The first-ever hybrid edition of the festival invites the public to create shared memories through art experiences by local artists within the Civic District and beyond

  • 07:39 AM, 21 Jan, 2021

(January 19, 2021 Singapore) A marquee event of Singapore Art Week, Light to Night Festival marks its return in 2021 with a host of innovative art experiences to excite and delight more audiences than ever before. Spearheaded by National Gallery Singapore with Civic District partners The Arts House, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall, Asian Civilisations Museum, and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, the district-wide festival looks to inspire audiences to forge deeper connections with art in new and engaging ways, and start the new year with hope and positivity under the festival theme of “____-in-Progress.”

Inspired by current events that have redefined normalcy for all, the theme "____-in-Progress'' contemplates the journey of progress and change we undertook as we adapt to daily disruptions and move forward in the face of uncertainty. Through the festival’s various art programmes and experiences, “____-in-Progress” invites its participants—audiences and artists alike—to reflect on their own personal journey over the past year, and fill in the blanks with new possibilities and hopes for the future.

Ms. Suenne Megan Tan, Festival Director and Director of Audience Development and Engagement at National Gallery Singapore says, "This year’s festival reflects the commitment of arts and cultural institutions in the Civic District to rally the public together in solidarity following a challenging year. In a new normal where everyone has had to adapt and make progress in the face of uncertainty, we are especially inspired by the resilience and creativity shown by the local arts community in response to the negative repercussions of the pandemic. As audiences engage with the festival line-up and create shared memories together, we hope they are similarly encouraged to move forward with a renewed sense of optimism in the new year.”


In bringing the theme of “____-in-Progress” to life, the 2021 edition of Light to Night Festival will extend its reach beyond the Civic District for the first time ever through a progressive hybrid format. This new approach will present to audiences an exciting blend of online, offline, and hybrid online-offline programmes, including a series of exciting festival firsts:

• Augmented Reality: National Collection Comes Alive: See some of your favourite paintings in the National Collection come to life on your mobile devices as you view them in the Gallery, or have them appear on your living room wall—all with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Audiences will be able to interact with these AR animations via Light to Night Festival’s social media channels and the festival microsite, granting them even wider access to new ways of seeing and interacting with the National Collection.

Pre-Covid-19 photo

• Art in Motion: For the very first time, the latest edition of Light to Night Festival will also bring art experiences to its audiences on the move. Reflecting the metaphorical significance of the train ride as a transitional state and space in response to the festival theme, Art in Motion presents public art installations by five contemporary visual artists—Danielle Tay, Dave Lim and Adar Ng, Ezekiel Wong, Joanne Pang, and Tang Ling Nah—which will be installed aboard the cabins of an SMRT train that will ply the North-South and East-West lines. Through this initiative, audiences can look forward to encountering various works that explore themes of flux, transitions, and new beginnings, as well as our relationships with nature and space on public trains running islandwide.


Alongside pilot initiatives premiering in this new edition, Light to Night Festival 2021 is broadening its support for the local arts community through greater collaboration with local artists and the mentorship of art students.

• Art Skins on Monuments: A perennial favourite, Art Skins on Monuments will return to the Civic District featuring greater participation from local art talents. These include open call selection Joanne Ho, whose work (Re)rooting—which was designed using machine learning frameworks—will adorn the entire facade of the Gallery. Elsewhere within the Civic District, a mentorship programme held in partnership with three local tertiary institutes will see the works of art and design students projected onto the facades of the Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

Physical art installations: At several locations around the District, audiences will encounter installation works by Singapore artists which respond to the theme of “____-in-Progress” in unique and thought-provoking ways. On the Padang grounds, they will encounter Nathan Yong’s work titled There in the Middleness. Framed by Singapore’s vast modern skyline, the installation’s circular form draws inspiration from the ancient Greek symbol of the Ouroboros to symbolise hope and healing, along with the timeless, cyclical nature of progression. Comprised of 125 concrete I-beam blocks engraved with uplifting words gathered from the public, the work invites all to discover a sense of renewed hope and peace amid a bustling metropolis.

• Gallery Gigs: Spotlighting a wealth of local talent within the realms of music, dance, film, and comedy, Gallery Gigs serves up a dynamic mix of exciting online and onsite performances. In its online series, artistes including dance duo Scrachmarcs, hip hop artiste Yung Raja, and filmmaker Victric Thng utilise the empty museum space to create unique performances inspired by the art in the National Collection, and share what the festival theme means to them on a deeper personal level. Meanwhile, those looking to enjoy live performances can look forward to comedy sets by Fakkah Fuzz, along with a series of music performances by local musicians Shye and Tim De Cotta.


Light to Night Festival 2021 also looks to break down barriers to art through lighthearted initiatives and novel programmes that invite audiences to forge a deeper connection with art.

Decoding the Civic District: In this engaging experience held within the wider Civic District, audiences are invited to solve a mystery by embarking on a journey to uncover hidden secrets across five iconic cultural institutions, with the opportunity to encounter notable artworks and artifacts along the way.

Instagram filters inspired by the National Collection: Specially created by Singaporean tech artist Eugene Soh for Light to Night Festival 2021, audiences will be able to access a series of engaging Instagram and Facebook filters available on the festival’s dedicated social media pages. Inspired by the works and artistic techniques of Singaporean photographer Tan Lip Seng and woodcut print works found in the National Collection, these filters offer the public yet more dynamic ways of interacting with, and learning about art.

Ask Away: Gallery Edition, and #Artsplaining: In Ask Away: Gallery Edition, get up close and personal with the Gallery’s leadership through engaging 60-second videos featuring Chief Executive Officer Chong Siak Ching and Gallery Director Eugene Tan, who offer no-holds-barred views on their roles, perspectives, and what drives and inspires them. 

Meanwhile, #Artsplaining makes a return to the festival line-up with a series of candid conversations between Gallery curators and familiar local personalities such as social media influencer Preetipls and artist-photographer Charmaine Poh, which will be available onsite and online.


In addition to participating in Art Skins on Monuments and Decoding the Civic District game, Civic District partners will be presenting a series of online and onsite programmes that respond to the festival themes of progress and change.

• open books: I Want To Go Home by The Arts House: This year’s edition of open books, The Arts House’s signature programme, draws inspiration from writer Wesley Leon Aroozoo’s work titled I Want To Go Home. In addition to a series of programmes that respond to the festival’s theme, it will present an immersive multi-sensory installation co-curated and designed by Mural Lingo and The Arts House, that touches on the ideas of strength and resilience, and how love may manifest during a crisis.

Asian Civilisations Museum: Asian Civilisations Museum will be presenting a series of onsite and online installations, workshops, tours and talks that celebrate the progress made so far in these extraordinary times and imagine possibilities for a new future. Highlights include Ways of Seeing by Zarch Collaboratives, an onsite installation that invites visitors to interact with the structure of a giant telescope to view one's surroundings through new frames.

• All Things New by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay: Celebrate new music and welcome fresh faces as artists embark on brand new chapters of their musical journeys at Esplanade’s All Things New. Participating artistes include new local musicians such as indie band Burmese Bombshells and local pop duo The Fleurists, and established acts like R&B and Soul-inspired band Astronauts.

• VCHPresents by Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall: Chamber music series VCHPresents returns for Light to Night Festival 2021 with a series of online and live music performances by prize winners from the 2019 National Piano and  Violin Competition, harp quartet La Vie en Harp and Southeast Asian music groups Orkestra Sri Temasek and Sari-Sari Philippine Kulintang Ensemble. Audiences will also be able to catch online performances by the SNYO Percussion Ensemble and attend webinars on the development of online music performances, especially in these times.

Ms Elaine Ng, Senior Director of Engagement and Participation at the National Arts Council says, “Light to Night’s redefined, hybrid format is very much attuned to Art Week’s theme of ‘Art Takes Over’ where our art encounters transcend physical spaces into virtual realms. With an exciting lineup of interdisciplinary programmes taking place at the Civic District and online, we can look forward to the return of the festival after such a challenging year, to continue enjoying unique arts and culture experiences anytime and anywhere.”

“We’re especially thrilled to support this year’s Light to Night and can’t wait to see how the artists will bring the Civic District back to life as we emerge from a very challenging year. Extending its physical displays to digital experiences, we hope that the enhanced format will allow more Singaporeans to enjoy art, even from afar”, says Mr Fong Yong Kian, Chief Executive of Tote Board—the festival’s Development Partner. 

As part of the overall festival experience, a microsite will be launched to provide audiences with a more convenient and direct access to festival offerings, especially while on the go. With the microsite, audiences will be able to plan their festival visits efficiently at a glance and access its plethora of online programmes including artist talks, performances, and the festival forum by all Civic District partners and at-home AR experiences – all in one platform. The microsite is accessible at

For more on the festival, audiences can also follow its dedicated social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram at and @lighttonightsg respectively. 

Onsite admission to the Festival is free, commencing from 10am until midnight. Certain programme timings and admission charges may vary. Please visit the site for more information on Light to Night: _____-in-Progress.

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