The 9th annual Lux Helsinki light festival succeeded once again in creating a unique atmosphere in the centre of Helsinki from 5 to 9 January 2017. A record number of people came out to admire the light art along the main route between the Market Square and the Kruununhaka district. In total the festival attracted over half a million visits. Lux Helsinki is a free-of-charge event organised by the City of Helsinki. Watch a video of Lux Helsinki:
Light, media and visual artists from Finland, the Netherlands and Mexico created a total of 15 light installations for Lux Helsinki 2017. The Lux In light art exhibition extended this year’s festival to ten days, filling the Kaapelitehdas cultural centre with both light aesthetics and video art.
Among the main goals for this year’s light festival were to further improve the visitor experience while maintaining the artistic and production quality achieved in previous years.
“Lux Helsinki stands out favourably from other public events due to the broad spectrum of visitors that it appeals to – from grandchildren to grandparents and toddlers to teenagers. Lux Helsinki is first and foremost an outdoor social event that allows everyone together to discover and rediscover our lovely capital as illuminated by light art. The festival attracts people to flock to the city centre together with family and friends, creating many positive memories of time spent together,” says Ilkka Paloniemi, curator of the Lux Helsinki festival programme.
Lux Helsinki has inspired also other actors in the city to play with light and introduce light art to some really surprising places during the festival. For example, the colourful blue electricity pylons known locally as Antti’s Footsteps were illuminated throughout the festival. In addition, the north façade of the Tennispalatsi cultural centre featured a temporary installation by Charles Sandison entitled Language is Dead, which was presented as part of the opening of the Helsinki Art Museum’s Finland 100 season. The Old Market Hall, in turn, hosted a fire show to celebrate both the light and darkness.
“We very much encourage other actors to get into the Lux Helsinki spirit too in the future,” Paloniemi continues.
Photos: Flowers of Life; Kalle Mustonen – TELLMEHOWDOIFEEL (c) Johanna Kinnari / Rölli Ridanpää & Tero Laine – Light Pipes (c) Kirsi Tuura
The festival programme is expanding with many related events. The Lux Eat food happening proved to be a successful addition to the festival’s offerings. Organised in partnership with City magazine, Lux Eat featured 25 restaurants and food trucks that served hungry festival-goers along the official Lux Helsinki route. City and Lux Helsinki will continue to cooperate over the coming years.
“It was great to get so many diverse and interesting restaurants to take part at such short notice. Many restaurants participated in the event either by offering special menus or by featuring their own light art. It’s nice that so many people used these restaurant services and clearly appreciated the event. It will be very exciting to see what we can come up with for next year,” says Panu Jansson, Editor-in-Chief of City magazine.
Lux Helsinki is part of the City of Helsinki’s official Finland 100 centenary programme and was planned according to the theme of the centenary year together with partners. The main partner for Lux Helsinki 2017 was Stora Enso, which celebrated the centenary of Finnish independence with a specially commissioned light installation entitled Cube that was projected onto the façade of the iconic Stora Enso head office by the Market Square. Created by the production team Shader Oy, the Cube animation was one of the most photographed installations of the festival.
“Cube really fulfilled our expectations. It was lovely to see how the installation delighted visitors, as well as our own employees and stakeholders. This was a great start to the centenary year,” says Seppo Parvi, Stora Enso’s CFO and Country Manager for Finland.
Photos: Shader: Cube; Outi Pieski: Gorži; Petri Tuhkanen: Joukkovoima (c) Johanna Kinnari
The next Lux Helsinki festival will take place in January 2018.