The UOB Painting of the Year 2020 for the Malaysia edition has been won by Sabri bin Idrus, an alumnus of the Faculty of Art & Design, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) for his work Silence Fortrees (2020). The theme for the 2020 competition was ‘Solidarity’.
Sabri received the prize money of RM100,000 and will be representing Malaysia at the UOB South East Asia Painting of the Year 2021. The winner will be granted an Artist Resident Programme at the renowned Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan for a month.
Sabri’s work Silence Fortrees (2020) artistically depicts the scenario between the real and the ideal, whether we are confronting a Pandemic Covid-19, economic downturn, political differences, or global warming.
Khabir Ali bin Roslan, a final year student with his Solidarity Tanah Air (2020) bagged The Most Promising Artist of the Year Award with a cash prize of RM15,000. He metaphorically portrayed solidarity through his creative process. Exploring the materials (soil and bandage), Kabir Ali used the repeating geometric pattern as a metaphor of “Zikir” which means ‘remembering God’. The intention of Solidarity Tanah Air (2020) is to foster harmonic value in society.
For the emerging artist category, Muhamad Amir bin Mansor won a Silver Award with a cash prize of RM6,000. A Master’s in Fine Art & Technology graduate, his painting entitled Toge-Together’s Theory (2020) depicted reimagining our human nature and questioning the meaning of freedom.
In the same category, the Bronze Award of RM3,800 was won by Abdullah Ehlid Al Walid bin Luli, a Master of Fine Art and Technology student. In his acrylic painting Pandemic: A Quite City-2020, Abdullah creatively expressed the current situation and community isolation measures implemented by the Malaysian government to flatten the Covid-19 curve.
Since its inauguration in 1982, the UOB Painting of the Year competition has been one of the pioneer Art competition in Singapore and also Southeast Asia’s most prestigious annual art awards. This competition which has been organized in many countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, aims to discover the next generation of great Southeast Asian artists and contribute to greater awareness and appreciation of art.
The annual UOB Painting of the Year competition currently is in its 10th year in Malaysia and the 2020 Malaysian edition presented two categories, namely, emerging artist and established artist. Each category offers bronze, silver, and gold awards for the most promising artist of the year which also includes cash money.
The Faculty of Art & Design, UiTM Shah Alam, has been involved in the UOB Painting of the Year competition since its first edition and they have always been successful in receiving nominations for the award winner.
The award ceremony was shown live via the Youtube channel on 19th November 2020.