The Best Nights of Your Life
For 2 weekends every year, Singapore becomes the city that doesn’t sleep. It’s time for the Singapore Night Festival to dazzle you once again. Our museums light up in a dizzying array of colours while performers take to the streets in a flurry of sound and movement. There’s something happening everywhere you look – the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct comes to life with festivalgoers reveling in all the excitement and your senses are overwhelmed with sights, sounds and best of all, tastes of all the food stalls.
After 7 years of all-night entertainment, we look back at the most memorable performances and Night Lights installations. With this year’s Singapore Night Festival right around the corner (21 & 22 August and 28 & 29 August), take a trip down memory lane and be awed once more by the best of the Singapore Night Festival!
1. 2014: Earth Harp
The past few years of the Singapore Night Festival have proven to us that art can be found everywhere, but the Earth Harp showed that anything can become an instrument. In 2014, the National Museum became a harp – long metal strings were attached to the top of the building and stretched all the way down to the ground. It sounds amazing – the notes ring through the air and the lowest strings sounded like the building itself was rumbling.
Combined with death defying stunts and pyrotechnics, it was a performance that had me constantly turning my head to catch the performers’ every move.
2. 2014: Divine Trees
A face looms out of the darkness – meet the faces of divine figures in Asian culture, projected on the trees. Popularly known as the “Buddha faces”, the faces seen were actually deities from all around Asia. The effect is eerie. Imagine walking around the festival, when you realise there’s a larger-than-life face floating in the air.
Upon closer examination, what seems like a simple projection is an interesting work of art by Clément Briend. The lights and shadows give the faces an uncanny 3D effect, and atmospheric music and ghostly lights for ultimate spookiness. Compared to other acts, Divine Tree is quieter and less obtrusive, but there’s something special about it that made it stand out from the crowd.
3. 2013: Oomoonbeings
There’s something whimsical and childlike about the jesters in Oomoonbeings – Singapierrot brought pierrot, a style of pantomime, to the Singapore Night Festival and delighted us with their curiosity and playfulness. The story was simple – two beings who live on the moon come down to land, exploring the land we know so well with wide-eyed wonder. Supported by jazz tunes, Oomoonbeings was refreshing, creative and super adorable!
4. 2013: Water Light Graffiti
Light up the world with water. Water Light Graffiti was a ball of fun for kids and adults alike. You could paint with light – dip a brush in water, touch the screen and you’re ready to make a masterpiece. As the water evaporates, the paintings dim and the canvas can be reused by the next painter. Water Light Graffiti combined art and technology to create a fun interactive exhibit and it’s not surprising that it was one of the most beloved exhibits in 2013’s festival.
5. 2012: Fuerzabruta by Argentina’s Ozono Producciones
Dance, water and light come together in Mylar, one of three performances by the unparalleled Ozono Producciones from Argentina. It must have been magical, looking up at shadowy swimmers dancing in a shallow pool above the crowd. Audiences were mesmerised by the shapes made by the performers and the play of light on water.
6. 2011: Corazon de Angeles in Paradise
If circuses aren’t death defying in enough for you, 2011’s Corazon de Angeles in Paradise probably had you clapping in glee. Suspended in mid air with nothing but wires to hold them in place, performers from Theater Tol danced, spun and sang their way to the audience’s hearts. Beautiful, insane, theatrical and amazing!
7. 2010: World’s Slowest SMS Billboard
We usually expect technology to make our lives harder, better, faster, stronger, but the World’s Slowest SMS Billboard was probably the least efficient way to get your message across. A scaffold over the Singapore Art Museum was the canvas for all the SMSes – just send a message to the number displayed above, but don’t expect your message to appear immediately. A group of operators changed the message manually and it was up to them when and if messages were displayed.
Created by Thai artist Wit Pimkanchanapong, it was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the efficiency of technology and a reminder not to take it for granted. Judging from the slew of messages ranging from ordinary to ridiculous, it looks like it was a lot of fun!
8. 2009: Loop of Fortune
Those who attended the 2009 Singapore Night Festival will remember that it was interrupted by a nasty bout of rain. When skies finally cleared, the performers took the stage at 11pm and lit up the National Museum in a whirl of light, fire and humans. Three daredevil performers were strapped to the spinning loop of fire for a death defying stunt with the museum as a backdrop, delighting the crowds who braved the rain to see the highlight of that year’s festival.
9. 2008: Beatnik Picnic
The Singapore Night Festival’s inaugural festival was a huge hit! One of the standout performances was Beatnik Picnic, a huge outdoor party that was free for anyone and everyone to attend. Festivalgoers partied the night away amidst pounding beats and flashing lights – I only wish I was old enough to join in the festivities in 2008!
10. Every year: Night Lights
Just when I thought our museums couldn’t get any prettier, Singapore Night Festival comes along and dresses up our museums in a million colours. The building itself is a canvas for projections and videos played across the facade. It truly proves that everything can become an inspiration for artists. The past few years’ exhibits have been amazing and I’m looking forward to this year’s night lights!
Bright Lights in the Big City
These memorable installations and performances show just how powerful art can be. Each show, installation and art piece draws people in and becomes a memory that transcends the years.
Pictures don’t do them justice – you have to be there to experience it! If you liked previous night festivals, don’t forget to visit this year’s. The heart of Singapore will be illuminated once more this month.
At the Singapore Night Festival 2015, local cabaret performers and comedians join the lineup – it’s bound to be a fun time for everyone! Grab your friends, grab your family and party the night away. Find out what’s happening this year here.
What: Singapore Night Festival 2015
Where: Bras Basah and Bugis area
When: 21 Aug & 22 Aug, 28 Aug & 29 Aug, 7pm till 2am
This post was brought to you by the Singapore Night Festival.