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Singapore's light art festival highlights sustainability, zero-carbon footprinting

  • Ayomi Amindoni

    The Jakarta Post

Singapore | Mon, March 7 2016 | 02:22 pm
Singapore's light art festival highlights sustainability, zero-carbon footprinting A light installation titled What A Loving & Beautiful World by Japan-based artist collaborative teamLab at the i Light Marina Bay in Singapore on March 4. Projected on the façade of the ArtScience Museum, viewers can participate by swiping the Chinese characters onto the façade of the building using a web application. (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)" height="358" border="0" width="638">A light installation titled What A Loving & Beautiful World by Japan-based artist collaborative teamLab at the i Light Marina Bay in Singapore on March 4. Projected on the façade of the ArtScience Museum, viewers can participate by swiping the Chinese characters onto the façade of the building using a web application. (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)

Singapore's light art festival, which kicked off on Friday night, highlights sustainability with its 25 interactive installations set along the Marina Bay Waterfront using either energy-saving lighting or environmentally friendly material.

Organized by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the fourth edition of i Light Marina Bay has also rallied stakeholders around and beyond Marina Bay to pledge their support for the Switch Off, Turn Up (SOTU) campaign, held in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature.  

The SOTU campaign will see up to 73 participating buildings and organizations switch off non-essential lighting and turn up air-conditioning temperatures throughout the festival period until March 27. The energy saved from the campaign is then used to power the light art installations, allowing them to essentially run on a “zero-carbon footprint.”

URA director for place management and i Light Marina Bay festival director Jason Chen said the campaign aimed to show how sustainability could resonate at the organizational and individual level.  

“We want to reinforce the important message of sustainability. The artwork, for instance, utilize only sustainable materials like recycled materials and solar power components,” said Chen on Saturday in Singapore.

He said the festival was not only a platform to showcase artwork from local and international artists but also aimed to get people thinking about a sustainable future.

“Although the festival consumes some energy, we realized that we're able to save more energy  when we consolidate the effort as the festival becomes an effective platform to go out and tell people about the sustainability message,” Chen said.

During the festival  2014 edition, which attracted some 685,000 visitors, it reportedly was able to generate energy savings of up to 280,000 kilowatt (kW).

The SOTU campaign will coincide with the annual Earth Hour on March 19, when buildings across the nation will switch off their lights for one hour starting from 8:30 p.m. to raise awareness on climate change. The light art installations at the festival will also be switched off during the period.

This year's i Light Marina Bay features local and international artists, including from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Norway, the UK and US, lighting up the area in kaleidoscopic display of light, color and shadow.

A visitor gaze at the Lampshade by Snohetta from Norway, an installation made from simple bamboo structures covered in photovoltaic cells. Designed to be both socially and environmentally friendly, the lamps used in the installation will be donated to light up off-grid communities in Myanmar.  (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)

A light installation titled What A Loving & Beautiful World by Japan-based artist collaborative teamLab at the i Light Marina Bay in Singapore on March 4. Projected on the façade of the ArtScience Museum, viewers can participate by swiping the Chinese characters onto the façade of the building using a web application. (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)

Singapore's light art festival, which kicked off on Friday night, highlights sustainability with its 25 interactive installations set along the Marina Bay Waterfront using either energy-saving lighting or environmentally friendly material.

Organized by Singapore'€™s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the fourth edition of i Light Marina Bay has also rallied stakeholders around and beyond Marina Bay to pledge their support for the Switch Off, Turn Up (SOTU) campaign, held in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature.  

The SOTU campaign will see up to 73 participating buildings and organizations switch off non-essential lighting and turn up air-conditioning temperatures throughout the festival period until March 27. The energy saved from the campaign is then used to power the light art installations, allowing them to essentially run on a '€œzero-carbon footprint.'€

URA director for place management and i Light Marina Bay festival director Jason Chen said the campaign aimed to show how sustainability could resonate at the organizational and individual level.  

'€œWe want to reinforce the important message of sustainability. The artwork, for instance, utilize only sustainable materials like recycled materials and solar power components,'€ said Chen on Saturday in Singapore.

He said the festival was not only a platform to showcase artwork from local and international artists but also aimed to get people thinking about a sustainable future.

'€œAlthough the festival consumes some energy, we realized that we're able to save more energy  when we consolidate the effort as the festival becomes an effective platform to go out and tell people about the sustainability message,'€ Chen said.

During the festival  2014 edition, which attracted some 685,000 visitors, it reportedly was able to generate energy savings of up to 280,000 kilowatt (kW).

The SOTU campaign will coincide with the annual Earth Hour on March 19, when buildings across the nation will switch off their lights for one hour starting from 8:30 p.m. to raise awareness on climate change. The light art installations at the festival will also be switched off during the period.

This year's i Light Marina Bay features local and international artists, including from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Norway, the UK and US, lighting up the area in kaleidoscopic display of light, color and shadow.

A visitor gaze at the Lampshade by Snohetta from Norway, an installation made from simple bamboo structures covered in photovoltaic cells. Designed to be both socially and environmentally friendly, the lamps used in the installation will be donated to light up off-grid communities in Myanmar.  (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)A visitor gaze at the Lampshade by Snohetta from Norway, an installation made from simple bamboo structures covered in photovoltaic cells. Designed to be both socially and environmentally friendly, the lamps used in the installation will be donated to light up off-grid communities in Myanmar. (thejakartapost.com/Ayomi Amindoni)

One of the artworks, the Lampshade installation created by Norway-based architecture and brand design firm Snohetta,  made of simple bamboo structures, is covered in photovoltaic cells to prevent sunlight from entering its interior in the day, while lighting up intensively at night with enough solar energy to power a thousand lamps.

Curator Khairuddin Hori said that the lamps used in the installation would later be donated to off-grid communities, while the bamboo structures and light fixtures would be recycled as construction scaffolding.

'€œThis is one the artworks that has a life after the festival. The lamps will go to villages in Myanmar that have no electricity,'€ said Hori.

He also mentioned a piece by Singaporean visual artist Alecia Neo as having a deeper meaning. Dubbed Unseen: Touch Field, the installation depicts the cityscapes of Singapore and Taipei in a drawing that is meant to be seen in the dark using the touch of the hand instead of the gaze of the eye. The "Braille drawing" is said to be part of an ongoing work with blind and sight-impaired participants from both cities to create photographic self-portraits and images of their surroundings.

Beyond the display of artwork, the festival also seeks to elevate the discourse of sustainability with i Light Symposium, a dialogue that gathers leaders from various fields and industries to provide insights on the topic of light, in relation to the city and its people. It also features various sustainability initiatives such as the LED light bulb exchange where visitors can bring used incandescent bulbs and exchanged them for new energy-saving LED light bulbs, and a hands-on workshop for children where they can make lanterns and installations out of recyclable materials.

The event will also host a wide variety of activities, including culinary offerings from the crowd-favorite food trucks at the Festival Village, community performances and family-oriented programs and guided tours.

Offering free admission, the i Light Marina Bay is open until March 27 starting from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. daily, with an extension to 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. (kes)(+)

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