TODAY, 14 September 2017, Park yourselves in front of art exhibitions on PARK Day 2017 (http://www.todayonline.com/entertainment/park-yourselves-front-art-exhibitions-parking-day-2017)

SINGAPORE – Several car parks around the island will be getting makeovers on Saturday (Sept 16). Instead of cars, they will be hosting interactive art exhibitions as part of PARK Day 2017.

The annual event, now in its fifth edition, will see 166 car park lots in Bugis, Kampong Glam, Tiong Bahru and Little India transformed into 85 exhibitions or “parks” – making this the largest PARK Day event in Singapore to date.

The exhibitions by students and members of the public will span various themes and include street furniture, art installations, light-hearted games and interactive arts activities.

“The idea of PARK Day is to give people the right to the city and empower them to transform public spaces,” said Dr Chong Keng Hua, assistant professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

The event is organised by SUTD with the support of URA’s Our Favourite Place programme.

Out of the 85 “parks” created this year, 45 will be by students from eight schools, such as Lasalle College of the Arts, Temasek Polytechnic and St Joseph’s Institution — giving this year’s edition its highest participation rate from schools thus far.

One such exhibition is a musical pinball game by SUTD students titled Grumpy’s Corner, which will let people create their own music by turning pinball knobs and varying the path of marbles.

Another exhibition, Perfect Fit by students from Republic Polytechnic, hopes to get people to play a series of games while wearing ill-fitting shoes, in an attempt to create the experience of being “in someone’s shoes”. Through the course of the games, the painted soles of the shoes will leave colourful footprints on a canvas on the floor, creating a piece of art.

“It has been an extremely satisfying process to be able to turn our ideas into reality. We hope that our PARK can bring about more interactivity among people at Liang Seah Street, and create a platform for additional social bonding,” said Neo Wai San, a second-year Republic Polytechnic student, who was part of the team behind the project.

“Empowering youths to shape our public spaces is particularly fulfilling when they are able to translate their ideas into physical installations for the public to enjoy,” added Dr Chong.

Bicycle-sharing companies, oBike, oFo, Mobike and SG Bike, will also be setting up booths at Tan Quee Lan Street and Sultan Gate to provide 95 bicycles, so visitors can cycle around the precinct for free.

There will also be cycling-related activities, including an obstacle course and a one-minute cycling challenge to burn as many calories as you can.

Streets in Bugis and Kampong Glam areas will also be closed off to traffic for the event.

Singapore first participated in the global event in 2013 when SUTD students transformed four car park lots at MacPherson Estate into community gardens.

URA began supporting the event the following year, as part of the Our Favourite Place programme, which encourages community-initiated projects to transform existing public spaces into active community spaces.

Since then, there have been a total of 259 PARKs set up over the years by participants from all walks of life – including students, community groups and business owners.

For more information about PARK Day 2017, visit www.ourfaveplace.sg/parkingday2017.