Ching Chen En remembers how his late grandmother cooked every year for the family during Chinese New Year and decided to capture the moment forever in a painting.
“Every year, our family would head to my aunt’s place for the get-together.
“Whenever I go back, I remember how my grandmother used to cook in the traditional kitchen in Sitiawan, Perak until she passed away five years ago,” said the 23-year-old.
His Light. Time. Memory painting won first prize in the Oil/Acrylic category at the Tanjong Heritage 2015 National Level Art Competition.
Another winner was Yong Kang Yun, 23, who took home first prize in the Watercolour category.
Yong said her painting Crossing Between New And Old showed how many old buildings were being replaced by new ones.
“It is inspired by a photo of a wooden house by the beach,” she said.
She added that many old structures should be preserved as heritage buildings including kampung houses like the ones shown in her painting.
“I hope people will start doing something to care for our old buildings,” she said.
Tanjong Public Limited Company (PLC) chairman Datuk Robert Cheim presented cash prizes worth a total of RM47,000 to 21 winners.
“Since we began this journey with this competition more than a decade ago, our objective has been simple and it remains the same; to cultivate a love for our heritage while simultaneously giving an opportunity to young Malaysians to showcase their artistry,” he said in his speech at the prize-giving ceremony held in a hotel.
He said every nook and cranny of this nation was built upon the heritage of different communities.
“Beyond just ancient relics, our heritage is an integral part of who we are as a people.
“Hence, it imperative that we make a conscious decision to celebrate and conserve it,” he said.
Cheim added the competition had grown tremendously.
“This year, we received 1,314 entries, an impressive 20% increase from last year with participating institutions rising to 21 from 17 last year,” he said.
The competition has five categories namely Watercolour, Oil/Acrylic, Mix Media, Charcoal/Pencil/Ink and Print Making.
The first, second and third prize winners received cash prizes of RM4,000, RM3,000 and RM2,000 respectively.
Casein Academy of Art bagged more than half the prizes.