By The Nation
MORE THAN 30 “sustainable” light-art installations are going to illuminate the city for i Light Singapore Bicentennial Edition from January 28 to February 24, which will have as its theme “Bridges of Time”.
And artists from 14 countries will be pooling talents for a spectacular multimedia show.
The 2019 edition of the light-art festival delves into the topic of connectivity while reflecting on Singapore’s history, growth and relationships with the world over the last 700 years.
At the same time, the artworks aim to inspire all to come together for a sustainable future. The events will span Marina Bay as well as the historical Civic District, Singapore River and Raffles Terrace at Fort Canning Park.
The story of Singapore takes centre stage in many of the artworks.
Cenotaph for a Stone by National University of Singapore
For instance, students from the National University of Singapore, who emerged first in the inaugural i Light Student Award with “Cenotaph for a Stone”, seek to illustrate the destruction of the Singapore Stone in 1843.
While appearing in its entirety as a “faux” stone in frontal view, the installation at Waterboat House Garden will intrigue viewers with its deliberate arrangement of 51 rock fragments and timed, cascading lighting effect that mimics an explosion.
Visitors will also get to see a 3D light- and water-based hologram of sailboats on the Marina Bay waterfront promenade presented by Studio Biangle from Estonia.
Titled “Sails Aloft”, the large-scale installation recreates vessels inspired by the sampan panjang, a colloquial term for a long dwelling boat used by the early immigrants to Singapore (Orang laut – “sea people” in the Malay language).
Appearing only after darkness falls, the hologram wavers with the movement of the wind to exude a dreamy ambience, and creates a snapshot of a 19th-century sailboat race in the region.
On the Singapore River, Belgian group ACTLD will tell the story of the timeless journey of travellers who discovered Singapore over the years through an immersive multimedia show titled “Bridges of Time”, which will enchant the audience nightly with lights, lasers, music and projections on water.
For the first time, artworks will be installed on six bridges over the river and at Marina Bay – the Elgin, Cavenagh, Anderson, Esplanade, Jubilee and Helix bridges.
Collectively, the artworks inspire hope and optimism as we acknowledge the past and celebrate our present, while looking to the future. It will spark conversations on the development of Singapore and the world around us.
Raffles Terrace was the residence of a long line of governors, including Sir Stamford Raffles. The area became an important communication centre after the British established a port there in 1819.
Fort Canning itself has a longer history – it was known as Bukit Larangan prior to 1822, where the ancient kings of the Singapura Kingdom are believed buried. By extending the festival to Fort Canning Park, visitors can explore and better appreciate the historic area while enjoying the light-art installations.
They’ll be welcomed by Taiwanese artist Dr Huang Chin Fu’s “Land-pass Bird”, where 30 birds with fluorescent blue feathers will perch in the trees that line the staircase from the foot of the park to Raffles Terrace.
Keys of Light by Mr.Beam
At Raffles Terrace itself, artist Mr Beam from the Netherlands will invite people to interact with his piano installation “Keys of Light”, which reacts to each note played on the piano and triggers captivating animations in the surrounding environment.
DP Architects of Singapore will show “Why Green?” at the Marina Bay Event Square, an immersive installation of 3D-printed plant species inspired by the landscape of Singapore.
Time Traveller by Eko Agus Prawoto
At Clifford Square, “Time Traveller” by Indonesian artist Eko Agus Prawoto is inspired by bamboo fish traps used in the past, evoking collective memories among the communities in this fast-changing era.
Standing tall between One Fullerton – a result of development of the new city and Clifford Pier – the old landing point for travellers who arrived in Singapore via sea, the artwork also serves as a bridge between the old and new, and between generations.
In partnership with Lux Light Festival in New Zealand, one of three overseas collaborations, i Light Singapore will also have “Facey Thing” by UJI Studios at One Marina Boulevard.
This installation is a fun and satirical celebration of the coming together of selfie culture and universal surveillance to create hyper-real simulated images of ourselves through the art of play. As visitors come into view of the camera, they can interact creatively with their pictures taken on-site by virtually painting with their faces.
“This special edition is especially meaningful as it forms part of the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration,” says festival director Jason Chen. “The artwork line-up collectively reflects our desire to bridge people, cultures and ideas through art and sustainability.
“The light-art installations will be strategically placed along the festival route to take everyone on the development journey of Singapore since the arrival of its earliest communities.”
Let It Glow
The i Light Singapore Bicentennial Edition takes place from January 28 to February 24, daily from 7.30pm to 11pm, until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. General admission is free. Visit www.iLightSingapore.sg for more information.