Green lights ready to glow

You can see glowing watering cans light up the night sky above the Marina Bay waterfront, one of many light installations transforming the entire area, in March.

The biennial i Light Marina Bay festival returns for the third time from March 7 to 30. These recycled watering cans are part of an artwork, titled The Guardian Angels, by Maro Avrabou, born in Greece and based in Paris, and Dimitri Xenakis of France.

Lit up in different colours at night, the piece highlights the need to preserve nature and is also about giving a second life to a used object. This installation is one of two which were introduced at a preview of the festival yesterday at the ArtScience Museum.

i Light Marina Bay, the only sustainable light art festival in Asia, will showcase more than 25 large-scale outdoor installations by artists from 11 countries, including Singapore.

Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, this year's festival, with its theme of Light+HeART, promises to bring in artworks of a bigger scale.

"You'll be able to see that, in terms of complexity and sophistication, we've attempted to make it even bigger," says Mr Jason Chen, the authority's director for place management. "Of course, we want the people who are appreciating these artworks to be able to relate more effectively to them."

To drive home the message of environmental sustainability, the light installations use recycled products, biodegradable parts and light-emitting diodes, which are more energy-efficient than other lights.

Livelight, an interactive installation specially conceived for the festival, is a collaboration between local artist Quck Zhong Yi and Alexandre Pachiaudi, an artist from Paris.

Using the flashlight on their mobile phone, participants can wave their phone and write or draw, and a Web camera will capture the video images and project them onto a white screen in real time. The installation seeks to convey the immateriality and impermanence of light.

"The idea of sustainability is a big challenge for a light festival. How do you do it and yet be sustainable? So we thought we'd take up the challenge," says Quck, 33.

The festival has doubled the number of activities this year. There will be food festival Savour, flea markets and a night skating competition. Participants can also learn how to skate from instructors wearing specially lit gear. Entry to these events is free and participants can register on the festival website when it is up.

Savour will run from March 6 to 9 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay. Patrons will be treated to award-winning dishes prepared by international Michelin-star chefs.

Fathers with sons aged between 10 and 14 will also have an opportunity to bond over a special camping trip at The Float @ Marina Bay, with details to be released later.

The festival will run in tandem with an energy-saving campaign, Switch Off, Turn Up, which encourages buildings around Marina Bay to switch off nonessential lighting and office equipment as well as turn up air-conditioning during office hours over the three-week period. In 2012, 47 buildings around Marina Bay took part in the campaign and 200,000 kw hours of electricity were saved.

The festival hopes to attract locals and tourists. Mr Chen says: "We are casting our net very wide. We hope it will be an all-embracing festival and that anybody who makes his or her way down to Marina Bay will have a nice experience."

View it


When: March 7 to 30, 7.30 to 11pm

Where: Marina Bay waterfront

Admission: Free


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