Singapore Night Festival 2018: Our ultimate guide to installations and performances happening from 17 – 25 August

Singapore Night Festival 2018, Lords of Lightning

Featuring art, fresh faces and festival favourites, here’s a guide on what to look forward to at the Singapore Night Festival 2018

What does Light to Night festival, iLight at Marina Bay and Singapore Night Festival have in common? Electrifying outdoor light installations of course. Last year, the Singapore Night Festival celebrated ‘Ten Magical Years’, its theme for the event. With an ever-growing attendance from the measly 60,000 since its inception, to over half a million festival-goers most recently, you’d expect bigger and better things. Take our word, you won’t be disappointed.

Be sure to plan your weekend getaways to shun 17 to 25 August, or better yet, plan a staycation in the ballpark of the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct. As the Night Festival begins its second decade of melding showmanship, art, and merrymaking in dazzling ways, organisers have kept in mind not only your Instagram accounts, but also the performer in you.

The event’s mainstay exhibition, Night Lights, expands to 16 exhibits from 13 of the previous year. Keep track of 27 performances that spread across festival grounds, many which will invite you to participate. It’s easy to get lost and deterred in the dark, use this guide as your searchlight.

First Timers

Look out for this honeycomb-inspired installation titled The Leap of Faith by Singaporean visual artist Teng Kai Wei. Made to reflect how community solidarity enriches individual experiences, the installation lights up with words of encouragement when you interact with it. It’s Teng’s first time participating in the Night Festival, and he has chosen to showcase a piece that holds to his heart — it draws a parallel to Teng’s own courageous journey, one that saw him leave his job as an accountant to become a full-time artist. Bravo, Teng!

Internationally-renowned New Zealand-based design competition, World of WearableArt (WOW) makes its debut in Singapore at the festival. The avant-garde fashion platform has graduated alumni who went on to become designers for the likes of Lady Gaga and Jessie J. Eight past competition creations will be on display, but keep an eye out for Life Pulse (Biological Micro-universe), the first shortlisted entry from Singapore by Galina Mihaleva, Assistant Professor at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media.

If you hear claps of thunder and see bolt flashes but feel no raindrops, it’s probably not the weather. Lords of Lightning, a UK performance troupe, strikes the festival for the first time with a display of electrical wizardry. Millions of volts of electricity hurtle through the air in a theatrical show, made possible only through an amalgamation of physics and art. Talk about shock factor.

Unique Collaborations 

 

The crossroad of art and technology is a busy but wonderful one. Take for example the ‘Audra Exoskeleton’, a suit manufactured by local engineering firm Hope Technik to assist workers in lifting heavy weights. The invention finds unlikely wearers in jazz dancers of local jazz dance troupe EV Dance.

Another joint effort between, Spanish percussion troupe Deabru Beltzak will team up with local percussion group, MOTUS, to present a rousing performance of dance, percussion and fire. You are invited to join the narrative as the band take to the festival grounds in an ‘invasion’.

Graffiti art’s relationship with architects would be an antagonistic one, if one had to guess. But local architectural consultancy firm, Arup Singapore, has set out to embrace this art form through technology. Head down to Armenian Street to see local street art come to live with the use of motion sensors and light projections.

Truly Immersive

 

This year, organisers are claiming to boost crowd participation and interaction. This has led to French outdoor theatre troupe, Company Quidams, to let loose giant ‘horses’ into the streets. More like giant lanterns, these incandescent animals will dance through the pavement alongside festival goers. Not quite a Tojan horse, but equally exciting nevertheless.

LiteWerkz, the team behind past festival favourites (read: Insta-worthy) is back. Unsurprisingly, it’s a young group of students from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). This year, the team partners 3M (the company behind the revolutionary damage-free wall hooks) to present a solar system inspired installation titled Orbit. It promises a one-of-a-kind experience and selfie opportunity that cannot be replicated, as visitors trigger a unique sequence of light and reflection in the interactive installation.

Another festival veteran, local collective Starlight Alchemy, is back with its tallest installation yet. The five-metre tower piece explores how great innovations often begin from a single spark. Hope onto the connecting bike and pedal away, and you’ll ignite a shower of sparkling embers that cascade down the fire tower.

For those who remember shopping, lounging and munching away the festival of yesteryears, take note that the much-loved Festival Village pops up across SMU Campus Green from 23 to 25 August. Expect flea markets, food stands, and live music: essential ingredients for a true-blue festival.

Singapore Night Festival

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