The man behind Christmas light-up in Orchard

The man behind Christmas light-up in Orchard
This is the sixth time Mr David Tang's Rich-Art Enterprises, which employs close to 70 people, has won the tender for the Orchard Road Christmas light-up. He says he hopes to attract new blood to the business.

When fresh business graduate David Tang joined his father's events and decorations company 15years ago, he had no idea how to even set up a Christmas tree.

What more a 21m-tall one, which was part of his first project to put up the festive decorations at Raffles City. "It was a nightmare. I couldn't sleep and couldn't eat," said Mr Tang, who lost 8kg in the one month it took to complete the installations.

Now, the 41-year-old is leading a team of over 30 to design and set up one of Singapore's most iconic decoration projects - the Orchard Road Christmas light-up, which will be switched on by President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Saturday.

This is the sixth time his company, Rich-Art Enterprises, has won the tender for the shopping belt's annual makeover - having done the display for a five-year stretch from 2004 to 2008.

Besides the Orchard Road street display, it is also behind the festive decorations this year at Tangs, Ngee Ann City, Changi Airport and at the 110 FairPrice outlets islandwide.

Just like Mr Tang, his company has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1983, when his father, Mr Richard Tang, started out making signs and printing stickers for his first client, department store Isetan.

His father, now 71, had a busy work schedule. Just to spend more time together, he would take his son along as he set up decorations at night. The younger Mr Tang recalled many late dinners and hours sleeping in his father's car, reaching home only around 2am or 3am.

"I would sleep in the car, always have late dinners and go home at 2am or 3am. He'd be setting up at night, and I would be sitting in the car watching him," he said.

But this is a business that goes beyond dollars and cents. It is about touching people and creating memories. When he was 10, his father created a 30m-long illuminated dragon, which was placed on boats in Marina Bay. He does not remember the event it was for, but recalled seeing many people taking photos of it. That was the first time the impact of his father's work hit him.

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