i Light Marina Bay 2016 to Wow Singapore with Innovative Installations

Wander into a sparkling kaleidoscope, dance through a magical harp and paint the cityscape in a mosaic of colour at the touch of your finger, when i Light Marina Bay returns this month with 25 innovative installations. With 14 of the artworks designed by local artists, the fourth edition of Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival will see the highest participation from the local art scene to date.

From 4 to 27 March 2016, i Light Marina Bay 2016, organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), will transform the Marina Bay waterfront into a spectacular outdoor showcase of sustainable light art installations from emerging and world-class local and international artists. Designed based on the theme ‘In Praise of Shadows’, the festival invites visitors to re-imagine the fundamentals, forms and roles of light.

Greater participation from local artists

For the first time, more than half of the festival artworks are designed by local artists and students. This year, festival-goers can look forward to interacting with brighter and larger installations, even as tall as a five-storey building.

SONICtower by Zulkifle Mahmod (All Photos Courtesy of iLight marina Bay 2016)

Local sound-media artist Zulkifle Mahmod’s SONICtower takes the spotlight as the festival’s tallest installation. Standing at a towering 15 metres – equivalent to a five-storey building – the impressive structure comprises four zones with a total of 320 solenoids and energy-saving LED lights to create a rhythmic sound and light scape within the confines of the scaffolds. Partially inspired by the fairy tale “Alice in Wonderland”, the installation invites visitors to discover unique compositions as they explore the artwork.

Cycle House by Hafiz Osman

Another example of a local work is Cycle House by Hafiz Osman, a mobile workstation that combines a temporary shelter and a bicycle. The mobility of the installation makes it easily adaptable to new environments, representative of a wanderer who is constantly in search of new adventures. The bulbs in the shelter will light up as the user cycles, showcasing how energy can be harnessed from everyday activities while encouraging cycling as a sustainable mode of transport. Visitors are welcomed to draw on the structure’s canvas walls.

Mr Jason Chen, Festival Director and Director for Place Management, URA, said, “It has always been our intent to grow the festival with greater involvement from the local community. We are glad to see so many local artists coming on board to showcase their artworks and support the sustainability cause, and we hope to attract more in the coming years.”

Of the 14 local artworks, five are designed by educational institutions – also the highest number the festival has seen so far. The participating institutions this year are the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic.

A worldwide gathering of installations to promote sustainability

While more than half of the installations are exhibited for the first time, this year’s line-up also features world-renowned artists who have participated in the festival, as well as audience-favourites from around the world.

The Light Walk.

US-based sculptor Jen Lewin returns this year with the debut of a melodious interactive piece made of energy-saving LED lights. Light Walk is a delightful life-size laser harp that borrows the form of the Mist Walk at the Marina Bay waterfront promenade. Visitors can ‘pluck’ the harp virtually as they walk through the installation, triggering its sensors to project melodic notes and glowing lights.

Lampshade is an installation that lights up at night with solar energy.

Visitors can also walk under Lampshade, a Norwegian piece made of bamboo structures designed to prevent sunlight from entering its interior in the day, but lights up at night with solar energy – intense enough to power a thousand lamps – generated through its photovoltaic cells. Made to be both socially and environmentally-friendly, the lamps used in this installation will be donated to off-grid communities after its display while the bamboo structure will be recycled as construction scaffolding.

Mr Randy Chan, co-curator of the festival and Principal Architect at Zarch Collaboratives, said, “The curation of the festival considered the conventional perception of light and beauty in the context of a cityscape. Each artwork was selected for its strong message and unique perspectives. The ensemble of artists for this edition is very diverse, and their artworks carry poignant narratives that we hope will inspire introspection and new ideas for positive change in every festival-goer.” 

The full line-up of light art installations and artists can be found in Annex A [PDF, 1.61MB].
Knowledge exchange for a new generation of champions for sustainability

Beyond the artworks, the festival also provides opportunities for education and knowledge exchange to extend the conversation on sustainable living to a wider audience.

Festival-goers can look forward to a gathering of thought leaders from various fields and industries at this year’s i Light Symposium, taking place on 7 March. Themed “Angles of Incidence”, the symposium will provide insight into the way different practitioners look at and consider light in their practices, in relation to the city and its people.

Other sustainability-centred activities that the community can get involved in include an LED light bulb exchange, a hands-on workshop for children to make their own lanterns and installations out of recyclable materials, as well as the ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’ campaign, i Light Marina Bay’s festival-long energy-saving initiative involving buildings around the Bay and beyond.

These are among the variety of complementary events and activities that visitors can look forward to during the festival. Refer to Annex B [PDF, 368kb] for more details on the partner programmes, talks and workshops.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 will open from 4 to 27 March 2016, 7.30pm to 11pm daily with an extension to 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, around the Marina Bay waterfront promenade. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.ilightmarinabay.sg.

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