A marquee event of Singapore Art Week, Light to Night Festival will electrify the Civic District and beyond with visual spectacles and new interactive art experiences from 14th January to 3rd February 2022. Spearheaded by National Gallery Singapore with programme collaborators Asian Civilisations Museum, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, The Arts House, Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, and new collaborators including the National Library Board, Capitol Singapore and Funan, the visual arts festival continues its successful phygital format with an expanded line-up of day and night programmes and more festival locations across three weeks.
The 2022 edition of Light to Night inspires everyone to engage with the world anew through the theme “New Ways of Seeing, Thinking and Being”. This year’s theme champions the collective pursuit of new perspectives and states of mind to gain a better understanding of how the world has evolved in the “new normal”. Artists and creatives were challenged to create commissions that uncover new perspectives and stimulate conversations through art from the National Collection, the Civic District’s history, and relevant social concerns. Audiences, in turn, are invited to engage with these novel viewpoints through a host of new programmes and festival staples that offer more exciting ways to foster deeper connections with art. Diverse voices are taking centre stage, with emerging talents and the visually impaired community being spotlighted. Meanwhile, crowd-pleasers including iconic light projections and live performances by Singaporean talents will continue to delight audiences.
Ms Suenne Megan Tan, Festival Director and Senior Director, Museum Planning and Audience Engagement, National Gallery Singapore says, “Over the past year, art has kept us company, enabling us to move freely in new worlds, while allowing us to pause and reflect on the present. Under these circumstances, artists continue to make art and inspire us to look at issues with fresh perspectives. This year’s theme encourages our audiences to expand notions of how art can be explored in new spaces and imagined through technological innovations. We are heartened by the diversity of talents participating and are proud to present this phygital festival with our expanding network of programme collaborators, to make art even more accessible and enriching.”
Light to Night Festival 2022 marks several festival firsts with its new highlights, continuing to encourage audiences to engage and participate in the festival’s novel experiences.
These include Visions, a cutting-edge interactive outdoor augmented reality (AR) art exhibition with Acute Art: Light to Night Festival will present Visions through its inaugural collaboration with Acute Art, a leading AR art production studio, which features a new commission by local artist Ho Tzu Nyen titled Language. This AR artwork highlights the multi-layered nature of history through an interplay of projected anime and virtual reality embodiments.
At Light to Night, the commission is joined by several AR artworks from leading global artists, including Cao Fei, Olafur Eliasson, KAWS, and many more, making this the first time Acute Art is featuring a Singaporean artist in its international roster. Audiences will be able to unlock these experiences along the Gallery’s facade with the Civic District as their backdrop, enabling them to enjoy this iconic space in a new light. Visitors can explore the AR artworks in 360˚ with accompanying soundscapes, during the day and at night.
Move For?ward (Unseen: Inside Out), a multi-sensory art installation spotlighting the visually impaired community: The visual arts festival continues to broaden its network of emerging creatives to deliver new interactive experiences that highlight diverse voices in society. Amongst these is Move For?ward (Unseen: Inside Out), an art installation at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Foyer that features the collaborative process of gathering and representing the stories of 12 individuals from the visually impaired community. Supported by Unseen Art Initiatives, a volunteer-led inclusive arts platform, the project invites audiences to participate in an audio walk of the installation as they navigate through a web of strings.
Art and technology presentations at Y-Lab: Exploring new means of bringing visual art to life through virtual reality and immersive experiences, Light to Night is delivering more digitally enriched art experiences, which will premiere in the Gallery’s Y-Lab space at the newly revamped Basement Concourse. Audiences can look forward to interesting artistic interpretations of the National Collection through the VR experience An Imagined Past by Yanni Chia, a 360° video artwork titled An Other Face by Tang Ling Nah and team, and the interactive installation titled Sonic Archive by Ong Kian Peng.
Light to Night Festival 2022 continues to expand the venues of its public art installations, to encourage greater access to the festival; The Everyday Vinyl at the Art Connector and Making Room at Singapore Courtyard invites audiences to stop by the Art Connector (along North Bridge Road), which will be activated for the first time in the festival. The walkway leads festivalgoers from City Hall MRT station to revel at DASSAD’s The Everyday Vinyl, a vinyl installation that ruminates on the lifespan of unwanted vinyl as single-use disposable materials. The Gallery’s Singapore Courtyard will house Making Room by Jerome Ng Xin Hao and Zed Haan with Finbarr Fallon. Audiences can experience a 360° perspective of this hanging installation across various levels within the courtyard.
Festivalgoers will marvel at two new art installations presenting contrasting experiences at the Padang. Flight by LiteWerkz is an interactive installation inspired by the flight of birds that encourages introspection and self-discovery. Flight responds to Bluetooth signals emitted from festivalgoers’ mobile devices, to generate a symphony of light and colours that reorientates one’s perception of space. In contrast, Fragment of a Shoreline by Spatial Anatomy and Akai Chew with OFTRT brings audiences back to the Padang’s history yet encourages them to ponder on the present. Festivalgoers can sit at a reconstructed shoreline from the 1800s as multisensorial features prompt them to reflect on their individual experiences
Extending the festival footprint with new programme collaborators: The National Library Board (NLB) brings Curiocity: Places & Perspectives to the Civic District with satellite installations at Asian Civilisations Museum, Esplanade Park, The Arts House, as well as a special showcase and light installation at The Plaza of the National Library Building. Other new programme collaborators include Capitol Singapore and Funan. Capitol Singapore will be a new stop in the heritage tour that presents familiar icons with new views, and its Outdoor Plaza will screen Gallery Gigs – four performances filmed in the historical spaces of the Gallery. Funan houses a new art-activated tunnel at its newly opened Underground Pedestrian Link (UPL) at Basement 2, featuring a multimedia artwork by local artists Adar Ng and Dave Lim.
A myriad of well-loved programmes on-site and online return to captivate audiences once again. Festivalgoers are invited to take nightly strolls around the Civic District and enjoy the colourful world of light projections from local talents that illuminate the precinct’s cultural institutions. In the Gallery, Into Multiplicities by Jo Ho & Intriguant transforms the Rotunda Library & Archive into an immersive audio-visual experience that explores the way we collect and interpret different types of archival materials. Adorning the Gallery facade is Refractioned by Metamo Industries with Benedict & Palmer, which reinterprets Singapore’s iconic architecture. Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design & Media students return to the festival with unique and institutional-centric projections for The Arts House, Asian Civilisations Museum as well as the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall. These projections were created under the Art Skins on Monuments Mentorship Programme, guided by mentors Safuan Johari and Brandon Tay.
Gallery Gigs, Gallery Gigs (LIVE!), and Funny Fridays (LIVE!): The festival comes “back-to-live” with music performances and comedy series at the Gallery, featuring artists such as KEYANA, Kumar, Sezairi and more. Further expanding the festival’s reach, snippets of the music performances will be livestreamed on the festival’s social media channels. Exclusive content including a series of pre-recorded performances filmed within the Gallery will be available online for audiences to access wherever they are.
Kolektif Takeover: The Gallery’s youth collective Kolektif invites audiences to reflect and refresh their state of mind through phygital programmes that explore our youth’s most pressing questions, from learning the art of letting go to finding brief getaways from life’s everyday stressors. The experimental youth programme has been empowering young people aged 17 to 25 years old to bring their creativity into the museum space.
Art x Social: The beloved festival village returns with new avenues for all to flex their creative muscles. From craft-making activities and an aura photobooth, to claw machines, local craft shops and more at the Gallery’s iconic Supreme Court Terrace, the festival village is the perfect place for cosy get-togethers with friends and family.
To ease the public into appreciating art through lively and enriching dialogue with personalities they know and love, Artsplaining invites thoughtful conversations on artworks in the museum’s exhibition galleries, and how they relate to our current times. Festivalgoers can catch their favourite personalities, Ministry of Funny, mrbrown, and TikTok content creator Megan as they spark interesting conversations with curators centred on art.
Festivalgoers are welcome to visit the cultural institutions around the Civic District to check out their Light to Night programmes as well. At The Arts House, two outdoor installations The Same Side of the Moon Always Faces Earth and The City Beneath The City await visitors, who may also head inside to learn about our cultural heroes and the rich tapestry of Singapore’s art and cultural scene at Our Cultural Medallion Story interactive showcase.
Audiences can explore the complicated relationship between humans and nature in Singapore’s rapid development through music with If Nature Could Talk, a performance featuring original compositions by Gu Wei, Lee Jia Yi and Chew Jun An, curated by VCHpresents, a chamber music series held within Victoria Concert Hall, managed by the Singapore Symphony Group. They can also explore alternate, fantastical realities of the Singapore River at Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) at the ACM Green through Memory Portals by Debbie Ding. At the Esplanade, audiences can tune into live music performances and discover four visual arts displays located at the Jendela (Visual Arts Space), Concourse, Tunnel and Community Wall
Ms Elaine Ng, Senior Director, Engagement and Participation at National Arts Council says: “As we celebrate Singapore Art Week’s 10th anniversary, it is timely to recognise how far we have come as an arts community through a decade of growth and resilience. Our cultural institutions have also played an important role in providing a chance for Singaporeans to connect and encounter the arts around them. With this year’s exciting line-up of interactive and inclusive art experiences, we invite everyone to enjoy another phygital edition of Light to Night at the Civic District and beyond.”
Mr Fong Yong Kian, Chief Executive of Tote Board says: “We are excited to continue supporting Light to Night on its journey to bringing art closer to audiences. This year’s theme and diverse roster of local artists, which includes visually impaired co-creators, youths, and performance artists, are aligned with the Tote Board’s mission to build an inclusive, resilient, and vibrant Singapore. We hope that the festival inspires the community to find creative ways to build resilience and uplift each other.”
Light to Night Festival 2022 runs till 3rd February 2022. More information available here
Singapore Art Week 2022 runs from 14th to 23rd January 2022. For more information on SAW 2022 programmes, visit their website here.