i Light Marina Bay 2012 Official Launch

The anticipation is over… i Light Marina Bay 2012 was officially switched on yesterday with a bevy of light art all ready to dazzle, sparkle and shine!

This post captures the happenings during the launch event, some of the installations I came across that evening and the fun I had camwhoring with the works of art 🙂

i Light Marina Bay 2012 is in full bloom! Catch this installation titled 'Planting Shadows' and many others along the perimeter of Marina Bay from now till 1 Apr 2012.

This is Jerrald, one of the many student volunteer guides from Temasek Polytechnic who will help visitors appreciate the inspiration behind an installation. I was so impressed by Jerrald's initiative in approaching me to share information about Planting Shadows when he saw me taking photos it. Thumbs up!

Yeah, it's time to take out the camera to go photo farming at i Light 2012...

Planting Shadows is by a group of five Singaporean artists who call themselves, Vertical Submarine. So why are the sunflowers grey? The inspiration behind this piece is a poem by local writer Chien Swee-Teng (hmm… is this where the artists got their moniker from? Chien Swee-Teng in Chinese sounds like ‘潜水艇’, which means ‘submarine’!).

The poem tells the tale of a sunflower plantation owner who made a pact with an imp who lives in an empty sunflower oil bottle. In exchange for prosperity and success of his sunflower business, the owner must give up his ability to see colour. Kinda like the Little Mermaid giving up her voice to become human.

But more than just a physical realisation of the story, Planting Shadows invites visitors to appreciate the beautiful form and shape of sunflowers without the interference of colour. However, there’s a twist to this piece. During night fall, the flowers light up to create a visual harvest. I’m not putting up the afterdark shot of this installation so that you can come visit the exhibit and experience the poetic aura yourself! Heh heh…

Light Meets Asia

Happening once every two years, this is part duex of i Light Marina Bay after a successful run in 2010. The theme for this sophomore edition is ‘Light Meets Asia’ and it brings together light artists and designers from 17 countries and territories. The festival features around 30 installations, of which 22 are by artists and designers based in Asia.

The launch was held at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on 9 Apr 2012, 7pm.

Junk Jam drumming up a tune for sustainability with drums made from discarded tin cans and plastic barrels.

E.T. would be jealous of his multiple lighted fingers. Let the healing powers of light fill you this March at Marina Bay!

A tall-order of fun with masquerade LED stilt walkers on parade.

Catch them on weekends during the festival period from 7:30 - 8:30pm.

Sass in the city. LED twirlers will be spinning up a wave of lights on weekends during the 3-week festival.

Always a gem... with the zany Juliana all decked out in another one of her eye-pooping fashion creations and the blogger who's on everyone's invite list, Hong Peng.

Energy-saving lights. i Light Marina Bay is not just about beautifying our cityscape with illuminated art but also to raise awareness about environmentally-friendly practices for a sustainable future.

Guest-of-honour - Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, urned on i Light. His short speech was peppered with humour especially the part about him being perfect to launch i Light because his darker skin is light absorbing. LOL! Not so funny was his bodyguard though.

Artists, curators, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) team, and festival partners... The people who put the 'i' in i Light.

A photo with the festival's appointed bloggers, photographers, and Festival Director, Mary-Anne Kyriakou (the beautiful mom-to-be).

With photography maestro, Calvin Huang. I learnt a trick from him last night. To have your face looking slim in a photo, always angle the body to the side and turn to face the camera. Picturesque waterfront setting with great-looking light art, i Light Marina Bay is glowing with photo opportunities.

Create a light spectacle of your own with glow sticks, torches and finger lights purchasable near the Breeze Shelter a short distance from The Promontory @ Marina Bay. A set of 4 finger lights costs S$5.00.

After the launch ceremony and reception with gorgeous pizzas by Verve Pizza Bar @ Marina Bay, I was in the mood for some sleuthing. I think one of the thrills of coming to i Light is looking for the artworks. They are not hard to find, but there’s a “ah-ha” moment when I finally encounter them.

I’ve seen photos and read briefs about the works so seeing them upclose triggered a sense of familiarity in me, like meeting someone you’ve befriended online for the first time.

Bibigloo by BIBI (France)

Imparting a chill factor to the bay is Bibigloo by French artist, BIBI. Assembled with 250 recycled plastic jerry cans, the work aims to draw focus on global warming issues and the melting polar caps.

I wonder... if I slept in Bibigloo, would I have a Dream of the Red Ice Kachang (红豆梦 instead of 红楼梦)?

iTouch at i Light. Many of the exhibits encourage visitors to interact with them.

A peek into Bibigloo.

The Gate by Li Hui (China)

Walking along The Promontory stretch of Marina Bay, I noticed a shimmering red burn emanating from Marina Bay City Gallery in the distance. The flashy glare demands attention and announces the exhibit it comes from before I was even close. That’s The Gate by Chinese artist, Li Hui, a masculine piece that hallmarks the role of gates as portals that connects one realm to another.

Li Hui presenting his i Light inspiration to Singapore. His works are imbued with high concept ideas executed with the use of innovative exhibitory techniques.

This shot of The Gate's laser projection was shot near the Breeze Shelter, which I estimate to be about 200m from the Marina Bay City Gallery where the piece is housed.

Light has the ability to expand an installation's presence much larger than the artworks themselves.

Enter a whole new dimension of art appreciation through The Gate.

Visitors become a work of art themselves when passing through The Gate.

Illumination Disorders II by Tay Swee Siong (Singapore)

Outside the Marina Bay City Gallery stands a beautiful mess. Composed of discarded materials, Singaporean sculptor Tay Swee Siong gave the trash a second life with this whimsical sculpture that lights up in response to voices.

If you need someone to talk to and respond to you, this is your piece!

Who's the garbage here with such a trashy pose?

BioShell by Shinya Okuda (Japan / Singapore)

Departing Marina Bay City Gallery, I walked further along the bay in the direction of Marina Bay Sands. That was when my path was crossed by these two ‘things’…

Crouching Cougar Hidden Skeleton? Kungfu by the bay or escaped zombies from a bio hazard zone?

IMO, the best way to enjoy i Light and Marina Bay is to get a friends who are uninhibited in front of the camera, feed them with alcohol and start clicking away. Calvin and Juliana were so spontaneous, the Panasonic Lumix GF3 that I was using to shoot had a field day!

Now back to this next exhibit… BioShell by Shinya Okuda. With Calvin and Juliana in their wild state, the installation sure comes in handy to have them stored away!

BioShell is a lightweight temporary shelter illuminated purely by LED lights,

'Wildlife' contained but the infection of fun continues to spread with their quirkiness. Naise!

The fully biodegradable disaster shelter was adorned with stickers on 11 Mar to commemorate the massive Japan earthquake that caused a meltdown of the country's Fukushima power plant a year ago.

The Light Dam by Uno Lai (Taiwan)

I shared in my i Light Sneak Peek post I’ll talk more about the inspiratino behind this piece as old to me by the artist himself, Uno Lai. According to him, this installation is partly self-sustaining as 30% of the light is recycled.

How does it work? Uno has installed small solar chips into each of the cubes that capture energy generated from the lights. The stored energy is in turn reused to power the lights, creating a self-sufficient installation.

Currently, the installation is only able to capture 30% of the light energy for reuse. Ideally, according to Uno, the chip could also capture sunlight for energy so that the artwork would require no external power source. 30% or 100%, this prototype is a clever idea nonetheless!

Uno explained that when visitors put their hands into the holes, the light in the cube will dim slightly because the energy-capturing sensor is being blocked.

I'm no light technician. All I know is that The Light Dam makes a uber cool backdrop for a photoshoot. With this act-cute pose, I was afraid I would short-circuit the installation.

No, no... I'm not having a manicure or getting electrocuted. The reason for my expression as I put my hands through the holes was because... (see next photo)

... this was waiting at the other end.

Hope you had fun looking at the photos and found inspiration in the featured installations in this post. I’ll share more of the works when I get to visit and shoot them in the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile, make a date with i Light Marina Bay and create your own artful memories 🙂 Below is a map of the festival with all the locations of the installations marked out. For a larger version of the map, click here.

Festival Info :

Duration : 9 Mar – 1 Apr 2012

Operating Hours : 7:30 – 11:00pm nightly

Admission : Free

Click here for i Light Marina Bay 2012 Official Website


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jerrald Ng
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 15:19:41

    Hey Darren, thanks for the compliment in the blogpost. I’ve grabbed the photo and gonna share it. Thanks a lot.


  2. jassy
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 22:30:47

    when did this open? Apr 9 or march 9? 🙂

    what countries participated?


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