Monthly Archives: May 2010

Invitation to Dream- A Fire Installation by Compagnie Carabosse

Basically this is the opening for this year’s Singapore Arts Festival. Carabosse is a renowned French fire alchemist. The fire installations are outside Victoria Theatre and in Esplanade Park. It ends this Sunday, 7.30pm -10.30pm. Each project that Carabosse does is “unique as it adapts to the space around it with intricate patterns of flame interspersed with haunting musical accompaniment, reflecting on the tranquility of the flame and beauty of art.” They like to work with nature, so their installations usually include trees, plants and so on.

I’m volunteering for this year’s SAF, and I went for the first night yesterday. It’s quite an interesting experience, and you get to meet many different people from all walks of life. I’m in the Tour Guide group! I’m one of the youngest in my group, other than another boy of the same age. And… I’m the In Charge of the group. :O

I SAW HAN SAI POR!  and a couple of other artists, including stage actors, writers and visual artists. I got to talk to an Indian composer. He started when he was 5! Whoaaaa! Haha I’m so excited. Yup this was a really good experience, I would encourage others to volunteer too.

Generally, from afar the fire installation looked like a riot was going on, and the entire site looked as if it was on fire. I did not get the subtle, magical, glowing  feel that was meant to be achieved. Maybe it’s the heat. ):

However, I did like Shirt Forest, whereby white sleeveless vests are hung onto metal coat hangers. A burning candle is placed inside the vests. This creates a glow that lights up the shirt, as the light gently spills out. It creates really peaceful and serene atmosphere in the night. Each vest is pretty heavy, weighing 1.5kg-2kg, which can be hung onto many things, including trees. The shirts were hung onto black metal stands, and spread across a patch of green. The softly illuminated vests stood out from the black metal stands, making the place look as if there was a parade of vests floating gently upon that grass patch.  The installation reminded me of World War II, because men liked to wear plain white singlets during that time. To me, this seemed like a tribute to the men who fought and died. Shirt Forest was surreal and dreamy, poetic and beautiful.

I realise that this is the kind of atmosphere that I want to achieve for my coursework. Hmm.

Another installation which I liked was the Ceiling of Bulbs. The light bulbs had actually been altered into little paraffin lamps, such that the wick is in the socket and the glass bulb becomes the fuel container. So you get upside down light bulbs burning from within. I thought that the idea was really cool.

Unfortunately I don’t have photographs of the installations (I’m really sad). But you could go to this site: It’s in French BUT has a picture of the Shirt Forest (but not in Singapore). 🙂 You could also search “Compagnie Carabosse” for images of their works.

We were told that we could actually make up our own stories for the various installations to tell the VIPs. By which I realised that other than the artist’s intentions, artworks are really also about what the audience understands and interprets from the work.