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Asian Art Museum sets record with giant human flower

Putting the petal to the metal

San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is in the mood for love this summer too, and they showed it by assembling thousands of people in plastic pink and green ponchos in front of City Hall to beat an obscure world record. Of course.

That was the scene on Saturday as locals gathered to top the standing Guinness World Records’ title for “largest human flower,” which is to say, biggest crowd of people assembled in the rough shape of a blossom as viewed from the air.

Why a human flower? Via a press release, museum spokesperson Maggie Kaprosch said that the giant lotus shape represented “serenity, incorruptibility, and non-violence in the face of adversity.”

More to the point, it promotes the museum’s new exhibition “Flower Power,” which is really about actual flowers in Asian art traditions rather than about San Francisco’s Summer of Love.

The final headcount, according to San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu who was on hand tally, was 2,405.

In the weeks leading up to Saturday the museum estimated a larger showing of at least 3,000 people, but the smaller figure was still enough to beat the previous record, according to the Guinness World Records site:

The largest human flower was made up of 2,297 participants, organised by the Rochester Lilac Festival (USA) at Highland Park in Rochester, New York, USA, on 9 May 2014. The flower, in the shape of a lilac bloom, was created to celebrate the opening day of the annual Lilac Festival.

The museum showed off its record certificate via Twitter later that day.

Of course, the crowd size only counted for anything if they managed to actually form the rough shape of a flower, but just to dispel any doubters Mayor Ed Lee posted the video evidence to Instagram:

Yesterday, #SF's @AsianArtMuseum brought art to life by creating the world's largest human flower! #LotusLive #GWR

A post shared by Mayor Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) on