River Nights Festival to highlight 'Colours of Life'

There will be art installations, light shows, and performances from local groups at the area around Empress Lawn. 

Photo: Shivaanan Selvasevaran
Photo: Shivaanan Selvasevaran
23 Oct 2015

Photo: Shivaanan Selvasevaran

The River Nights Festival returns on Friday (Oct 23) with the theme ‘Colours of Life’, promising to transform the historical Singapore River and Empress Place precinct into a creative playground for both artists and the public.

The public can look forward to art installations and a light show at the Asian Civilisation Museum on opening night, throughout the month of October. There will also be performances from local groups on Friday and Saturday on the Empress Lawn, located in front of the Victoria Concert Hall. These nightly festivities are a part of this year’s Singapore River Festival.

Co-director of the River Nights Festival, Dr Lim Chye Hong, said "With the revitalisation of Empress Place precinct, you actually realise that there's a lot of work that goes into it. Not only the pedestrianisation, but also, you'll find that actually the bridges are lit up, the whole area is lit up, so 'Colours of Life' is actually very apt to showcase this changing identity."

The art installations include the works of international artists from France, China and Singapore. Visitors may see rainbow paper flowers that flatten into weapons, or an oversized rabbit called Walter.

Caption: The rainbow paper flowers take the shape of handguns when flattened.

The guns open up into colourful rainbow flowers
The guns open up into colourful rainbow flowers
23 Oct 2015

The guns open up into colourful rainbow flowers

The French installations, on the other hand, place a strong emphasis on light play, including an hourly light show against the Asian Civilisation Museum and Singapore River. The show, called Delight by artist Yves Moreaux, starts from 7.45pm to 10.45pm daily.

The light show 'Delight' uses the Asian Civilisation Museum's facade as its canvas.
The light show 'Delight' uses the Asian Civilisation Museum's facade as its canvas.
23 Oct 2015

The light show 'Delight' uses the Asian Civilisation Museum's facade as its canvas.

Visitors can also head to the Arts House to interact with a light and sound installation, consisting of 160 light bars across an area of 60 metres. A control panel at the end of the installation can be used to customize the display’s colour and sound, as each light bar represents a musical note. The installation was created by Trafik, a duo consisting of a graphic designer and a programmer.


Interactive light and sound installation designed by French brothers, Pierre and Joël.
Interactive light and sound installation designed by French brothers, Pierre and Joël.
23 Oct 2015

Interactive light and sound installation designed by French brothers, Pierre and Joël.

Joel Rodiere, the programmer of Trafik, said: “Colours can express lots of things. But it’s really personal, and maybe people can play with the colours they like, the colours they love.”

Performances include a walking tour of the Singapore River with two colourful characters from 1935, and musical numbers at the Empress Lawn by groups like T’ang Quartet and Vocaluptuous. All performances begin after 7pm on either of the opening nights – Friday and Saturday.

Admission to the festival is free. More information on installations and performances is available on the Asian Civilisation Museum’s website.

This is the second year running for River Nights festivities, organized by the Asian Civilization Museum and in collaboration with the National Arts Council, National Parks Board, Singapore River One and Hermes. 

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