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9th Contest (2018)

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 to preserve the environment.

For this ninth contest, we received 12,563 entries from 44 countries and areas. We will introduce 32 of these entries with the children's message through their paintings, which have been selected under strict criteria.

Presentation of the winning works

"eco together" - Planet Earth Grand Prix:

The Road to the Future
Miho Takemi
(10 years old, Japan)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

The blue ocean with a range of beautiful green islands. There are beautiful birds, fish and animals on the road, full of life. It shouldn't be just adults involved in ecological activities for this beautiful earth. We as children would like to work hard on these activities, too. Let's hope that the future will mean an earth with a beautiful blue ocean.

Comment by the Judges

This image illustrates the regional character well and the local culture from a child's perspective. A sprawling landscape resembling Japan occupies the center, surrounded by the sea with a road in the middle. Perhaps the road means time. The greenery that stretches to the top and the large animals show the child's innocent and caring feeling for nature. The painting was carefully created with pure childlike inspirations and a rich sense of color, vibrantly displaying daily living that is one with nature.

"eco together" - Kao Prize:

EARTH Is OUR Home
Alexandra Vyacheslavovna Alimova
(10 years old, Russia)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

I live in a small beautiful town called Podolsk. In the spring, nightingales used to nest and sing near my house. But these days, asphalt plants foul the air. Nightingales stopped flying in. Adults fight for clean air in our town. In my picture, I wanted to say that the Earth is our home and it needs to be cared for. I want to preserve it for everybody with clean air, pure rivers and singing birds. I want all people of the Earth to care for each other and be happy!

Comment by the Judges

The color usage has a Russian touch. The composition is simple, with red and blue being key colors to keep the overall impression compact. People in natural wool clothes are purifying emissions and waste water from the plant. I felt the message, "We can purify nature using the same materials as what we wear. So, caring for the environment is the same as caring for oneself."

Light Up the Face of the Earth
Farhan Wibisono Widodo
(14 years old, Indonesia)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

The concept that I put forth in my painting illustrates the situation in Indonesia, which has recently experienced natural disasters caused by the impact of deforested lands. I want green Indonesia to return to its nickname as an agricultural country. In the painting there are several stages, the first step is to process the soil and plant the tree seeds well and in the second stage shows that the community is happy and more diligently watering the plants. The third and fourth stages are the last stages where people are happy because the trees have grown well. Then the community held a celebration with reog art to entertain the surrounding community to increase enthusiasm and gratitude to God.

Comment by the Judges

The composition is simple, but if you look closely, there are meticulously painted people ploughing the soil. It clearly shows the cycle where everyone fertilizes the soil, sows plants and gradually turns the land green. If you concentrate, you will see a temple and a church in the background. Perhaps the child is concerned about the current conflict between religions? The painting expresses the importance of a community working together and people living together in town. Also eye-catching is the use of colors, such as the ultramarine patches in the black.

I Have a Dream
Hoi Ching Pang
(6 years old, Hong Kong)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

A lot of mountain fires have been happening due to climate change and careless from human activities. This leads to serious damage to forest and homes of different animals.
I have a dream; we join together, ride on Bird of peace and fly to different places to sow the magical seeds, restoring the beauty of original forest in our earth.
So, all human beings and different kinds of animals can live healthily and happily in a green and cosy environment.

Comment by the Judges

A straight-forward piece of work full of childlike qualities, communicating the pain the child feels about the wildfires, desperately thinking something has to be done to restore nature with magic seeds. The two-plane composition is quite bold. Children are seen on the back of a dove, obviously a symbol of peace, as well as rich greenery on the right, together with blossoming buds and flowers. The yellow sun is very cleverly positioned. The colors are beautiful. It reveals a child of a sensitive mind and unlimited imagination.

The Solution Is Less
Pollution Manasvi Harlalka
(12 years old, India)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

Recycling plastic feels fantastic. That's the need of the hour.
We all along with our posterity deserve to share the cleaner air. So, let's spill the beans.
Let's have a cleaner planet in order to have an exceptional ethos around us.

Comment by the Judges

Every year I see plenty of entries featuring the Earth. Many children who painted the Earth remember it as an important theme, and this is something I would like to bear that in mind when looking at the entries. In this painting, everyone is cleaning the Earth together. Right now, there is scaffolding around it, but one day when the Earth is clean the sheets will be removed. I appreciated this entry because it conveys a strong message to get involved with changing the environment, whereas many other entries simply feature the Earth to express eco-friendliness.

We Are Environmental Lovers
Melika Ahadi
(10 years old, Iran)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

My city is very small, but it's very beautiful. There are so many nice places as mountains, river, forest and so on that I love them. In fact, my paint is an image of my friends and me in side of river. I love there. I would like all of this beautiful places remain for a long time for my kids in the future. Therefore I think it's our duty to protect our environment.

Comment by the Judges

The girls are looking relaxed, soaking their feet in the water. All three of them look very happy and calm. Instead of yelling about the environment or proposing solutions, this painting illustrates that "What we are aiming for is in our daily lives." The painting conveys the joy of living in harmony with nature. Through this artwork, we can feel a happiness and regionality that is slightly different from those we are familiar with.

The Effect
Nattha Kaeokamkong
(10 years old, Thailand)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

I drew a picture of boxes piled on top of each other, while someone is pulling the boxes in the bottom row, causing the entire pile to collapse. The box in the top row (row 5) represents Earth, row 4 represents humans, row 3 represents wildlife, row 2 represents water, and the bottom row represents trees. I want to express that if we pull the boxes in the bottom row, all the other rows will collapse. The meaning is that if we destroy forests by cutting trees, it will affect every living thing on Earth.

Comment by the Judges

At first glance this piece looks simple. Yet there is more depth than first meets the eye, as you first see supporting hands but realize they may actually be taking away what they are grabbing. The units are wanting to be together but if they are misaligned or stacked incorrectly, they will collapse. This is probably how the child assesses and sees the environment. It is almost like a well-considered educational toy. This instability is a very apt expression of the world we live in. The painting communicates both anxiety and hope.

REFLECTION OF EARTH'S BETTER FUTURE
Sherly Vermont Kwerni
(12 years old, Indonesia)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

From now on, let's do eco-friendly activities together.
At present, our Earth is threatened by various forms of pollution such as air pollution from vehicle emissions and factory fumes. In addition, there is also water pollution caused by garbage and sewage... There are also droughts, forest burning for clearing new land, and illegal logging which without doubt disrupts and damages the habitats of forest wildlife. Therefore, we must begin to participate in overcoming global warming. One method is to plant trees, dispose of garbage in the right place and turn non-biodegradable waste into something useful. We can start campaigning for the use of renewable energy, alternative technology, and love the environment. All we do is for a future that is better, greener, cooler and more comfortable for all living things on the Earth.

Comment by the Judges

Many entries compare reality with future, but this one is different. It talks about the harsh reality but is also appealing that we should do what we can now. The world of hope, reflected in the water, elaborately expresses that picking up garbage will make the world a better place. In Western mythology, looking at the reflection of oneself in a mirror or water could mean self-discovery or understanding oneself. This entry also shows two different faces of the girl, one of her in real life and another in the reflection. It is probably depicting the importance of understanding oneself.

Litter-Eating Whale
Yueheng Hu
(8 years old, China)

Thoughts and wishes regarding the painting

The rapid increase in global litter that enters the marine environment every year poses a serious threat to the beautiful marine environment as well as the marine life that depends on it. My dream is to become a scientist and invent a litter disposal station like this. It swims like a real whale in the ocean, actively searches for marine litter, swallows it like food and processes it immediately. In this way, it gradually converts marine litter into fuel for itself as well as recyclable resources.

Comment by the Judges

Although it is difficult to discern the details from a distance, the composition is so rich that even without seeing the detail, the painting's message is clear. The whale in the ocean is swallowing all kinds of meticulously painted garbage. This whale is a robot called Eco 8, conveying an incredible optimism that technology will be the answer to everything. The crabs and fish also look unique and interesting.

Eco Friend Prize:

Automatic Cleaning Machine
Aik Jie Quah
(7 years old, Malaysia)

Comment on work

An entry themed on a garbage-separating machine, conveying the child's environmental message, "We have to get started with separating garbage." Very likeable details showing the child's intense focus.

Let's Plant a Tree
Asra Abbasgholizadeh
(12 years old, Iran)

Comment on work

This entry shows the simple subject of planting a tree, but the two look very happy and appear to be are going through some ritual. A dramatic expression of planting trees leading to happiness. Beautiful use of colors.

The Environment
Atena Hosseini
(10 years old, Iran)

Comment on work

Eyes of a bird and seemingly a fish. A face full of actions about natural scenery and the environment. This one is a very creative entry; I see this face as my own, and the world in the painting is a message for the environment.

A Green Park
Bach Tri Chau
(11 years old, Vietnam)

Comment on work

The road stretching through the middle as if to block the advance of nature may be an expression of the child's opposition to their town turning into concrete. Two birds, perhaps a pair, are flapping their wings from the right, singing to nature. A spontaneous and beautiful entry, with well-planned colors and composition.

FLOODED HOUSING ESTATE
Benjamin Yeo
(9 years old, Singapore)

Comment on work

This painting is themed on a great flood from the past. All the people on the submerged floors are swimming around in swimsuits, but that cannot be real. There is audacity in this painting that depicts a natural disaster with a pinch of irony, instead of looking at it simply in sorrow.

FAIRY TALE
Bilyna Stanimirova Todorova
(12 years old, Bulgaria)

Comment on work

If you want to rescue a princess from a crocodile or protect the environment, you need a hero. "I need to be that hero!" this entry declares passionately. A very different perception of the environment from past entries, very impressive.

Paper Tree
Dayangku Hana Humaira Pengiran Zuaini
(15 years old, Brunei)

Comment on work

Trees are cut down to make paper, a symbol of civilization, and animals in the forest are losing a place to live. Perhaps this child wants to communicate this warning. The crumpled paper may also be an image of a spotlight on the animals. A strong entry with a carefully planned background and colors.

Who Is Stronger?
Eva Novakh
(11 years old, Israel)

Comment on work

This entry is saying that humans think they are the strongest creature on Earth but that such an idea is false. The painting, including the texture of the fish that makes them look like currently controversial plastic, makes the viewer feel a bit uneasy, reflecting the way the world is now.

BIRDHOUSES
Gabija Glineviciute
(15 years old, Lithuania)

Comment on work

Creating a bird house is part of Lithuanian tradition, and closely linked to environmental conservation. This painting portrays the child's view of tradition and community life, where everyone decorates together, the European way.

Bathing with Family
Hanako Takemoto
(8 years old, Japan)

Comment on work

An entry that portrays nondescript daily happiness that rings a bell for Japanese people, where the family have a bath together. It both makes them happy and saves them money. This painting shows that there is wisdom in regional customs that outsiders fail to see.

Funny Flying Fish
Hao Wang
(8 years old, China)

Comment on work

Lots of big fish, and a person looking a little isolated. An interesting message that it is not humans who are controlling the environment, rather, humans are in the environment. No hesitation about colors or composition. A powerful entry.

Healing Earth's Wounds
Harrison Mai
(13 years old, Canada)

Comment on work

A very eye-catching entry because of its painting style and subject, which have been thought out well. The child's sense of irony toward adults' knowledge and technology is seen through the scene of people seriously trying to heal the Earth.

A Manufacturing Plant That Makes Electricity
Haruka Murasaki
(11 years old, Japan)

Comment on work

An entry that urges everyone to generate and use wind power. A very simple and clear message that features many power cables. It is wonderful that such an appealing painting can be created just with a simple subject and use of colors.

Me and My Dream ECO System
Hesara Induwara De Silva
(6 years old, Sri Lanka)

Comment on work

Intuitively painted, with a great sense of colors. Each motif is painted without reservation. The entire canvas is filled with a warm, childlike spontaneity. A very eye-catching entry.

Home
Jarupa Thaochoo
(12 years old, Thailand)

Comment on work

The red binds the lush greenery together with a beautiful contrast. The painting seems to be telling us the importance of simple living, saying "we can be happy enough living alone in the forest."

The Creation of Beautiful Nature
Kanokrat Rueangrat
(11 years old, Thailand)

Comment on work

Everything about nature and the lives of animals and humans densely packs the canvas, fitting each other perfectly like pieces of a puzzle, creating a perfect balance. The world view is much like a mandala. The elephant and the color usage reflect regionality.

Recycling Materials(Environment)
Negin Yarali
(12 years old, Iran)

Comment on work

An entry with a warm and idyllic atmosphere, and the bottles are beautifully colored. In reality we see houses made of used tires and bottles, but the child actually picked this subject, demonstrating a high level of interest in the environment.

Don't Be Trashy
Ng Ray Yang, Harry
(9 years old, Singapore)

Comment on work

At first glance the painting has a dark impression but the two in the middle look very happy. Even in that dark world they are working hard with resolve and confidence. An illustration of hard work at its best.

We Are All Friends of the Environment
Parimah Kiani
(13 years old, Iran)

Comment on work

At first glance it looks eerie, but the person looks very happy. Green trees springing forth from the person's heart, as well as clear water with many fish swimming in it. It is as if to say that the heart is what you need first and foremost to tackle environmental problems.

Beach Cleanup
Ruo Ying Li
(8 years old, Taiwan)

Comment on work

I see this often in entries from Taiwan. Perhaps in Taiwan, picking up garbage is an important responsibility. It looks like they are having fun doing it. It is very pleasing to see this simple and positive message, "If we pick up garbage, the ocean will become clean."

SAVE THE BEES
Sophia Hardjoe
(8 years old, Singapore)

Comment on work

There is a lot of energy in this painting with happily buzzing bees. Maybe the child had heard the story of the declining bee population. The position of the flowers and the use of colors are also excellent. The extreme contrast of colors and the portrayal of creatures are wonderful.

Together We Give
Tsun Hei Cheung
(13 years old, Hong Kong)

Comment on work

There are good things and bad things written around the Ferris wheel. Bad things are dubbed "NO" and good things, "Bring it on!" I admire its wonderful simplicity. The contrast between black, white and many colors is also very skillful and marvelous.

Spread the Message of Environment Conservation through Wayang
Viola Arielle Suliandy
(14 years old, Indonesia)

Comment on work

I have seen entries themed on Indonesia's traditional shadow theater before, but this painting skillfully portrays how children who understand their own culture well are performing themselves and enjoying learning about ecological issues.

You can find more information on screening and final selection, general remarks by the judges, and Awards Ceremony for 9th Painting Contest at the following page.

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