Come Play At i Light Marina Bay 2014

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Hi Huneybees,



i Light Marina Bay is back for another year to inspire us with 28 installations as Asia's only sustainable light art festival. I was invited to the media preview and we were introduced to a few of the installations, one to highlight would be the Celebration of Life by local artist Justin Lee


It is a projection piece on the ArtScience facade that is a uses Pop-art as a medium to celebrate Asian values in our modern society through a tongue-in-cheek manner, blending traditional Eastern iconography with modern-day symbols of our global capitalist culture.


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The best place to view the Celebration of Life would be from the viewing pods on the Helix Bridge.
And so, we were brought on a boat ride to see some of the other installations in its beauty from the Singapore River. First one to steal the limelight is the magnificent 1.26 Singapore, combining traditional craftsmanship and inspiration on today's ever changing face of the earth and the effects natural disasters have on people, this piece of work suspends over the floating platform.



Created by Janet Echelman, the 1.26 sculpture is being inspired by the traditional craftsmanship of fish net weaving and lace making. The form and content has been drawn from observing Earth's interconnected systems and using the laboratory research from NASA and NOAA, documenting the effects of the 2010 earthquake in Chile (the historic shock resulted in the shortening of earth's day by 1.26 microseconds), which was the inspiration behind the installation's name.





CLOUD created by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett from Canada, making use of both new and recycled materials, combining the aesthetic of incandescent light bulbs with the brilliance of energy-efficient bulbs.


Revolving around the topic of sustainability, the installation's internal contrast of old and new light technologies provides a dialogue about energy, sources of light and sustainable progress, while maintaining an optimistic tone of magic, hope and beauty.



Come under this illuminated CLOUD and pull on a strand of "rain" to flick the switch to trigger a shift within the greater aesthetic of CLOUD, visually highlighting the power of an individual's ability to impact progress and achieve significant change.


The Golden Wattle is Australia's floral emblem, a tree which flowers in late winter and spring, producing a mass of fragrant, fluffy, golden flowers. The company - Out Of The Box from New Zealand, adapts the form if the Golden Wattle and develop into a device that will change colours as the "flowers" sway in the wind.



The installation is exploring the interplay between ethnic groups co-existing in one city, representing the new mix of cultures residing in the city, bringing a slice of nature into our urban environment.


After seeing the installations around the Floating Platform, it was time for us to head back on land and start off a little more exploration around the Marina Bay, starting from the Promontory, these will be more interactive and definitely a top favourite amongst the kids.


The Pool is a group of giant concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. Step onto each pad to play and with collaborative movement, you can affect and change the colour of each pad. In there, there's also a controlling pad that changes all the colours at one go, go figure which one is it.

Jen Lewin, the artist behind The Pool giving us a briefing on her piece of work...



And right next to The Pool, you can find the Fool's Gold. Well, it is mainly a huge signboard with the words " No Gold Buried Here". The work alludes to a Chinese Idiom about a fool who tries to hide his gold, but made its hiding-place even more conspicuous by erecting a sign on its burial spot disclaiming its existence.


Garden lovers would find this a delightful sight. The Guardian Angels echoes the preservation of the garden and plants, nature. It highlights the role of the human and pays an indirect tribute to gardeners and artificially created nature. 


The transformation of an everyday industrial item into a poetic object stops and challenges the passer-by. Surprisingly, these watering-lanterns are a gesture of protection to our environment, but also a suggestion to give a second life to an object after use.


So, what goes on in your mind? Wouldn't it be great if we had a speech bubble over our heads sometimes? ***Insert Caption Please is a giant speech bubble that displays thoughts and messages akin to comic strips. 


Our social interaction has often shifted to screen-based interfaces as our primary form of communication. You can't insert the captions but these messages are different, they are autonomous, generating random quotes and texts. With this, it beckons the audience to react to these heart felt comments that are thought-provoking, witty and humorous at times.



Following the "Light + HeART" theme, this year you can expect to see a little hearts around. Floating Hearts by Travesias De Luz from Spain has presented us with a wall of illuminated hearts. 



They light up as one reaches out and into every heart. It's interesting to see how everyone, whether strangers or families, can come together to interact, dialogue and be delighted.


This one is the kids' top favourite, actually everyone with a little kid within, me included. Uno Lai from Taiwan created JouJou-Ours, believing that interactive arts are just not about technology, but also reflects the simple acts to express love. 




Inspired by our childhood favorite soft-toy, the teddy bear, go ahead and hug it out! Come close and embrace these light installations, with these close physical interactions, the embedded lights will create a magical kaleidoscope of colours.



Making light is open to everybody and Light Collective from the United Kingdom demonstrates this by teaching about 200 students from different schools in Singapore to each make a simple light box, personalised with images and text, with red as the predominant colour for half of these boxes - #WeHeartLight.






Mimosa plants change kinetically to suit their environmental conditions, Jason Bruges Studio from United Kingdom  adapted that theory and made an interactive artwork that mimics responsive plant systems. Using thin organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to represent the delicate light petals of flowers, they respond as vistors' shadow over the artwork, opening and closing , as though dancing.



This installation presents a prefect combination of art and technology, where the most innovative lighting technology is integrated into a dynamic installation that reacts to people's hand motions, forming a magical experience.




Chances of seeing a sky full of stars in Singapore is so rare. As the city develops, the amount of light switched on during the night increases, interfering with the darkness needed to see the stars. I remember when I was in New Zealand, I could see the stars brightly shining in the sky and it was almost like a superimposed picture, but here in Singapore, I could never get to see that...


Meinhardt Light Studio Pte Ltd from Singapore has created Bedazzled to bring us closer to the natural starry night sky due to light pollution. Experience the wonder of stars in a truly dark sky with animated constellations as you step into the installation, showcasing the importance of the richeness that the universea offers and what we can offer the universe in return.



There's a crocodile at Marina Bay!


Happy Croco is a luminuous 20m long sculpture, that comes alive at night. Its backbone is made of traffic cones and it requires 2 types of LEDs and low energy light bulbs. Created by Bibi from France, Happy Croco is a playful installation that is both a piece of art as well as a strong message to carry across to us, 'cause as you look closer, the delightful crocodile is made from our everyday discarded items that have been given a new lease of new, delightful life.


And next to this croc, other creatures comes to life at night too. iSwarm is a swarm of luminous "sea creatures" that interact with passers-by. The cells of iSwarm illuminate the waters of Marina Bay with fluorescent light reminiscent of natural phenomena such as bio luminescent algae or the Aurora Borealis.



As you approach the iSwarm, they will greet you with subtle modulation of its light patterns as it detects human presence. This clever installation is created by a team from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Advanced Architecture Laboratory and Augmented Senses Group.




Arup from Singapore has aligned an array of translucent shapes outside Marina Bay Sands. It will draw your attention to approach and as the intrigued mind gets close, there will be an instinctive impulse to touch, stimulating the object to respond. 


BEAT answers visually, intensifies and adopts a human heart beat light pulse. Once visitors interact and get together, the installation is synchronized, becoming a single thoughtful act where it glows as a single beat. "It only takes one initiate change and collectively, change can be realised".



The last one I would like to introduce is by The Living! Project from Singapore - The Wishing! Tree. It represents the positive hopes and dreams of visitors wishing the best for our world. It encourages everyone to imagine what their perfect world could be like and wish for it on the tree.


Of course, there are more installations for you to appreciate, and when getting around, do look out for the signboard that will lead your way and with the map in hand, don't forget to get a stamp at each installation for memories...



And while at Marina Bay, why not take your time enjoy the time with your loved ones and have a break by the river front...






i Light Marina Bay 2014 will open nightly from 7 to 30 March 2014, 7.30pm to 11pm, around the Marina Bay waterfront. Admission is free. For more information, please visit www.ilightmarinabay.sg.
There are also a line up of events during this period and you can check out the calender here --- http://www.ilightmarinabay.sg/programs/calendar/



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