Night Lights, Night Bright: Singapore Night Festival 2018

The Singapore Night Festival (SNF) 2018 returns with Bring On The Night, a nine-day long festival celebrating Singapore’s arts and heritage scene. The eleventh edition of this spectacular light festival sees the best of Singapore’s artists, with a range of exhibits that promise to dazzle and delight.

Running from 17 to 25 August, this fiesta includes a melange of performances and programmes, as well as the much-anticipated Night Lights, one of the highlights of the festival. An extravaganza that encapsulates the pulse and vibrancy of the city’s arts scene, the famed Night Lights comprise a variety of interactive light installations interspersing the Civic District, and extends across the Bras Basah and Bugis Districts.

Check out some of the night light installations that took our breaths away:

Singapore Night Festival 2018: Cover Photo
Aquatic Dream

Aquatic Dream is the embodiment of any ocean lover’s underwater paradise. As its name suggests, the exhibit is reminiscent of a garden in the sea, one that is as enchanting and magical. Found on the lawn of the National Museum of Singapore, this installation is indeed a stunning sight to behold. Visitors will be enraptured by the attention to detail: a school of fish, illuminated the hues of sunset, wreaths on the side of the exhibit in a gently glowing halo, contrasted by a bloom of jellyfish that dangles ethereally in a gentle mist of smoke and bubbles against a backdrop of glittery fringes. Co-presented by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), this exhibit celebrates the beauty and preciousness of water as an indispensable resource.

Singapore Night Festival 2018: Before The Word
Before The Word

Before The Word celebrates yet another essential aspect of Singapore: our language. Epitomising the harmony of language, this multi-sensory installation sheds light on the interaction of the city’s blend of cultures and diversity, and explores how language acts as a means of unity.

From afar, the sculpture’s iconic silhouette is breathtaking. It is also an interesting literal play on the fundamental building blocks of language, and a social commentary on the interplay between various human civilisations. Located at CHIJMES, Victoria Street, this colourful installation illuminates the night along with the soundscape of nature.

Singapore Night Festival 2018: Hyperbands

Hyperbands is yet another exhibit that’s one to look out for.  Located at the LTA Walkway next to SMRT Headquarters building, this interactive exhibit is evocative of the vibrant and metropolitan nature of Singapore. Contrasting art with technology, this light installation powered with motion sensor by KopI/O centres around the concepts of energy and movement, with a coded structure and colours that are generated by mathematical algorithms.

The structure weaves along the walkway to form ‘pockets’ that encourage interaction, forming its signature sinuous shape. Light sequences are projected onto the structure, and are reactive to the presence of people, with sequence speeds increasing in response to the number of people, showcasing the sophistication of adaptive sensing technology at its finest.

Singapore Night Festival 2018: Pulse (Image by SNF)
Pulse (Image courtesy of Singapore Night Festival)

Yet another highlight of the festival is Pulse, one of the exhibits from the festival’s Open Call. A “tactile playground” located on the lawns of the Armenian Church, this installation seeks to explore the impact of the digital world on the natural landscape, and the pulse of this urban metropolis. As artist Galina Mihaleva explained, this piece is truly a “labour of love”, with a canopy of individually hand-stapled cloth pieces undulating in the breeze. Close to 10km of cloth and 20 thousand staples were used in the creation of this piece, which features projections of dancing images of Singapore’s buildings in tandem with the ambient sounds of Singapore’s soundscape and music.

Singapore Night Festival 2018: Orbit

Be amazed by Orbit, a collaborative effort by LiteWorkz and 3M that is inspired by the solar system. A constellation of orb-like globes light up the night at Dhoby Ghaut Green, forming parallels to the solar system with one larger orb as the sun, and eight orbiting planets around it.

Whip out the flash on your cameras with this exhibit – retroreflective cores in the orbs produce a particularly iridescent effect when taken with flash photography, satisfying the photo bugs out there who are looking for their next Instagram opportunity.

Singapore Night Festival 2018: SAM Front
Facade Projections at Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

Of course, the Night Lights would not be complete without the festival staple of the facade projections on the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). A fitting tribute to the heart of SNF’s vision, Odyssey transforms SAM’s facade into a spectacle of music and visual beauty.

Spearheaded by French designers Arnaud Pottier and Thimothée Mironneau, this facade projection is a visual and auditory masterpiece, and is one that truly enthrals the senses. Revolving around the themes of space and time, this piece is inspired by the three main concepts of space, matter, and singularity – from the infinitely big to the infinitely small. Pottier and Mironneau’s skilful yet artistic rendering of light and sound, plays with rhythm as a compression of time, immersing the audience in a captivating journey through space and time. One is invariably compelled to marvel at the technical expertise and artistic vision entailed, which was executed by a team of specialists across a cumulative span of 8 weeks.

Your weekend’s celebrations aren’t over just yet – besides the Night Lights, SNF 2018 features a Festival Village as well as other programmes and performances. Stay tuned for more!

For the full list of the Night Lights’ installations, visit the official Singapore Night Festival website at: Admission is free!

Photos by Jerron Chua of the DANAMIC team. Cover photo and Pulse photo courtesy of Singapore Night Festival.

Maisie Leong

The cross between an artistic brain fart and intense idealism, Maisie (not Margaret) is a tea junkie, lit nerd, and aspiring punmeister. Enjoys a good book (even better with a good cuppa), slightly pretentious conversations, and all things words.

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