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Athletes and artists come together to revitalise popular Singapore skate park

Athletes and artists come together to revitalise popular Singapore skate park
May 27, 2024
Arts / Events / Sport /

Singaporean and French athletes and artists have come together for a two day event held 25th to 26th May to revitalise Singapore’s 18-year-old Somerset Skate Park in the heart of Orchard Road.

In the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the Embassy of France in Singapore organised the special two-day celebration of sports and arts aptly titled Artletics - making it among the first celebratory events organised around the world to drum up excitement for the global sports meet.

In collaboration with local partner Art Outreach and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the event saw urban sports athletes and urban artists from both countries converge at Somerset Skate Park to immerse Singaporeans in a joint showcase of their talents.

The event's focus on urban sports gave a nod to the inclusion of the category into the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which includes sports like BMX, skateboarding and breaking. It also runs parallel to the plans to transform the Place de la Concorde in Paris into an urban sports space. The unique collaboration also serves as a bridge between France and Singapore, deepening cultural ties through a shared passion for artistic expression and athleticism.

Ambassador of France to Singapore Her Excellency Minh-di Tang noted “'Artletics embodies the spirit of street culture and celebrates artists and athletes striving for excellence, creativity and team spirit in the city where they leave lasting legacies and drive positive change in society. These core values pay homage to what the Olympic Games stand for, which France is hosting for the third time this year. Through Artletics, we want to showcase the best of French and Singaporean artistry, athleticism and sportsmanship, strengthening the cross-cultural partnerships our countries have enjoyed for many years."

Artletics caps off a month-long line up of programmes under the vOilah! France Singapore Festival - an annual cultural festival organised by the Embassy of France in Singapore to demonstrate French creativity and innovation through the power of cross-cultural collaborations.

Three visual artists from Singapore - Zero, Spaz, and Simpleproblembeings - worked alongside French muralist Elsa Martino and graffiti artist Kekli to enliven the space by decorating the walls and the ramps of the skate park with vibrant designs. Supported by Singapore's urban art collective RSCLS, these artists also will lead the public in engaging art jam sessions to partake in a collaboration of community artwork.

First to utilise the redecorated space were French skateboarding athlete Max Berguin, Champion of the France Street Skateboard 2023 and Singaporean urban sport communities in the field of skateboarding, breaking, BMX, bike trials, parkour and yo-yo who will be displaying their talents to spectators.

The event also featured adrenaline-inducing urban sports showcases, opportunities for the public to take part in workshops conducted by local urban sports groups, as well as music sets in the evening by Singaporean DJs Kiat and Intriguant.

Mae Anderson, Chairman of Art Outreach enthused "Artletics is a vibrant celebration of the creative spirit that bridges French and Singaporean cultures through youth, urban sports and art. We are thrilled to see French and Singaporean artists and skateboarders come together, transforming Somerset Skate Park into a collaborative canvas. We hope this event serves as a great opportunity for everyone to experience the power of art, athletics, while fostering a sense of belonging, inclusion and community spirit."

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Image top: The transformed Somerset Skate Park in Singapore hosted exhilarating showcases by urban sports athletes and practitioners from Singapore and France, including Max Berguin, the champion of the France Street Skateboard 2023; Image above: Singapore's Somerset Skate Park transformed with artworks by Singaporean and French artists as part of Artletics - one of the first celebratory events globally to create excitement for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games (Images courtesy of Embassy of France in Singapore)

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