iLight Festival 2016 has arrived in Singapore
Singapore’s iLight Festival has always been one of my favourites.
So I’m very happy that the 2016 edition has arrived in town!
That means that the whole Marina Bay area is filled with art light installations, many of them interactive.
The festival opened last night and we went there straight away to check it out.
We saw men on extremely pimped LED-lit bikes; totally up my alley.
There was a mobile home that lights up through the energy you generate by biking. (Cycle House by Hafiz Osman, Singapore)
We touched the moon.
Played on pimped, interactive art piano’s. (Play it Forward by local artists)
We got in touch with our inner angels.
And admired the light installations.
Me, playing it forward;-): Play it again, Sam…uh…Anja . Don’t laugh; the keys were SO hard to press! And it has been at least 25 years since I last played the piano.
Let’s check out some of the art:
- Ground Control to Major Tom by Rohan Abdullah & Stanley Yeo (Singapore)
Question: why create a rocket with steps leading to the entrance (= very inviting), while forbidding people to enter? I don’t get that.
- Projections on the ArtScienceMuseum: What a loving & beautiful world by TeamLab (Japan)
Positive: there have been projections on the ASM before, but this was the first time that there was an interactive element. You can scan a barcode which allows you to swipe chinese zodiac figures onto the building. Frits did that and you see the results in some of the pictures above; the black chinese characters.
Negative: we have seen such way more impressive and stunning projections on the ASM before. Like this one: Sounds of Ikebana. I’m not very smitten by the ones from “What a loving etc.”.
Review of the Festival
I have to say that the festival has never been as impressive, fun and beautiful as it was during it’s first edition in 2010. That was magical!
Ofcourse back then there was the newness of it all and the element of surprise. But that was definitely not the main reason. It simply was bigger, bolder and better.
There have been interesting, fun and beautiful light installations in the festival every time though, as you can see for yourself in the articles I wrote about the iLight Festival in 2012 and 2014. (Bonus in 2014: pets at iLight festival;-))
So how about this 2016 edition?
Several installations were not clear (“how does it work?”, referring to the interactiveness), did not make a big impact or were faulty.
The interactive part and effect of this one, e.g. , C’Scape by Illuminate LD, Singapore, was hard to discover, if there at all.
Since we were there on opening night, I’m going to cut the organizers some slack for things that did not work. I DO hope that they will resolve all issues asap, so that visitors of the festival during the three more weeks that it is on can enjoy it fully.
Yesterday, quite a number of the installations were somehow faulty. That was really a shame.
Above installation was supposed to be interactive. First disappointment: only 2 out of 4 lamps could be manipulated by the audience. Like this one. Lowering or lifting up the bulb created different shadow patterns on the ground. Second disappointment: the second day, the installation was fenced of and not to be touched at all.
For a festival like this, it is crucial that things work! Otherwise, what’s the point?!
That it started to drizzle -and then rain- did not help, of course.
Highlights and favourites
- The 5 pairs of wings –Angels of Freedom by OGE group, Zahr & Eitan (Germany & Israel) are beautiful and super cool for selfies!
Taking pictures of bright objects with barely any light around it -and of course without flash- always is a challenge, as you can see in our pictures. The wings come out fine, but Frits and I disappear partly.
Hello Halo! And yes, it was windy;-). Hair in my face – moment.
- This series of interactive soap, rope, gloves and bubbles contraptions – Clockwork Stories by NYP School of Design (Singapore) is kinda genius.
In the first place: the installations look pretty. The use of light, white foam, red gloves and white ropes creates a strong image.
The soapy foam in the dishes look like cotton-candy or white mist, doesn’t it?!
Second: the interactive-ness is high. People peddle on a bike, turn themselves around on a carrousel, swing on a bench and so forth and that motion makes foam and foam bubbles.
Third: it’s fun!
On the first night, straight away several of the contraptions broke down.
Fortunately on the second night most were back in action. As long as they can keep everything up and running, then I’m sure this will turn out to be one of the audiences favourites.
Fourth: it’s old school style and simplicity is charming.
- Moon Haze by Jiacheng & Yuanbei (China)
A landed balloon with moon-print. Super simple, yet a strong image and very appealing.
The balloon also monitors the air quality and the better the air, the brighter it shines. I saw that originally (in China) this ‘moon’ was placed on a water surface. The image must have been even stronger that way, with it’s reflection on the water and all.
- The Pimp my Ride Uncles.
This is not their official name; I just came up with that title. There are a number of guys in Singapore that love to pimp their bikes and show them off. They add LED lights, kitsch items, decorations, ipads and what not. The result are wonderfully over-the-top bikes, all lights and colors. They are not high culture nor Art with a capital A, but they tick a lot of my boxes: more is more, pimp whatever you can, the more lights the merrier, you can’t have enough colors, express yourself. The only thing I dislike is when some of them blast their speakers. But otherwise: go LED-bike-Uncles!!
How to make the most of your visit to iLight Festival 2016
- check out the official website
- some fringe events are only on specific days or dates. So be sure to check out the festival calendar for events.
- get a brochure on the festival terrain (free)
- download the self guided audio walk (in two parts). It’s free and you can use it offline.
- have dinner and drinks on site. There are pop up restaurants, bars, food trucks and Pasarbella goes to town will be on site on various dates.
Are you a fan of Singapore’s two-yearly iLight Festival? Which year was your favourite? And what do you think of the current edition? Which are your highlights?