The Singapore Night Festival 2023 (SNF) is back to shine a magnificent light on the Bras Basah.Bugis district from 18 to 26 August, with this year’s theme being ‘Singapore, The Great Port City’. Twinkle with excitement with over 50 experiences, including programmes and artworks by local and international artists and festival partners that retell the stories of Singapore’s heritage.
Take a trip back to the past while witnessing the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) district comes to life with tales and histories of Singapore’s beginnings as a trading port. Discover new perspectives of local heritage in a whole new light at night.
So if you are within the Bras Basah.Bugis area, here are some of the installations you should check out!
A Stone’s Throw (Away)
Inspired by the legend of the Singapore Stone, flung from Fort Canning Hill to the mouth of the Singapore River, this is the furthest thing from the usual stones you see daily. This installation reimagines the story through a series of interconnected light panels on the outside of the stone with illustrations which will appear before your eyes through stepping stones.
Aside from stepping on the stepping stones, you can also step inside the stone and be wow-ed by the beautiful lights. The perfect spot for you to pose like a model to get your perfect fit pics.
Gather round on the lawn in front of the National Museum of Singapore as the all-time popular project mapping installation is back to treat your eye with 700 Years — Singapore’s first-ever attempt at theatrical projection mapping.
Travel back in time to the 14th century alongside Seri Anggerik, the female protagonist who embarks on a journey to present-day Singapore. The installation aims to remind audiences of how far Singapore has come.
Location: Façade of National Museum of Singapore
Time is a Black Circle
Singaporean Artist Dawn Ng’s “disco time portal” is a cylindrical structure splashed with a symphony of colours and melodies. Did you know that party-goers flocked to the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct back in the day for live discotheques owned by Kelong Restaurant and YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association)? Oh, the good ol’ times…
So if you’re just like me and wish to experience the good ol’ times, get your disco outfits ready because we’re going back to the 70s over at the National Museum of Singapore! Step into the dancing shoes of the people back in the day and relive an iconic era. So what are you waiting for? Slap on some fancy roller skates provided and let your worries roll away.
If you do not plan to skate, don’t worry; you can still visit the artwork (free admission) from 10am to 4pm.
Location: National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
Price: S$27 (Inclusive of booking fee)
Rimbun, or fertile, is bringing projection mapping to a whole new level. And this time, the artist, Shakir (also known as Grasshopper), is bringing it to nature instead! Because who says projection mappings can only be done on man-made structures when you can also use nature as a canvas?
The installation instantly brings light and life to the Farquhar Garden using cutting-edge technology and motifs inspired by traditional wood carving, batik, and songket (a textile patterned with gold or silver threads).
Additionally, don’t forget to catch the colourful performance; We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather until we cannot. Amid the natural colours, this vibrant performance splashes vibrant colours around Canning Rise. The eccentric and lively characters are inspired by the vibrant hues on meteorological maps, symbolising the capricious conditions that sailors encountered at sea in the last 700 years.
Location: Farquhar Garden, Canning Rise
Last but not least, Preserving Paradise is an interactive artwork that revisits the concept of an experimental botanical garden in a futuristic light, giving it a sci-fi feel. Made out of cast resin and laser-cut plywood, this futuristic piece is inspired by Singapore’s first experimental botanical garden, built circa 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles, to grow valuable crops and conserve native flora and fauna, and also allows visitors to do more than just admire it from afar.
If you have a green thumb, this futuristic-botanical piece will have you geeking out as you witness the world of nature and the future collide. Or, if you simply have itchy fingers, go nuts and play around with the hand-crank mechanism!
Location: Armenian Street
You’ll need as much energy as possible to visit the various installations. Dish out on SNF-exclusive cocktails and bold flavours inspired by the spice route! So load up on good food at the Main Festival Village @ SMU Campus Green.
If you can’t decide whether to indulge in local or Western food, Fooditude got your back with their drool-worthy fusion Praffles (a combination of Prata and Waffles). The Rendang Beef Praffles is a must-try! Why have a basic flat Prata when you can have it in a shape of a Waffle? Not only did the Rendang have the perfect amount of spice, but the size of the beef was chunky and more than generous as well. The addition of the Papadam cracker added flavour and also prevented the Praffle from turning soggy at once. Simply a 10/10!
You can also never be too full for dessert! Sweet Affairs’ Hokkaido Milk Soft Serve Ice Cream will give you that sugary kick you’ll need for the night of exploring. The sugary goodness is not too sweet and has a smooth texture which will have you coming back for more!
Quickly head down to the Main Festival Village to satisfy your hunger or for good food if your stomach starts growling. And if the food there isn’t enough, you can also head over to the Festival Village @ Armenian Street, the Festival Village @ CHIJMES, or the Jazz’in Capitol Singapore.
So if you are still trying to figure out what to do this weekend, run to the Bras Basah.Bugis district for a fun night of exploring Singapore’s history as a port city!
Singapore Night Festival 2023
If you are in the Bras Basah.Bugis district, drop by for a vibrant night out at Singapore Night Festival 2023! For more information, visit the Singapore Night Festival website.
Photos by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team.
*Article amended with corrected info