Spider on the Bridge
Groupe LAPS
artist impression  


As of 29 November, thirty artworks will light up the city center of Amsterdam for the seventh year in a row. For this years' edition of Amsterdam Light Festival artists, designers and architects from sixteen different countries share their interpretation of the central theme 'The Medium is the Message'. All participating artworks will be lit simultaneously during the 53-day-long festival. There will be one exhibition - in the historical center of Amsterdam - which can be experienced in different ways: by boat, by bike or on foot. This year, for the very first time, visitors can vote for their favourite light artwork. The Public Award will be presented to the artist of the winning artwork in the last weekend of the festival. Amsterdam Light Festival can be enjoyed until 20 January 2019. 

Posted 31 October 2018

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A selection of the participating artists and artworks:  
-Ivana Jelic and Pavle Petrovic (Serbia) found inspiration for their work Starry Night in Van Gogh's famous painting of the same name. Since the beginning of the 21st century, as a result of the increase in light pollution, starry nights are less and less visible in urban areas. With the installation Starry Night, the Serbian duo gives Amsterdam its (artificial) starry night back, which reminds us of what we are missing out on. 
-Groupe LAPS (France) produces movies and (multi)media installations and often integrates the urban surrounding into their work. Exclusively for the festival the French artist collective designed Spider on the Bridge: eighty spiders of two meters each, which together form one gigantic spider on the bridge. Light effects give the illusion that the creatures are crawling all over each other. Arachnophobic visitors are warned! 
-amigo & amigo (Australia) - also known as Renzo B. Larriviere and Simone Chua - explores the relationship between sculptures and light with their technically complex artworks. Parabolic Lightcloud is a cloud of light made with impressive colours, patterns and transitions. With this installation the duo tries to picture human emotions and stimulate visitors to think about the impact of external impulses on our feelings and instincts. Moreover: the installation consists of 1.000 led lights and 800 meters of rope made out of recycled plastic from discarded bottles. 
-OGE Group (Israel) is an expert on light art, the founders Merav Eitan and Gaston Zahr are the artistic directors of Jerusalem Light Festival. Their work is characterised by the powerful way in which it arouses emotions, with Light a Wish as a clear example of that. The artwork pictures the moment you blow the fluff of a dandelion and make a wish while it scatters in the air. Eitan and Zahr cherish this childhood memory by making the dandelions float above the Herengracht, where everyone can make a wish during the festival.
Light as a medium and remarkable stories about Amsterdam
From hundreds of submitted concepts the festival jury selected thirty artworks. This years' exhibition revolves around the theme 'The Medium is the Message', the famous statement by the Canadian scientist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan. The idea behind his statement was simple: the way we send a message is at least as important as the message itself. The participating artists focused on questions such as: what role does light play as a medium or a message? And how can light create spaces that would otherwise have remained invisible? The city of Amsterdam as a medium for telling stories is also a central part of this edition. On behalf of the festival, art historian Koen Kleijn went in search of remarkable stories about the city and they will be released as a ten-part series on the festival website. In his stories Kleijn identifies the connection between the city and the central theme. 
Limited edition artwork
The Dutch visual artist Jeroen Henneman is guest of honour of Amsterdam Light Festival 2018-2019. He is well-known for his sculptures that look like 'standing drawings'. Exclusively for Amsterdam Light Festival, he designed Two Lamps, two gigantic lamp sculptures that will have their own stage between the street lights in the famous 'Golden Bend' along the Herengracht. By day, the lamps form a graphic, dark silhouette, by night a 'drawn' line of light. A smaller version of Henneman's work - One Lamp - is available as a limited edition. The proceeds of this limited edition will fund the larger artwork. This is the second year in a row that a limited edition of one of the festivals' artworks is sold. Last year it was a smaller version of Ai Weiwei's thinline. 
30 classes, 30 premieres
From its very first edition one of the festival's key goals has been to introduce children to (light)art in a playful manner. This year children from several Amsterdam primary and secondary schools collaborate with the Japanese artist-duo TOCHKA. During three workshops the children meet the festival, this year's theme and lightpainting animation - a technique which combines long shutter-times with stop-motion animation. All classes create their own ‘lightpainted story’ out of 400 drawings which will be combined by the Japanese duo into one animation. During the festival, the result will be projected on the wall of the iconic Hermitage. All participating classes will have their own premier-evening. Amsterdam Light Festival organises this school-project in collaboration with the ‘Juf op Straat’ foundation.
Other participating artists
Alicia Eggert (United States), Felipe Prado (Chile), Femke Schaap (the Netherlands), Frank Foole (the Netherlands), Frederike Top (the Netherlands), Gali May Lucas (United Kingdom), Koros Design (Hungary), Marcus Neustetter (South-Africa), Meke Vrienten from the Breitner Academy (the Netherlands), Michela Bonzi (Italy), Peter Snijder (Belgium), Peter Vink (the Netherlands), Piet Hume (the Netherlands), Sebastian Kite (United Kingdom), Serge Schoemaker (the Netherlands), Sjimmie Veenhuis (the Netherlands), Stefan Reiss (Germany), Teatro Metaphora (Portugal), Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan (United Kingdom), UxU Studio (Taiwan/China), Victor Engbers (the Netherlands), Yasuhiro Chida (Japan), and Youichi Sakamoto from 9+1 (Japan).
About Amsterdam Light Festival
Every year, innovative and high-end artworks by (inter)national artists, designers and architects light up the city center of Amsterdam during Amsterdam Light Festival. The seventh edition takes place from 29 November 2018 until 20 January 2019. The thirty participating light artworks are on daily between 5pm and 11pm. The exhibition can be experienced by boat, by bike or on foot. Various canal cruise companies offer boat tours along the light artworks, such as founding partner Canal Tours Amsterdam - part of Stromma Netherlands and closely involved with Amsterdam Light Festival since the beginning.  For this edition the artists were challenged to work within the theme ‘The Medium is the Message'. 


Light a Wish
OGE Group
artist impression

Parabolic Lightcloud
amigo & amigo
artist impression

Starry Night
Ivana Jelic en Pavle Petrovic
artist impression

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