Light art is in higher demand than ever before in both Finland and the world

Light festivals are an increasingly popular way of combating the darkness in the middle of winter. As a result, light art is on the rise in both Finland and the rest of the world. Around a dozen light art festivals and events are held in Finland each year. Outside of Helsinki, light art is displayed in places such as Espoo, Jyväskylä, Oulu and Ruka. On the global scale, around 300 light festivals and events are held around the world each year, and the number is growing all the time.

Light festivals attract large audiences, as they create beautiful urban culture while transforming familiar urban spaces by means of light, videos and sounds. Light festivals bring art to the streets and motivate locals to go outside and enjoy their city together.

“We transform the urban space, close streets to traffic and provide access to places where locals don’t usually go. This alone makes these festivals an unforgettable experience for many. Light festivals offer experiences that are easy to enjoy, and best of all, easily accessible, as light art is not constrained to places reserved only for art,” says Lux Helsinki’s curator Matti Jykylä from Sun Effects.

Awareness of light art has grown tremendously in recent years. In addition to special light festivals, light art installations are an increasingly popular addition to the usual lighting at summer festivals and other events. Light art represents a welcome step towards more exciting and attractive events.

Lux Helsinki is one of the leading light festivals

According to Matti Jykälä, Finnish light art is truly world class. Finland has long traditions in modern art and a very high standard of education in this field.

“The talents of Finnish light artists have been recognised outside our borders, and they are in high demand at a growing number of international light festivals,” Jykälä says.

On the global scale, Lux Helsinki is already one of the most respected light festivals – both artistically and technically. Sun Effects is responsible for the overall production, curating and implementation of the festival and has participated in Lux Helsinki for the past eight years.

“I look forward to seeing Lux Helsinki continue to grow and providing even more exciting experiences for our audiences. The best thing is how Lux Helsinki has given us the opportunity to elevate the status of light and video art in Finland,” Jykylä adds.

Light festivals also outside cities

Jykylä believes that even more light and video art festivals like Lux Helsinki will be organised in the future alongside a growing number of smaller exhibitions and solo projects by artists.

“I believe that light festivals will be organised increasingly outside urban environments in the future. For example, smaller light art events have already been organised outside the centre of Helsinki at Vallisaari and Kivinokka,” Jykylä says.

Sun Effects is a design and production collective founded in 1996 that specialises in light, video and stage art, as well as a major event productions. In addition to Lux Helsinki, Sun Effects has helped augment the Flow Festival, Linnanmäki Carnival of Light, Reflektor Helsinki, Slush Helsinki and Slush Tokyo. Altogether, the collective participates in around 200 productions a year.