London Lumiere Festival

The free London Lumiere Festival premiered across the city of London from January 14 – 17. As the festival draws to a close, one of the trending Twitter hashtags is #LumiereLDN… with the word “disappointing” in the post. Radio stations talked up the event and Transportation For London warned commuters that the festival could disrupt travel plans. I saw a few pieces of art on the way to the Roundhouse Theatre for Akram Khan’s “Until The Lions.”


Tourists exited the station, cameras at the ready. A large birdcage-like structure of light encapsulated a few swings. Thousands of photos were strapped at a few arching rainbow colored lights. On the river, lights danced on panels as sound that belonged on an early 80s video game played. Perhaps because we arrived before festival hours the art piece failed to interest me, but everyone gathered around to take photos. To prove that they had been there. And appreciated – or at least tried – to appreciate art.


Spectators climbed up onto viewing platforms to view the works of art, such as this depiction of diving. Each stage lit up separately, so it played like a movie, and then the whole installation was illuminated at the end (when the following snapshot was taken).

The most interesting piece at London Lumiere was the delicate, color-changing dress made by Tae Gon Kim. The dress was beautiful and mesmerizing to watch as it transitioned from rose to lavender and into warmer hues. The material and lights highlighted the dress’ design; the presentation was very thoughtful and lovely.

I appreciated the festival as an open invitation for all to participate in art, but I am glad that I did not make the trip specifically to see the art installations. Otherwise I would have posted one of the “disappointing #LumiereLDN” tweets. Hopefully next year, each of the commissioned pieces are thoughtful and thought-provoking.

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