*Produced by SilverKris for National Gallery Singapore*
For the first time in its existence, the Light to Night Festival is going digital. Well, partially. The marquee event – where the Civic District’s cultural institutions and public spaces are transformed into works of art through light, sound and movement – is part of the annual Singapore Art Week. Currently back for its fifth edition (22 to 31 January), the festival has taken on an exciting hybrid structure to allow more people to enjoy the festival.
This year, in addition to stunning on-the-ground exhibitions, you can also partake in a plethora of online programmes and digital components that are easily accessed via the festival’s microsite. This means that besides marvelling at spectacular light projections on the façades of iconic buildings; checking out thought-provoking art installations across the Civic District; and chancing upon pop-up art in SMRT train cabins, you’ll also be able to catch livestreams of thrilling performances; play with specially designed Instagram filters and view animations of paintings from National Gallery’s Singapore‘s collection through a special augmented reality (AR) experience.
This year’s festival theme is “____-in-Progress” – a nod to the current climate of flux and the journey of change we undertake as we adapt and move forward in the face of uncertainty. Spearheaded by National Gallery Singapore with partners The Arts House, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall, Asian Civilisations Museum and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, the festival looks to inspire audiences to forge deeper connections with art in new and engaging ways, as well as to begin the new year with hope and positivity.
Here are a few ways to get your fill of 2021’s Light to Night Festival online.
1. Experience paintings in augmented reality
You may have previously caught a glimpse of these paintings in the halls of National Gallery Singapore, but what about experiencing them in your home? As part of the festival, audience members can view iconic paintings from the National Collection in a whole different light with Augmented Reality: National Collection Comes Alive. With the help of augmented reality technology, you can simply scan a QR code to project an animation of a famous painting on the walls of your home and watch the National Collection spring to life like never before. Paintings include Boschbrand (Forest Fire) (1849) by Raden Saleh, Market at Marmot (1940) by Louis Rollet and Life by the River (1975) by Liu Kang. The QR codes can be accessed via the Light to Night Festival microsite and the festival’s social media channels.
2. Check out unique video programming
From dance to comedy to music, the Light to Night Festival microsite offers a host of exciting video content that’s sure to provide plenty of entertainment. There’s Gallery Mix ft. Temporal by Intriguant and Flex, a mesmerising 30-minute performance set in the Supreme Court Foyer that combines music with visual projection and presents a unique perspective on the landmark location. You can also check out Gallery Gigs, in which local artists and performers use empty spaces in National Gallery Singapore to create memorable pieces inspired by art, as well as share what the festival theme means to them. Featured artists include dance duo ScRach MarcS, musician Yung Raja and filmmaker Victric Thng.
3. Access dynamic Instagram filters
Besides taking Boomerangs and selfies with the festival’s light installations, you can check out a series of Instagram filters created by tech artist Eugene Soh specially for the festival. Inspired by the works and artistic techniques of Singaporean photographer Tan Lip Seng and woodcut print works from the National Collection, these vibrant and abstract filters allow you to interact with and learn about art in a fun and dynamic way. You can check out the filters on the festival’s dedicated Instagram page here.
4. View livestreams of musical performances
With the resumption of live performances in Phase 3, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay will be presenting a daily show entitled All Things New for the duration of the festival (at 7pm each evening). The best part? It will be livestreamed on the Esplanade Facebook page and Esplanade Offstage portal, so you’ll be able to catch the exciting performances from wherever you are. All Things New offers a platform for fresh and established talent to showcase new music, with participating musicians including exciting indie band Burmese Bombshells, pop duo The Fleurists and experienced acts such as R&B- and soul-inspired band Astronauts.
5. Tune into artists’ talks and special videos
For a more in-depth perspective, check out Ask Away: Gallery Edition. In these engaging 60-second videos, National Gallery Singapore’s Chief Executive Officer Chong Siak Ching and Gallery Director Eugene Tan respond to questions from the festival’s Instagram page, offering candid views on their roles, perspectives and what inspires them. Do also check out In Conversation with Wesley Leon Aroozoo and Miki Hawkinson, which will be broadcast live on The Arts House’s Facebook and YouTube channels on 30 January at 3pm. Join the author (Aroozoo) and translator (Hawkinson) of documentary film I Want to Go Home – which inspired an experiential art installation at The Arts House – as they delve into constructing the film’s narrative and share their reflections on their roles as storytellers.
6. Take a fun and interactive quiz
Ever wondered what your artistic personality is? Or perhaps your artistic style? Find out by accessing a range of quizzes that will help you uncover the answers to these questions, and more. The eye-catching and funkily designed quizzes consist of fun and easy-to-answer multiple-choice questions, and even offer an art recommendation based on your results. For instance, if your artistic personality is that of a realist (“You appreciate the everyday things and actively seek to experience them just the way they are. You live in the present and strive to enjoy every moment to its fullest.”), you’ll be directed to check out the painting National Language Class (1959) by social realist artist Chua Mia Tee.
For more information about the Light to Night Festival and to check out its online offerings, visit the website here. To learn more about National Gallery Singapore and other current and upcoming exhibitions and programming, click here.
The Light to Night Festival offers free admission for all. If you’re planning to experience the festival in-person, please check the website for opening hours and visitor information before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.