What to expect at Light to Night 2023

Light to Night 2023 embraces the theme of "Here and Now”.

Amanda Tan

Published: 5 January 2023, 6:48 PM

Reflect on contemporary topics and explore what it really means to be in the present at Light to Night 2023, as it makes a return for its seventh edition.

Part of Singapore Art Week which runs from Jan 6 to 26, the festival by National Gallery Singapore features newly commissioned artworks by local and international artists following the theme of Here and Now.

Here are five installations to look out for:

1. Ephemeral by Atelier Sisu

Colourful, larger-than-life bubbles fill the Padang with childlike wonder, evoking a sense of playfulness and encouraging participation for positive engagements with art.

Ephemeral is an immersive light and sound environment that acts as a metaphor for life which “is beautiful because it is momentary”, according to the artists.


One of the structures in Ephemeral, designed by Sydney-based design studio Atelier Sisuis, is making its debut outside of Australia. PHOTO CREDIT: JOSEPH NAIR, MEMPHIS WEST PICTURES


The artists were inspired by the transience during the pandemic and through these bubbles, they hope to convey the beauty of being in the moment.

Ephemeral is now open to the public till Jan 26.

2. Hearing Padang by Sai

Also at the field is Hearing Padang which intertwines the action of hearing with public participation.

The interactive installation consists of two curved structures with multiple holes which allow for sound to travel from one end to another.


According to Sai, while there isn’t a ‘best’ spot, visitors can stand at the extreme ends to hear how far the sound can travel. PHOTO CREDIT: JOSEPH NAIR, MEMPHIS WEST PICTURES


Sharing about his thought process, artist Sai says he was inspired by the old Supreme Court which is directly opposite the Padang. He thus referenced the idea of court hearings as well as the Padang, which was historically built for public use.

Hearing Padang is now open to the public till Jan 26.

3. There Is a Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky by Dawn Ng

A series of vast lenticular panels hang from the ceiling of the Gallery’s Padang Atrium. As visitors circulate around the work, the colours change, signalling the shift from dawn to dusk.

Titled There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky, the aerial sculptures by Dawn Ng are a meditative response to the theme of the festival, drawing viewers’ attention to the visual language of time through the colour gradients unique to our Singapore sky.


Dawn says that the purpose of the artwork was to bring the outdoors in. PHOTO CREDIT: JOSEPH NAIR, MEMPHIS WEST PICTURES


Dawn shares that when thinking about this commission, she drew back to the 13th century when most windows were on roofs as opposed to walls. This was to allow skylight to fall in because it was a good indicator of time.

She adds that the work is based on two photographs at two times of the day – one at sunrise, with the camera facing the Padang, and another at sunset, facing the Supreme Court.

With a visual mechanic that recreates the circadian rhythm, Dawn’s artwork prompts reflection as visitors are confronted by a large visual representation of the invisible passage of time.

There Is A Window In My Eye If You Look In You Will See The Sky is on display from Jan 6 till May 7 (Editor’s note: The organisers announced on Feb 16 that the display will end on Mar 26).

4. Glimpse by Access Path Productions & RJ Thomson

A cosplayer. A movement artist. A theatre maker. A musician. These are the four artists involved in Glimpse, a self-guided accessible installation, with full audio descriptions and creative captioning incorporated into the work.

The artists involved have different disabilities – some physical and visible, while others kept a secret until the making of Glimpse. This prompts the question of what it means to show something of ourselves, when even our own natures are not entirely visible to us.


The installation and performance are structured around concepts of presence and absence, and will spotlight and expand on themes of self-care, disabled visibility, and the aesthetics of care.


Presented by Access Path Productions and RJ Thomson, visitors are invited to ponder the theme of “disability visibility” as they explore the installation.

Founder of Access Path Productions, Grace Lee-Khoo says she hopes that through this installation, it’ll help visitors reframe what they think about disabilities and view the disabled as more than just objects of pity.

“I think it’s time – here and now – for us to rethink ideas of what it means to be disabled, always navigating and negotiating and working in a different way.”

Dedicated accessible performances on and around the installation will take place on festival weekends, while full audio descriptions and creative captioning are incorporated into the work.

Visitors can catch these performances at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Jan 6, 7, 13 and 14.

Glimpse is located at City Hall Wing, Level B1, Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Foyer and will be up till Feb 5.

5. Botanica by Studio McGuire

Catch flowers in full bloom at Botanica by Davy and Kristin McGuire from the United Kingdom, which features illuminating light projections of macroscopic timelapses contemplating the elusive life of flowers.


The light projection is part of Art Skins on Monuments which premieres commissions by international and local artists. GIF CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/AMANDA TAN


The projection goes beyond the Gallery’s Rotunda Library & Archive dome, and on to the library’s table tops where three animated coffee table books are displayed.

For more information on the festival’s full line-up, check out the microsite

Onsite admission to the festival is free, commencing from 10am until midnight. Certain programme timings and admission charges may vary.

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