Client: National Gallery Singapore
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $100,000
PM, Lead Designer
Muhd Syahid Tan
Lead Engineer, Interaction Designer
Hoo Jian Li
Engineer, Interaction Designer
Lai Jun Kang
Engineer, Industrial Designer
Lim Jia Ren
Flight is a physical manifestation of the intangible traces left behind as we navigated the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspired by a flock of birds in motion, the installation appears as a singular volume from a distance. However upon closer inspection, it reveals an illusion of motion with an interplay of light and shadows that constantly re-orientates its context. Visitors are invited to “interact” with the work using their Bluetooth-enabled devices, generating a symphony of light and colours. Flight offers an avenue for contemplation, leading us to novel ways of seeing and thinking about our physical and emotional space.
Flight is constructed through experimentation of light and materials including polyester spandex, aluminium extrusions, and adressable lighting systems. Flight measures over 45m long and 3m height, situated at the Padang in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District.
This artwork was created as part of Light to Night 2022 organised by National Gallery Singapore themed "New Ways of Seeing, Thinking, and Being".
This was in line with the gallery’s intention to stimulate engagement and dialogue on how during the pandemic, art has kept us company during periods of isolation, enabling us to move freely around in fictional worlds in a way that is currently impossible in reality. Art displaces us but also grounds us — enabling us to pause and reflect, come to terms with change, and allowing us to find new truths on our own terms.
‘Flight’ was situated at the Padang, a site which What was once the iconic center for celebration of Singapore’s successes through contributions of the people. the Padang has taken on a less prominent role in our recent collective memory, only occasionally being used to celebrate our National Day.
‘Flight’ intends to remember, re-educate and visualise the significance of the Padang and reinforce the notion of the act of celebrating as a community that only with the resilience and efforts of every individual member, can collective success be achieved, by illustrating our tumultuous journey during the pandemic and how we emerged together as one at the end.
Flight experiments with the idea of representing motion of flight through the push and pull between structural porosity, material tension, and light permeability. By making the structure as thin but rigid as possible, the polyester spandex modules can be stretched across the voids in between the thin aluminium grids, exposing them to the elements. The polyester spandex modules are stretched to be tight enough to keep its shape while loose enough to react with the wind. The mixed orientation of the spandex modules creates an added illusion of random motion through the catching and reflecting of ‘moving’ animated spotlighting spread around the site.
Inspired by the use of bluetooth contact tracing technology deployed by Singapore as part of its strategy to manage the Covid-19 situation, FLIGHT employs the use of bluetooth nodes to detect the digital traces of visitors to generate a symphony of light and colors.