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Illuminate, Animate, Fascinate: ‘Dubai Festival of Lights’ kicks off with spectacular creative installations

Dubai, UAE; March 19, 2014: From March 20, 2014, Emaar Properties’ flagship development, the 500-acre Downtown Dubai, will become the stage for the innovative medium of artistic installations, celebrating the collaboration of light, sound, and visual arts, in one dynamic destination.

Featuring works by over 30 renowned installation artists, the inaugural ‘Dubai Festival of Lights,’ held in collaboration with the City of Lyon's Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières de Lyon), boasts environment-friendly LED lighting, from fantastic themed installations to video mapping, lighted sculptures, and interactive pieces, covering the alleyways and public spaces of the world’s most prestigious square kilometre, until March 29, 2014.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties PJSC, said: “The inaugural ‘Dubai Festival of Lights’ will feature a sterling line-up of art works, ushering in a new era in Dubai’s artistic sphere. Rich in design, bold in outlook, and visually spell-binding, the showcase is set to establish Downtown Dubai’s credentials as the ultimate platform for cultural excellence.”

Lionel Flasseur, Lyons International Promotion Director said: “The City of Lyon has given the best of its artistic and technical expertise in order to gather in Dubai over 30 renowned French artists. They will either recreate the art works they have presented in the Lyon Festival of Lights and that met a popular success, either will present some avant-premiere creations. The City of Lyon is very honoured to  duplicate its flagship and original event in a exceptional location such as Downtown Dubai. This is both a challenge and a promise of log-term collaboration between Lyon, Dubai and particularly the Emaar group.”


Their works will illuminate various spaces in Downtown Dubai including the bridge and façade of Souk Al Bahar; the metro link connecting the mall with The Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa metro station; the custom-made event space, ‘The Venue;’ Burj Plaza; Burj Park; Waterfront Promenade of The Dubai Mall; Boulevard Plaza; The Dubai Mall’s Grand Drive; Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard; various water features around Burj Khalifa; The Palace Downtown Dubai’s façade; Al Manzil Hotel; The Address Dubai Mall; The Dubai Fountain; and Vida Downtown Dubai.


Featured Works

Symbolic and prolific, the crowning glory of the ‘Dubai Festival of Lights,’ is a specially-commissioned piece by artist and designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, whose piece ‘Metropolis Mirage’ will light up the bridge at Souk Al Bahar. Serving as metaphor between history and modern life, epitomised by its location, Jean-Charles’ work is a fitting tribute the stunning evolution to Dubai.

Joining Jean-Charles is Theoriz Crew, whose ‘Window in Lyon’ is an immersive light installation that provides visitors with a window into the quaint city of Lyon, its famous docks, tiny shops, and cosy streets; while Stéphane Masson’s ‘Aquarium Car’ has been modified to serve as a virtual, live aquarium, filled with water and red fishing swimming inside.

Pennants of the Party’ by Sebastian Lefèvre, showcases pennants, which are widely-associated with festivities, animated by kaleidoscopic lighting effects; and Jacques Rival’s ‘Big Bag,’ explores creativity with light and glamour, and design with scenography and architecture. ‘Tilt,’ by artistic studio Ombrellum, is inspired by nature and objects in everyday life, and aspires to invite visitors to draw their own interpretations of light as an artform.

Daniel Knipper’s ‘Gobo and Shadows’ highlights historic sites in France through illuminations; and Catherine Garret’s Elephantastik, is an instinctive yet researched design that combines imagination and analysis, while providing guests with an unparalleled interactive opportunity. ‘Ovo’ by Koert Vermeulen marks a new milestone in installation art, with a multi-sensory object that plays with light and exudes visual effects of water and acoustic animations.

Hi-Strike Game’ by Vendredi 4 & Beam Art mirrors the fair game that tests strength, where visitors can use the illuminative hammer to try and attain a high score; and Yannick K’s ‘Writing Light + Countdown’ is a stunning mix of industrial engineering, design, and light.

Christophe Mayer’s ‘Bamboo’ is inspired by the aesthetics of the contemporary world; while Klar’s ‘Huge Reeds,’ mixes graphics with lighting. Akira-Lisa Ichii’s ‘Star Fisherman’ explores multiple light designs; and Damien Fontaine’s ‘The Prince of Light’ captures the Fortress of Chinon, offering a panoramic view of history and heritage.

Playful and colourful, Bibi’s ‘The Dragon King’ brings to life his favourite playground, the streets, where the installation is based on plastic objects that are then distorted; ‘Aerosculpture’ by Caroline Frimat and Jean-Pierre David is based on the idea of objects that defy gravity; and ‘Versus’ by Romain Tardy mixes typography, painting, and illustrations seamlessly.

Eduardo Lévine’s ‘Heavenly Mikado’ solidifies the perception of ‘beams of light,’ created using LED lighting fixed in altuglas plastic tubes; Les Orpailleurs de Lumière’s ‘Open at Night’ depicts torches hanging between the windows that light up one after the other; and Jérôme Toq’r’s ‘Metamorphosis’ boasts a rich range of colours that transform the streets and parks, making art truly communal.

An astounding animation that portrays the balance between a wild animal and an urban water feature, Catherine Garret’s ‘Mysticètes’ emerges from illuminated water; while Sébastien Garret’s ‘Eolight’ conceptualises wind turbines with bright and colourful blades; and MiShowCaud’s ‘People in Dubai’ is an electronic montage of crowds gathering and interacting.

Fabrice Oudin’s ‘Stars Gate’ stems from audio-visual training; Groupe Lap’s ‘Keyframe’ brings the ideas of five set designers and video makers to one common platform; Matthieu Durbec’s ‘Flash Tower’ animates theatrical performances; and Pitaya Light’s ‘XXLustre’ recreates a scenography and dialogue between people and their surroundings.

The Anookis’ by The Anookis resonate function of colour with meaning; Richard Fontaine’s Vegetalization is inspired by the Grand Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi; and F2C’s ‘The Signal’ transcends technology into art.

Guaranteeing an unparalleled spectacle for visitors across the UAE, the ‘Dubai Festival of Lights’ is billed to become one of the city’s highly-anticipated cultural and artistic events.

A thriving destination, Downtown Dubai is also home to some of the most popular festivities that demonstrate the city’s capability to execute large-scale events, such as the celebrations of UAE’s right to host the World Expo 2020; the New Year’s Eve Gala Celebrations; The Parade – Downtown Dubai, UAE National Day; and the Dubai Festival of Lights, all of which are organised by Emaar.  

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