The i Light festival is back again to invade Marina Bay with a host of environmentally-friendly art and activities. Gwen Pew rounds up the best events this year.
21 Feb 2014: This month, the waterfront of Marina Bay will again be transformed into a beautiful landscape of lights as the bi-annual i Light festival returns for three weeks. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authorities, the festival urges companies in the area to switch off unnecessary lights and turn up their air-conditioning temperatures to promote environmental sustainability. Several artists have also been invited to create energy efficient light art. This year, they’re back not only with plenty of Instagram-worthy installations, but a range of other activities to keep the whole family entertained as well. Here’s what you should keep your eye – and camera – out for.
Works by more than 25 artists, hailing from both our own sunny shores and overseas, will be dotted around Marina Bay. Memorable highlights from the last edition include the Merlion sculpture’s colourful new look, created by Portuguese collective OCUBO, and local artist Ryf Zaini’s sprawling installation, ‘5QU1D’ (pictured above). This time, we can expect more stunning and quirky pieces, such as Greek artists Maro Avrabou and Dimitri Xenakis’ ‘The Guardian Angels’, which comprises a series of “watering-lanterns” (flower pots that are colourfully lit from the inside), and ‘The Beat’ – glowing, pulsing light globes made by Cherry Wang from local design firm Arup.
Should you get hungry from wandering around the art, there are three places you can go to grab a bite. If you’re after something a bit more casual, check out the two food trucks, Kerbside Gourmet and The Travelling C.O.W. – the former is a charity initiative that promises to donate one dish to needy families for every dish bought, while the latter boasts the title of being Singapore’s first mobile food truck. For something more upscale, PasarBella will be leaving their Grandstand home and setting up a station offering a range of fresh produce.
From fire dancing (9, 15 & 29 Mar) to renditions of popular English and Mandarin hits sung by the Hark Performing Team (8 & 22 Mar), there are plenty of live acts to catch this year. The Singapore Sky Dancers will be also putting on a light show of synchronised kite flying at Go Fly Kite (15, 16, 29 & 30 Mar), or you can even try your hand at playing with illuminated props – such as hoops and staffs – with the performers of the Illuminated Street Shows (16 & 28 Mar). Keep a look out for the roving Neon Stilt Walkers (7, 8, 22 & 23 Mar), too!
Local flea market group, For Flea Sake, will be setting up a Goodnight Market to sell everything from paintings to pastries, while the people behind the weekly Sentosa Broadwalk Bazaars, TGIF Bazaars, will be organising thei Light Marina Bay Waterfront Bazaar, whose range of products include lighted gadgets, collectible items and environmentally-friendly goods.
If you’re looking to get fit from more than just walking, there are a number of ways to exercise while enjoying the festival. We’re especially taken with the idea of Glo Yoga (22 & 23 Mar), where instructors from Spice Yoga will take you through a series of stretches against the skyline. Otherwise, instead of just admiring the skills of professional skaters at the Singapore Rollersports Federation’s Skate Competition & Demonstration (15 & 16 Mar), learn to do it yourself from the experts at the Fun Skate Clinics (10-28 Mar); if you already know how to, then join in their Fun Skate & Walk (15 Mar) from the Float to Gardens by the Bay. Fathers and sons (yes, this one is only for the dudes in the family) can also bond at the Adventure with Dad camp (22 & 23 Mar).
Walks and Trails
There will be free guided tours around the area available during weekend evenings, where volunteers will take visitors around to see various art pieces. There are two routes to choose from – just register at least one day before on their website. For those wanting to get a more unique perspective of the installations and skyline, book a 30-minute boat tour with the Singapore River Explorers. Meanwhile, corporate teams who might have a few thousand bucks to spare can take on the SCS Marina Bay Challenge (8 Mar; it costs $5,000/ team of six, but all proceeds go to the Student Care Services charity) to complete a series of tasks at various checkpoints – the winning team will get to bring home a trophy!