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Daily Dutch News in English

Enriching the Dark Winter Days with Amsterdam Light Festival

This winter, Amsterdam will once again be transformed into a capital of light. Amsterdam Light Festival will take place from 6 December 2013 to 19 January 2014. Two routes have been created (a walking route and a boat route) that take visitors on a journey past international light artworks.

Water Colors, Boat Route

Amsterdam Light Festival’s boat route, Water Colors, will take place from 6 December 2013 to 19 January 2014 from 17.00 and 23.00. Passing through the Amsterdam canals and the Amstel River, the boat route allows visitors to admire light artworks, projections and installations. With the presence of these light artworks, the Amsterdam canals are temporarily changed into a light fairytale. Highlights include:

Fly’s Eye: International Classic Travels to the Netherlands

This artwork is the legacy of the world-renowned inventor, philosopher and designer Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, United States). Dedicating his life to designing the ‘house of the future’, Fuller eventually came to the ideal form: the dome. Fly’s Eye is the result of this exploration. After its exhibition in Los Angeles in 1981, the dome disappeared from the public radar. Years later it was revived by the Buckminster Fuller institute, and after a complete renovation, Fly’s Eye will travel to Amsterdam for Amsterdam Light Festival, where it will be seen in Netherlands for the first time.

Temporal Tower: The Haringpakkerstoren Rises

This winter, artist Todd van Hulzen (1967, The Netherlands) and Studio Louter will rebuild the Haringpakkerstoren. This tower will be rebuilt with the help of backlighting and/or light projections on 30-meter high canvas, and will take back its prominent place at the beginning of the Singel on the IJ River, where it once stood at the beginning of the 19th century.

Reflections: Light Spectacle at the Hermitage

This work by Teresa Mar (1973, Austria) will take the form of a light projection on the 100-meter long facade of the Hermitage Amsterdam. Having been inspired by nature and art, and by making reference to the museum’s exhibition, Gaugain, Bonnard and Denis: A Russian Taste for French Art, Teresa Mar’s projection will be sure to catch your attention.

Big Tree: Colorful Tree Over the Amstel

For Amsterdam Light Festival, artist Jacques Rival (1972, France) will build a Big Tree over the Amstel River. This large metal construction includes 64 colored LED tubes that resemble tree branches. Combining nature, city, and light technology, this work reminds us of the many branches of the Amsterdam canal system.

For an overview of the light artworks of the water route, click here.


Illuminade, Walking Route

The Illuminade is a walking route through the Plantagebuurt, a beautiful area of the historic Amsterdam. The Illuminade will take place from 12 December 2013 to 5 January 2014 and can be seen daily from 17.00 to 22.00. During this international exhibition, upcoming and established (international) artist will present their light artworks in the public space. Highlights include:

Canonicalization of a Seductive Mind: Sea Monsters in the Wertheimpark

With a background in marine biology, Taiwanese/American artist Shih Chieh Huang (1962, United States) is known for using synthetic materials in his work. This artwork is based on the adaptability of marine organisms living in hostile environments. A raw yet colorful environment will be created and inhabited by ‘living’ organisms made of household appliances and LED lighting


Our House: A Cocoon of Light

This artwork by Tom Dekyvere (1985, Belgium) stands for togetherness. Our House is a constructed web of hundreds of meters of lit-up rope knotted together to form a house, reflecting the trend toward co-creation and our need to be and work together. This work reflects a cocoon of our current society.

For a complete overview of the walking route, click here.

Amsterdam Light Festival is a winter light festival for all. The historical center of Amsterdam presents a unique décor for this light and water festival. Light sculptures and projections corresponding to the theme, ‘Building with Light’ have been created by contemporary (international) artists for the open space. The boat route, Water Colors, will exhibit artworks along the Amsterdam Canals and the Amstel (6 December 2013 to 19 January 2014). The walking route, Illuminade, will take place in Amsterdam’s city center (12 December 2013 to 5 January 2014).

The festival ‘enlightens’ the public with colorful and engaging artworks, and will take place from Friday 6 December 2013 to Sunday 19 January 2014. For more information, visit

1.26 Amsterdam
Janet Echelman
Photo by: Klaas Fopma)