Thursday, October 9, 2014

Creating the World's Longest Drawing

Saturday Oct 4, 2014 marked the day of the attempt to draw the world’s longest drawing. The event was organized and led by Peter Draw, a Nanyang Polytechnic alumnus, local artist and philanthropist. He also holds two other Guinness World Records to his name. The event was co-sponsored by LINE, an application for instant messaging on smartphones and personal computers, and held in the Nanyang Polytechnic Sports Hall.

Heads bent over in concentration
On this day, Peter attempted to break two records - Longest Drawing (individual) and Longest Drawing (community).

The community drawing involved about 500 volunteers from Nanyang Polytechnic (mainly School of Design students), students and parent volunteers from Ang Mo Kio Primary School, members of RCs and CCs in Ang Mo Kio, children from the School Pocket Money Fund, and LINE users.
Peter Draw himself attempted to break the Longest Drawing (individual) record.

The tagline of the event was “One Line, One Love, One Singapore”. It was a piece of art to be fulfilled with the combined effort of every participant, signifying the unity of Singaporeans.  This event also celebrated Singapore’s upcoming 50th anniversary and build social connectedness in our increasingly segmented society.

Participants had to work together in order to move onto the next drawing under the time crunch

Father and son bonding time!
Participants from different walks of life came together to draw portraits of themselves with a LINE character to create a 10km long drawing to break the Guinness World Record for the longest drawing in the world. All of these characters were connected with the Line of Love, symbolizing the connectedness to the community.

Furthermore, individual section leaders, stationed at the two ends of each roll of paper, also helped the kids in their respective sections to colour the drawings.
The section leader helping the kids to colour 
Moon, the LINE character, between the octopus and turtle

Eager to help break the record, we jumped at the chance to participate in the event. We sketched out and coloured the marine creatures and LINE characters.
Our club members, Jia Min (left) and Hanafi (right) colouring

A kid focusing intently on her sketch
By inviting children from the community and schools to be part of the event, Peter hoped to show the children that someone just like them coming from the same community could achieve great heights in their passion and career, with a message to inspire kids that anything is possible, as long as they believe in themselves.

On that day, Peter Draw, together with the community, broke two records - the Guinness World Record for Longest Drawing (individual) at 626.381m and Longest Drawing (community) at 9.581km to 9.633km.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview him to find out more!
From left to right, Peter, JiaMin, Charlotte and Hanafi
What normally inspires your art? 

When I was 3, I fell in love with drawing. When I was 6, I was kicked out of art lessons because I couldn’t pay the art fee of twenty dollars. So, to make me feel better about myself, my late grandfather told me that I could still be an artist. He told me a story about this young artist whose name is Picasso. Picasso was poor and struggling financially when he was around my age, however, before he died, he created Disneyland. That was when I was determined to be someone like him.

After I grew up, I realised that Picasso and Disney were two different people. My late grandfather isn’t educated, so he was trying to make the best of what he knew. The last lesson he taught me was that our loved ones cannot wait forever for us to grow up. If there’s something I wanted to do, don’t hesitate. There’s no second chance in life, and every moment is precious.

Before I turned sixteen, I spent a lot of time drawing because it makes me happy. After losing my grandfather at sixteen, I wanted to help people who cannot help themselves, through my drawings. I wouldn’t really use the word “inspire”, but what really pushes me every day is this conviction. This is the reason why I draw.

How do you inspire unprivileged children through your work?

I lead by example, by inspiring them through my work. There are a lot of ways to inspire others. After achieving a world record, there are two things that you can say. The first is how good you are, and the second is to show that anything is possible, as long as you put your heart into it.

Unfortunately, in our society, people make things more complicated than they seem on the surface. A lot of people, after achieving some level of success, think it stems from how good they are. In reality, no one really succeeds without anyone supporting and helping them.

These children have very little self-confidence,  and self-worth sometimes. What we can and must do is to lift them up. As you can see, we involve these children in the drawings.

When I was in Fukushima, I approached the children who are suffering in the aftermath of the disaster not as victims, but as heroes. Instead of focusing on their losses, I applauded them on their resilience and encouraged them to tell other children their story, thereby inspiring them not to give up on their dreams too.

To put it into layman terms, it’s not about your scar, it is about your heart. Don’t dwell on the past and make the rest of your life the best of your life.

What inspires you and the team from LINE to come up with the concept behind the drawing?

I came up with the idea, and asked if LINE could support this concept. The reason why I wanted to do this is to involve the society at large. Community engagement, participation, involvement is a pleasant thing to do because fundamentally, I believe that we are only as good as the people around us, and we must never forget this and our roots. We must never forget the crazy sense of urgency of trying to pursue, the little things and the big things.

What are your immediate plans for the future?
Having Plan B only distracts me from Plan A. From the beginning, I only have one plan, and that is to make the world a better and happier place for people. From the day my grandfather died, I wanted to protect people who are unable to protect themselves, and that hasn’t changed.

I'm about to launch a new application called PRESENT and it's actually a tech startup that began from an art theory. The Present app allows people to capture and watch geo-tagged and time-tagged videos in locations all over the world.

We are definitely looking forward to Peter’s upcoming project, PRESENT, which we are sure, to bring life to the world, so rest assured that it won’t be the last time we will hear from the amazing artisan.

By Charlotte Ng, Year 2, Diploma in Mass Media Management & Tay Jia Min, Year 2, Diploma in Electrical Engineering with Eco-Design.

Photos by Charlotte Ng, Tay Jia Min and Hanafi Sedik.

Charlotte’s interests, hobbies and aspirations vacillate throughout her life journey from adolescence to adulthood. She dabbled with sports, music, art, but all the roads always led back to the one pastime that she has been patronising since the age of five - reading and writing. She enjoys reading/watching a motley of genres in books and films, particularly horror and thrillers. She wants to venture into film/studio production, or become a journalist in hopes of contributing to attaining world peace. She certainly believes that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Jia Min is doing her Diploma in Electrical Engineering with Eco- Design. Other than reading novels and watching television shows, she also enjoys folding origami and listening to music during her free time. 

Hanafi Sedik
I like to spend my free time and weekends exploring various places around Singapore, taking long walks at public parks and eating delicious food. Not only that, I also like to make videos, write on my personal blog and hang out with my awesome friends and family. I wish to work at a major software company and start my own production company in the future.

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