Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let There Be Light

Asia’s First Sustainable Light Art Festival Illuminates Marina Bay

Lumenocity Singapore

i Light Marina Bay, Asia’s first sustainable light art festival was held from 15 October to 7 November 2010. The festival celebrated Singapore’s nightscape with the use of energy-efficient lighting while creating awareness for energy-saving lighting technology for the urban environment. The event received a good response, with all guided tours fully booked in advance.

From 7.30pm to midnight, the Festival featured a Light Walk comprising over 26 dynamic light art installations and sculptures as well as interactive and performance-based art displays from talented local and international design luminaries. The Light Walk spans The Helix Bridge, The Floating Platform, The Esplanade, One Fullerton, The Promontory @ Marina Bay to the City Gallery at the Waterfront Promenade.

i Light Marina Bay is presented by The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in collaboration with a creative team helmed by Mary-Anne Kyriakou, the Festival Director, together with Singaporean co-curators Kelley Cheng and Randy Chan.

Being the first major light art event in Asia, the Festival was set as a regional platform for the exchange of ideas and technology, artistic expression and public engagement through beautiful light art works with intelligent light usage. A key component of the Festival is the participation of both local and international light artists and designers who have created new, site-specific works addressing the theme of people, place and time.

“Besides creating a distinctive skyline and attractive public spaces around Marina Bay, URA worked with partners to offer a rich array of activities and events to enrich visitors’ experience,” said Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer of URA. “i Light Marina Bay is one such event. We hope that the show gave visitors an immersive experience of creative art works in a night setting in Marina Bay, and encouraged the community to discover and enjoy the Bay and many of the wonderful attractions around it,” he added.


i Light Marina Bay is conceived as a festival which creates a dynamic visual night environment through the use of energy-efficient lighting for the community to enjoy. The ‘i’ in the name alludes to the festival’s innovative content, the intelligent use of lighting as well as its international lineup of creative talent. It is also an invitation to everyone to get involved in this free outdoor celebration of creativity in a new community space.

Among the international artists are Francesco Mariotti from Switzerland, Ingo Bracke from Germany, Warren Langley from Australia and OCUBO from Portugal. 10 local artists have been selected from the artistic submissions received as a result of a call for entries that took place earlier.


They include contemporary artist Michael Lee; lecturer Angela Chong; architect Aamer Taher and the lighting design team from Meinhardt Light Studio Singapore. The selection was based on the creativity of the light installation design which should be stimulating and engaging for the public, the feasibility of realising the idea and the use of smart technology and/or design for energy efficiency.

“i Light Marina Bay presented new ideas for light art and architectural lighting in city environment through stunning light art sculptures and designs,” said Mary-Anne Kyriakou, Festival Director. “It also encouraged cross-cultural exchange of ideas between the local and international artists as well as initiate an understanding of innovative approaches that reduce energy consumption and light wastage, while energising urban spaces.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

In for a Spooktacular Surprise

Singapore’s largest Asian-themed Halloween returns to haunt the shores of Sentosa

Pale floating shapes and bloodied bodies with deep, ugly lacerations and darkened eye sockets beckoned. Sentosa was transformed at sundown; ghastly characters crept out from their daytime hiding places and infiltrated the crowd of thrill-seekers.

Sentosa Spooktacular received an overwhelming response for the five evenings, over the two weekends which it was held, from 22 to 23 October and from 29 to 31 October, receiving a total turnout of 12200 guests. “Tickets were sold out for every evening and ticket sales increased at least a hundred percent from last year,” said Low Keng Kwok, Senior Manager, Sentosa Attractions Management Unit.

This year, the event featured an expanded dark force, with dozens of Asian ghouls, ruling over four distinct venues. Two of the attractions are located within the Images of Singapore (The Haunted Asylum and the Dead or Alive Wax Museum), one at The Merlion (Cursed Island) and lastly the Tiger Sky Tower (Tower of Fear).

The haunted Asylum is modeled as a cannibal village on Pulau Hantu. With its inhabitants killed by plague, their violently out of control souls are still trapped within the village. Whereas The Dead or Alive Wax Museum is a labyrinth of dead bodies preserved in wax, after the resident artist went insane and murdered everyone, turning them into his works of art.

More horror awaited guests in The Merlion where zombie pirates and mysterious monsters lurked under the sea. The Tower of Fear offered a terrifyingly-elevated experience, taking guests 131 metres above sea level, and there, they were greeted by a ghostly audio experience and other spooks.

The multi-sensory Spooktacular featured sound effects, special lighting effects and movie-quality costumes and makeup. The production involved a cast of 100 performers, makeup artists and costume designers and took three months to prepare. The cast consisted of industry professionals as well as approximately 40 volunteers of alumni and undergraduates from Temasek Polytechnic’s course of Leisure and Resort Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management and Accounting and Finance.

Developed in conjunction with Temasek Polytechnic, Sentosa Spooktacular is under the Sentosa Apprentice Programme. This programme, which started in 2008, aims to provide students specializing in Festivals and Events Management for the diploma in Leisure and Resort management, and the Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, an opportunity to acquire hands-on learning experience.

Students worked in groups to submit an event proposal of various themes and the winning team gets the opportunity to intern in Sentosa. Spooktacular was the brain child of the winning team of this scheme in 2008. It was also this group of LRM students who coined the name Spooktacular and interned with Sentosa Leisure Group to make the event come true in 2009. The four students from the winning team this year are now interns with Sentosa, and are part of the main committee which planned and managed the 2010 event, with guidance from Sentosa’s events team.

“While Halloween has been a western-celebrated holiday, Singaporeans have in recent years grown to embrace the festival. When we held the inaugural Spooktacular last year, the response was overwhelming. This was a happy problem for the team, even if we had to extend the operational hours just to manage the crowds,” said Jimmy Wong, Events Director, Sentosa Leisure Group.

Sentosa Spooktacular and Night Safari’s Halloween Horrors are the largest and most anticipated Halloween events in Singapore especially amongst youths. On the competition from The Night Safari (with Ngee Ann Polytechnic), Low Keng Kwok, Senior Manager, Sentosa Attractions Management Unit expressed, “We don’t see it as a competition. We see it as jointly holding the events to spur on the mood of Halloween for Singaporeans.”

“I really enjoyed Spooktacular this year, the sets and characters were very well designed and convincing and the trails were very scary, I would definitely come back again next year,” shared Haslina Lin, 23, HR Assistant.