Amsterdam Light Festival 2017

Written by Craig Berry and Tijs Kramer
Former Creative Interns at VBAT | Superunion
Originally shared Jan 26, 2017

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Amsterdam Light Festival, Blueprint by Reier Pos

My experience of the festival is that it was pretty spectacular, most of the pieces were bold and impressive, some very large in scale and others having high production values.

Despite it being incredibly cold as we walked and cycled around we were in awe of some of the work. I want to speak about 3 of the Water Colors pieces and my reasons why. These aren’t necessarily my favourite 3 but 3 that I felt the strongest about.

The rainbow itself in today’s society is very much associated with the LGBT community and being in Amsterdam — a city which prides itself in being open-minded and a supporter of the community.

The bridge perfectly reflects this cities mindset, that’s why it’s much more to me than just pretty colours.

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Bridge of the Rainbow by Gilbert Moity. Source: amsterdamlightwalk.nl

The Hungarian artist is hailed as an expert in inflatable installations and this piece is certainly a masterpiece in the field.

The tulips themselves are bright and also use bright colours — each tulip flower changing colour from red to blue to yellow to green and so on. The work is said to represent our culture of mass consumption and this unique twist on this the Dutch tulip symbol is that of a kitsch nature.

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Bunch of Tulips by Peter Koros. Source: wilmatakesabreak.nl

By choosing to have the work projected onto the Dutch Maritime Museum he is acknowledging the building and its importance.

Built in 1656 during the Golden Age whilst Amsterdam was the biggest port in the world. The green laser image projected onto the building highlights this by drawing the original blueprints onto the face of it. Repetitively showing this grid-like shape as well as ending on a more fluid and loose wave-like blue spectrum. The repetition of the work is said to reflect on the idea of both ephemeral time (short lasting tie) and perpetual time (never ending time). Again the reflection and glow of this building and piece of work was impressive to see, the water surrounding the building shines in a vibrant blue.

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Blueprint by Reier Pos. Source: Amsterdam Light Festival

The theme of globalisation and how Amsterdam sticks to its traditions while progressing at the same tame and never seizes to amaze its inhabitants and tourists.

It’s always hard to pick favourites, especially when every piece is visually stunning and supported by a meaningful message by the artist. But here’s my top three.

It hints to our culture, but at the same time the craftsmanship and the woven pattern symbolise the diversity of the city, its culture, infrastructure, the past and the future.

By shedding light on this 650 kg sheet of threads, it conveys the story of a city that never sleeps and is always in motion.

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The Lace by Choi and Shine. Source: Amsterdam Light Festival

Every tube of light symbolise a native or a newcomer, their connection form the fundament of this multicultural identity.

Through flowing colour, the result of all the tubes combined is greater and more impactful than the sum of its components. Synergy in it’s true form.

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Nexus by Viktor Vicsek. Source Talkeis Magazine

From my perspective this is Amsterdam in a matter of seconds. Whether you’re cycling from your work to home or just for the sake of sightseeing, the city around you is filled with moments. Moments of love, happiness, sobriety but also pain, struggles and frustrations.

We pass by these moments and our brain doesn’t have the focus, nor the desire to process all. In the end you’re left with a perception rather than a memory. We are all the protagonist in our own lives, but merely passersby in any others. The way this principle is reflected in this piece of art is just beautiful to me.

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Source: optamatic.nl

A game of chess is like a swordfight. You must think first, before you move.

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