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Artist Bilal Asif works on his studio in Karachi. -AFP

Sharpen up: Karachi artist aims for world record with pencil swing

Bilal Asif plans to register his work for the Guinness Book of World Records by January.
Published Oct 10, 2018 09:02pm

With a sharp eye for detail, Bilal Asif carefully labours over his quest for a pointedly unusual world record — crafting the largest swing ever made from pencils.

Asif combs over his creation inside his studio in Karachi, fine-tuning details with a razor blade and mulling new decorative additions.

“My main objective was not only to make the pencil swing but I aspired to make it with as much creativity as I could,” said the artist.

In this October 4, 2018, photo, artist Bilal Asif poses for a photograph with his pencils art work at his studio in Karachi. — AFP
In this October 4, 2018, photo, artist Bilal Asif poses for a photograph with his pencils art work at his studio in Karachi. — AFP

Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio. — AFP
Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio. — AFP

Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio. — AFP
Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio. — AFP

By January, Asif plans to register his work for the Guinness Book of World Records. He has used up to 30,000 pencils in total, cut into more than 100,000 pieces.

The swing rests on massive posts resembling pencils, while colourful pastel designs give the structure a touch of South Asian flamboyance, drawing striking similarities to the artwork decorating the ubiquitous “jingle trucks” that barrel down roads across Pakistan.

The achievement would cement a goal sketched out since Asif's youth, when he began collecting pencils from all over the world.

“Some people criticise my work but I don't react to them,” he said.

Bilal Asif fine-tunes his creation at his studio in Karachi. — AFP
Bilal Asif fine-tunes his creation at his studio in Karachi. — AFP

By January, Asif plans to register his work for the Guinness Book of World Records. — AFP
By January, Asif plans to register his work for the Guinness Book of World Records. — AFP

He likes to point out that the swing is not just about breaking records, drawing a line between his art and his quest to promote friendship abroad.

"This is not only a world record but this is a message of peace from the whole Pakistan to the other countries through this art," Asif adds. "This is my aim."

Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio in Karachi. — AFP
Bilal Asif works on his pencils artwork at his studio in Karachi. — AFP