Thai teen wins UN art competition

A Thai teenager has taken the top prize in an art competition run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

  • Published: 31/07/2013 at 05:40 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

An image showing part of Chiratchaya Kaeokamkong’s painting that won the top prize in the UN's 22nd International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment.

Chiratchaya Kaeokamkong’s painting of a child playing with fish, turtles and unicorns on a planet covered with water and vegetation won first place in the 22nd International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment.

The 13-year-old’s work was deemed the best out of almost 700,000 entries by children from 110 countries. 

All of the young artists were asked to paint pictures inspired by the theme Water: Where Does it Come From?, because 2013 is the UN’s international year of water co-operation. 

Chiratchaya said she wanted her painting to show that “water is a very important resource, which we should conserve and keep clean for the next generation”. 

Her prize consists of US$2,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the award ceremony, which will take place alongside UNEP’s Champions of the Earth awards in New York in September. 

“We chose the theme of the 22nd painting competition to underline that water does not come from taps or even plastic bottles bought at the supermarket - it is generated by nature and supplied by forests and wetlands to rivers and lakes,” said UN under-secretary-general and UNEP executive director Achim Steiner. 

“These budding young artists showed that they not only understand the crucial role of natural systems in providing this most fundamental of resources, but the impacts on humans and wildlife when we damage and degrade our water-generating environment in the name of progress.” 

The International Children's Painting Competition is UNEP’s flagship art and environment event. Since 1991, it has received more than three million entries from children in more than 190 countries.

Entries are now being sought for the 23rd competition, which will be themed around the issue of food waste. UNEP, in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, is running a campaign to cut the estimated one-third of all food lost or wasted every year. 

“We look forward to the 23rd competition and how children will take up the challenge of depicting the irrationality of a world where one in seven go hungry, while globally we waste and lose at least one third of all the food produced,” Mr. Steiner said. 

Young people between six and 14 are eligible to enter the competition.

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