Standing some 636 feet above ground level, the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark® offers a breath-taking view of down-town Singapore. It’s the best vantage point to watch the cityscape come alight as the sun sets before you. Stretching longer than the Eiffel Tower when laid down, the Sands SkyPark® is home to the worlds largest public cantilever housing lush gardens, exclusive restaurants, a 150-metre infinity-edged swimming pool and a public observatory deck.
The SkyPark® is also a great place to spot many of the shimmering i Light Marina Bay 2012 festival light art installations. If you have already spent a weekend out at the bay, spotting the installations from the observatory deck is quite easy.
Composed of 250 polyethylene jerry cans, Bibigloo presents itself as a contemporary replacement for the conventional ice igloo. Giving off an impression of heat with its chilli red lighting effect, Bibigloo is a delightful synthesis of land art, design and light installation. “Hot, because I want to raise awareness about global warming and melting ice-caps”, said Bibi when asked to describe his work in one word.”Light is my favourite medium to give life to my installations”, he added.
Exploring man’s relationship to the environment, as well as the capacity to confront the contradictions with regard to waste production, Bibi’s art pieces are constructed through the use of everyday objects made from materials such as plastic since 1992.
As hundreds of skyscrapers tower over its tiny existence, it’s presence is pretty hard to ignore. The structure’s fiery glow creates a contrast against the sombre buildings of grey and blue behind it. Bibigloo is located at The Promontory at Marina Bay.
Made from re-used cocktail stirrers, Coral Garden by Olivia d’Aboville promotes the beauty and importance of coral functions in the natural ecosystems. “My work represents life”, said d’Aboville when asked to describe her installation in one word. ” Coral Garden raises awareness about the efforts needed to reform damaged reefs while the cocktail stirrers are a symbol of a consumerist society, which is indicted as an element that is currently polluting our seas”, she added.
Its vibrant colours against the darkness of grass in the night is eye-catching and an interesting way to spark the interest of visitors towards the degradation of the world’s coral reefs. Graduating from Duperré, a prestigious textile design school in Paris in 2009, her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, hotels and festivals in France, Hong Kong, Manila and the United States. Coral Garden is located along the Waterfront Promenade near The Promontory at Marina Bay.
Gap the Mind
Based on portable umbrellas used by Thai monks while on their spiritual journeys into the forests, Gap the Mind is an interactive display. Comprising a row of 20 orange fabric shelters, this lantern-like installation pulsates with energy-efficient LED light while emitting a specially-composed sound-scape resonating from brass food bowls used by Buddhist monks. Allowing visitors a chance to sit inside the fabric cocoons, evokes a sense of tranquillity through vibrations and resonating aum-chanting-like sounds.
Describing his work as vernacularism, Be Takerng Pattanopas, an assistant professor of art and design at Chulalongkorn University and Bangkok University in Thailand brought a piece of his culture through his installation. “Gap the Mind aims to re-introduce Asian vernacular ritualism into the language of light installation”, said Pattanopas in a one-on-one interview with Travel and Beyond. “This installation is an expression of my cultural identity and a way for me to bring a sense of serenity amidst a concrete jungle of constant rush and need for financial gain”, he added.
Signalling the artist’s interest in aspects of Buddhist iconography and thought, Gap the Mind is an installation that is triggered by infra-red sensors that respond to body heat when visitors move within designated areas of these rustic shelters. This installations is located along the Waterfront Promenade near the Breeze Shelters.
Interpreted as the gates of hell by many who visit this installation, “The Gate” by Li Hui is a creation of hundreds of small beams of low intensity laser lights that frame an entryway. A powerful image of passage and enlightenment, this gateway is seen from quite a distance, radiating straight past the viewer into a splashing red of eternity.
“Surprise because it’s a symbol of many things”, said Li Hui when asked to describe his work in one word. “Free to the interpretation of vivid minds, it could be a path to another realm, another level of spirituality or simply another beginning”, he added. Bringing mystical light to Singapore, the installation makes you ponder on the concept of afterlife a little bit more than usual.
Graduating from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 2003, Li Hui is a conceptual artist who works in diverse media, threading a delicate line between tradition and the avant-grade. His works that include the use of transparent neon-lit acrylic sculptures and laser beams are often steeped in religious and philosophical exploration. The Gate is located Marina Bay City Gallery.
The other installations that are viewable from the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark® are Light of the Merlion by OCUBO and KEYFRAMES by Groupe LAPS, France. i Light Marina Bay 2012 is a three week long festival that comes to a close on 1 April 2012. For more information on what’s on in the few remaining days, click here.
Open from 9.30am to 10pm, the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark® Obeservation Deck ticket cost $20 for adults and $14 for children between the ages of 2-12 years. Click here fore more information on guided tours, ticketing counters, etc.
If you’re down at the bay on March 31st, catch the Singapore Sky Dancers as they light up the sky with their Remote Controlled kites in synchronized flying from 7.30pm onwards.
*Disclaimer: We thank Marina Bay Sands for inviting Travel and Beyond to spend an evening at the Sands SkyPark® and to Philicia Tan for hosting us. However, as always all opinions expressed are exclusively that of the author.