i Light 2019: The Top 6 Exhibits Across the CBD

Held since 2010, i Light Singapore is a sustainable light art festival showcasing installations created by artists from Singapore and around the world. This year’s setup, i Light Singapore — Bicentennial Edition, comes much more eventful than the last, consisting of thirty-three art installations in multiple locations including Marina Bay, Civic District, Singapore River and Raffles Terrace. In addition to sustainability, the passage of time is explored as an additional central theme in this year’s exhibits.

Visually rich, and infused with diverse meanings, I was blown away by the complexity and originality of many works. I have narrowed them down to my top 6 picks (in no particular order).

Shades of Temporality

iLight 2019 - Sahdes of Temporality

An interactive work of art that combines video painting technology with content. Audiences can actively participate in creating the artwork by using the electronic paint rollers on the wall to virtually “paint” videos in real time. In the process, videos overlap each other, forming endless combinations of moving art. Not only is the installation a ton of fun, the video content also explore important and highly relevant themes of adaptation, social ecology, sustainability and temporality.


iLight 2019 - Squiggle

The design of this installation is true to its name; these squiggly lines are lit up in a spectrum of colours in movement that will change based on the visitors’ interactions with Squiggle. You can use little joysticks to change the colours, speed and direction of the light. There are altogether 200 metres of digital neon tubing to reflect the sheer diversity of the world we live in.

City Gazing Singapore

iLight 2019 - City Gazing Singapore

At first glance this appears to be another aesthetically pleasing installation, but the meaning of it is what intrigues me more than the design itself. It shows the aerial view of the lights in the city of Singapore, like how one would see them in a plane, but that is not all. The work lets visitors travel back in time over 100 years, giving a look at how Singapore has grown from a couple of key arterial roads into the international hub it is today.

Sails Aloft

iLight 2019 - Sails Aloft

Inspired by the original sampan panjang of the Orang Laut, Sails Aloft is a holographic art installation that creates an image of a 19th century sailboat race in the region on the Singapore river. The image expands to show not only the race boat, but also its contestants on board. Presenting a snapshot of history in such a high-tech manner, it can be said that Sails Aloft truly looks back at the past and towards the future.

Time Frame

iLight 2019 - Time Frame

A carpet of information occurring in real time is projected under Esplanade Bridge, showing indicators of the development of Singapore on a global setting. The statistics are taken from, including information such as current world population, births and deaths today, public healthcare expenditure, public military expenditure and so on. As the numbers move rapidly, standing in the midst of them you will be keenly aware of how fast the world is changing — and where Singapore stands among the world at large.

Time Rhythm

iLight 2019 - Time Rhythm

This is a 10 to 15 minute light show that represents time through visual patterns that interact with musical rhythms. As music plays, the entire bridge becomes a special musical instrument, with the light moving in slow and fast tempos, and pausing and stopping during silences. The show is a dynamic display of lights and sounds related to Singapore, worth sitting through till the end.

For more information, visit

Photos by Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team.

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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