i Light Marina Bay 2017 opened this evening with 20 sustainable light art installations illuminating the Marina Bay waterfront in a colourful showcase. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the fifth edition of Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, which will run until 26 March 2017, promises an experience not to be missed with the introduction of three complementary festival hubs, as well as community partners coming on board to champion the festival’s sustainability cause in different ways.
Community in unity for sustainability
This year, artists from nine countries, including Singapore, are presenting sustainable light art installations anchored on the theme ‘Light & Nature’. Created with environmentally-friendly or energy-saving lighting, the installations highlight the importance of sustainability and reinforce Marina Bay’s position as a sustainable precinct.
Marking the official opening of the festival is Ocean Pavilion, a light art installation designed by Luke Jerram from the United Kingdom. Measuring up to 8.5m in height, the upcycled dome-shaped structures are made of more than 25,000 re-purposed plastic water bottles and illuminated by energy-efficient LED lighting. The installation was put together by more than 300 members of the community – including students from 11 local institutions – over three weeks, during which the bottles were attached onto structural sheets and assembled into the final artwork.
Besides Ocean Pavilion, local students were also involved in the creation of five other light art installations showcased at this year’s festival. This year’s festival also saw the highest participation from local educational institutions – with students from the LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, Raffles College of Higher Education and Singapore University of Technology and Design presenting artworks.
Beyond the light art installations, the support for the sustainability cause was expressed through more tangible means by the business community around and beyond Marina Bay to reduce energy consumption throughout the festival. This year, a record number of 79 building owners and organisations have pledged their support for the ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’ campaign by switching off non-essential lighting and turning up air-conditioning temperatures throughout the festival period. The energy saved from this festival tradition will offset the power consumption of the light art installations at the festival.
Mr Jason Chen, Festival Director and Director (Place Management) of URA, said, “The festival has grown beyond a showcase of sustainable light art installations. It is also a platform for active involvement of the community and partners to drive the sustainability cause in various ways. It is encouraging to see more partners getting involved in the festival and supporting its cause, making it a festival for the community and by the community.”
Sensory experience to learn about sustainability
Beyond a visual treat of light art installations, i Light Marina Bay 2017 also features a variety of sustainability-centric programmes organised by festival partners to provide a sensory and interactive experience for the public.
Championing the vision of a sustainable tomorrow and to provide a meeting place for advocates, interest groups and communities of sustainable living, The RICE Company Ltd and Global Cultural Alliance Ltd are presenting one of this year’s three new festival hubs – The Fantastical World of eco.me. From 3 to 5 March and 9 to 12 March at The Promontory, festival-goers can look forward to a recycling and upcycling marketplace, an urban garden, a learning yard, a kinetic energy playground, as well as other activities such as immersive performances, music and a host of upcycling and green activities within these spaces.
On the opposite side of Marina Bay, another festival hub, Art-Zoo – created by Mr Jackson Tan, Creative Director of local multi-disciplinary agency BLACK – will teach children and families about wildlife and creating a sustainable world through a visual adventure, with 11 giant animal and plant inflatables set in an imaginative play-garden at The Float @ Marina Bay. Ticketing details on Art-Zoo can be found here.
Festival artists and industry practitioners will also be returning to discuss the topic of sustainability at the i Light Symposium. Themed ‘Social-Light’, the symposium will address ways in which light can be expressed and employed in various social situations and how light can play an integral role in community building and place-making. Speaking at the symposium are festival artists Dr Chong Keng Hua and Ms Kang Fong Ing, partners at COLOURS: Collectively Ours, as well as industry practitioners, Mr Yusuke Hattori, Associate Director and Lighting Designer from Lighting Planners Association and Ms Toh Yah Li, Principal of Light Collab.
i Light Marina Bay 2017 will be on from now to 26 March. The 20 light art installations will be on display from 7.30pm to 11pm daily with an extension to 12.00mn on Fridays and Saturdays, around the Marina Bay waterfront.