Ordinarily, we'd call this procrastination. But what Kaanchi Chopra did while she should have been reading her chemistry textbook is incredible.
Shami Sivasubramanian

9 Jun 2016 - 10:37 AM  UPDATED 9 Jun 2016 - 10:38 AM

What do you do when you're sick of studying for your Year 12 chemistry exam? Turn the Periodic Table into a powerful and thought-provoking art piece, of course!

Well that's exactly what 17-year-old Kaanchi Chopra did. The Delhi-based student took to her personal blog to share a photoshopped Periodic Table of Elements which lists 90 global issues instead of elements of matter.

"In this entire rote learning process," reads Chopra's blog, as she describes how the idea for the project came to her, "I found something different and probably something as meaningful as those elements. I realised that each and every symbol of the elements in the Periodic Table was an acronym of a global issue. It could be expanded to form a word which represented one of humanity’s worst vices."

These global issues include mental health disorders, political shortcomings, and human vices with dire consequences. Chopra goes on to single out a few of these, lists their meanings, related statistics, and for some of them, possible solutions.

"A few words in the table also represent the various movements and social issues which have gained a lot of attention in recent times. The major reason for adding these issues was to encourage people to become more inclusive and talk about these movements and rights more openly," Chopra tells SBS.

Chopra finds the best way to start these conversations is through art.

"I believe that drawing has the ability to do what human eye can’t. Doodles are a representation of what my mind thinks subconsciously, they are like my brain’s DNA," she says.

This isn't Chopra's first foray into the world of "artivism". Her blog features other art projects which tackle a range of issues including body positivity, acid attacks, depression, and poverty.

"I am passionate about using art for social good and have been doing this for the past seven years. So every illustration I make has a moral, some meaning and a message linked to it. It is capable of driving social change and awareness," she says.

Chopra intends to make artivism her living, and plans to "pursue either design or computer science" after high school to further develop her visual art skills.

Ordinarily, we'd call works like 'The Periodic Table of 90 Global Issues' procrastination. But what Chopra has created when she should have been reading her chemistry textbook is something far more powerful for the world to see.