YEREVAN, APRIL 29, ARTSAKHPRESS. Twenty-three light artworks 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 artworks will illuminate some of the capital’s most famous facades, parks and squares, the European Parliament’s Office in Sofia told BTA on Tuesday.
The event’s programme 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 the 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.
The festival’s route starts at one of the the National Library St. St. Cyril and Methodius, which was among the favourite locations of the audience during the first edition in 2022. The remarkable facade will make viewers fall in love with 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 through their diverse and specific means of expression, on one of the most popular hotels in the city’s centre.
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.
The video mapping show “Infinite Universe”, a stunning visual journey inspired by the modern world, will transform the facade of the Bulgarian Development Bank.
The light route will also attract the public in front of the facade of the State Archives Agency, where Bulgarian graffiti artists Jah One, Mouse and British artist 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.
One of the highlights of the festival this year will be on 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 Europe Day.
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, 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 marks the 100th birth anniversary of the doyen of Bulgarian children’s illustrations, Lyuben Zidarov, 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 a facade at the famous Slaveykov Square.
LUNAR’s artistic route will also take the audience to Bulgaria Square. There they will see the remarkable light sculpture “Introspection” by 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 responsible daily use of materials will be transformed by the light installation of architect 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 programme, will take place. Artworks will be showcased of the three winners, selected after participation in a competition and who have implemented the themes “eMotions”, “eXplore” and ” eFuture”.
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 a central underpass by students from the National Academy of Arts, after a volunteer cleanup initiative.
The walk through Sofia, which will be transformed into an open-air gallery, will continue in the first location, outside downtown, which is part of the festival. The facade of the mall at “Okolovrasten pat” 214 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, the 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 Bulgarian visual effects studio MP-STUDIO is an organizer and main artistic team behind the project, in partnership with one of the most famous light festivals in the world, Festival of Lights International Productions GmbH. The event will be held with the support of the European Parliament in Bulgaria and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality and under the auspices of the Chairman of the Sofia Municipal Council, Georgi Georgiev, and will be open to all residents and guests of the city.