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Yassan and Japan Airlines create global message of peace on earth
While a relatively new art form, GPS art is a natural progression stemming from much older very large scale art forms.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- In a truly global work of art, Guinness World Records- holding GPS artist Yassan has created a massive, international work of GPS art around the theme of world peace and in the process, is attempting to break his own Guinness world record for the largest GPS drawing. Japan Airlines Co., Ltd has helped to showcase Yassan’s work in a special holiday video card for the world to share.

With the help of Japan Airlines and its partners including select member airlines of the oneworld® alliance, Yassan’s latest project covered over 65,700 miles (105,734 km) around the globe, beginning in Tokyo and ending in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, while traveling through Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and The Americas and visiting twenty-four cities on six continents, creating a planetary-scale GPS holiday message for the world along the way. The finished piece of GPS art spells “PEACE” across the planet. PEACE on Earth, as it were.

While a relatively new art form, GPS art is a natural progression stemming from much older very large scale art forms. “In tracing the history of GPS art, you can draw a clear line of artistic evolution,” said Yassan, “beginning with the ancient Nazca lines in Peru, through Michael Heizer and his work with motorcycle tracks in the Nevada desert, to Richard Long’s walks through the English countryside, to the modern GPS artists.”

Yassan continues, “Peace on Earth has proven very difficult to achieve, but is, at the heart of it, a very simple concept. I hope that this holiday message can convey this idea to the world.” The world needs Yassan’s message of peace now more than ever, and the opportunity to share it in a holiday—and year-round—celebration of peace.

Following the conclusion of the trip, creative agency STORIES® produced a documentary video holiday card containing images of Yassan’s journey and the people and places he encountered along the way to help send the message of peace around the world.

Through 2008-2009, Yassan created what was the then the world’s largest GPS drawing by spending six months traveling 4,451 miles (7,163.67 km) across Japan in order to propose to his girlfriend. The image spelled out “MARRY ME” across the length and breadth of Japan’s three main islands Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, with a heart covering the northern island of Hokkaido. Fortunately, she accepted his proposal.

In order to create his GPS drawings, Yassan carries an iPhone and GPS tracker that records his GPS location data as he travels. He then uploads this information to create a drawing on a map. On this journey, a video production crew, led by director and STORIES creator client Mark Apicella, accompanied Yassan, documenting the creation of this artwork as well as the artist’s interactions with local people at each of the 33 stops along this epic journey.

To facilitate his journey, JAL provided the itinerary and the means by which Yassan undertook this incredible project. He flew 32 legs of the trip on JAL and JAL’s partner airlines’ flights.

“Yassan met with many wonderful people on his journey, and we feel strongly that people will be connected by this video,” concludes Yasuto Sasaki, Vice President of Corporate Brand Promotion Department of JAL. “This perfectly exemplifies JAL’s goal of connectivity and connecting the world. We hope that through this video, the message of PEACE will spread throughout the world.”

Yassan (Yasushi Takahashi) was born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan in 1977. He graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music (Inter Media Art Course) in 2004. He is interested in geo-located media, and as he began GPS Drawing, his first work was authorized by Guinness World Records (as “the Largest GPS Drawing”). His work has been showcased on television, in magazines, and over 2,000 news and web publications worldwide.

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