This year’s edition of the Singapore Night Fest is upon us and this time, in celebration of its tenth anniversary, they’re bringing back crowd favourites in a refreshing retrospective as Singapore’s largest outdoor performing arts festival from 18 – 26 August 2017.
We headed over for their photo walk around Bras Basah. Bugis Precinct. and here are eight highlights that you must witness to believe. Join us on this journey!
Aesop was the first stop in the photo walk and I knew I was in for a good time as I walked out of the installation. Set up in Gallery 10 at the National Museum of Singapore the scent maze leads visitors’ noses to navigate them through the exhibition.
The name, Nostos, takes inspiration from the Greek word that means ‘homecoming’. When paired with algosm, meaning ‘ache‘, the word forms ‘nostalgia’ – a word which scent is an evocative trigger.
True to its name, I was taken on a nostalgia trip whilst navigating the dark space. The light bulbs hung precariously above what I believed is a concentrated form of the scents. Much like a candle, the heat from the bulbs “cooked” up the scent that wafted whenever you came near.
The whole experience was very well crafted from the scented plates comfortably spaced as to not have clashing fragrances and the very detailed explanations that accompanied each scent on the walls nearby.
Location: National Museum of Singapore (Gallery 10), 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
I was ushered to the next location in the walk. Installed a way’s above, the Flower of Life and the Infinite Self stood proudly in Stamford Green.
The geodesic bamboo dome with tessellated fabric roof resembled the flower of life and interior walls mounted with geometrically arranged convex mirrors that form dynamic reflections of visitors as they walked around the dome.
Drawing inspiration from Buckminster Fuller and M.C. Escher, this installation will present a different persona depending on the time of day.
When I wandered around the vicinity, I soon grasped the big picture. Each metallic joint acts as a point of the circumference of a circle and depending on which ones you choose, you could get varying circle sizes. Much like those Facebook illusion posts that you spend an unnecessary time looking at.
Location: Stamford Green
Tessellations of Time is inspired by the precious bridges between people and time, aptly designed in celebration of the ten years of the Night Fest. They were selected as the winners of SNF’s Open Call for Night Lights, which aimed to discover light installations that interact with and transform the Bras Basah Bugis precinct.
Digitally fabricated pods with fluctuating coded lights scattered across a field would serve as a safe space to hold your conversations. Step into the pods and string up a conversation with a random stranger in an opposing pod elsewhere in the field.
Location: National Museum of Singapore (Main Ground)
The Tree That Blinked is a series of portraits projected into a three that toys with notions of identity, representation, and transformation. As the works move and shift with the winds, expressions seem to change and faces seem to age almost instantly.
Contrary to popular belief, this mind-bending illusion was crafted not through the physical alteration of the leaves or tree but solely through a carefully angled projection into the façade of the Banyan tree.
Karel Bata, the brains behind the project, took benign influences on the world for his creation. From portraits of former festival goers turned friends to mythical tales of spirits in trees, he carefully produced two sets of three portraits for both men and women. Look out for a sly smile or cheeky wink when indulging in this beautiful creation.
Location: Banyan Tree, outside the National Museum of Singapore
Designed as a visual poem, Convulations blends architecture, projection, lights, lasers and music in a technological poem and ballet of lights that transforms the otherwise plain façade of National Museum of Singapore into a contemporary show.
Ezekiel brought his prowess in projection from the Lyon Light Festival in France to the shores of Singapore this year. Being more familiar with the facades of castles and cathedrals which lay abundant in Europe, he pushed the envelope and involved unseen elements in his newest project.
The usage of lasers, the first of its kind in Night Fest, as well as specifically chosen abstract projections casts a kaleidoscopic visual that perfectly encapsulates his vision of evolution and adaptation.
I personally thought the lasers were a very cool feature, it looked like it came out straight out of an Iron Man film.
Location: National Museum of Singapore’s façade
A collaboration of interactivity and art, Dream City Window combines abstractions of Singapore’s past and imagined future with the evolving environment that you create. Selected from SNF’s Open Call for Night Lights which aimed to discover light installations that interact with and transform the Bras Basah.Bugis
Selected from SNF’s Open Call for Night Lights aimed to discover light installations that interact with and transform the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct.
Passers-by can involve themselves and be part of the art with their own digital silhouettes when you stand in the designated area in front of this installation. When brought to life, a whole new experience can be achieved with a different output each time with endless combinations.
Location: SMU School of Information Systems, 80 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178902
Phosphene, a winding cavern of twinkling lights and unexpected turns, invites visitors on a journey of inspiration and surprises, sparked by the dazzling moments of the decade-long journey of Singapore Night Festival.
You may find the word Phosphene familiar or even experienced it yourself but they are actually the fireworks you see in your peripheral vision in everyday life. That’s exactly what the creators intended — turning everyday moments into a work of art.
An immersive experience that transports you into the world of ever transforming combinations of lights like an adventurer entering a cave full of fireflies. I know you can already tell but this spot would be perfect for the gram. Just look at those colours. *glistening eyes*
Locations: National Design Centre, Design Gallery I. 111 Middle Rd, Singapore 188969
And there you have it, the highlights of the Singapore Night Festival. There were a few spots that were omitted but trust me, they were beautiful all the same. For a full schedule of the festival, check out the online brochure.
My best tips would be to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking, bring a bottle or two of cold drinks and a camera to freeze these mesmerising moments in time. Start at the National Museum of Singapore and explore to your heart’s content, while keeping in mind to end your walk at the designated finish point at CHIJMES.
I’ll be heading down again just because I can’t get enough of the visuals, and you know, aesthetic goals. The manipulation of lights could really make endless beautiful pictures and I know very well that each visit would be unique and different from the previous ones.
Dates & Times: 18 – 26 August 2017, 7:30pm – 12am
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