Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I light Marina Bay 2016

I Light Marina Bay was at the top of my list when planning for things to do during the school holidays. Four weekends of festivities - yoga workouts, carnival, bazaar, light art installations and so much more - and we got to see some of it in during our visit last Saturday which was the 3rd week.
Being Asia's leading sustainable light art festival, there were a variety of things to see and do. It was our first time to see Marina Bay during this festival even though it has been running for four years to date.

I checked out the I Light Marina Bay 2016 website for the list of events and listed down those which were happening on the day of our visit so we can plan our way around the area well. Here were some of the sights and delights of our late afternoon stroll:

We took the train to Esplanade Station as we wanted to make the Esplanade our starting point. As we made our way outside, we spotted a couple of pianos under the Esplanade Drive flyover. Of course, Kelvin was naturally drawn to it. 
he was so excited to play his favorite songs
This piano was stripped to the bare minimum and given "wings" in its second life.
Now isn't it beautiful?
The supportive brother joined in and two played their version of "Let It Go" from Frozen. My boys did not take any lesson but are both eager to learn, specially Kelvin who is teaching himself to play. It helps that he is a member of the chorale in school so reading the music sheet is a breeze for him.

These pianos were part of the #playitforward initiative by local artists who refurbish secondhand or unwanted pianos which are then placed in public places. Anyone and everyone who has the interest to play are welcome to use them.

musical instruments given a new lease of life and served as art installations
this piano even has a name! With its colorful design who wouldn't be enticed to sit and play?
We continued our walk towards the floating stage as we admired the view of the skyscrapers in the Marina Bay area. It was not illuminated yet as the sun has not set.

Then a group of scouts approached us. We initially thought they were going to ask for donations but they were actually helping gather signatures for PEAT-itions. This is in support of the peatland in Indonesia, burning of which is the major cause of haze in Southeast Asia. We actually heard about this PEAT-ition on TV before leaving home and were more than willing to fill out the forms (Ira was so eager to sign his signature for this cause). We were given stickers afterwards. 
these were the 3 stickers given to us for signing the PEAT-ition.
I pasted it on the I Light Marina Bay brochure to keep and include in a scrapbook.
At the floating stage were droves of yoga enthusiasts who participated in yet another record-breaking feat for Singapore. My focus though was on the MegaFash Art Market located below the Seating Gallery of The Float @ Marina Bay. It was supposed to start only at 730pm but we found several booths already in operation. Located just outside the main entrance to the Art Market was this art installation:
"Ground Control to Major Tom"
by Rohan Abdullah and Stanley Yeo from Singapore; co-created by Lightning Images.
Even when not illuminated yet, this light installation showcased a rainbow of colors inviting passers-by.
MegaFash Art Market took inspiration from the world's flea markets. Some of the items on sale were leather goods, sports wear, fancy jewelry, scented candles, clothing, bags and FOOD! You can still catch these interesting buys next week, March 26 & 27, from 730pm-11pm, for their final week. Free admission.

This specific booth had very friendly people and Kelvin said their cake was good. Maybe I'll bring some friends along for tea some time soon.

From the Seating Gallery, we crossed the Helix Bridge all the way to the Shoppes at Marina Bay. At the MBS Event Plaza was Pasarbella Goes To Town, a new place to try for the foodies out there. 
They have seafood, meat, dairy, fresh produce, wines and more. Since we have a picky-eater with us, we let him choose which food he wanted to try. Obvious choice was the fried chicken leg (Southern Fried Chicken) which cost $12 for any 3 of the fried chicken options (Southern, Korean, Signature Har Cheong Gai). We tried all 3.  

Ira gave the Southern Fried Chicken an oily thumb's up
can you guess who obviously loved his fried chicken?
Pasarbella Goes To Town is on-going until April 3, 4-11pm (Mon to Thu) and 4pm-12mn (Fri to Sun). Pick your date and don't be late!

After our light snack, we walked to the Event Square where the Marina Waterfront Bazaar was. The shops offered a variety of products including handicrafts, LED products, clothing and gadgets. The first shop we saw was selling mini drones/quadcopters. They were so cute that we almost bought one for the family.

Walking further, we passed by some light art installations but they were, unfortunately, not well-lit (must be Earth Hour). There was the Groove Light Light Walk (both without the light). We were a bit disappointed but were drawn to the bright Bayfront Event Space (like bugs to the light) where the LED kites and the carnival were located.
the colors of this kite/art installation stood out in the dark night
even the signboard glowed in the dark
lighting up the night sky with LED-lighted kites flying to the beat of the music.
The shapes of the kites and how they moved
reminded us of the scene from the movie Alien (Transformer's too!).

You can still watch the LED Kites Aerial Performance this coming weekend, March 25 & 26, from 9pm to 11pm.  

Our final stop in this 3-hour long walk was the I Light Carnival, located just past the LED Kites area. You wouldn't miss it, marked by the illuminated lighthouse see in our photo below.

Ira was so excited to see what games we could play and prizes we could win. We saw the Minions were given as prizes in the "shoot the ball in the milk bottle" booth and Ira was sure he wanted to play that. We insisted we watch first to see how others were playing to get some tips. But, as expected, not many win the big prize. So we walked around and checked what other games there were. I think this was his first time to be in an outdoor carnival but the games he was quite familiar with. We saw a few other games we wanted to try, mainly because we wanted what prize came with winning. We bought a game card (which was the only payment accepted at the game booths) for $22 (value of $20, non-refundable). Played 4 games and came home empty handed. 
at least we got to take home this play card
Ira was so disappointed that we never won anything at all citing the difficulty and possible "cheating" done by the carnival since no one seemed to get a big prize. We explained to him that going to a carnival is not really all about getting a prize but more about enjoying playing. He said that next time we go to a carnival, he already knows what our game plan should be:
  1. Check out what games are available
  2. Go to Google for the right technique to ace the game
  3. Play only one game so you can get the hang of it and have higher probability of winning something bigger.
Maybe we will get to apply this the next time we visit another carnival. Next week, you think?

Those who have not gone to Uncle Ringo's carnival yet, you have until March 27 to stand a chance to win something. It's open 6-1030pm daily at the Float@Marina Bay, and 6-1030pm (weekdays) & 5-11pm (weekends) at the Bayfront Event Space. Hope you will enjoy your time there, too!

Since we didn't have enough time (and energy) to make it to the rest of the I Light Marina Bay light art installation venues, we will probably be visiting the area again before the exhibit comes to a close. In case we miss it, I will definitely reserve this time of the year for next year's I Light Marina Bay events. 

Here is a list of the other events happening before the end of March:
You can also download a guide thru this link: http://www.ilightmarinabay.sg/Discover/Festival

Have fun!

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