President Tony Tan helps memory artist to sketch Singapore's cityscape

President Tony Tan visits British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic savant who has been commissioned by SPH to draw Singapore's cityscape for SPH's 30th anniversary. The drawing will be given to Singapore for its 50th birthday. -- S
President Tony Tan visits British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic savant who has been commissioned by SPH to draw Singapore's cityscape for SPH's 30th anniversary. The drawing will be given to Singapore for its 50th birthday. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Under the guidance of British artist Stephen Wiltshire, President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday added a few pen strokes to a building - part of a panoramic drawing of the Singapore cityscape. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Under the guidance of British artist Stephen Wiltshire, President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday added a few pen strokes to a building - part of a panoramic drawing of the Singapore cityscape. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Under the guidance of British artist Stephen Wiltshire, President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday added a few pen strokes to a building - part of a panoramic drawing of the Singapore cityscape. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Under the guidance of British artist Stephen Wiltshire, President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday added a few pen strokes to a building - part of a panoramic drawing of the Singapore cityscape. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Under the guidance of British artist Stephen Wiltshire, President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday added a few pen strokes to a building - part of a panoramic drawing of the Singapore cityscape.

The President was visiting Mr Wiltshire at Paragon shopping mall, where the latter has spent the past two days sketching the city from memory. He took an hour-long helicopter ride on Tuesday to get an aerial view of Singapore's skyline.

Accompanying the president was British High Commissioner Antony Phillipson, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) chairman Peter Ho, URA chief executive Ng Lang and National Heritage Board chief executive Rosa Daniel.

Crowds gathered at Paragon's main atrium to watch Mr Wiltshire in action and to view an exhibition featuring 18 of his famous works, such as sketches of cityscapes and landmarks in London, New York, Venice and Rio de Janeiro.

Diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, Mr Wiltshire is acclaimed for his ability to draw detailed cityscapes from memory after viewing them once.

He is in Singapore for the See The Big Picture project, which is part of Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) 30th anniversary celebrations.

By 4pm, Mr Wiltshire had added the Marina Bay Financial Centre to the 4m by 1m canvas. He had completed drawing Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands the previous day.

Mr Wiltshire will be at Paragon drawing in full view of the public from 10am to 5pm every day until Sunday, which is when he is slated to complete the artwork.

The finished work picture will be presented to President Tony Tan Keng Yam in September as a gift to Singapore for the nation's 50th birthday next year.

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