This year’s iLight Marina Bay Festival in Singapore, featured a spectacular interactive work of art, The Urchins, created by Choi+Shine Architects. The event’s theme is sustainability, and the three 56-foot-tall artworks symbolized the beauty and diversity of nature.
In a totally immersive experience, each of the suspended sculptures moved when touched by the wind or even visitors, who were invited to handle the polyester cords and panels that composed it. At night, the works were spotlit by artificial lighting, and during the day, The Urchins relied on natural light to cast ephemeral, ever-changing shadows.
The iLight Marina Bay Festival in Singapore has been held since 2010, and showcases light art installations created by artists from Singapore and around the world. Installed around the Marina Bay waterfront, the light art installations are designed with energy-saving lighting or environmentally-friendly materials to reinforce Marina Bay’s position as a sustainable precinct, and to encourage people to adopt sustainable habits in their lives.
This year’s festival featured light art installations from nine countries, including Indonesia, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and for the first time, the festival collaborated with overseas light art festivals – Amsterdam Light Festival in The Netherlands, Bella Skyway Festival in Poland and Scottsdale Canal Convergence in the United States – through the cross-sharing of four local and international light art installations.
Emphasizing the message of sustainability were 20 light art installations with the theme “Light & Nature”, demonstrating the relationship of light with nature and the city, and how light reconciles the push and pull between the constructed and the natural.
Choi+Shine, the creator of The Urchins, is a nationally and internationally awarded architecture and design studio run by two principals, Jin Choi and Thomas Shine.
Ms. Choi received her first Master’s Degree in Architectural Art, while running her own design studio in Seoul, Korea. She was recently selected as one of Korea’s Global Young Architects by the Korean Institute of Architects, and she is an adjunct faculty at Suffolk University teaching design studio and thesis studio to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Mr. Shine is a registered architect in both US and UK and received his undergraduate and Master’s Degree in architecture from Yale University’s School of Architecture. Mr. Shine was a teaching fellow at Yale, teaching architectural structures to both graduate and undergraduate students.
At night, the mysteriously hovering and glowing large Urchins created a sense of magic as if time had stopped. Entering into the Urchins, the viewers were surrounded by a single layer of glowing, lacy surface, where they could enoy the detail and texture of the Urchins and see the city, water and the sky through this visual filter. With its large size, creating the artwork was a challenge. Hand-crafting the shells required nearly 3 months to create, by a team of 50 artists.
Choi+Shine was also one of the participants in the Amsterdam Light Festival last year, their installation was Lace,
This year, the Singapore festival featured five light art installations designed by students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore University of Technology and Design, LASALLE College of the Arts and Raffles College of Higher Education – the highest participation from local educational institutions to date.
One of the festival hubs, The Fantastical World of eco.me organised by The Rice Company Ltd, promoted sustainable living in Singapore with highlights such as a recycling and upcycling marketplace, a kinetic energy playground and an urban farming showcase
More images and information on the project is available at:
Additional Information about The Urchins:
Design: Jin Choi and Thomas Shine
Steel Fabrication : Modern Metal Solutions
Assembly Crew in Boston: Thomas Shine, Susie Kim , Myungsu Ko, Yeseul Choi, Isabelle Lippincott, Hyokyung Lee
Installation Crew in Singapore: Thomas Shine, Jin Choi, Young-eun Choi, Jaekyu Lee, SoYeung Ko, XiaoMin, Hyosoo Lee
Structural Consultant: Árni Björn Jónasson, ARA Engineering
Installation Support: iLight Marina Bay