Light To Night 2023 is back in full swing

Yen Yen by Lolay x KOBORED uses intricate line work to manifest life into lifeless objects, as seen on the facade of the National Gallery Singapore. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Yen Yen by Lolay x KOBORED uses intricate line work to manifest life into lifeless objects. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Changing Landscapes chronicles changes in the natural Singapore landscape. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Ephemeral by Atelier Sisu at the Padang changes colours depending on the time of day, giving it a magical quality. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Cosplayer Natsume is among the artists featured in the Glimpse installation. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE – National Gallery Singapore has brought back its Light To Night festival, which runs until Jan 26, in a full-throttle, no-holds-barred way.

Titled Here And Now, it is the first festival since the global pandemic started that is unfettered by Covid-19 restrictions, allowing visitors to mingle to their hearts’ content.

For National Gallery Singapore’s assistant director of programmes Jean Hair, 38, it presented an opportunity to move past the pandemic and “break away and try new things”.

Among the line-up is sculptor Han Sai Por, 79, who has partnered multimedia visual artist Flex Chew, 36, to create a light project installation titled Changing Landscapes.

Chronicling changes in the natural Singapore landscape, the installation speaks to the wider issue of environmental destruction and its consequences. Charcoal sketches done by Han provide a backdrop of forest fires and a few of her chrome sculptures appear in their imagined future of Singapore.

Though light projection is a first for Han, she welcomes the challenge with open arms. “I have seen the light show before and it is quite amazing. I thought maybe I could try and gain some experience from it.”

Chew says: “I was very intrigued by the line work Han does. Black and white is my thing. Originally, the piece was called Destruction, but I didn’t want it to end on a down, so I thought about a changing landscape to a better future.”

Another contemplation on time is a work by visual artist Dawn Ng, 40, who created the installation, There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky.

Ng says: “I’m interested in developing a different way that we talk about and perceive time. Time, to me, is so closely linked to light.”

Time changes from dawn to dusk as viewers walk around the four-piece installation by visual artist Dawn Ng. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The hanging installation features a colour gradient that changes depending on the angle it is viewed from. The colours are taken directly from the Singapore sky at various times of the day, giving a sense of the passage of time as viewers move around it.

Additionally, the neighbouring Arts House Limited has moved forward its literary festival Textures 2023, running from Jan 6 to 15, to line up with Light To Night and the other ongoing art festivals.

Though the literary festival usually takes place in March, its artistic director Jason Wee, 43, says: “We wanted to try and make room for book lovers and readers amid the visual arts buffet. There is something for them if they want something a little different, a little quieter, more contemplative.”

Botanica by UK artists Studio McGuire is a floral light projection on the interior dome of the Rotunda Library at National Gallery Singapore. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Light To Night also brings back its partnership with food vendors offering luminous halal and non-halal eats. Located along St Andrews Road and Empress Lawn, some highlights include paninis, coney dogs and local delights such as carrot cake with prices ranging from $4 to $16.

Ms Hair says: “The reason for our diverse programming is that we try to create different entryways for audiences new to art to find something relatable and welcoming. For a lot of people, Light To Night is the first time they’ve stepped foot in a theatre, a concert hall, an art museum, and these are the kinds of programmes we hope will give them a good experience.”


What to catch indoors

There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky by Dawn Ng
Created as a window in a commonly windowless space, the colour gradient of this installation is captured from Singapore skies at various times of the day.

Stardust by Muhammad Izdi
Filled with riddles and subliminal messages, the vibrant landscape of vinyl art along the underground pedestrian link at Funan mall provides various versions of a possible future.

Stardust hides a secret augmented-reality QR code that brings the visuals to life. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

What to catch outdoors

Changing Landscapes by Han Sai Por x Flex Chew
Blending past, present and future, this light projection show depicts deforestation and the consequences of destruction for the sake of progress.

Hearing Padang by Sai
Set opposite the old Supreme Court building, this installation gives a new meaning to its name. Sound travels from one end to the other through two curved pieces, creating an interactive acoustic experience.

Visitors can whisper to one another from opposite ends of the installation due to the curvature of the structure. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Performances/activities

The Kolektif Takeover – Trivia Night!
Settle in for a night of trivia ranging from pop culture to primary school science facts.

A Novel Idea: SingLit Edition
Adapted by Samantha Scott-Blackhall and performed by award-winning actresses Serene Chen and Shafiqhah Efandi, these novel adaptations of Singaporean female authors highlight different stories and journeys. The works dealt with are This s Where I Won’t Be Alone by Inez Tan, Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen and The Java Enigma by Erni Salleh.

Glimpse – Access Path Productions and Eleven
Four artists present four short films. Each of them have disabilities, whether visible or not, that impact their art and their stories. This self-guided installation invites viewers to contemplate living in a world that often overlooks those with disabilities.

Glimpse showcases the visible and invisible disabilities of four different artists, including rapper Wheelsmith. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Where: Various locations around National Gallery Singapore, Victoria Theatre, The Arts House and Padang
When: Till Jan 26
Admission: Free and ticketed
Info: www.nationalgallery.sg/lighttonight2023

Food

Paknini (halal)
Fill your stomach with delicious paninis and bursts of hearty flavour.

Kream.sg (halal)
Ready your tissues for coney dogs that leave your fingers greasy and stomachs happy.

Whiskdom
Grab a cookie and a hearty bagel or pop by for tater tots.

Thirsty Much
Stop for drinks in lighted cups, in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

The Good Fat x Junebug
Tuck into an unagi sando or a smoked duck lemak chilli padi focaccia.

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