Iconic buildings to shed more light on heritage

The facades of six iconic buildings in Bugis and Bras Basah have been turned into canvasses of light – to shed new light on their heritage.

It’s part of efforts by the National Heritage Board to raise awareness of their past and create a new experience.

A new look for a church that has been around since 1835.

The facade of the Armenian (Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator) Church – the first Christian church built in Singapore in 1835 – is alive in an interplay of light and shadows.

Pierre Hennes, committee member of the Armenian Church of St. Gregory, said: “The church is very white… and giving it a bit of colour highlights that at one time the church had different colours – it was painted blue and green as well. So I think it gives a modern touch to a national monument.”

The designer used lights to cast shadows and create effects on the trees and pillars.

Stage lighting designer and designer of the light up, Lim Woan Wen, said it’s an attempt to “imagine a narrative that explores relationships between the monumental buildings and their spatial, architectural, historical and spiritual domains.”

“I’ll be very happy if (people) come and walk away feeling like this has helped them to appreciate the church in a different light. But I’ll be most happy if they can pause and linger here and be able to sense that there are untold stories in this space,” he added.

A few streets away is the Singapore Art Museum, which is sitting on the old premises of St Joseph’s Institution.

Two previous students of the school drew on their fond memories of the place.

Jackson Tan, artist and designer of the Bras Basah.Bugis Monuments Light-up, said: “One of the things we tried to do is not to clash with the building itself but to give a subtle hint of these memories.”

The selected buildings will come alive with lights every weekend from 7.00 pm to 10:30 pm until January 29.

The project called “A Little Light Magic”, saw six local artists and designers coming together to design and light up six iconic buildings: Singapore Art Museum (SAM), SAM at 8Q, National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum, Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator and School of the Arts.

Curator of the Bras Basah.Bugis Monuments Light-up Selwyn Low said: “We wanted the artists and designers to use architectural lighting as a medium to flesh out stories and narratives about the buildings that we may not know about.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 Dec 2011

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