The Festival of Lights is an unmissable moment to discover Lyon. The traditional Festival of Lights took place in Lyon December 8 to 11. Thirty luminous works are exhibited until Sunday. The party resumes its usual format this year, and some two million visitors were this year in Lyon for the Festival of Lights. From the Parc de la Tête d’Or to the Place Saint-Jean via the Presqu’Ile, the SUBS, the garden of the Institut Lumière, and several other new sites across the city, visitors who were able to dream, laugh, be moved, marvel or reflect with some thirty works, from the most grandiose to the most intimate.
The Festival of Lights is part of the DNA of the city, Lyon, a center of light creation, welcomes light designers every year for new installations. From the traditional tea light that every Lyonnais places on their windowsills, to the many visual and interactive shows that illuminate the city. The 2022 edition of the Fête des Lumières saw the return of a popular and creative festival, marked by a very eclectic program combining international signatures and local talents, with several participatory projects reaching out to all audiences.
The Festival of Lights are a reminder of the Catholic origins of the Festival of Lights. The tradition comes from an epidemic of plague which ravaged France in 1643. The Lyon notables rely on Mary, and promise to all participate in the Christmas celebrations taking place on September 8 if Lyon is spared. In commemoration, a gilded statue of the Virgin was installed in 1852 at the top of the basilica of Fourvière. Postponed by two months, the inauguration finally took place on December 8, and the people of Lyon participated by lighting “lights” at their window, giving birth to the Festival of Lights.
Every year since, on December 8, the people of Lyon place candles in their windows… and walk through the streets of the city to admire exceptional light installations. The lighting of heritage sites, landscapes of rivers and hills, neighborhoods and roads adorned the entire city and contributed to the nightlife and beauty of the territory.
Many emblematic artists of light creation from France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Congo, came to present their works in Lyon. The young artists, presented in particular on Place Sathonay and Place Rambaud as part of Student Experiments, and Place Saint-Paul as part of Nouvelle Vague, also won over the public with their creativity and humor. Wishing to welcome all audiences, including those who are distant from it, the City of Lyon has experimented with various measures allowing people with disabilities to fully experience the Festival of Lights.
From the metaphor on the passage of time proposed by Filip Rocca with Time on the facade of the Saint-Jean cathedral in the Park of the Golden Number, a veritable geometric poem by Javier Riera on the trees of the Parc de la Tête d’Or, the jubilant Grand Mix of the Inook Museum of Fine Arts on the Place des Terreaux with the enigmatic lasers of AGORYTHM materializing the environmental data of the city by Onion Lab, from Cymopolée, the tornado imagined by Luminariste place de la République, to the adventurous Voyageur Céleste, discovering Lyon at the foot of the Fourvière hill, these artists from Lyon or abroad recognized on the international scene have brought a sensitive look to our world, while having at heart to include their creations in a sober and environmentally friendly.
This year, the people of Lyon were asked to participate in the development of several artistic projects: the Beacon work installed in the garden of the Institut Lumière, in collaboration with the inhabitants of the 8th arrondissement and exiled people mobilized 50 participants, Gazouillis installed in Place Voltaire, produced by the artist Bibi with children from the 3rd arrondissement or Soi-even, the work created with young autistic people from SESSAD Les Passementiers and presented to the Bullukian Foundation.
The Grand Mix at the Museum of Fine Arts, on the Place des Terreaux, received a real plebiscite from the public, welcoming around 150,000 people per evening. The creation of the Lyon studio Inook, supported by EDF, won the Trophée des Lumières France 3 Auvergne Rhône Alpes and City of Lyon.
On Place Saint-Jean, around 80,000 people per evening enjoyed the Time show by Filip Roca and Zarko Komar. About 40,000 visitors per evening also strolled through the Parc de la Tête d’Or, to discover 3 works this year as well as a huge garden of light dedicated to the Lumignons du Cœur operation. On the Place Bellecour side, thousands of visitors came to enjoy the open-air dining hall, which offered quality, sustainable and zero-waste “on the go” catering.
The Presqu’île is reserved for pedestrians every day for the duration of the Festival. The pedestrian perimeter is accessible by access points located approximately every 100 meters. The two Lyon stations (Lyon Part-Dieu and Lyon-Perrache) located in the heart of the city serve all the main lines joining the major European cities. For your stay, discover the best of Lyon while waiting for the illuminations thanks to the Lyon City Card. A real sesame, this card includes more than 33 attractions including museums, guided tours, sightseeing cruises or even shows… In addition to covering all of Lyon’s cultural offer, it allows you to move around freely. throughout the public transport network. Take advantage of the Lyon City Card to access all of Lyon’s cultural offerings and travel freely on the public transport network.
Thirty luminous works have been installed in the streets of Lyon, about twenty of it are in the city center. The other illuminations can be seen in the Vieux Lyon district, in the Tête d’Or park and in the 8th arrondissement.
Saint-Jean Cathedral during the Festival of Lights becomes an experience, a crossing, a personal and collective invitation to contemplation. At the foot of this historic facade, a meditation passes among the crowd… It questions the disturbing beauty of time passing through artistic combinations that are both accessible and unique. During the screening, our relationship to passing time, from the intimate to the universal, is re-examined. It is an invitation, where appeasement and ultra-high definition mingle. Light particles, electroacoustic signals, fragments and winks: the artist Filip Roca indicates paths of abstractions, reveals flows of optimism. Its detailed images come from algorithms. Its musical motifs come from a string quartet.
From the Romain Rolland and Saint-Antoine quays, the Celestial Traveler is a 7-8 minute projection, a space explorer who lands in Lyon, on the occasion of the Festival of Lights. The facades of the houses on the hill of Fourvière become comic strips. Emotion is our red thread that image after image with Jérôme Jouvray in order to create a quality show, accessible to all and shareable. A show based on joyful emotion, follow the impulses, the journeys, the adventures, and the encounters. He lights up various historic, magical and imposing places with his torch after dark. Added to the story of this lively and endearing character are the boxes dear to comics, the charm of cartoons, humor, 3D effects and a touch of poetry.
The project Inside/Out wake up to capture what the architecture, the colors and the light are telling each other… Inside / Out mimics the sky at sunset or sunrise. It is an interpretation of natural light, transformed into an artificial representation of nature. Place du Change is lit from the inside out. The imaginations spectators to the landmarks and shows the sensitivity onto the colored windows. The projection here becomes suggestion. The light installation on the facade, with its 75 colored LED tubes, is a delicate tribute to the architecture of the Temple du Change, in Old Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chromatics appear and slow transitions remind us of the long history of this building, and that of the inhabitants of the district. The work is neither abundant nor turbulent, it is accessible and it uses simplicity to make us feel the spirit of the place.
In the project New Wave, four artists are waiting for us firmly, place Saint-Paul, to offer their colors, their techniques and their exciting and very distinct universes. Artist Cindy Lo puts the protected species on the list of the Botanical Conservatory of the Massif Central in the center of attention: the beautiful facade of the Saint-Paul station is transformed before our eyes. Franck Dion offers a poetic evocation of otherness. The facade of the station, transformed into a theatre, is a meeting place: travellers, passers-by and motionless people. Conceived as a live performance, the projection stages fugitive silhouettes and thoughts in transit. Kateryna Pits bring us into a world of pure abstraction and we travel in mysterious and sinuous thoughts, in the middle of an active city. To float, to enjoy the flight, the absence of gravity, and to look through fragile figures. Romain Tardy, recognized in the world of digital arts, contemporary art and events, for his original work related to the world of music.
In the project The Light Ball, artists from diverse backgrounds make up a frankly friendly, colorful, rhythmic and committed program over four evenings. First of all, Nicolas Paolozzi, architect and lighting scenographer, invests the magnificent and vast glass roof and sets the scene with his modules. Sapes Like Never, with dancers and musicians to introduce the public to the art of sapology. “Sapés comme Never” is an audacity to be shared that takes parody, Congolese rumba and highly sophisticated outfits. The Collectif A/R offers “Shake Shake Shake”: nocturnal crossing, where dance, live music and light unite, with 6 percussionists from the Conservatory and 13 contemporary dancers. The body, the movement, the living, the light.
In the Grand Mix at the museum of fine arts of Lyon, the works leave the walls of the museum to enchant the facades of the palace. Not only do the portraits come to life, they sing. The light magicians invite us to accompany them: a repertoire of fifteen popular hits, from Britney Spears to Nino Ferrer, which will also have you singing and dancing in unison at Place des Terreaux. The very architecture of the museum comes to life to the rhythm of the playlist…
The Unicode 光 3D by Fred Sapey-Triomphe observed the architecture of Place Pradel, the geometric shape of the dome of the opera is very simple: a semi-circle placed on a building old. There is audacity, technological mastery, graphic beauty, randomness, vertigo. Like a construction game with wooden pieces. The idea of the cube screens form a giant cube, they offer transparency and depth to a total and fascinating immersion in the digital codification of writings from all over the world.
Eikosis is a luminous sculpture looks like a big laughing cat. Eikosis questions the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds, the physical medium for a series of digital chats that everyone is invited to find online. With Eikosis, Jérémie Bellot invites us to explore the world of NFTs, these digital files to which certificates of ownership are attached and which have revolutionized the art market. The work consists of 20 cats, including the sculpture. The 19 digital cats can be observed in their city, their district, their heritage site…
Planetoids is a galaxy awaits you on rue de la République, evolve in the universe of Planetoids, these floating stars with changing lights. No need for a telescope, they are very close and can be admired with the naked eye: the surface of each aluminum disc is tinted to the rhythm of the moving light, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Each planet is unique because it has been laser cut and then sculpted by hand. Wherever you are, the installation can be viewed from different points of view.
The project “I catched a…” is an overview of the hunt for images led by the iconoclast Stéphane Masson. The artist enclosing nature in this way raises questions. By creating this immersive visual effect, he also questions the border between reality and fiction: a cloud in a cage and poetry is released. A flying fish, a micro-elephant, a solitary cumulonimbus… At nightfall, you will discover the curiosities captured in the cage made expressly for the street, the passers-by to amaze…
The installation “Cymopoly” exposes before our eyes a climatic phenomenon that usually forms far from our latitudes. Cymopolée combines craftsmanship and digital virtuosity: at nightfall, this monumental metal structure comes to life thanks to its own luminosity, undulating with the winds that make up the soundscape. When civic awareness meets poetry and emotion.
The poetic free-roaming aviary project Murmuration offered a sound by Nature which is called murmuration, a case just like with flocks of birds. This captivating phenomenon inspired the work staged at Place des Jacobins, where flights of starlings are reproduced in the form of light. Four hundred orbs (small digital luminous globes) thus evoke birds in full flight, communicating with each other and capable of emitting both light and sound. Swirling around the fountain, these multicolored clouds form a twirling swarm, in harmony with its environment.
The project Menschen with light and sound carousel that gives to see and experience. 8 massive pillars supporting an imposing crown 9 meters in diameter, Inside, 960 flashlights of an incredible variety of designs and optics, collected from all over Europe. They are recycled here to compose a circular and dynamic screen on which graphic and luminous effects scroll. Behind each of these retro lamps, there is an individual (Mensch): a demonstrator of the “peaceful revolution” in Leipzig. Each lamp symbolizes the memory of an individual. Collected in around thirty European countries, they pay tribute to the cultural diversity of Europe. It is also a memorial installation that evokes the memory of an object once present in every home to guide, reassure, gather…
The project “I ♥ LIGHT” is a message of love to light. Designed by the Fils de Créa collective and installed in the middle of Place Bellecour, the 6-meter-high letters are illuminated by 947 recycled lamps, of all styles and origins. They were collected from Lyonnaises and Lyonnais in two district town halls and the Notre-Dame des Sans-Abri homes. Participatory, united and ecological, this installation invites us to succumb with poetry to the most luminous declarations of love.
Mirror Mountain is a project located on the largest square in Lyon, made up of mirrors, but also of lights and sounds. As its name suggests,Observable at 360°, reflecting the surrounding world, this sculpture can be discovered from all angles and at any time of day or night. Mirror Mountain is equipped with sensitive sensors, everyone can bring this architectural object to life and, with a simple gesture, compose with it.
The project “Yourself” is motorized totems installed in the garden of the Bullukian Foundation, an installation seeks in each of us our ability to open our eyes and our perception. Oneself is the beautiful fruit of rare, collaborative, generous work. The project also is about an alchemy of pedagogy, art, inclusion, medical knowledge on autistic disorders. The artists: videographer, scenographer or choreographer, as well as about ten young autistic people residing in the Lyon area and the Sessad team. Les Passementiers explored different layers of their universe for several months. Writing, body expression, sound creation or even video mixing: together, they worked on the creation of a unique show.
The project “The shape of things to come”, discuess in relation to the imperceptible, the invisible and what is often poorly measured: our impact on the atmosphere. The project immersive and interactive light installation uses air quality data. The public is invited to enter under an arch, 8 meters long and made of recycled plastic. We are here By transforming the quality of the air into the quality of light, this work, inspired by the architecture of the nests of gardening birds, makes it possible to see and better understand the major problem of atmospheric pollution. It also points the way to concrete alternatives for our lifestyles: reuse, frugality, observation of the living…
Experience the project Agorythm in the unparalleled setting of the Tête d’Or park. Agorythm is a scientific environmental data about Immersion + reflection x laser beams + light sculptures. In the project, we are invited to discover the environmental reality of Lyon through the singular and artistic translation of data collected on air, water, pollution, soft mobility.
Firefly Field is a haunting, poetic and playful light installation, made up of many flying light points that simulate the movements of fireflies. Like darts, their lights hover above the ground. The ever-changing bioluminescence is reflected in the grassy slope. En masse, these nocturnal lampyres create a radiant and dynamic scene that piques the curiosity of visitors.
The Golden number park is a great experience in the most emblematic park of Lyon, we are all invited to find the subtle aspects of this nature that converse and vibrate. Artist intervene in nature, in a totally harmless way, mathematical program, drawings, equations, golden numbers, digital data related to nature. The works’ material and seeks a resonance between the irregularities of the landscape, the trees, and the precision of the geometry born of his data. Geometry is a language that circulates between nature and our inner being.
“Lights from the Heart” is a bluish poetry and humanist gesture. Gradients of blue adorn this historic rose garden to cuddle our imagination with the sight of 12,000 flames, echoes of hope and fragility. Meet at the rose garden of the Parc de la Tête d’Or where the magic of a garden of light awaits you. More than 3,000 candle flowers, reeds, aquatic herbs and some 270 bouquets make up an enchanting and comforting picture.
The project “Gazouillis” transforms our daily lives into moments of poetry, and truns metamorphosed into birds. Accustomed to the Festival of Lights, the artist this time installs a giant aviary on Place Voltaire, ie 300 luminous birds made of recycled plastic.
The project “Luminous Book” is a deserved enhancement for this building labeled “Heritage of the 20th century”. In partnership with IntensCity and under the artistic direction of Pierre-Yves Toulot, 13 students in Professional License Design and Management in Lighting animate and transfigure the facades of the university library, around the theme of the book. From the heart of the South courtyard, you will let your imagination wander with the projection of images and other plays of light. The original creation that unfolds before your eyes is the synthesis of the work of the four groups of students formed for this educational workshop.
The adventure of “Beacon” is orchestrated by British artist Craig Morrison and consists of collectively participating in the design of an installation at each of its stages in the three cities. To create each time a unique element of the work, specific to the territory and its inhabitants. Light, of course, but also co-creation, cooperation, sustainability. These three cities, which each host a light festival, have decided to embark on the implementation of a participatory, multidisciplinary project.
The project “Hidden in the city” in Blandan Park, the fauna and flora come to life joyfully. This bestiary out of the shadows serves as a guide to help us discover each of the shimmering installations of the transformed park. An experience combining technology, performance and digital works. The Kuhl’s Pipistrelle, the Chiffchaff, the Blue Tit, the Iberian Pieris, the Wall Lizard and many others appear in the light of your UV lamp.
Three places in Lyon are occupied by students and their work: between Rhône and Saône, place Sathonay, place Rambaud and place de la Paix. These playgrounds are ideal for artistic diversion, the reuse of objects or the intuitive use of light. The exhibited works, which are creative, rigorous and surprising at the same time, do not seek to compete with those of the international artists in the programme.
The Grands Ateliers have initiated the “student experimentation” competition for the Fête des Lumières. For the hundreds of students who take part, alone or in groups, it is an opportunity to creatively approach light as matter, to open the imagination and to design a device in an urban environment. These experiments allow them to confront the materials, the construction and the constraints of the land. The students, through their commitment and their ideas, dare installations.
Students transcribe with an increasingly marked commitment their societal and environmental concerns in the works they imagine and experience. It goes through the themes and subjects addressed, through the construction techniques and the materials used. Another big change came with the appearance of LEDs and new programming technologies. In addition to drastically reducing the energy consumption of experiments, LEDs have made it possible to have new powers. The evolution of technologies brings a miniaturization of the systems related to the computerization of the material.
Illumination in the City
The new lighting contributes to and subtly enriches the lighting plan of the city of Lyon, which already illuminates 370 emblematic places in the City. The lighting of the railings upstream and downstream of the footbridge are accentuated in low angle view, affirming the finesse of the structure from afar, while revealing the cables on the whole of the structure. Like guides of light, they accompany users when crossing the bridge in soft semi-darkness, leaving the panorama over the Saône free.
The central pillar erected in the center of the river is dressed in a light golden light over its entire height, as if to recall the warm and so singular light of the Saône. The arch is accentuated in more amber light to model and hollow out this majestic structure. The two smaller pillars are lit on four sides, forming access doors to the structure from the high platforms and visually anchoring the building on both sides.
A major work of social and humanist architecture from the Age of Enlightenment, the Hôtel-Dieu and its majestic façade (375 m) is one of Lyon’s most emblematic heritage monuments. Its recent reconversion has given it a second wind, open to the city, it offers a place that is both historic and modern around design, taste, fashion and well-being. The permanent illumination of Hall of Lyon pays homage to Lyon chef Paul Bocuse. Thank You Monsieur Paul is a monumental mural installed opposite the entrance to the Halles de Lyon (which bear the name of Paul Bocuse). At night, games of video projections and lights enliven the fresco. The show, lasting about ten minutes, will bring to life the major stages in the career of the most famous star in the world and the products that have made his cuisine famous.
A historic building, part of the landscape of the hill of Fourvière, the Antiquaille has been the subject of an ambitious program of urban renewal. The objective of this lighting is to complete the nocturnal landscape of the praying hill. The roofs are highlighted by the underlining of both vertical and horizontal edges. A major element of the nocturnal picture of the Rhône and its banks, the Lafayette bridge has benefited from a renovation of its lighting. The lace of the structure is revealed by transparency. The underside is worked in a slightly bluish tint to recall the color of the Rhône and the lights of its banks.
The bridge of Renouveau du Pont Wilson, which spans the Rhône, had lighting dating from the 1st Lighting Plan of 1989. The renovation thus makes it possible to harmonize its lighting with the various neighboring lighting environments: the Hôtel Dieu and the public lighting in its surroundings, the view of the Croix Rousse hill from the bridge, the series of bridges over the river. The nocturnal landscape of Lyon is enriched with the lighting of the Incity Tower, the second building after the Part Dieu library to be part of the process of a renewed lighting plan for this district. Architectural light, a component of urban light, is part of a vocabulary desired in this territory, with monochromatic variations around white light (from gold to silver). On the occasion of special events, this building can be transformed by offering polychromatic paintings.
Organized by the LUCI association and the City of Lyon, the Lyon Light Festival Forum each year offers lighting professionals a unique and original platform for international dialogue on creative light. From December 8 to 9 at the SUBS, the 2022 edition organized as part of LUCI’s 20th anniversary and a global reflection on the future of urban lighting, looks at the future of light festivals. Speakers will share their cross-visions on eco-responsibility, sustainability, co-creation, international collaborations and more. The Forum will also be a perfect opportunity to exchange between professionals during a moment of “Lightspeed Networking”.
LUCI brings together around 70 cities around the world that use light as a major tool for their sustainable, economic, social and cultural development. LUCI also brings together more than 40 associate members: companies, universities, lighting designers and artists. Thanks to the organization of international events, the implementation of research and cooperation projects, LUCI helps cities to progress towards a more sustainable use of light and urban spaces geared towards the citizen.
In the original spirit of the Festival of Lights, every December 8, Lyonnaises and Lyonnais are invited to make a gesture of generosity with the Lumignons du Cœur operation. Before and during the Fête des Lumières, the Salvation Army Foundation recruits volunteers to support it in the preparation and running of the Candle Lights from the Heart operation, for example by selling candle lights, helping to prepare the scenography, by maintaining the candle lights on the solidarity fresco, or by warming the hearts of visitors at the refreshment bar…