An evening of photography and leisurely strolling at i Light Marina Bay 2018.
If you have been regularly reading my Diary category, I’m sure you would have gotten the impression Singapore is obsessed with light-ups.
Yes. We adore light-ups. To the extent ethnic opportunities for them are no longer enough, and so we created other events for them. By the latter, I’m of course referring to the Night Festival, the recent Civil District Light to Night Fest, and so on.
On the flip side, environmentalists are probably aghast at our fixation with colourful electric lights, with that itself the main reason for i Light Marina Bay. (By my interpretation, anyway).
Promoted as “a showcase of light art installations” by Singaporean and international artists, with all designs using energy-saving lights and environmentally friendly materials, the event specifically highlights Marina Bay’s commitment to being a sustainable precinct.
At the same time, the festival encourages visitors to adopt “sustainable habits” in daily life. Last but not least, the venue being at the very heart of downtown, it’s a major tourism event. Part of the year-long endeavours to spice up the waterfront area too. And one of the many glitzy events we Singaporeans can look forward to outside of ethnic festivals.
Having been “trained” as recent as January, I now know better than to just head to the festival and wander blindly, or to only refer to a (free[!]) map when there. After consulting the official website, I decided to aim for one full circuit of Marina Bay over three to four hours, with the starting point being Esplanade Park. This would be a sensible starting point given several light art installations are clustered there.
My original plan was to backtrack to the theatres after Esplanade Park, then make my way down to Marina Bay Sands. After seeing the cows, though, I decided I ought to do it the other way i.e. proceed in the direction of Collyer Quay instead.
This abrupt change in plan was largely due to Illumaphonium, the sole installation at Pod @ Singapore River. While strolling through Esplanade Park, I was deeply seduced by the hypnotic sounds emanating from it. Later on, a minute of fooling around with the chimes made me decide right away this would be my favourite light art installation for the evening. I guess the concept appealed to the amateur musician in me.
Good ol’ Merlion received its own makeover for this showcase. He was a little hard to photograph with so many tourists swarming around me. I had to be (shamefully) aggressive before I could secure a good spot.
Collyer Quay and GastroBeats @ i Light Marina Bay
GastroBeats @ i Light Marina Bay was located at The Promontory i.e. within the still ongoing Prudential Marina Bay Carnival. This was a great arrangement for me, for despite what I wrote last December, I never again explored the carnival after that one visit.
At the same time, I felt having programmes within a carnival fairground also infused i Light Marina Bay 2018 with a strong flavour of variety. After seeing several installations standing solemnly by themselves in public spaces, it was refreshing to walk into a lively carnival. I also took the chance to have a break and a snack at the food section of the carnival.
Marina Boulevard and Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
(My feature pic right up above is Passage by Serge Maheu. Near to Light Play and Octopoda, it was full of excited selfie-takers)
ArtScience Museum Light Show
After a brief stop at the Illumi Bar, I ended the evening at the ArtScience Museum. The installation here reminded me a little of the one at NSM during the Night Festival, and in short, I quite enjoyed the techno-organic theme and music. (I watched it twice) Also, the epilogue of the projection felt reminiscent of a certain scene in Silpheed. If you’ve ever played this retro shooter, you’d know what I mean.
i Light Marina Bay 2018 is ongoing till Apr 1, 2018.
Read my other Festive Celebrations in Singapore posts.