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4 Questions with Kenji Kohashi: The Brains Behind Singapore’s First Musical Fireworks Extravaganza

A first-of-its-kind multi-sensory musical firework extravaganza, Star Island will be part of the Marina Bay Countdown Singapore that integrates larger-than-life pyrotechnics and lights, 3D surround sound, and world-class performance acts into a single, seamless performance.

Star Island: Fireworks 3

Making its international debut, Singaporeans will be the first outside of Japan to experience the futuristic allure of hanabi (Japanese term for fireworks) at the Star Island countdown edition this New Year’s Eve.

Star Island: Family Programs

Besides the visual feast, there will also be pre-show activities for the whole family, a marketplace of inviting food and drinks, and an after-party to dance into the new year!

In an exclusive interview with creative director Kenji Kohashi, we picked his brains on the thought process that goes behind Asia’s largest fireworks extravaganza, as well as all the details you need to know about the two-hour long countdown event.


Kenji Kohashi, creative director of Star Island

1. How was Singapore chosen to be the first country outside Japan to witness this never-before fireworks show?

Kenji: Ever since we began the Star Island project, we have always had countries outside of Japan who showed keen interest in having the show organised in their countries. Singapore was one such example, and after a few meetings with our local partners, we decided on making our international debut here in Singapore.

Star Island’s Fireworks and Ballet Performance

Japan always had a very good relationship with Singapore and we heard that Singaporeans are huge fans of Japanese culture, such as the food and music. So we want to bring to them this original production from Japan and immerse them further in the culture by introducing them to the concept of hanabi. With special Japanese fireworks, we have elevated the experience with cutting-edge technology and other electrifying experiential show elements to make it completely multi-sensory, as opposed to just watching explosions in the sky. I believe Singaporeans will probably be very excited about Star Island as there has never been anything like it in Singapore.

2. How did you come up with the six chapter names for the fireworks show, and what do they represent?

Kenji: Star Island is inspired by a book titled “Ami, el niño de las estrellas” by Enrique Barrios. It’s a story about a planet with a world made out of love and harmony.

In Star Island, we present this love and harmony in our show. Through these 6 chapters, we want the audience to experience the Creation of the Universe and how life has evolved over time. We also want to spread the importance and power of love.

Star Island: Fireworks 5

Chapter 1: Ceremony

This is the ceremony to open the gates to Star Island (a parallel world). It begins with a world of nothingness before the birth of the Universe. Through the fireworks, the Big Bang, the formation of planets, and Earth, are depicted.

Chapter 2: Earth

The Genesis of Earth: life forms emerge from water and populate the Earth.

Chapter 3: World

Board the Star Island airline, and travel through the world with music from different places.  

Chapter 4: Chaos

Depicts a time where the world suddenly gets disrupted by chaos, through the use of art, and by collaborating with cutting-edge laser lighting and fireworks, an alternate world of Chaos (is created).

Chapter 5: Love

The chaotic world will soon be triumphed by love, hope, and dreams. A new life cycle will be born.

Chapter 6: One

Depicts that love prevails, and the world becomes one.

3. What are some of the specific highlight performances that you would want the audience to look forward to?

Kenji: No two Star Island experiences are ever the same. Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition is an updated version of Tokyo’s Star Island 2018 and will be specially adapted for the Singapore audience. Beyond the special made-in-Japan fireworks, there will be lots of activities and performances for everyone to enjoy.

Star Island: Ballet 5

For the first time ever, this edition of Star Island will include acts and performances such as projection mappings, laser shows, and motocross stunts. You will also be entertained by world-class stage performances by renowned Japanese ballerinas and dynamic fire performances.  

From 5pm onwards, ticket holders can grab a bite at the F&B market place, dance and groove along to DJ music and also check out the children’s play area before getting ready to usher in the New Year.

Star Island: Family Activities

Please look forward to an evolved version of Star Island. There’s definitely something for everyone so it’s great for the whole family!

4. How is staging a fireworks extravaganza in Marina Bay, Singapore different from staging one in Japan (if any)?

Kenji: We want to bring the best experience to everyone at the Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition and to bring an entire show of this scale overseas is always going to be a challenge – but I enjoy that challenge! There are some differences in organising the event in Singapore compared to Japan because of the local rules and regulations that we have to meet. But that’s also part of the magic of Star Island, as it means no two experiences are ever the same.

Star Island: Fireworks 6

Tickets Giveaway

We are giving away (1) pair of Section 2 tickets to Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition, in conjunction with Marina Bay Singapore Countdown on 31 December 2018.

To stand a chance to win, simply:

  • Follow @avex.asia on Instagram,
  • Leave a comment on our Facebook post and tell us your Instagram handle for verfication!

Draw ends on 26 Dec 2018 and winners will be contacted on Facebook.

Check out the official trailer video of Star Island to get a better idea of what is in store in Marina Bay this New Year’s Eve:

Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition

Date: 31 December 2018
Time: 5pm till late
Venue: The Float @ Marina Bay

The early bird tickets for Star Island have sold out fast, so book the remaining tickets now at www.star-island.sg before it is too late! 

Photos courtesy of Avex Asia.


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Huang Yimin

Aiming to live passionately and not settle for a mundane life. Firm believer in the Oscar Wilde quote "You can never be overdressed or overeducated". I wish to publish a novel someday in the unknown future.

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