To celebrate Singaore’s 55th National Day, 10 National Monuments and arts and cultural institutions across the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct and the Civic District will be lit up for the first time from July 23 to August 30, 2020.
Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, said, “National Day this year will be different without the usual large-scale parade and gatherings. However, it is even more important now for all of us to come together and mark our unity and resilience as a nation. The national colours of red and white symbolise our shared values, and also reflect our diversity and growth as a nation. We hope that the light-up across these historically significant buildings in the city centre will inspire Singaporeans to stay strong in overcoming the challenges of the present, just as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. Together, we can emerge stronger from these difficult times as one united Singapore.”
The Armenian Church, Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Central Fire Station, CHIJMES, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, The Arts House, and Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall (VTVCH) will be bathed in red and white-themed light projections to symbolise how Singaporeans are #UnitedThroughCulture during this National Day period. The light-up is a joint effort by agencies and institutions under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth: Arts House Limited, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Gallery Singapore and National Heritage Board (NHB).
These 10 buildings have been integral to nation-building, and represent different chapters in Singapore’s story. They will be illuminated in the colours of Singapore’s National Flag, in a show of unity across the arts and culture sector, and to encourage and inspire Singaporeans this National Day.
The ACM, National Gallery Singapore and National Museum are well-loved museums housed in National Monuments, and showcase different aspects of Singapore’s arts, heritage and culture. The ACM celebrates Asian imagination, craft and identity, as well as the diverse heritage cultures of Singapore and their global cross-cultural connections through a world-class collection of Asian antiquities and decorative art; the National Gallery Singapore houses the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art; while the National Museum focuses on Singapore’s social history and its place in the world.
In addition, the Padang will feature projections of 60 original artworks by artists in Singapore. In an open call, the Gallery invited visual artists to provide a new perspective into the National Collection, in relation to current realities experienced. Selected artworks will form a rotating projection on the Gallery’s central veiled canopy, illuminated by colourful lights on its façade.
At the National Museum, the whole façade of the museum will be blanketed in a special projection of the National Day 2020 theme: “Together, A Stronger Singapore”. The theme will be projected in all four official languages.
The four National Monuments illuminated in the historic Bras Basah.Bugis precinct are testaments to the different communities who have chosen to make Singapore their home, and of the larger social history. The Armenian Church is a reminder of the contributions of the small but influential Armenian community who were among the earliest merchants to arrive in Singapore after it was established as a trading port in 1819. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the oldest Catholic Church in Singapore; the Central Fire Station is the oldest surviving fire station in Singapore and is still used by the Singapore Civil Defence Force today; while CHIJMES functioned as a Catholic convent, and once housed the oldest Catholic girls’ school here. They will be lit in the colours of the National Flag, with red representing universal brotherhood and the equality of man, and white representing pervading and everlasting purity and virtue.
Esplanade, The Arts House and VTVCH form the backbone to Singapore’s arts scene. Esplanade is Singapore’s national performing arts centre and is an iconic feature of the Marina Bay and Civic District. The Arts House is believed to be Singapore’s oldest surviving building and the first home of Singapore’s Parliament, and is currently the home of literary arts, while VTVCH is one of Singapore’s oldest performing arts venues.
Esplanade’s spiky domes will be lit in red and white till the end of August and Singapore’s Lion Head symbol will be added on to the domes’ lighting design on National Day. At the Esplanade Forecourt Garden facing the Padang, parts of the garden will be lit in three shades of amber in July, splashed red and white in the first three weeks of August, and will end off with calming shades of blue and lavender from the last week of August till Moonfest, Esplanade’s festival in celebration of the mid-autumn season in September.
The Arts House will spotlight two spectacular installations inspired by two Singaporean writer/illustrators on its lawn: In Universe by Troy Chin and popular children’s series Sherlock Sam and the Supper Club by writers A.J. Low and illustrator Drewscape, while the main House will be lit in white. Meanwhile, at the VTVCH, its façade as well as interior spaces will be lit in the national colours, creating a dramatic and patriotic hue of the Grand Dame, set against the majestic Singapore skyline.
Along with the light-ups, ACM, Esplanade, National Gallery Singapore, National Heritage Board, National Museum, The Arts House and VTVCH will be presenting various National Day programmes – both onsite and digital – from end July to end August. Details can be found at the websites and social media platforms of the institutions.