Get ready to update your Instagram feed — i Light Singapore returns in full force from 3 to 26 June at the Marina Bay precinct.
After a two-year hiatus, Asia’s leading light art festival, organised by the Urban Redevelopment Board and presented by DBS, features 20 captivating works of art from local and international artists that revolve around sustainability.
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“With each edition of i Light Singapore, we constantly seek to inject fresh ideas and introduce new experiences for visitors,” says URA Spokesperson and Festival Director, Jason Chen.
For the first time in the festival’s history, data is transformed into art through artificial intelligence and machine learning. “MOTHEREARTH ClimateChange Data Sculpture” by OUCHHH Studio – a spectacle of moving lights, colours and sounds – was engineered from a pool of local environmental data collected over the last 40 years.
“We strive to question the truths behind today’s most accepted beliefs in science, technology, artiﬁcial intelligence, and natural phenomena. Different sets of environmental data such as air quality, CO2 transmissions and city traffic are translated onto the face of the ArtScience Museum,” says OUCHHH Studio’s New Media Director Ferdi Alici.
While technology has advanced over the years, turning zeros and ones into art isn’t easy. Alici shares that the studio had to analyse and clean thousands of data before working on the visuals.
Being the first festival since the pandemic, it is only natural to have an artwork dedicated to our collective experience forged over the last two years.
“‘Alone Together’ is an interactive projection inspired by scenes of housing estates in Singapore, and captures vignettes of personal moments that tell a story of people’s lives when they were confined to their homes,” says Chen.
He adds: “Visitors are invited to become part of this shared memory through real-time interaction using their own mobile phones.”
By scanning the QR code close to the installation by US-based artists Ping Lim and Ian Grossberg, visitors can choose a particular action for the avatars to perform such as exercising, working and dancing.
Interactivity is another key element of this year’s festival, with several installations needing audience participation.
Mirroring the physics of a seesaw, “Here and There” encourages strangers to work together to achieve perfect balance that will cause the surrounding bulbs to light up to their fullest potential.
“The main message is to keep harmony in this problematic society that we are living in. The balancing act represents a microcosm – a miniature version of the world,” says the creator, Japanese artist Eiji Sumi.
Similarly, “Light Canvas” by art collective Trial & Error empowers the public to use the torch lights on their phones to create temporary light drawings. This turns the participants into one of the main sources of energy for the installation.
“The handphone is a universal device and when looked at as a whole, takes up a large energy footprint, which is fitting to our concept of having the user donate light to the canvas,” says Jeremy Lin, Creative Director of Trial & Error.
The art collective has also engaged a string of florists, illustrators, calligraphers and dancers to host a series of performances throughout the month to showcase the many possibilities that the canvas has to offer.
Spanning from the ArtScience Museum to Esplanade Park, there aren’t any specific routes to take for you to soak in every installation. Even familiar hangouts such as The Promontory have been transformed with 500 fluttering lights that culminate to form the mesmerising “Firefly Field” by TOER, a Netherlands-based design studio.
Walking along the entire bay will work up an appetite, so head over to Gastrobeats located beside Marina Bay Sands’ Black Tap restaurant exit to feast on local hawker fare and dishes by acclaimed master chefs such as Sarah Todd, Genevieve Lee and Derek Cheong.
The festival also has a line-up of fun programmes for families and friends to enjoy while learning more on sustainability topics. A pontoon, named “Lightwave: Isle of Light” empowered by OPPO, located near the boardwalk has been specially constructed to house a couple of installations that provide a multi-sensorial experience.
“With the diverse range of artworks and programmes, we hope to delight and engage festival-goers, while also encouraging them to reflect on their individual relationships with the environment, and inspire them to adopt environmentally-friendly habits in their everyday lives,” says Chen.
i Light Singapore 2022 powers on daily from 7.30 to 11.30pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. For more information, click here.