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i Light Singapore 2019: A Larger Festival with Larger Than Life Light Installations

The sustainable light festival will be returning with its bicentennial edition from 28 January to 24 February 2019.

With artists from 36 countries – including Singapore – presenting their artwork proposals based on the theme ‘Bridges of Time’ at next year’s festival, this edition will also mark the largest response ever to the call for artwork submissions.

Artist Impression of City Gazing Singapore by VOUW
An artist impression of City Gazing Singapore by VOUW (Mingus Vogel and Justus Bruns) from The Netherlands for i Light Singapore 2019

Organiser of i Light Singapore and chief executive officer of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Mr Lim Eng Hwee, said: “This special bicentennial edition will see an intensified effort to bring communities together, as a reflection of how the historic Civic District and Singapore River first drew people from different parts of the world here centuries ago. With the larger Festival footprint this edition, visitors can look forward to a whole new experience as the core of our city gets illuminated with sustainable light art installations.”

Spanning over an area of more than 4km, i Light Singapore 2019 will expand beyond the premises of Marina Bay to include the Civic District, Singapore River, and Raffles Terrace at Fort Canning.

i Light 2019: Mr Jason Chen
Mr Jason Chen during the first media briefing held at the Bold at Work Cafe

Festival Director and Director (Place Management) of URA, Mr Jason Chen, said: “We believe that the public spaces in Marina Bay are an ideal setting for us to reach out and bring the community down to experience what the city has to offer and what this public space will look like when we activate them with interesting and delightful light installations. This is our way of connecting with the community and (we) hope that they will be able to better appreciate the importance of sustainability as well as connections amongst themselves – with locals, and with overseas friends and visitors.”

The i Light festival held this year amassed a total of about 2 million visitors throughout the entire period. Since its inception in 2010, the theme of sustainability remains as a key objective of the i Light festival. Most of the featured artworks utilise sustainable materials or recycled and reused materials, or in the design or concept of these installations, thus embodying and advocating the importance of sustainability.

i Light 2019: Students

For the first time, the inaugural i Light Student Award was also introduced. It is an international open call to allow students based locally and internationally to engage and exchange with established artists, and tap on their advice and experience in the process. 5 winning entries were selected from a total of 48 applications from 115 students coming from 9 countries, including Singapore.

i Light 2019: The Rainbow Connection
An artist impression of The Rainbow Connection by Singaporean artist Yun for i Light Singapore 2019

One of the highlights of next year’s festival includes a local artwork that is co-created with the community. Named “The Rainbow Connection”, it is designed by Singaporean industrial designer Lee Yun Qin (also known by her artist name ‘Yun’), who previously enthralled visitors with her light art installation ‘MoonFlower‘ at i Light Marina Bay 2017.

“I am happy to be part of the festival again, especially in engaging with the community in the creation of the art piece. Art has a powerful way of bringing people together to participate, enjoy and take pride in being part of the sustainability cause,” said the 37-year-old industrial designer.

i Light 2019: Yun

Sharing that she’s inspired by nature and arts, ‘The Rainbow Connection’ aims to be an art piece to engage the community to create together. Yun said: “The art installation is like the social fabric that holds individuals together – every container may be different, but I believe it can come together to create something that is bigger and that people can hold dear to their hearts.”

i Light 2019: Cover

Made of more than 800 used and upcycled cookie containers, The Rainbow Connection will feature islands of solar light modules in these PET containers suspended in the air, which will come alive as they sway in the wind. Illuminated with the use of solar powered lighting and upcycled materials, the art installation aims to remind visitors about the importance of sustainable development.

i Light 2019: Young and Old
Both the young and the old sat together and created a piece of The Rainbow Connection during the workshop held at the Bold at Work cafe

Members of the public and not-for-profit organisations are rallied to join Yun at 12 pre-festival workshops hosted around Singapore, such as at Touch Community Services, Lions Befrienders Singapore, and Pacific Activity Centre.

Previously, visitors of her ‘MoonFlower’ installation during i Light 2017 would be able to “adopt” one of her solar-powered flowers for a fee of $5. This time, these containers will not be for sale to the public. Instead, participants of these workshops will be able to bring their own designed containers home after the festival.

i Light 2019: Participant
Lisa Eu (far right) creating her own container with her children

One of the participants, Lisa Eu, found the i Light workshop through a Facebook post, and decided to bring her two children down to Bold at Work cafe, where the workshop was held. The 40-year-old financial consultant said, “It is a good way to occupy them creatively. It is the school holidays now, and (it is a great platform) to get them started (on) something creative.” Lisa also shared that she has never attended any of the i Light Singapore festivals, but is “excited” to attend it next year now that she is a part of it.

While details are not finalised yet, it is revealed that a slew of complementary events and activities will be introduced in conjunction with the festival. Visitors can look forward to artisanal bazaars and markets, entertainment and lifestyle activities, and F&B establishments around the festival grounds.

i Light 2019: Young Girl

If you are keen to contribute and be a part of this sustainability cause, you are welcome to sign up for any of the three upcoming community workshops at www.ilightsingapore.sg.

Photos by Brandon Neo of the DANAMIC team and visuals courtesy of i Light Singapore.

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Stacey Lim

Professional feminist and self-proclaimed emo queen (it is not a phase, mom). She also never fails to spend her birthday wishes on world peace and a global boycott on animal-tested products.

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