Singapore Night Festival review

Interactive work one: Pulse by Galina Mihaleva, Hedren Sum, Pat Pataranutaporn, Kathrin Albers, Audrey Ng


In theory, pulse would have been a prolific work. To suddenly see an explosion of light and colours appear on a blank canvas due to the sounds that you make would have been a sight to behold. Sadly however, when I was there, the exhibition didn’t seem to be working properly. It was only bits and small corners that were reacting to the sounds the audience made while the rest of the paper and cloth canvas remained completely dark. Even when the performer was dancing to the brilliant piece of music, all we saw was darkness above her head. Though this made the performance take a different meaning, it seemed like a sad piece where the dancer was a lonely being surrounded by a sea of darkness, it would have been nice to see the explosion of life that the artwork embodied.

Adding on to this,in one corner were eyes, being projected onto the canvas. I assume this was a representation of the surveillance society that we live in now. No matter where we are on this island, we are constantly being watched, be it by the government or through our own making due to social media. This part of the work takes a more grotesque aesthetic with numerous twitching eyeballs meant to make us feel repulsed by the whole notion of surveillance. Though the artwork has good meaning behind it, I feel that there is a bit of a disconnect between this part of the artwork and the other. Especially since this artwork takes a different corner from the other.


What could be better?

  • For the first part depicting life, maybe the inclusion of more sound sensors would allow the canvas to be more responsive to the audience. When I was there, i was only able to spot a sparse few.
  • For the second part, the eyes were a mere projection on a canvas. It would have been more interesting if this aspect was interactive too. For example, the number of eyes that appeared on the canvas could have been based on the number of people entering the space. To measure the number of people, maybe sound sensors like the first part could have been used like the first part. So the louder the volume ( more people would equal to louder volume) the more eyes would appear.
  • I saw many different people who were really amused by eyes being projected onto their body. This would have been amazing if it was consciously part of the project. Alas, they just so happened to walk in front of the projector. This I feel however, could still be done. Maybe a separate projector could be placed in a position that makes it such that it projects on the visitors. So maybe place it on a higher position with it tilted at a low angle. This projector would then only be triggered when a visitor walks into the space. For this, maybe a pressure pad could be placed on the floor.
  • Lastly, I find that the artwork would be better if both parts were merged together, This could be done with the eye projections appearing in the same space as the colours and the patterns. Thus in the see of colours, you would see horrific grotesque eyes and this would cause the artwork to take on a different meaning. Life, as vibrant and as colourful as it seems now, is not all as it seems.



The artwork, programming seems to be a form of data visualisation. The input here would be sound, picked up by sound sensors (mics) placed in the overhanging canvas. The output is then colours and lights being projected onto the canvas by projectors. The colours and patterns that appear changes depending on the volume and the pitch of the sound it receives. So the greater the number of people there, the louder the volume and thus more colours and patterns appear on the canvas.The canvas itself is numerous pieces of cloth tied together.


Interactive work 2: Leap of Faith by Teng Kai Wei


Leap of Faith by Teng Kai Wei


Once again , I could really see that the artwork means well. I admire the artist for taking the leap to switch his jobs. Especially in modern society like Singapore, to be able to do what he did would have taken loads of courage. “A Leap of Faith” in turn is a call to action for us to do the same. The aesthetic of the work is also amazing. The sci-fi look with white square fluorescent lights contrast the bright colours that appear when we step on the circular panels. The artwork however, I feel, could have been pushed much further to convey the message that the artist intends. When I went there, there was queue formed for people to take turns to experience the artwork. First of all, I find the barriers greatly ruin the feel of the artwork. The very need to queue up to experience this artwork is also immersion breaking. Besides this, the majority of the demographic actually interacting with the work were kids, no older than ten. I find nothing wrong with kids experiencing this artwork, however I find that the message that this artwork is trying to convey should be experienced by the adults too as the message is sorely needed by adults who life has taken a beating out of. Tweak the artwork a bit and I think it would attract a wider demographic.



What could be better ?

  • Get rid of barriers and the need to queue and make the “play area” larger.I think it would be far more interesting to see how people interact with not only the artwork, but with each other within the space of the art work. Yes there are multiple people within the space itself, but a larger area would allow for more interaction among participants and the lack of queues would invite far more to “jump in”.
  • Depth could be introduced into the artwork to make it actually feel like the participants are taking a leap of faith. Though it would be unfeasible to create a depression in front of Cathay just for this artwork, it is still achievable. Instead of a depression, a raised platform could be made instead and through the use of infinity mirrors, the illusion of depth could be made. The circular platforms can still remain as platforms for participants to jump too
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  • Lastly, currently, the platforms change colour immediately. I think it would increase the immersion of the platforms change colour in a ripple fashion. On top of that, addition feedback, either through the platforms vibrating or a simple sound would increase the immersion the participant would when they interact with the work.



The input here would be the force exerted when a participant steps on the platform. Each platform is fitted with a pressure pad to pick up this input. When a force is registered, the colour of the platform changes as output.


If force exerted on pressure pad ——- change colour

On top of this, after a while, the platform reverts back to white.

If no force exerted after X seconds ——– change colour to white


Final Thoughts

Before coming to Night Fest, I was actually pretty pumped, especially after seeing it on social media. When I was actually there however, I was … pretty underwhelmed. Maybe it was because my bar was set too high, but at the core of it, I thought that most of the artworks looked good on social media through the lights. The were very “insta pretty” but the actual artwork itself was underwhelming. Which is really intriguing as I have always found light and interactive artworks to be underwhelming when viewed online. Usually , for these kind of artworks,one would have to experience the artwork in its original contexts for use to experience the full effect. This time however, it was the opposite. And this raises new questions. In the age of social media that we live in now, should we consider how our art looks in insta stories and such? Is the art work posted on social media the real art?

Regardless, going to Night Fest was an enlightening experience and I hope to be able to apply what I have learnt here, to my own interactive projects. It would only be a waste not to stand upon the shoulders of giants who have come before us.


Thank you for taking time to read this post and I hope you have a wonderful day ! See ya 😀


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