Get more mileage out of i Light festival

I refer to the story, Art Lights The Way (Life, March 4), about the ongoing i Light Marina Bay festival.

I struggle to understand the Urban Redevelopment Authority's decision to run the festival for only three weeks given its imperative as a place-making activity for Marina Bay - one of our tourism hotspots - and as a sustainability campaign.

Why not host it for six months to coincide with the holiday season between September and March, as well as our celebration of light over darkness across four major religious-cultural festivals?

Just as perplexing is the organisers' decision to dismantle Lampshade by Norwegian architecture and design firm Snohetta. It is the event's best-looking piece and should remain here for permanent display at Gardens by the Bay.

In fact, all the works should be put up for auction to the highest bidder, with the proviso that selected pieces are kept as environmentally friendly public artworks here.

Proceeds from the auction may be used to help residents in off-grid communities in Myanmar and elsewhere, as well as fund a local residency programme for the artist judged to have produced the best work.

This is one way for the festival's organisers to raise its stature in the global art and sustainability worlds, draw more world-renowned artists to create and exhibit pieces here and form a social enterprise with many beneficiaries.

Sylvester Toh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2016, with the headline 'Get more mileage out of i Light festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe