Guinness record holder comes back home

GUWAHATI: Apuraj Barooah, an artist from Assam who set the Guinness World Record for drawing the longest piece of scratch art in London last week, is now back to his native state and wants to start a state-level institute to promote his genre of scratch art.

Barooah developed an interesting new technique, which he calls 'bromide scratch art'. This involves scratching bromide paper (photographic paper) with a razor blade to reveal reds, oranges, yellows and whites beneath the exposed black face of the paper.

"I am proud I could represent Assam in the Guinness World Records. I developed this art form accidentally and now want to popularize it. I want to set up a state-level institute to make 'bromide scratch art' popular among the coming generation and seek the support of the Assam government in this," said Barooah, while addressing the media here.

Barooah, a fan of noted painter Nilpawan Baruah and his singer wife, Dipali Borthakur, is currently working on five new scratch paintings that he wants to dedicate to his wife's five most popular tracks. "My next attempt will be to translate the magical songs of my wife, Dipali, into 'bromide scratch art'," he said.

The scratch artist was asked to draw a sketch that would measure at least 20 metre long and 1 metre wide to set the Guinness World Record. His piece also required a continuous theme. "My first piece was a sketch of portraits of some of the legendary figures of United Kingdom. But Guinness rejected my first piece as it did not fulfill the size criteria. I then decided to start a new one with landscapes and folk dances of 40 countries. I finished my piece in 12 hours and later it was selected for the record," he said.

Barooah's final art piece also included Bihu dance. The winning entry depicted a landscape with folk dancers from 40 countries, including India, UK, USA, Spain, Italy, China, Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, France and Thailand. The finished piece measured 20 metre 30 cm in length, and 1 metre 4 cm in width.

Earlier, in 2009, Barooah also registered a record in the Limca Book of Records when he attempted a 'bromide scratch art' piece with figures of 170 dance forms from various countries in the world on a 120 m long and 6 inch wide bromide paper.

Barooah, who was an accountant in a state government office, left his job to continue his life as a promoter of the unique art form.