Our picks of the coolest installations at Light to Night Festival 2020: Invisible Cities

Sheila Chiang
Lifestyle contributor

SINGAPORE - The annual Light to Night Festival is back, and it runs from 10 Jan to 19 Jan 2020. This year’s line-up is even more exciting, where art will extend beyond the walls of the Civic District's cultural institutions into the precinct's public spaces, namely the National Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall and the Esplanade Theatres. 

Whether you are a light enthusiast, into visual projections, or just want to see what the fuss is all about, here are our top picks at the Light to Night Festival with over 60 day and night programmes.

Optical Maze by OTTOTTO

Optical Maze by OTTOTT at Light to Night Festival 2020: Invisible Cities in Singapore. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

This colourful, luminous structure beckons you to walk through it and it is the perfect Instagram spot for your pictures. The structure, composed of steel triangles, appears to change shape as you navigate the labyrinth.

View the installation from the skyscrapers that surround the Padang, and you may spot a hidden message: a line from a sonnet composed by Singapore poet and photographer Marc Nair.

When: 10 – 19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 10:00am – 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 10:00am – midnight

Where: Padang

Floating City by Nipek x KNOTS

Floating City by Nipek x KNOTS. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

Ethereal towers lit from within are suspended at different heights to resemble skyscrapers, creating a glowing city while illuminating this grand space. The towers seem to morph as you move around the installation and even appear see-through from certain angles.

The lights will respond to the music from the performances taking place in the Padang Atrium, varying in colour and intensity.

When: 10 Jan–1 Mar, Gallery opening hours

Where: National Gallery Singapore, Padang Atrium

Light Lane by Felix Marzell, DIX au carre

Light Lane by Felix Marzell, DIX au carre. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

Cycle through the sidewalks of foreign cities by taking a ride on Light Lane. Using shadow light projection, stationary bikes along Esplanade Park Sidewalk bring to life bustling activities, sounds and sights beyond Singapore, transporting you into an invisible city.

Ride on the bicycles both in the day and at night for different effects!

When: 10–19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 10:00am– 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 10:00pm – midnight

Where: Esplanade Park sidewalk

Between Two Worlds by Quarters Architects

Between Two Worlds by Quarters Architects. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

Between Two Worlds is a passageway of mirrored memory pools that forces the participant to confront Singapore’s multi-faceted reality, pieced together from fragments of history. 

The work is inspired by Kevin Wong’s sonnet So We Might. Based on the Festival's theme "Invisible Cities", it discusses losing a loved one to an unreachable elsewhere, and explores memory, trenchant longing and displacements.The lines of Wong’s poem are juxtaposed against shadows of text mined from surrounding monuments and sites, heightening the clash of narratives.

When: 10–19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 10:00am – 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 10:00am – midnight

Where: Esplanade Park

Metapolis: City As A Canvas

National Gallery Singapore. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

Once the seat of power, City Hall and the former Supreme Court were where all municipal and judicial matters were decided in modern Singapore. Drawing on this rich history, this visual journey imagines the monuments’ states of mind beyond physical structures, unveiling the secret desires of metropolitan living.

When: 10–19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 8:00pm – 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 8:00pm – midnight

Where: National Gallery Singapore, City Hall Wing Facade & Supreme Court Wing Facade

Metapolis: Concrete Collage

National Gallery Singapore. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

Watch the Metapolis canvas stretch into the realm of signs and symbols. This city is a montage of surfaces filled with ideograms, authored and arranged by the invisible hands of its inhabitants.

When: 10–19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 8:00pm – 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 8:00pm – midnight

Where: National Gallery Singapore, Supreme Court Wing, facing The Arts House

Interpolis: Crafting Connections

Victoria Concert Hall and Theatre. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

The activities of the inhabitants within a city leads to social encounters. In this work, the movements of throngs of dwellers are harmonised into an urban choreography, with the Interpolis as a choreographer and conductor, orchestrating its daily flow and building connections.

When: 10–19 Jan, Sun–Thu, 8:00pm – 10:00pm | Fri–Sat, 8:00pm – midnight

Where: Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall

Art x Social (Festival Village)

The festival village food stalls at Light to Night Festival 2020. (PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore)

The Festival Village features stalls offering a scrumptious array of food, exciting crafts, games, Molly the mobile library, dance performances and two stages for live music all through the night. 

Look out for The Swag Social’s Watshi-delish Beef Cubes and Lobster Shack’s Lobster Roll.

When: 17 & 18 Jan, 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Where: Empress Lawn, Connaught Drive and St Andrew’s Road

Light to Night Festival 2020: Invisible Cities runs from 10 - 19 Jan 2020 in the Civic District. Admission is free. For more details, visit www.lighttonight.sg.