[WhatsNextSG Arts] i Light Marina Bay 2016 (Review)

by Daniel Chin
, ,
March 7, 2016 by Daniel Chin

[WhatsNextSG Arts] i Light Marina Bay 2016 (Review)

A record number of 73 buildings and organisations around Marina Bay have pledged their support for i Light Marina Bay 2016. As part of the ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’ campaign, businesses around the bay will turn off non-essential lights and raise the temperature setting of their air-conditioning. The energy savings generated will be used to power i Light Marina Bay, essentially making this a zero-carbon footprint event.

As part of its aim to promote sustainability, the curating team gathered only sustainable art for the exhibition. These are all art works which use biodegradable materials, recyclables, energy efficient lighting, etc. Apart from just being sustainable art, the artworks gathered all explore several themes: ‘Light and its relationship with technology’, ‘Light and its relationship with the city’, and ‘Beauty with respect to the city’. This year’s theme, ‘In Praise of Shadows’, hopes to reflect a nuanced approach to light and make us rethink how we view light, beauty and our city. Here are some of the highlights of our visit to the waterfront, which stood out for us.

SONICTower by ZUL, a local artist, is a massive five-storey tall structure comprising about 320 solenoids and LEDs. Split into four zones, the solenoids and LEDs create a rhythmic sound and light scape within the structure. We were thoroughly impressed by this installation when we first saw it; the light and sounds combined with its gargantuan size made it a highly unusual piece. The unique metallic sounds produced from the solenoid and the carefully positioned LEDs give an eerie atmosphere to the impressive frame of SONICTower. Exploring further, we were able to discover the different compositions of sound and light in different parts of the structure. As an art piece, SONICTower thoroughly captures our attention with light and shadows that is further enhanced by the unique rhythms and this piece more than pays homage to this year’s theme.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 SONICTower Editted
(SONICTower by ZUL)

What A Loving & Beautiful World
Created by teamLab, What A Loving & Beautiful World is a brilliant interactive art piece that relies on the participation of the audience to create it. The art piece itself is a video projected onto the facade of the ArtScience Museum. Using a web application, audience members can swipe various Chinese characters, which are subsequently projected onto the ArtScience Museum. Using an algorithm, the program which generates the visual display will project the Chinese characters with varying prominence based on how many times it has been swiped in a particular instance. Accompanying the Chinese character will be other visual and sound effects related to the character, for example, falling flowers will be displayed when the flower character is swiped.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 What A Loving and Beautiful World Editted
(What A Loving & Beautiful World by teamLab)

We particularly loved this entry for its wonderful immersive atmosphere, the images combined with the realistic sound effects really draw you in. The thoroughly immersive installation was so convincing that when the sound of thunder came on, we covered our heads thinking that a rainstorm was upon us. As an interactive artwork, What A Loving & Beautiful World wonderfully mirrors the collaborative effort required between the public and businesses to create a sustainable world to live in.

Moon Haze
This piece by Feng Jiacheng and Huang Yuanbei is a beautiful visual representation of the moon. Moon Haze is a unique artwork in that the brightness of the installation is directly dependent on the prevailing air quality. Using a system of air-quality samplers, the program controlling the lighting will adjust its brightness to reflect its environment, the cleaner the air, the brighter the installation. As an artwork that depends on the air quality for its performance, Moon Haze aptly illustrates the inseparable relationship between humans and the environment. Besides being a thought provoking piece, this representation of the moon makes a great backdrop for family photos and the soft material used ensures that it is child-friendly.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Moon Haze Editted
(Moon Haze by Feng Jiacheng and Huang Yuanbei)
Other cool installations to check out include Bolt and Groove Light. Bolt is inspired by the form and behaviour of lightning and it comprises a intricate network of LED tubes set on steel poles. The installation has 4 buttons which you can press to activate the LED tubes which when lighted up looks very much like real lightning. Groove Light, is another interesting piece which makes use of shadows to cast patterns on the floor surrounding the installation. By moving the position of the lightbulb within the structure, one can modify the patterns created by the shadows cast, either adding or taking away elements of the patterns.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Bolt Edited
(Bolt by Jun Ong)

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Groove Light Editted
(Groove Light by Department of Architecture, NUS)

Finally, for all those who love taking OOTDs or selfies, Angels of Freedom provides the perfect backdrop for you to do so. Set against the bay, Angels of Freedom is a set of 5 angel wings and halos, which are meant for to be used as a photo-taking prop. Through experiencing this artwork, the artist hopes to remind visitors to remain true to themselves and to stay connected to loved ones and the things that matter. However, we can’t blame you if your profile picture moment does distract you from fully appreciating the meaning behind the work.

i Light Marina Bay 2016 Angels of Freedom Editted
(Angels of Freedom by OGE Group, Gaston Zahr and Merav Eitan)

i Light Marina Bay 2016 is a great visual experience and the combination of the artworks set against the cityscape really make the overall experience exquisite. The artworks were nicely spread around the bay area, which makes for a nice walking tour route for family outings. The light installations will also be appealing to both children and adults alike with different aspects to be appreciated by each demographic. Overall, we feel that a visit to this festival would be more than worth the trip, regardless of your interests.

Check out the i Light Marina Bay 2016 event listing here.

Photo credits: Paris Chia for WhatsNextSG


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