Light up your June with the return of our favourite sustainable light festival! We shed light on what’s in store this month…
i Light Singapore 2023 has taken over Marina Bay! Once again, the sustainable light festival transforms the waterfront location into an illuminating spectacle, with new light art installations and programmes. This year’s edition also expands to two new locations, South Beach and Millenia Walk. Here’s a lowdown of what you can expect.
All you need to know about i Light Singapore 2023
1. Blue is the brightest colour
Since 2022, the festival has been based on one colour from the light spectrum. Last year’s theme colour was violet, which signified the awakening of the senses. This year, the chosen one is blue, which in nature is represented by oceans and rivers, and is associated with feelings of calm and serenity. Visitors can bask in blue hues emitted from key landmarks as part of Light Wash, a collective light-up complementing the installations. Blue also ties in with i Light Singapore 2023’s theme, A New Wave. Through the theme, festival-goers will hopefully be inspired to contribute to a more sustainable future.
2. Immersive installations to check out around Marina Bay
Visitors can expect many things at this year’s edition. You’ll be in touch with the natural environment through interesting, multi-sensory experiences! Be sure to check out Glacier Dreams, a large-scale projection on ArtScience Museum’s facade. Visual data on the world’s glaciers are transformed into poetic AI-based narratives, bringing to attention the rising sea levels and climate change. Psst: we recommend parking yourself at the Helix Bridge so you’ll get a good view of the projection.
Next up: Symphony 1, an unmissable translucent organic that populates any location. This light-based architecture entity takes shape in the form of twisting vine-like structures that emit an icy glow and sprout into crystalline flowers.
Want to dance and let loose? Get turnt up at Block Party, an interactive installation by homegrown collective Plug & Play. Move your body and see gardens bloom spontaneously over public housing blocks. Gather some friends, play some music, and have a wild time here!
After that, cross over to Clifford Square and smell the Trumpet Flowers. Inspired by gramophones, these super-sized blooms, standing between two and six metres tall, celebrate the beauty of nature. You’ll also get to compose a unique floral sound and light show here by playing with the interactive keys. Mark our words: there’ll be many people flocking to this display.
Are you fascinated with life under the sea? Or perhaps you’ve just watched the live adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Either way, Aquatics under the Esplanade Bridge will give you a glimpse of sea creatures swimming and interacting with one another. You’ll also get to add your underwater creation to the animation.
3. A time for reflection at The Promontory
A cool, immersive light experience will take over The Promontory too. Lightwave: Turning the Tide, presented by Alibaba Cloud, invites visitors on a journey to a future where rising sea levels have led us into an underwater world. Across three chapters, thought-provoking light displays will have you reflecting on the environment and what needs to be done. This is a paid exhibit; tickets cost $5.
Also waiting for you at The Promontory is Light Anemones, which portrays life beneath the water’s surface. By day, the sculpture’s surroundings and sunlight are reflected on the curved mirrors. At nighttime, linear beams make an appearance, all thanks to the play of light along the installation’s rotating centre. This results in a symphony of light, sound, and imagery that seems like it’s coming from a different time and space.
4. New locations, more artworks
When you’re done exploring the Bay, head to Millenia Walk and admire Prism, which comprises many truncated pyramids. This immersive installation changes according to time: it’s a natural light shaft in the day and transforms into a glowing beacon of artificial light at night. The changing colours evoke a calming experience for visitors.
i Light Singapore 2023 continues at South Beach, where festival-goers can check out two student artworks. Show III, a collaboration between students from James Cook University and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, simulates a shower experience, with calming blue lights and virtual water droplets.
The second visual light display, Bleached by Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media, showcases a seabed with seaweed and corals upcycled from single-use plastic or made from seaweed bioplastics. The reefs turn white temporarily when there’s movement and contact. Cool, huh?
5. Eat, play and be entertained
Take a break from all the lights and treat yourself to a gastronomic and musical feast at GastroBeats. Taking over Bayfront Event Space, the festival village offers over 50 cuisines from local vendors and live performances by homegrown artists on Fridays and Saturdays. Young ones (and the young at heart) can have a bouncing good time at Jumptopia. Don’t forget to explore the DBS Zone, which features fun games and IG-worthy installations.
If you want to enhance your i Light experience, take part in the Light Forum, which happens on the first weekend of the festival. Participants get to attend talks and workshops conducted by lighting designers and artists of i Light Singapore 2023, with topics including lighting strategies and the future of nightscapes.
6. Pledge for a greener future
Once again, the festival partners with local social enterprise susGain on i Light i Pledge. Everyone’s encouraged to participate by pledging their eco-conscious commitment through two initiatives: switch off non-essential lighting and increase air-con temperatures, and adopt zero-waste habits. A unique visual will be generated for every pledge submitted online, which can be seen on the website and in Lightwave: Turning the Tide’s last chapter. Take part and stand to win prizes worth over $2,500!
Tips for an enjoyable time at i Light Singapore 2023
So you’re excited to explore the festival. That’s great! Before you do that, here are some pro tips:
- The festival may take place at night, but knowing Singapore’s weather, it’ll be humid. Dress light, wear appropriate shoes, and bring a water bottle and a portable fan, if necessary.
- Weekends will be packed, so unless you’re okay with waiting in line and having loads of people in your photos, come on a weekday. We recommend Mondays.
- Don’t be compelled to explore the whole festival within one day. If you’re too tired or lack time, you can drop by again another time.
Mark your calendars and get lit this June.
i Light Singapore 2023, 1 to 25 June 2023, 7.30pm to 11pm daily (extended hours to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays). Admission is free, but charges may apply for some attractions