PEOPLE – MARK YONG
CHAIRMAN OF SINGAPLURAL AND MARKETING DIRECTOR OF EWINS
Chairman of Singaplural and marketing director of Ewins.
Singapore is a good conduit for Asean designers and the global audience.
Things are really picking up for the design scene in the Asean region, Mark Yong confidently remarks. As the marketing director of furniture fittings company Ewins, his work brings him into contact with European suppliers. They started probing him about business opportunities within South-east Asia a couple of years ago, and interest has been high. At the same time, companies based in our neighbouring countries are looking to Singapore as a platform to reach out to the global audience. “I’m like a matchmaker now,” he confesses jovially.
That is exactly what Singaplural, a weeklong design event hosted by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, which showcases the different disciplines of design, aims to do.
“To take Singapore’s design to an international level, a unique branding is needed. We cannot rely on our former reputation as original equipment manufacturers, because we’ll lose out in the price game – we need something unique in order to compete,” says Mark, who is chairing Singaplural’s organising committee this year.
As the anchor event of Singapore Design Week, Singaplural’s fourth edition will see design installations, talks, tours and exhibitions consolidated at a singular venue. It was also designed to reach out to the masses and celebrate the beauty of design.
“There’s going to be a real festival atmosphere down at the site!” Mark quips, revealing that performance artists, as well as creative food and beverage vendors, will be part of the festivity.
He laments that local businesses do not yet readily invest in design to propel their businesses to greater heights, such as those in Japan and South Korea. Yet, he is optimistic that as the design industry here matures, it won’t be too long before the public respects and appreciates the essence of design.
ABOVE, LEFT Although Mark graduated with a business degree, his interest lies in design, especially typography.
text MAVIS ANG photography ZAPHS ZHANG art direction YEW XIN YI BELOW Formerly the Central Police Station, this iconic building on Beach Road will be home to Singaplural.