Singapore International Festival of Arts transformed The Arts House into its anchoring Festival House. Making use of its various rooms to create different experiential worlds, it invites audience members back every night to connect, discover and relax among art. Temporal by Intriguant and Flex is one such performance held at the Festival House.
Held on 4th May at 8pm and 10pm, Temporal is a manifestation of time – the collision of past, present and future within the confines of The Chamber. It showcases original music by the musicians coupled with Flex’s lighting design to create an immersive audiovisual showcase. For an hour, you will experience pulsing lights glowing in sync with the atmospheric beats Intriguant performs and you might even find yourself grooving along.
As a performance, it is a simple installation of music and lights coming together. Relaxing and a slow gradual build in modulations, the music is perfect for winding down after a long day in the office while still encouraging you to dance along – let go of your inhibitions and let your body do the talking. The lights are fascinating at first. They remind me of glow sticks due to their fluorescent colours and they effectively light up the space. Coupled with theatrical fog, the once Parliamentary Chamber is transformed into a club.
After a while though, the lights became tiring on the eyes and I could not really identify if the lights are reacting to the music. The design feels slightly generic past the second half and it was not apparent if the lights are to play a role as an installation or just an accompaniment to the music. It makes me curious as to what concept is applied to the lights and what experience it was trying to give to the audience.
Besides the main elements of the show, being atmospheric in nature, the audience members are as much a part of the performance as any other element. Whether it is loud chatter or using of cellphones or dancing, everything either adds or detracts from the performative experience. I guess it is simply the risk you have to take, especially when performing in a space as intimate and limited as The Chamber.
But I must say that the choice of space made a big difference, and is almost a bonus to the performance. Can you imagine having a club-like scene being held at The Chamber – with seats and name plates of ministers and all the history that comes with it? It is like a rebellion of sorts. To have this freedom to experience local music and design in a space of historical significance, it is incredible and maybe this may go to show how much we have moved forward as a country to reclaim the right to create and to share the stories we want to talk about – one show at a time.
The Singapore International Festival of The Arts 2018 will be happening from 26th April to 12th May 2018. Check out what else the festival has to offer here.