Singapore Kite Festival: 'Durian' kites try to take to the skies at Marina Bay

Singapore Kite Festival: 'Durian' kites try to take to the skies at Marina Bay
Giant 'durian' kite at the Singapore Kite Festival on August 23, 2014.

They may catch the eye, but these kites' handlers would likely have preferred that they caught the wind under the unpredictable weather conditions on Aug 23, 2014.


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Giant kites to take to the skies

By Cheryl Mui

Master kite-maker Arnaldo Mazzetto's pieces have travelled far and wide and graced numerous international festivals.

This month, the Italian's works of art bring him to Singapore. Mr Mazzetto, 61, will showcase his handmade kites in a special exhibition at the annual NTUC Income Kite Festival Singapore 2014 presented by Act 3 International at The Promontory @ Marina Bay this weekend.

Mr Mazzetto, who has been making kites for three decades, will also be conducting workshops on kite-making.

His grandfather taught him how to make a kite in their hometown of Este in northern Italy when he was seven.

But it was not until much later in his life when he had his own family that he turned kite-making into a serious hobby and, eventually, a profession.

Thirty years ago, when his daughter was seven, he made a kite with her. Since then, he has created about 300 kites, including 10 giant ones. The giant kites will be displayed at the Kite Festival.

Geometrically designed with vibrant hues, the three-dimensional kites are a visual spectacle when airborne.

They span at least 3m in diameter and 10 to 12m in circumference and are put together with 4km of sewing thread. Mr Mazzetto says he makes the kites without help, though he does have a business partner.

As each giant kite takes about 400 hours of work, he produces just one a year. "The biggest challenge is in the planning," he tells Life!.

"I work on one part of the kite at a time and can see the whole kite only after it is done and assembled."

He loves the feeling of seeing his kites take off from the ground and sweep gracefully across the sky.

"When the kites fly, it feels like I'm flying too," he says excitedly, pointing to the sky.

Mr Mazzetto, who still lives in Este with his wife, 59, and 37-year-old daughter, teaches schoolchildren how to make kites on weekends.

His business partner and fellow kite-maker is Gianni Bariselli, 57. Mr Mazzetto has travelled to many festivals in countries such as Germany, Canada and Thailand.

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