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25 artworks to light up i Light Marina Bay festival

More home-grown artists have their works featured at this year's i Light festival at Marina Bay

A bicycle blasting music and flashing LED lights will travel around the Bayfront district after dark and it will make its rounds every weekend this month starting tonight.

It is not one of those uncles with a souped-up LED bike, but Singapore artist Hafiz Osman's new artwork, Cycle House, inspired by those colourful cyclists.

The bicycle has a shelter attached to it and LED lights will be projected onto its translucent screens while a karaoke sound system plays music.

Hafiz will ride the bicycle around the lower boardwalk near Bayfront South jetty. Visitors can sit in the shelter of the bike and sing popular Chinese and Malay songs from the 1980s and 1990s.

The piece is part of the fourth edition of the i Light Marina Bay festival, a sustainable light art event organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority which starts tonight and runs till March 27. Admission is free.

Twenty-five artworks will light up the Marina Bay waterfront area, mainly across three venues - The Float @ Marina Bay, Marina Bay waterfront promenade and The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

The theme of sustainability and environmental concerns underscores the works, from the issues they explore to the materials they are made of.

  • VIEW IT/ I LIGHT MARINA BAY

  • WHERE: Marina Bay waterfront promenade

    WHEN: Tonight to March 27, 7.30 to 11pm, till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.ilightmarinabay.sg

  • IN THE LINE-UP

    FESTIVAL VILLAGE
    What: The inaugural Festival Village will have pop-up stores by Harry's bar and ice-cream company Haagen- Dazs in the evenings during the festival period, as well as food trucks, such as Kerbside Gourmet and The Travelling C.O.W, from Friday to Sunday Where: The Promontory @ Marina Bay When: Daily till March 27, with food trucks from Friday to Sunday, 7.30 to 11pm

    GUIDED TOURS BY NINEBOT ASIA
    What: Take a guided tour on a Ninebot Mobility Device, a two-wheeled electric scooter that is operated using the rider's body weight. It takes minutes to learn how to ride this Where: Information kiosks around Marina Bay When: Monday to Thursday till March 27, at 30-minute intervals starting from 7.15pm, with last tour at 9.45pm Admission: $28 a route, online booking is available for Tuesday to Thursday slots and closes a day before; go to www.ilightmarinabay.sg to book

    BOAT SHUTTLE AND TOUR
    What: Experience the festival from a different perspective on this boat ride on Marina Bay Where: Bayfront South Jetty When: Daily, till March 27, 9am to 10.30pm Admission: The Tale Of 2 Quays (40 minutes), $25 (adult), $15 (children); one way to Merlion Pier/ Esplanade Pier (eight minutes), $6 Info: www.rivercruise.com.sg

    YOGLO
    What: A night-time yoga party held in the city Where: The Float @ Marina Bay When: March 26, 7 to 10pm Admission: Free, register at yogabeat.eventbrite.com

In reaction to discussions about poor air quality in China, Chinese artists Feng Jiacheng and Huang Yuanbei created Moon Haze, a globe on which a lunar surface is projected. The projection responds in real time to the air quality around it, glowing brighter when the quality is better and dimming when it worsens.

Besides artworks, i Light has more than 40 festival events and partner programmes lined up, such as a yoga party at the waterfront promenade and boat tours in Marina Bay.

Many works have been inspired by the Marina Bay area as well as city life.

For example, installation artist Hafiz, 35, chanced upon a group of elderly male cyclists with fluorescent LED lighting on their bicycles during a recce trip to Marina Bay and chased them down to speak to them. The conversations led to the creation of his work, which explores deeper issues about the mass movement of people and the need for mobile shelters.

These cyclists will join him on weekends to form a bright and lively contingent.

At The Float, home-grown sound artist Zulkifle Mahmod, explores the sights and sounds of a city that is in constant construction in a 15m-tall installation, SONICtower.

Made of scaffolding and 320 solenoids (electromagnetic devices) and LED lights, the structure is accompanied by a melodic soundscape composed by Zulkifle, except that the notes you hear are actually "noises" associated with construction sites.

The artist, 41, says: "When you live in a city, noise becomes part of you. Noise has a certain rhythm to it, so I'm treating the sculpture like a musical instrument."

Despite being the tallest work in the festival, SONICtower is dwarfed by the architecture surrounding it, such as the Esplanade.

The festival's co-curator, Mr Khairuddin Hori, says: "We don't just want people to look at the artworks in isolation, but also at the entire landscape of the vicinity - it's not a show held in a gallery." The Singaporean is also deputy director of artistic programming at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

The other co-curator of i Light is Mr Randy Chan, principal architect at Singapore architectural studio Zarch Collaboratives.

This year, Singapore artists created 14 of the 25 artworks on show, which is the festival's biggest participation of home-grown artists to date. The rest are by artists from countries such as Malaysia, Japan and Britain.

They were selected through an open call and invitations. The open call yielded more than 120 proposals from around the world, up from 60 to 80 in previous years.

The festival, started in 2010, has been a biennial event. It has grown in scale and will take place annually from now.

Mr Jason Chen, festival director and director for place management at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, says i Light will be held yearly because of "very encouraging" public response. The 2014 edition drew an audience of about 685,000.

A first this year - the Festival Village at The Promontory, with pop-up food stalls during the festival period. From Fridays to Sundays, expect food trucks operated by the likes of Kerbside Gourmet and Old Chang Kee.


Eight highlights of i Light Marina Bay 2016

1 SONICTOWER

Artist: Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore)

What: Inspired by city life, sound artist Zulkifle's work is made of scaffolding and accompanied by a melodic composition of sounds usually heard at a construction site. The 15m-high installation is made up of 320 solenoids (electromagnetic devices) and LED lights.

Where: The Float @ Marina Bay


2 BOLT

Artist: Jun Ong (Malaysia)

What: Architect-artist Ong was inspired by the form and behaviour of lightning when he created the piece.

The interactive artwork, which triggers a lightning effect when a button is pressed, not only mimics the ethereal nature of physical phenomenon, but also creates a tactile, visceral connection that adds the human touch to our increasingly virtually connected world.

Where: Marina Bay waterfront promenade


3 LAMPSHADE

Artist: Snohetta (Norway)

What: Made of bamboo, this installation by architecture and design firm Snohetta not only acts as a shelter during the day, but also uses solar-powered lamps that light up intensively at night.

After the festival, the lamps will be donated to off-grid communities in Myanmar and the bamboo will be recycled.

Where: The Promontory @ Marina Bay


4 TORRENT

Artist: Brandon Tay (Singapore)

What: This site-specific work by motion and interactive designer Tay captures the movements of viewers using sensors and transports them into a dream-like, often abstract, landscape projected onto a screen.

The artist hopes that passers-by will stop to think about the physical landscape of the reclaimed Marina Bay area.

Where: Marina Bay waterfront promenade


5 CYCLE HOUSE

Artist: Hafiz Osman (Singapore)

What: The installation artist, inspired by elderly male cyclists he has seen using LED-lit bicycles in Marina Bay, has created a form of mobile housing that combines a bicycle with a sheltered platform.

There are two versions of Cycle House - one stationary and the other mobile. The mobile version, which will be cycled by the artist and a group of LED bicycle enthusiasts on weekends, comes with a functioning karaoke system, which visitors can use.

Meanwhile, the stationary bicycle is parked permanently near Marina Bay Sands. Visitors can pedal it to power up the LED lights attached.

Where: Lower boardwalk, near Bayfront South jetty


6 MOON HAZE

Artists: Feng Jiacheng and Huang Yuanbei (China)

What: The artists created the work in response to the quality of air in China. While it does represent a full moon, the work also functions as a monitoring system for air pollutants, as its brightness depends on good air quality. The work demonstrates the close relationship between human beings and the environment.

Where: Marina Bay waterfront promenade


7 WHAT A LOVING & BEAUTIFUL WORLD - ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM

Artist: teamLab (Japan)

What: This multisensory interactive experience by interdisciplinary creative group teamLab encourages the public to co-create the artwork.

By accessing the website ilight.team-lab.com with their smartphone and selecting different Chinese characters by swiping on them, the character will appear on the facade of ArtScience Museum, followed by a visual representation of the word. For example, selecting "bird" will result in the Chinese character for "bird" appearing, followed by a flock of birds flying across the building. Selecting "thunder" will trigger thunder, while also appearing to scare the birds away.

Where: ArtScience Museum


8 TERRA.GLIMMER

Artists: School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Singapore Polytechnic (Singapore)

What: Made of pebbles coated with phosphorescent, or glow-in- the-dark paint, the artwork has light-emitting properties without using electricity. The piece is inspired by Japanese zen gardens and encourages visitors to reflect on issues such as man's reliance on fossil fuels.

Where: Near Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Art lights the way'. Print Edition | Subscribe