No so, one of the other “crazy” things I did in the year 2020 when I was “reduced” to being a part-time SafeEntry personnel at Takashimaya during the COVID-19 period, apart from taking up a short sneaker design course to enter a local competition, was taking part in the 39th UOB Painting of the Year competition that was of a much larger scale covering Southeast Asia.
Perhaps with this “just try anything I can” attitude I had at that time, I was hoping that by joining this competition it could become the light at the end of the tunnel for me too, should something good came out of it, like I had hoped the same for the shoe design competition. At the same time, I used this opportunity as a motivation and drive for myself to make artworks to express my thoughts and reflections on the adversities and tough times that I was going through. It was even more appropriate as the theme of that year’s POTY competition was “Solidarity” in the trying times of COVID-19.
*Interesting fact: Quite many years ago, when I was still a student (either at junior college or a university undergrad already), one of the many holiday jobs I had worked was being an one-day registration crew for UOB Painting Of The Year helping to register the artists who came down to submit their paintings for the competition. And one of the many artists who participated that year was my brother himself! How would I have thought that many years later I would also join as a participant myself despite not properly trained in art (my brother was a H3 art student while I was a science student in junior college)!
Below was the first of the two artworks that I had submitted for POTY 2020.
Artwork Title: When I Lost My Oars
Medium: Paper, Thread
“This artwork is a collage depiction of myself sitting on a lonely boat at sea who had unfortunately lost my oars to the ocean waves and could only rely on the propulsion of gigantic kites to help sail through the uncertain sea to reach the land of my destination hopefully. I had drawn inspiration from Coldplay’s “Daddy” music video released in November 2019. While the lost girl in the music video was searching for her daddy, in the context of my artwork, I was desperately searching for my direction amid the uncertainties of COVID-19. Losing job opportunities due to COVID-19 is like losing my oars during the voyage of my life. Suddenly I had lost control of the direction that my boat was supposed to head towards. Fortunately, I found the help of 3 gigantic kites, each representing family support, government support through various SGUNITED initiatives and art for healing respectively, to continue sailing my boat and tide me through this period of uncertainty with solidarity. No matter how difficult the current situation is, the sun still always rises above the horizon every morning and every brand new day is a fresh start for me to try again until I gain sight of the shore.
The artwork is made entirely with papers through a mix of paper cutting, folding and tearing techniques. The kites are folded using Japanese origami method, each attached to a white thread at the end to create a realistic effect of the subject grabbing onto the strings of the 3 kites.”
Click on my other post below to see my second artwork submission for POTY 2020!
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