The Borealis light and sound installation has travelled to more than 40 cities across Europe, Australia, Asia, and the United States, before making its Singapore debut at Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove on May 5 this year. 

Created by the Geneva based artist, Dan Archer, and accompanied with an atmospheric soundtrack by French composer Guillaume Desbois, Borealis changes with the wind, humidity, and temperature, making it truly an experience like no other. 

Borealis is preceded by the nightly Garden Rhapsody show, which lights up the Supertrees in a spectacular display of light and sound, the Supertrees sparkling with lights that dance in harmony to the soundtrack of the month. 

Supertrees lighting up for the nightly Garden Rhapsody. Photo by Joanna Hu Qiaonan.

As the final notes of the preceding nightly soundtrack faded out with the lights, the Supertree Grove went dark as audiences held their breath in anticipation of the Borealis exhibit. A faint mist rose from the roots of the Supertrees, collecting until it cloaked nearly the whole grove. Then, the long-awaited blue-green lights of the Aurora Borealis shined through the mist at last, drawing awed exclamations from the captivated audience.

Fog rising from the base of the Supertree Observatory and the Borealis lights being projected above. Photo by Joanna Hu Qiaonan.

The Borealis illusion is created by beams of light from near the base of the Supertrees, projected to a height that is approximately half the height of the structures. As such, the best viewing angle is from the ground of the Supertree Grove. Any view from above simply doesn’t do the installation justice.

The Borealis light installation, viewed from the ground. Photo by Joanna Hu Qiaonan.

The quiet and dreamy soundtrack accompanying the Borealis installation is a stark contrast to the previous energy of the nightly Garden Rhapsody, but it creates the almost reverent aura that the breathtaking view deserves. 

Having almost been entranced by the sights and sounds, I snapped out of the trance for a moment to see the Supertree Grove packed with people of all ages and backgrounds, locals and tourists alike not missing the opportunity to see the ‘Northern Lights’. While some audience members took photos and videos to commemorate the experience, many others were content with simply appreciating this work of art by themselves or with loved ones. 

A member of the audience taking a video of the Borealis show. Photo by Jaden Darrius Png Ryan.

Borealis takes place at Garden by the Bay’s Supertree Grove every Monday at 8pm and every weekend at 9pm, each show lasting for half an hour.


From the Garden Rhapsody show to the Borealis light and sound installation, Geneva-based artist Dan Archer and French composer Guillaume Desbois create an unforgettable experience for Borealis’ debut in Singapore. Join The Urbanwire as we experience the sights and sounds of the Borealis exhibition! 🌠 #theurbanwire #borealis #borealissingapore #gardensbythebay #singapore #fypsingapore

♬ original sound – theurbanwire – theurbanwire
Producer/videographer: Irfan
Photographer: Jaden, Joanna