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i Light Singapore opens on 1 June 2023 to inspire sustainability with 14 captivating artworks and a host of exciting programmes

  Published: 30 May 2023

i Light Singapore will return from 1 to 25 June 2023 with 14 captivating light art installations that will transform Marina Bay into a visual playground where art, technology and sustainability converge. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and presented by DBS, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival will also feature an exciting line-up of programmes to delight the senses and spark conversations on sustainability.

Take a glimpse at the beauty and fragility of nature’s blue spaces

This edition will see 22 artists from eight countries come together to put up a vibrant showcase curated to the Festival theme of A New Wave. Also inspired by the colour blue1, many of the artworks utilise sustainable materials and interactive approaches to spotlight nature’s blue spaces such as oceans and rivers, and invite visitors on a journey of discovery and reflection on their relationship with nature.

Blumiwave by DP Design; the things left unsaid by Brigette Teo

One example is Blumiwave by local artists from DP Design, featuring ‘crashing’ sculptural waves made with common building materials such as scaffolding and safety nets that were salvaged from construction sites. This artwork aims to raise awareness of blue energy - an alternative renewable energy source harnessed from the sea and river waters. Over at the things left unsaid by student artist Brigette Teo from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media, visitors can appreciate weaved sheets made with upcycled plastic bags that light up periodically. Teo drew inspiration from the phenomenon of bioluminescent algal bloom observed in Singapore last year2, and hopes to convey both the comfort and unease arising from encounters with these beautiful and unusual occurrences in the waters around us.

Another interactive artwork is Aquatics by Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist Philipp Artus, where visitors can design their own sea creatures on a tablet and see them come to life in an animation projected before them. The artwork captures the beauty of biodiversity and reminds us of the importance of preserving marine ecosystems. 

Aquatics by Philipp Artus

Experience artworks that blend creative expression and sustainable design

Tree Man by ENESS; Moooooootion by XD49

Visitors can also immerse themselves in a myriad of artworks that embody sustainable and innovative design to express pertinent social issues. One example is Tree Man by ENESS, an award-winning Australian art and technology studio, featuring a pair of whimsical light sculptures, with each encircling a sapling in his arm and switching colours. The artwork symbolises the balance that humans try to strike between connecting with the environment and our digital devices. On top of using energy-saving LED lights, the artist combined all technical elements of the artwork such as speakers and sensors into one physical unit, so that the artwork can be efficiently transported and assembled, thereby minimising carbon footprint. The inflatable fabric used will also be subsequently recycled and converted back to raw plastic and textiles for reuse.

Another unconventional artwork is Moooooootion by Thai design studio, XD49. This sustainable multi-functional piece makes use of easily reusable scaffolding and a vinyl projection screen and doubles as a stage at GastroBeats, i Light Singapore 2023’s Festival Village. Conceived as a playful counterpoint to the stillness and confinement resulting from past COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the installation celebrates social connections and interactions through colours and music.

Marvel at the ingenuity of local and international artists 

Apart from talented local artists, i Light Singapore 2023 will also feature the works of renowned international names. One example is Turkish-American media artist Refik Anadol, who will present Glacier Dreams, a large-scale projection on the façade of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Regarded as a pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, Anadol’s artworks have been exhibited on six continents across 50 cities worldwide. His artificial intelligence data paintings were recently featured as part of the set design of the 65th Grammy Awards, and impressed with visuals originating from 300 million photographs of nature and long-term research on the photographic history of space exploration. Closer to home, award-nominated3 Malaysian artist Jun Ong, will showcase his latest minimalistic yet impactful light sculpture, Prism at Millenia Walk. 

Refer to Annex A [PDF, 1,241kb] for full details and location map of the artworks, and Annex B [PDF, 55kb] for the list of curatorial panel members involved in the artwork selection. 

Immerse in exciting and experiential programmes 

Apart from feasting their eyes on the artworks, visitors are also in for a gastronomic and musical treat at GastroBeats, the Festival Village at Bayfront Event Space that offers the rich diversity of local culture. Here, they can fill their stomachs with mouth-watering cuisines served by 50 homegrown food and beverage vendors; groove to live performances by talented local musicians; or delight in fun-filled carnival favourites and bouncy castles. The DBS zone will also feature interactive experiences and instagrammable visual installations designed around themes such as self-care, sustainable living and being future-ready.

Those keen on deepening their festival experience can participate in Light Forum, a series of talks and a workshop conducted on the first weekend of the Festival by lighting designers and participating artists of i Light Singapore 2023. These will cover topics ranging from the future of nightscapes, sustainable lighting design to lighting strategies that enhance well-being and human connections. Visitors can also sign up for guided tours conducted by Let’s Go Tour Singapore to find out more about the creative stories, ideas and fun facts behind the delightful artworks.

While exploring the Marina Bay area, visitors can bask in the tranquil ambience contributed by blue hues that are emitted from key landmarks as part of Light Wash, a collective light-up that complements the light art installations. 

Refer to Annex C [PDF, 323kb] for full details of the programmes at the Festival. 

Mr Jason Chen, Festival Director and Director (Place Management) of URA said: “We are thrilled to present the ninth edition of i Light Singapore, featuring a delightful array of artworks and programmes that will captivate and inspire festival goers. We look forward to welcoming everyone once again at Marina Bay, as we illuminate the cityscape and ignite conversations about our collective responsibility and actions to build a more sustainable future.”

i Light Singapore 2023, presented by DBS, will be held from 1 to 25 June 2023, 7.30pm to 11.00pm daily with extended hours to 12.00am on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, while charges apply for certain programmes4. Visit https://www.ilightsingapore.gov.sg for more information.

1 i Light Singapore 2023 is anchored on the colour blue - a wavelength on the visible light spectrum that is omnipresent in nature’s blue spaces, and often associated with emotions such as calmness and serenity. Since i Light Singapore 2022, each edition of the Festival is anchored on a colour from the visible light spectrum, which represents different ways of seeing and understanding the world.

2 Blue streaks of light were spotted in open waters offshore and in waves crashing on beaches in Pasir Ris and Changi in March 2022. These sparks were emitted by a group of marine micro-organisms called dinoflagellates, which reproduce rapidly and form algal blooms leading to bioluminescent sightings. This phenomenon could reflect undesirable changes in water quality. (Source: The Straits Times) 

3 Jun Ong’s work, Star, a five-storey light installation in Penang, was nominated for World's Best in Spatial Art at the Media Architecture Biennale (2016) in Sydney.

4 Admission tickets for Lightwave: Turning the Tide, presented by Alibaba Cloud are priced at SGD5 each. Tickets for the Let’s Go Tour Singapore walking tour are priced at SGD30 each, while Light Forum participants can sign up for the walking tour at a discounted rate of SGD15 as an optional add-on to the talks or workshop.