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Speech by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, At The 29th United Overseas Bank Painting Of The Year Competition (POY) Awards Presentation Ceremony And Official Opening Of The PO

10 Jul 2010

Mr Wee Ee Cheong
Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,
United Overseas Bank, and
Chairman of the UOB Art Committee

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

1.   Good morning.  I am pleased to join you this morning at the awards presentation ceremony of the 29th annual UOB Painting of the Year Competition.

Arts in a Global City

2.   Singapore enjoys a vibrant arts and cultural landscape today.  An average of 80 arts and culture-related activities are held daily , and the number of Singaporeans attending at least one arts or cultural event a year has also increased from 33% in 2005, to 40% last year.  Similarly, the number of Singaporeans who are learning or taking up an arts activity for leisure, or volunteering their support for the arts, has doubled from just 10% in 2005 to 20% in 2009.

3.   This heightened engagement bodes well for the Government's Renaissance City Plan to boost the arts and culture scene, making Singapore an exciting international destination for business and leisure, whilst remaining the best home for Singaporeans. Indeed, a vibrant arts and culture scene can help propel Singapore beyond our standing as a business hub to a leading global city. Just as importantly, the arts can help shape a nation's sense of identity and its distinctiveness.

4.   Strong individual and private sector support is essential to the establishment of a dynamic arts and culture scene. UOB's efforts over the last 29 years have helped to nurture and encourage many artists who have gone on to play significant roles on the Singapore's arts scene. I applaud UOB and other like-minded corporations who have championed the arts passionately and generously, and helped to make the arts accessible to all. Your commitment and support have made a tremendous difference to our local arts scene.

Bringing the arts beyond Singapore

5.   I am heartened that UOB will be expanding its flagship UOB Painting of the Year Competition to the region, which will help contribute to Singapore's vision to be an Asian hub for the arts. On that note, I would like to congratulate UOB on the successful completion of the UOB POY Competition in Thailand.

6.   I look forward to the roll-out of this initiative to the rest of the region, so as to enable Southeast Asian artists to share their creations on an even wider platform.


7.   Nurturing, attracting and developing creative talents are vital to Singapore's vision to become a leading global city and a regional hub for culture and the arts. The UOB Painting of the Year Competition has indeed grown over the years and has duly received recognition from the local and international communities for its role in nurturing the next generation of artists and creative leaders in Singapore

8.   On this note, I would like to congratulate all winners of this year's competition. May I wish you continued success. I look forward to your contributions to the development of Singapore as a global arts city.

9.   Thank you.