The Kao Group has held this contest annually since 2010, with the aim of encouraging children around the world to think seriously about conservation of the environment around them and of the earth, as well as about the earth's future, and express their thoughts in paintings, which will also hopefully encourage people around the world to take action in their daily life to preserve the environment.
For this eighth contest, we received 11,048 entries from 41 countries and regions. We will introduce these entries with the children's message through their paintings, which have been selected under strict criteria.
You can find more information on screening and final selection, general remarks by the judges, and Awards Ceremony for 8th Painting Contest at the following page.
We have a pond in our village, and the villagers throw garbage there. Sometimes a piece of trash flies into the water, and whenever I see it, I don't feel happy and I don't want that garbage in the water. The villagers must depend on the pond water to use for cooking, bathing and watering trees. Because of this, I drew this picture of kids on a boat working together to collect all the garbage, to tell everyone that we must cooperate in keeping water clean. And, the clean water will increase the amount of seaweed, and fish and crabs will be swimming happily. Likewise, we can always have drinking water, a place to rest and relax, and our body will stay healthy.
A very unique composition. When the garbage floating on the water is picked up, a beautiful blue water surface emerges, attracting fish. It conveys the message "We can still recover the clean water if we act now." The concrete act of cleaning gives impact to this entry. The communal work aboard a ship looks as if it is representing a community, expressing the Thai people's national trait of working together on a task. The beautiful contrast of darker and lighter blue is also impressive. It makes you feel as if you are watching a movie.
This picture shows how much some people want to change the world.
I wanted to show that the little girl and her sister hope for a better world but they don't have it.
She tried to change it by being an eco volunteer, but that didn't help.
This is a warning that shows we have to change.
The tree in the center may be a map, or the earth itself. The detailed world illustrating people, animals and nature living in harmony conveys a strong message of environmental conservation. In the field surrounding the tree, people are sowing seeds and growing plants. The dream and the picture of the future above each field are filled with greenery and people smiling. The colors of the sky and space are beautiful. The piece offers a wondrous world where micro meets macro. It radiates great imagination and inspiration.
In this drawing, I have depicted a tree, which is a symbol of life. The trunk is in the shape of two hands, and the roots are the fingers of those hands. The hands are trying to save the distressed fish in the polluted ocean with their net. From the ocean, the fish will be carried into the crown of the tree, which is full of pure water. The fish will be in a safe place until the ocean water is purified and they can return to the ocean. Everybody has to take care of nature just as the tree takes care of the life of the fish, because one day anyone can be in trouble like these fish.
Many entries from Bulgaria are like storybook illustrations, but this year we received this entry with a voice. When the entry was laid out on a table, at first I saw the fish swimming to the left (owing to the fact this is how Japanese people place fish on the table) but they are actually swimming to the right. When you put the entry upside down, it looks like trick art, with the leaves and tree looking like fish in the water and a hand reaching out to the sky, and the blue gradually changes tone from the water to the sky. The more I look at this entry, the more mysterious it looks. The sense of colors is also wonderful, with the fish painted purple, and the background of the leaves grey, that mimic fish.
In our friendship with the environment and nature, those beneficial things to our world and us, we have a responsibility of maintaining the eternal richness of this world.
Living together happily as well as using natural resources and knowing its value as our energy, is the power which is truly created by this world.
In a courtyard that looks as if it is under a spotlight, little girls are praying with the expectation that something good will happen. The orange color on the upper part of the tree bearing a wide variety of plants may be expressing bright future and hopes, while the blue color on the lower half may be representing water, which is also the source of life. The understated representation of the people planting is exquisite, surrounding the world of fertility. The contrast is also wonderful, between the center with clear colors and the surroundings with delicate touch.
"Eco-friendly" means to do actions that protect our valuable environment, and my picture tries to project this message. This picture features a large tree with different people doing actions to help our environment. However, the focus of this painting lies on the bottom. This part shows roots, which are people's efforts, breaking apart a maze of pollution, which traps our Mother Earth.
This entry illustrates environmental issues that we often see as complex problems as a fun story, using motifs including a tree, flowers and letters. The scenes that captured the painter's attention are collected at random and assembled as a collage of grounded composition. The entry introduces people charmingly and evokes the future. It is also a wakeup call, as it portrays the earth as a theme yet places the earth underground, a criticism to our attitude towards the environment as we work only on environmental conservation in our immediate surroundings while ignoring the entire earth.
This painting shows the sad story of a whale that died because of oil pollution and garbage that was thrown into the ocean by irresponsible people. The whale ate the garbage as its food and was unable to breathe properly due to oil pollution on the ocean surface. Here we can see the effects of treating our ocean as our big trash bin and continuing to throw away our garbage there. Everyone must play their part to ensure that our oceans stay clean and unpolluted. The beaches must be cleaned and all the garbage collected. Oil companies must avoid oil spills. Please throw away garbage in trash bins and dispose of it properly.
This year we heard shocking news from Scandinavia that lots of plastic bags and fragments of plastic discarded by humans were found in the stomach of a whale. This piece may be portraying that whale. In its stomach, what looks like a pattern at the first glance is actually many waste objects, depicted in lines. It has a strong impact with colors such as fluorescent purple, black and deep blue. It is a simple composition, with a strong message that portrays the seriousness of environmental contamination.
I think flower is a beautiful thing. It has a life and breath. It is a food source for insects. These were my inspiration for painting this picture. While flowers give nectar to insects as their food, insects also help to blend pollens which benefit both lives.
In the same way, nature, cities and humans depend on each other. Cities need good nature to keep fresh air and to be livable places. As for nature, it needs ground and people to take care of its richness. Humans also receive foods and fabrics from nature as well.
For those reasons, we should coexist with nature, depending on each other peacefully.
Here is a house and windmill on top of flowers growing out of the lawn, and an insect. Here you see the great combination of a unique imagination and a childlike world view. While many children have a birds-eye view of the world, the painter adhered to a unique view of putting manmade things and plants on the same level, creating a strong image that evokes the future. Another unique point is that the painter, instead of using the sky as the background, painted it brown. Challenging a difficult subject and drawing the background, the painter added depth to this entry.
We always see our world and nature as two separate entities. It seems as if, as we prioritize our daily living, we are destroying nature whether consciously or not. However, greenery is essential for humans. We need to figure out how to live in harmony with greenery.
On top of one of the countless skyscrapers, it is interesting that a girl is looking at a greenery map for the future. The composition is also wonderful, with many like-minded people scattered across the picture. The entry is probably trying to convey an environmental message. The use of colors is also skillful, with the buildings only illustrated in yellow and grey. The process is to pour water on the smoke from the plant, preserve the forest and put plants on building tops to have more greenery. It is a wondrous entry, with a sense of mission and responsibility to get things done thoroughly step by step, and a beautiful passion for environmental conservation.
I love nature. I always enjoy watching its beauty because it gives me peace and serenity. By drawing this painting, I wanted to illustrate my belief.
According to my grandma, in order to reconcile with nature, we should invite the nature to our homes, make friends with her, and then open the windows and doors in order for the nature and its beauty to overwhelm the whole world. She has brought together all the beauty of nature in her room. She knits her dreams and gives them as gifts to others.
My wish is to link the beliefs of the past to the lives of today's children, so that today's generation also has the peace of friendship with nature always in their hearts.
In a simple story, the contrast between the interior and exterior of the room is skillfully portrayed. It is slightly dark outside, the chimney is giving off smoke and there is a lonely air. But indoors, the room is bright and full of warmth with curtains and a painting of birds and the sun, a green, patterned wallpaper, and a knitted rug with animals. The entry seems to be telling people to incorporate more nature into their lifestyle, at the same time warning them not to make the world outside the window real. The entry is full of sweetness yet sends a strong message.
Amid many detailed entries, this entry looks especially unique because of its relaxed world view. The contrast is wonderful between the adult-like greyish colors and the plump, smiling bees playing together. Simple composition, yet very intriguing.
The animals gathered around the girl are enjoying a relaxing moment. Butterflies and birds dance in the fantastical sky. The piece does not communicate any particular message, yet it has a keen sensitivity, as if asking the viewer how the story would unfold.
In a forest of warm colors, with the background orange and complementing green, birds dance and a beautifully colorful vehicle rides in. This piece may have portrayed a family memory. This piece catches attention with its straight forward, childlike expression.
The piece has distinct outlines, yet everything is in harmony, clearly conveying the message that people around the world can live together as one. The piece is filled with a pure outlook, encouraging us to think of the future and various affairs positively.
The cheerful faces of the girls enjoying cycling and the happy colors are uplifting. The face of the sun that looks down at the children playing with environmentally friendly vehicles is memorable.
A tree robustly grows out of a can, which may symbolize waste. The entry is persuasive, demonstrating highly expressively that two contrasting entities can, depending on how we handle them, live in harmony.
Many scenes, from environmental initiatives to environmentally harmful problems, are beautifully portrayed like a catalog. The piece is eye-catching and delivers a strong impact, with educational elements offered like a fun game.
In the idyllic landscape, people engage in environmental activities like picking up garbage and planting trees. The front and back of the picture are split by colors and the main people are painted black. The use of colors and composition are excellent and the entire piece is quietly convincing.
The beautiful contrast between blue and bright yellow is impressive. The light and dark are clearly split, with the butterflies flying toward the light, suggesting a bright future. The lively tree shapes are also superb.
Environmentally friendly motifs, and nature and animals that represent the environment, are portrayed under the sun that is so huge that it can only partly fit in the picture. The earth that should be smiling seems to be crying. The more you look at this piece, the more it speaks to you.
From the happy faces of the girls lying around the pigeon, the symbol of peace, viewers can feel the message to the future that when the environment becomes clean, people will be really happy.
The bright world of nature and animals cohabiting is about to be covered in a cloud, making the sun cry. The deep composition is astounding. The fine detail in the sunflower and the simple style of drawing outside are balanced so well.
While many entries have objects with clear outlines that are painted carefully within, this entry is painted quite dynamically. The theme is recycling of water, but there is emotion, passion and a message. It expresses the painter's pure wish to enjoy ample natural water.
There seem to be many stories hidden in this piece, with the birds with puzzling, expressive faces and fish. What is the relationship between the creatures in and out of the water? There is a very strong message, which defies the fact this is the work of a six-year-old.
People surround the beautiful earth, enriched with greenery and a clear ocean. The piece is filled with positive inspirations and dreams, for everyone to recycle water and resolve environmental issues. The overflowing smiles also show proactive attitudes towards environmental conservation.
The people planting trees to revive the forest have only one eye. Because they only see one side of the world, the forest disappears. The painter is suggesting that people will have two eyes if they can imagine the future of the forest that is being revived by tree planting.
The scene is depicted with a lot of passion, from the country with four seasons, where children can play with foliage, telling us that we should conserve nature because it allows us to have such fun. The faces are wonderful: they are not just laughing and playing, they are seriously playing.
The painter researched the cultural style of the 15th to the 19th century and has tried to replicate the unique expressions of the hand shape and other patterns. The earnest view of the child shows the child's passion to recover the spirit of the past times when people had more environmental awareness.
The plant that came out through the door is watering the tree and picking up garbage. A world of fantasy is painted uniquely, where plants themselves engage in caring for nature.
Garbage that fills the ocean. This subject, which could easily be very heavy, has impact because it is painted with a blue sky, white beach and colorful garbage effectively put together. The people and the parasol also add movement to the piece.
Trees that grow upright bear large flowers, above which birds dance around. The dynamic composition and the wide range of colors scattered across the picture communicate the painter's unshaken dream for the future.
As environmental contamination deepens, the living creatures in the ocean express both hopes and fears. This reality is expressed richly in contrasting light and dark colors. The fish smiling around the net of garbage seem to be telling us to eliminate garbage first.
View the winning works of the 8th contest here.
* The contest organizer has decided not to display one of the prize-winning paintings on this site.
You can find more information on screening and final selection, general remarks by the judges, and Awards Ceremony for 8th Painting Contest at the following page.