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Review of the Singapore Night Festival 2014

During the last two weekends of August, the Bras Basah-Bugis Precinct was transformed into one giant playground for art lovers, sound hounds, night owls and all other manners of critters. Contributor, Celeste Yap shares with us 2 of her favourite performances.

Nigh Fest 2014

During the last two weekends of August, the Bras Basah-Bugis Precinct was transformed into one giant playground for art lovers, sound hounds, night owls and all other manners of critters. Activities range from late night museum visits to light shows, from street performances to open-air concerts.

And if this year’s lineup was any gauge, you can expect the same thrilling experience when the 8th edition of the Singapore Night Festival returns next August.

Landscape by Landscape by Agathe de Bailliencourt.

Landscape by Landscape by Agathe de Bailliencourt. Couleur du Temps by Agathe de Bailliencourt

Littering at the National Museum of Singapore – or, indeed, anywhere else on the island – could land you in trouble. Unless you are Agathe de Bailliencourt, and you have the brilliant idea of scattering fluorescent pebbles across the museum lawn – all in the name of art.

Entitled Landscape by Landscape, her large-scale interactive installation was part of the recent Singapore Night Festival that entranced audiences during the last two weekends in August.

The French artist invited the public to enjoy the child-like fun of piling up the pebbles in creative ways – or even writing messages with them. All the while, listening to American composer Morton Feldman’s “Crippled Symmetry”. (Crippled Symmetry YouTube)

What’s more, visitors on 30 August were encouraged to take the pebbles with them as free souvenir gifts! Were you one of the lucky ones to receive such beautiful memorabilia?

About the artist
Agathe de Bailliencourt was born in 1974 in France. Since 2004, de Bailliencourt has been
exhibiting internationally; she participated in the Singapore Biennale in 2006 with a site
– specific paint installation. In 2007, she completed her first large – scale light projection at the IHZ – Building/Berlin followed by a second light installation in 2008 at the Berliner Dom, as well as an installation for the Shanghai Zendai Museum within the same year. In 2009, she was invited by Mori Art Museum in Tokyo to take part in the Roppongi Art Night and then
later that year returned to Japan for the Tokyo Wonder Site Residency. In 2010, she published an artist book with Revolver Publishing and had her first New York solo exhibition
at Lu Magnus, Expressway to your Skull. The artist currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

NOTE: If you missed Landscape by Landscape, pop into Art Plural Gallery to admire de Bailliencourt’s Water, Colour, Recordings exhibition – featuring acrylic canvas paintings inspired by the natural beauty of light. Till 3 Oct.

 

William Close and the Earth Harp

William Close
William Close and the Earth Harp

His Earth Harp – a most remarkable example – made its debut to local audiences at this year’s Singapore Night Festival. The harp resembles the guzheng, a Chinese stringed instrument. But a closer look reveals that the ends of its numerous strings extend outwards and upwards, and were tethered to the façade of Singapore’s National Museum! This effectively turned the building into a gigantic musical instrument.

And instead of plucking at the strings, William ran his hands along them wearing gloves covered in rosin – a type of resin used by violinists and cellists that causes friction, thereby producing sound.

Accompanied by a bass guitarist and drummer, William launched into a performance that was part rock and roll (did we mention his skinny jeans?) and part ethereal light-show, with strobe lights casting shadows on the facade of the museum, and creating halos around the three musicians.

About the artist
William Close’s work explores the connection between architecture and music. Inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright quote, “architecture is frozen music,” Close creates musical installations that use the architecture as part of the instrument. The artist was a finalist on the seventh season of the popular television series, America’s Got Talent
, where he was a 2nd runner-up. Some of Close’s other unique inventions include The Drum Orb, The Percussion Jacket, The Aquatar, the Wing Harp, and The Drumbrella.

NOTE: In commemoration of the 9/11 event, William Close will play at the Ritz Plaza in New York on 11 September.

For his full performance schedule, visit his Facebook page

CREDIT: Pictures and information courtesy of Art Plural Gallery and Tim Sparrow.


by Celeste Yap (Singapore)

Editor’s Note: Satellite-friend to local artists, Celeste may be seen at various arts events – from the truly Singaporean to the monumental Art Stage, and the Night Fest, to the quirky Edible Art Movement. Her art credentials – and experience – come solely from painting her own nails.

SAY HELLO TO:[email protected] https://twitter.com/accharlotte

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