Mark Ong of SBTG, world famous sneaker customizer, talks passion in the campaign for Visit Singapore.
Featured photo: Visit Singapore
Mark Ong of SBTG, a brand name synonymous with hand painted customized sneakers, stars in Visit Singapore’s latest campaign focusing on Singaporeans in pursuit of their passion.
In the revealing 4-minute video, Mark talks about his art, how he got into sneaker customization, and his love for skating.
He speaks candidly of his parents’ dreams of him becoming a doctor or a lawyer – an aspiration that was never his, and an ideal that he resented.
“It was back then when I found out that I hated to conform to what people are drawn towards,” he says.
It was an inner energy he wanted to express that led Mark to art and design. But not before trying his hand at music and pro skateboarding, both of which didn’t work out eventually.
It has been 14 years since Mark started his punk and militia inspired brand, SBTG, and it has come a long way. Its designs have earned the attention of celebrities such as Kobe Bryant and Mike Shinoda. Today, the SBTG studio keeps busy working on collaboration sneakers with brands and fulfilling orders – 90% of which are from customers in the US.
Towards the end of the video, Mark’s father, Max Ong, makes an appearance to endorse his son’s work.
“I’m happy [with] what he is doing and I’m proud of him,” says Ong.
Another passion of Mark’s is skateboarding. Apart from it being a reason to explore scenic skate spots around Singapore, he sees it as a metaphor for the pursuit of passion.
“We’re always failing and always falling,” he says. Skateboarding teaches him to be “comfortable with failure”.