Sunday, July 13, 2008

Anti-Drugs Poster Painting Competition 2008

A piece in the spirit of watercolour by Liew Yoke Hui of SMK Jinjang. This piece won first place in the Lower Secondary School category.

There is a lot of talent among children as evident from the recent nationwide Anti-Drugs Campaign Poster Painting Competition held in Kuala Lumpur recently.

I had the opportunity to attend the state finals and was given the chance to speak to a number of judges and art teachers there. The medium of painting comprised soft pastels/crayons and watercolour/poster colour(gouache).

More than a dozen students were selected from 12 district champions qualified for the finals from which the champion will represent Kuala Lumpur at the National Finals in Kota Baru later this year.

The judges must have had a tough time deciding who should rightly win based on the high quality of the paintings. I know I was at a loss for words looking at the variety of subjects and colours each had chosen to paint their message on such a grim subject as drugs. The art teachers have taught their students well, indeed.

Although there were great similarities between the subjects, there are also some gems among the lot. Many should have won but were not picked by the judges for reasons best known to them. But there was certainly no lack of originality and unique concepts in this finals.

One thing I saw at this competition, which I think is very unhealthy, is how some parents become too involved in wanting their children to win - to the extent of bad mouthing their children's rivals' work that were selected. Even the judges were not spared.

My advice to these parents is not to take part in such competition if it drives so much stress into themselves and their children. The prize money is not much - only a few hundred ringgit - and certainly not worth the gripe nor the bragging rights should your child win.

The desperation to see a winning work in the hands of their children is not doing anything to encourage the latter's love for art. In all likelihood, your children is going to despise art for the misery their work brings upon them in terms of scolding from you parents!

Anyway, here's a video of the final winners. These are good in my opinion - what more could you ask for from teens from 13 to 17?

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