Reimagine art and the world at 'Light to Night Singapore 2024'
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 14, 2024

Reimagine art and the world at 'Light to Night Singapore 2024'
Art x Social Festival Street.

SINGAPORE.- Reimagine what art could be at the 8th edition of Light to Night Singapore. The marquee event of Singapore Art Week takes festival-goers on a journey of unexpected and unconventional exploration, using inspiration from history, origin, and artworks from the National Collection to present a multitude of sensorial experiences for all.

Stretching across three weeks from 19 January to 8 February 2024, festival-goers can look forward to over 60 artworks and programmes ranging from interactive art installations, interdisciplinary programmes, mesmerising light projections, and live performances that will set the Civic District abuzz. With free and ticketed experiences for all to enjoy, festival-goers can pre-book their tickets for select programmes to secure their slots.

Organised by National Gallery Singapore, supported by Development Partner Tote Board, Strategic Partner National Arts Council, matched by the Cultural Matching Fund and Supporter CapitaLand, and in close partnership with cultural institutions and collaborators in the Civic District, the festival showcases the quality of the visual arts in Singapore and Southeast Asia, featuring thought-provoking works by veteran and budding artists from across the region. This includes works by Singaporean artists Lee Wen, Teo Eng Seng and Kumari Nahappan, Indonesian artist Arahmaiani, Paris-based artist Milosh Luczynski, and many more. Centred around the theme of “Reimagine”, artworks by these artists showcase innovative art forms that encourage audiences to engage, approach, and participate in art through fresh perspectives.

Suenne Megan Tan, Festival Executive Director and Senior Director of Museum Planning and Audience Engagement at National Gallery Singapore said, “Showcasing a diverse lineup of artists from Singapore and Southeast Asia, Light to Night Singapore 2024 encourages festival-goers to engage in introspection while reimagining art and everyday spaces through artworks and programmes that are immersive and interactive for all to enjoy. Embracing the theme “Reimagine”, the festival aims to foster a new appreciation and love for the visual arts, where each encounter with art becomes an opportunity to rediscover and reimagine the world around us.”

Festival-goers are encouraged to reimagine art and play

As part of reimagining the conventional notions of art, Light to Night Singapore 2024 presents festival-goers with new forms of art engagement through immersive and sensorial works that invite them to interact with the artworks.

● Ping Pong Go-Round by Lee Wen at the National Gallery Singapore’s City Hall Wing, Level 2: Fancy a game of table tennis? Friends, families, and strangers are invited to come together to activate the artwork by playing an unorthodox multi-directional game of table tennis around a circular table, symbolising the exchange of power, ideas and dialogue. Cultural Medallion recipient Lee Wen, largely known for his Yellow Man Series, focuses his art around sociopolitical commentary concerned with issues such as his identity as an Asian man and globalisation.

● Wishful Thinking by Whisperlodge at National Gallery Singapore’s The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Foyer: Enter a multi-room installation where festival-goers can discover unexpected textures and sounds in this immersive experience inspired by autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). On Saturday evenings, festival-goers can enjoy a 60-minute live ASMR performance on and around the installation, providing a brief escape from daily life. This is a ticketed installation at $5/pax.

● 8-bit Word Cloud by Justin Loke at The Arts House Front Lawn: Inspired by the pixelated graphics of video games, the artwork invites festival-goers to uncover the interplay of words and imagination by searching for hidden letters scattered throughout the Civic District’s six art benches to complete the poem.

● Party Pavilion by Howie Kim at Asian Civilisations Museum Green: Experience dancing lights and vibrant colours at the Party Pavilion, where imagination meets nostalgia. Inspired by the museum’s collection and the whimsy of theme parks, the artwork embodies exuberance of adolescence, inviting festival-goers to rediscover carefree youth and embrace imaginative escapades.

Artists reimagine mediums and materials with fresh visions

In preparation for Light to Night Singapore 2024, Southeast Asian artists are challenged to reimagine the boundaries of their craft as they venture into uncharted territories of light projections and new materials, forging new paths and showcasing their innovative spirit and dedication to artistic evolution.

● Wings of Change by Kumari Nahappan at Padang Field: Singaporean artist Kumari Nahappan debuts an inflatable artwork, magnifying her iconic saga seed into a six-metre installation illuminating the festival at sunset. Addressing the vanishing saga trees, the piece urges action for sustainability and preservation, inviting festival-goers to engage in climate activism. Encouraging participation, Kumari invites audiences to circulate clockwise around the seed, promoting living in the moment and fostering positive change.

● Teo Eng Seng: Living the Life by Teo Eng Seng and Milosh Luczynski at National Gallery Singapore’s façade projection: Early local abstractionist and Cultural Medallion recipient Teo Eng Seng, best known for his works in paperdyesculp, will create a light projection artwork for the first time. Through vivid compositions, riotous colours, and spontaneous arrangements, the artwork invites festival-goers to embrace the boundless possibilities and sheer rawness of everyday life.

● Temple of Love by Arahmaiani, Wayang Merdeka, and Milosh Luczynski at National Gallery Singapore’s façade projection: Indonesian visual and performance artist Arahmaiani will also be presenting her first light projection work in collaboration with shadow puppetry collective Wayang Merdeka and Paris-based multi-disciplinary visual and intermedia artist, Milosh Luczynski. Rooted in an ecological narrative of destruction and healing, the artists worked with various communities to depict the rejuvenating powers of Mother Nature.

● Winter Sonata, Summer Mookata by Knuckles & Notch at The Arts House’s façade projection: Known for their bold graphic works, risograph printing and publishing studio Knuckles & Notch tries their hand at light projections. Festival-goers will be treated to a surreal and mind-bending journey that narrates ecological challenges, coupled with an exploration of spiritual consciousness and trippy visual wonders.

Reimagined art presentations that extend into multi-dimensional spatial experiences

Festival-goers can explore artworks that ingeniously reimagine the surrounding space, delivering fresh and multi-dimensional art encounters around the Civic District.

● Rapture by Victor Tan at Gallery’s Padang Atrium: Seven human figure sculptures will “float” mid-air, with one figure seated on a pedestal within the Atrium. Inspired by the biblical notion of rapture, the act of ascending to a realm beyond our own, the eight life- sized wire sculptures represent the transition from the earthly to the spiritual to symbolise a surrender to the divine.

● Symphony of Order by Sarah Choo Jing at Gallery’s Rotunda Library & Archive projection: Festival-goers will be treated to the festival’s first multi-channel installation commission. Deviating from the conventional use of illustration, this projection artwork immerses viewers in a 360-degree dining scene featuring 12 characters, to explore the intricate interplay of “order” and “unspoken laws” through film. Each character will be spotlighted via a dedicated film, which will be played on four TV screens placed on the desks of the library.

● Wayang Spaceship by Ming Wong at Empress Lawn at Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall: Co-presented with Singapore Art Museum, Wayang Spaceship is a reimagined Chinese opera stage. Shuttling festival-goers through the past, present and future, the installation takes visitors on a voyage through the evolution of Chinese opera and its cinematic transformations, exploring its unlikely relationship with the development of science fiction. The highlight of the encounter occurs nightly as the Wayang Spaceship activates with light, sound, and film.

● Embroidered Landscapes by SISTRUM at Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall’s façade projection: Drawing inspiration from 街戏, or jie xi, a type of Chinese Opera that is fading from the streets of Singapore, SISTRUM draws inspiration from its costumes and music, to create new cityscapes combining vernacular and contemporary art forms.

● The Gachapartment Complex by Nikkei at Funan Basement 2 Underground Pedestrian Linkway: Local illustrator Nikkei crafted a hidden utopia where toys live complex lives akin to our own. Festival-goers can witness these toys come to life and explore parallels between their busy lives and the hustle and bustle of Funan, using an Augmented Reality component created by Temasek Polytechnic students. The Gallery is excited to renew its partnership with CapitaLand for two more years, from 2024 to 2025, for an expanded collection of artworks in CapitaLand malls to foster art outreach within these dynamic spaces.

Reimagining art and lifestyle programmes for all

Beyond exploring the art installations across the Civic District, festival-goers can also participate in various programmes that seek to provide them with new art experiences and foster a new appreciation and love for art.

● Art x Social Festival Street along St Andrew’s Road: On the first two festival weekends, festival-goers can make a pit stop at the festival village which will be fully pedestrianised for the return of the ever-popular Art x Social, with an assortment of food and beverage options to keep festival-goers recharged.

● Dungeons & Dragons: The Art Quest at National Gallery Singapore’s UOB Southeast Asia Galleries: Fans of the role-playing tabletop game can participate in a reimagined rendition of their favourite game which incorporates art from the National Collection. Players will make decisions in the vibrant world of fantastical creatures that resonate with the emotions and themes found in Indonesian artist Raden Saleh and Thai artist Pratuang Emjaroen’s masterpieces. This is a new ticketed programme available at $20/pax for a 45-minute session.

● Collective Canvas: A Tour Reimagined at National Gallery Singapore’s UOB Southeast Asia Galleries: Festival-goers can look forward to participatory storytelling experience guided by expert storytellers who will uncover fragments of stories concealed within the masterpieces. By the end of the tour, participants would have co-created a narrative about the artworks in the Gallery that transcends time, culture, and canvases. This is a new ticketed programme available at $8/pax for a 30-minute session.

● Basement X at National Gallery Singapore’s Spine Hall: For the first time, the festival transforms the Spine Hall into a community space where festival-goers can take part in a myriad of hands-on activities to create their own art at the Make and Take Activity Stations or check out the Vendor Market.

The Gallery’s well-loved programmes, like Gallery Gigs and Artsplaining, will return in 2024’s edition with new artists and speakers.

Ms Aruna Johnson, Director, Access and Community Engagement at the National Arts Council says, “As a key Singapore Art Week programme, art truly takes over with Light to Night Singapore adding to the plethora of experiences across precincts. It is always heartening to see diverse communities coming together to enjoy the transformation of the Civic District through the exciting line-up of programmes. We hope more Singaporeans and visitors will appreciate the vibrancy of Singapore’s arts while taking the time to connect with each other.”

Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of Tote Board says, “Through the years, Light to Night Singapore has illuminated the Civic District, offering accessible art experiences that enrich our vibrant arts scene. The festival exemplifies our commitment to community engagement and celebrates the resilience of our society. Our support for Light to Night Singapore aligns with our vision to bring together diverse communities through immersive experiences, such as the arts, to foster a shared envisioning of inclusive and cohesive societies in Singapore.”

Offering visitors more time to visit and explore the festival and immerse themselves in art, National Gallery Singapore will extend its opening hours until 11pm on festival weekends (Fridays to Sundays) and offer free entry to all exhibitions. This includes the Gallery’s year-end blockbuster, Tropical: Stories from Southeast Asia and Latin America. Gallery Insiders will also get 10% off all ticketed festival programmes within the Gallery.

Booking of ticketed programmes is currently available on Festival-goers are encouraged to pre-register for the programmes to ensure that they do not miss out on the highly popular programmes such as the Dungeon & Dragons sessions inspired by the National Collection and Wishful Thinking by Whisperlodge.

Light to Night Singapore 2024 is organised by National Gallery Singapore, with collaborating partners Asian Civilisations Museum, Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay, Funan, The Arts House, Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall and Singapore Art Museum. Light to Night Singapore is supported by Development Partner Tote Board, Strategic Partner National Arts Council, matched by the Cultural Matching Fund and Supporter CapitaLand.

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