Lux Helsinki programme is complete – one theme rises above the rest

The festival’s 29 works showcase versatile light art from 3D animations to lasers and handcrafted lanterns. Many artists want to bring attention to environmental issues. Lux Helsinki illuminates the city on 5­–9 January from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The programme of Lux Helsinki, which changes familiar buildings and spaces into unique works of urban art, is now complete. All in all, the two routes of the festival will feature a record 29 works. Lux1 is a circular route around the Eläintarha region, and Lux2 takes light art all over the city: the new works now published spread from southern downtown to Vuosaari, Malmi and Kannelmäki.

The festival also includes an external programme consisting of light and performance art. As in earlier years, there will be an international symposium for light art professionals. The entire Lux Helsinki programme and maps can be found on the festival’s website.

“The responsibility to wake people up with a platform the size of Lux Helsinki is an opportunity that cannot be left unused”

Lux Helsinki does not have a particular theme, but the works are increasingly used to take a stance on the state of the environment in particular.

By projecting the northern lights of his work Borealis above the Olympic Stadium – where they are not usually seen – the Swiss artist Dan Acher wants to draw attention to climate change and the birth of new, unusual natural phenomena. British artist Kathy Hinde’s Chirp & Drift features a flock of birds singing playfully about the dreams of children from Helsinki in the trees next to Hammarskjöldintie. However, the work has a weighty message: Hinde wants to bring attention to the plight of those bird species that are constantly endangered due to climate change and loss of habitat.

Jari Vuorinen’s dynamic light and video installation HAPPI communicates the replacement of the coal pile of Helen’s Hanasaari power plant with a new kind of urban landscape and celebrates the move towards greener energy. Anne Roininen’s Car Show brings a car graveyard to Cultural Centre Kanneltalo, depicting the change in our relationship with cars; how they have gone from symbols of luxury to polluters of the environment. Projected onto the wall of the UPM head office, Soil Searchers Collective’s Its Songs We Sing wakes the viewer to an altogether different kind of forest, where the soil is not perceived as an area but thought of in terms of volume – not just as a surface on which things grow but as a rich and diverse biological universe that we depend on for the air that we breathe and the food that we eat.

“It is obvious that the state of our planet is an extremely urgent issue, and as such, at the core of the work of an increasing group of artists. I respect that highly. The aim is not to spread climate anxiety, but the responsibility and possibility to wake people up with a platform the size of Lux Helsinki is for many artists an opportunity that cannot be left unused”, says Lari Suominen, one of the curators of the festival.

Lux Helsinki is an accessible and free family event that has attracted over half a million people in recent years. Lux Korkeasaari charges a separate entry fee, and for each ticket sold and annual card visit, one euro goes to protecting snow leopards. Lux Korkeasaari is open between 25 December 2021 and 9 January 2022 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Lux Helsinki is being realised in accordance with coronavirus safety and current official guidelines. We comply with official instructions and recommendations when organising the event, and update the information concerning coronavirus practices as needed.

Lux Helsinki 5–9 January 2022 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Lux Morning also illuminates the works 1, 10, 15, 16, 17 and 18 on Friday, 7 January between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. The event is organised and produced by the Helsinki Events Foundation. Route and work planning and production is the responsibility of Sun Effects Oy. The curators are Lari Suominen, Ilkka Paloniemi, Christina Dvinge, Petra Martinez, the Finnish Light Art Society FLASH and Juha Rouhikoski.

Lux Helsinki partners are Sun Effects Oy, STEK ry, Yle, Korkeasaari Zoo, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Parliament of Finland, Citycenter, Shopping Centre Forum, UPM, UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, Helen, Varma and Culture Centre Stoa. 

Image: Quiet Ensemble – Unshaped