This year’s Singapore Arts Festival opens with programme called “Invitation to Dream – A Fire Garden Installation” by the French fire alchemist, Compagnie Carabosse. Spanning across the historic sites of the Esplanade Park and Empress Place, it consists of several contraptions of towering sculptures of metal, clay pots, fire curtains, blazing garlands and intricate patterns of flame.
Armed with only my trusty Panasonic Lumix LX3, I was there with my friend David and YS to shoot the event. I was there early, and I noticed that it’s a rather hazy evening.
At 7pm, the performers start to light the fire garlands known as “Fion Fions”.
The Fireball is a metal sphere made up of 10 meridians with a ring at each pole. Firepots are placed on the metal rings. There are a few of them on-site, here’re a few shots of one of them.
There’s also this interesting contraption featuring a “cyclist” cycling to and fro on a tightrope. I wonder how it’s being propelled.
Under a little tent, guitarist “ORL” gave his performance.
Here’s a wider shot, showing part of the tent.
Along the Queen Elizabeth Walk, we have the Lianas, which are pots connected together by metal chains to form a garland.
Right outside the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place, there are the Meli Melos. These are a series of circular metal structures which spin slowly in different ways. Firepots are attached to each circle measuring 4.5m tall.
At one end of the Cavanagh Bridge, we see the Stovepipe. The operator slowly lowers the pipe into the burning pot of parrifin wax by turning the wheel, and after a small wait, he raises it, whereupon there is a small “explosion” and smoke which comes up from the pipe. Quite a impressive sight to see, but unfortunately it’s something which is hard to capture.
Here’s a close-up of the operator. As there was not much lighting, I was forced to use ISO 1600 on the Panasonic Lumix LX3, which gave kind of a noisy picture. Therefore, I decided to give it the B&W treatment.
Still at Empress Place, we have these burning charcoal balls suspended above the ground.
Finally, the “Forest of Vests”, which looks like a whole “forest” of singlets.
There are a few more similar installations which I did not shoot/post. Overall, I kind of enjoyed the installation although it made the already hot and humid Singapore weather worse off. Such an installation would probably work better in cold countries where the heat will be much appreciated.