Photographs by Gwen Sin
Singapore’s Light to Night Festival 2019 is back for its third run! This year’s theme is Traces and Echoes, and there will be two unique editions ongoing. The first, as a marquee event of the Singapore Art Week (18 to 27 January 2019), presents works of art inspired by personal stories and memories. The Singapore Bicentennial commemoration is the second part (28 January to 24 February 2019) and invites site-specific responses and reflections from artists, writers, performers who reimagine our past and offer fresh perspectives on significant historical moments in the last 700 years.
Kickstarting with art encounters that activate all five senses during the Singapore Art Week For the first two weekends of the Festival (18 to 27 January 2019) include installations and programmes across seven zones in the entire Civic District, such as within and around National Gallery Singapore; The Arts House; Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall; the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) and Esplanade Park.
Here are some installations and performances that are really cool to check out as part of the Singapore Art Week:
1. Art Skins on Monuments
Art Skins on Monuments returns with a new commission, The Odyssey. Viewers will follow the artistic voyage of an explorer who traverses across seven façades of cultural institutions and sojourns the worlds of duality in search of his identity. At the same time, his experience inspires the audience to gain a deeper understanding of self.
Visitors will be immersed in this journey by activating an interactive wall using sound and movement at the Gallery’s Padang Atrium. It also serves as a reminder that we are all ultimately part of something larger than ourselves.
2. Voices of Time
Visitors will be challenged with new forms of sensory provocation through the Sensorial Trail, a commissioned series of intimate art encounters with smell, sound and touch, that meant to challenge new forms of sensory relationships at National Gallery Singapore. Particularly for Singapore composer-musician Andy Chia’s two-part installation, Voices of Time, his first series emit familiar sounds related to Singapore that could be heard through different tubes of his installation. Participants will encounter a variety of natural and digitally-composed soundscapes that seem similar to each other, thus blurring reality and fiction.
Chia’s second piece also invites visitors to create music compositions with an adjustable console that will also be transmitted to the screen as tantalizing wall visuals.
3. Wrecking of the Fame
Local independent fashion collective MASH-UP’s reimagining of the wreck of the Fame is inspired by the ship hired by Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. In 1824, while traveling back to London from Southeast Asia, Raffles and his family survived a fiery shipwreck, but none of his treasures did.
4. Open Books
The Open Books installation are beautiful open book-like structures created by a creative collective Tell Your Children; illustrator Tan Zi Xi (MessyMsxi) and The Merry Men Works at the Arts House Lawn. In a way, they are also beautiful visual dioramas of enchantment and whimsy that drew inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Imagine works of fantasy turning into life-sized installations outdoors!
Singapore designer Sebastian Chun’s outdoor art installation Sticks at the Asian Civilisation Museum’s lawn is inspired by the transformation of the city skyline along the Singapore River. His fascination with the bakau pile construction technique (a construction method used for soil improvements), coupled with his fond memories of the popular childhood game ‘Pick Up Sticks’ are translated in his outdoor installation that depicts the revival of life from the past, while creating space for personal and often-untold stories that unfold over time.
6. Oh! Time Capsule
Oh! Time Capsule takes viewers on a larger-than-life, immersive ride through a digital theatre of the blooming flora, fauna, leaping from scene to scene in a dizzying array of original photographs and exquisite hand-drawn illustrations inspired by Nature and treasures of early Singapore.
The Light to Night Festival 2019 is spearheaded by National Gallery Singapore and its precinct partners around the Singapore Civic District. Admission to the Festival is free, commencing from 5pm until midnight from 18 January to 24 February 2019. Certain programme timings and admission charges may vary. More details are available at www.lighttonight.sg. You can also download the Festival Guide here.