For the first exhibition of modernism in the National Gallery of Singapore, L’Observatoire International was approached to advise on the lighting and to devise a concept that could be applied across the exhibition.
L’Observatoire International worked with the exhibition designers Brewin Design Office and with the curatorial team from the National Gallery of Singapore to envision an exhibition that was as much inspired in its creation by the art movement it showcased.
Taking inspiration from the regular, methodical, and deliberate use of pattern and form employed by minimalism, L’Observatoire worked to study the spatial quality of the galleries and the rhythm of the exhibition. Studying multiple iterations of pattern and grids using the galleries existing fixtures, L’Observatoire eventually concluded with a regular and methodical approach, where fixtures were used to create a ‘surface’ of light, both present and unseen, a plane of fixtures that subtly enhanced the viewers immersion into the exhibit, yet did not detract from the art it showcased.
Throughout the exhibition it was necessary to respond not only to the conceptual understanding of minimalism as a movement, but also to fundamentally illuminate the artworks in the manner they required, to balance the transitions between areas of high intensity and areas with sensitive paper based pieces. With a large quantity of light based artworks it was necessary to break the show physically but also to balance the light between these spaces. General lighting was kept to a ratio of 80% ambience, to 20% accent; creating a subtle ‘lift’ to the otherwise even distribution of light.
The resulting lighting scheme was one based on the purity of the grid; with light fixtures spaced to create an even, yet diverse show, with areas of ambient light punctuated by subtle accents.
Lighting was minimal, refined, reduced; creating a surface that spoke to the restraint of the movement and to the transitions in the show, a truly minimalist response to a prestigious precedent for the National Gallery.