i Light Marina Bay 2016 – ‘In Praise of Shadows’

by Daniel Chin
February 25, 2016 by Daniel Chin

i Light Marina Bay 2016 – ‘In Praise of Shadows’

What do Sydney, Kobe and Singapore, apart from being coastal cities, all have in common? If you guessed annual light art festivals, you got it spot on. i Light Marina Bay 2016 will see the familiar Marina Bay waterfront promenade transformed into a breathtaking display of lights.

Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), i Light is back for the fourth time since its inception in 2010. i Light Marina Bay 2016 boasts greater local participation than ever before, with 14 of the 25 innovative sustainable light art installations featured this year being designed by local artists. Even as the participation from the local arts scene sets new records, attendees can be sure that they will not be disappointed by the finely curated selection. Held from 4 – 7 March 2016, i Light aims to not only showcase the talents of local artists, but also to extend the conversation regarding sustainability to a wider audience. Through education and knowledge exchange, i Light hopes to get visitors thinking about sustainability and what it means to them personally.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Bay Area

The theme for this year’s i Light festival is ‘In Praise of Shadows’, rather ironic given that a shadow is caused by the absence of light. Despite having a seemingly oxymoronic theme, the festival is most definitely about light. To be specific, this year’s theme aims to provoke the imagination of visitors, to get them thinking about the fundamentals, forms and roles of light as they view and interact with the artworks.

Beyond the spectacular showcases of visual art, the festival offers a dynamic line-up of programmes and and events. From fun boat tours to engaging artist workshops to delectable outdoor dining options, you can be sure that the festival will be a multi-sensory experience. With the slew of options, there will definitely be something there to pique your interest.

Featured Artworks

Lampshade (Snøhetta|Norway)
Installations such as Lampshade by Snøhetta really capture the dichotomy of light and darkness. This Norwegian piece is composed of bamboo structures, designed to block out sunlight, shrouding the interior of the piece in shadows during the daytime. At night, the inside of the installation lights up thanks to solar energy collected during the day by the photo-voltaic cells lining the structure. Cloaking those within in darkness during the day and bathing them in light at night, this piece is a perfect illustration of the aforementioned dichotomy.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Lampshade

Besides aptly illustrating the contrasting nature of light and darkness, Lampshade is also meant to be socially and environmentally friendly. The lamps used in the installation will be donated to off-grid communities who lack access to electrical lighting after the display. The bamboo structure used will be recycled as construction scaffolding. Bamboo is also biodegradable which makes its disposal, at the end of its useful life cycle, both easy and environmentally friendly.

Unseen: Touch Field (Alecia Neo|Singapore)
Unfurling like an endless topographical illustration within a floating tunnel, Unseen: Touch Field depicts the cityscapes of Singapore and Taipei. However, unlike a conventional drawing, Unseen: Touch Field is meant to experienced by touch rather than by sight. This piece invites visitors to experience the world of the visually impaired, a world devoid of light.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Unseen

This work by Alecia Neo is based off an ongoing series of works that she undertook with visually impaired participants from Singapore and Taipei. Together with the participants, Alecia created photographic self-portraits of them along with images of their surroundings. These were later translated into the ‘braille drawings’ which comprise Unseen: Touch Field. In the absence of one of our senses, the body compensates by heightening the others. In this case the loss of sight heightens our sense of touch, allowing us to truly appreciate this piece of art. Through the sensory experience, this work seeks to demonstrate the ability of humans to adapt, whatever the circumstances, to overcome the challenges faced.

Workshops and Talks

Lighting Detectives’ Workshop
Held on 5 March from 4.00pm – 8.00pm by the Lighting Planners Association, the Lighting Detectives’ Workshop is a lantern-making and installation workshop open to the public. In line with the festival’s aim of promoting sustainability, participants will be using recyclable materials such as paper roll cores and egg cartons. Through the use of reusables, the organisers hope to inspire participants to be more mindful towards the waste they produce.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 LPA Workshop

i Light Symposium 2016
Held this year on 7 March from 2.00pm to 6.00pm at the National Design Centre Auditorium, the symposium gathers thought leaders from different fields and industries to provide insight into how different practitioners in the various fields use light in relation the city and its people. This year’s dialogue themed ‘Angles of Incidence’ will discuss how light can be engaged, manipulated and employed with respect to the various fields and industries.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Symposium

Held from 6.00pm to 9.30pm on 25 March and 1.00pm to 7.00pm on 26, 27 March, FutureME brings together forward-looking brands and entrepreneurs with a desire to impact the way we work, live and play in the future. Through a series of talks, workshops and a special showcase of emerging technology, FutureME hopes to inspire ideas and open minds, by being a platform for discussions about innovations and disruptive trends in the world today.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 FutureME

Culinary Options

Festival Village
Held at the Promontory @ Marina Bay in conjunction with i Light Marina Bay 2016, visitors can enjoy this inaugural event with various dining options available. Food trucks from brands such as Old Chang Kee and Coffee Bandits are among some of the options present. Alongside food, there will be other activities such as stargazing and various community performances. The village will be open from 7.30pm to 11.00pm every Friday to Sunday between 4 – 7 March.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Festival Village

PasarBella Goes To Town
This famous food market will be coming to town between 11 March and 3 April. Situated at Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza, the market will be open from 4.00pm to 11.00pm on weekdays and 4.00pm to 12.00am on weekends. Seafood, meat, dairy, fresh produce, wines and much more, come on down to learn more about the food from the traders as they share their passion with you.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 PasarBella


With the bevy of options available, i Light Marina Bay 2016 looks set to impress once again. Whether it be entertainment, culinary or educational, i Light Marina Bay 2016 has got you covered. So look forward to an epic time with your family and friends, we definitely are.

For more information on i Light Marina Bay 2016 and the accompanying events and programmes click here now.

Click here to register for Lighting Detectives’ Workshop and here for FutureME.


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