Festival of Lights: soak up these 8 amazing installations

Before shining the spotlight on the 2018 Festival of Lights, which will illuminate Lyon from Dec 6–9, France.fr takes a look at the city’s most spectacular installations over the years. Here’s your chance to (re)discover the city’s most exemplary sites in a different light.
"Promenons-nous", 2017

The TILT Collective transformed Place Bellecour into a gigantic light garden à la française, offering visitors a breath of fresh air during their nocturnal stroll. Visitors wandered around giant poppies, wild grasses and other unusual plants, all under the watchful eye of Louis XIV, whose statue at the center of the square was adorned with a luminous cape.

"Coups de cœur", 2016

This interactive installation was the work of Franck Pelletier and the Les Allumeurs Collective. With a simple touch of the hand, a blow-up heart, located in front of Théâtre des Célestins, measured passerbys’ pulses, then flashed their differing heartbeats in unison. A true declaration of love to the city of Lyon.

"Regards", 2015

In 2015, the Festival’s events were disrupted by the attacks to the capital just weeks prior. The city paid tribute to the victims with this installation by Daniel Knipper, which flashed familiar eyes borrowed from paintings by artists like Botticelli, Matisse, and Warhol over the monuments from Fourvière Hill. The first names of the victims of the attacks were also displayed on the facades at the docks.

"Njörd, esprit du vent", 2014

Visitors were able to take a poetic break on the grounds of the City Hall, which was transformed for the occasion into an ephemeral sanctuary. A ballet of feathers moved delicately to the rhythm of gentle winds inside great transparent monoliths in an installation designed by Kimi Do, Wilfried Della Rossa, and Thomas Mathieu.

"Chinese Corner", 2013

Fruit of a collaboration between French and Chinese cities Lyon, Xi’an, and Canton, this installation conceived by artist LI li and Studio 3003 Collective created a bright, imaginary trip between past and present, dream and reality. A Chinese shadow theatre, a forest filled with lanterns, and a flowering lotus floating on the lake at Tête d’Or Park all contributed to this fantastic journey.

"Highlights", 2012

Artists Hélène Richard and Jean-Michel Quesne paid tribute to light with an immersive performance presented in five tableaux projected on the facades at Place des Terreaux. Driven by themes of heritage, history, and symbols, this installation combined mirror effects and beams of light.

"I Love Clouds", 2011

This bright, colorful bunch of balloons soaring above the statue of Louis XIV, at Place Bellecour, was the work of artist Jacques Rival.

"La source de la Lumière", 2010

It was no longer water, but rather light streaming out from the fountain at Place des Jacobins. A system of illuminated cascades was installed by artist Fabrice Oudin, producing the flow, texture, and reflection of water onto the dry monument. It was a dream-like representation, in which glowing fish floated by, captured in translucent bubbles.

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