The Luminous Year of 2015
The UN General Assembly declared the year of 2015 an international Year of Light. Throughout this theme year the meaning of light for people has been underlined in many ways. Science and art, together and separately, have transformed light into something concrete and understandable and it has brought joy and enriched the lives of people all over the globe.
For me, this theme year has generated a lot of work with light. I have been priviledged to be able to take part in many magnificent art projects and thus, develop my expertise with challenging and interesting productions. For me, the most remarkable event of the year was the Opening Ceremony of the Year of Light on the 19th January in Paris, France. The artwork of light I created there to the UNESCO Headquarters, Light Is Here, vivified the Finnish mindset and expertise on light art in one of the most significant cities in Europe and the whole world and, in addition, onto one of the most notable buildings on a global scale. The location in the center of Paris made the artwork visible for millions of people and its symbolic value was noted widely by the international media. This piece of art strengthened my vision so that I felt I’ve chosen the right path to walk on concerning my career.
Throughout the year I have been able to participate several national and international light festivals. Late spring I took part in Visualia Festival in Pula, Croatia, for which I created an artwork called Nordic Wave, and Lighting Guerrilla Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for which we, in co-operation with four educational institutes, built Park Geometrica, an ensemble of 25 colorful artworks of light. Late fall I lit a whole island in Prague, Czech Republic! The artwork, Magical Garden, was the largest environmental piece of art in Signal Festival and it covered half of the Isle of Strelecky Ostrov, located in the middle of Vltava River.
Back in my home country, I have been priviledged to illuminate the Opening Ceremony of the Biathlon World Championships in Joensuu, Tammerkoski rapids and Koskipuisto Park in Tampere, create light art for Kuusankoski House and powerline masts, and connect two sturdy cultural buildings by light in Oulu.
On my part, the year culminated in Istanbul Light Festival, for which I generated the main piece of the festival, Light Is Here. This piece was visible from two continents and it was very unique all in all. The theme of the artwork was the same as the one I created for UNESCO Headquarters early this year and in both locations the symbolic value of the artwork was great — hearing the simultaneous grim news of the world, I sensed the significance of my light productions for the people in the area as well as on a global scale. I concretely bring light there where it is needed and through light art, I can bring joy to the lives of people.
The year 2015 has been very special for me in many ways. I’ve been priviledged to work with several top experts and got to know some of the pioneers of light art. These encounters have strengthened my place in this genre and shown me that the direction I’ve chosen is right. This work wouldn’t be possible without the magnificent people around me. They contribute a great part of the whole both technically and production-wise and create a positive working atmosphere. Thank you all who have walked with me on this journey, supported my work and believed in my dreams.
The year of 2016 is the thematic year of the Compass — I’m looking forward to the future, wherever light may take me. This is just the beginning anyhow. I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a deLIGHTful New Year!