After a two—month long makeover, the public will be able to see Singapore’s famed icon in a new light, literally.
The Merlion celebrates its 40th birthday this year, with the highlight being a specially choreographed light show jointly presented by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Far East Organisation (FEO).
The light show,
Merlion & I: An Inspiring Journey
takes place at the Merlion Park in Marina Bay and follows the evolution of the rejuvenated 40—year—old icon over the years.
Making use of a combination of song, dance, pyrotechnics and lights, the Merlion undergoes a series of ’costume changes’ as the Singapore skyline bursts into life.
This is made possible with high—definition 3D projectors, which cast colourful imagery, designed by Andrew Gardner, onto the Merlion. Gardner had previously worked on the lighting of Singapore’s Esplanade Theatres of the Bay and West End Theatre productions.
The lyrics and music for the accompanying song, An Inspiring Journey, is written by local music director and composer, Kenn Chua, who has produced concerts for home—grown singing talents like Corrinne May, Kit Chan and Stefanie Sun.
"I got my inspiration after looking at a lot of old photographs, some from 20 years ago, of people posing with the Merlion," said Chua, "There’s so many lives and moments involved with it but in an abstract way, it links our lives as a symbol and through a long period of time, it has become an icon."
Senior Minister of State, Lee Yi Shyan, launched the celebrations on September 12 which also saw a cake made in the image of the Merlion which was cut by Mr Lee and later distributed to the public.
"I think it’s an interesting way to bring out the Merlion’s birthday and the whole package seems like the first of its kind," said Morgan England, a 22—year—old student who came to the Merlion Park especially for the show.
Going hand in hand with the light show is
A Father’s Love, A Country’s Inspiration
, an art installation open to the public at Ngee Ann City. It aims to revisit the past when the Merlion statue was still being sculpted by the late Mr. Lim Nang Seng.
At the interactive installation visitors get to attach their birthday wishes to the Merlion via paper scales that help complete the statue.
The seven—minute light show will run six times a night until September 16 and the art installation until September 30.
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