The highly anticipated I-lights 2023 event has returned to the picturesque Marina Bay in Singapore, marking its 9th edition this year. Spanning a larger area compared to the previous year, the event has expanded beyond the Marina Bay district to include South Beach and Millenia Walk.
With a total of 14 mini exhibits, most of the light installations are still concentrated around the Marina Bay Reservoir area, particularly near the Marina Bay Event Open Space and Red Dot Museum.
Also, to fully experience all the exhibits, you can embark on a clockwise tour starting from the Marina Bay Art Science Museum, following the Marina Bay Lower Broadwalk Promenade, and circling towards the Promontory Open Space, Clifford Pier, and the iconic Merlion Park.
For starter, the Merlion Park features “Aquatics,” an interactive display that allows you to create abstract sea creatures on a tablet and watch them swim beneath the Esplanade Bridge.
Moreover, one notable installation at the Promontory is the rotating Light anemones. These are solid structures resembling gateways that rotate horizontally on a horizontal axis, adorned with animated lights. Interestingly, these light sculptures bear some resemblance to the pylons in the popular computer game Starcraft.
Moreover, similar to previous years, there are external attractions within the event grounds. Among them is the Lightwave turning the Tide by Alibaba Cloud. It is situated in an event tent at the Promontory featuring audio-visual elements. While not essential for the general I-lights experience, these attractions offer additional entertainment options.
Furthermore, the South Beach building and Millenia Walk displays stand as outliers of the show. They are situated across the Esplanade Bridge closer to the Suntec and Millennial Walk compound area. Here, visitors can find “Bleached,” an indoor sheltered interactive exhibit made out of disposed plastic designed to resemble corals. Additionally, the “Show 3” display features tall LED lamps that change their light colors in response to visitors’ presence.
Continuing along the Marina Bay Broadwalk, you encounter a multitude of displays and an event space. One of the highlights is the “Glacier Dreams” art projection viewed from the Helix Bridge. The display utilizes powerful projectors located near the Floating Platform, the installation projects nature-inspired AI-generated imagery onto the exterior facade of the Art Science Museum’s “Lotus Building”.
Moving through the Marina Bay Sands shops, visitors will encounter the Inflatable Tree Man from Australia. This large inflatable piece, backlit to enhance its visual appeal, resembles a friendly character reminiscent of Baymax Disney Character. Also, notably, this exhibit sits just outside the Marina Bay Sands south exit. Notably, it is near the Black Tap burger restaurant we visited sometime back.
Marina Sands Broadwalk
Among the larger-than-life exhibits, the “Bluniwave” at the Sands Broadwalk by DP Design stands out. The display is held up by additional structure supports, the suspended drapes of this display evoke a circus trampoline aesthetic.
Another captivating exhibit is “Block Party”, which utilizes motion capture to track visitors’ body movements. These movements are then used to animate objects, such as a Housing Board flat projected on the wall of an MRT entrance structure.
Notably, supporting this display is a personal computer used for animation, complete with RGB case lights. Also, this sector is also home to “Things Left Unsaid”. It is observed to be a set of drapes lit in dim blue light, as a manifestation of unspoken thoughts and feeling in never-ending doom.
Furthermore, along the stretch near Clifford Pier hotel, you can find the outdoor display “Trumpet Flowers”. This display is a favourite of mine. It is equipped with large, kid-proof chunky buttons, this installation emits light and plays musical scores from Otis Studio by Sydney’s finest jazz musicians.
Continuing along this route, the lobby of the OUE Bayfront Building showcases “Resonances,” a gate-like feature piece from Canada. This installation captures still photos of visitors as they jump across a lit “light gate.” You can time your entry and exit from the gate to create varying images of stretch.
Wrapping up the displays at the Waterfront Promenade Boardwalk is “Symphony 1 Trials.” This light-based architectural entity uses optical fibers of blue light to climb and creep up the foundations of a broadwalk shelter, creating a mesmerizing visual effect.
Lastly, the Millenia Walk mall art piece and last of the series is called “Prism”. It sits at the center atrium of the mall. This indoor audio-visual installation features changing lights accompanied by ambient music. Its shape resembling the conical roof structures of Millenia Walk.
Wrapping up with Gastro Beats festival
To conclude the festival experience, the Gastro Beats Carnival awaits at the Marina Bay Open Space in front of the Red Dot Museum. Visitors can explore booths by main sponsor DBS and food delivery platform Foodpanda.
Additionally, a beer garden courtesy of Carlsberg and French beer Kronenbourg 1664 is available. Food trucks can be spotted throughout the Marina Bay route, including one near the Inflatable Tree Man and another by the waterfront. The giant animated screen sitting at the top of the front main stage of the Gastro Beats is home to the 4th light i-lights installation, called Mooootion by XD49 of Thailand.
The light-ups come alive after dark, starting from 7pm and running until 11pm daily. You can easily seek assistance from the staff manning each exhibit or visit the blue pop-up container booths for more information.
All in all, exploring the points of interest at I-lights will typically take around 2 to 3 hours, offering a captivating and immersive experience for visitors of the night. The event runs from through the month of June from the 1st-25th June 2023.