Housed in the acclaimed ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Sneakertopia: Step Into Street Culture is a dynamic assemblage of global street culture. From exclusive artworks to some of the most historied sneakers, this larger-than-life exhibition is the first of its kind in Asia.
Previously making waves in New York and Los Angeles, Sneakertopia was founded by Emmy Award-winning producer Steve Harris and Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Steve Brown. Birthed from the idea of sharing their collective love for sneakers to the world, this exhibition is set to offer an enthralling experience like no other. With over a hundred limited-edition sneakers from Off White’s collaboration with Nike to the extremely coveted Dior Air Jordan 1s, it’s a sneaker haven for all. Upwards of 70 murals, installations and designs feature a diverse selection of some of the most acclaimed street artists as well as aspiring new faces to watch. Alongside these coveted works are the personal collections of Mandeep Chopra—Founder and CEO of leading sneaker boutique Limited Edt—and award-winning star JJ Lin, whose sneakers are sure to be of interest to many.
Highlighting the efforts of artists such as PHUNK, Inkten, HURUHARA, and Tobyato, as well as designers Josiah Chua, Pek Shun Ping and Mr. Sabotage, the exhibition is a celebration of these multi-disciplinary mavens who have played a pivotal part in building the regional streetwear and sneaker community. As a cherry on top, 13 renowned international creatives including the likes of Michael Murphy, Tommii Lim and McFlyy have shared some of their recognisable works too. The space is divided into 10 immersive zones demarcated by different colours, and allows for visitors to view the exhibits in their desired order.
Whether you are a big sneaker head or simply a fan of hip-hop, sports or pop culture, there is something at Sneakertopia for you. Below, Vogue Singapore has curated a gallery of some of the key exhibits to look out for.
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Drawing inspiration from interactions with people and everyday objects, Dawn Ang’s—better known as ‘Aeropalmics’—work ranges from sizeable handcrafted wood sculptures to playful light installations. Having displayed her pieces at art galleries and festivals worldwide, her stellar resume spans from personal pieces for collector’s to commissioned projects for Google, Facebook and Nike.
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Going by the street moniker ‘Mr. Sabotage’, artist and collector Mark Ong has been in the scene for a long time. Having been immersed in skateboarding and punk culture from a young age, his work melds music and sports influences with 80s America and military motifs. An avid sneaker collector himself, Ong has customised and hand-painted over 10,000 pairs of shoes—worn by industry titans such as Travis Scott, Virgil Abloh, and Stephen Curry amognst many others.
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CEO and co-founder of Sneakertopia, Steve Harris has been an interminable leader in the entertainment industry. Spearheading various major productions from rap videos to documentaries, his influence in pop culture is undeniable. A passionate sneaker head himself, The Dream Closet (2019) is a light-up display of some of his most treasured kicks, arranged to create an optical illusion of an endless closet fantasy for every sneaker lover.
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Tell Your Children (TYC)
Led by creatives, Deon, Russell, Kevin and Lydia, Tell Your Children (TYC) is a Singapore-based creative studio that produces content through illustration and design. TYC is best-known for its bold colours and striking visuals, such as wall art mural on display at Sneakertopia that provides an immersive VR experience for users to interact with using their mobile phone camera. The collective aims to develop a supportive local ecosystem that builds self-expression and innovation, and have hosted self-initiated events and projects in recent years.
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Pek Shun Ping, founder of ALIVEFORM
Previously working in product design and branding for clients such as Procter&Gamble, Macallan and Adidas, Ping’s innate talent and drive for design eventually led him to starting his own footwear brand ‘ALIVEFORM’. The brand focuses on merging fashion with technology today, with their Monstera collection of sneakers made from sustainable materials and 3D printing.
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soph O is a Singaporean visual artist and pseudo-carpenter. Intrigued by how light and colour changes one’s vision and perspective, she explores how paint creates shifts and movements on flat surfaces through layering paint and textures. She has collaborated with Vans in the past to organise public workshops that teach participants using spray and UV paint to design glow-in-the-dark sneakers. Her mural pictured above—titled ‘She’s vanishing but almost remains’ (2022)—illustrates the importance of self-expression and free-flowing creativity within art.
‘Sneakertopia: Step Into Street Culture’ will run from 25 February to 30 July 2023. Tickets are available for purchase at all Marina Bay Sands box offices and website.