Light installations take over downtown Helsinki again this year as the Lux Helsinki light festival adds some brightness to the extended winter nights. Arranged now for the ninth year, the festival shines some light on the capital city’s historical buildings and dark courtyards. As every year, the focus is on the Helsinki Cathedral, which will be bathed in light on all four sides.
Lux Helsinki is a free-of-charge event that is organised daily between 5pm and 10pm.
Yle picked out four installations that visitors to the festival should see with their own eyes.
1. Absence, in the courtyard of the National Library
Absence is Mexican artist Monica Ruiz Loyola’s tribute to women who have lived through violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The theme is sewing, as many of the women she met work in inhumane conditions in the sweatshops. A motion sensor makes the experience slightly different for each group that approaches it.
2. Cube, Stora Enso headquarters
The iconic white building at Kanavaranta 1 that serves as the Stora Enso forestry company’s main office was designed by legendary Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1962. Its facade is transformed by the three-person Finnish production team of Pekka Tavi, Mikko Kunnari and Timo Yliräisänen, better known as Shader. The five-part Cube animation beamed onto the walls has its own music and soundscape to complete the effect.
3. People Power, Senate Square
Petri Tuhkanen’s interactive installation invites people to step on the scales and light things up: the more people adding to the weight, the more brilliant the colours.
4. The Singing Building, in the courtyard of the City Hall
Dutch artists Lucas Maassen and Woody Veneman’s Singing Building can be found in Tori Quarters. The installation’s building features a projected mouth performing a rap from Finnish rap artist Hannibal. The original installation delighted audiences in the Netherlands.