Singapore Night Festival 2023 is happening at the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct from Aug 18 to 26.
The Singapore Night Festival returns this year to light up the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct with the theme “Singapore, the Great Port City”. Connecting its rich history of trade and exchange with contemporary experiences, this year’s edition of the festival showcases Singapore’s evolution and growth beyond its early role as a port city into a dynamic modern metropolis where worlds meet.
Through Singapore’s 700 years as a vital port city, the BBB precinct has been featured quite prominently – as a seat of power, a citadel, and a site promoting trade and exchange. Festival-goers can look forward to exploring the museums and heritage buildings around BBB with a line-up of multi-cultural festival offerings featuring works by local artists.
From dynamic projection mappings and Night Lights installations, to unique, experiential programmes and food and retail experiences, the Singapore Night Festival 2023 invites festival-goers to discover the transformation of this small island into the leading global hub and network it is today.
The following is a selection of what to look forward to at this year’s festival, with an emphasis on the night lights and mapping projections. For the full list of programmes, please visit the official website! Note too that like previous years, several museums will be opened till late too on selected days.
Presented by Samsung
For the first time ever, the Singapore Night Festival will be presented by Samsung. Other than a flippin’ fun Galaxy Studio pop-up at the SMU Green Festival Village, where personalised souvenirs awaits, visitors stand to win attractive prizes by posting pictures taken with the Galaxy Z Flip5 at four Night Festival exhibits. More details below.
- Presented by Samsung
- Singapore Night Festival 2023 – Over 50 Experiences Lighting Up the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct
- 700 Years by Zizi Majid, Muhammad Izdi, Jérémie Bellot (AV Extended)
- Time is a Black Circle by Dawn Ng
- A Stone’s Throw (Away) by WY-TO Group
- Galaxy Studio by Samsung
- Rimbun by Shakir (a.k.a Grasshopper)
- Preserving Paradise by Teo Huey Ling
- Mapping Projection at CHIJMES
- “Flowing Water Road” Shrine by Mindflyer
- SeaScape Symphony by 27June Studio
- We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, until we cannot by Sweet Tooth
- A Global Bugis Phinisi by Tay Swee Siong
- X O X (two kisses and a hug) by Critical Craft Collective
- Florescence by Kristal Menon
- GIFFEST III: IMPERFECT by EYEAH!
- AT SG 2023: Spinal Tap by Tristan Lim
- Three Festival Villages
Singapore Night Festival 2023 – Over 50 Experiences Lighting Up the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct
The 14th edition of Singapore Night Festival connects diverse stakeholders, partners, and artists to light up the the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct, and invites festival-goers to discover new perspectives of local heritage.
Organised by the National Heritage Board, and presented by Samsung, this year’s festival theme Singapore, the Great Port City sheds light on Singapore’s evolution from a vital port city to today’s dynamic modern metropolis.
Visitors can look forward to traversing 700 years of Singapore’s history through a robust line-up of multicultural festival offerings that showcase the rich sights, smells, tastes and stories of BBB. These include new festival offerings, unique artist co-creations and noteworthy collaborations between the local and international arts community, all of which embody the practice of trade and exchange at the port city and showcase the talents of the local art scene.
(Unless otherwise stated, night lights and programmes are scheduled for 7pm to 12 midnight)
700 Years by Zizi Majid, Muhammad Izdi, Jérémie Bellot (AV Extended)
Location: Façade of National Museum of Singapore
Presented by Samsung
The 6-minute epic, one of four projection mapping works for the Festival, will transport you to the 14th century, where you’ll meet Seri Anggerik. Like you, our female protagonist is embarking on her own “Back to the Future” journey to present-day Singapore. Just as Seri is awestruck by the country’s “glow-up,” seeing Singapore reverse age by 700 Years might be a mind-bending experience for you. There’s no better reminder of how far our port city has come than watching ancient history come alive through cutting-edge technology.
Paintings from 700 Years are inspired by the collection of National Gallery Singapore and National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board. Maps are Courtesy of National Archives Singapore and National Library Board.
Time is a Black Circle by Dawn Ng
Location: National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
Time: 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Paid Attraction: Early Bird Ticket Pricing at $22 from Jul 18 to Aug 17
Ticket Pricing at SGD 27/- from Aug 18 to 26
*Prices are inclusive of booking fee
Ticketing Link: https://www.klook.com/en-SG/activity/92020
Time is a Black Circleis a throwback to the Swinging Sixties and Disco Fever in the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct where Singapore’s discotheques once were. Singaporean artist Dawn Ng’s cylindrical “disco time portal”, a perfectly cylindrical structure brimming with a symphony of colours and melodies, is fittingly located here. Step into the dancing shoes of your parents’ and grandparents’, and relive a bygone era when influencers of their generation, like The Silver Strings and Rita Chao, painted the town red.
A Stone’s Throw (Away) by WY-TO Group
Location: National Museum of Singapore lawn, beside Banyan Tree
A Stone’s Throw (Away) is inspired by the legend of the Singapore Stone. Recorded in the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), the stone was flung from Fort Canning Hill to the mouth of the Singapore River by 14th-century strongman Badang, who would have made a fine shot put athlete today. In 1843, the British removed the colossal stone to widen the river’s passage.
This light installation re-imagines the stone through a series of interconnected light panels filled with illustrations that are illuminated with body movement. Gather fellow festival-goers in front of the panels to activate them, and watch the “reconstructed” relic come to life.
This artwork is co-presented by the National Library Board, to inspire discovery of hidden stories and facets of Singapore’s past from the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore collections.
Galaxy Studio by Samsung
Location: Main Festival Village @ SMU Campus Green
Samsung is bringing a flippin’ great time with its Galaxy Studio pop-up to SMU Green. Snap a selfie with the latest Galaxy Z Flip5 and its amazing FlexCam. Check out other Galaxy devices in-store, including the new Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Tab S9 Series and Galaxy Watch6 Series.
The Studio will also carry SNF exclusives, including unique CASETiFY covers designed by participating artists, Ashley YK Yeo, Chris Chai (Cosmicchai) and Sadiq Mansor (249.png) whose projection mapping works will be featured at CHIJMES, and other local brand collabs! Special Samsung deals also available on-site.
Festival visitors can moreover look forward to exciting activities at the Galaxy Studio, including:
- Twitch streamer and creator @supercatkei will host “Street Interviews”, where you can stand to win amazing prizes when you take part in her trivia Q&As (Aug 18)
- Learn more about your personal colours with with popular Korean colour analyst @colorwings_official (Aug 18 & 19)
- Receive a personalised souvenir from local embroidery artist @beadbadwolf when you visit on Aug 19, 20, 25 and 26.
First, Let Me Take a Selfie
Festival visitors stand a chance to win amazing prizes when they take a photo at various Singapore Night Festival Art Installations or the Galaxy Studio Photobooth.
All one needs to do is to take a pic with the Galaxy Z Flip5 made available at 4 locations*, post the photo on Instagram and tag @samsungsg and @sgnightfest with #JoinTheFlipSide, #withGalaxy and #SGNightFest!
- A Stone’s Throw (Away) at National Museum of Singapore, Banyan Tree
- Rimbun at Farquhar Garden, Canning Rise
- Preserving Paradise at Armenian Street, beside The Bible House
- “Flowing Water Road” Shrine at Raffles City
Win an Exclusive BTS FlipsuitCard
Be the first 50 to head down to Galaxy Studio from Aug 21 to 24, to stand a chance to win the not-for-sale BTS Flipsuit Card for the Galaxy Z Flip5.
For more information, please visit www.samsung.com/sg/event/jointheflipside .
The Island at the End by Wong Lip Chin
Location: In front of SMU’s Yong Pung How School of Law
The Island at the Endis an interactive, multisensory installation that has “risen” from the ground, whisking you away to a 14th-century medical hall and apothecary, perfumed by the raw materials and resins used in incense-making.
Its placement here is no mere coincidence. Singapore’s first botanic garden, established back in 1822, was dedicated to cultivating economically significant plants and spices. By resurrecting and reinventing a fragment of the past, the artist hopes to spark curiosity about the natural and historical wonders hidden beneath the earth’s surface and in plain sight amidst our surroundings.
#SGNIGHTFEST by Pan-United Corporation
Location: National Museum of Singapore Lawn
Commissioned in 2022 for the 13th edition of Singapore Night Festival, #SGNIGHTFEST stretches across an impressive seven metres, showcasing gigantic concrete letters crafted with sustainable, low-carbon, and recycled raw materials using 3D printing technology. Each weighing a hefty 60 kilograms, these letters are composed of 18 layers of concrete, resulting in a sleek and minimalist appearance during the day. As night falls, they burst to life in an exuberant array of colours, enveloping the lawn of the National Museum of Singapore in their radiant glow.
Don’t miss the chance to gather your squad, strike a pose, and leave your mark on the #SGNIGHTFEST hashtag across social media platforms.
Rimbun by Shakir (a.k.a Grasshopper)
Location: Farquhar Garden, Canning Rise
Rimbun, which translates to fertile in English, ups the ante on projection mapping by ditching man-made structures and embracing nature as its canvas. The artist boldly ventures beyond the confines of templates and blueprints, tailoring the illumination to Farquhar Garden to a tee while leaving room for the spontaneity of its surroundings.
Preserving Paradise by Teo Huey Ling
Location: Armenian Street, Beside The Bible House
Preserving Paradise references Singapore’s first experimental botanical garden, built circa 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles, to grow valuable crops and conserve native flora and fauna. This interactive artwork revisits the concept of an experimental botanical garden in a futuristic light, looking straight out of a sci-fi flick with otherworldly species made of cast resin and laser-cut plywood. Those with green fingers can nerd out about cash crops of the yesteryears; those with itchy ones will be kept entertained with the hand crank mechanisms.
With cutting-edge technology, motifs inspired by traditional wood carving, batik, and songket (a textile patterned with gold or silver threads) come alive in the lush garden. The resulting masterpiece is an homage to Singapore’s cultural heritage as a bustling hub for international trade.
Mapping Projection at CHIJMES
Three mapping projection works will be presented at stately CHIJMES. They are:
- Birth in Bloom by Ashley YK Yeo
Birth in Bloom unites mythical legends and the tapestry of Singapore’s local flora in an animated extravaganza.
- Evolution of Bras Basah Entertainment Scene by Sadiq Mansor (249.png)
Evolution of Bras Basah Entertainment Scene showcases the neighbourhood’s transformation since the mid-1800s, and the many skins it had shed before beer pong tables and open-mics made their way here.
- Port(al) City by Chris Chai (Cosmicchai)
Port(al) City offers a glimpse of Singapore through the eyes of its past and present inhabitants, from vast empires and colonists to migrants and merchants. While they have left inimitable marks on our cultural heritage, they all saw Singapore the same way – as a portal to better lives.
“Flowing Water Road” Shrine by Mindflyer
Location: Outside Raffles City Singapore, near taxi stand C14
Co-presented by Raffles City Singapore
As you stand before the “Flowing Water Road” Shrine, you are on the former site of Stamford Bridge. Legend has it that rice was once imported and dried in this area, hence the name Bras Basah, derived from the mistranscription of “beras basah” meaning “wet rice” in Malay.
Interestingly, it’s called “lau chui khe” in Hokkien, meaning “flowing water road”, aptly describing the canal which was later submerged by rising tides and covered up altogether. If a shrine were erected to appease the old Stamford canal spirit and remind the city never to take our freshwater supply and food security for granted, it would probably look like this.
SeaScape Symphony by 27June Studio
Location: Funan Kinetic Wall
Co-presented by Funan
SeaScape Symphony takes you on a journey to an underwater realm adorned with shimmering blue lights and captivating coral-inspired structures. Across the Funan Kinetic Wall, a display of otherworldly sea creatures and aquatic landscapes found along Singapore’s shores unfolds, complemented by bubbles symbolising the essence of life and adding a touch of magic to the scene.
You’re invited to become one with this symphony using the bubble makers provided and delight in watching them float away in perfect synchrony with their virtual counterparts. Through this experience, the installation aims to foster an appreciation for the delicate equilibrium that exists between human beings and marine life.
We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, until we cannot by Sweet Tooth
Location: Canning Rise
We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, until we cannot debuts three fantastical characters in striking hues inspired by meteorological maps, symbolising the region’s tempestuous weather patterns and reflecting Singapore’s place as a safe haven.
(Kindly note that this is one of two roving performances that are scheduled to be part of the guided tour programme)
A Global Bugis Phinisi by Tay Swee Siong
Location: Stamford Arts Centre
Crafted from welded steel and embellished with elegant spiral masts, this Phinisi — a traditional Buginese (people of southern Celebes, Sulawesi, Indonesia) boat — incorporates remnants of historical vessels, representing Singapore’s global trade influence amidst a vibrant arts and cultural backdrop.
Every detail of A Global Bugis Phinisireveres its origin story, from the skyward bow to the seven sails symbolising the vastness of the seven seas. Each sail stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of artisans who deftly weave together threads, ropes, and strings, creating a tapestry imbued with the very essence of trade commerce—the herbs and spices that fueled our ascent to maritime success.
X O X (two kisses and a hug) by Critical Craft Collective
Location: Stamford Arts Centre
X O X (two kisses and a hug) is a deliberate restaging of a previous artwork commissioned by the National Arts Council’s Public Art Trust in 2022. It honours the previous generations whose spirit of “making do” has made them the OG sustainability heroes.
The palindrome X O X is a reminder of the balance between work and play, the sky and earth, the spiritual and physical, and the connection between the human and non-human. This installation, inspired by the flora and the Sanskrit term for play, Lila (लीला), draws participants of all ages to the seesaws like moths to light.
Florescence by Kristal Menon
Location: Bugis Street Multi-Storey Carpark, 50 Queen Street
Co-presented by Bugis Street
Florescenceis an inflatable tribute to the periwinkle flower, originally native to Madagascar. These days, you can’t go anywhere without seeing it. But in Singapore’s early days as a bustling port city, it held significance as a traded item thanks to its medicinal properties.
Like the intertwining stems and blooming flowers, our country’s interconnectedness is synonymous with its prosperity, not just in the economic sense of the word but also in terms of the rich cultural tapestry facilitated by the Bugis people. The blooming flowers represent the resilience that arose from these exchanges, reminding us of the butterfly effect and how those teeny-tiny actions in the past have snowballed into the transformations we see today.
GIFFEST III: IMPERFECT by EYEAH!
Location: National Design Centre
GIFFESTis a bi-annual interactive exhibition that celebrates the animated GIF as a communication tool and as entertainment. Over 80 emerging and professional artists from Singapore and overseas push the boundaries of the GIF, experimenting with various modern technologies.
Presented by EYEYAH!, the theme for this year is IMPERFECT, focusing on the beauty of imperfections and celebrating the unusual.
Exploring the theme of “imperfect” from both the lens of design and as a social issue, the exhibition invites visitors to discover the beauty and value of imperfection as an essential aspect of human creativity and expression. This year’s theme spotlights the prevalent social issue of perfectionism and its impact on society, challenging expectations, and attitudes through more than 80 incredible animated artworks.
(GIFFEST III: Imperfect has been ongoing since June. If you haven’t experienced it, this is your final chance. Don’t miss it!)
AT SG 2023: Spinal Tap by Tristan Lim
Location: National Library Board Level 1 (The Plaza)
In Spinal Tap, the book spine is imagined as a portal which readers enter to immerse in literary worlds, seeking wisdom and fantasy anew.
Paralleling to the spinal system of vertebrates, both serve as vessels of information and literal foundation for acquiring knowledge. The installation presents two humanoid silhouettes, engaged in silent reading, forming a written tapestry, woven with circulating ideas. Vein-like ropes embrace the silhouettes, imbibing them with potentiality, evoking notions of evolution and intelligence through the simple act of reading—a deeply human way of learning, filled with untapped potential for so much more.
Three Festival Villages
Location: SMU Green, Armenian Street, and CHIJMES
For the first time ever, there will be not one but three festive villages for the Night Festival.
Main Festival Village @ SMU Campus Green
Time: 6 pm – 10:30 pm (except for Friday and Saturday, 6 pm – 11:30 pm)
Singapore Night Festival’s first-ever collaboration with Singapore Management University (SMU) Arts Festival, The Social Post, has made SMU Campus Green the ultimate pitstop. It’s a celebration of our port city, and this party understands the assignment, dishing out SNF-exclusive cocktails and bold flavours inspired by the spice route.
Festival Village @ Armenian Street
Time: 7pm – 12am
Festival Village @ Armenian Street, where prominent landmarks like The Peranakan Museum reside, presents PORT CITY 2.0. Brace yourself for eclectic performances, culinary experiences, and art portals that serve as a gateway to new ideas.
Festival Village @ CHIJMES
Time: 7pm – 12am
CHIJMES: A Luminous Festival Experience turns the historical heirloom into an eclectic, adrenaline-filled venue teeming with awesome deals at participating restaurants, booze on The Lawn, and upbeat music after nightfall. CHIJMES Hall needs no introduction after its appearance in Crazy Rich Asians, but watching a projection extravaganza eclipse its pristine facade is a whole other vibe.
Please visit https://www.nightfestival.gov.sg/ for more information.