Singapore Night Festival 2019 kicks off with three teaser installations over National Day weekend

Whispers, from Canadian group Light Society, is one of three Singapore Night Festival installations that will be open to the public at the National Museum of Singapore, from August 8, 2019.
Whispers, from Canadian group Light Society, is one of three Singapore Night Festival installations that will be open to the public at the National Museum of Singapore, from August 8, 2019.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Night-time revelry will consume the Bras Basah.Bugis district once more - starting this weekend, when the Singapore Night Festival (SNF) returns for its 12th edition.

While the actual festival runs from Aug 23 to 31, three installations will open to the public two weeks earlier on Aug 8, at the National Museum of Singapore.

The first is a transformative moving installation titled Whispers, from Canadian group Light Society, set to convert the Gallery Theatre into a dark cavern exploring the power of wind.

Over in Gallery 10, acclaimed French filmmaker Luc Jacquet will present Collapse!, an immersive audio experience confronting global warming and the collapsing of ice glaciers in Antarctica; while Singaporean artist Jahan Loh builds on the topic of climate change with Intergalactic Dreams, a three-part installation on alternative homes in an imagined, dystopian future.

Admission is free for all three works, which are not part of the annual Night Lights segment of the Festival.

This year's edition of SNF will feature works with a South-east Asian twist, in a nod to the Bicentennial, said Festival Director Angelita Teo in a media release.

The lineup, comprising 16 artworks and more than 40 performances, casts a spotlight on folklore and traditions, ideas, and talents from around the region.

One notable work features elements of The Ramayana - one of the two major epic poems of India. Titled The Legend of Ramayana, the work from French group Spectaculaires will be projected onto the National Museum's Banyan tree - marking the first time the Banyan tree hosts a projection work complemented by a gamelan instrumental performance.

Performed by local performing group Gamelan Asmaradana from Aug 29 to 31, the musical act retells the story of The Ramayana in traditional Javanese tembang, or poetry.

Besides The Legend of Ramayana, fans of projection mapping can look forward to other light artworks on the facades of iconic buildings in the district - such as on the National Museum, Armenian Church, and the Stamford Court clock tower; the latter being a canvas for facade projection for the first time.

As for performances, keep your eyes peeled for headlining act, Argentinian group Fuerza Bruta - known for their dynamic music and acrobatics. The troupe's immersive theatre show runs from Aug 29 to 31 with three ticketed performances per night, and will see performers tumble out of a giant bubble, among other engaging aerial acts.

Tickets for the show are currently available from Sistic at a promotional price of $12 until Aug 9.

Ms Teo said: "SNF is 12 years old and many of our festival-goers have grown along with us on our festival journey. It is one of Singapore's foremost projects in place-making through the arts and culture, and over the years, has become instrumental in bringing together the vibrant Bras Basah.Bugis community.

"It is an honour to have the Festival as a backdrop to this year's convening, and I look forward to how this district can continue to grow and thrive from our learnings, in the years to come."