As the Sultanate celebrated the 49th Oman National Day, Y Magazine once again brought the nation’s young talent together to paint their patriotism with the 6th annual Portrait By A Nation competition.
Y’s Portrait By A Nation wrapped up its 6th annual competition in honour of the 49th Oman National Day this past weekend on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at Mall of Muscat. Presented by Ahlibank, Powered by Mazoon Dairy and Asian Paints Berger, in Association with Mall of Muscat, Minara, OSCO Shapoorji Pallonji, and Staedtler, and with Support Partners Nizwa Grand Mall, My City Centre Sur, Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, and City Centre Suhar, young artists from schools across the Sultanate came together to create a unique piece of art as a lasting tribute to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.
The competition kicked off across Oman’s interiors on November 8 in Nizwa at Nizwa Grand Mall and Salalah at the Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah, and on November 9 in Sur at My City Centre Sur and Sohar at City Centre Suhar. This year’s event saw 2,900 children nationwide in both the interiors and the capital region flock to take part. Using their utmost creativity and imagination to paint a portrait of His Majesty, the sky was the limit to the array of ways they chose to express their love for our nation through their art.
Many of our valued sponsors were on-site during the competition to show their support and encouragement for our nation’s batches of talented young artists – and stationery and art supplies brand Asian Paints Berger and Powered By sponsor of PBAN was one of them. We sat down with Bhalender Pratap Singh Kanwar, Head of Marketing & Retail Sales at Asian Paints Berger in Oman to find out why opportunity and creativity for them is a blank canvas.
Y: Tell us about the importance for Asian Paints Berger to be a valued partner and Powered By sponsor for the 6th Annual Y Portrait By A Nation event?
BPSK: Asian Paints Berger has a rich legacy of more than four decades in Oman and its neighbouring GCC countries (UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar), and we’ve always been committed towards providing the best in class and the most technologically advanced products and services for Omani consumers. For Oman, we’ve always been global in our approach but have always been Omani at heart. We were able to connect very well with the concept of Y Portrait By A Nation as it’s deeply connected with colours and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said on the auspicious occasion of the 49th National Day.
Y: Do you feel that art-centric events, such as PBAN are important towards fostering a culture of creative expression among youth in Oman?
BPSK: Art is an integral part of Oman and has been very well expressed over the years through the country’s rich culture and architecture. Hence, it’s equally important for the youth of Oman to be exposed to such events so they feel a sense of belonging and connection.
Y: In what ways is Asian Paints Berger committed to cultivating its ties with the community here in the Sultanate?
BPSK: We’ve developed a world-class range of technologically advanced products across interior and exterior emulsions, textures, designer finishes, and wood finishes, keeping Omani consumers in mind. Our latest additions for this year have been under the premium interior emulsion paint brand of Royale – the Royale Atmos Health Shield and Royale Smart Clean. Royale Atmos Health Shield is a first-of-its-kind premium interior emulsion paint designed on a health platform to kill germs and bacteria in the house – which ultimately keeps your loved ones healthy and safe. Along similar lines, Royale Smart Clean is the best in the class of premium interior washable emulsion paints. Tough stains or dirt can easily be removed, keeping the walls looking good at all times. We’ve always been open to feedback from consumers and acted accordingly through our state-of-the-art lab and production facility available in the industrial area of Sohar .
Y: What words of encouragement do you have for this year’s batch of PBAN finalists?
BPSK: Asian Paints Berger is an organisation that has always fostered a culture of integrity and innovation which have been our pillars of success. We’ve always been honest and committed towards the progress and development of Oman by developing eco-friendly products. By innovation, as I already mentioned, we’ve always been committed towards providing the best in class and most innovative products to Omani consumers. Both of the above are part of our DNA. I would urge this year’s batch of PBAN participants and finalists to take pride in being an integral part of this great nation and its future. I would also urge the youth to always work towards the growth of the country by keeping integrity and innovation as the key driving force.
Y: Do you think Oman could be doing more on a national level to foster and provide a platform for Omani artistic talent?
BPSK: Yes, absolutely. I believe it’s very important to have national-level activities revolving around Oman and its rich heritage on a regular basis. This provides opportunity for organisations like us to come forward and partner in cultivating and promoting the Omani culture. We truly believe Oman has a lot of artistic talent that can make a huge impact on the global society in the coming years.
Y: What was the most rewarding aspect of this year’s event from a sponsor’s point of view?
BPSK: We take huge pride in being a part of this year’s Y Portrait By A Nation and are thrilled to reach out to our audience through this event.
Y: What would you like our readers and PBAN participants and finalists to know about Asian Paints Berger as a brand?
BPSK: Asian Paints Berger is part of Asian Paints Ltd. that is a $2.7 Billion USD multi-national corporation headquartered in Mumbai, India. Asian Paints Ltd. has a rich heritage of over 77 years in the coating business and is the market leader in India since 1967. Asian Paints Ltd. is currently the ninth-largest coating company and amongst the top five decorative coating companies in the world.
One of the biggest events of the year in Oman, Y’s Portrait By A Nation saw an impressive turnout of 2,900 children ages 5-17 years-old from Muscat, Nizwa, Sur, Sohar, and Salalah this year.
Children received a different sized canvas and a different portrait of His Majesty, across three age categories of competition:
5-9 years – Canvas size 20cm x 30cm
10-13 years – Canvas size 30cm x 40cm
14-17 years – Canvas size 40cm x 50cm
Forty-nine (49) finalists will be selected from participants – 17 from the ages 5-9 category, and 16 each from the ages 10-13 and 14-17 age categories, with three winners chosen among them from each age category, for a chance to win prizes worth a total of RO2,550. Each winner will win a prize worth RO500 in each age category, while runners-up will win prizes valued at RO250 in each age category, and there will be RO100 for third place in each age category.
Championing the patriotic heart of the nation through the artistic expression of the young generation, Y’s Portrait By A Nation is featured across all of SABCO Media’s platforms, including Y Magazine, Merge 104.8, Al Wisal, and Virgin Radio Oman 100.9 FM.
The competition was held on Friday, November 8 in Nizwa and Salalah, Saturday, November 9 in Sur and Sohar, and on Friday November 15 and Saturday, November 16 in Muscat as, over two days, thousands of children created their own special pieces of art on the canvasses given to them with a pre-printed sketch of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. This initiative not only encouraged talent but provided children with a platform to bring out their best artistic efforts while taking pride in their work.
Judging took place on November 18 at Mall of Muscat, and included sponsors, representatives of Team Y, and eminent local artist Budoor Al Riyami. The panel will select 17 winners from the ages five to nine category and 16 finalists from the ages 10-13 and 14-17 age categories each for a total of 49 finalists. Stay tuned for next week’s issue as our panel of 49 finalists for 2019 are announced here!
Conducted in a 5-star venue, the Y Portrait By A Nation awards function will be held on Monday, December 2 and will see sponsors interacting with the 49 finalists from the three age categories. The finalists, along with their families, will be invited to be awarded commendation certificates and prizes. The event will be followed by dinner.
Special coverage in Y Magazine
After the competition, there will be continuing special coverage in Y Magazine which will feature the works of the young artists along with their interviews, and those from sponsors and eminent local artists.