Thailand’s National Portraiture Competition
Portrait prizes have become a favourite with artists and public the world over. Portrait’s provide a unique insight into a country’s people and reflect the creative talent of the nation. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Italthai as our principal sponsor, ensuring the continuation of the Portrait Prize for many years to come.
Each year, the Italthai Portrait Prize Exhibition showcases 50 finalists selected by the jury from all entries to the competition plus 20 finalists who are 16 years and under. As is previous years, the host venue is River City Bangkok.
We are now accepting submissions from across the country for Italthai Portrait Prize 2023. Please read the submission guidelines and terms & conditions and complete the online entry form below.
Thailand’s national portrait competition is now in its third year. Each year, professional, amateur and student artists are invited to enter their portrait of a person (their sitter) important to them in one way or another.
Sitters can be people known to or respected by the artist for their contribution to society. The artist must paint the sitter from life and is asked to provide a short story about the sitter.
Each year the Italthai Portrait Prize provides a platform for artists of all backgrounds to showcase their talent with the public, collectors, galleries and media.
In previous years, three prize categories have been awarded. This year, a 4th prize category has been added to recognise emerging talent from schools across the country.
The jury are seven opinion leaders from across Thai society: business, government, collectors, entrepreneurs, entertainers and civil society. This jury selects the finalists for the exhibition and chooses the winner of the Portrait Prize of 500,000 THB.
The second jury is the staff of River City Bangkok’s exhibition team, the people who manage the contemporary art galleries and curate, receive and hang each exhibition. The Packing Room Prize is 200,000 THB
As the name suggests, the third jury are the people visiting the exhibition who cast their vote for their favourite portrait. The portrait with the most votes wins the People’s Choice Prize of 100,000 THB
Finalists from entries of artists 16 years of age and younger are included in the exhibition. The jury of the Portrait Prize also awards the Youth Prize of 100,000 THB.
Who We Are
Each year, a panel of opinion leaders from across Thai society: business, collectors, entrepreneurs, entertainers and civil society, are invited to judge this open competition. Artist details are not shared with the jury, they select the finalists and winner from the painting and story alone.
Group CEO, Italthai
Chairperson, BACC Foundation
Managing Director, TQPR
Assistant Director General, DITP
Journalist & Editor
General Manager, Mandarin Oriental
River City Bangkok
Managing Director, River City Bangkok
Managing Director, OtiumOne
The Rules You need to follow
To qualify for the annual portraiture competition you must comply with the terms and conditions of entry. These are outlined below:
Resident of Thailand in 2023
The artist can be Thai or foreign but must be a resident in Thailand for the year of the competition. The artist may enter only one portrait per year.
Painting from life (not a photograph)
The portrait must be painted from life, meaning the subject/s must sit for the artist in person. Along with the portrait, the artist must supply a short story about the sitter and why the artist wanted to paint them. Each entry needs to include a photograph of the artist, sitter and artwork being created.
The portrait may be created in any medium
Painted on canvas, paper or board with oil or acrylic paint, using watercolor, or mixed media. NOTE: The portrait must not be a photograph or use digital software, hardware, printing or projection in any way.
The size of the artwork being submitted
The portrait must not exceed the size limit of 1 sqm. For example: 1m × 1m, 1.2m x 0.8m, 1.6m x 0.6m or equivalent. Dimensions apply to the actual work of art, not the mounting or framing. The entry may be a multi-panel as long as the overall dimensions do not exceed the size limit above. A photograph of the completed portrait must be submitted at time of entry.
How the finalists and winners are chosen
Artists enter the competition by completing the form below with the required information, 300 words about the sitter, a photograph of their artwork (without frame), and a photograph of the live sitting (artist, sitter and canvas)
The Portrait Prize is a ‘blind competition, meaning the jury will not know who painted the entry until the winners are announced and the exhibition is opened.
Photographs of portrait paintings are shared with the jury online, without reference to the artist. The jury will select 50 entries to be in the exhibition. In addition, 20 entries from artists 16 years of age and under will be selected for the exhibition.
The RCB Exhibition Team will contact each finalist to notify them of next steps.
The artwork of finalists will be received and installed at River City Bangkok by the RCB Team. The jury has the opportunity to view each portrait and read the story of the sitter prior to coming together for judging.
The jury is then convened to shortlist their favourite paintings, as they do discussing their choices. Slowly the seven person jury, guided by the Portrait Prize producer, come to agreement on the winner of the Portrait Prize.
This process is replicated for the Packing Room Prize, this time judged by the RCB Exhibitions Team.
All finalist artists and their sitters are invited to the media event to announce the winning entries for the Portrait Prize, Packing Room Prize, and Youth Prize.
Following the ceremony, all are invited to view the exhibition. Its an opportunity for artists, sitters, media and officials to meet and discuss the paintings.
Everyone visiting the exhibition is invited to view the portraits, read the story of the sitters and vote for their favourite painting.
At the close of the exhibition the portrait with the most votes wins the People’s Choice Prize.
Artists are invited to sell their paintings to people visiting the exhibition. RCB Exhibitions Team will take each artist through this process when they are contacted as a finalist.
Some important notes for your diary
Portrait, Packing Room & Youth Prizes Announced
Exhibition opens to the public
People’s Choice Prize voting starts
People’s Choice Prize announced
Italthai Portrait Prize 2023
Entries for Italthai Portrait Prize 2023 are now closed. Please follow our Instagram page for updates.