Want to have a bright start to your 2023? National Gallery Singapore’s Light to Night Festival can get you on your way! The festival returns to the Civic District from 6 to 26 January 2023, bringing myriad art-meets-lifestyle activities. Under the theme “Here and Now”, Light to Night promises spontaneous and fleeting encounters with art for visitors to contemplate.
So what is there for you to experience? We’ll be going through some of the best things to see at the Light to Night Festival, which will light up your night experience.
Botanica by Studio McGuire
The Rotunda Library & Archives houses the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art, but while it may seem like an ordinary library at first glance, something alluring awaits.
If you cast your eyes towards its domed ceiling, you’ll be treated to a surreal display of flora projected onto its walls. Here, you’ll see them growing and blooming as it dances across the ceiling, cycling through different vibrant flowers each time — it truly is an enchanting experience watching the beauty of nature unfold.
Where: National Gallery Singapore, Supreme Court Wing, Level 3, Rotunda Library & Archive
There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky by Dawn Ng
Despite the simplistic nature of the installation, Dawn Ng’s There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky provides a hypnotic and meditative experience as you begin the look upon it.
The aerial sculptures hearken back to the festival’s theme, illustrating the passage of time in visual terms using colour gradients unique to our Singapore sky. But there is more to it than seeing it in a single spot. Visitors can walk around them to see the colours change, mimicking that of dawn slowly turning to dusk.
Where: National Gallery Singapore, Supreme Court Wing, Level 1, Padang Atrium
Ephemeral by Atelier Sisu
On the Padang field, visitors can check out an installation that may invoke a sense of nostalgia in them. Atelier Sisu presents Ephemeral, an immersive light and sound installation that uses a unique form, the bubble.
There is an inherent playfulness with bubbles that not only children feel, but adults feel as well. The same is true when seeing and walking around the installation as you get to see the lights bounce off the bubbles’ facade — hence the naming of Ephemeral.
With the city’s skyscrapers as the backdrop of this unique exhibition, Ephemeral is a delightful encounter you can experience yourself or with your kids.
Where: Padang Field
Art Skins on Monuments (National Gallery Singapore Façade)
The iconic Art Skins on Monuments returns for Light to Night 2023, with the National Gallery Singapore Façade once again at the heart of it as it gets lit up with various light projections by artists around Southeast Asia.
Three different artists are on showcase this year. Changing Landscapes by Han Sai Por and Flex Chew from Singapore sees deforestation and biodiversity loss as the focus. Meanwhile, Yen Yen by Lolay and KOBORED of Thailand highlights Lolay’s signature drawing style, with quirky line drawings and vibrant colours bringing a joyful spontaneity. Finally, Indonesia’s Residual Memory of the Walls by Budi Agung Kuswara and Studio Batu brings the bright blue seas to the fore, illustrating ships moving in and out of the Straits of Singapore.
Whether walking along the pathways or driving through, National Gallery Singapore’s Façade brings an illuminating showcase that is a spectacle for the eyes. So be sure not to miss out!
Where: National Gallery Singapore Façade
Hearing Padang by Sai
Seen as two curved structures out on the green fields of the Padang, Hearing Padang is a rather interesting installation at Light to Night 2023.
There is a reason for their unique shape. The curved structures allow sound to travel from one end to the other — a person from one side could hear another person’s words while they are on the other side. It references the function of the old Supreme Court building that it faces, which is to resolve disputes between people through hearings. It is a cool acoustic experience that stands out from the rest.
Where: Padang Field
Look to the Heavens by Cake Theatrical Productions
For some quiet contemplation, the Look to the Heavens installation near the Asian Civilisations Museum presents a multi-sensorial experience for visitors.
Recreated as a small garden, the installation uses bamboo rows coiling inwards and clay wind chimes, as greenery decorates the surrounding area. Not only does the visual combination provide an appearance of serenity, but the gentle tones from the wind chime also help ease any visitors who step into the space.
Where: Asian Civilisations Museum Green
More about Light to Night 2023
While these may be our picks for things to check out at Light to Night 2023, the festival contains much more programmes and activities for you to discover.
There are live performances from artists like Aisyah Aziz, Lalit Kumar, and Anise x Sonia Kwek, among others. The DBS Singapore Gallery also has a unique augmented reality experience called First Responders, made by Nanyang Polytechnic Students — letting you see the gallery’s collection in new ways. Art X Social also returns with over 50 food and beverage stalls, craft and art brands, and more across St Andrew’s Road and
It’s an eclectic range of activities, and you can find the complete list of programmes right at the festival’s official website. So what are you waiting for? Time to light up the night in Singapore this January with Light to Night 2023!
To see updates for Light to Night 2023, follow its official social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.
Photos by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team.