This June, a new immersive installation is making waves at MW Creative Neighbourhood. Designed by Kuala Lumpur-based artist, Jun Ong, Prism is part of i Light Singapore 2023, organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and marks the first time the light festival is at Millenia Walk.
Trained in architecture, Jun began working on spatial light installations eight years ago and has since explored how artificial lighting can produce different ways of experiencing our environment when integrated with different elements.
With Prism, Jun taps on sound, colour, geometry, and natural light to create a unique response to Millenia Walk’s architecture. We caught up with Jun to discover more about the process and design behind Prism, and how the different elements work with each other to create a new experience in The Great Hall of Millenia Walk.
Hi Jun! Can you tell us more about how the concept and design for Prism came together?
I have always been fascinated with geometries. At Millenia Walk, I was immediately drawn to the unique truncated pyramid roofs of Millenia Walk. These impressive pyramid ceilings are also light shafts that let natural light into the mall. I thought: what if these pyramids also emit light and glow?
The amazing light shafts in Millenia Walk’s roof became a starting point to my artwork — because The Great Hall has this incredible skylight, I wanted this work to also look very different during the day, when the sunlight passes through it.
Hence, in Prism, there are several truncated pyramids, each of which have pixelated skins in different colours. The skins are translucent, allowing natural light from The Great Hall to pass through during the day. Depending on whether it’s a gloomy or sunny day, you can see a very different look to this work. When the sky turns dark, they glow with artificial light, creating an interesting dynamic through colours and shadows.
How has working on Prism compared to other projects you’ve worked on in the past?
As the work is site specific, it is a unique response to the architecture and indoor environment at Millenia Walk. I have not worked with colours on such a large scale before, and I thought it would be interesting to play with colours, lights, and geometries to create a prismatic experience.
This is also the biggest artwork I've presented in Singapore so far. It was completely made in Malaysia, so we had to make sure that they could be broken down into smaller modules, to be shipped over easily and then re-assembled on site.
How do you think Prism will change the way we experience The Great Hall at Millenia Walk?
Aside from a carefully curated lighting show, I also worked with Shelhiel, a Malaysian musician and sound artist, to create a new ambient score for Prism. We were both inspired by nature and the ever-evolving dialogue between mankind and machine when designing the score. We wanted this piece to be immersive and almost otherworldly, as if this object had landed from outer space.
The changing shapes, colours and sounds of Prism reminds us of the otherwise static or forgotten elements in the space around us, and shows us how we can extrapolate fluid and unpredictable experiences and connections from these elements.
What do you hope visitors will take away from the artwork?
It would be intriguing to see whether the audience will stop in the middle of their daily activities and be drawn to the work, and to see how they experience it in their own ways. I would also like to see if they will piece together the connection between the work and how it responds to the unique architecture of Millenia Walk.
Every acrylic piece that forms the skin of Prism has been created with attention to detail, down to getting the right hues for the pieces, and installing them individually by hand. I would love the audience to find their own connections between the lights, sounds and colours in Prism, and hope that they will enjoy it not just from afar, but up close.
Explore Prism at MW Creative Neighbourhood from 1 to 25 June, 10am to 12am daily.
While you’re here, make the most of your trip to our neighbourhood. Find out more about i Light Singapore 2023, other programmes, and dining and shopping deals this June here. Plus, discover how you can participate in the i Light Singapore 2023 sustainability pledges at Millenia Walk, and reward your sustainable habits too.