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i Light Singapore 2024: Festival director Jason Chen on sustainability and the environment

2 mins read
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As night falls in Singapore from now till 23 June, thousands of flowers will shine brightly with glowing cores and transparent petals across Tanjong Pagar Park, creating a stunning sea of light.

BottleBlooms, by Singapore artist Yun, is just one of the many captivating installations at the 10th edition of i Light Singapore festival which runs nightly from 7.30pm to 11.00pm (12am on Fridays and Saturdays).

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Yun’s solar-powered flowers, which can be found around Guoco Tower and Orchid Hotel, are upcycled from 1,500 crowdsourced plastic bottles. It is fittingly in step with this year's Cyclical Nature theme. “It explores the endless potential of everyday objects that are often discarded without a second thought”, shared i Light Singapore Festival Director Jason Chen, who is also the Director of Place Management at the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Also known as Asia’s leading sustainable light festival, each edition of i Light since 2022 has been inspired by a colour on the visible light spectrum. This year’s colour theme is green, symbolising nature and the environment.

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With 17 artworks created by 25 local and global artists, the line-up shines a spotlight on pertinent environmental issues, redefining our relationship with everyday objects through re-design, restoration, and repurposing.

New sparks

Chen, who has worked on i Light since its inaugural edition in 2010, assumed the role of Festival Director in 2014. The journey, he says, has been extremely meaningful and worthwhile.

“My team and I do our best each year to continuously grow the festival’s offerings and expand its footprint across the city centre,” he said.

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For the first time, i Light Singapore 2024 will venture beyond the Marina Bay area to illuminate the Tanjong Pagar precinct in partnership with Discover Tanjong Pagar (DTP), a business-led group.

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It will also feature a new, paid i Light Singapore river cruise shuttle service between Clifford Pier Jetty and Bayfront South Jetty so festival-goers can enjoy water-based installations like Arc ZERO.

Other exciting new activities this year include The Conscious Festival, which offers hands-on workshops, an eco-marketplace and music performances.

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To support local budding artists, i Light Singapore 2024 will also feature two installations by students from the National University of Singapore and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Both use upcycled materials, such as wooden beams, discarded dust nettings, and plastic bottles, to highlight the culture of wastefulness in Singapore.

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But beyond showcasing dazzling works, the event, which has drawn over 11 million visitors since its inception, hopes to spark change. “i Light Singapore is more than just a visual spectacle; it is also a catalyst for conversations on sustainability,” said Chen.

“We hope that this year’s festival will inspire everyone to reflect on environmental issues and start taking small, collective steps to create a greener planet.”

Image credits: i Light Singapore 2024 and Catch.

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