Lux Helsinki is set to transform Finland's capital into a dazzling display of light art from 3 to 7 January 2024. The festival, under the artistic direction of Juha Rouhikoski, will offer a unique blend of public favorites and the concluding works of artistic careers, promising an immersive “science from art” experience.
Attracting roughly half a million visitors each year, Lux Helsinki will light up various city locations, including the city center, Hietaniemi Cemetery, cultural centers, and the Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island.
The festival will feature 21 diverse light art installations, available for exploration in any order from 5 pm to 10 pm daily.
Artistic Director Juha Rouhikoski likens art to science in its ability to offer insights and discoveries. "Both art and science are explorations that can lead to unexpected and enlightening experiences," he says.
A key highlight of the festival is the transformation of Helsinki Cathedral, a perennial favorite at Lux Helsinki. This year, Senate Square will host a unique 360-degree experience with installations by Janne Ahola, Katariina Souri, and Weltraumgrafik. The installations will illuminate the façades of surrounding buildings, creating an immersive 20-minute show.
Additional installations will adorn Esplanade Park, Kansalaistori square, and the UPM head office, showcasing themes from insect perspectives to iconic poppy patterns in collaborations like Marimekko & Ateneum's Unikko at La Louvière. The festival will also feature the final work of veteran light artist Ekku Peltomäki at Hietaniemi Cemetery, inspired by Finnish history and themes of war and peace.
Extending its reach, Lux Helsinki will feature light art at cultural centers like Kanneltalo, Vuotalo, Malmitalo, and Stoa. The Lux Helsinki 2024 program also includes official Lux galleries Glo Hotel Art Galleria, Galleria Halmetoja, and Galleria Pirkko-Liisa Topelius, all open during festival hours.
A special segment, Lux Korkeasaari, will take place at Helsinki Zoo from 30 December 2023 to 7 January 2024. This event, focusing on nature and endangered species through light art, aims to raise funds for snow leopard conservation. Visitors can enjoy guided tours and a mobile game trail highlighting animals from the snow leopard's habitat and the importance of winter to nature.
Lux Helsinki's main partners include UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, UPM, Helsinki Zoo, Marimekko, Ateneum, and Toyota. The festival's complete program and details about installations and artists are available on the Lux Helsinki website.