Earlier this evening, we were invited to the media tour of the upcoming Light To Night Singapore’s 2024 rendition.
This year would be the 8th edition of the festival organised by the National Gallery Singapore. The theme for this year’s event is called: Reimagine Art And The World.
The festival starts officially on the 19th January 2024 and will stretch till the 8th February 2024. The arts installation consists a mix of ticketed and free experiences, spread across several venues within the civic district.
We were given a guided tour and were given a preview of what to expect during this festival and we are excited to share our experiences with you. Unfortunately due to the many locations and art installations, we were only to stay very briefly at each point of interest. We managed to take some photos to give you a glimpse of what to expect when you visit.
Some refreshment and light bites before the start of the guided tour.
On the first two festival weekends, there will be a festival village along St Andrew’s Road. [Art X Social Festival]
There is quite a crowd invited to this media event.
Before the guided tour, we were gathered in the auditorium where the event organisers gave a brief introduction on this year’s Light to Night Festival and the conceptualisation behind the theme.
Centred around the theme of “Reimagine”, artworks by these artists showcase innovative art forms that encourage audiences to engage, approach, and participate in art through fresh perspectives.
Some of the installations’ artist were also there to give the crowd some flavour for their work’s inspiration.
Shortly after, we were broken up into groups and off we went to see the first art installation right outside Padang!
Wings of Change by Kumari Nahappan at Padang Field: Singaporean artist Kumari Nahappan debuts an inflatable artwork, magnifying her iconic saga seed into a six-metre installation illuminating the festival at sunset. Addressing the vanishing saga trees, the piece urges action for sustainability and preservation, inviting festival-goers to engage in climate activism. Encouraging participation, Kumari invites audiences to circulate clockwise around the seed, promoting living in the moment and fostering positive change.
In the background, you can also enjoy the light projection on the facade of the National Gallery Singapore.
The artists responsible for creating the beautiful light show are:
Teo Eng Seng: Living the Life by Teo Eng Seng and Milosh Luczynski at National Gallery Singapore’s façade projection: Early local abstractionist and Cultural Medallion recipient Teo Eng Seng, best known for his works in paperdyesculp, will create a light projection artwork for the first time. Through vivid compositions, riotous colours, and spontaneous arrangements, the artwork invites festival-goers to embrace the boundless possibilities and sheer rawness of everyday life.
Temple of Love by Arahmaiani, Wayang Merdeka, and Milosh Luczynski at National Gallery Singapore’s façade projection: Indonesian visual and performance artist Arahmaiani will also be presenting her first light projection work in collaboration with shadow puppetry collective Wayang Merdeka and Paris-based multi-disciplinary visual and intermedia artist, Milosh Luczynski. Rooted in an ecological narrative of destruction and healing, the artists worked with various communities to depict the rejuvenating powers of Mother Nature.
Next up, we took a leisurely stroll to the 2nd stop, right outside The Arts House.
Winter Sonata, Summer Mookata by Knuckles & Notch at The Arts House’s façade projection: Known for their bold graphic works, risograph printing and publishing studio Knuckles & Notch tries their hand at light projections. Festival-goers will be treated to a surreal and mind-bending journey that narrates ecological challenges, coupled with an exploration of spiritual consciousness and trippy visual wonders.
Moving on, we stoped by Asian Civilisation Museum where we enjoyed a light show created by the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA).
Passage reimagines Singapore’s history as a port city, through the perspective of ceramic bowls, since the beginning of Singapore’s maritime trade history. Developed by a team of Year 4 and 5 Visual Arts, Literary Arts and Music students from School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA), Passage was inspired by objects found in the Asian Civilisations Museum, including ceramic bowls from the Tang Shipwreck, as well as iconic blue porcelain and Peranakan ceramics. The colourful motifs and delightful patterns within each bowl playfully showcase Singapore’s metamorphosis from a trading port to an independent city. Generations of Singaporean stories are retold as different pairs of hands pass these bowls on, from one person to another, symbolising the rich yet immeasurable history of Asia.
The students involved giving the group an introduction of the art installation on display.
Next up, definitely an Instagram hotspot you want to check out.
Party Pavilion by Howie Kim at Asian Civilisations Museum Green: Experience dancing lights and vibrant colours at the Party Pavilion, where imagination meets nostalgia. Inspired by the museum’s collection and the whimsy of theme parks, the artwork embodies exuberance of adolescence, inviting festival-goers to rediscover carefree youth and embrace imaginative escapades.
This next art exhibit is something that pique my interest much. An alternative take on the Chinese opera stage.
Wayang Spaceship by Ming Wong at Empress Lawn at Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall: Co-presented with Singapore Art Museum, Wayang Spaceship is a reimagined Chinese opera stage. Shuttling festival-goers through the past, present and future, the installation takes visitors on a voyage through the evolution of Chinese opera and its cinematic transformations, exploring its unlikely relationship with the development of science fiction. The highlight of the encounter occurs nightly as the Wayang Spaceship activates with light, sound, and film.
Embroidered Landscapes by SISTRUM at Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall’s façade projection: Drawing inspiration from 街戏, or jie xi, a type of Chinese Opera that is fading from the streets of Singapore, SISTRUM draws inspiration from its costumes and music, to create new cityscapes combining vernacular and contemporary art forms.
From Victoria Concert Hall, we walked on to the basement tunnel linking Adelphi and Funan.
The Gachapartment Complex by Nikkei at Funan Basement 2 Underground Pedestrian Linkway: Local illustrator Nikkei crafted a hidden utopia where toys live complex lives akin to our own. Festival-goers can witness these toys come to life and explore parallels between their busy lives and the hustle and bustle of Funan, using an Augmented Reality component created by Temasek Polytechnic students. The Gallery is excited to renew its partnership with CapitaLand for two more years, from 2024 to 2025, for an expanded collection of artworks in CapitaLand malls to foster art outreach within these dynamic spaces.
Last stop, we routed back to National Gallery Singapore where there are a few stations to visit within the compound.
Wishful Thinking by Whisperlodge at National Gallery Singapore’s The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Foyer: Enter a multi-room installation where festival-goers can discover unexpected textures and sounds in this immersive experience inspired by autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). On Saturday evenings, festival-goers can enjoy a 60-minute live ASMR performance on and around the installation, providing a brief escape from daily life. This is a ticketed installation at $5/pax.
Ping Pong Go-Round by Lee Wen at the National Gallery Singapore’s City Hall Wing, Level 2: Fancy a game of table tennis? Friends, families, and strangers are invited to come together to activate the artwork by playing an unorthodox multi-directional game of table tennis around a circular table, symbolising the exchange of power, ideas and dialogue. Cultural Medallion recipient Lee Wen, largely known for his Yellow Man Series, focuses his art around sociopolitical commentary concerned with issues such as his identity as an Asian man and globalisation.
Rapture by Victor Tan at Gallery’s Padang Atrium: Seven human figure sculptures will “float” mid-air, with one figure seated on a pedestal within the Atrium. Inspired by the biblical notion of rapture, the act of ascending to a realm beyond our own, the eight life-sized wire sculptures represent the transition from the earthly to the spiritual to symbolise a surrender to the divine.
This last art exhibit looked very impressive.
By the time we are finished with this last stop, it was close to 9.15pm. We actually went back to the Wishful Thinking station to try out the ASMR experience. It was quite fun and we highly recommend you go for this.
That concludes the end of our sneak peak guided tour. If you are planning something awesome to do this weekend, do come check out the Light to Night Festival.
It was a wonderful experience just exploring this part of Singapore on foot and now set alight by some beautiful art installations and exhibits.
We also appreciate the fact that the artists responsible were there to showcase their work and interact with the public.
You can look forward to over 60 artworks and programmes ranging from interactive art installations, interdisciplinary programmes, mesmerising light projections, and live performances that will set the Civic District abuzz.
Please check out the Light to Night 2024 official website for more information. For the ticketed experiences, it might be a good idea to pre-book so you can ensure your slots to visit.
Offering visitors more time to visit and explore the festival and immerse themselves in art, National Gallery Singapore will extend its opening hours until 11pm on festival weekends (Fridays to Sundays) and offer free entry to all exhibitions. This includes the Gallery’s year-end blockbuster, Tropical: Stories from Southeast Asia and Latin America. Gallery Insiders will also get 10% off all ticketed festival programmes within the Gallery.
Booking of ticketed programmes is currently available on lighttonight.sg. Do pre-register for the programmes to ensure that you do not miss out on the highly popular programmes such as the Dungeon & Dragons sessions inspired by the National Collection and Wishful Thinking by Whisperlodge.