'WE THE PEOPLE' by Brian Gothong Tan. Photo: Brian Gothong Tan
Lots of Singapore sights only come out at night: exotic creatures at the Night Safari, F1 race-cars in the Night Race... and various dreamy and underground artist types sharing stunning after-dark spectacles in the form of aerial, dance and music performances as well as installation artworks, at the annual Night Festival.
At this event happening over two wondrous weekends, everything takes place within mutual walking distance in the Bras Basah.Bugis area (otherwise known as Singapore's arts and heritage district), and without exception, it's all fabulously free of charge. We venture into the night to discover five of our favourite post-sunset spectaculars at the Night Festival 2012, or check out the full list of events at here.
You've probably seen some incredible screen stunts inside Singapore's iconic cinema building: The Cathay. Now see some unbelievable action sequences outside it in total, touchable 3D, as the almost inhumanly agile crew of Ashton Movements Agency vault, roll, clamber, jump and flip against its urban outdoor surfaces in an exemplary exhibition of the art of Free Running: a movement art similar to Parkour, but even more acrobatic. Even try your hand, or whole body at it, at a separate special workshop conducted by Singapore's finest free running practitioners.
Handy Road Open Park, in front of The Cathay. 24,25,31 Aug & 1 Sep. 8pm, 9pm & 10pm. Workshop at 6.30-7.30pm. Registration required. For workshop registration or more information, email email@example.com, or call 6438-6466.
Mylar by Fuerzabruta. © Ozono Producciones
This pool doesn't close at night. In this piece titled Mylar, Fuerzabruta, an acclaimed Argentinian crew of rapturous dancers/acrobats/performers with the admirable motto 'Brutally Happy', will literally descend upon the audience while slipping and sliding in an airborne 15-metre swimming pool lowered from a height above the watchers' heads, as beautiful varicoloured lights dance along on the water surface.
Singapore Management University Green. 31 Aug & 1 Sep; 8.45, 9.45 & 10.45pm.
If walls could talk, they would still be less remarkable than those of our National Museum, at least on the two Night Festival 2012 weekends. For four nights only, the facade of the National Museum will serve as a projector screen where colossal creatures of film, motion graphics and curious experimental animation spring to life, charming while chattering about the video's serious-seeming title of 'We The People'. A brainchild of the irreverent, ingenuous mind of celebrated young visual artist Brian Gothong Tan, accompanied by the weird and wonderful music of award-winning composer/musician Philip Tan (no relation).
National Museum of Singapore, Building Facade. 24, 25, 31 Aug & 1 Sep, 7.30pm-2am.
The Office After Hours
Shut yourself in what used to be one of Singapore's biggest bookstores and experience a tale stranger than if ghosts of the books were still present. The performance-cum-installation Night Painting/Cast In Light will take place in the Vanguard Building, an office-space that used to be the MPH building, where two artists/performers, Terry Wee and Li Cassidy-Peet will interact with the old architecture turned office surrounds, evoking memories and imaginations. One will perform in darkness, one in light.
Vanguard building, 71-77 Stamford Road. 31 Aug and 1 Sep; 8.30pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm.
Labu dan Labi/Ibu Mertua Ku by P. Ramlee. © National Museum of Singapore
Nostalgia by Night
Sure life isn't a piece of cake, but there was a time when movies at least used to be just black and white. Return to a simpler, sweeter night-time, as two respectively comic and tragic 1962 movies (Labu Dan Labi and Ibu Mertua Ku) by legendary Malaysian actor/writer/director/producer/singer/composer/producer P. Ramlee will screened under the stars, on the open green patch outside the National Museum.
National Museum of Singapore, Stamford Green. 24 & 25 Aug; 8pm and 10pm for Labu dan Labi and Ibu Mertua Ku respectively.
Night Festival 2012 happens on 24-25 Aug; 31 Aug and 1 Sep at Bras Basah Precinct; Stamford Road.
Jo Tan is a professional freelancer whose cv includes wedding singing and selling fish. She actually likes salads and tofu, and doesn't eat chicken because she had two as pets (their names were Bubbles and Joveranter Cat.) However, she is not a hippie because she is bad at yoga and like most of Singapore, expects to slave her whole life to pay for her new HDB flat.