A strong line-up of 28 sustainable light art installations by local and international artists will bring greater variety and interactivity for festival-goers of i Light Marina Bay 2014. The entire event ground is huge. Unless you have been taking regular long walks or coming on a bicycle, you would probably want to shortlist your preferred installations. We will cover some of the more interesting art installations for you to check out their position on the festival map below.
Headlining the Festival are seven installations by invited artists, such as Celebration of Life by local artist Justin Lee, a 3 minutes plus projection piece on the ArtScience Museum façade that is a playful commentary on the role and value of traditional culture in our contemporary society.
1.26 Singapore created by US-based Janet Echelman, a large floating, fluid sculpture that imagines the force of nature of a tsunami created by the 2010 earthquake in Chile and resulted in the shortening of earth’s day by 1.26 microseconds,
and CLOUD by Caitlind Brown and Wayne Garrett from Canada, an interactive sculpture comprising 5,000 new and recycled light bulbs. This is a must see!
This year, the Festival features a strong local line-up with about half, or 13 of the installations created by local artists. For the first time, the Festival will showcase installations by the Singapore University of Design and Technology (SUTD) and students from the Republic Polytechnic (RP). iSwarm, presented by SUTD, reacts to groups of visitors by detecting human presence and responds with its light pattern in the waters of Marina Bay.
A Land of Reverie, a drawing using fluorescent paint and UV lighting created by Sheryl Ng and Nigel Ho from Republic Polytechnic, seeks to inspire visitors to play their part in creating an eco- friendly environment.
Five other local schools, Temasek Junior College, St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, Victoria School, Dunman High School and Singapore Polytechnic, have also come on board for the first time this year. #WeHeartLight, an installation by Light Collective from the United Kingdom, gathers the students to make simple light boxes that will be assembled together to form the final art work. Done through a series of workshops, the process of constructing this installation emphasises the importance of educating our future generation on sustainability.
Mimosa is one of my favourites. It is an interactive artwork displaying behaviour that mimics responsive plant systems. The piece was inspired by the Mimosa family of plants, which change kinetically to suit their environmental conditions. The studio used the slim form of individual organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to represent the delicate light petals of flowers, which appear to dance with its petals opening and closing in response to visitors’ hand movements. This installation presents a perfect combination of art and technology, where the most innovative lighting technology – OLED – is integrated into a dynamic installation that reacts to people’s hand motions, forming a magical experience. This is super cool for techies.
The Wishing! Tree represents the positive hopes and dreams of visitors wishing the best for our world. It encourages everyone to imagine what their perfect world could be like and wish for it on the tree.
The Pool is an group of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. By entering The Pool, visitors enter a world where play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively. This installation is best enjoyed and is most beautiful when a group of people play with the different pads together. Kids love this!
Vertical Submarine created this installation featuring a huge arrow-shaped signboard lit up by neon lights pointing towards the ground with yellow letters reading: NO GOLD BURIED HERE. The work alludes to a Chinese Idiom about a fool who tries to hide his gold, but made its hiding-place even more conspicuous by erecting a sign on its burial spot disclaiming its existence.
The Guardian Angels echoes the preservation of the garden and plants and by extension, nature. It highlights the role of the human and pays an indirect tribute to gardeners and artificially created nature. The work also points out that the growth of plants and trees is only possible with the contribution of three natural elements: light (sun), water and earth. The transformation of an everyday industrial item into a poetic object stops and challenges the passer-by. Unexpected and surprising, these watering-lanterns are a gesture of protection to our environment, but also a suggestion to give a second life to an object after use.
Happy Croco sees a luminous 20m long sculpture, whose backbone is made of traffic cones. This urban crocodile uses two types of LEDs and low energy light bulbs. It is a puzzle made up of different objects; a playful and funny installation that carries a heavier but clear significance. Happy Croco is both a work of land art, design, a light source and a visual art installation. This installation’s relation to the theme comes from the delightful crocodile that the artist brings into the city, but upon closer examination, it is made from our everyday discarded items that have been given a new lease of, and a most delightful, life.
Floating Hearts is presented as a wall of illuminated hearts, which invites people to play with it to form new visual spectacles with each contact. With its scale and tactile method of engagement, this unique installation also provides an interesting situation where everyone, whether strangers or families, can come together to interact, dialogue, and be delighted.
Translucent shapes displayed slowly throb with a relaxed light pulse to draw attention. As the intrigued mind approaches the objects, an instinctive impulse to touch prevails, stimulating the object to respond. Answering visually, the object intensifies and adopts a human heart beat light pulse. Once visitors interact and get together, the installation is synchronised, becoming a single thoughtful act where it glows as a single BEAT. The installation is designed to be inclusive, fun and light-hearted while promoting a sustainable message – “It only takes one to initiate change and collectively, change can be realised”.
Raising awareness of sustainability through art
Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the three-week Festival raises awareness on environmental sustainability issues through the theme ‘Light+HeART’. From 7 to 30 March, visitors can enjoy a visual feast specially curated by a three-member team from ONG&ONG.
Co-curator Ms Ong Swee Hong said, “Art is not passive; it has its own unique way of highlighting key social issues. Each installation in i Light Marina Bay 2014 acts as an agent of change, encouraging visitors to take action and make a difference in their own ways. With more installations that visitors can interact with, we hope to drive across the important message of having ‘heart’ for our environment, while creating a world-class platform for local emerging talents.”
Sustainability is a common theme for all 28 art works, which are further categorised into four genres:
– Interactivity through Collaborations: Through the use of technology, these artworks question how humans behave in the environment and how we interact with light;
– Collective is Strength: These artworks show the beauty of strength in unity, through the components of the installation or a group’s interaction with the installations to create symphonies of light;
– Questioning Different Dimensions of Nature through our Hearts: Inspired by nature, these artworks relate to elements of nature, allowing visitors to see them in a different ‘light’; and
– Sustaining Future Local Talents: i Light Marina Bay continues to be a platform for emerging local artists to showcase their artworks.
A platform for knowledge sharing on sustainable light art
The Festival will gather thought-leaders of sustainable light art and provide a knowledge exchange platform for its contributing participants and festival goers.
Visitors can look forward to a series of dialogues and forums by speakers like sociologist and art researcher Dr Sacha Kagan, TED speaker Professor Toby Cumberbatch, as well as local and international artists participating in the Festival, who will share their perspectives on light and art in today’s world.
i Light Marina Bay 2014 will open nightly from 7 to 30 March 2014, 7.30pm to 11pm, around the Marina Bay waterfront. Admission is free. For more information, please visit www.ilightmarinabay.sg.