Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Sneak Preview of the Singapore Night Festival

Companie Retouramont.

The Singapore Night Festival is back again! Treat your senses to a nocturnal extravaganza of spectacular aerial performances, music, dance, installation artworks and spectacular interactive light installations on the nights of 23, 24, 30, 31 Aug 2013.

Whether you are more interested in stunning outdoor performances, art and light installations, free admission into the museums, intimate indoor performances or simply spend some out in the night with your families and friends, there will be something for everyone during this year's Singapore Night Festival.

For the art community in Singapore, the Singapore Night Festival provides a platform for local artists to showcase their works and to collaborate with international artists. With the renaming of the Night Festival to the Singapore Night Festival, this year's festival is positioned to garner international attention.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the highlights for this coming weekend (Fri 23 Aug and Sat 24 Aug):

Onmoonbeings by Singapierrot.
Photo courtesy of Jinha Kim Photography.
by Singapierrot
Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2013
7.30 p.m., 8.45 p.m. and 10.00 p.m.
Armenian Street

If a whimsical and poetic touch of romance is what you may crave for, be sure to make time to watch two soulful Singaporean jesters Roy Payamal and Ng Xi Jie's performance, Onmoonbeings. The duo will be dressed in plastics. They simply looked like the modern incarnations of Pierrot play.

The storyline is essentially about two jesters descending from a crescent moon and exploring the land. Witness how the jesters create meaning as they explore the wistful dark corners of our soul. I was drawn to the primitive, whimsical yet playful mood of the performance.

For the lovers of live music, this performance is very likely to delight. The performance of Onmoonbeings will be accompanied live by gypsy-swing jazz duo So Ma Fan.

Vertical Extraction 
by Compagnie Retouramont
Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2013
8.15 p.m., 9.30 p.m., and 10.45 p.m.
National Museum of Singapore facade

Vertical Extraction by Compagnie Retouramont.
Photo courtesy of Jinha Kim Photography.

Light projections, shadows play and aerial dancing on bungee cords combined in a mystical way in Compagnie Retouramont's Vertical Extraction. In this performance, acclaimed local artist and film-maker Victric Thng will collaborate and complement Vertical Extraction with a special video that he has produced.

Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont. 

Pyramid of Void 
by Compagnie Retouramont
Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2013
8.30 p.m., 9.45 p.m. and 11 p.m.
National Museum of Singapore facade

Perhaps choreographed for a crowd that is willing to bring themselves to a meditative and reflective state, Compagnie Retouramont's performance of Pyramid of Void is an aerial dance performance. A pyramid structure made of ropes is suspended in mid-air to outline the contours of an abstract void that is invisible to our eyes. The dancers dance in the air with the ropes as their only form of support.

The set is rather minimalist. Be awed by the physical agility and strength that will be required for the dancers to form a dialogue with the invisible pyramid. Perhaps Pyramid of Void challenges us to slow down and think about what is invisible and yet essential?

Pyramid of Void.
Photo courtesy of Jinha Photography.

Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau.

Water Light Graffiti
by Antonin Fourneau
Outside Raffles City

Of particular interest to yours truly is Antonin Fourneau's Water Light Graffiti. Based on the idea of illumination, Water Light Graffit enables one to draw or write messages which appear as light against the wall of LEDs. What is the medium that is used to draw the light? It is water! I was simply intrigued by the possibilities that can be created on the wall. Check this out for yourself.

Starlight Alchemy: Redux.
Photo courtesy of Jinha Kim Photography.

Starlight Alchemy: Redux
Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2013
8.45 p.m. and 10 p.m. National Museum of Singapore
11.15 p.m. Armenian Street

Dramatic and full of amazing feats, be sure to watch Starlight Alchemy who will promise to entertain you with their unique feats using fire and LED lights. According to the festival guide, the final performance of each night will also include a free play and jam session where visitors to the Singapore Night Festival can try their hand at playing with the LED manipulation tools used by the artists. This is surely a great reason to stay up late for the Singapore Night Festival.


Fri 23 Aug and Sat 24 Aug,
Fri 30 and Sat 31 Aug: 7.00 p.m.
Sun 25 Aug - Mon 2 Sep 2013: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
National Museum of Singapore, Stamford Gallery

ABSOLUT CANVAS is an exhibition that showcases the ways in which ABSOLUT cultivates creativity and innovation. If you are lucky, you may find yourself acquainted with one of the ABSOLUT bottle collectors to learn about his special journey in collecting the bottles.

Throughout the four nights of the Singapore Night Festival, the exhibition will also play host to a pop-up bar serving both ABSOLUT VODKA and ABSOLUT ELYX. Visitors aged 18 years and above can experience three different cocktails that were created just for ABSOLUT CANVAS.


In essence, experience the stretch of the Bras Brasah.Bugis precinct from Plaza Singapura to Raffles City turn into exciting venues featuring art, heritage and cultural events that can be enjoyed with our families and friends this weekend.

My personal recommendations for this weekend's Singapore Night Festival will be:

  • Onmoonbeings by Singapierrot, 7.30 p.m., 8.45 p.m. and 10.00 p.m., Armenian Street, 
  • Vertical Extraction by Compagnie Retouramont, 8.15 p.m., 9.30 p.m., and 10.45 p.m., National Museum of Singapore facade
  • The Algebra of Need, Bamboo and Rope Light Installations by Knut Eckstein, Fri 23 Aug - Mon 23 Sep 2013, from 7.30 p.m. onwards at various locations within the festival grounds, including CHIJMES.
  • Night Lights 2013, 7.30 p.m. - 2.00 a.m., Singapore Art Museum, Banyan Tree at National Museum of Singapore, The Cathay, School of the Arts and Raffles City.
  • Starlight Alchemy: Redux, Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2012, 8.45 p.m. and 10 p.m. National Museum of Singapore,11.15 p.m. Armenian Street.
  • Late night free admission to Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein, 7.00 p.m. - 2.00 a.m., National Museum of Singapore.

Fri 23 and Sat 24 Aug 2013,
Fri 30 and Sat 31 Aug 2013.
7.00 p.m. - 2.00 a.m.
Free Admission
Download Official Map (pdf)
Download Official Guide (pdf)

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to the National Heritage Board for the invitation to the Media Preview of this weekend's Singapore Night Festival. Special thanks to Belinda Tan and Jinha Kim Photography for the permission to use some of their photographs, so beautifully taken. Note: Jinha Kim is the exclusive official photographer of the Singapore Night Festival 2013.

Other media previews or related articles on the Singapore Night Festival:

Sights and sounds of Singapore Night Festival 2013 by Kevin Ho,
Media preview of the Singapore Night Festival, Xinhuanet
Singapore Night Festival back for 6th year, Channel Newsasia
Singapore Night Festival 2013, lambentI2e
Singapore Night Festival 2013, TimeOut Singapore
Highlights of the Singapore Night Festival, Jerome Lim
Playing with Fire, Jerome Lim
Singapore Night Fest 2013 sneak peek, by Mayo Martin, Today Online
Singapore Night Festival Returns, by Lydia Vasko
Singapore Night Festival 2013 is back! by Jinghui, Photojournalist
Singapore Night Festival 2013 - Media Preview, by David Teo

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