Newsletter Vol.108

category: Newsletter

Date of Issue:13 December, 2021
・Activity1/The Singapore Pavilion at 17th International Architecture Exhibition Venice Biennale(2021.05.22-2021.11.21)
・Activity 2/Project Asagao (2021.10.22-2021.10.23)
Lighting Detectives News Letter Vol.108 Download PDF

The Singapore Pavilion at 17th International Architecture Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia

2021.05.22-2021.11.21 Reiko Kasai, Mayumi Banno, Sun Young Hwang, Sherri Goh, Shosaku Takahashi

Pre-opening set-up

In late November 2019, we were invited by the National University of Singapore (NUS ) Department of Architecture curatorial team to submit a proposal for the Singapore Pavilion under the theme To-Gather: The Architecture of Relationships.
Our pitch was shortlisted amongst 16 other participating architects and designers. We began work at the start of January 2020 to design and fabricate the installation scheduled to exhibit in Venice from 23rd May to 29th November 2020.
The brief was to question how our work responds to the dialogue of: how will we live together?

Our Response
In Singapore, terms such as “light pollution” and “loud lights” are now used to describe the lit environment in Singapore. There is a pressing need to re-evaluate and balance the current situation with our needs and wants. Do we need to examine if such an increase in light actually provides us with more pleasant nights?

Designing the installation
The format conceptualized by the curators was of the iconic Singapore hawker center.
Hawker centers are integral to the Singaporean way of life pertaining to everyday dining. All participants are assigned a table with stools arranged around it, mimicking a typical layout in hawker centres.
We updated the lengthy lighting chronology exhibited at Lighting Planners Associates 2015 travelling exhibition NightscapeThe history of lighting in Singapore was printed onto blind fabric to resemble magic scrolls rolling and unrolling to reveal the story and light bulbs behind them.
The usual activities of Lighting Detectives were plated on the table for guests to sit down and read.

The Pandemic
Singapore went into lockdown in early April Word of official postponement of the exhibition in Venice only came through on 20th May.
Our work was collected by the curatorial team and put in storage until February 2020.
Al l the participants participated in interviews and zoom calls to brainstorm and re-examine the meaning of our
installations in response to the pandemic.

Our installation reached Venice in March 2021 and installation was coordinated with our sponsors Lutron and Linealight due to travel restrictions. It was a great success! The exhibition launched from 22nd May to 21st November with a great turnout. The pavilion received an average of 465 visitors a day!

The Singapore Pavilion will be coming back home for a Homecoming Exhibition in February 2022. We feel honoured to be able to exhibit both abroad and at home in such trying times. ( Sherri Goh)

Project Asagao x Lighting Detectives

Discover Tanjong Pagar, Singapore 2021.10.22-2021.10.23

Lighting Detectives: Reiko Kasai, Sun Young Hwang, Sherri Goh, Quratuaini Jamil, Shirmine Tan, Xiao Qing
Team Asagao: Hana Kasai, Victoria Wee, Marielle Ang, Elias Bay

Members of the public enjoying the ambience
Kids playing around the lanterns
People enjoying the picnic

Our first activity since 2020!
Initiated by students in joint collaboration with Lighting Detectives.
An evening out by the park, surrounded with twinkling lanterns.

Students crafting in the office

We collaborated with student team Project Asagao in October for an installation to raise awareness and funds for Beyond Social Services.
The student team comprise of 4 students from St Joseph Instituition International. The installation was part of their campaign for Citi-YFC, an initiative to enable youths to champion a charity of their choosing.
Drawings from the youths under the charity were featured on the lanterns laid out on the lawn in the pattern of hearts.
The lantern installation was initially planned to include a lantern-making workshop as well. However as Singapore was still in a lockdown, public participation was not encouraged.
Despite the situation, the installation was very well received by the public with high turn-out for both days!
It is our first physical Lighting Detectives activity in Singapore since the pandemic hit and took support from t h e Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) for us to leap through hoops and expedite the approval of this proposal within a short frame of time. Discover Tanjong Pagar and Guoco Tower were also very supportive and happy to see a physical project done in the neighbourhood.
We hope to organise other activities soon as things ease up as part of our Neil Road Revitalisation Plan!

(Sherri Goh)

Aerial view of the installation layout
Lanterns with drawings from the student