The Light to Night Festival is an annual visual arts event held by National Gallery Singapore, and this time, they’re back for a sixth edition that is bigger and better than before. This year’s theme is “New Ways of Seeing, Thinking and Being”, which inspires everyone to experience art in different ways. With more than 60 interactive and multi-sensory art exhibits, Light to Night Festival 2022 is sure to be a treat for all senses.
This year’s festival is done once again in collaboration with partners such as Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, The Arts House, and Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, and also brings onboard new collaborators like National Library Board, Capitol Singapore, and Funan.
AVENUE ONE experienced the exhibits for ourselves first-hand, ahead of the official launch date, so read on to take a look at our review and some of the highlights of our visit!
Things to look forward to at National Gallery Singapore
Move For?ward (Unseen: Inside Out)
Move For?ward (Unseen: Inside Out) is produced by Unseen Art Initiatives, a volunteer-led inclusive arts platform. This immersive multi-sensory art installation serves to tell the stories of 12 visually-impaired individuals. It challenges us all to think about our own perceptions and assumptions surrounding disability, and reflect on how this experience changes those.
Bring along a pair of earphones and participate in an audio walk of the installation while you navigate through a web of strings.
This was an interesting experience, and you’ll just have to try it yourself in order to know how it feels! It’s also really meaningful to just forget about ourselves at the moment, and just put ourselves in the shoes of the visually impaired and see things from their perspective.
As you move towards the Singapore Courtyard in National Gallery Singapore, you’ll notice a hanging installation called Making Room by Jerome Ng Xin Hao and Zed Haan with Finbarr Fallon.
View this installation from every angle, and you’ll get to see something new each time. This artwork is meant to represent the changes that we had to make to our private lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many of us, we had to transition into working from home, and that meant that we had to literally create space within our homes to accommodate all of our equipment. It could mean clearing our kitchen countertops just so we have space to use our laptops, or it could also mean clearing a storeroom so that we have a conducive environment for work.
Visions is an interactive outdoor augmented reality (AR) art exhibition that is created in collaboration with Acute Art, a leading AR art production studio. This exhibition features several AR artworks from leading international artists, such as KAWS, Cao Fei, and Olafur Eliasson.
It also debuts a commissioned AR work by Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen. We had a sneak peek at his work, and you’ll be delighted to know that you’ll soon be able to see robots flying in the sky and characters come to life.
Download the Acute Art app onto your smartphones and enjoy the view of the Gallery facade with the Civic District as the backdrop.
Art Skins on Monuments
We’re sure many people are excited about the Art Skins on Monuments light show because it’s one of the highlights of the annual festival. One of the light shows is called Refractioned and it’s by Metamo Industries with a custom soundscape created by local electronic music duo Benedict & Palmer.
This is a psyberpunk journey through the multiverse and it blends photographs of HDB facades with iconic Singaporean architecture.
There’s also another light show held in National Gallery Singapore and you can see it when you enter the Rotunda Library & Archive on the third floor in the Supreme Court Wing. Into Multiplicities by Jo Ho and Intriguant highlights the tenacity of the human mind and its capacity to interpret reality.
The rest of the light shows will be on the iconic monuments found in the Civic District. Fleeting Flights will illuminate The Arts House Facade and this piece is done by students from Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design and Media.
In Pursuit is another piece by students from Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design and Media, and you will be able to embark on their magical journey where the historical and mythical meet when you look at the Asian Civilisations Museum Extension Wing Facade.
The last show called Elusive Études is available at the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall Facade.
Take a leisurely stroll around the area and revel in the amazing sights.
Things to look forward to at Padang
Head on over to Padang and you’ll be able to marvel at the sight of Flight by Litewerkz. This is an interactive installation and the idea of it was sparked by a flight of birds. This exhibit is meant to encourage introspection and self-discovery.
There are Bluetooth receivers peppered all around the installation. You can go ahead and place your smartphones on them. The moment the Bluetooth signals are emitted by your phones and received by the receivers, it will trigger a symphony of light and colours that reorientates one’s perception of space.
This is the time for you to take lots of photos and videos for the ‘gram! The lights look really stunning especially at night, and we can already envision couples and even families being amazed by this sight.
Fragment of a Shoreline
Fragment of a Shoreline by Spatial Anatomy and Akai Chew with OFTRT is another art installation located at Padang. QR codes are available for scanning at this installation where you’ll be able to read stories and learn more about the history of Padang.
The white sand that is used in this exhibition is meant to represent the white sand that Sang Nila Utama saw when he first encountered our sunny island. Have a seat at the reconstructed shoreline from the 1800s and have the experience of playing with sand on the beach right in our city centre.
The lights that illuminate the sand are strategically programmed to mimic waves crashing onto the sand and receding. Listen closely and you’ll also hear the soft sounds of waves which will transport you to your favourite beach.
We’re sure that this installation would be a hit with the kids as they get to play with sand.
Things to look forward to at the Civic District
If Nature Could Talk
If Nature Could Talk is a musical performance that explores the complicated relationship between humans and nature in Singapore’s rapid development. This performance will feature original compositions by Gu Wei, Lee Jia Yi, and Chew Jun An that are curated by VCHpresents, a chamber music series held at the Victoria Concert Hall.
As this is a performance that takes place within an enclosed area, safe management measures need to be strictly adhered to, so you would have to purchase a ticket in order to enjoy this performance in the Victoria Concert Hall.
Continue your journey towards the ACM and you’ll see Memory Portals by Debbie Ding. These two brightly lit artworks represent the stories of Singapore River, both good and bad, that were gathered by the artist as she worked on the pieces.
‘Step through’ the portal and explore the alternate and fantastical realities of the Singapore River right here at ACM Green.
Art x Social
Other than the exhibits, we’re sure that you would also be thrilled to know that the crowd-favourite festival village will be returning this year so that you can engage in craft-making activities with your loved ones and purchase little souvenirs.
Here are some of the things you can look forward to!
In collaboration with Dollop Photobooth, the Aura Photobooth offers two types of services. If you’ve always wanted to know what your aura says about you, your character, and perhaps even your future, here’s your chance.
The first option allows you to snap a photo and get a personalised Aura reading for S$10! You’ll also get to keep a printed copy of the photo.
If you prefer to leave it unknown, you can choose the second option which will give you two strips of photos for S$10.
Caricature by Elson Wong
Feel like a tourist in another country as you engage Elson Wong to draw a caricature portrait of you!
Don’t worry, the portrait will be done in just 15 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long to see the masterpiece. Plus, you’ll still have time to continue walking around and enjoy the rest of the activities.
Each session will accommodate a couple and the price is S$10 per person.
Jagua Ink Tattoo by Jynk Ink
Tattoos are fascinating and they’re a creative way to showcase art that is meaningful to you, but for many of us, the fear of pain deters us from getting one.
Instead of getting a permanent one, consider getting a temporary tattoo design inspired by the National Gallery Singapore’s collection. The designs are intricate, and since they’re done with jagua ink, they’ll look pretty real. Some people may even think it’s a permanent one at first glance!
Each session is 15 minutes long and it costs S$15 per person to get a temporary tattoo.
In its bid to support small businesses, the Art x Social festival market will feature lots of local craft producers.
Some of them include Luki which sells handcrafted soap, candles, and homeware, Happy Cioccolato which sells artisanal dark chocolate with a traditional Chinese medicine influence, LY Made where you can get handcrafted art pieces like coasters and phone stands, and Vintage Wknd which promotes sustainability and sells vintage clothes.
Spanning across three weeks, the Light to Night Festival 2022 will be taking place from 14 January to 3 February 2022. Most of the exhibits are free to enter, so you can come for the festival as many times as you want without worrying about having to get a ticket.
Do note that if you intend to shop at the Art x Social festival village, they only accept PayLah!, PayNow, and cash.
If you’re not able to attend the festival, you can also head to the festival website for an online experience of the art, performances, and activities.
National Gallery Singapore is located at 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957.