Lux Helsinki 2019 attracts half a million festival-goers

January 15, 2019


Lux Helsinki once again attracted huge audiences to enjoy brilliant light art. The light festival, which took place from January 5-9 in the Kansalaistori square and the Etu-Töölö district, has established itself as one of the highlights of the winter season in Helsinki for both local residents and visitors.

This year’s Lux Helsinki was in many regards bigger than ever before, with a record number of installations, events, Lux Helsinki Eat restaurants and partners. Altogether the festival offered close to 30 main light installations, a programme of events in more than 10 locations, and a festival menu served by 34 participating restaurants.

“Lux Helsinki is growing all the time into a more important and internationally recognised urban event celebrating both light and art. There are no signs of waning interest in the event; on the contrary, more and more visitors are coming to Helsinki in wintertime to experience the light art,” says Ilkka Paloniemi, Curator of Lux Helsinki.

Lux Helsinki attracts families, friends and loved ones to enjoy the art together. The light festival offers something for everyone and creates shared experiences.

“Lux Helsinki is ideally suited for the winter mood. After all the Christmas celebrations indoors, people want to get outside and experience something real. The festival offers enormous visual and picturesque appeal, and social media no doubt plays a big role in its popularity. A new phenomenon we have noticed is that festival-goers are creating archives of shared memories on their social media channels,” Paloniemi continues.

Satellite installations extend the festival beyond Helsinki’s borders. Lux Helsinki once again presented a diverse range of light art by dozens of artists using traditional and modern techniques. The light art clearly delighted, engaged and touched audiences. The Lantern Park, a true Lux Helsinki classic that is created each year collectively, drew praise, as around 300 individual lanterns created a dreamlike and magical atmosphere in the idyllic surroundings of Villa Hakasalmi.

Another favourite was Large Pendulum Wave by Dutch artist Ivo Schoofs, which captivated audiences with its hypnotic movements and mesmerising music; children and adults alike could be seen dancing the night away in the Nervanderin puistikko park. Reflection Studies by American artist Zach Lieberman also delighted audiences with its innovative and interactive appeal; the installation invited members of the public to play with various letters and shapes around a light table, which projected the motions and patterns onto the wall of the Kunsthalle Helsinki art museum.

The festival programme also included satellite installations that extended Lux Helsinki for the first time across the city’s borders. The Lux In exhibition at the Kaapelitehdas Cultural Centre presented the only live performers of the festival, as dinoflagellate algae amazed audiences with their bioluminescent glow. The light art on display at the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre Hanaholmen at Hanasaari can also be enjoyed after the festival until 3 March.

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