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I Light Marina Bay : An interview with French artist Franck Pelletier

Designed with energy-saving lighting, recycled or environmentally-friendly materials, the sixth edition of the international light art festival, I Light Marina Bay, has a key message: that we can adopt sustainable habits in our everyday lives. Showcasing 22 light art installations from 14 countries, including Singapore and France, the line-up had been curated by practitioners from the fields of arts, architecture, urban planning and lighting.

French artist Franck Pelletier showcases his artwork With Love… and shares with us more about the concept and his inspiration behind his work. A monumental bright red inflatable heart installed in the heart of town, in the heart of the night, we hear lighting heartbeats across the bay.

Do tell us more about the concept behind the installation “With Love…” What is it about?

With Love… is a 6-meters heart, an inflatable installation that symbolically takes the pulse of the city. The heart is the symbol of life, as a city could be, it never stops beating, as a city never stops sleeping.

The heart is the symbol of life, as a city could be, it never stops beating, as a city never stops sleeping.

This heart takes the pulse of the city by sensing the light, the temperature, the atmospheric pressure. There are always lights, sounds, and someone awake in the city, and this is ever more true in Singapore.

With Love… also represents love, love between people, between 2 lovers, between family, between friendship. Love is an universal feeling. Everybody in the world can talk about love.

The I Light Marina Bay festival focuses on issues of sustainability. How does this reflect in your work?

The materials that are used to create With Love… are recyclable. The heart is made of plastic, and that is not very ecological, but plastic is used everywhere (in bottles, tubes,…) and this installation obliges us to rethink the ways in which we create and consume. After its life, this heart will be recycled and will be used in building, furniture, transportation or electrical.

The base of the heart is made of wood, and that can also be recycled. A fun fact! This base was used as the crate for shipping this work, so we didn’t need to use other materials in fact for crate shipping.

Where else has “With Love…” been exhibited? (in France we imagine). Has the public reaction in Singapore and France been similar or different?

With Love… has been exhibited at la Fête des Lumières in Lyon in 2016. The format of the festival is not the same as I Light Marina Bay. This is only 4 days, but the public reaction has been the same in France and Singapore. We saw surprise and kisses in front of the heart in both countries. The heart and love is a universal symbol, people reacting similarly, in whichever the country you may be in.

Could you tell us more about la Fête des Lumières and why Singapore should visit it as well?

The festival format is different : It goes on for 3 days, and welcomes about 40 artists and millions of visitors. There is a good spirit of celebration. La Fête des Lumières is a key event in Europe as is I Light Marina Bay in Asia.

Singapore should visit la Fête des Lumières for the festival but also for the city. Lyon is beautiful city with a history lost in time, where the past mingles with the present. This cultural heritage is represented in its buildings, started in the 1st century BC but also in the music, theatre, and of course, food with ‘gastronomie lyonnaise’ and Paul Bocuse.

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore