Opening remarks by RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew at the Prize Presentation Ceremony of the 28th UOB Painting of the Year Exhibition

06/07/2009

SPEECH BY RADM (NS) LUI TUCK YEW, ACTING MINISTER FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING AND PRIZE PRESENTATION CEREMONY OF THE 28TH UOB PAINTING OF THE YEAR EXHIBITION, AT THE ESPLANADE RECITAL STUDIO, ON SATURDAY 4 JULY 2009, 11:35AM

Mr. Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,

United Overseas Bank and Chairman of the UOB Art Committee

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning. I am pleased to join you this morning at the awards presentation ceremony of the 28th annual UOB Painting Of The Year Competition.

Arts in a globalised economy

2.     To grow Singapore into a global city that retains and attracts the best talent and enterprises, we need to do more to develop Singapore into a great place to live.Our established strengths in the economic and political fields - business opportunities, stability and security, advance education and healthcare, quality infrastructure and pro-business environment - need to be complemented with a vibrant arts and cultural scene.

3.     In recent years, we have made great strides in this aspect.More residents and visitors than ever partake in the broad range of programmes in the visual, performing and literary arts.The recently concluded and well-received Singapore Arts Festival attests to this as more than 800,000 people attended one or more of the events over the course of the four-week festival.An important element of our efforts in recent years has been the strong support from the private and people sectors.

4.     Since the inception of the first UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1982, UOB has been a valuable partner in showcasing original content by local artists, identifying and nurturing new talents, and encouraging public appreciation of visual art. Indeed, it is heartening to see these efforts help promote our local talents and elevate the arts to greater heights. UOB's efforts contribute to Singapore's vision to be a Global City for Arts and Culture, as well as MICA's call under the Renaissance City Plan for greater private sector support for the arts, especially during these uncertain times.

International collaboration

5.     I am pleased to note that this year, UOB has partnered the internationally-renowned Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM) to institute the UOB-FAAM Residence Programme. This programme will allow the Painting of the Year winner a chance to spend a month in residency at the FAAM, offering an excellent opportunity to hone practices and provide networking channels for career advancement. I am confident that the winning artist's experience in Fukuoka will result in a richer dimension to his or her creations and, ultimately, enrich Singapore's arts scene in the long run.

6.     With the residence programme, the competition has moved beyond being a platform for presentation and recognition, by providing talents with a valuable progression path following their discovery. The partnership will certainly raise the stakes for participants and encourage higher standards of innovation and artistic excellence. It will also be a good opportunity to showcase Singapore talents and content via a well-regarded international platform.

Conclusion

7.     The UOB Painting Of the Year Competition has certainly grown with the development of Singapore's creative landscape. Through the years, it has discovered many local talents and also given recognition and exposure to numerous local artists and their works.I am confident that it will continue to play a pivotal role in contributing to the exciting pulse of Singapore's art and cultural development.

8.     Let me congratulate all winners of this year's competition. I wish you every success in your exciting journey ahead, and I look forward to seeing more of your works.

9.     Thank you, and have an enjoyable day.

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