Night to Light : Art Skins and Monuments


I wasn’t too fond of this peace of work. It was pretty cool how large scale it was but for some reason I found it hard to read the information being presented. There were quite a lot of people however, who were seated at the Padang anticipating the first projection. However, before the projection finished, the spectators were distracted and started watching instead the fireworks which started on the other side. This reminded me of last week’s readings of the Society of the Spectacle. The public literaly moved from one spectacle to the next. Furthermore, these people didn’t stay for long, after watching the fireworks, most of them left and did not hang about. The Padang was once again empty and it made me wonder if this projection managed to add to this space?


For this artwork, strangely enough it did not attract much attention. This is especially strange since the animation beside it on the other hand “Secrets of the Sand” had a crowd in front of it watching the animation. Which made me wonder why was this so.

I think one of the reasons why this is so would be because there is no space in front of the Supreme Court Wing for people to congregate. Unlike the City Hall wing which had the Padang in front of it which was a space that invited people to sit and watch, there was only the road and the pavement which in today’s context are simple transition spaces and hence people are less inclined to stay and watch the animation.

However, personally I still liked this Projection mapping project as it could be seen from afar(the bright and vibrant coulours probably made the animation more prominent from a distance) and it made the city feel like it was alive. When I was travelling through the Helix bridge exploring the Ilights festival, i saw two strange eyes across the river starring at me. It took me a while to realise, “Oh it was an animation being projected onto the National Gallery”. It invoked a feeling of wonder and intrigue within me and made me inclined to travel there and see what was going on.


For this piece I honestly thought that it was beautiful. Watching the centripetal psychedelic patterns, you can easily get mesmerized and there was a small crowd who stopped to watch and look. However they did not stay long. Once again I think this is because the surrounding area was just a road and a pavement and by nature it wasn’t a hospitable place for people to stay and lounge about. I think because of this, this animation, though gorgeous, failed to be nothing more than a spectacle as it did not elevate the space around it to become more than what it already is.


This artwork actually made me rethink my position on the whole exhibition. Initially I was actually a bit annoyed because most of the animations being projected had a lot of text with a lot of information and the first rule of animation is to “Show not tell.” But then after looking at this work, I realised that crowd in front of it, there was actually a substantial number of people who were reading and concentrating on the work. They weren’t just recording it on their insta stories, but actually concentrating on the information being presented to them. And I realised that this happened (people processing the information) only because the information was being delivered in an explicit way. Thus I did a paradigm shift an stopped trying to analyse these projections as one would do a film and instead looked at them as mainly public works. And the key to success in a mass public work, I believe lies in simplicity.


I would say this work was really successful as it managed to elevate the space in front of the Victoria Concert hall into a congregation space. I realised that people were sitting there, enjoying themselves. Couples were cuddling, people were lounging and having picnics and a mother and daughter were playing catching and this only happened because there was an animation being projected onto the facade. I imagine people first came here and sat down to watch the animation and just decided to not get up again. Simple reasoning, but it is because of this that the space was elevated.

I would also say that the geography of the area had a part to play. Unlike the Padang, the green space in front of the Victoria Concert Hall, felt like a more enclosed space due to the surrounding buildings and I think this made people feel more comfortable to just lounge about.


Like the Victoria Concert Hall projection this piece managed to elevate the area in front of it into a space for congregation. But this felt more noisy and lively as compared to the Concert Hall’s slightly more peaceful atmosphere. I think this would be due to the nature of this particular projection itself, the music was more techno and also because there were other works surrounding this piece. Eg. Sticks which provided colourful ambient light. Plus there were other works from the Ilight trail nearby too. All these combined, it was only natural that this area was more lively. But like the previous work, the space feltĀ  more enclosed and that made people more comfortable to congregate and just hang in the area.

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