Bangkok, 11 May 2000 - The Philip Morris Group of Companies today announced the launch of the ASEAN Art Awards 2000, with a wider scope and a fresh new format to reflect the dynamic developments in contemporary art practice in the region, and revamped guidelines for artist submissions designed to recognize greater creativity and daring from the region's artists.

Among the most significant changes, artists from throughout the ASEAN region will now have the flexibility to submit any form of two-dimensional art -- not just paintings -- as they compete for a larger Grand Prize, now valued at US$15,000. Artists will also be able to submit recent works that have been previously exhibited, though not those previously entered in competitions.

Recognized by artists and art critics as one of the most comprehensive and prestigious arts competitions in Southeast Asia, the Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards comprises national competitions in seven ASEAN countries, leading to a regional awards competition and ceremony.

Over the next seven months, the Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards will provide the region's artists with the opportunity to exhibit their works and compete for cash prizes in a national competition in their home country and selection to the ASEAN-wide final competition. Each level of competition is judged by a panel of art experts.

The naming of five national Jurors' Choice winners in individual ASEAN nations by mid-year will lead to the landmark regional awards ceremony in Singapore on November 15, 2000.

The Philip Morris Group of Companies established the ASEAN Art Awards in 1994, building on Philip Morris' decades-long heritage of support of the arts and cultural activities around the world. The program aims to inspire and support creative works by established and emerging artists in ASEAN countries, to reward their best efforts and to promote contact and interactions between the arts communities around the region.

More than 16,500 artists have taken part in the Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards since 1994, and exhibitions of their works have been seen by more than 150,000 people around Southeast Asia.

The Philip Morris Group of Companies ASEAN Art Awards 2000 is open to citizens of ASEAN countries.

Entries for the Thailand/ASEAN Art Awards 2000 should be submitted within 26 June to 2 July 2000, from 08.30-16.30 hours at the following locations:
1. The Art Center, Silpakorn University, Bangkok Tel. (02) 221-3841
2. The Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai Tel. (053) 211-724
3. The Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen Tel. (043) 246-592
4. The Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Maha Sarakham Tel. (043) 721-773
5. The Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Burapha University, Chonburi Tel. (038) 391-042
6. Rajabhat Institute Songkhla, Songkhla Tel. (074) 314-993
7. The College of Fine Arts, Nakhon Si Thammarat Tel. (075) 340-094
8. Jaturabhakphimanratchadabhisek School, Roi Et Tel. (043) 561-148-9
9. The Institute Southern Thai Study, Songkhla Tel. (074) 331-185-9

There is no entry fee. In the spirit of creativity and freedom of expression, artists may explore any subject or theme in their work, using any medium. Each entry remains the property of the artist.