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Lux Helsinki festival goes interactive

In the United Nations International Year of Light, Lux Helsinki marks its 20th anniversary festival with a focus on audience participation.

Water Light Graffiti Helsingin Rautatieasemalle tammikuussa 2015.
Thousands of LEDs bring "Water Light Graffiti" to life when touched by water. Image: Yle/Tuomas Keränen

At the Helsinki Railway Station, an unusual black and white wall stops passers-by in their tracks.

Children run over to the wall when they realise that anyone is allowed to draw on it using special paintbrushes dipped in water.

A small girl in a pink snowsuit reaches up and draws a heart. One woman writes "Lux Helsinki." A young man traces the words "peace."

Made up of thousands of water-sensitive LEDs (light-emitting diodes), "Water Light Graffiti" is the creation of French artist Antonin Fourneau. The work, which has toured many cities in the world from New York to Paris, lights up when the LEDs are touched by a paintbrush or sponge dipped into water.

Forneau's work is one of the 17 light installations by media artists from Finland, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium and Japan comprising this year's Lux Helsinki festival that runs from January 4 to 8.

”This year there are more interactive works, which means that people can participate rather than just observe installations,” says Lux Helsinki’s Artistic Director Ilkka Paloniemi.

Centred around the city's Senate Square and Kansalaistori Square, the free 5-day festival also features guided tours in several languages. While the festival officially starts up on Sunday, "Water Light Graffiti" is already up and running in the central Helsinki Railway Station's Post Hall.

For further details and a list of the artworks visit the Lux Helsinki website. (siirryt toiseen palveluun)

The goal of the United Nations Year of Light and Light-based Technologies is to highlight the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in everyday life around the world.

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