First GIF Festival in Singapore to take place in October

The week-long festival will showcase 50 GIFs to be shown on screens and larger-than-life projections. — Handout via TODAY
The week-long festival will showcase 50 GIFs to be shown on screens and larger-than-life projections. — Handout via TODAY

SINGAPORE, Aug 13 — Art goes digital in a fun and accessible way with the launch of Singapore’s first GIF Festival in October this year.

The week-long festival will feature creations by young motion graphic artists in a showcase of 50 GIFs on screens and larger-than-life projections in a space transformed to provide an immersive and interactive experience.

Noise Singapore, an initiative of the National Arts Council, together with urban art gallery and magazine publisher Kult present Noise x GIF Fest 2017 from October 4 to 11, 2017 at Gillman Barracks.

Speaking with TODAY on how the idea of the festival was born, Steve Lawler, co-founder of Kult, said: “Apart from a few installations at museums, there are very few ongoing annual initiatives that focus on multimedia and new-media. We wanted to create a platform that would grow the vibrancy and diversity of the local youth arts landscape whilst positioning art as entertainment.”

“Artists and the general public love GIFs because they are fun, addictive and accessible to everyone,” added the multimedia artist, best known by his moniker Mojoko.

GIF or Graphics Interchange Format which turned 30 this year, has become very much a part of daily digital communication — Twitter has a GIF button, and Apple and WhatsApp added GIF search to its messaging apps.

“We want audiences to be excited to come to the show, we are breaking the walls down between stuffy art galleries and the wider public. The GIF Fest platform is created to welcome everyone and we are putting together a programme of activities that will inspire anyone from students, professionals right up to families and children,” said Lawler.

Organisers envision GIF Fest as a platform that gives artists the chance to bring their work to life and widen their portfolio.

“We want to showcase the breadth of work Singapore has to offer, from illustrated GIFs to photographic and filmic GIFs. A chance for the artists to demonstrate their powerful image making and sequential design skills. It is going to feel like a very POP ART type of show,” Lawler said.

The open call for the exhibition runs from August 2 to September 1 and invites young people from diverse artistic backgrounds to create exciting animated GIFs inspired by the theme illusions. The work can be made by in any media, photo, Cinema4D, Illustrator, Photoshop as along as the final output is a looping sequence that can be projected or shown on a screen. There will be both an online showcase and exhibition at Block 7 at Gillman Barracks.

According to Lawler, there has been “huge interest in the GIF Festival from both the artists and the public”. — TODAY

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