Established in 2010, i Light Marina Bay was conceptualised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) both as a ‘place-making’ event for the Marina Bay precinct, and as a powerful reminder of how everyone can help conserve resources for a better future.
Today, it is a true ‘signature event’ with an international appeal, encompassing stunning light art installations and a varied line-up of programming that engages and educates in equal measure.
Themed ‘In Praise of Shadows’, the 2016 edition - which also marked the festival’s transition from a biennial to an annual event - aimed to push boundaries even further.
The event included a campaign to encourage partners from Marina Bay area and beyond to switch off non-essential lighting and turn down air-conditioning for the duration of the event. It also allowed lighting industry partners such as Philips, Osram and Martin Professional to showcase their technologies through co-created artworks.
Equally important, the 2016 edition was to engage the public with more activities, a wider variety of light installations made using energy-saving technologies and recyclable products by local and international artists, and a greater integration of festival activities with attractions at Marina Bay.
The Pico team worked closely with URA, playing a pivotal role in organising and executing the event, providing full event management services – from conceptual support and artist management, to sponsorship solicitation and activation, and marketing and PR.
Before moving in, the team worked behind the scenes to acquire several official permits needed to stage the event. Pico’s good working relationship with festival partners enabled all the application information to be efficiently gathered and consolidated.
The Pico team responded with a well-timed manpower ‘surge’ to ensure the smooth set-up of the event’s 25 light installations while strictly enforcing Workforce Safety and Health guidelines. Maintenance of the installations – which were subject to the wear-and-tear of exposure to the elements and intense human traffic – was carried out continuously over the duration of the festival.
Awareness of public safety was of equal importance, given the project’s location at the heart of Singapore’s busy financial district. Setup had to be executed within tight timeframes while foot and road traffic was lightest, leaving little room for error. Close management supervision was key to ensuring that deadlines were met without compromising quality or safety best practices.
The same was true for the post-event ‘teardown’ period, which had to be accomplished within a minimum timeframe, with minimum defects, while ensuring public and worker safety.
The visual signature of i Light Marina Bay comprised 25 innovative sustainable lighting installations designed by artists from Singapore and around the world, including Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Norway and the USA. Fourteen installations were created by local artists and students, underscoring the emphasis on local participation for the 2016 edition. The large number of installations and parties involved meant that the Pico team had to be highly coordinated and efficient to complete them all during the week the international artists were in Singapore.
Complementing i Light Marina Bay’s fusion of urban space and illuminative art were performances and several outdoor dining options. Another notable aspect of the programme was ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’, a sequel to a similar energy saving campaign which attracted the participation of 52 buildings during the previous festival. For the 2016 edition, 73 buildings – 40 per cent more – committed to the campaign.
Building on these successes, subsequent editions of i Light Marina Bay will be held annually rather than biennially. Jason Chen, Director for Place Management, URA, commented: “The festival has gained a strong following… Holding it annually at Marina Bay will allow more people to enjoy the light art installations, and more importantly, to heed our message about sustainability.” The key message of this festival aims to remind us that everyone can play their part to conserve resources for our greater future.
i Light Marina Bay 2016 met or exceeded organiser expectations:
- More than 700,000 visitors
- Generated over S$20 million in PR value
- Generated over S$2 million in international media (AVE) value
- Attracting high-profile corporate sponsors including Marina Bay Sands, Tudor, The Fullerton Heritage, Häagen-Dazs and OUE
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