Inaugural RCB Portrait Prize Winners Announced
All portraits are on exhibition now until Dec. 7 in RCB Galleria on the second floor of River City Bangkok.
The winner of the RCB Portrait Prize 2021, Thailand’s first national portrait competition, sponsored by River City Bangkok, was recently announced, with artists and their sitters joining the jury as the outstanding portraits were unveiled at River City Bangkok.
Yuthachai Charanachitta, CEO of Italthai Group and chair of the jury, said, “From 178 entries coming from every corner of the Kingdom, painted by an amazingly wide array of artists, the jury selected the truly powerful and forthright work: ‘Khun Yai Buaphan’ by Manop Momin as the RCB Portrait Prize 2021 winner, with the artist receiving THB 500,000.”
In addition, the Portrait Prize’s THB 200,000 Packing Room Prize was won by Tanawat Muratatunyaluk and his painting “Learning in COVID Situation.”
All entries will be on view through Dec. 7 in RCB Galleria, on the second floor of River City Bangkok.
The RCB Portrait Prize 2021 was open to anyone living in Thailand over the past year, with the central requirement being that the artist and the sitter had to have at least one “live” sitting together, and while the rules did allow for a Zoom session, there was no question that COVID-19 made this all a definite challenge. Artists also were asked to provide 300 words on their sitter, and the painting they created.
There are three different prizes and three different juries: the Portrait Prize, the Packing Room Prize, and the People’s Choice Prize.
The Portrait Prize was judged by a panel of seven individuals. They volunteereed their time and met during the year to discuss the Portrait Prize and their judging process. They come from varied backgrounds – business, government, media, civil society – and have a range of professional and personal experiences, beliefs, and passions.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul noted: “After four days of viewing all the entries, and another half day together of selecting, discussing and slowly shortlisting entries, we were left with 10 finalists. From the finalists we reduced the selections to four paintings. Three of the four provided specific reference to a time that Thailand – all the world – has been facing head-on over the past 18 months. The challenges we have all faced because of COVID-19 have in many ways brought out the best of us. In the entries, we saw stories of courage, of hope, and of ordinary people rising above the personal hardships they faced.
“It is this courage of the sitters, and the artists in telling their stories, that led us to the final three paintings. Highly commended by the jury is the painting ‘Lung Yad’ by Nidchakan Kongsawad, ‘Learning in COVID Situation’ by Tanawat Muratatunyaluk and ‘Take Care of Yourself’ by Chainarong Wiroonpat. Finally, taking in the strong technical ability of the artist, the courage of the sitter, and the deep emotion expressed with the painting, the jury chose the painting ‘Bua Pan’ by the very talented Manop Momin who is the winner of the RCB Portrait Prize 2021 and recipient of THB 500,000.”
The Packing Room Prize was judged by RCB’s Exhibition team, the people responsible for booking, curating, installing and managing all exhibitions at the riverside art and antique centre, and who see a wide array of art that is presented throughout the year.
The team shortlisted seven paintings, highly commending two: “Lung Yad” by Nidchakan Kongsawad and “Work from Home” by Navapon Huanchaiyaphum, and chose as their winner, Tanawat Muratatunyaluk and the painting “Learning in COVID Situation.”
The People’s Choice Prize, as the name suggests, is to be decided by the viewing public who visit the Portrait Prize exhibition, with each visitor casting one vote. At the close of the exhibition on Dec. 7, the winner of the People’s Choice Prize with prize money of THB 100,000 will be announced.