In its second edition, the event expands its scope, extending beyond the central part of the capital
Twenty-three are the light artworks that will transform Sofia into an open-air gallery in the evenings from May 11 to 14, 2023. With ten more than in the first edition of the LUNAR Festival of Lights, the works will illuminate some of the capital’s most famous facades, parks and squares. The program of the event includes various types of artworks created by artists from all over the world. All of them will be open to the public for free and the lights will be switched on between 9:00 p.m and midnight on each of the four evenings.
Four video and eight static projections on buildings, as well as nine light installations, an interactive light-painting studio and a light parade, will await event’s visitors. The art of the legendary Bulgarian illustrator, known from the covers of Library Galactica – Tekla Alexieva, who is the creator of the main illustration for this year’s edition of the event, will use some of the most emblematic facades in the capital as its canvas.
At the beginning of the route of the festival is one of the favorite locations of the audience from the first edition in 2022 – the National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. The remarkable facade will make viewers fall in love with the planet Earth all over again, seeing the world through the bees’ eyes.
Just meters from there, seven artists from Bulgaria and Germany will involve the audience in the topics that excite them, communicating with each other on the facade of the Hyatt Regency Sofia hotel, through their diverse and specific means of expression.
Heading towards Knyaz Alexander I Square, visitors will pass through the Crystal garden, where fabulous transforming flowers in steampunk style will provoke their imagination and photography skills.
A stunning visual journey inspired by the modern world, in which one has the opportunity to share every moment unlimitedly, will be the video mapping show “Infinite Universe”, which will transform the facade of the Bulgarian Development Bank at 1 “Deacon Ignatiy” Str.
The light route will also attract the public in front of the facade of the State Agency “Archives”, where the graffiti artists Jah One, Mouse and Fauna will interpret the movement in the modern world.
The next stop will be the Largo, where the audience will be transported to a time and place where anything is possible thanks to a light installation created from old TVs and named Re:Flicker.
A few steps from Nezavisimost Square, the audience will reach one of the highlights of the festival this year – the magnificent Secession-style building of the Regional History Museum – Sofia. There, a show in which the main character is the audience, invited to use their potential, will turn the artwork into a celebration of self-belief and a truly memorable celebration of the Europe Day. In addition, the seven finalists in the “We are Skills” competition will measure their creativity and the three winners will be announced on the last evening of the festival.
Heading to the City Garden, visitors will enjoy “Midsummer Night Dreamers” – a story inspired by the poems of the eternal British playwright – William Shakespeare and the blessed pen of the poet who translated his work into Bulgarian – Valeri Petrov. The visual spectacle, illustrated with love, adoration and artificial intelligence, celebrates British-Bulgarian friendship like never before.
The evening walk around the city will make the public rediscover the City Garden, where several light installations will surprise them. In addition, they will be challenged to unleash their imaginations by engaging in a Light-painting workshop (on 11th of May), where presenters will paint participants’ thoughts in space with light, and viewers will receive their unique creations on their mobile phones.
The big surprise for all young and grown-up children will be the magnificent facade of the National Theater “Ivan Vazov”. In the year in which the doyen of Bulgarian children’s illustration Lyuben Zidarov could reach his 100th anniversary, the neoclassical facade will invite the public to go on a magical journey through the world of fairy tales and magic, illustrated by his talented hand.
The light path will show how enjoyable the journey itself can be. Digital artists from three countries will use their specific means of expression to show how exciting any journey can be on the facade of the building at 11 Slaveykov Square.
The monument to Petko and Pencho Slaveykovi itself will come to life to remind us of the touching relationship between the two poets, tempered by blood and ideals.
LUNAR’s artistic route will also take the audience to Bulgaria Square. There they will see the remarkable light sculpture “Introspection” by the Swedish artist Philip Jakobsson, created from wood and light, and making the observer stop for a moment and turn his gaze, above all, to himself.
The important message about the role of personal responsibility in the reasonable use of materials every day will be transformed by the light installation of arch. Marin Markovski, created from leftover plastic from furniture edges.
Only meters away from the National Palace of Culture, the first Lights parade, part of the festival’s program, will take place, and the artworks of the three winners, selected after participation in a competition and who have implemented the themes “eMotions”, “eXplore” and ” eFuture”. Artists can apply with their works until April 30.
The permanent light installation “In the Whirlwind of the City” will focus on the permanent improvement of urban spaces. The artwork will be created in the underpass between “Vasil Levski” Blvd. and “Georgi S. Rakovski” Str. by students from the National Academy of Art, after a volunteer action to clean the space.
The walk through Sofia, which will be transformed into an open-air gallery, will continue in the first location, outside the downtown, which is part of the festival. The facade of Sofia Ring Mall will be illuminated with the art of artist and photographer Heinz Kuzdas, who captured the richest collection of footage of the graffiti painted on the Berlin Wall from the 1980s until its fall in 1989. His artwork Positive Vibrations, originally created as graffiti on the Berlin Wall, will change its location and context, but will continue to awaken the imagination and provoke a quest for the unknown. Inside the building, audience will be able to move into another cosmic dimension by enjoying the “SubAtom” installation, in which constantly moving particles transform energy, search for forms and reveal new worlds.
The light works, part of the first edition of LUNAR, are presented by: Mastercard (Falling in Love with Planet Earth Again: Priceless), Hyatt Regency Sofia (ConvARTsations), Huawei P60 Pro (Cyberflo), Vivacom (Unlimited Universe), OMV (Sustainable Movement), the European Parliament and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria (Together), the British Embassy (Midsummer Night Dreamers), Sofia Municipality (The Fairytale World of Lyuben Zidarov), ALOS center (Atelier Painting with Light), Kronospan (Introspection), bTV Media Group (Re: Modules), eMAG (eHeart, eXperience and Parade of Light), City Cash (In whirlwind of the city), Sofia Ring Mall (Positive Vibrations and Rocking the Space and Subatom) and MP-STUDIO (Re:Flicker, Legacy).
Организатор и основен артистичен колектив зад проекта е българското студио за визуални ефекти MP-STUDIO, в партньорство с един от най-известните светлинни фестивали в света Festival of Lights International Productions GmbH. Събитието ще се проведе с подкрепата на Европейския парламент в България и Представителството на Европейската комисия в България, Столична община и под патронажа на председателя на Столичния общински съвет Георги Георгиев и ще бъде със свободен достъп за всички жители и гости на града.