i Light Marina Bay 2018: Plastic Waste Reinvented as Art

Singapore’s signature lighting art festival will run from 9 March to 1 April 2018 with sustainability as a major theme. The showcase of 22 local and international installations will take place in Marina Bay and Esplanade Park in Singapore. Mallika Naguran reports.

 BP Loh's plastic milk bottle cows on display at i Light Marina Bay 2018 aims to promote trash re-use and upcycle messages. Image courtesy of BP Loh.

BP Loh's plastic milk bottle cows on display at i Light Marina Bay 2018 aims to promote trash re-use and upcycle messages. Image courtesy of BP Loh.

SINGAPORE, 28 February 2018. In its sixth edition, i Light Marina Bay this year features artistic work by local and international artists using  materials that make a statement, such as energy saving light bulbs and LED lamps. Don’t be surprised if plastic drifts into one’s consciousness too.

Three of the 22 light art installations at Marina Bay are made out of plastic bottles. Bottle Cows is one such installation created by Singapore architect BP Loh. Through the display of life-sized “cows” shaped by about 2,000 plastic milk bottles, the artist hopes they will “encourage recycling and upcycling”.

Other i Light Maria Bay installations built on sustainability themes surrounding the use of waste materials in daily life are the Chandelier of Spirits and Transistable Plastic.

Can’t do without a takeaway café latte in the mornings? Thailand’s Chandelier of Spirits by Living Spirits presents a cause for reflection as it displays suspended glass and plastic coffee bottles. The sculpture is inspired by the thought of collective action by Singapore workers’ morning beverage habits.

Transistable Plastic by Luzinterruptus would strike a chord as onlookers walk through the large-scale and rotating plastic waste installation made out of some 20,000 PET bottles. Think we have too much waste around us? Well, this Spanish exhibit claims we do as it promotes awareness of the sheer amount of waste generated and dumped indiscriminately by consumers.

On the whole, the i Light Marina Bay festival in Singapore is based on light art installations that operate on energy-saving lighting and, in certain structures, designed with reuseable or environmentally-friendly materials.

It is aimed at promoting messages of sustainability and to nudge people into incorporating good habits such as switching off lights when not needed and turning up air-conditioning temperatures so as to reduce energy consumption and heat waste (from condensers). The “Switch Off, Turn Up” campaign is also targeted at offices and buildings in the Marina Bay area.

 Chandelier of Spirits at i Light Marina Bay 2018 reuses glass bottles in art installation. Image courtesy of Living Spirits.

Chandelier of Spirits at i Light Marina Bay 2018 reuses glass bottles in art installation. Image courtesy of Living Spirits.

Unlike previous years, the showcase of light art installations this year will extend beyond Marina Bay to Esplanade Park, where six installations will be on display.

The festival, organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore, will run for three weeks from 7 March. The artistic works by Singapore and 14 countries were curated by practitioners from the arts, architecture, urban planning and lighting.

Mr Jason Chen, Festival Director and Director (Place Management) of URA, said: “i Light Marina Bay has grown to become one of Singapore’s signature events, gathering people from all walks of life and bringing greater vibrancy to the precinct. This year, we are involving the community further by inviting them to co-create i Light Marina Bay 2018 with us – be it through the creation of artworks, or supporting the festival by presenting sustainability-themed activities.”

 As many as 20,000 plastic bottles are used in the Transistable Plastic installation at i Light Marina Bay 2018 festival. Image courtesy of Luzinterruptus.

As many as 20,000 plastic bottles are used in the Transistable Plastic installation at i Light Marina Bay 2018 festival. Image courtesy of Luzinterruptus.

The festival collaborates with overseas light art festivals. A number of local and international light art installations will be shared with the Scottsdale Canal Convergence in the United States, the Bella Skyway Festival in Poland and the LUX Light Festival in New Zealand. Gaia Discovery was informed that following the festival, the non-travelling exhibits will be recycled accordingly.

Community Lit Up

This year’s festival will also see greater participation from the Singapore civic, artistic and academic community in the creation of sustainable artworks.

The line-up of installations also includes six artworks by students from local institutions, including Nanyang Polytechnic, Nanyang Technological University, Raffles College of Higher Education, School of the Arts and LASALLE College of the Arts.

According to the organisers, the used bottles and containers in the plastic exhibits were contributed by the community and corporate partners such as Changi Airport Group, Compass Group, International Building and Yotel Singapore over a few weeks.

Activities for the Public

There are lots happening across four festival hubs, which can be found here.

One such event is Sustainability Sundays in collaboration with Terra Sg is to create an awareness movement at the Terra Village @ GastroBeats. 

Terra Village is “a collection of fun, creativity & innovation” with a community of crafters, designers and upcyclers curating inspiring and inventive concepts. Through its offerings of environmentally-friendly and socially-conscious products, as well as activities such as eco-maker workshops and EcoCraft Upcycling Workshops, Terra Village creates a common space for people to connect, learn, experience and share. 

Sustainability Sundays at Terra Village takes place on 18, 25 March and 1 April 2018 from 4pm – 10pm (Eco-Craft Upcycling Workshops at 5pm and 8pm).

Get fed at GastroBeats while enjoying music performances at The Promontory. Activities there include LED-lit hula hoop stations (top fun for kids) and art workshops.

On the final weekend of the festival, the hub will be transformed into a neon-coloured playground to host the ILLUMI FEST RUN. If you’re there at that time, you might be splashed with glow-in-the-dark water.

The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival will be held at the Bayfront Event Space with rides, games and performances during the festival.

Lounge at the ILLUMI Bar – an LED-lit pop-up lifestyle space – at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza. Part of its “furniture” is made with reusable plastic tanks to drive home the message that there is no such thing as waste, but just materials that have yet to find their new value.

i Light Marina Bay will be held from 9 March to 1 April 2018, 7.30pm to 11pm daily with extended hours to 12.00 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, around the Marina Bay waterfront and Esplanade Park. Admission is free.

Visit www.ilightmarinabay.sg for more information.

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