Tag Archives: Karen Mitchell

Everyday Aspirations by Karen Mitchell

The Singapore Night Festival 2013 recently concluded their 6th edition over the weekends of Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th August and Friday 30th & Saturday 31st August 2013. It had been a great fun and excitement of arts performances and festivities around various parts of the National Museum of Singapore, Armenian Street, Singapore Arts Museum and other parts nearby these few areas. I had a fun time at  the Singapore Night Festival 2013, covering, photographing and documenting the Singapore Night Festival 2013 on both weekends, Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th August and Friday 30th & Saturday 31st August 2013, with lots of photographs taken during the Night Festival 2013!

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There were many artists and performers during Singapore Night Festival 2013, there was one particular visual artist, that caught my attention and the visitors that came to Singapore Night Festival 2013 as well. The visual artwork was titled “Everyday Aspirations” by Karen Mitchell, on display at the alley between The Substation and Peranakan Museum during both weekends of the Singapore Night Festival 2013. Her visual artworks was about “Aspirations”, that are one-word, collected from friends, friends of friends etc, resulting in a total collection of 365 “Everyday Aspirations” of ordinary people that were selected and their texts were laser-cut onto wood panels. Visitors to the “Everyday Aspirations” visual artwork were able to shine the light (even their own lights) through the wood panels, casting shadows of these Aspirations, projecting the Aspirations across towards the walls and ceilings. The occurrence of the the different sized shadows from the different lights projection through the wood panels, gave a shared aspiration to themselves and the people around them. This served not just as a big shadow, it made an imprint into a person’s memory, not just for themselves, for the rest around them too!

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The “Everyday Aspirations” visual artwork was something that I really liked a lot, each word meant something to me, inspiring and encouraging. I enjoyed the first weekend on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August to photograph different views and perspectives of “Everyday Aspirations” beside just shining the light through the word and projecting it on the wall. I had fun playing with the words and shadows, I composed a bokehlious straight line photograph of the “Everyday Aspirations” words. This visual arts display at Singapore Night Festival 2013 was popular with the visitors, this special collection of 365 “Aspiration” words means something to them, deep in their hearts and minds. They were all searching for a word among the many words of “Aspirations”, to take and leave an imprint for their hearts, minds and souls.

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Looking at the size of the crowds, taking photographs and shining light the words, “Everyday Aspirations” was definitely something that touched their hearts. I was planning to go back on the second weekend to continue photographing “Everyday Aspirations” by going there earlier to avoid the crowds. However, something unfortunate happened, with “Everyday Aspirations” unique feature and close connectivity with the audience, there were 114 visual art pieces of “Everyday Aspirations” that were missing after the first weekend on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August. It was very disappointing for Karen, the artist herself, and for Singapore Night Festival 2013 visitors. An online message went viral, asking them to be returned back to the artist for the second weekend, however there wasn’t much news. Instead, at the end of the second weekend of the Singapore Night Festival 2013, another 74 pieces of her “Everyday Aspirations” were lost, making it a total of 188 pieces missing! The loss of the missing artist artworks will not reflect well on us, the visitors to arts festivals and events.

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While the loss of the missing artworks is painful and disappointing for Karen, it’s also a testimonial for her visual artworks “Everyday Aspirations” that connects people with words to their hearts and souls.

Singapore Night Festival 2013 – 23 & 24 August

The first weekend of the Singapore Night Festival 2013 attracted big crowds and a great turnout  on the nights of 23rd and 24th August 2013. It was nice to see many visitors coming down to the many different arts performances, events and festivities around the National Museum of Singapore, Armenian Street, SMU Green and Singapore Arts Museum compounds. After attending the media preview of Singapore Night Festival a few days earlier, I was excited to come back again on the 23rd and 24th August to continue photographing and sharing about the Singapore Night Festival 2013!

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There were many things happening during 23rd and 24th August at the Singapore Night Festival, a few of them that stood out and got my attention were the outdoor arts performance acts from France, Vertical Extraction and Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont. Judging from the crowds that sat around the National Museum of Singapore compounds, waiting patiently and eagerly watching the performers “hanging”, “flying” and dancing in the air with their ropes, Compagnie Retouramont is definitely a crowd puller and a key performance attraction for Singapore Night Festival 2013!

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Another star performance attraction was Starlight Alchemy, with their sleek, electrifying, hot and sizzling fire performances in front the National Museum of Singapore facade. I am always a fan of bonfire performances and enjoyed photographing their silky fire dances movements! From the crowds gathered around their performance area, Starlight Alchemy was definitely another hot (yes, hot with fires too!) arts performance that was enjoyed by the spectators at the Singapore Night Festival 2013!

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Inside the National Museum of Singapore, there were also arts performances too! I went up to the Glass Atrium and watched Circus Swingapore in action with their gymnastics performance with the hoops, poles and ropes! A fun circus artistic performance, popular with the young and old, especially with the young children eagerly watching them from the sidelines! There was an interesting showcase by Absolut Vodka known as Absolut Canvas, with many beautiful Absolut Vodka bottle designs of different sizes, attracting a queue of visitors into the exhibition!

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Walking down to Armenian Street, where the street was closed for the Singapore Night Festival 2013 and allowing the visitors to have more space to walk, relax and enjoy the festivities around the Armenian Street area. There was an intriguing and interesting outdoor arts performance, OOMOONBEINGS by Singapierrot. From Singapore Night Festival website, describing about Oomoonbeings –

Two ethereal jesters descend from a crescent moon and explore the land. Dressed in plastics, these contemporary incarnations of Pierrot play in a series of teasing vignettes combining movement and installation. With a whimsical oldtime mood, this little reverie features gypsy-swing jazz duo So Ma Fan as live accompaniment.

While the Oomoonebings performance was a little bit abstract, it was still able to attract the crowds to sit down and watch their unique production! With the warm applause by the crowds at the end of their performance, we can see that they were able to appreciate and understand their performance better! At Armenian Street, with the SubStation located there, it’s an iconic arts/music place. The front of the SubStation area turned into a nice and warm outdoor concert arena, with indie bands, alternative and rock bands gave their hearts out into the night of live music performances!

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Along an alley along Armenian Street, between The SubStation and Peranakan Museum, there were festivities inside there too! There was a visual artist works that caught my attention, it was titled “Everyday Aspirations” by Karen Mitchell. I was personally mesmerised by her works that she deserves the recognition from my thoughts and sharing here! The beautiful and inspiring art work by Karen Mitchell, showcased at Singapore Night Festival 2013. Each mixed media (wood, laminates and light) showed one-word definitions of “Aspiration”, representing the “Everyday Aspirations” of ordinary people. The texts were laser-cut into the wood panels and the light shines through the wood panels to cast shadows of the Aspirations. The reflections of the Aspirations is not just a shadow, it’s also an imprint into a person’s memory. This visual arts display at Singapore Night Festival 2013 is popular with the visitors, the collection of 365 “Aspiration” words means something to them, deep in their hearts and minds. They are all searching for a word among the many words of “Aspirations”, to take and leave an imprint for their hearts, minds and souls. It was great disappointment for the artist Karen Mitchell and everybody else who loved her visual works at the Singapore Night Festival 2013, that 114 of her visual works were missing and they were not returned back to the rightful artist owner! Please return the 114 words back!

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With such great first weekend action at Singapore Night Festival 2013, it’s not over yet. There’s still the second weekend of the Singapore Night Festival 2013 happening on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August 2013! Stay tune for more information!

Here are some useful links for you to learn more and get more information for Singapore Night Festival 2013!

– Singapore Night Festival 

– Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct

– Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct Facebook Page

– National Museum of Singapore

– Singapore Night Festival Twitter account

– Singapore Night Festival Instagram account

Bring out your cameras, gather your friends and head out for the Singapore Night Festival 2013 this coming weekend on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August 2013!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.