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 tenth contest, we received 16,552 entries from all over the world. We will introduce 32 of these entries with the children's message through their paintings, which have been selected under strict criteria.
The 10th Kao Painting Contest for Children (2019)
Workers are wiping a glass building. The glass reflects a view of a park near the building. This shows that nature and technology can co-exist. If we, human, save our nature together, by conserving forest and stopping environmental degradation, we will be happy with our natural environment.
From Thailand, a country abundant with nature, comes an effortful piece spontaneously portraying the painter's wish toward a society in which nature and humans live in harmony. The child's positive image of a dream future is illustrated in bright colors with a bold composition and raw colors. The cleaning swings at the top look as if they symbolize the adoration for or the joy of flying, as if sending out a message that the person is leaping from his/her daily life to a new stage. There is a tremendous sensitivity in the depiction of the trees, animals and white clouds against the blue sky.
The water is one of the best things of planet, but it is limited and we have to learn to take care of it and take advantage of it.
My idea, is that children and with help of our parents, we become aware of how important water is and that it should not be wasted.
This should not be a dream or a wish, it might be a challenge for people around the world, because the earth is our home.
What we see is people joyfully walking on the clouds. Rain falls from the clouds, plants sprout, and new lives are about to begin. A particularly unique entry, encompassing a strange yet wonderful story as if we are in a dream. Rain is often perceived as something negative, but this painting treats rain positively as a blessing. The rich inspiration is perhaps what creates the artwork's cheerful and happy world view.
I wish that we do not burn forests with beautiful trees and that animals do not die anywhere in the world.
I wish all people would love animals and give them water and food.
I wish that we do not dump any waste into the sea so that fish will always swim in clean water.
I ask God to make adults understand that land, forests and seas do not belong to them and that we children have the right to use and enjoy them in the future because destroying nature also destroys us.
While we have seen many entries warning today's adults, this entry simply expresses an absolute form of happiness where "humans and animals live together." Symbols of happiness vary from region to region, but the uninterrupted eyebrows are a distinctive feature unique to the Persian culture. Coupled with the energized look of the lion, the world looks peaceful and full of happiness. We do not see Japanese people with this sense of using raw, unmixed colors. The balanced sensibility is outstanding.
Our planet is so unique, so beautiful. It gives us life and deserves our care and love. We have to understand that our future is beginning today and take seriously the messages our planet sends us. My painting presents my eco-friendly story, with all positive changes that include reused materials and changed attitude of people towards the nature. We have to make smart decisions, because our future will depend on them. Eco-friendly decisions are smart so let's be eco-friendly, together!
With a meticulous touch, the arduous artwork is filled to the corner with details. The time and passion taken by the child to complete this painting is enormous, with a theme of coexistence between humans and nature. The clear air flowing from behind the mountain, and the enriched life of the people living close by, are expressed in a refreshing manner, offering many clues to the eternal question of how we should live and look to the future." This entry is full of charm, enticing us to admire it forever.
This painting expresses every part of our body observing the destruction of the environment and the black color in the painting expresses our sadness at this destruction.
While many entries portray realistic situations in an easy-to-understand manner, this entry stands out with its abstract approach. Many eyes look on as the fish is washed ashore, and we also see the legs of a faceless girl. What do they signify? The entry looks strange and interesting, evoking our imagination with every look. The message is clear. "Use your own eyes to observe reality." A painting to be appreciated from every angle.
Parts of the world are heavily polluted. Its once beautiful landscape is now filled with factories, clear-cut trees and garbage mountains. The paintings symbolize all that the land could be if we become eco-friendly together. Everyone has their own "brush", we just need to find the right way to use it. Everyone can contribute in little ways and doing so would go a long way. People of all ages and ethnicities can help "paint" green grasses and blue skies back onto our mother earth.
The painter looks straight into the reality that is falling into despair, yet the painter also ponders an ideal future. The pure curiosity touches our heart, of wanting to visualize the image anyway before acting on or verbalizing a wish. Here are children, shocked by the gap between the ideal society and reality, yet never giving up the dream of stepping closer to their ideal future. We must take to heart the message, "This is the reality. But let's change the future together," and take action.
In this picture, I drew everyone coming together to protect the environment, dividing the tasks between them and correctly sorting the resources that have been thrown away. Not only do they make it so that we can use the empty bottles, empty cans, and electrical appliances that people no longer need, they also find new ways to reuse them. For example, if you reuse glass and mix it in with the cement used in roads, the streets are bright at night and look pretty! Everyone must do what is right, however small each action might be. Many small achievements add up to make the environment we live in cleaner and better.
Garbage separation for recycling is a key global issue and we have seen a number of entries on this subject. This entry is in another league in the way the people and garbage are treated. As the aggravated environment urges people to put on masks, they are just getting on with life silently. Meanwhile, plastic, tiles, screws and other garbage are painted meticulously, with tone variations within the same colors. The repeated patterns convey a message, "Let's come together and keep recycling garbage."
According to the journal Science, the most effective way to cope with the climate crisis is to plant trees. A global tree-planting program of 1.2 trillion trees can absorb two-thirds of the carbon emission. In the picture, people from different nationalities are planting plants with their seeds, saplings, and tools. I hope that once we rebuild a healthy ECO system, all organisms can live happily on earth forever.
What this entry shows in a straightforward manner is the message, "Let's accept the diversity that varies from region to region and make connections between people." The storyline is also wonderful, which changes according to the distance from which the viewer looks at it. From afar, the painting looks as if it is based on the vital power that eternally runs through the natural world, with the motif of countless branches stemming out of a large single tree. Yet, up close, the painting reveals various tribes coming together and living happily together. The gentle yet sensitive color usage also gives the entry an idyllic impression.
The yellow bulldozer is removing the garbage from the large, wide-open lake. There is a lot of waste, in many shapes and sizes. Surprisingly, there were many animals among the garbage. I think that cleaning the lake is one type of eco-friendly activity.
As Japan has been stuck by recurring earthquakes and typhoons, the child picks up the unavoidable subject that, "We have to collect the pollution we have created." While we have seen many pessimistic entries on global environmental issues sending out the message that we have reached the worst-case situation, the point of no return, this entry releases a positive message: "Let's put our heads together and try anyway." The bold composition of the yellow shovel car going out of the frame and the impactful colors emphasize the painter's strong will.
A child with an anxious look, crouching in an unusually tense world, touches the water and a plant. The child is feeling the urge to do something if there is anything that can be done. The painting compels us to think that adults must not, no matter what, destroy the future for our children.
The composition of the bird is wonderful, up close and placed in the center, troubled with a piece of gum stuck on its beak. Children are anxiously watching. The reality that animals suffer from human egoism sends us a message as we think about the environment.
The bird is sitting on its egg. The placement of the motifs and the composition are wonderful. I gave great scores to the fact that the several elements are creating harmony in great balance, portraying the image of a happy future.
A bird whose patterns seem like a vegetable field or a lake is sprinkling water with a watering can. It engulfs the viewer with a wish to fly high with a sense of purpose or a dream. The artwork is filled with hope, in light-capturing bright colors and with a gentle touch.
The entry's powerful strokes show the belief that we do live not just with one another but with everything around us, including insects. The vivid colors give this painting a strong impact even when it is viewed from afar.
The painting expresses expectations for the environmental activities to conserve the beauty of nature, as well as the frustration that if we miss the opportunity to improve the situation, only bad things will happen. The tension between the two is meticulously expressed with elaborate brushstrokes.
In a straightforward manner, the entry expresses the idea that people should not individually drive their cars but travel together in a bus. The passengers' smiles and the busy colors say that it is a joy, not a duty.
This painting conveys the message that rain, rivers and other water will remain important to us in the future. To highlight the water's presence, the entry features highly contrasting colors and a bold composition, with attention to style.
People are walking with parasols with an energy storage function, which will light up rooms at night. A fun entry, humorously and creatively expressing the painter's wish to make the most of sunlight.
It seems as if the person is picking cherries, as well as garbage, while basking in the sunlight. The tree harbors a dream, with a large caterpillar and a butterfly that has just hatched from a cocoon. A joyous, wonderful piece.
We see many types of plastic waste in a large net. This is possibly a painting to raise alarm, by portraying the garbage issue that results in marine pollution, suggesting that pollution encompasses various factors in a complex manner.
Is the face in the center a goddess? "We want to preserve with our own hands what thrives in mother nature." That message is expressed well in rich colors and with outstanding skill.
This entry conveys uncontainable anxiety. Images of the environment seen in recent entries have not just been positive; some express an anxiety for the future, or almost a sense of resignation. We must enable children to have a dream.
Winter's severity is expressed in beautiful colors, including the animals in the ground escaping the cold. While global warming has become a key issue, the painting oozes coldness. It is amazing how the painting makes us feel the air.
Is this painting portraying the form of happiness the child is looking for? Nature, animals and a human in harmony, living calmly. Image of happiness varies from person to person, but this painting looks as if it is underpinned by an awareness of the environment.
Every year, we see entries that feature the earth, but many have featured positive themes such as taking care of a crying globe. Finally, we have come to a point where the globe is likened to a garbage bag, conveying a pressing sense of danger. I took the message seriously.
Human behavior brings air pollution, and people on upper floors cannot live with windows open. With unique expressions, the painting raises an alarm that environmental issues have direct consequences on our lives.
The artwork uses perspective to look at a family below a tree from a height, but it focuses on tiny insects on the tree trunk. Here is a unique perspective on life, illustrating the large tree dynamically yet casting a strong focus on tiny creatures.
Resembling a flower at first glance, this painting is a picture that looks at the globe from many angles. It looks at natural energy sources like a solar panel, a windmill and a waterwheel, as well as the beauty of the natural world. Eco-friendliness is captured well with an eight-year-old's perspective.
At first glance it is a symmetrical composition, but it depicts the unique character of elements in nature, one by one, with different motifs placed left to right. Through the painting's high standard of composition, the artist's appeal is that we, being part of nature, must preserve it with our own hands.
The painting emphasizes that the oil leaking out of a tanker into the ocean is having a negative impact on the environment, by painting it jet black amid beautiful colors. The artful expressions are incredibly alluring. The composition and painting skills are also excellent.
The harmony of colors, including clarity and luminosity, is excellent. This painting expresses the message that we should live among nature and preserve it. The day-to-day life scenes such as watering and recycling garbage are richly portrayed and eye-catching.
A nature-rich forest with various animals. The trees are wrapped in straw mats. The idea of using brown only for the straw mats is excellent, drawing the viewer's attention to the traditional method of preserving tree health.
View the winning works of the 10th contest here.
You can find more information on screening and final selection, general remarks by the juries, and Awards Ceremony for 10th Painting Contest at the following page.