2011/12/27 Measures Concerning the Environment Topics

Kao announces Winners of the 2nd International Environment Painting Contest for Children

Under the banner 'eco together', the Kao Group has been moving forward with environmental issues. Going beyond product manufacturing, our 'eco together' strategy takes a long view of the entire life cycle of products, and encourages proposals to find ever more environmentally friendly ways of doing things. With the goal of helping to improve the global ecology, Kao seeks to strengthen links with environmental action in the larger world.

With this in mind, as an 'eco together' initiative, last year (2010) Kao inaugurated the Kao International Environment Painting Contest for Children. We aim to inspire children all over the world, upon whose shoulders the burden of caring for the Earth will one day fall, to seriously consider how best to act towards the environment. As well as depicting what can be done in daily life, we also wanted their artistic expression to encourage their friends, and even adults, to take action.

The winners of the 2011 Kao International Environment Painting Contest for Children

The winners of the 2011 Kao International Environment Painting Contest for Children

Awards Ceremony for Second Painting Contest

During the Eco Products 2011 show at Tokyo Big Sight, the awards ceremony was held on the Kao Booth on December 17, 2011. Out of a total of 4,102 entries from 33 countries, the best seven works were awarded the eco together - Planet Earth Grand Prix and eco together - Kao Prize.

The winning works were displayed in the Kao booth at the Eco Products Show. Here, after the awards ceremony, the winners were interviewed, and answered questions about their attitude to the environment and what they wanted to express in their paintings.

Presentation of the winning works

"eco together" - Planet Earth Grand Prix:

New World of Paper Birds
Sudaporn Wiangin
(14 years old, Thailand)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
In this picture, I wanted to show what happens when people destroy forests and lose the richness of nature. Droughts occur, the ground cracks, and trees and other living things die.
If I could, I would like to become a bird and plant trees. I would be happy even with being an origami bird instead of a real one.

<Comments by the judges>
I like the origami cranes. The meaning of folded paper cranes is known throughout the world, and this work conveys a strong message that plays on the prayer-like intent of paper folding.
It seems as if paper made from the cleared trees is returning to the newly growing saplings. Despite the simple composition and use of color, the viewer feels deep implications from the image. In the contrast of the blue sky with the brown earth, and between the stumps with the new growth, the light of hope reborn seems to glow along the horizon.
This work carries the eco theme beyond its usual boundaries.

"eco together" - Kao Prize:

Don't Waste Electricity. Conserve It.
Dennis Machira Gichuki
(10 years old, Kenya)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
Electricity is one of the most wasted forms of energy in our society. We should switch off lights and all electrical things when we don't need them. We children should always help to conserve electricity.

<Comments by the judges>
Here, leaving the iron turned on, a mother is walking away and the child is switching it off as if to say, "That's not good." It is fun to see it as a panel from a comic strip.
Many adult painters would be put to shame by the way this child captures the moment where, on tip toes, someone is reaching so high that the shirt rides up and exposes the lower back. Along with the flow and distribution of color, the triangular composition based on the two sofas, the ironing board and iron, and the boy reaching up are amazing features of an excellent design.
The more you look at this work, the more things you find to admire.

Save Electricity.
Jaysinh Pradipkumar Chauha
(8 years old, India)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
One should try to save electricity as much as one can. If we take advantage of natural wind and light, we do not have to use electricity and can play a part in saving electricity.

<Comments by the judges>
Here it looks as if someone is enjoying an afternoon nap while power from a solar panel keeps the ceiling fan turning, which circulates air freely entering through an open door.
The special Indian-flavored combination of red, orange, yellow, and purple hues give the work local distinctiveness. It has the same impact as encounters with some modern art, and there is a sense of promise, of motion towards the future. At the same time, what seems to be a jacket at the feet of the sleeping child, and various other elements provide much charm by offering insight both into local habits and the tidy mind of the subject.

The Earth I Protect
Karin Sakaida
(6 years old, Japan)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
When I grow up and have children, I want to live in a beautiful place with clean oceans and air.
I painted this picture of the Earth being cleaned up. I hope my favorite animals and fishes don’t have to live with garbage and dirty air.
In my painting, a child who has picked up all the dropped garbage is planting greenery in polluted places.

<Comments by the judges>
Having cleared away discarded items, a child is planting seedlings in place of trash. Cans, umbrellas, spiky metal... in this unique conception, all kinds of garbage is hanging off the leading arm.
The bold composition has such momentum that the central figure seems to stand out from the paper. Any viewer's heart must be softened just by seeing this image, which so directly expresses the carefree optimism of childhood. Even so, by placing the islands of Japan so prominently, the painter subtly appeals to viewers to make ecology a central concern.

A Good Life Using Natural Energy
Lanrao Liu
(7 years old, China)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
Catch rain falling from the clouds, make it clean, and use it for drinking.
Take heat from the sun and use it to make electricity.
We can sing songs and dance, and draw pictures even at night.
Every day, we can have fun and be happy.

<Comments by the judges>
The way people live in China is well depicted in this scene showing a number of families living on the different floors of a building.
Apartment buildings are said to be environmentally sound and, doing a good job of getting across the essence of eco-living, you can also see other eco-friendly touches, such as solar power generation and rainwater tanks. In a painting that retains the uninhibited expressiveness of a child, the silhouette of the house, lit at night, still skillfully emerges from the dark purple shades used for the background.
For a seven-year-old, the combined use of orange and green shows remarkable color sense.

Green Living Curtain
Mika Inoue
(11 years old, Japan)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
This summer we must try to save energy. Green living curtains block out the sun and keep rooms cool. We can also sprinkle water on the ground and use paper fans to keep us cool. We don’t need to turn on electric fans and air conditioning,I painted this picture after listening to my mother’s stories about when she was a girl.
We should all work together to try and save as much as energy we can.

<Comments by the judges>
Near an electric fan with the plug disconnected, between a green curtain and a bamboo blind, people comfortably enjoy the summer. This work re-presents to us the ecological wisdom of the time-honored Japanese way of life. With the simple room at the rear, and the morning glory drawn in detail, this uncluttered overhead view is a well-structured composition. Down at the bottom, the cat also introduces an element of playfulness.
The work skillfully expresses how eco-living is bound with nature and, extending into the future, how eco life can be fun for everyone in the family.

Let's Grow Plants.
Warangkhana Khanphakwaen
(11 years old, Thailand)

<Thoughts or wishes regarding the painting>
I drew a picture of children planting trees. Trees are living things that make air for us to breathe. The world needs trees to keep nature in balance.
I live in Thailand. We had floods here because too many trees were cut down. I want everyone to know about the importance of forests. Please help to plant trees and fill the world with green space.

<Comments by the judges>
Capturing a scene from an exceptionally difficult angle, this work is filled with the excitement of something drawn by hand. The well-balanced spiral arrangement of the children among the trees creates an expansive sense of space. This could be a scene of happy appreciation for the blessing of rain?
Even though nature is not always benevolent towards people, in the swelling smiles of the children, this painting depicts something of the positive outlook of people in Thailand and their optimism about living in harmony with nature. The work transmits a feeling of hope and light, and viewers also naturally feel smiles forming on their faces.

Eco Friend Prize:

Save the Environment and the Animals
Abdulah Adel Salmeen
(14 years old, Bahrain)
No More Pollution !
Andrea Natania
(8 years old, Indonesia)
My First Experience : The Lighter Firefly
Devita Mayanda Heerlie
(8 years old, Indonesia)
Diana Grinevich
(9 years old, Belarus)
Jostin Quintero Barberena
(12 years old, Costa Rica)
Escape before Contamination.
Katarzyna Hebda
(13 years old, Poland)
Love Our World
Kong Jia En
(7 years old, Malaysia)
How Can We Make This Happen ?
Mina Hatori
(11 years old, Japan)
Eco Together
Naw Christina Dwe
(8 years old, Myanmar)
Nature is Our Friend
Pablo Patricio Alban
(14 years old, Ecuador)
Peaceful Living
Parangi Chetanbhai Rathod
(10 years old, India)
Trees in Dream
Pataraporn Saejew
(9 years old, Thailand)
If We Collect…
Saki Masui
(13 years old, Japan)
My Family and I Admire Our Environment.
Sara Abdulqader Alkamal
(11 years old, UAE)
A Girl Playing the Trumpet
Setsuka Kawahara
(14 years old, Japan)
Garbage Collecting
Seyma Gül
(7 years old, Germany)
Natural House
Shiho Rin
(10 years old, Japan)
SOS Calls from the North and South Poles
Shinta Sugawara
(14 years old, Japan)
Man-Made Heaven
Sodige Dilka Savindi
(12 years old, Sri Lanka)
Planting Trees for the World for Us
Supaporn Sueasuepphan Gad
(13 years old, Thailand)
Green World
Wang Xiao Ao
(14 years old, China)
"Magic" Beans
Wang Xin Yi
(11years old, China)
Life and Death of Nature
Zemchugova Viktoria
(10 years old, Estonia)

General remarks by the judges

Fumikazu Masuda
Chair of judges, Professor, Tokyo Zokei University

Eco-life issues affect us in our daily lives and, in their works, many entrants chose to focus on things they think should be done.
Even so, childlike optimism also appeared in paintings that were full of smiling faces. Enjoying the pleasure of viewing the splendid variety of well-executed works, including those that made weighty statements worthy of a grand prix, the judges enjoyed the task of judging. Building on the merits of the entries from the first competition, this year's works greatly surpassed those from last year. I hope that this progress will spur more of next year's entrants to create ambitious works.
I am confident that this contest is going to play a steadily greater role in environmental education.

Sumiko Okubo

Following on from the first contest, I was again surprised at the keen sensibilities of the children. Each work glittered with the innate potential and artistic sense of the child and, at the same time, had abundant power to reach out to the wider world. This time, however, I felt the entrants had a deeper understanding of the theme.
Living in a world increasingly challenged by huge natural disasters and environmental breakdown, these young artists have squarely faced the issues. Many depicted what they think they should do and the kind of future they would like to see. It is encouraging to think that as these children grow up they will surely help to save the planet. I believe that Kao is worthy of respect and appreciation for this contribution towards fostering the development of children.

Yoko Oyamada

The winning entries were more than just interesting or skillful, they actually move the viewer. I was also deeply affected by the serious consideration of the theme in the comment section of the entry forms of Japanese entrants, probably influenced by the effects of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
And, submitted without comment, there were many outstanding works that impressed the judges directly through the force of their strong visual message. At each stage of the selection process, the judges discovered new things to appreciate. The best works had the power to keep the judges perpetually stimulated.
In what became a valuable experience for me, I learnt many things from the works of children.

Mari Christine
Inter-Cultural Communicator and Goodwill Ambassador for UN-HABITAT

Last year's competition attracted many entries concerned with common eco themes such as garbage reduction and preserving greenery. This time, however, seasoned with hopes and dreams, there were more works that expressed a personal viewpoint.
It was wonderful to see paintings that could keep their own national and local character even while expressing universal messages. Judging these works was a pleasure because looking at each painting, and imagining its painter working on it, made me wonder what kind of child could have created it.
I think that international competitions dissolve borders and make great strides towards lasting peace. In this way, corporations have a large role in bringing about a borderless world.

Mitsutoshi Yoshida
Director, Kao Creative House Corporation

Richly expressive, each of the seven works that made it to the final selection was an excellent painting.
Compared with the first competition, the children seemed to have a deeper understanding of the eco theme, and the standard of work was of a much higher level. Now that we have held the second contest, we have a clear indication of the direction in which we should be proceeding. The judges were able to express their individual opinions and exchange views with each other, making it possible to appreciate the works from different perspectives.
Exposure to multiple viewpoints led me to new discoveries and I greatly enjoyed the time spent judging. I would like to thank the children who took on this difficult topic.

Yoshitaka Nakatani
Executive Officer, Vice President of Environment and Safety Management, Kao Corporation

Following on from the first competition, this time we were also blessed with many outstanding entries. I would like to thank the many children who submitted paintings and all the people who encouraged their efforts.
Expressing a sense of mission that something must be done and welling with determination to start with whatever can be done, the works of these children who bear responsibility for the future of the Earth are full of fervent hopes for a bright future. Whenever the opportunity arises, I would like to get these impressions across to more and more people.
Going further, as a company, in line with the expectations of these children, reexamining how manufacturing is carried out, determined to make good products, Kao continues to look to the future.

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