We all crowded around the single, long table and watched with bated breath, as calligraphy artist Christina Chen painstakingly painted a series of Chinese character greetings onto the long red cotton scroll covering the table – with strong, steady strokes.
When one portion of the cloth on the table had been completed, Chen, together with several helpers from Carlsberg, would gingerly move the cloth so that the calligrapher could continue painting on the next section of the red cloth.
Plenty of dedication and commitment was etched on her face throughout the approximately hour-long process.
A record breaking calligraphy event at Capitol Piazza
Chen had been engaged by Carlsberg Singapore to paint a series of four character greetings on a 16-metre long red scroll at Capitol Piazza yesterday – in order to set a national record in a rousing event that had attracted a substantial number of interested onlookers and members of the media.
Said Chen, 60, an accomplished calligrapher and oil painter, “I have never done something like this before – so I was very excited! This was also totally different to what I am used to. I usually write on rice paper, but this time I had to write on cotton linen material which does not absorb ink as well. Also due to the size, I had to keep stopping and starting when writing the strokes.”
The purpose of holding the record-breaking event, had been to set the Singapore Record for the nation’s Largest New Year Festive Couplet (chun lián), which successfully secured Carlsberg an entry into the Singapore Book of Records for “probably the best record-breaking couplet.”
This horizontal spring calligraphy scroll is traditionally hung over the door post to bless every family member in a household, especially during the Lunar New Year season.
Ushering in the Lunar New Year with a unique approach
Said June Goh, 35, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at Carlsberg, “We wanted to usher in the New Year with a record breaking calligraphy attempt that is “probably the best” calligraphy event in Singapore – because we made it into the Book of Singapore Records.”
The event was a part of Carlsberg’s Chinese New Year marketing campaign, “Probably the Best Year’ which is based on a wordplay of the Mandarin pronunciation of the number 16 (yì liù) and the Chinese term (yì liú) which means excellence, top notch or simply the best. By envisioning 2016 as “probably the best year”, Carlsberg Singapore hopes that it will be as superior as Carlsberg, which is marketed as “probably the best” beer in the world.
Added Goh, “We thought it was quite apt to stage a calligraphy event because if you have noticed, èr líng yì liù is written almost like calligraphy so we thought it is quite apt if we do a calligraphy style event and we thought that if it has to be the best one, why not break the record? The theme for our Chinese New Year campaign is “probably the best year” so there’s no better way to usher in the new year with what is probably the best event for us.”
Staging the event didn’t come without its challenges
However, staging an event like this didn’t come without its challenges though. Said Goh, “The fact that the cloth is 16-metres long means that you need someone of a high skill and calibre to paint it. The calligrapher also has to paint on cloth, and ink is not very absorbent on such material. It is a tremendous feat that needed to be done.”
Added Chen, “I put in a lot of effort into the work, but the result was slightly different to what I had expected though – as the material could not absorb the ink as well as I would have liked. But still, I thought that it was a very good first try and I really enjoyed myself a lot.”
Event was a rousing success
The event turned out to be a rousing success in the end, with representatives from the Singapore Book of Records verifying the successful achievement and presenting a certificate of completion to Jimmy Toh, the General Manager of Carlsberg Singapore.
Said Toh, “There is no better way to start off the year than by making history with this spectacular feat. From everyone at Carlsberg Singapore, here’s a toast to “probably the best” year (20 – yi liu).”
Continue to spread these messages of good cheer
Consumers can continue to spread these Carlsberg messages of good cheer – with four listed edition festive cans featuring contemporary graphic designs infused with traditional festive elements.
The completed calligraphy artwork in its full glory.
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Paired with themes such as Friendship (you qíng), Luck (yùn qì), Fortune (caí yùn) and (20 – yì liú), these cans are exclusively available in the 24-Can cartons (323ml per can) with each carton comprising of two designs. They are currently being sold nationwide at all leading supermarkets and hypermarkets during the Chinese New Year season.
Visit www.facebook.com/CarlsbergSingapore for more information.