Neon light installations take over Siloso Beach

Reena Devi
Lifestyle Reporter
(PHOTO: Lost Colonies by Soph O/ Sentosa)

Contemporary art in public spaces is all the rage these days. Site-specific installations have become the go-to trend this year, starting from the Lock Route public art showcase at Gillman Barracks to, most recently, Sentosa’s first ever Pop Up Night.

Running till 12 November and set on Sentosa’s Siloso Beach, the exhibition features a slew of neon light installations by local urban artists including Samantha Lo, also known as Sticker Lady (SKL0), Sophia Ong (Soph O) and Adeline Loo.

(PHOTO: Pop Up Night/Sentosa)

Lo and Ong both made the news most this year for teaming up to paint large-scale public murals of a kingfisher and a mynah on the walls of Arjan Garh metro station in Delhi.

For the artists, public art is all about locations. Ong told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore that the space at the beach stood out immediately because the seating and setting allows for a moment of rest and reflection.

 “The location is also rather unexpected for an art piece to exist due to the heavy flow of activities,” she added.

(PHOTO: Pop Up Night/ Sentosa)

Even the process of creating the installation involved interacting with the space and people around. Titled “Lost Colonies”, the work resembles a honeycomb as it unravels into a fabric-like structure that seems to drift away.

“We spent a week rotating shifts and sleeping hours as everything was made on-site at the Emerald Pavilion. With it, we encountered curious guests, party people, stormy winds and swims during dawn breaks,” Ong added.

“This piece was made laboriously. It was also made with a lot of great conversations, silences, exchange of ideas and learning about human behaviours and interactions.”

(PHOTO: ‘On the Impermanence of Discovery’ by SkLO/ Sentosa)

For Lo, her work is series of neon light frames located at a jetty titled “On the Impermanence of Discovery”.

Lo saw the jetty as a “breathing space away from the noise” and saw her work as transforming it into “an infinity bridge with a futuristic touch at night that I particularly liked as a form of disconnect from reality”.

Taking inspiration from local writer Cyril Wong’s poem “Practical Aim”, she saw the space as her “thinking space as I walked through the frames in silence. I really liked that”. Lo hopes visitors will feel the same about the installation and that it will provide a “safe space for them to let their thoughts wander”.

(PHOTO: Pop Up Night/ Sentosa)

She believes that site-specific installations in public spaces are the key to engaging mainstream audiences.

 “They make the space meaningful and serve as points of dialogue through the shared experience of encountering said installations. It is a powerful tool, and if used right and responsibly it can engage more people and create meaningful experiences for all,” said Lo.

(PHOTO: Pop Up Night/ Sentosa)

Ong agreed, “A good work of art should be able to speak to an audience and not be an object of mere observation.”

“We live in a very exciting time where technology and resources are within reach. Site-specific works can help to educate by sparking one to seek out information, question, stimulate and grow our perspectives,” she added.

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