Auditoire Asia plays with interactive projection and sound mapping to illuminate Singapore’s urban landscape.
More than half a million festival-goers thronged the arts and heritage districts of Bras Basah and Bugis in Singapore from 17 to 25 August 2018 to watch performances and interactive with provocative light art installations commissioned by the Singapore Heritage Board for the 2018 Singapore Night Festival.
Led by global brand experience agency Auditoire Asia for the second consecutive year, the festival featured 14 interactive ‘Night Light’ installations, 52 performances, live music and a Festival Village with a selection of food and beverage options.
The Singapore Night Festival (SNF) is a key component of the National Heritage Board’s strategy to encourage public access to the island’s museums and promote the country’s thriving arts, heritage and museum ecosystem.
The immersive after dark experience featured works from both local and international artists, and a number of collaborative works. The festival aimed to provide a platform for people from different walks of life to meet and communicate; while conveying the message that creativity is a trait that everyone can possess.
Nine consecutive evenings of Night Lights culminated in three nights of roving acts and performances featuring world-class artists. Spanning across five thematic zones, video projections transformed the museums’ façades into works of art, where dazzling lights, musicians, magicians, acrobats and interactive installations inspired and enchanted visitors.
After successfully managing SNF in 2017, in 2018, Auditoire experimented with a new format. Instead of featuring a single main act like the year before, the event agency scattered the performances across the programme. This involved more liaising, research, and coordination.
Auditoire’s core team, which included Shanghai’s creative department and Singapore’s operations team, included some 20 crew members, as well as an average of 60 festival assistants per day for the entire two weeks of the event.
Auditoire also experimented using motion sensor tech with a large audience via the Graffiti Alive installation by Arup. A stronger emphasis on soundscape design was also incorporated with motion sensors for the Pulse installation at the Armenian Church (below). This was a tactile installation that came to life as it interacted with recorded sound and projection sensors. The Leap of faith was a playground designed on motion sensors too.
Performance wise, Lords of Lightning from the U.K. used motion behaviour and soundscape to create impressive and artistic works. “It was one of the highlights for the festival weekend due to its dramatic nature,” Auditoire managing director Asia, Antoine Gouin, said. He also shared that Motus was another immensely popular performance with the costumes, the pyro effects and drums.
“These two performances were held on the same location (Cathay Green), and on the last day we had more than 2,000 people gather to watch them, and it got so crowded we had to stop people from entering for safety purposes,” Gouin said.
Due to new regulations by the Singapore Police Force, several additional security measures had to be fulfilled, such as inserting concrete blocks and barricades, and implementing security checks at various checkpoints. This enhanced the safety for festival-goers, but also required a lot more coordination from the operations team.
Public safety and licensing in Singapore also proved a challenge. The scale of the festival brought along the need for safety organisation from road safety and crowd control to bag checks. Strong support and collaboration with the local authorities helped smoothen logistics.
The secondary challenge with an outdoor festival in Singapore is, of course, the weather. This meant that installations that previously fared well in other countries, eventually succumbed to Singapore’s humidity, causing organisers to move installations at the last minute.
Nevertheless, the 2018 edition of the Singapore Night Festival was lauded as a success, both for Singapore’s artistic community, and for Auditoire’s immersive storytelling techniques.
Main image: Odyssey