As the iLight Marina Bay Festival comes to an end, we have a special interview with the creators of the Merlion light display. Entitled “Light of the Merlion”, this installation happens to be a BIG HIT with the kids and it was great fun as I got to interview Carole Purnelle from OCUBU.
This Portuguese company definitely made an impression in the Singapore Skyline, and it was definitely great fun for the kids. Hope you guys enjoy the interview!
1. Where did you get the ideas from to do this light display in Singapore?
Mary-Anne, the festival director, proposed us the Merlion as canvas for a
When we worked the ideas about the festival theme “Light meets Asia”, we
thought this icon should be intervened by the all the public and not just by
us, the artists. With the interactive platform, anyone can be an artist and
paint the Merlion and share it with the others. We usually do “Participative
2. We’ve been so amazed when we saw our local icons transformed during iLight. Was it intentional to use these familiar icons?
It was completely intentional because we wanted to integrate the work in the
festival theme – “Light meets Asia”. If we look at the Merlion as the city
icon, then we think that every single person in the city should be able to
interact with it and paint it paint it the way he wants. It is a place of
creativity sharing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sculpture.
3. Which is the most challenging display that you had to put up in iLight? Why?
“Light of the Merlion” was really challenging because we had to respect the
existing sculpture and its design lines. The projection had to be perfect
because we are working on such an icon and thousands of people will be
watching and interacting with the installation for almost 1 month.
4. Which is your favourite display and why?
Since we are participating artists, our work has a special meaning for us.
It is an achievement to which we have been working for weeks and now it
became true; it is there; you can really paint the Merlion the way you want.
In general, interactive works are our favorite ones because they invite the
public to be part of the work.
We liked also After Light because of it’s integration with the city and the
5. How is iLight different from light exhibitions in other countries?
The sustainability issue is of course a major aspect of it’s differentiation.
But in terms of feeling, as a spectator, the fact that it is organized around a bay has something magical.
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