Familiar buildings and spaces will be transformed once again into unique works of urban art when the biggest ever Lux Helsinki light festival brightens up the city from January 5-9, 2019. This year’s official Lux Helsinki route stretches approximately 2.5 kilometres through the Etu-Töölö district from the Kansalaistori square to Finlandia Hall and onwards via Kiasma and Kunsthalle Helsinki to the National Museum of Finland.
The five-day light festival will present a brilliant selection of Finnish and international light art in the form of projection mapping that manipulates architecture, street art that glows in ultraviolet light, and interactive projections that are controlled by the audience.
Topical social issues, such as climate change and human rights, are also strongly represented in the light art. The rear façade of Finlandia Hall facing the Töölönlahti bay will be transformed into flowing water by an impressive light and sound installation created by the Ramboll light studio as part of the Lux Architecture series, reminding us that water is an exhaustible natural resource. On the Hesperia Park side of the building, the installation Trespassing by Finnish artist Immanuel Pax explores the contradiction between freedom and security by turning the idea of security cameras on its head.
In addition to the twelve installations along the official route, Lux Helsinki will also present satellite installations and a collection of light art that extend the festival for the first time across the city’s borders all the way to Hanasaari in the neighbouring municipality of Espoo. The Annantalo Arts Centre will attract families and young people with workshops and a disco, while the Third Annual Lux In exhibition will present a diverse range of light art by established artists and students from the University of the Arts Helsinki at the Kaapelitehdas cultural centre starting already on Thursday 3 January. Further information about the official route and all the installations can be found on the Lux Helsinki website. Face paintings that glow in UV light and a record number of restaurants. In addition to light installations, Lux Helsinki offers lots more to experience and enjoy. Many museums along the official Lux Helsinki route present special programmes and have extended opening hours during the light festival.
The brand-new Helsinki Central Library Oodi will also offer members of the public the chance to meet this year’s featured Lux Helsinki artists and pose questions about their light installations. In addition, the popular Bring Your Own Beamer concept invites fans of light and video art to project their own creations at Kaapelitehdas, while the Ultraviolet Gallery in the front courtyard of Finlandia Hall will also offer UV face painting to festival-goers of all ages. This year’s Lux Helsinki Eat food event from 5 to 9 January features a record 34 participating restaurants offering unique dishes and menus that have been specially created for the festival. There will also be four Lux Café sales points along the official route serving hot drinks and snacks. The full programme and map can be found on the Lux Helsinki website.