Asia’s first sustainable light art festival illuminates the Marina Bay area while driving home the message of energy-efficient lighting.
As the very first of its kind in Asia, the i Light Marina Bay light art festival chalks up another point for Singapore in its bid to become the region’s arts hub. But this time, there is another element to it all—energy sustainability.
Along the boundary of Marina Bay, beginning from the Promontory @ Marina Bay, over 20 local and international design artists from around the world have displayed works comprising dynamic light art installations and sculptures as well as interactive and performance-based art displays featuring intelligent light usage.
It is presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in collaboration with Smart Light Singapore, a not-for-profit organization which aims to increase awareness of reducing energy usage, engage public and professional participation in the beautification of public space through light art and support best practices in lighting design, among others.
At the launch of the event last Friday evening, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Mr. Teo Chee Hean said, “The creativity of the artists is combined with the use of energy-efficient light technology to help create an awareness of how we can make sustainable choices in our daily lives, while still enjoying an exciting urban environment.”
More than 10 buildings surrounding the Marina Bay area, such as Marina Bay Sands, are also supporting the festival by using less energy in their building operations.
“It’s about another kind of winding down in the city, whereby instead of hitting the retail stores, people can de-stress, bring their picnic mats and observe the sculptures,” said festival director Mary-Anne Kyriakou during an interview with Channel NewsAsia’s Primetime Morning segment, alongside participating artists, Edwin Cheong from Singapore and Chris Bosse from Germany. “During the daytime we have the bronze sculptures, but at night we also need something that captures the imagination,” Kyriakou adds.
The light sculptures, boasting themes ranging from futuristic to fantasy, are a blend of inspiring artistry, recycled materials and sustainable lighting technology such as LEDs and fluorescent lighting tubes. In combination with the spectacular backdrop of the city’s nightscape and the gossamer reflection of the water, the intricate works look set to bring the beauty of Singapore’s night lights to a whole new level.
For Cheong, 38, a member of City Harvest Church, his work, entitled “Positive Attracts,” is an installation of nine sculptures representing the nine heroes who have impacted his life. All the sculptures represent icons who were (and some still are) dreamers and visionaries of their time. A short quote located at the base of the sculpture hints at the identity of the heroes, ranging from famous film director George Lucas and influential visionary Walt Disney to the founder of the world’s largest Christian congregation, Yonggi Cho.
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan
PHOTOS: Yong Yung Shin
“Positive Attracts” explores the advantageous influence of a positive state of mind on the outcome of the physical state, illustrated through the use of LED lights emanating rainbow hues from within each figure. Acoustic sensors located at the bottom of each sculpture detect the presence of passers-by, and activate a flashing plus-shaped sign within the figure, which symbolizes positivity. “As people stand in front of the sculptures, I hope that positivity would be deposited in them and that they would be inspired to dream just as the heroes did,” explains Cheong.
Some of the other featured light sculptures include the following:
By: Sascha Crocker & Andrew Daly (Australia)
As an “abstracted energy consumption map” of the Central Business District, the illuminated blocks represent a particular city building. Each block glows with a different color, which correlates to the amount of energy consumed and light pollution emitted. The installation utilizes energy-efficient fluorescent lighting tubes.
My Public Garden
By: TILT (France)
Looking a bit like the bioluminescent blooms in Avatar’s fantasy forests, the towering plant-like sculptures in the otherwise unromantically titled “My Public Garden” are powered by biodiesel fuel which is tapped from renewable resources. The glowing plants lend an enchanted touch to the inorganic city skyline, with the smallest being 3.5 meters tall and the largest at 11 meters tall.
By: OCUBO, Nuno Maya, Portugal & Carole Purnelle, Belgium
A video art installation that has an interactive element, the artists for “Human Tiles” laid virtual tiles against a building façade. Capturing the movements and clothes of passers-by on video in real time, the images are then processed and re-projected against the tiles, forming animated patterns not unlike the repetitive motifs seen in an optical illusion book. Juxtaposed with the silhouettes of passers-by, they create another effect—highly ingenious, considering that everything on display comes from only one light source.
By: Pascal Petitjean and Aamer Taher (Singapore)
Looking like the set of an inter-terrestrial movie, the larger than life jellyfish featured in “Jellight” seem to poise themselves for a dip in Marina Bay before escaping into the universe as “reverse UFOs” where the air is cleaner and the waters clearer. The sculptures are built using light bulbs to create a 360-degree non-glare lighting source, resulting in direct illumination which translates to more efficient lighting output.
i Light Marina Bay is open to the public nightly from 7:30 p.m. to 12 midnight from Oct. 15 to Nov. 7. The festival has two walk routes: the first begins in One Fullerton while the second commences from the pedestrian walkway underneath the Esplanade Bridge. Log on to www.ilightmarinabay.sg to register for the guided tours on Friday and Saturday nights.