When the sun sets over the city in August, a carnival rises in the form of the Singapore Night Festival. Street performances, Instagramworthy light sculptures, and art installations both monumental and intimate turn the sleeping city into a hotbed of culture from August 18 to 26. So load up on coffee – you’ll want your eyes wide open for this.
Set to the theme of ‘Ten Magical Years’, this year’s Night Festival is anchored by majestic – and interactive – light installations. Snap a few for the ‘Gram, then explore the rest of the festival grounds, which stretches from Armenian Street all the way to the National Museum of Singapore. The museums in the area are coming alive, too, with psychedelic video projections transforming their façades into works of art. And from August 24 to 26, musicians, magicians, acrobats and even professional wrestlers will roam the streets.
With so much happening at the same time, we pick out five highlights you won’t regret catching.
The Flower of Life and the Infinite Self
This immersive art installation by multi-disciplinary performance arts group Starlight Assembly welcomes you aboard a journey to infinity. In a bamboo dome designed to resemble the ‘flower of life’ (a geometric pattern of repeating circles), convex mirrors are arranged to present an illusion of endless space. Reflect on yourself – literally – as you step through this MC Escher-esque installation.
Stamford Green. Timing TBA.
The Art of Pole
Aug 18 & 19, 24-26
There is no denying the grace and flexibility of pole dancers. Students and instructors of The Brass Barre studio are teaming up with cancer survivor group, The Rose Diamonds, in a performance that will change your perception of pole dancing, through the celebration of the power and elegance of the human body.
The Brass Barre. #02-01, 222 Queen St. 8.30pm & 10pm.
Aug 24-26 Take a trip into the world of the Nyonyas and Babas with Peranakan Sayang, a troupe of singers whose localised takes on the golden oldies will leave you in stitches – think ‘I Just Called to Say I Sayang You’, a rework of the Stevie Wonder classic.
Armenian St. 8.30pm.
Martial arts meets furious drumming in this theatrical performance based on the traditional Chinese festival that welcomes the arrival of autumn and cooler weather – or in our terms, the rainy season. ZingO Festival Drum Group is the Chinese percussion group presenting Lunisolar Vibes, which, as its name suggests, puts the moon and the sun in starring roles.
8Q@SAM. Thu & Sat 7pm & 10pm; Fri 8pm & 10pm.
Night Festival Showdown
Aug 24 & 25
Get ready to rrrrr-umbblle! Grapple MAX Dojo takes pro wrestling out of the ring and onto the streets in a wild fusion of acrobatics, combat sport and over-the-top theatrics. Witness from up-close colourful characters clothesline and suplex one another, and if you’re up to be a ‘heel’ or ‘face’ yourself, sign up for a session at Grapple MAX after the show.
Singapore Management University Campus Green. 7pm & 9.15pm.