Lux Helsinki light festival brightens up the city

This year’s Lux Helsinki light festival takes place from 3 to 7 January 2024, illuminating Finland’s capital with over 20 dazzling light art installations.
A head of the installation Talking Heads shows emotions and reacts through light.
The installation Talking Heads by Viktor Vicsek / Limelight from Hungary brings to the Kansalaistori square two heads that interact with each other by LED lights. Photo: Viktor Vicsek / Limelight (HU) – Talking Heads

The annual light festival Lux Helsinki brightens up the city with the impressive light installations that can be viewed in the city centre, Hietaniemi Cemetery and cultural centres daily between 5pm and 10pm until Sunday 7 January. The light art at the ongoing Lux Korkeasaari at Helsinki Zoo can also still be enjoyed this week between 10am and 7pm.

The light festival in the city centre stretches from the Kansalaistori square to Senate Square, along Esplanade Park to Erottaja Square, and onwards to the Narinkkatori square in Kamppi.

The installations can be viewed in any order, and they are all situated a short distance from each other. The walk from Kamppi to the installation at the graves of the heroes at Hietaniemi Cemetery takes around 20 minutes, or you can take Bus 24, for example. All of the installations are fully accessible.

The theme of the festival is “Science from Art”

Lux Helsinki 2024 features both specially commissioned works and light art that has toured around the world. This year’s “Science from Art” theme is diversely represented in the programme by the interpretations of Finnish and international artists.

The installation Talking Heads by Viktor Vicsek / Limelight from Hungary brings to the Kansalaistori square two heads that interact with each other by means of over 4000 individually controllable LED lights per head. On the adjacent media wall outside the Musiikkitalo concert venue, the AI-driven video installation SPECTRUM by C999 celebrates diversity. Above the Narinkkatori square, the installation City Gazing Helsinki by Amsterdam-based design studio VOUW reveals how Helsinki has developed over the last 100 years as seen from space.

The Cultural Centre Stoa in turn presents the interactive installation SUBURBIUM.0001 by Finnish multidisciplinary artist Niko Tiainen. The soundscape and visuality of the work is based on data collected from the surrounding area by different sensors. The data collected from the movements of the audience transforms the algorithm, so that the work is constantly changing. Light installations are also on display outside the city centre at the Kanneltalo, Malmitalo and Vuotalo cultural centres.

Lux Korkeasaari brings to the Helsinki Zoo light installations. The visual expression of Saimaa Theme by Antti Puumalainen consists of four hundred pixels of light, each individual pixel representing one of the remaining Saimaa ringed seals alive. Lip Licking Lizard by Mikko Kunnari allows the viewer to experience the TV moment of a lizard living in a parallel reality. Hirmuliskodisko by Pekka Tavi and Riku Sourama is a fun piece about dancing dinosaurs. The work plays with the human-like dance movements of various creatures. Phase Transition II by SWÄG is an audiovisual LED art piece that draws its thematics from the living environments of various endangered species. Lux Korkeasaari charges a separate entry fee, and for each ticket sold and annual card visit, one euro goes to protecting snow leopards.

The festival program and more information about this year’s artists and installations can be found on the Lux Helsinki website.

Numerous cafés and restaurants(Link leads to external service) in the vicinity of the Lux Helsinki installations are open throughout the festival, making it easy to warm up while enjoying the light art.

The main partners of Lux Helsinki are UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, UPM, Helsinki Zoo, Marimekko, Ateneum and Toyota, and its cooperation partners are Clear Channel, the Italian Cultural Institute, Musiikkitalo and Multibeam Finland Oy.

Lux Helsinki is a fully accessible and free event for the whole family that takes place from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 January 2024 daily between 5pm and 10pm. There is a separate entrance fee to Lux Korkeasaari. The festival is organised and produced by the Helsinki Events Foundation. The artistic director of Lux Helsinki is Juha Rouhikoski, whose team of curators also includes Matti Jykylä, Jere Suontausta, Mia Kivinen and Jyrki Sinisalo.