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