Modern cities, symbolisms and mythos and all, at Light to Night Festival 2020.
10 days have passed since New Year fireworks, and with that, the first Singapore festive light-up of 2020 is upon us!
Wait … a moment. The first light-up was the Chinatown CNY one, yes? Which I’ve already written about …
Hmm, never mind. I’m referring to Light to Night Festival 2020, of course; the festival, a major art event of the Civic District each year. As I’ve already written about this several times, I’m not going to do my usual where-I-walked and what-I-saw post. Instead, I’ll take a leaf from major SG sites, and just list down my favourite art installations and art skin projections for this year.
(The nature of such listings, it’s naturally a mini-review too.)
Light to Night Festival 2020 – 8 Favourite Installations
8. Metapolis: City As A Canvas
The massive art skin projections on the City Hall Wing of National Gallery Singapore has always been a major highlight of the Light to Night Festival for me. This year’s projection, though … I wouldn’t say I dislike it, it’s still entertaining. Just that, it doesn’t feel as majestic as the ones in previous years.
On the other hand, the lit steps were atmospheric companions. Metapolis: City Tiles, which played during intervals, had a quirky, Candy Crush feel to it too. (see inlay)
7. Five Stones
Five Stones by Twardzik-Ching Chor Leng was the first Light to Night Festival 2020 art installation that I read about. To be honest, it didn’t particularly capture my attention. I thought it was the usual celebrate-SG-heritage thing.
Seeing it in person is quite a different business, though, particularly the one “dropped” right in the middle of Cavenagh Bridge. Selfie masters will surely have a lot of fun with this one while pretending to have a Gulliver moment.
6. Concrete Collage
Are signs an integral part of modern city living? They are to me.
Within 5 seconds of watching this art skin projection, I immediately thought of all sorts of daily living scenarios in Singapore too. A thumbs up to the creative artists who came up with this concept!
(I have to highlight that the projection spot for Concrete Collage i.e. the NGS wall facing the Arts House, is always a pain to view and photograph. I do wish the organisers switch off that glaring street lamp right in front of it; or at least dim the light)
5. Optical Maze
Given the expanse of the Padang, Optical Maze by OTTOTTO didn’t look too impressive from afar. Like Five Stones, however, it’s quite a different business when you’re next to it. Or better yet, within the maze.
The short of it, it’s positively a Star Wars lightsaber fanatic’s dream. Every kyber colour is represented. Even Rey’s newly minted yellow one is here. Yellow, incidentally, the colour associated with Jedi Sentinels.
(I’m truly curious as to whether OTTOTTO intended this Star Wars reference when designing their installation, described as “a homage to the place of lighting in placemaking.”)
4. Mythopolis: Knots of Knowing
The art skin projections at the Asian Civilisation Museum always come with an ethnic feel, and this year’s projection is no exception. Dynamic, vibrant, and mystical, the whole sequence is like a roller coaster ride through a medley of myths and associated objects.
I found it “spiritual.” I was … also briefly reminded of the Shin Megami Tensei games. As in, the Gaia Faction.
3. Interpolis: Threading Encounters
Divided into three segments, Interpolis: Threading Encounters correspondingly comes with three different moods.
The first segment was amusing. The second segment was enchanting.
The last one, was an eyeful. A very big eyeful that reminded me of Konami’s Gradius shooting games. (Shoot it in the eye!). Which leads me to …
2. Interpolis: Crafting Connections
I doubt it’s intentional but many of the art installations and projections for Light to Night Festival 2020 strongly reminded me of certain video games. As for Interpolis: Crafting Connections, which celebrates social encounters within cities, the games that came to my mind are:
- Atlus’ Catherine. (I have no idea why! But it must have something to do with that lady at the heart of the trippy motifs)
- World of Warcraft.
Yes, WoW. Because of those pink elephants. Who knew Pink Elekks could be found in Singapore?!?
1. Floating City
I was mesmerised by Floating City the moment I stepped into the Padang Atrium of NGS.
Otherworldly and surreal, the geometric suspended edifices indeed resemble looming skyscrapers in the air.
Thanks to creative placement and variations in length, no two spots offer the same view too – an experience made more delightful by the changing colours.
This massive installation was truly, in every way, a joy to experience.
On another note, I regretted not bringing my super-wide lens with me. My 17mm just couldn’t do sufficient visual justice to this great floating cityscape.
Light to Night Festival 2020: Invisible Cities is ongoing till January 19, 2020. The indoor displays at National Gallery Singapore will remain till March 1, 2020.
Read my other Festive Celebrations posts.