Ms Irene Wong and her painting
Ms Irene Wong’s “Selah Moment” won her the top prize in the Open Category.

An artist’s powerful portrait of herself in prayer and a moving depiction of the biblical characters of Naomi and Ruth as they caught sight of Bethlehem, their destination.

These were the two winning entries in this year’s Angelico Art Award, which seeks to provide a platform for Christian artists to reflect upon and express their faith.

Describing the entries for the art competition this year, Mr Lee Suan Hiang, former CEO of the National Arts Council and one of the judges, remarked: “Every piece was a labour of love and so well executed.”

The theme for this year’s award was “Prepare the Way for the Lord”. It was the second time that the award was held. The first was in 2016.

The competition this year attracted close to 100 entries, as many as the first time, and attracted entries from people aged from 14 to 74.

HeartSpace, a Catholic art therapy ministry, organised the competition to raise funds for the Catholic Foundation.

According to Ms Joanna Tan, who runs HeartSpace, the winning entry in the Youth Category, titled “Prayer” by 18-year-old Kristen Ho, “stood out at once”. It was “a stunning self-portrait and a very reflective and personal piece”, said Ms Tan.

Describing her painting, Kristen said, “The best way to show our love towards God is through spending time with Him in prayer. Prayer opens the doors to our hearts for complete surrender, thus paving the way for Him to have His way.”

Kristen Ho with her painting
Ms Kristen Ho with her painting, “Prayer”, which won the top prize in the Youth Category.

In the Open Category, Ms Irene Wong’s portrait of Ruth carrying her elderly mother-in-law on her back as they approached Bethlehem, their destination of rest, won her the top prize.

According to Ms Tan, Ms Wong is caregiver to her mother who suffers from dementia, and the image of Naomi and Ruth was an inspiration for her work, titled “Selah Moment”.

A total of 36 artworks were selected for the Angelica Art Award exhibition, held at 10 Square, Orchard Central, from Oct 20-26.

Other entries which also won the judges’ hearts included Mr Joshua Yang’s “Sanctitatem Vitae, the Sanctity of Life” which garnered a High Commendation Award. The painting portrays a stained-glass depiction of the sacredness of life with Christ as the source of light shining through Mary and the saints.

Another was Ms Angela Kek’s “I AM”, a colourful contemporary representation of the Creation, which won an Honourable Mention Award.

Left: “Sanctitatem Vitae, the Sanctity of Life” by Mr Joshua Yang.
“I AM” by Ms Angela Kek.