Amsterdam Light Festival – Celebration of Lights

The most captivating light artworks returned to the fairytale canals of Amsterdam!

It’s been ten years since the Amsterdam Light Festival first launched, and it celebrates its tenth anniversary this year! Imagine a festival that you can enjoy while walking down the streets or taking a tour by cruise or boat. Which way would you prefer? No doubt both ways would be remarkable!

This winter in Amsterdam, by far, the best light artwork is open from 02 DEC 2021 to 23 JAN 2022. So, the most appealing, inspiring, and brilliant light artworks of the past nine editions met to the canals of Amsterdam. The program takes place every day from 7.00 until 9.0 a.m. and 3.00 until 5.00 p.m due to new measurements for covid. Make your plans to consider these times 🙂

02 DEC 2021 to 23 JAN 2022

Each winter, a brand-new version of the Amsterdam Light Festival is organized, with artworks created especially for the festival. Moreover, the festival contains special projects collaborating with artists, partners, and various stakeholders. For example, the education project in which loads of primary school students participate and the Breitner Academy in which young talent co-creates an artwork for the festival has been part of the festival for seven years. The Amsterdam Light Festival hosts unique events and adventures for citizens, from younger to older adults.



Janet Echelman is a sculptor, notably famous as unique at the scale of buildings and city blocks. Echelman’s work dares forms and subjects as it touches numerous areas. To illustrate, Sculpture, Architecture, Urban Design, Material Science, Structural & Aeronautical Engineering, and Computer Science.

Echelman's art transforms with wind and light and shifts from being "an object before your eyes desire to look at" 
into "an ineffable experience and sense you get to lost in."
Janet Echelman and her exquisite work of art in the same shot.

In 2012, 1.26 sculpture Janet Echelman’s 230-foot-long aerial sculpture was installed over the Amstel River from the top of the Amsterdam Stopera, which houses the City Hall and Muziektheater. Moreover, as the signature project of the 2012-2013 Amsterdam Light Festival, the artwork underlines global interdependence. Currently, it returned to the same spot.

Janet Echelman, 1.26 Amsterdam, 2012.

The 1.26 sculpture is made entirely of soft materials, including Spectra fiber material with high-tenacity polyester fiber, and colored lighting, and 15 times stronger than steel by weight, which allows it to fasten to current architecture without additional reinforcement. In addition, a unique lighting program integrates changing and contrasting colors reflected below the water. As a result, the sculpture becomes an ethereal form that transforms day to night, and in darkness, appears to “float in thin air.”


Gilbert Moity was born in 1965, a man with an unconventional path such as live shows, lighting of architectural works, and diverse artistic installations through public events. Gilbert Moity sees the light as a source of beauty and life and an incredible tool. Likewise, the Frenchman has a free and open approach to design, architectural lighting, endeavors to create a story that transforms urban landscapes and captures the ethereal.

Gilbert Moity, Bridge of the Rainbow, Amsterdam Light Festival, 2016.
Bridge of the Rainbow took place in the Amsterdam Light Festival 2016. The artwork symbolizes open-mindedness and diversity. In addition, the colorful object represents the LGBTQIA scene.
Gilbert Moity’s Bridge of the Rainbow reflects on the canal.


Originally a Japanese designer and animator, Masamichi Shimada (1978) has been focused on creating light art for many years in his career. For international exhibitions at museums and festivals, he often finds inspiration in stories unique to the local culture. In fact, Masamichi Shimada finds his inspiration all around. You can spot particular references to nature in his works. Such as the light of the dewdrops on flowers, the surface of the sea at sunrise, or sun rays.

Masamichi Shimada, Butterfly Effect.

Seven immense butterflies have landed on the surface of the canal. The butterflies not only rise and fall with the movement of the water caused by passing boats, but their wings glow blue against the night. At first sight, the artwork appears to engage a peaceful or enchanting scene. However, with Butterfly Effect, Masamichi Shimada depicts how something as delicate as a butterfly can hold tremendous power.


The Hungarian Péter Koros (1978) and Réka Magyar (1989) set up Koros Design since 2018 in Budapest. They perform interior and lighting designs and design inflatable light objects for drama performances and light and music festivals. Moreover, their installations are often enlargements of iconic images.

They define themselves, as you can see below;

”We are artists who create large-scale art installations through exploring lightweight fabrics and air using digital generated design and manual techniques. Our artworks are made based on our professional experiences in different fields of engineering, manufacturing, design and craft to brighten up events all over the word.”

 Péter Koros & Réka Magyar
The Bunch of Tulips is an inflatable art installation. It is a lifelike interpretation of the Dutch tulip desire. It was displayed for the first time in the Amsterdam Light Festival in 2016-17. Now it is seen again.


Even though Architect Ivana Jelić (1989) and creative engineer Pavle Petrović (1985) have their practices, they work together on (light) art installations.

Jelić & Pavle Petrović
Vincent van Gogh once wrote that The sight of stars makes me dream; after a great time, one beautifully version came out by Serbian Ivana Jelic and Pavle Petrovic.
Jelić & Pavle Petrović, Starry Night.

The artists present us with a luminous and artificial version of the painting. Canal houses and trees have replaced the cypresses and town in the original artwork, and Van Gogh’s brushstrokes by nearly 1,400 illuminated acrylic tubes. Therefore, thanks to Ivana Jelic & Pavle Petrovic, we’re also ready to dream the sparkling work as well.

Are you planning to attend this glamorous festival? We are waiting to hear about your experiences! After your visit, please let us know in the comments.

Last but by no means least, if you are into art, we will have a blast seeing you here. I hope every art-related thing will find you; see you in our next review. ????✌