Groovy lanterns light up bay

Groove Light, a project by a team of 11 Year 4 NUS Architecture students, will be showcased at the i Light Marina Bay 2016 event from 4 March. This is the first time the Department is participating in Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The festival aims to promote the use of public spaces in Marina Bay as well as showcase regional and international talent in lighting. Themed “In Praise of Shadows”, the event features the most number of art installations presented by local educational institutions since its inception in 2010.

“This year’s theme challenges the obsession that brighter is better and seeks to reframe perceptions of light and sustainability,” explained Mr Randy Chan, co-curator of the festival and Principal Architect at Zarch Collaboratives.

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NUS Architecture students (from left) Davis Wong, Bek Tai Keng, Kelmen Ting and Lim Beng Wey working on the lanterns

The NUS team used three-dimensional (3D) printing to create five distinct lanterns — Submarine, Cliff, Seashell, Lighthouse and Coral — that produce geometric shadows when light is shone through them. The lanterns are precisely positioned such that the relationship between the light source and the shadows formed creates an optical illusion of five lanterns floating above a continuous geometric shadow carpet. By pulling, swinging or rotating particular lanterns, visitors can interact with the installation in different ways to distort the shadows and modify the lightscape created.

“We looked at how computational technologies in the 21st century could enhance future lighting in the public domain,” said Assistant Professor Shinya Okuda from NUS Architecture, who led the project along with supervisors Associate Professor Joseph Lim and Associate Professor Cheah Kok Ming.

Tying in with the sustainability push, the lanterns are made of a biodegradable material which can be melted down and reused for future 3D printing.

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From left: Beng Wey and Tai Keng touching up the Submarine lantern

Also taking part in the festival for the first time are Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic alongside world-class artists from Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Norway and the US. Besides the art pieces, visitors will also be able to enjoy more than 40 fringe activities including a carnival, music performances and night skating.

The i Light Marina Bay 2016 festival will run daily from 7.30pm to 11.00pm, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, until 27 March at the Marina Bay waterfront promenade. Admission is free.

See media coverage.

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Geometric shadows are created when light is shone through the lantern