The bicentennial edition comes with a healthy dose of local history

Seven years since its inaugural edition, i Light Singapore has become an invaluable staple in the local arts events calendar. Couples, families and loners alike delight in walking along the Marina Bay waterfront after dark, snapping selfies and admitting begrudgingly to no one else that our city’s over-commercialised skyline is actually pretty sick. Well the annual wait is over. The sustainable light art festival returns next year Jan 28-Feb 24, for a supersized bicentennial edition commemorating 200 years of being colonised Singapore’s founding.

Curated to the theme “Bridges of Time”, i Light 2019 will feature a total of 32 artworks—of which 17 are either by Singaporean artists, or include content related to Singapore. As the anchor event kicking off the year’s bicentennial programmes, the festival has hence selected specific works that tell the story of Singapore—from predictable fishing village narratives to lesser known histories involving artefacts like the Singapore Stone (Cenotaph for a Stone by NUS students). And for the first time, artworks will be installed on six iconic bridges around the Singapore River and Marina Bay—Elgin Bridge, Cavenaugh Bridge, Anderson Bridge, Esplanade Bridge, Jubilee Bridge, and The Helix bridge—a sporting nod towards the year’s theme.

Cenotaph for a Stone

Sails Aloft

Reflecting Holons

Time Traveller

Another first for i Light, Fort Canning Park too will be home to some of the artworks. Dutch artist Mr.Beam’s Keys of Light is an interactive piece marrying music and light animations; while Taiwanese artist Huang Chin Fu’s Land-pass Bird will involve 30 fluorescent blue birds perched on trees lining the path from the park to Raffles Terrace—which was once the place of residence for a long line of governors, Stamford Raffles included.

Land-pass Bird

Keys of Light

Wrapping up the tour of artworks is an immersive multimedia show at Singapore River by Belgian group ACTLD, Bridges of Time, which will tell the story of how Singapore was discovered, via lights, lasers, music and projections on the water. The light art installations will be lit up from 7.30pm to 11pm daily, with extended hours on the weekends. The numerous photo ops (and slices of history) are fun and all, but hopefully they don’t drown out the original message of the festival—sustainability.

i Light Singapore 2019 will run from Jan 28-Feb 24, 7.30pm-11pm daily, around Marina Bay, the Civic District, Singapore River and Fort Canning Park. Admission is free. More information here.