Returning for its tenth edition this year, Singapore Night Festival rekindles the romance of night lights with exciting new collaborations, a retrospective of past crowd favourites, and a slew of spectacular performances.
23 August, 2017
Initiated in 2008 to enliven the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct with nighttime lights and performances, the first edition of Singapore Night Festival was a collaboration of six festival partners that attracted a decent crowd of 60,000. Over the years the festival has grown, with the ninth edition in 2016 attracting 73 partners and over half a million people.
“We were the first outdoor nocturnal festival in Singapore. Today, Singapore Night Festival has grown into a crowd favourite,” says Festival Director Angelita Teo. All nine editions of the festival were held on Friday and Saturday nights over two consecutive weekends, and consisted of a series of light installations spread around the precinct, with performances in several venues along the trail.
Celebrating its tenth run this year, the festival is back with 70 programme items by over 65 local and international artists, and a tweaked itinerary to accommodate its growth. Says Teo, “We have changed the format slightly this year so that the festival starts with Night Lights on the first weekend – this way everyone can enjoy the lights with less crowd. All performances will be presented in the second week.”
Visitors have had the chance to enjoy the night light installations spread around five festival zones in the precinct since last week. Crowds gathered outdoors to catch Convolutions, a breathtaking video-mapping show that transforms the facade of the National Museum into a piece of visual poetry by French collective EZ3kiel. Inside the museum’s Gallery 10 is Nostos: Records to the Self, a calming and nostalgic scent experience by Australian skincare brand Aesop.
At the National Design Centre, festival goers queued up to two hours to explore Phosphene, an irresistibly Instagrammable winding cavern of twinkling lights by local collective Praxis+, and experience Flock, an immersive participatory installation by UK collective KMA that places visitors inside Tchaikovsky’s 1876 ballet Swan Lake.
These highlights will be back this weekend, along with the rest of the performance and roving acts. Some of the performances visitors can look forward to include GLOBE (a spectacular circus act by Dutch collective Close-Act Theatre at Cathay Green), Light Up The Beat! (a musical performance by Japanese artist Atsuhiro Ito in an installation made with old fluorescent tubes designed by lighting firm Lighting Planners Associates at the Waterloo Centre), and The Bulb Heads (a roving act performed by two figures from French collective Sans Compagnie Fixe with huge vintage-style bulbs as heads who roam the festival ground to interact with visitors).
Also included in Singapore Night Festival itinerary is the Lighting Design Forum, a forum covering a range of topics – from the significance of light festivals in the city to the ways in which lighting design can positively impact planning and light pollution regulations in the community. It will be held in the Gallery Theatre at the National Museum tomorrow, 24 August, from 4pm to 8pm.
The last leg of Singapore Night Festival 2017 commences this weekend, on the night of 24, 25 and 26 August 2017 around the Bras Basah-Bugis Precinct at various times. Visit nightfestival.sg for more information.
Photography courtesy of Singapore Night Festival, unless stated otherwise.
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