12 May 2021 – 7 December 2021

Some of the most prestigious international art competitions are for portraiture, open to both established and emerging artists and offering significant prize money. They include: BP Portrait Award (National Portrait Gallery, UK), Archibald Prize (AGNSW, Australia), Threadneddle Prize (Mall Galleries, UK), and Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC) to name but a few.

The RCB PORTRAIT PRIZE will be awarded annually to the best portrait, preferably of a man or woman distinguished in art, literature, science, business, media, civil society or politics, painted by any artist resident in Thailand for the year of the competition.

Each year, a panel of opinion leaders from across Thai society: business, collectors, entrepreneurs, entertainers and civil society, will be invited by River City Bangkok to judge this open competition. Paintings from all entries and without knowledge of the artist are selected as finalists to be exhibited at River City Bangkok.

In addition to the RCB PORTRAIT PRIZE awarded by the judges, finalists are also eligible for the Packing Room Prize, chosen by gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang entries, and the People’s Choice Prize, voted for by the public visiting the Portrait Prize exhibition. All works of art will be for sale, providing additional financial support to all those shown in the Portrait Prize exhibition.

The prize money for the inaugural RCB Portrait Prize will be THB500,000. The Packing Room Prize will be THB200,000 and the People’s Choice Prize, THB100,000.

River City Bangkok’s mission is to help inspire and educate Thai society with a wide range of exhibitions, events, performances, and film. With the RCB Portrait Prize, we hope to play a small part in nurturing creative talent and help provide a vocation, public attention, and a source of income for the artistic community.

RCB Portrait Prize 2021 at River City Bangkok
  • Submissions deadline: Sunday 15 August
  • Finalists for the exhibition notified: Friday 20 August
  • RCB Portrait and Packing Room Prize Announce: Wednesday 29 September
  • Exhibition opens to the public: Thursday 30 September
  • People’s Choice Prize announced: Tuesday 7 December
  • Exhibition last day: Tuesday 7 December
Terms and Conditions of Entry
  • The artist must have been resident in Thailand for the eligibility period for the 12 months leading to selection for consideration, and painted the entry during this time.
  • In any year, a competitor may enter one work only.
  • The artwork must be a painting, must be a portrait painted from life, with the subject known to the artist, aware of the artist’s intention and having at least one live sitting with the artist.
  • It may be painted in any medium - oil, acrylic, watercolour, or mixed media. No digital software, hardware, printing or projection allowed under any circumstances.
  • There are also limitations on the size of the painting submitted. Paintings must NOT exceed the size limit of 2.25 sqm (eg 1.5 × 1.5 m or equivalent). Dimensions apply to the actual work of art, not the mounting or framing. Exhibition wall height is 3 m. May be a multi-panel work as long as the overall dimensions do not exceed the size limit above.
Entries Submission

Artists will provide two photos of their work to a secure email address. One photo of the entry and another showing the painter and subject together for their life painting sitting. In addition, each artist should provide a short text of no more than 300 words about why the subject is important to them. (Submission email: [email protected])

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