Hong Kong teen takes top prize in UN environment agency’s painting competition

12 August 2010

A painting warning of the dangers of pollution by a teenager from Hong Kong, China, beat out hundreds of thousands of entries from around the world to win this year’s United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) painting competition, it was announced today.

A painting warning of the dangers of pollution by a teenager from Hong Kong, China, beat out hundreds of thousands of entries from around the world to win this year’s United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) painting competition, it was announced today.

Coco Tin Chi Ting, 14, said that her painting is intended to be a warning about the effects of pollution on animals.

“In my picture, a variety of animals are carved into blocks and on top perches a fragile glass Earth,” she explained.

“As the evil hand made of pollution tries to take blocks and destroy the tower, the good hand comes in and stops it,” Coco continued. “By doing this, the tower of blocks is saved and the glass Earth stays intact. This shows that if we don’t act now and protect the animals, the Earth will be shattered and destroyed.”

Today’s announcement coincides with the UN International Youth Day, and as the overall winner, Coco receives $2,000 in prize money and an all-expense-paid trip this October to the Tunza International Children’s Conference in Nagoya, Japan, where she will formally receive her award.

She beat out 11-year-old Katherine Liu of the United States, who came in second. Katherine and six other regional winners selected by UNEP’s regional offices will each receive $1,000 and will join Coco at the Tunza, meaning “treat with care” in Swahili, gathering.

A selection of the winning paintings will be on display during the Conference before touring exhibitions around the world.

The theme of this year’s UNEP International Children’s Painting Competition was “Biodiversity: Connecting with Nature” and the young artists, aged between six and 14, took on the challenge with artistic flair, depicting images ranging from giraffes and penguins aboard a steam train to trees bursting with exotic birds and animals.

Jointly organized by UNEP, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, pharmaceutical giant Bayer and camera company Nikon, the contest has received more than 3 million entries from over 100 countries since it began in 1991.

Nearly 600,000 children from 95 countries submitted paintings for this year’s competition.

With this year’s winner already being announced, the search for 2011’s best young already artists has already kicked off. The theme for the 2011 competition is “Life in the Forests.”

 

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