i Light Marina Bay 2016

Photo by Marguerita Tan

Photo by Marguerita Tan

i Light Marina Bay 2016
On Friday, after a late afternoon meeting in town with a dear friend, I decided to play tourist and checked out i Light Marina Bay, the annual sustainable art festival which was being launched that night.

This year’s festival features 25 light art installations by local and international artists made with eco-friendly materials and/or energy-saving lights. These are strategically placed around the bay along Marina Bay Sands’ Waterfront Promenade, The Promontory @ Marina Bay, OUE Bayfront and The Float @ Marina Bay.

I only had the time (and energy) to check out the west side of the bay (read: missed out those at The Float) and even then, a few installations seem to be either not lit up or yet to be set up. Anyway, here are the few that caught my eye:
2016-03-04 19.48.26 (360x640)Neon Man, standing tall on the Waterfront Promenade.  Not sure if he’s part of the 25 installations but he was certainly one of the top attractions in the park.
L1130556 (640x480)
This doesn’t look like a light installation but what it does do is make bubbles when the people pull the strings at the other end. Fascinating nonetheless. At the back is the i Light Carnival which will run alongside the Light festival.
L1130571 (480x640)#10 Shadow Bath (UK) – cool shadows created on the ground and supposedly provide a stunning light show when one stands within it. Alas, the periods when one can stand inside weren’t on when I was there…
L1130574 (480x640)#11 Lampshade (Norway) – looks like a glowing tent made of giant diamonds especially when sighted from afar. Stood out well especially against the commercial buildings in the background.
2016-03-04 20.11.50 (360x640)2016-03-04 20.11.52 (360x640)
#12 Angels of Freedom (Germany & Israel) – these angel wings that change colours every few seconds made them one of the most popular exhibits with shutterbugs. Altogether now: “Halo from the other siiiiideeee eye…”
L1130606 (640x480)
#13 Moon Haze (China) – These two ladies were certainly feeling the burden of the whole world (or the moon) on their shoulders. It got funnier when strong winds blew and the giant balloon almost knocked them off!

If you plan to check #ilightmarinabay out, best to pick up a festival map so you can see where exactly the 25 pieces are placed around the bay. The 3 information counters are at The Promontory @Marina Bay, Art Science Museum, and The Float @Marina Bay. Otherwise, there are light boxes showing the map at various spots along the bay.

Mobile toilets are available at The Promontory as well as a beer tent with live band, an ice-cream saloon and a food van (The Travelling Cow).

i Light Marina Bay will run till March 27 nightly from 7.30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). Admission is Free. Nearest MRT: Downtown or Bayfront




A Day at the ArtScience Museum SG

So glad that the ArtScience Museum @ Marina Bay Sands made the decision to lower their ticket prices for exhibitions for Singapore residents. ‘Cos for sure locals and residents will keep going back to see what they have in store. Last week, I was chuffed to find out that I just need to pay $20 for an all-access pass to see both Da Vinci: Shaping the Future (RP: $25; $19 for SG) and Prudential Singapore Eye: Celebrating Singapore’s Contemporary Art (RP: $13; $9 for SG), as well as to the permanent ArtScience gallery (“which really doesn’t have much to see,” the nice staff hinted).
2015-02-10 15.14.07 (649x800)
Well, the star exhibition is worth the ticket price money alone… Da Vinci: Shaping the Future focuses on the work and life of artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, showcasing his brilliance in science, maths, architecture and art primarily though his original notes which has been compiled into a gigantic book form called the Codex Atlanticus, and which is presented here in Southeast Asia for the very first time.

2015-02-10 15.36.51 (800x430)
The displays are easy to follow and there are also many interactive elements for visitors to try their hands (and brains) to work out what went through Da Vinci’s mind when he was inventing. Look out for “hidden” rooms where local and foreign artists are asked to create installations based on the scientist’s findings. As for videos, my favourite is the one on “The Mapping of The Last Supper” as experts explain just how well-structured artistically and architecturally Da Vinci’s most famous religious painting is (pictured below). The artist’s famous paintings (Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, et al) are exhibited here via his students’ reproductions which ain’t half bad – at least you get to see the details up close and not behind a barrier and bullet-proof glass…

(Above image as seen in discoverscience.com)

Prudential Singapore Eye
It’s great that there are more venues in Singapore that showcase contemporary artwork by local and other Asian artists, because in recent times, there have been a couple of real memorable ones. Prudential Singapore Eye: Celebrating Singapore’s Contemporary Art features the works of 17 local contemporary artists the likes of Angela Chong, Justin Loke and Mintio, as well the finalists of this year’s Prudential Eye Awards.

Here’s are my 5 fave exhibits (which are mostly of the nominees):

2015-02-10 16.54.33 (800x800)
Beetle Sphere by Ichwan Noor, Indonesia
– A squashed Volkswagon. How could you not like this? Very well lit too!

2015-02-10 16.45.12 (800x450)

Crystal City 006 by Wu Chi-Tsung, Taiwan
This is really cool. A LED light on a moving track, throwing light on plastic boxes pasted on a wall. As the light moves, the shadows projected from the boxes make them appear like buildings growing in a city. Awesome.

2015-02-10 16.51.04 (504x800)PixCell-Elk#2 by Kohei Nawa, Japan
– An elk dressed in bling from antler to hoof. Can’t take your eyes off it…

2015-02-10 16.49.49 (800x450)Submission to Power by Amir Hossein Zanjani, Iran
– A painting is worth a thousand words. War-torn faces tell a whole lot more.

2015-02-10 16.35.45 (800x800)Bottles and Fans (2010) by Chen Sai Hua Kuan, Singapore
Not a 2015 nominee but you can’t miss this exhibit as it produces musical sounds that you are familiar with thanks to mini travelling fans placed on top of glass bottles of various sizes filled with water. Super cool.

Da Vinci: Shaping the Future runs till 17 May 2015.
Prudential Singapore Eye: Celebrating Singapore’s Contemporary Art runs till 28 June 2015.
For more info, visit www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html

P/S: In the month of Feb 2015, an all-access ticket offers a free Chinese New Year Fanta Orange bottle which is redeemable at the museum retail shop at B2. Only noticed the promo when I got home… Was not informed by ticketing staff, not even the retail shop staff when I bought not one but two soft drink bottles to quench my thirst after walking for hours… Miffed…

All Photos by Marguerita Tan Photography 2015. No text or images are to be used without permission from the blog author.

Cool Pools for Hot Days

20140705_152728Soaking in a pool with good views on a hot sunny day. That’s always my primary target whenever I plan my staycations or short-haul getaways. A decent, good-looking pool is very high on the must-have list when considering the choice of accommodation, even if it’s a beach resort! No matter how many other activities I do for entertainment or simply to pass the time by, nothing beats the memory of a good holiday pool. Here’re some of my recent favourites…
L10305311. Capella Singapore
There’s not one but three pools here- two infinity pools (pictured) and one smaller but long lap pool, all nestled amidst greenery and facing the South China Sea. My favourite is the second, middle pool which is further away from the prying eyes of diners at The Knolls (which the first pool faces) and where, at it’s tail end, you can lounge by the side just admiring the greens around you and the blue sea beyond. If you come at the right time, you can have the whole pool to yourself. Pool service is good here too – servers will come around to check if you need mineral water, food or more towels. Nice.

L10604372. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Truth be told, I came here just for the rooftop infinity pool. And yup, it’s cool, really cool. Great design, great views and F&B service is good too. Just didn’t think the waters would be so freezing cold! Even when the sun is blazing hot! It’s nice except of course it’s packed to the brim at all times as it’s seriously the hotel’s main attraction really – they even limit to only two guests from each room who could enter the pool area at any one time. Another nice thing is that children have to be in the kids-only area so there will be no screaming and running along the deckchair areas. Have to say though, it’s arguably the only pool in Singapore where so many people of all sizes take selfies in the waters… Is it worth it to pay for a room here just for the pool? Hmm, maybe if the next good room deal comes along…
2012-05-20 15.54.503. Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore
Actually, when it comes to pools, HRH wins hands down. Just like the one in Bali, I believed the Sentosa resort have the biggest pool in the land. The free-form pool is like five pools in one – there’s a long and wide lap pool, a low-depth area for kids (and pool loungers like me), a secluded corner with a pool bar, a jacuzzi pavilion, and even a man-made sandy beach! Add to that, there’s good rock and pop music played throughout the day, so much so that you don’t need your iPod or MP3 player.  The pool is actually shared with the other hotels in the chain such as Festive Hotel, but if you go during off-peak periods (read: non-school-holidays), you are likely to have the pool to yourself in the mornings or early afternoons.
L10701874. Tempat Senang, Batam
I actually didn’t come to this Batam resort for the pools – both are very small – but for their well-known spa-cum-room packages. This is a super gem of a resort over at Sekupang side which featured just 14 themed rooms, so they only entertain about 30-40 guests at any one time. And most of these guests will be spending at least 3 hours having one spa treatment or another as it is part of the resort’s deal  which means – if you plan it well – both their pools will often be deserted and you can claim them for your own! After my 3-hr spa treatment during my 2D1N stay, I claimed the gorgeous one, located in the midst of a courtyard surrounded by soothing greenery and chirping birds (pictured above and top of page) which has a lovely cascade, fountains and blue waters in the afternoon as well as the next morning. Absolute bliss. Yup, a return trip is a must!
IMG_52875. Leows Royal Pacific Resort, Orlando, USA
OK, this one is definitely not short-haul but it’s unforgettable because of the fabulous poolside service they provided here. Mind you, it’s a huge theme park resort (within Universal Studios Orlando) with thousands of guests but the pool attendants make the effort to remember your name. They will help you lay out your towels, bring jelly coolers and even icy shots for you to try out, and will come round to check on you every now and then to see if you need anything. The pool is decent for a holiday resort – lucky for me I was there during Labour Day weekend so the local crowds were away – but it’s the service staff who scored high points for their pool for this hotel guest. 🙂

Pubbing at South down at the Sands

20130816_200006Last Friday, me and my colleagues had a rare night out when none of us need to stay back late for work, praise the Lord! So off we went for a Friday drinks’ night out to this place  called South Coast which is not at Sentosa as its name may suggest but rather on the northern end of Marina Bay Sands, outside the Shoppes and directly opposite the Louis Vuitton floating store.

I half thought South Coast would looked like a beach club on land but it’s quite slick enough to attract the Shenton Way or, should I say, the new Marina Downtown, type of crowd. It wasn’t very crowded for a Friday night and since we had a huge group of 7, we get to have the big rectangle table which took up a whole side across the bar. Which was great cos let’s just say we certainly didn’t plan for a quiet night!

20130816_194120But let’s start with the food. South Coast has a great menu filled with a good range of pub grub. Prices weren’t cheap (between $8 to $30++) but I guess they know most people are going to come in groups and share. We quickly rattle off a list of what were supposedly the favourites. Pictured above clockwise from bottom are fries (big and tasty), Risotto Balls (crunchy), Wagyu Meatballs (meaty and served with slices of white bread to dip in the tomatoish gravy), Crispy King Prawns (nice but not “king” enough for me), Chicken Skewers (more than half-dozen pieces – it’s okay, tasty but lacked punch I felt; others didn’t mind it), Wagyu Pizza (delicious with eight big slices; great that they were able to do it without pork when we requested for it as one of us don’t take it), and finally, the  Crispy Pork Belly (hands down my favorite of the lot – super crispy and savory, the only odd thing is the raw bean sprouts that accompanied it!)

20130816_192910For our first night out as an office gang, the grog on offer was rather sad however. The Happy Hours here was nothing to wow about – they are  “just a few dollars less” according to one waiter and that’s only for the martinis and the beers. Beers on draft are also not your usual fare: There’s Magners Cider, Pure Blonde, Mac’s Great White and Red Rock (“which tastes like Tiger Beer”). One group went for colourful fruity martinis, the other Magners Ciders. Not being a Cider fan, my second glass was deciding which of the other three should I choose. Kudos to the same waiter who offered me a tasting portion of both Great White and Red Rock – having tried Pure Blonde before – and eventually I settled for the Mac’s Great White from New Zealand as it has a richer and stronger taste.


Other than the waiter at the end who threw a hissy fit when we jokingly said that the “nice waiter earlier” offered us a discount for our final tab,  yelling “He has no right to offer a discount, who does he think he is!!” – seriously dude, chill, we were just jokin’! – South Coast is a decent place to chill out at on any day of the week. For starters, it has a great view of the Marina Bay bay area with the lovely LV store upfront nicely framed by a line of immaculate palm trees. Food choices are certainly good and if you can live with martinis, wines, and not your usual draft beers, this place is worth checking out…