Lux Helsinki programme announced

Lux Helsinki will illuminate the Finnish capital from 3 to 7 January 2024 with a wide range of light art, from public favourites to the final work of an artistic career. Artistic Director Juha Rouhikoski promises insights and discoveries from the “science from art” event.

Traditionally attracting around half a million visitors to view the light art, Lux Helsinki will cover the city centre, Hietaniemi Cemetery, cultural centres and Helsinki Zoo on the island of Korkeasaari. The light festival comprises a total of 21 works that can be experienced in any order from Wednesday 3 January to Sunday 7 January 2024 daily between 5pm and 10pm.

“Art is often and at its best an exploration, just like science. Both offer insights and discoveries to the openminded seeker, and you can never be sure what the expedition will uncover,” explains Juha Rouhikoski, Artistic Director of Lux Helsinki.

Iconic landmarks in a new light

Helsinki Cathedral has become an almost iconic and highly anticipated Lux Helsinki attraction each year. This time, a unique 360-degree experience will be created in Senate Square, where the façades of the surrounding buildings will be the backdrop for up to three different light installations. The approximately 20-minute show will feature the installations Symmetry by Janne Ahola, Northern Touch by Katariina Souri, and Helix by Weltraumgrafik, each of which will be performed in turn.

Several installations will also be displayed along Esplanade Park and around the Kansalaistori square. The UPM head office will reflect the theme of the festival by taking audiences on a journey through the eyes of an insect in the installation All the Light We Cannot See by the Societas Luminis collective. The façade of Ateneum in turn will be dressed in the beloved poppy patterns in a joint project by Marimekko & Ateneum entitled Unikko at La Louvière. Long-time light artist Ekku Peltomäki will be presenting the last work of his career at Lux Helsinki. His topical light epic Retreat – Finlandia, Part 2 is inspired not only by the Finlandia hymn but also by the themes of the Winter War, the Continuation War and peace, and it will be displayed above the graves of the heroes at Hietaniemi Cemetery.

As in recent years, Lux Helsinki will also spread to the city’s cultural centres, with light art being displayed at Kanneltalo, Vuotalo, Malmitalo and Stoa. The Lux Helsinki 2024 programme is complemented by the official Lux galleries GLO Hotel Art, Galleria Halmetoja and Galleria Pirkko-Liisa Topelius, all of which will have open doors during the opening hours of the festival.

Lux Korkeasaari, in turn, will be held at Helsinki Zoo from Saturday 30 December 2023 to Sunday 7 January 2024 daily between 10am and 7pm. The event will explore nature and threatened species by means of light art. The event will raise funds for the protection of snow leopards in the wild. Guided tours and a mobile game trail will present animals that live in the snow leopard’s natural habitat and show why even the coldness of winter is important to nature. A separate entrance fee will be charged for Lux Korkeasaari, and for every ticket and visit with an annual pass, one euro will be donated towards the zoo’s snow leopard conservation work.

The entire programme and presentations of all the Lux Helsinki installations and artists can be found on the Lux Helsinki website.

Lux Helsinki is a fully accessible and free event for the whole family that takes place from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 January 2024 daily between 5pm and 10pm. There is a separate entrance fee to Lux Korkeasaari. The festival is organised and produced by the Helsinki Events Foundation. The artistic director of Lux Helsinki is Juha Rouhikoski, whose team of curators also includes Matti Jykylä, Jere Suontausta, Mia Kivinen and Jyrki Sinisalo.

The main partners of Lux Helsinki are UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, UPM, Helsinki Zoo, Marimekko, Ateneum and Toyota, and its cooperation partners are Clear Channel, the Italian Cultural Institute, Musiikkitalo and Multibeam Finland Oy.

Image: Janne Ahola – Symmetria