The festival is organised and produced by Helsinki Events Foundation. Lux Helsinki’s artistic director is Juha Rouhikoski, whose curator team also includes Immanuel Pax, Lari Suominen, Mia Kivinen and Ilkka Paloniemi.
Mia Kivinen is an MA level lighting designer and curator. She has earlier curated the Lyhtypuisto and Ilon kuvia works for the Senate Square in Lux Helsinki. For her, the best thing in Lux Helsinki has been listening to how you can say “Kato nyt totakin!” in different intonations. Kivinen is a founder member of the Finnish Light Art Society FLASH and teaches light art to all types of audiences. Her hobbies are light art travel and writing about it. If Kivinen doesn’t talk about light art for 15 minutes, she’s probably dozed off.
Ilkka Paloniemi is an artist, curator and designer. He holds a Master’s degree in theatre-making and education and he has been working within the arts sector since the 1980s. Paloniemi held the post of technical and creative director at Lux between 2011 and 2022. He has given talks at a number of international light art festivals on light art and the culture of light. Paloniemi is a founder member of Finnish Light Art Society FLASH and has curated many FLASH exhibitions. He has also served as the lead consultant on several performing arts venue refurbishment projects. “I think my favourite Lux moment came in 2016, when it was 27 degrees below zero, and we were still pulling in huge crowds. This Arctic festival would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for all the fantastic people I work with.”
Immanuel Pax, Finnish Light Art Society FLASH
A Helsinki-based light artist and visual designer, Immanuel Pax is involved in the 2023 Lux Helsinki festival in his capacity as FLASH curator. Pax seeks to highlight artists and works that present timely and relevant commentaries on current phenomena and are capable of prompting debate and provoking strong responses. For the festival, Pax plans to don plenty of warm layers, an orange fur hat and an open mind.
The Finnish Light Art Society FLASH was founded in 2017 to promote Finnish light art and artists both at home and internationally. The society’s aims are to bring together light artists from across the disciplines, make light art more accessible to audiences, promote opportunities for professional development for light artists and to disseminate information about light art to event organisers and the public alike.
Juha Rouhikoski is Lux Helsinki’s new artistic director and curator. He holds a Master’s degree in theatre and drama and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. He works as production manager at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna, and he is passionate about exercise, fly fishing and self-development. “As Lux Helsinki’s artistic director, I have an important and high-profile opportunity to promote light art in Finland and beyond. Lux Helsinki is a light art festival pioneer that’s highly regarded internationally. My aim is to help make Lux the most interesting and attractive light art festival in the world.”
Lari Suominen is a Helsinki-based light artist and designer. He has spent many years working on installations and in the performing arts sector. Suominen’s CV encompasses everything from underground techno to theatre, and he is also lead designer for the Slush startup event. Suominen’s light art is always imbued with his distinctive illusionary style. In 2009, he joined the Sun Effects design collective. Suominen has been working at Lux for the past ten years, including as project manager and artist. “In my role as curator, I am delighted to have the opportunity to think about the really big picture stuff and to really get stuff done. I enjoy working with the artists and supporting them in their creative endeavours. Everything we do is very much led by the artworks themselves.”