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i Light Singapore returns to Marina Bay with 20 captivating light art installations and a host of delightful programmes

 

  Published: 18 May 2022

i Light Singapore, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival, will be back to light up Marina Bay from 3 to 26 June 2022 with 20 captivating light art installations that aim to spark fresh perspectives on the environment and world around us. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and presented by DBS, the Festival will also offer an exciting line-up of programmes that will add to the vibrancy of the precinct while encouraging conversations on sustainability.

Artworks exploring environmental and sustainability issues 

Curated to the theme Spark of Light, the 20 artworks by artists from 14 countries took inspiration from the colour violet, which has the shortest wavelength and most powerful electromagnetic energy in the visible light spectrum, and signifies the awakening of senses akin to the spark of an idea in one’s mind. 

One highlight is MOTHEREARTH ClimateChange Data Sculpture by Turkish new media studio Ouchhh. Presented in partnership with Marina Bay Sands, a video projection on the façade of ArtScience Museum will transform publicly available environmental data, such as those obtained from local weather recordings, into a stunning visual treat comprising moving lights, colours and sounds. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, the artwork turns data into an enjoyable sensory experience, while drawing attention to climate change issues.

The Festival will also spotlight artworks that explore environmental challenges the world is facing. For instance, Plastic Whale by Craig Neo from Singapore, and Feng Qiao, Liao Qingshuang and Li Jianwen from China, features an inflatable whale filled with recyclable plastic bottles and scraps, breathing in distress. The artwork highlights the plight of marine creatures that are struggling to survive in their increasingly polluted homes. Meanwhile, Underworld by Aleksandra Stratimirovic from Sweden and Leonel Kaplan from Argentina depicts an imaginary undersea settlement with giant lanterns made of discarded fishing nets. Against the backdrop of a soundscape featuring haunting echoes of the sea, the artwork calls attention to the fragility of our marine ecosystem.

  
Plastic Whale by Craig Neo, Feng Qiao, Liao Qingshuang and Li Jianwen; and Underworld by Aleksandra Stratimirovic and Leonel Kaplan

Besides spotlighting environmental issues, the artworks will transform familiar public spaces at Marina Bay and Esplanade Park into dazzling landscapes. Visitors can look forward to Firefly Field by Studio Toer from the Netherlands, featuring a mesmerising display of 500 flying and blinking lights that will illuminate The Promontory at Marina Bay. These lights mimic humble fireflies, known for their ever-changing bioluminescence and movement at night. Taking its spot in front of the Red Dot Design Museum, Light Canvas by local artist group Trial & Error invites visitors to experience an exchange of energy by temporarily “painting” their own artworks on a digital canvas using flashlights from their mobile phones. The installation aims to raise a series of contemplative questions: “Is the short-lived nature of what we do worth the energy expended? What is the cost of our actions on the environment and what are we willing to give up for a more sustainable future?” The installation will also host a series of performances featuring dancers, calligraphers, illustrators and florists, who will interact with the installation creatively and leave their mark on the canvas.   

  
Firefly Field by Studio Toer; and Light Canvas by Trial & Error

The Festival will also showcase four student artworks1, including Re-Act by Isabella Meo and Liang TaiLin from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture, which was one of the artworks selected from the i Light Student Closed Call held last year. 

The installation will feature a series of lights simulating water pollutants such as toxic dyes and untreated sewage trickling down the Queen Elizabeth Walk waterfront steps, to prompt visitors to reflect on the ways humans are polluting water systems. Additionally, the lighting design symbolises cracks of collapsing icebergs caused by climate change, and seeks to instil in visitors a sense of urgency in  battling global water pollution and rising sea levels. 



i Light Singapore 2022 will also feature Waste Not Want Not, presented by the Festival’s presenting sponsor DBS. This eye-catching installation by local art collective, Tell Your Children, will feature four larger-than-life inflatable sculptures of fruits and vegetables commonly found in our homes, but with a stylised twist. Depicting “ugly” food – which is in no way lacking in nutrition or taste, yet often ends up discarded as waste in the bins – this artwork challenges these stereotypes and prompts the question: “What makes food beautiful?” It implores visitors to look beyond the surface, rethink their choices, and consume more consciously in a world where food waste is a perennial and worsening problem.

The artwork installation is in line with DBS’ Towards Zero Food Waste initiative, which aims to galvanise multiple stakeholders into action towards zero food waste. Its efforts have generated more than 800,000 kg of food impact2 across Asia since the initiative was launched in 2020. 

Refer to Annex A [PDF, 1,017kb] for the full list of artworks and Annex B [PDF, 36kb] for the list of curatorial advisory panel members for the artworks. 

Bringing together fun and sustainability through a diverse range of programmes 

Alongside the light art installations, the Festival will feature an exciting line-up of programmes and activities that promise a fun-filled and enriching experience for families and friends.  

At GastroBeats, a 14,200sqm Festival Village to be set up at Bayfront Event Space, visitors can eat to their heart’s content at Local Streets, which will spotlight Singapore’s dynamic hawker and street food culture. One can also meet acclaimed chefs from around the region as they converge at Culinary Masters, where a different collaboration menu will be presented each week by celebrity chef Sarah Todd, and chefs George Calombaris, Genevieve Lee and Derek Cheong of MasterChef fame. Families and friends can also explore Art Zone, and the kids and young at heart can get their hearts pumping at Jumptopia’s gigantic food-themed inflatable playground.

For visitors looking to deepen their festival experience, they can learn more about lighting design and activating spaces by participating in Light Forum, comprising a series of tours, talks and workshops conducted by industry experts. Those interested in lighting design can sign up for the Light Tour led by professional lighting designers, and find out how lighting design has been woven intricately into our city. Lighting Guerrilla, on the other hand, will feature two student workshops that focus on experimenting with light and spontaneity, and culminate in temporary lighting installations that will be showcased at Jubilee Bridge and Bayfront Bridge. 

Over at The Lawn at Marina Bay, drone enthusiasts can try their hands at operating luminous drones at Drone Nation, presented by the Marina Bay Alliance. Skilled drone flyers can race against other professionals at the exhilarating Racing Arena complete with a neon light obstacle course, while first-timers can learn the basics from expert trainers at the Experience Arena. 

The Festival will continue to raise awareness of sustainability and encourage the community to adopt an eco-conscious lifestyle. Visitors can participate in i Quest to pick up tips on sustainability and stand a chance to win prizes. Using the SusGain3 rewards app, participants can go around Marina Bay to learn about the sustainability considerations behind each artwork. They can also pledge to adopt sustainable habits in their everyday lives on the Festival website as part of the i Light i Pledge initiative. In addition, as part of the Festival’s signature Switch Off, Turn Up campaign, building owners, corporations and businesses around and beyond Marina Bay will switch off non-essential lightings and turn up air-conditioning temperatures throughout the duration of the Festival to reduce energy consumption. 

Refer to Annex C [PDF, 158kb] for the list of programmes and activities, and Annex D [PDF, 209kb] for details on Lightwave: Isle of Light, empowered by OPPO.

Mr Jason Chen, Festival Director and Director (Place Management) of URA, said: “From thought-provoking artworks to immersive programmes that encourage sustainable habits, i Light Singapore will once again illuminate Marina Bay with a kaleidoscope of colours through the works of some of the most creative minds in Singapore and beyond. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to this much-anticipated Festival after a two-year hiatus.”   

The Festival will be held from 3 to 26 June 2022, from 7.30pm to 11pm daily with extended hours to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, while charges apply for certain programmes. Visit https://www.ilightsingapore.gov.sg for more information.


1 An Open Call for the i Light Student Award was previously held in 2019, and two student artworks had been selected for the Festival in 2020 before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. These two winning artworks will be showcased at the Festival this year, together with two other student artworks selected from a separate Closed Call held last year with several local educational institutions. 

2 The 800,000kg of food impact includes food waste reduced and recycled, or food waste redistributed.

3 SusGain is a social enterprise on a mission to make sustainable living in Singapore more accessible, fun and rewarding to drive the change towards a more sustainable nation.

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