An i Light to Remember
i Light Singapore is back for its seventh edition – and it might be the most spectacular one yet. Slated to be held from Jan 28 to Feb 24, at 7.30pm to 11pm daily with extended hours to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays, this Bicentennial Edition of i Light celebrates 200 years since Sir Stamford Raffles founded modern Singapore.
With 33 installations and five activity hubs spanning Marina Bay, the CBD, the Singapore River and Fort Canning Park, expect this year’s sustainable light festival to be bigger and brighter than before.
Admission is free – so make the three-and-a-half-week festival a part of your weeknight plans!
This year, i Light is split up into three recommended festival routes – one for the MBS side of the bay, one from the Collyer Quay side of the bay and the last that takes you around Fort Canning and Clarke Quay.
An attempt to see all 33 installations in one go would end up taking you several hours, so come back on different days to see each section at your own pace.
Bridges of Time
i Light is set to the theme “Bridges of Time”, with the installations reflecting how art and sustainability come together over the years, to connect people with the city and its culture.
Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect at i Light 2019! These are just some of the installations to be seen – discover the full list in the interactive i Light Festival Map .
1. Les Footballeurs (France) – The Lawn @ One Marina Boulevard
An ode to Singapore’s favourite sport, Les Footballeurs is an installation that can’t be captured on camera – you’ve got to see it for yourself. Located at the Lawn next to One Marina Boulevard, this two piece artwork involves a striker attempting to score, and a goalie blocking his shot.
This LED installation purposely slows down the motion of the footballers, in reference to the idea that emotion and motion are intertwined. This way, the piece is imbued with both a sense of tranquility and tension as visitors watch the goalie and striker go up against each other.
Tip: Les Footballeurs shows up with a great effect in smartphone cameras, so be sure to capture this in your IG story.
2. Squiggle (New Zealand) – The Promontory Marina Bay
Scattered across the greens of The Promontory @ Marina Bay, this is the second Squiggle that the artist has created up to now – and it’s the biggest one yet. This twisting 200m mass of neon tubing lights the area in a kaleidoscopic field of colours, which can be seen from the other side of the bay.
Interactive joystick stations are set up at different points, where you can play around with the controller to alter the colors, speed and direction of the neon lights.
Tip: Combine the iconic with the alien by getting the MBS structure in the background, for a shot that seems almost otherworldly.
3. City Gazing Singapore (The Netherlands) – The Lawn @ Marina Bay
City Gazing Singapore hangs over the Eco Lawn @ i Light (formerly The Lawn @ Marina Bay), creating an incredibly striking effect against the black night sky.
This animated installation represents a map of Singapore over the past 100 years, with the changing lights illustrating how the city has grown and expanded from a budding city to the bustling metropolis it is today.
Tip: Switch up the photo angles and capture it against the glowing backdrop of the CBD.
4. Sails Aloft (Estonia) – Marina Bay waterfront promenade
An installation created out of holographs and water, Sails Aloft paints a spectral impression upon the lights across the bay. This piece is inspired by the boats of the seafaring Orang Laut (sea nomads) tribes who lived in the waterways of Singapore many years ago.
By creating a snapshot of a 19th century sailboat race against the backdrop of our modern CBD, the installation’s shimmering movements brings back that piece of the past.
Tip: Sails Aloft is meant to be observed from different angles, as the sailboat will appears to morph and change depending on where you are standing.
5. Cosmic Web (Singapore) – Breeze Shelter
Created by a team of artists from LASALLE, the glowing filaments that make up Cosmic Web is inspired by the wolf spider’s web. From the inside of the the tunnel-like structure, you can get a close-up of the wispy, fragile-looking threads.
Meant to create a space of isolation in the middle of the busy bayfront boulevard, Cosmic Web also represents the resilience and unity of our city – much like a spider’s web.
6. Shades of Temporality (USA) – Marina Bay Link Mall entrance
Here’s your chance to let your inner graffiti artist shine. Combining video painting technology with public space, Shades of Temporality lets you “paint” videos on the wall, using long electronic paint rollers.
Up to three rollers can be used at a time – creating a tapestry of colour and pattern that constantly shifts.
7. Shadow Exposed (USA) – Mist Walk, Next to Red Dot Museum
Don’t be confused by the long sheet stretched across the walkway beside Red Dot Museum – you’ll understand upon closer inspection.
Shadow Exposed plays around with real and created projections. Depending on where you stand, the shadow you create reveals hidden images of Singapore that appear on the sheet. This installation works from both sides – take a pause to figure out which shadows are real, and which aren’t.
8. The Floating Lighthouse (Singapore) – Marina Bay Boardwalk Steps
They look a little like buoys from a distance, so don’t accidentally skip this installation. The Floating Lighthouse is a quintet of miniature lighthouses bobbing near the boardwalk outside Marina Bay Sands. Made out of sustainable materials, these lighthouses are both a symbol of sustainability and homecoming.
Tip: You can activate buttons to make music emit from the top of the lighthouses, which syncs with their lights.
9. Prospegtive Perspective (Singapore) – Marina Bay Boardwalk
Created by a team from NUS, Prospegtive Perspective makes the ubiquitous plastic clothes peg its centrepiece. Each white peg is replicated to form layers that, when viewed from a specific angle, creates the silhouette of an additional piece of skyline amongst the existing buildings.
Meant to symbolise future buildings and an evolving Singapore, this installation represents yet another bright bridge to the future.
10. Facey Thing (New Zealand) – Marina Bay Waterfront
Facey Thing puts its own spin on two touchy topics – millennial narcissism in selfie culture and the rise of universal surveillance.
As you move into view of the camera, facial tracking software picks out your face and blows it up onscreen – like a giant human emoji. If you move closer to the screen, you’ll find that you can “paint” virtually on the screen with your face, by moving and jumping around!
11. Why Green? (Singapore) – Outside MBS
This random white box doesn’t look like much from the outside – but never judge a book (or box) by its cover.
Inspired by the green spaces and parks all around the island, Why Green? uses 3D printed flowers to represent the various species of flora found in Singapore. Walk into the box and encounter a glowing garden of white flowers, magnified by suspended mirrors.
12. Lighthouse of Time (France) – ArtScience Museum Facade
For i Light 2019, the ArtScience Museum is transformed into the Lighthouse of Time.
Watch troupes of colored lights dance across the museum’s facade – turning this familiar landmark into a giant light sculpture of shifting colors.
13. The Time Vortex (Netherlands) – Helix Bridge
The Helix Bridge is an icon on its own, with its spiralling glass-and-steel canopies. i Light transforms it into a surging vortex, bringing the bridge to life with an army of moving lights.
Embark on a cruise and view it from the river, or walk through its centre as the whizzing lights illuminate your path all the way to the other side.
14. The Cat in the Garden (France) – Merlion Park
The cornerstone of Merlion Park, this bayside merlion is given a makeover in The Cat in the Garden, as light waves cloak it in vibrant nature motifs, which shift and change before your eyes. Representing the natural world and our city’s multicultural society, stop by for a few moments to appreciate the statue’s new look.
15. TIME FRAME (The Netherlands) – Esplanade Bridge
Rolled out beneath the Esplanade Bridge is TIME FRAME. This virtual carpet of numbers captures and present real-time nuggets of information on Singapore’s development – from birth rates to expenditure.
16. Oriflammes (France) – Jubilee Bridge
The entire length of the Jubilee Bridge is revamped with a rainbow army of vertical flags. This sight is just as spectacular from the river itself, or from either end of the bridge. On a windy, the flags look like kaleidoscope of rainbow flames when viewed from the side.
17. Time Rhythm (Spain) – Anderson Bridge
The Anderson Bridge over the Singapore River is turned into a giant musical metronome in Time Rhythm. Combining human voices, instruments and sounds from nature, the nine-minute show syncs music with changing lights across the bridge.
Take a seat by the River, and enjoy the dazzling display.
18. Where do stories begin / Where do stories end (Singapore) – Cavenagh Bridge
If you’re walking along Boat Quay at night, it’s impossible to miss the floating words of Where do stories begin / Where do Stories end.
Cavenagh Bridge is turned into a two-part installation, with each side of the bridge presenting a different sentence. It reflects how stories in history are framed with specific beginnings and ends – prompting us to consider how we begin to write our own stories.
19. Cenotaph for a Stone (Singapore) – Waterboat House Garden
Tucked away in Waterboat House Garden near the mouth of the Singapore River, Cenotaph for a Stone is i Light Singapore’s hidden gem.
Inspired by the original Singapore Stone, a sandstone slab with an undeciphered inscription that was blown up in the 19th century, this installation is an ode to this mysterious national treasure. Comprising of 51 ‘rock fragments’ on steel pedestals, the 52th pedestal is left empty – representing the only surviving fragment of the stone that’s now in the National Museum of Singapore.
Apart from the installations, i Light Singapore has a couple of fringe events to tie up the entire experience. Here are some highlights to look forward to!
Le Petit Chef Experience – The Brasserie @ The Fullerton Bay Hotel
Presenting the ‘World’s Smallest Chef”, the Le Petit Chef Experience at The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s La Brasserie restaurant brings visual mapping to the dining table with its Singapore debut. Watch your dinner come to life as the tiny chef chops, mixes, flambés and plates each of the courses right in front of you.
For $188+ per pax for the four-course seating(minimum of five diners per table), you can expect Maine Lobster, Seafood Bouillabaisse, Angus Tenderloin, Coconut Rice Pudding and Petit Fours served with coffee/tea.
Marina Bay Prudential Carnival
The Marina Bay Prudential Carnival is back again at the Bayfront Event Space, till 24 March. With 50 rides, over 20 game booths to score prizes at, and contests for all to participate in, the Carnival is the ideal night out for both thrill-seekers and families alike.
Eco Lawn @ Marina Bay
The festival isn’t just for the aesthetics. The Eco Lawn, set up at The Lawn @ Marina Bay, will have upcycling workshops, outdoor film screenings and even an Outdoor Mass Yoga Event, run by PURE Yoga on 15 Feb. Slots for this dusk-to-night yoga sessions are limited, so pre-book your spot here.
On Fridays and weekends, browse the Sustainable Lifestyle Market for eco-centric products and handmade goods, or head down to the Terra Village for a crash course on upcycling trash into functional lamps and wallets.
All this takes place under the glow of City Gazing Singapore, a suspended animated map of Singapore that hangs over the Eco Lawn.
This year’s i Light returns with their Switch off, Turn Up initiative, which rallies for corporations and festival-goers alike to switch off non-essential lights and turn up air-conditioning temperatures, all in the name of energy conservation.
i Light Singapore is also going Straw Free, with partners at various event zones reducing the availability of plastic straws, or providing alternatives.
Make the most of i Light 2019
There’s three-and-a-half weeks to explore all that i Light Singapore has to offer, so there’s no excuse. Save the dates in your calendar, and see the city in a different light!