materials, including paint on the bonnet, oil on canvas, and oil wax to convey the artists' profound messages about life, people and society.

The exhibition features eight winning works alongside other works by eight winning artists of this year's UOB Painting Award.

Chairman of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, artist Luong Xuan Doan, told The Hanoi Times: "The prize is truly a driving force to help young Vietnamese artists become stronger and more courageous in expressing their inner selves and showing their ideas and artistic talents to the world.

The station can therefore help to trigger a 'revolution' in painting in terms of visuals, ideas and artistic language among the young Vietnamese painting community," he added.

Trinh Minh Tien, the top winner in the Established Artist category of the award, said it had been a long time since such a big international painting competition opened in Vietnam, giving everyone a chance to win. "It creates great motivation and helps young artists develop their careers and shine," he stressed.

"Robot Meal" by painter Duong Ngoc Tuan.

Meanwhile, painter Ta Duy Tung, winner of the 2023 UOB Most Promising Artist of the Year (Vietnam), Emerging Artist category, said that winning the competition was a great motivation for him to continue his artistic journey. "It brought back my strong love for art in my 20s, something I thought I had forgotten for a long time," he said.

Previously, a UOB Painting Award exhibition was opened to art lovers in Ho Chi Minh City in November 2023. After Hanoi, the exhibition will move to the Hue Museum of Fine Arts in Hue City from 17 to 30 April.

Established in 1982, UOB Painting of the Year is the longest-running annual art competition in Singapore and one of the most prestigious in Southeast Asia. Aimed at promoting the visual arts in the region and showcasing the talents of established and emerging artists, the competition has revealed over 1,000 artistic talents from across the region since its inception. Expanding to Vietnam in 2023, this flagship art competition reinforces the bank's long-term commitment to supporting art and artists in Southeast Asia.

Below are distinctive works of art that convey the thoughts and concerns of talented young Vietnamese contemporary artists:

 Water Palace or Thuy Phu by Trinh Minh Tien.

Water Palace or Thuy Phu is an ethereal vision of St Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi, with rain on the windscreen, which the artist has recreated on a car bonnet. The cathedral was built on the foundations of the destroyed Bao Thien Tower of the Bao Thien Pagoda. Two layers of paint, space within space, and time within time, create surrealism within realism.

This artwork contemplates and questions the clash of values in history and society, with a historical man-made structure contrasted with the impermanence of time and memory.

Beings Painting or Hoa chung sinh by Pham Tran Viet Nam include bruised faces in battle, children in war, medieval beggars, miners and the innocent struggling to survive in a world full of complexities.

 Beings Painting or Hoa chung sinh by Pham Tran Viet Nam.

The painter's compositions convey humanitarian messages from the depths of his compassion and the emotional resonance he feels towards social situations and suffering in the immediate world. He is drawn into contemplative thoughts about his time, and his paintings are sculptural, where he sews, embroiders, patches together pieces of canvas and punches holes in his canvas before painting.

 The World or The gioi by Duong Ngoc Tuan

The World or The Gioi by Duong Ngoc Tuan uses expressive and surreal visual language within an abstract and ambiguous space, with rich monochrome brushstrokes. This work represents a significant thematic departure from the peaceful and realistic paintings long associated with the artist's practice.

Lost or Lac loi by Nguyen Huu Tang is a call to end animal cruelty in luxury fashion. Luxury fashion has flourished and grown in importance for many. Despite growing awareness and a collective call for ethical practices, luxury brands persist in their ruthless pursuit of profit at the expense of innocent animals.

 Lost or Lac loi by Nguyen Huu Tang.

This painting depicts hunted species, their fur cruelly stripped from their bodies, enduring emotional stress and deprivation, and disruptions to biodiversity - the natural balance of our planet can only be restored or maintained if all forms of life are valued and cherished.

Decelerated Reality or Hien thuc cham lai by Lai Dieu Ha is an expression of the artist’s personal history, approach and creative process. This artwork recured her performance Extended North-Needle  (2019) and created a new identity.

The painting results from three levels of creation: using the artist's body as the subject, delving into the subconscious through psychological research, and finally translating it into a painting. The enduring anguish of loss due to conflicts and chaos and taking risks to go beyond the safe boundary. 

 Decelerated Reality or Hien thuc cham lai by Lai Dieu Ha.
 Existence of Will or Su ton tai cua y chi by Ta Duy Tung.
 The door - Canh cua by Nguyen Huu Tang.
Beneath the skin or Phia duoi lan da by Lai Dieu Ha.

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