For the joy of balloons
PENTOR REMEMBERS being seven-years old when he first saw a man at the shopping mall in Bangkok twisting a balloon into the shape of a dog. He wanted to get one so much but the queue for the balloonist was too long as there were a lot of people wanting to get one too. Disappointment washed over him when his parents dragged him back home.
Now more than 20 years later, Thai-born Pentor, 31, is part of the team of balloonists setting up the Joy to the World of Balloons exhibit at Boulevard Shopping Mall hoping to break the record in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) for largest Christmas-themed landscape made of balloons.
On December 18, the team of 30 balloonists from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore started setting up at the shopping mall, their target date of completion being December 21.
At first, they set their target at 70,000 balloons, but over the course of the last two days, they set the bar even higher to 100,000 balloons. When they are done, they will have made the biggest – and first – balloon landscape ever in Malaysia.
In collaboration with Boulevard Shopping Mall, De Jackie Inspiration manager Jackie Tan was excited to inform that this was the first time such a record would have been made and even more remarkable, that Kuching would be the first place to do it.
Tan said that this occasion would be an eye opener for Kuching as it has never been done this big before.
Led by renowned ‘Balloon Man’ Chen Yi Wei, her mentor from Taiwan and the producer of this production, the team promises to deliver a spectacular and mesmerising result for the people to see this Saturday consisting of grand Christmas elements, fashions shows with dresses as well as costumes all made out of balloons and balloon twisting sessions open to the public.
Chen, 32, has been a balloonist for 10 years now and he started because he thought balloons were fun to work with. So, he first started with charity work for children until eventually the idea of ballooning grew bigger and he opened up a workshop and gaining students.
He has won multiple awards since his first appearance in the international competition and has made his name into the Balloon Artist World Champion list.
He has also participated in the Guinness World Record breaking event in Singapore by creating the largest three-dimensional balloon sculpture using 79,854 balloons.
A dedicated mentor and teacher, the balloonist is extremely quality-conscious about his work and he always makes sure that his students thoroughly learn the techniques he passes on to them.
To create this record setting event, the team worked tirelessly and dedicated their time and efforts under Chen’s strict supervision.
According to Tan, every balloon is measured to ensure uniformity and skillfully arranged by the team members.
Even in the midst of working, though, the team had fun decorating and seeing things come together. The team said that their work has been bringing joy, laughter and happiness to the people especially the children when they see it.
Tan, whose family members, including her 83-year-old mother who had to undergo surgery earlier this year due to complications from diabetes have been taking part creating balloon sculptures. “She took (the surgery) so well and the work of balloon-twisting has given her joy.”
Tan’s parents have been supporting and helping her with her work.
Aside from setting a record in MBR, the team along with Boulevard Shopping Mall is actually doing a good cause with all proceeds going to charity.
So, in the spirit of Christmas, why not head on to Boulevard Shopping Mall on Dec 21 at 11 am to witness the record setting event. Just make sure not to pop the balloons though!