Life picks the best of the Singapore Night Festival

The Singapore Night Festival returns today with more than 80 programmes

The Singapore Night Festival returns for the ninth edition this year, with the theme Inventions And Innovation.

The festival takes place over four nights - today and tomorrow and on Aug 26 and 27.

Organised by the National Museum of Singapore, it is expected to draw big crowds - 600,000 people went to last year's edition.

With more than 80 programmes in the festival, most of which are free, it is impossible to catch them all.

The Straits Times recommends the best acts to catch each night.

• Go to www.nightfest.sg for more details


 

Tonight

1 7.30 - 8pm: Keyframes

Start with this nostalgic light installation by French art collective Groupe Laps, featuring 98 LED stickmen clambering up, down and across the facade of the National Museum.

They will also display retro video games such as Snake, Bouncing Babies and Space Invaders.

Where: National Museum of Singapore When: Today to Aug 27; 7.30pm to 2am (today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27), 7.30pm to 11pm (Sunday to Thursday)

2 8.30 - 8.40pm: The Story Box

The Story Box is a playful work by American artist a dandypunk. The Wheel House by Acrojou features a man and a woman who live in a handbuilt, mobile circular house.
The Story Box is a playful work by American artist a dandypunk. PHOTO: A DANDYPUNK

Head inside the museum for this 10-minute intimate performance by a well-dressed character known as a dandypunk.

The playful work by the American performance artist uses projection mapping to show what happens to the character when he opens Pandora's Box.

Where: National Museum of Singapore, Gallery 10 When: Today and tomorrow, 8.30, 10 and 11.15pm

3 9.25 - 9.50pm: The Wheel House

The Story Box is a playful work by American artist a dandypunk. The Wheel House by Acrojou features a man and a woman who live in a handbuilt, mobile circular house.
The Wheel House by Acrojou features a man and a woman who live in a handbuilt, mobile circular house. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

This outdoor performance with acrobatic stunts features a man and a woman who live in a handbuilt, mobile circular house and depend on each other to survive and make meaning of their lives in a post-apocalyptic world.

The artists, Jenny Barnard and Barnaby White of British contemporary circus group Acrojou, have presented this work in 17 countries over the past eight years.

Where: National Museum of Singapore main ground, in front of Singapore Management University School of Accountancy and School of Law When: Today and tomorrow, 8, 9.25 and 10.50pm

Afterwards: Head over to the Festival Village @ Singapore Management University Campus Green and University Square for food and live music performances till 1am on festival nights.


Tomorrow

4 7.30 - 8pm: Rrready To Rrrumble!

Start the night with a convoy of 50 motorcycles comprising Harley-Davidson choppers, cafe racers and scooters from local Vespa group, Mod Squad. Professional stunt riders from Speedzone will perform hair-raising motorcycle stunts.

Afterwards, head to the Festival Village for dinner.

Where: Armenian Street When: Today and tomorrow, 7.30 to 8pm

5 9.30 - 10pm: Les AquamenS


Two Aquamen from France will roam festival grounds with fishbowls on their heads. PHOTO: MACHTIERN COMPANY

These two Aquamen have fishbowls on their heads - with goldfish swimming in them.

Breathing through a special apparatus and unable to speak, the duo from France will communicate with the public in alternative ways.

Where: Various locations (starting from Festival Village tomorrow, 9.30pm) When: Today and tomorrow, 8 to 8.30pm, 9.30 to 10pm and 11 to 11.30pm

6 11pm - 1am: House Of Curiosities


House Of Curiosities is a carnival with zany characters and smoke- emitting props by Sweet Tooth. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

End the night with a steampunk-themed carnival featuring zany characters and smoke-emitting props by Sweet Tooth, an offshoot of home-grown theatre company Cake Theatrical Productions.

Meet characters such as Professor Chambers and his son Christopher, who love exploring and building things, as well as the villainous Lady Kraken, a mysterious beast who thwarts their plans.

Kids can enjoy the giant slides, hall of mirrors and and even an opportunity to be designers in a steampunk fashion show. There will also be a magic show, a tea party and hands-on craft activities.

Where: Cathay Green (opposite The Cathay) When: Today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27; 6 to 8pm, 8.30 to 10.30pm, 11pm to 1am Admission: $16 (adult), $13 (concession), from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg) or at the door, while stocks last


Aug 26

7 7.30 - 8pm: Suaveciclo


Suaveciclo by Brazilian artist VJ Suave. PHOTO: VJ SUAVE

With the second weekend packed with new acts, start small and catch quirky roving performance Suaveciclo by Brazilian artist VJ Suave. A lit-up tricycle will project animated stories onto buildings on the festival grounds, while manipulating video footage with real-time scenarios. While it is tempting to follow the tricycle as it heads towards PoMo in Selegie Road, remain in the area to catch the next performance.

Where: Various locations (starting from National Museum of Singapore on Aug 26, 7.30pm) When: Aug 26 and 27, 7.30 to 8.15pm, 9 to 9.45pm and 10.45 to 11.30pm

8 8 - 8.30pm: Let's Celebrate

Silver-suited drummers on stilts and fire performers from Dutch street theatre group Close-Act will perform thrilling acrobatics as they lead audiences towards the National Museum of Singapore, where a highlight act, Invasion, will be staged.

Where: Armenian Street When: Aug 26 and 27, 8 to 8.30pm

9 9.45 - 10.15pm: Invasion

Be early for this epic show that is bound to draw many people. It features an aerial encounter between dinosaur-like creatures measuring 3m- to 6m-tall and sinister characters wielding giant red fans. By Dutch street theatre group Close-Act.

Where: National Museum of Singapore front lawn When: Aug 26 and 27, 9.45 to 10.15pm and 11.30pm to midnight


Aug 27

10 7 - 8.30pm: Journey

Start your last night at the festival at the Singapore Art Museum, where there will be a spectacular projection-mapping installation called Journey, created by Britain-based creative studio Novak.

Inspired by the novels of Jules Verne, the work takes audiences through worlds such as the centre of the earth, the deep sea and high above the clouds with Victorian-era flying machines.

The score is by composer Ed Carter, who created the rhythms and notes using an algorithm based on the symmetry of the building's proportions - essentially turning the building into a musical instrument.

While this is playing, other programmes such as music and puppetry performances will take place on the museum grounds.

Where: Singapore Art Museum facade When: Today to Aug 27; 7.30pm to 2am (today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27), 7.30 to 11pm (Sunday to Thursday)

11 8.30 - 9.30pm: Light Force, Night Falls & #showerthoughts


Light installation #showerthoughts is by LiteWerkz, a collective of students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Walk to the National Design Centre to create a collaborative light and sound performance with strangers at Light Force, Night Falls. Hit a coloured drum and it creates light effects in the same colour in the water feature outside the building. Playing with others results in a multi-coloured display with lively percussive sounds. The work is by the local branch of GSM Project, an exhibition design and production company founded in Canada.

In a gallery on the first floor, enter a mirrored room filled with what seems to be an endless shower of light. Titled #showerthoughts, this immersive light installation was designed by LiteWerkz, a collective of sophomore students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The room fits only five people at a time.

Where: National Design Centre When:Today to Aug 27; 7.30pm to 2am (today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27), 7.30 to 11pm (Sunday to Thursday)

12 10.30 - 11pm: Lip Sync Showdown and Bloc Party

Cap your Night Festival experience in Armenian Street with a lip-sync showdown by three surprise performers through two songs of their choice. Audiences get to vote for the winner.

If you still have energy, stay on to enjoy the rest of the Bloc Party. The line-up includes a gig by DJ Shellsuit and percussionist Budi from 11pm to midnight and music performances programmed by The Substation till 2am.

Where: Armenian Street, main stage When: Aug 26 and 27, 10.30 to 11pm


Other highlights

INTO PULSAR

Singapore artist Ryf Zaini has created an intergalactic tree, comprising 28 bicycles as well as chains, gears and sprockets, mirroring the banyan tree outside the National Museum. Festivalgoers can pedal three bicycles to bring the installation to life.

Where: National Museum of Singapore, Rotunda, Level 1 When: Today to Sept 23; 10am to 2am (today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27), 10am to 7pm (Sunday to Thursday and Aug 28 to Sept 23)

BEHIND THE NIGHT

Night Festival talks and workshops include Imaginary Worlds, a talk by Acrojou of The Wheel House and a dandypunk of The Story Box; and Bike Innovation For Kids, where children can create their own inventions using bicycle parts, taught by Singapore bicycle enthusiast group Bikes 4 Fun.

Where: Various locations Admission: Free (with registration) and ticketed sessions When: Various dates

TAP TO DONATE

Be part of the 10th anniversary of the festival next year by donating $2 with every tap of an ez-link card at Lego installation Tap To Donate. Each donation entitles the donor to a Lego brick which he can add to a wall installation by Singapore artist Xylvie Huang. Donations go towards next year's festival.

Where: National Museum of Singapore, Level 2 When: Today to Aug 27; 7pm to 12.30am (today and tomorrow, Aug 26 and 27), 7 to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'The night is alive'. Print Edition | Subscribe