Light and Art – Five Light Festivals and Art Exhibitions Around The World
Light art, or luminism, is an artistic medium designed to enchant, spellbind and enthrall spectators. Using light as the primary material for expression, kaleidoscopic illuminations are projected onto buildings and sculptures, to manipulate the eye and see it from a new perspective. This contemporary form of artistic expression is utilised by a multitude of artists and is featured in events around the globe. Below, we take a look at five light festivals and art exhibitions that should certainly be on your bucket list.
Marketing themselves as a light, music and ideas festival, Vivid brings Australia’s vibrant and bustling capital into a new light. Rooms and buildings are transformed at night with rainbows, illustrations, and LED light sculptures, letting the viewer marvel at how technology and art are becoming intertwined. Taking over the course of three weeks in May and June, this annual festival is the perfect treat for all ages. Famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge become canvases themselves, creating a new perception of how art can encompass anything.
Lantern Festival, China
The Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival that is celebrated throughout China on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar and marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. For many, this stunning spectacle is also symbolic as it symbolises the letting go of their past selves and events that happened throughout the year. A festival since ancient times, today, the lanterns are beautifully ornate and can come in a variety of shapes.
Loy Krathong, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Usually held every November, on the eve of the full moon, Loy Krathong marks the end of the rainy season and is dedicated to the Goddess of the Water. Lotus shaped baskets are lit and are released into the river, and, like the lantern festival above, it is symbolic of letting go of painful things that the person has felt or experienced in the past year, and in turn, asking the Goddess for good luck in the next. This also coincides with Yi Peng, a northern Thai festival where swarms of sky lanterns are launched into the air.
Atelier Des Lumières, Paris
Paris’s first digital museum, Atelier Des Lumiéries is a spectacle like no other. Located in the 11th arrondissement, audiovisual installations are projected onto the walls. Significantly, they are recreations of famous artworks with past exhibitions notably being Gustave Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh. This is a great way to introduce and enchant, even the most uncultured person, into art as it is a fully immersive experience.
Infinity Rooms, Yayoi Kusama
One of the most recognizable figures in the modern art world, Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist that focuses on combining conceptualism, feminism, minimalism, surrealism, abstract expressionism, and many other forms. However, one of her most famous works are the permanent exhibitions of her Infinity Rooms. These are situated in Pennsylvania, Nancy, Arizona, Denmark, California, Netherlands, Canberra, and Massachusetts. Kusama’s infinity rooms are a stunning fusion of mirrors and light. This includes features of brightly lit pumpkins, polka dots, chandeliers, lanterns, and star-like pieces of art.