DPM Heng Swee Keat at the UOB Painting of the Year Awards Ceremony 2020

DPM Heng Swee Keat | 10 December 2020

Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the UOB Painting of the Year Awards Ceremony 2020 on 10 December 2020.


Good evening.

I am very glad that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to hold the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year Awards Ceremony.

The theme of this year’s competition, Solidarity, resonates in these difficult times.

The arts has the power to uplift our spirits, strengthen our resilience, and bring people together. During the crisis, I am glad that many artists and arts groups have come together, formed online support groups, collaborated on new initiatives, and gave back to the community.

Corporates have continued their support so that Singapore’s arts scene can weather this storm and emerge stronger. One long-term arts patron is UOB. UOB has been recognised by the National Arts Council as a Distinguished Patron of the Arts for the past 16 years.

UOB has led by example by adapting the presentation of this annual art competition, one of the most prestigious in Southeast Asia. The UOB Painting of the Year competition has supported Singaporean and regional artists, and has given our people the opportunity to appreciate exciting new works from the region. This year’s winning entries are artistic expressions of our shared experiences, encouraging and bringing people together in times of adversity.

The Government is committed to supporting the arts and preserving core capabilities in the arts community. After discussing with MCCY, I announced the $55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package, during the Resilience Budget in March this year.

To recover from this crisis and better position the arts in a post-COVID world, we will need to work closely with all stakeholders, including artists, arts patrons and audiences. MCCY will be hosting a series of Emerging Stronger Conversations for the arts community, and I look forward to your ideas and support.

Finally, let me congratulate all the 2020 UOB Painting of the Year competition winners. I wish you continued success in your artistic endeavours.