Lux Helsinki

Lux Helsinki, the most eagerly anticipated event of the winter

The light festival will create a magical atmosphere in Helsinki from 4 to 8 January, when dozens of installations invite the public to enjoy exciting art and the city bathed in light.

Helsinki’s courtyards, parks and architectural gems will once again be transformed into unique urban art installations beginning this Saturday, when Lux Helsinki lights up the city for five days in a row. The official route stretches from Helsinki Cathedral to the Tokoinranta shoreline and comprises nine installations.

The theme of nature is highlighted in several of this year’s installations. Mirrorowl (Bubo speculus) by Jere Suontausta is a sculptural light installation that hoots from a tree branch, casting its stare on us on the verge of climate catastrophe and mass extinction. Magic Mirror by artist Meri Ekola in turn has been inspired by its location surrounded by water at the Tokoinranta boat dock, which led her to think about our eternal attraction towards mirrored images.

The Lux Architecture series showcases exceptionally beautiful buildings in Helsinki, and this year it shines the light on the Helsinki City Theatre. The installation day and night at the end of the official route transforms the façade of the building into a landscape that reminds us of the stunning beauty of the nature that surrounds us. The installation has been designed by Eero Helle from Visual45 and features music by Kimmo Pohjonen.

Environmental values are also promoted in the arrangements for the festival: Lux Helsinki compensates for the CO2 emissions of all the installations during the opening hours of the event. This is done through the Finnish Compensate foundation, which compensates emissions through forest planting and protection projects. In fact, more CO2 is compensated than is actually created; according to estimates for Lux Helsinki, this adds up to 575 planted trees, 0.2 hectares of protected forest and 39 tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere.

Satellite installations and a light-inspired programme complete the festival experience

In addition to the light art along the official route, Lux Helsinki presents six satellite installations and groups of installations stretching from Hanaholmen in Espoo to Itäkesus. The satellite installations make it possible to present light art also indoors and in very exceptional environments, such as at Helsinki Zoo on the island of Korkeasaari.

The Lux Helsinki Opening Club will be held at Valkoinen Sali on Saturday 4 January. The evening kicks off with Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB), where anyone can project their own light art. In the past, art that has first appeared at BYOB has later been presented along the official Lux Helsinki route. The evening continues with live music and a mystical atmosphere by Quadrivium and the experimental sounds of the Cleaning Women, a group that makes music out of clothes drying racks.

Lux Helsinki Eat is a food event organised in connection with the light festival in which over 20 restaurants are participating this year, offering specially created servings and menus. Finally, Lux Morning presents specially selected installation on the last morning of the festival on 8 January to cheer up commuters and early birds.