October 28, 2020

‘Absorbed by Light’ — A Clever Sculptural Installation That Asks Us To Reflect On Our Obsession With Technology

The annual Amsterdam Light Festival is a magical time in the Dutch capital. From November to January, 30 artworks light up the center of Amsterdam and visitors can view the sculptures and installations on foot, by bike, or by boat. The festival celebrates artists from around the world and this year, one of our own is included in the line-up. Gali Lucas is a Senior Designer in our Amsterdam Studio and will be exhibiting her sculpture, ‘Absorbed by Light’.

Design Bridge has launched a topical new light sculpture in the heart of Amsterdam to highlight our obsession with technology and staring at screens. Absorbed by Light was created in collaboration with British artist Gali May Lucas and made especially for this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival.

The installation, which sits outside the Hermitage Amsterdam, provides an arresting commentary on “how we’re constantly drawn to the screens that illuminate our lives; yet the light that brings us information also draws us away from the tangible world”. It’s in response to this year’s theme: the medium is the message.

“I see this every day in parks and in restaurants, especially in winter when there are more hours of darkness,” says Gali. “In previous years, the works in the festival have been visually impressive but abstract – I chose to create something instantly recognisable and, in reality, quite literal. But eerie at the same time.”

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Absorbed by Light is a clever sculptural installation that asks us to reflect on our obsession with technology.

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The sculpture responds to the idea of ‘the medium is the message’, which is the theme of this year’s light festival and is on display outside the hermitage Amsterdam. The installation itself sees three figures sat next to each other on a bench in the familiar poses and positions of smartphone users: heads bent, fingers typing and swiping, faces glowing in reflected light. the British artist, Gali May Lucas, comments on the subject by saying, ‘I see this every day in parks and in restaurants. in previous years, the works in the festival have been visually impressive but abstract – I chose to create something instantly recognizable and, in reality, quite literal. but eerie at the same time.’ 

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Each year, the festival sees 30 new light sculptures and installations illuminate the streets of the city, and this year Lucas is one of the youngest exhibitors. She worked with sculptor Karoline Hinz, who is based in Germany, to create the piece. the two were initially connected after Lucas discovered Karoline’s work on Instagram. ‘Absorbed by Light’ depicts people’s fixation with digital technology and intends to comment on a reality that has become so ubiquitous in current culture.

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Gali add: “Absorbed by Light depicts a reality we can all recognise in ourselves – a universal truth. As a spectator, you can join the narrative by taking up a position amongst the figures and sitting on the bench.”

Simple, iconic and atmospheric, the sculpture is set to become this year’s most ‘Instagrammable’ sculpture. This is the first year Design Bridge has participated in the Amsterdam Light Festival. The event takes place until 20 January 2019.

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Brand agency Design Bridge collaborated with sculptor Karoline Hinz to bring the work to life.

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By interacting with the sculptures, visitors are asked to reflect on the role of technology in their own lives.

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