Thursday, August 23, 2012

Night Festival 2012: Highlights to enjoy within an hour

Image courtesy of National Heritage Board.

When the sun sets and the skies darken these upcoming two weekends (24 Aug and 25 Aug, 31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012), people in Singapore can expect to experience the hype and extravaganza of spectacular aerial performances, music, dance and installation artworks at the heart of the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct.

This year's Night Festival will be bigger than the previous night festivals. Stakeholders and partners from the Bras Basah.Bugis Arts and Heritage precinct community have come together to make this festival a success.

As arts and culture spill onto the streets at the Night Festival these two weekends, get ready to contain the splendor and excitement with your open-hearted presence.

There are numerous fascinating performances and events at this year's Night Festival. The festival stretches from Cathay building to Armenian Street. With such a wide spectrum of activities to choose from, here are some of the highlights to consider if you should only have an hour, or less, to spare this weekend.

WE THE PEOPLE by Brian Gothong Tan (Facade Projection)
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012
7.30 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Venue: National Museum of Singapore (Building facade).
Brian Gothong Tan is one of the local contemporary artists to look out. I had the pleasure to see some of his previous art installations and found him to have a playful sense of humour.

This facade projection combines film, motion graphics and experimental animation, Brian's complex yet playful work, with soundscapes by award-winning composer Philip Tan. Suitable for all ages if you are ready to go for a colourful and surreal journey. This is a positive example of Night Festival 2012 providing commissions and platforms for local artists and musicians to showcase their art.

Night Festival 2012. WE THE PEOPLE.

One Fine Day by Paper Monkey Theatre (Singapore)
24 and 25 Aug 2012 
8 p.m., 9 p.m., 9.30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
Duration: 10 minutes per show
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Glass Atrium (2nd level). 

The storyline of this shadow puppetry performance is set in the context of the Singapore HDB (Housing and Development Board) flat. Presented by Paper Monkey Theatre, the performance takes audience to a peek into the homes of families living in the same HDB flat when it is 6 a.m. in the morning. Watch how the puppets come alive to tell a story with a Singapore flavour in this performance. Please be prepared to sit on the floor for ten minutes to get a better view of the puppetry performance.

If shadow puppetry interests you and there is more time to spare, you may also like to join the shadow puppetry-making workshop that is nearby, from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.

One Fine Day by Paper Monkey Theatre.

An example of a shadow puppet.

Circus Swingapore
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012 (Circus Kids)
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012 (Circus Swingapore Performers)
7.30 p.m., 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.
Duration: 15 mins per show
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, The Platform (2nd level).

Be entertained by the aerial spectacles performed by the Circus Kids and Circus Swingapore. I learnt that Circus Swingapore is Singapore's only School of Circus Arts with students ranging from 7 to 50 years old!

Circus Kids. Night Festival 2012. Photograph courtesy of Belinda Tan.

Circus Swingapore. Night Festival 2012.

Nestle 1930s Street Stall
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Stamford Green (outside the museum building).

On the way travelling from the National Museum of Singapore to the Singapore Art Museum, transport yourself back in time as you walk past the Nestle booth that features a street stall of the 1930s. Depending on the popularity of this street stall, you can hopefully spend minimal time to queue for and indulge in a free cup of delicious NESCAFE White Coffee.

If you are very lucky, the roving KIT KAT girls in old school uniforms may give out KIT KAT treats to you. While savouring the white coffee and KIT KAT treats, visitors can also relive some fond childhood memories through traditional games like five-stones and chapteh (feathered shuttlecock).
Nestle 1930s Street Stall. Night Festival.

The roving KIT KAT girls who have so kindly posed for a photograph so that you can know how to recognize them.

Mimoid II by Stephane Beve, Milosh Luczynski and Philippe Rizzotti
Music Composed by Vuk Krakovic
Mixed and SFX designed by Ctrl Fre@k (Jeffrey Yue)
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012
7.30 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Venue: Singapore Art Museum (Building facade).

Experience the artists' vision of the possible future of the Singapore Art Museum. This light installation presents a constantly evolving architecture of the Singapore Art Museum's building. Each transformation is said to be based on the building's history and structure. Perhaps one of the interesting experience to watching this light installation is to listen to how sound and visual elements combine seamlessly to present an artistic installation.

Night Festival 2012. Singapore Art Museum.

Children's Dreams by Jérôme Donna and Public Lighting Department to City of Lyon, France
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012
7.30 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Venue: School of the Arts (SOTA)

This light installation which is designed by Jérôme Donna, a lighting designer at Public Lighting Department to City of Lyon, presents larger-than-life illuminated drawings by children representing characters from fairytales such as The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Each of the choreographed lighting sequence is seven minutes in duration.

May you have fun making good guesses which fairy-tale characters each of the illuminated drawings is intended to depict.

Night Festival 2012.

A gentle reminder:
There are so many other interesting programmes that are noteworthy to attend in this year's Night Festival such that visitors are likely to be carried away and spend more than an hour at the festival. As such, please remember to wear or to bring along a reliable time-telling device to keep a good watch of time if you could only spend less than an hour at this festival!

Night Festival 2012
24 Aug and 25 Aug 2012
31 Aug and 1 Sep 2012
7.30 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Free admission
For more details, please visit:

Nearest MRT stations: Bras Basah, Dhoby Ghaut, City Hall.

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