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22 Light Artworks to Transform the Most Famous Facades, Parks and Squares in Sofia

todayApril 18, 2024 1837 3

Background

The third edition of the cultural event will offer a 4.5 km walking route and an entirely new festival area – South Park 2

Twenty-two light artworks will transform Sofia into an open-air gallery in the evenings from 9 to 12 May 2024. Video and static projection mapping, light installations, immersive experiences and a laser show will illuminate a number of the capital’s best-loved buildings and parks. More than 20 artists from around the world will present their art in the event’s 4.5-kilometre route. This year a new festival zone will be presented – South Park 2. Access to all artworks will be free of charge and the lights will be on between 21:00 and midnight on each of the four nights.

Nine video and three static projection mappings on buildings, an immersive experience, a laser show and a light painting workshop will await visitors to the event. In order for residents and visitors to enjoy the art festival to the fullest, the Sofia Municipality will designate pedestrian zones and increased frequency of public transport lines.

At the beginning of the 4.5-kilometer festival route, two video projection mapping shows will welcome the audience. They will illuminate the facade of the Hyatt Regency Sofia. The surrealist artwork “Traveller”, by Polish artist Ari Dykier, will recreate an ode to the beauty of the journey that is every day, urging us to enjoy the present moment.

Minutes later, a fairy provocation will transform the building into a palette of sensations that will reveal different shades of femininity.

Just meters away, on the beautiful National Gallery/Kvadrat 500 building, the main natural elements will meet to convey important messages about the inexhaustible potential of solar energy.

The world of fairy tales will find its new home for four nights. This will be the magnificent Renaissance palace-style facade of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, which is part of the event programme for the first time.

This year, audiences will be able to “immerse” themselves in a 360-degree immersive experience that will transport them to the hottest spots on the planet. It will be set in the Knyazheska Garden and shown every 30 minutes.

Taking the boulevard. “Tsar Osvoboditel”, the light route will reach the National Gallery / The Palace. Its façade will invite viewers to embark on a journey through the complex landscape of choice, where every threshold crossed is a step into the unknown, but also a unique opportunity.

Visual artists from five countries will leave their own mark on the façade of the State Archives Agency, the custodian of some of the most interesting documents and facts in Bulgarian history.

The next stop will be the Largo, where the audience will have the opportunity to indulge in the contemplation of the CyberFlo holographic light installation.

A few steps from the “Nezavisimost” square, viewers will reach one of the highlights of the festival this year – the magnificent Secession building of the Regional History Museum – Sofia. There, the seven finalists in the second edition of the International Projection Mapping contest, which this year is held on the theme “Myths and Legends”, will compete creatively. Artists from 18 countries took part in the contest and the three winners will be announced on the last night of the festival.

A stunning visual journey will await all visitors heading to the City Garden, where the beautiful building on ul. “Knyaz Alexander I” № 4, will be transformed for the second time. And this year, in the park itself, everyone will be challenged to unleash their imagination by taking part in a “Painting with Light” workshop (on 10 and 12 May). The presenters will paint with light in the space the participants’ creations, and the spectators will receive their unique works on their mobile phone.

One of the favorite locations from last year –  “Slaveykov” Square will be part of the event once again. There, the audience will be challenged to “push the button” on a video mapping show, in which viewers will discover an unsuspected fun world and continue their festival tour by humming the song from the show.

The monument to Petko and Pencho Slaveykov itself will come to life to remind us of the touching bond between the two poets, tempered by blood and ideals.

The permanent light installation “In the Whirlwind of the City” will focus on the lasting improvement of the urban spaces, which the residents and guests of the city will once again be able to visit. The artwork, located in the underpass between  “Vasil Levski” Blvd. and “Georgi S. Rakovski” Str., was created during the previous Festival by students from the National Academy of Arts, after a volunteer clean-up initiative.

The walk through the transformed into an open-air gallery Sofia will take the audience to the new festival location – South Park 2. There, as many as eight artworks will await all visitors. The first of them will cover the back facade of Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art. The surface of the building will become the first ever interactive projection mapping that will invite visitors to share their messages on it. The messages collected under the motto Touch-scapes will serve to inspire computer-generated artworks in real time. The artwork will convey the important message of the human need for touch, which may be even just words, but will resonate in the hearts of all, especially the visually impaired whose perception of life depends most on it.

The surprises in the park continue with the interactive light installation called “imPULSE”, where the rhythm of the heart will “come to live” thanks to the collective efforts of the audience. The interactive light installation will invite 15 visitors to join forces to activate the overall light and sound experience.

An inspiring spectacle set on a masterfully crafted wooden arch by Swedish artist Philip Jakobsson will be the next piece on the art itinerary. It is a reminder of human interconnectedness with nature and will challenge the audience to capture their unforgettable evening moments.

The light artworks, part of the third edition of LUNAR, are presented by: Hyatt Regency Sofia (“Traveller”), Answear.bg (“Precious Moments”), the British Embassy and Rezolv Energy (“The Forces of Nature”), Furniture Videnov (“Wonder Home”), Centre for Visual Science “Kaleidoscope”  (“World at Risk” and “Hope for the Future”), the European Parliament and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria (“Your Voice”), National Culture Fund (“ARThive” and “Drawing with Light” atelier), Ministry of Tourism (International Competition “Myths and Legends”), Bosch Home Appliances Bulgaria (“Push the Button”), Mastercard and UniCredit Bulbank (“Touch-scapes”, “Whisper”, “Dream Flow”, “Infinitum”), Astellas Bulgaria (“imPULSE”), bTV Media Group (“Inspiraled”), MP-STUDIO (“Diffusion”, “CyberFlo”, “Moon Night” and “Cyber Rings”).

Organizer and main artistic team behind the project is the Bulgarian visual effects studio MP-STUDIO, in partnership with one of the most famous light festivals in the world Festival of Lights International Productions GmbH. The event will be held with the support of the European Parliament in Bulgaria and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, the Sofia Municipality – Calendar of Cultural Events, the Ministry of Tourism and with the financial support of the Creation Programme of the National Culture Fund, with the general media support of bTV Media Group. The Light Festival will be free of charge for all residents and guests of the city.

Written by:LUNAR Festival of Lights

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