Team Singapore’s Joseph Schooling among the first to submit his self-portrait online
The self-portrait movement in Singapore takes on exciting digital dimensions with the launch of National Gallery Singapore’s Portraits of the People website.
Sketching one’s own portrait has becoming increasingly popular judging from the public’s participation at various ongoing Portraits of the People events island-wide. The newly unveiled website, www.portraitsofthepeople.sg now provides a new avenue for people to sketch, submit their self-portraits and reflect on what it means to be part of the community that helped build Singapore.
Portraits of the People is the Gallery’s community engagement programme which celebrates Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. These unique self-sketches will eventually be curated and etched onto the Art Connector, a 290-metre permanent commemorative walkway which stretches from the exit of the City Hall MRT station to the entrance of the Gallery at Coleman Street.
Expanding the self-portrait movement
The dedicated website widens the Gallery’s outreach efforts by enabling the public to conveniently participate in Portraits of the People easily from the comfort of home.
Anyone can contribute their self-portrait from a desktop or laptop. Participants can opt to take a photograph of themselves with a web camera or choose to use a favourite photograph. This photograph will serve as reference for participants to sketch their self-portrait.
Taking Portraits of the People online also means that Singaporeans living overseas can now participate and be represented in this distinctive SG50 initiative from anywhere on the globe.
National swimmer and Asian Games gold medallist Joseph Schooling, who is based in the United States, is among the first to try out the Gallery’s new website. He said: “I’m not always in Singapore, so I’m really happy that this website allows overseas Singaporeans like me to be involved in SG50 festivities, even while I’m away from home.”
Since the campaign was announced in November 2014 by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Chairman of the SG50 Programme Office, thousands of individuals and families from a wide cross-section of Singapore society have participated in Portraits of the People.
They include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and well-known personalities like MediaCorp artistes Joanne Peh and local musician Sara Wee. The youngest participant to date is Singaporean Ke Hanqi, who was under a month old. The infant was accompanied by a guardian during the sketching process.
A repository and a source of inspiration
The new website serves as a repository for the thousands of self-portraits and personal reflections on the National Pledge that will be collected over a seven-month period ending in May 2015. Here, visitors can zone in on their own submission by keying in their names, as well as scanning over the other self-portraits of other participants.
Steps for submission
- Participants first need to access the website using their desktop or laptop. On-screen instructions guide participants on how to get started. If their computer has a built-in camera, participants can take a ‘selfie’ of themselves. Alternatively, they can upload an existing photograph of themselves.
(Please use Google Chrome browsers, with a minimum resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels.)
- Next, using the digital drawing tools provided, participants start to self-sketch. This is done by simply tracing the outlines of their face and features. There is also the option to ‘hide’ the photo to provide a clearer idea of how the finished self-portrait will look like. Participants then fill out the details until they are satisfied with their sketch.
- Once done with their self-portrait, participants select and reflect on a verse from the National Pledge which resonates best with them, and add their personal commentary.
- After reviewing the entry, participants proceed to finalise and submit their self-portrait. A “Thank you for your submission” message will be displayed, indicating that your submission has successfully been entered into the system.
To try your hand at your very own self-portrait, visit www.portraitsofthepeople.sg today!