A total of 25 artists will be presenting their art installations at the i Light Marina Bay festival, Singapore. Installations will be exhibited along the pedestrian walkway of Marina Bay. In this article, the editor met up with Jun ONG, an architect graduate (MA) from the University of Westminister, London (2014), to learn more about his installations and his preference for lights as a medium. Jun Ong will be among the 15 artists to showcase his art installation at the 2016 i Light Marina Bay festival; BOLT as shown above.
Jun Ong has showcased some grand-scale light installations in Asia. In his most recent art installation, The Star, which was exhibited at a co-existing five-storey shophouse, Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia. Landsite surveyors used metal beams to tie the LED lights at their pre-specified angles. The sketches and preparation was initiated in July 2015 and with the field site of the shophouse, more than 500 points were made on the concrete floors and walls. The project was then completed in November 2015.
‘Each LED beam has to be placed as accurately as possible to its respective points. A tiny shift in the position of any of the 50 LED beams will distort the visual effect and the aesthetic overview of The Star in the dark,’ said Jun-Hao.
Butterworth is on the pending list for more developments. In comparison to Georgetown, the capital of Penang, Butterworth has not been the preferred place for developers and for foreign investors. The preference for this social economic behaviour goes all the way back to our great-grandfathers’ era when the Dutch East India Company dominated trades in South-East Asia.
The introductory of The Star to the public has been a success. Visitors from other states of Malaysia and tourists visiting South-East Asia have already made trips to Butterworth to view the mesmerizing art installation. Jun Ong’s IG: https://www.instagram.com/junihaoni/
Singapore, i Light
The Bolt measuring at 3.5m x 6m (height x diameter), a new creation by Jun Ong for the 2016 i Light festival. He has been working with a group electric-lights technicians in Malaysia. ‘A self startup team that I have been working very closely with. They have their day jobs, but what is amazing about them is their ability to gather, and we work as team to produce the visual effects customized for The Bolt,‘ said Jun Ong.
The art installation will have four buttons, one on each side of the art installation with its assigned purpose. When a spectator pushes the button, lights will go live and a portion of The Bolt will be lighted up. ‘And of course, there will be effects, which is why there is a need for teamwork.’
Meet the mini-BOLT.
Though trained as an architect, Jun Ong has been a huge fan of Dan Flavin; better known as the Godfather of Minimalist Art using lights. ‘Before the invention of LED lights, there was fluorescent tubes. And Dan Flavin was the first artist to use lights as a piece of art. One of his very first art installations was to hang a fluorescent tube at a 45-degree angle.’
‘Nothing fancy or more. A fluorescent tube placed on the wall at a 45-degree angle. I like Dan Flavin’s work because he is able to express something that is so simple, and yet it is so captivating.’
The lack of popularity of using lights as a medium in South-East Asia may be due to the fixated number of daylight hours. In contrast to countries in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, equatorial countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, do not experience day-light saving.
Jun-Hao’s light installation at a fashion show in Bangsar, Malaysia.
Prior to his return to Malaysia, Jun Ong worked for Tom Dixon in London, a place which he considers his career mentorship in architect and designs for lighting and lamp. His early career exposure and passion using lights as a medium to creating art installations may now possibly lead to a revolution in rural-urban developments. The young architect has already shown the budding possibility to increase popularity of a rural industrial area in SouthEast Asia with the application of a creation, his art installation. The Star is showcased in Butterworth till November 2016, and The Bolt will be showcased in Singapore from 4th March to the end of March 2016. Visitors will find The BOLT at the darkest spot along Marina Bay.
Jun Ong: Instagram
i Light Marina Bay (照亮滨海湾): i Light Marina Bay
Tom Dixon: http://www.tomdixon.net/row/design-research-studio
Artist’s last name is capitalized in this article.