“In art, there is room for all possibilities,” said Pablo Picasso once. And we can only imagine Picasso's response to the possibilities extended to his art through the metaverse.

The metaverse is emerging as a new medium where artists can create, produce, and showcase their art. In this virtual world, art creators, curators and collectors can seamlessly interact, untethered by the physical confines of an art gallery or museum.

As a long-time patron of the arts in Asia, UOB sees possibilities for nurturing art through new technologies like the metaverse.


Unwavering support for the arts

UOB has a long history of championing Asian artists and uplifting cultural heritage.

Since 1982, the Bank has organised the UOB Painting of the Year (POY), Singapore's longest-running annual art competition and one of the most recognised in Southeast Asia. Also held in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and soon in Vietnam, the UOB POY reflects our commitment and dedication to unearthing and developing artistic talents across the region, discovering the next generation of Asian artists, and fostering a greater appreciation of art.

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Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, and Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, with winning artists at the 2022 UOB Painting of the Year Award Ceremony.

To further nurture local artistic talents, UOB Hong Kong launched the UOB Art Academy in 2015, which has since organised the UOB Art in Ink Awards.

As technology becomes an extension of artistic expression, UOB is exploring more ways to help artists grow their audience using innovative channels. The metaverse, in particular, opens up new opportunities to develop the arts and culture sector.


Bringing the best of Asian and Ink art to the metaverse

Now, you can experience the best of Asian and Ink art in the metaverse.

UOB is showcasing all the winning artworks from the 41st UOB POY on SkyArtverse by UOB. Launched in Decentraland, a 3D virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain, SkyArtverse by UOB is the Bank's first foray into the metaverse.

On SkyArtverse by UOB, four Art Pavilions house all of the winning artworks from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. There is also an Amphitheatre that screens films showcasing the various journeys of respective artists. The Vitalità Garden adds a touch of nature, along with a digital rain feature of the names of winning artists that connects the upper and lower decks of this immersive art theme park.

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Through this initiative, we hope to present a differentiated virtual experience in art appreciation, broaden our engagement with audiences and provide new opportunities for UOB POY artists to share their works globally.

Thai artist Mr. Chomrawi Suksom, 28, took home the top prize with his artwork, Dystopia, a visually arresting rendition of the constant changes and tensions society confronts today. Experience the fluid juxtaposition of acrylic, oil, and gold leaf on canvas when you view this winning artwork on SkyArtverse by UOB.

UOB also showcased winning artworks from the UOB Art in Ink Awards on MetaGreen, the first green metropolis in The Sandbox, another 3D virtual world on the Ethereum blockchain. MetaGreen's Art Park houses the UOB Art Space, which features the winning artworks from the Abstract and Landscape or Figurative categories of the UOB Art in Ink Awards.

MetaGreen was created by the Regal Hotels Group and its partners, including UOB, to raise awareness about sustainability. It has six districts with eco-friendly facilities like hotels, shopping malls, and open spaces for art parks and live performances. The virtual city uses mini-games and edutainment experiences to educate visitors about responsible shopping, farm-to-table nutrition, and other sustainable living practices.

By tapping the metaverse, UOB is leveraging technology to support art and expand the reach of artists in the region. This mission aligns with that of the National Arts Council (NAC), the statutory board leading art development in Singapore, which is also looking into this space “to showcase Singapore as a distinctive city for the arts.” With more support from the government, there will be more opportunities to develop new audiences and harness innovative technologies for the arts in the metaverse.


Visit SkyArtverse and get an immersive art experience

You can still view all the winning artworks on SkyArtverse by UOB before the immersive art theme park closes on 30 April, 2023. Visit SkyArtverse by UOB by logging on to Decentraland. Next, connect your virtual wallet or sign up as a guest to start exploring. Read this guide for more instructions.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit SkyArtverse by UOB today and experience an immersive journey through art in the metaverse.