Married to light...
When I set out to Singapore with my new wife as part of our honeymoon I didn’t expect to be sat watching a light show as part of our trip. But, that’s exactly what happened, two days in a row…. It just goes to show that while you can take the lighting designer out of the studio and even the continent, our fascination with light follows us everywhere.
The two light shows I experienced were both based in Singapore’s Marina Bay. The first, “Wonder Full” at Marina Bay Sands is set around the beautiful bay itself and the unique architecture surrounding it.
At this point I’d like to point out that things weren’t all bad for the wife: we watched the show from the rooftop restaurant at the Fullerton Bay Hotel with great food and a glass of champagne in hand.
The light show itself is set to music of the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and consists of a large array of lighting technology including a myriad of colour changing LED luminaires, search lights, projectors and laser systems; all of which combine to project light into the night’s sky, onto the surrounding architecture and the bay’s array of fountains and huge water screens.
All in all the combination of effects create a mesmerising show lasting 30 minutes which builds and fluctuates in time with the music while the water screens display video feed to the crowds of tourists and spectators. The light show beautifully integrates with the city’s skyline using buildings around the bay both as a mounting position for fittings as well as a canvas to which the light is projected.
The second light show, the “Garden Rhapsody”, is again set to music and based around even more of the stunning architecture in the bay area, the Supertree Grove. Consisting of a large cluster of man-made trees which range between 25 and 50 metres in height, the grove is an impressive sight, wrapped in foliage and linked together with a 128-metre long walkway. The Supertrees pull thousands of visitors and for 30 minutes a day these huge structures are transformed into a colour immersive installation.
The installation designed by Adrian Tan and with music by composer Bang Wenfu sits briefly in darkness before the music kicks in and the structures spring into life. The installation felt completely immersive with the motion of the lights working in time to the music. And, the grove’s location in the gardens allowed the natural darkness of the surrounding space to ensure the illumination had maximum effect against the night’s sky, in what is a heavily built and bright city.
While parts of the installation may be a bit too colourful / loud for my personal taste, there’s no denying that the light show is a thing of beauty. Sitting at the base of one of the trees looking up at the play of light on the structures is an experience that I certainly won’t forget in a hurry and would strongly recommend that others, if in Singapore, experience.