Built by the Tiger Balm family in the 1930s, Haw Par Villa is an oriental park containing sculptures and dioramas from the epic to the macabre. Over the years, visitors fell steadily due to changing tastes. The brief was to breathe new life to these sculptures through lighting, and re-engage a new generation of visitors with its timeless folklores. We are honoured to win the proposal competition to work with the Singapore Tourism Board (the park custodian) on this national commission.

The lighting design concept seeks to create an immersive experience for visitors to this iconic historic landmark of Singapore. This concept combines the latest trend in lighting technology applications (creative projection mappings) to traditional lighting design knowledge for sculptures and general landscape park.

The entire lighting theme is a balancing act between staying true to the heritage of the park, while seeking to re-engage the Singapore population of all age groups.

By using creative immersive moving projection lightshow highlighting the artefacts at the parks’ entrance, we first seek to attract the attention of the crowd. With deliberate and careful planning of lighting up the footpaths to subtle illumination of iconic sculptures; we then seek to direct people’s senses to the historic and meaningful handcrafted sculptures from point to point within the park.

By internalising the architectural landscape of each unique elements down to the finest details, we then brainstormed, evaluate and select the most applicable lighting specifications, and method of installation concurrently. With that, comes our final act; each sculpture’s lighting has to be manually positioned and adjusted to showcase the stories to the greatest effect. As each sculpture covers a different area, has different size and shape, and different facial expressions and coloured finishing; all lighting design and engineering implementation skills had to be applied with intense rigour.

One key challenge in our lighting design and application is that no physical damage to the heritage structure in any form is allowed. Hence, numerous customised mechanical parts and optical lighting lens were designed and produced just so we can mount the lights at the most appropriate spot to achieve the desired lighting effect.

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