Bright Brussels, the festival of lights in the capital, is back for a sixth edition from 10 to 13 February 2022. Alongside the Royal Quarter and the European Quarter, the Flagey district is joining in the fun and will be decked out with light installations by national and international artists. The festival will once again feature a fringe program, including night openings at museums. A comprehensive program to brighten up the long winter evenings.
Since its very first edition, Bright Brussels has offered visitors and residents a unique opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the capital’s districts in another light. This year, no fewer than 20 monumental installations will take over the heart of the capital from 10 February. From projections to a light show, along with interactive installations, artists will compete in a test of creativity to transform the capital and wow visitors of all ages.
I am thrilled and proud that Bright Brussels will be held again this year, to the delight of both our inhabitants and visitors to our region. Choose your route and discover our heritage and Brussels in a different light.Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President Brussels Region
This year, the Flagey district is joining the festival with several of its iconic locations being transformed by installations from Belgian and international artists. New this year: explore the Sibelga Light Market at Brussels Park. Discover more than 300m2 dedicated to the repair of damaged lighting and the sale of second-hand lighting.
On top of this exciting program, Bright Brussels will also be offering visitors the opportunity to continue their night-time adventure by visiting some of the capital’s cultural institutions. Several museums will be open to visitors in the evening during the festival. A great opportunity to (re)discover the city’s rich heritage.
This year, Bright Brussels is an invitation to all to take a walk or a ride on public transport through our capital to discover or rediscover our heritage.Elke Van den Brandt, Brussels Minister of Transport and Public Works
During Bright Brussels several guided tour organizers will be offering night-time guided tours. An original experience to discover the capital in a whole new light.
1. Flagey District
Floraison – PITAYA (FR) – Rue du Levant
By day, the red flowers radically change the perception of the space, but it is after dark that they reveal themselves to the public, making the space glow a warm red. At night black light projectors reveal the green stems of each flower to add to the feeling of suspended flowers, thereby enhancing the installation’s magical appearance.
Aftereal – Yasuhiro Chida (JP) – La Cambre Abbey
The light effect produced by the rapid movement of a torch in darkness is well-known: it’s an impression referred to as “light aftermath”. This special phenomenon takes centre stage in this impressive installation. Aftereal consists of hundreds of elastic threads that are moved up and down by small motors and illuminated in the darkness by UV lamps.
View From The Moon – Joanie Lemercier (FR) – La Cambre Abbey
Far away, the silhouette of a planet is projected onto a large wall. It looks like it could be the moon. As you get closer, you see the details of craters and irregularities created by shadows and reliefs. Looking even closer, you recognise the contours of continents, seas and oceans. What remains are traces of disasters, the monochrome reveals the absence of an atmosphere and the disappearance of oceans. It is up to the visitor to imagine what lies behind this view of an inert planet.
HYDRA – Module / Nicolas Paolozzi (FR) – Jardin du Roi
From Greek mythology to the Chinese culture, the snake is present in the imagination of cultures worldwide. Benevolent, protective, intimidating, sometimes malevolent, this chimeric animal has many different guises. This interpretation highlights the feelings of humans towards the animal: its fluid, winding and undulating body is hypnotic and enchanting, while its metallic structure and thorny articulations evoke a feeling of hostility or fear.
Halo – Tobias Zehntner (CH/DK/BE) – Church of Our Lady of the Cambre at La Cambre Abbey
The windows of the church are illuminated as if candles were dancing inside. Visitors are encouraged to wander around, sit down, stand under the halo and watch the countless columns, reliefs, arches and figures come to life. For Bright Brussels, Tobias Zehntner designed Halo, a minimal and poetic intervention consisting of suspended lights that rotate above the audience. The closer the bulbs are to each other, the brighter they become, creating a play of lights and shadows with the architecture and the audience.
Passengers – Guillaume Marmin (FR) – Avenue Général de Gaulle
Passengers consists of a container that opens on both sides, revealing a framed perspective on its exhibition site. The kaleidoscopic interior reflects and multiplies the external environment depending on the point of view. Visitors are then invited to walk through the installation to see their image infinitely multiplied in a landscape of moving pixels. A contemplative and introspective experience, a space-time capsule, suspended between past and future, which questions our own finitude.
Fréquences – Rencontres Audiovisuelles (Jules HUVIG, Hamza MRABET, Simon LEBON, Géraldine KWIK) – Place Sainte-Croix
This 5-minute video projection on the facade of the Maison de la Radio is a mural of sounds that explores the various aspects of radio broadcasting. It is made up of three movements: the first symbolises the start of the broadcast, with the signal crackling and the beats gradually taking shape. The second movement enriches the mural with figurative sound: voices and music emerge, they blend and disrupt each other, and they merge into a chaotic whole. The third movement is built around clear sounds and ends in a musical climax. All these elements come together in a harmonious, masterful piece of mapping art.
2. European Quarter
SMing – Superbe (BE) – Art & History Museum
SMing is an interactive choir installation offering visitors the chance to be both a conductor and an entire choir simultaneously. First, the visitor’s voice (audio and video) is recorded. It is then analysed and modified using software to compose a full choir, from baritones to sopranos.
Drawn in Light – Ralf Westerhof (NL) –Cinquantenaire Park
Drawn in Light is a large installation made of steel. Metal wire is hand-bent into various shapes, thereby creating a delicate drawing. The lines of this drawing reflect light and illuminate the sky. They depict a house, a nearby tree and a passing cyclist. The installation, lit on four sides by LED lights, turns in a continuously moving orbit.
Far Away – Chevalvert (FR) – Cinquantenaire Park
Far Away resembles a space exploration scene, taking the form of 12 rotating sentinels, scanning the terrain in search of a sign, a movement or a resource. These sentinels, which are half-scanner half-weathervane, come to life before your eyes in a minimal and mesmerizing ballet. What are they looking for? How do they interact? What do they respond to? People passing underneath these objects seems to interfere with their exploratory tasks.
Circle Totem – Olivier Clausse (FR) – Léopold Park
Circle Totem is a poetic, slow and narrative installation. The totem can be appreciated in its own right but also in a broader context. This artistic proposal is designed to create links. First of all, the link with time, by inviting visitors to contemplate, stop and observe. But also the link with constant rediscovery through the play of lights, colors and intensities. The totems are animated independently and the pool of water at the base of each structure reflects the light and allows for multiple points of view.
Arboretum – 400 Coups (BE) – Léopold Park (Museum of Natural Sciences)
A truly poetic spectacle comes to life on an incredible glass roof. The secret dance of the fauna and flora is revealed before the spectators’ eyes, which reflect the glow of the rainbow-colored insects, dotting the place like glittering jewels. A storm is rumbling in the distance and ancient silhouettes seem to be emerging from the foliage. The night promises to be a very eventful one.
Les Pikooks – Porté Par le Vent (FR) – Léopold Park
An aerial nuptial dance performed by blue kite birds.
In the heart of the night, large luminous birds with spotted feathers fly by. Inspired by cute snowy owls, they twirl around delicately. Witness the courtship of this majestic pair of birds And enjoy a moment of joy and poetry.
Sunflowers for Vincent van Gogh – Ocubo (PT) – Cinquantenaire Park
For a moment you feel as if you were looking at a painting by Vincent van Gogh. As you come closer, you see that these are lanterns made according to Chinese traditions. This luminous work of art is a tribute to the painter who, during his stay in Arles, France, painted 69 sunflowers, and regarded those sunflowers as lanterns.
3. Royal Quarter
FloWeЯ PoWeЯ – Aerosculpture (Jean-Pierre David & Christian Thellier) (FR) – Place Royale
FloWeЯ PoWeЯ is, in a way, a third-generation work, inspired by research and experimentation with a system that can recreate the rings of Saturn. Jean-Pierre David and Christian Thellier have managed to blend digital and electromechanical technology that explores light, speed and transparency. Lights becomes matter, creating concentric flashes and infinite spirals, like multicolored digital flowers.
Kinetic Perspective – Juan A. Fuentes (ES) – Brussels Park
Inspired by the optical art illusions of the 1960s, Kinetic Perspective takes as its starting point an ever-spinning circle moving outwards and its illusory effect. In this way, the artist creates an abstract and immersive geometric shape, playing with the perspective of visitors by giving the impression of movement. Invited to actively participate and observe, the audience must move around to discover the patterns, glimmers and distortion, within which a hidden geometry lies, which will be revealed.
Diving in the sea of colors – Daniel Margraf (DE) – Place des Musées
What if we could experience color through light? This work by Daniel Margraf literally plunges visitors into a fantastic world of shapes, colors and light. Visitors interact with the light environment, feel the vibrations of colors and let their emotions flow. It’s an interactive piece of light art.
Ceci n’est pas du cinéma – JJMA – Mont des Arts
For over 10 years, the Magritte Awards have been celebrating the best of Belgian cinema. This year, the 11th award ceremony takes place on 12 February, at the same time as the Bright Brussels festival. The Magritte Awards take place every year in Square, an events venue located on the Mont des Arts. To mark the occasion and in conjunction with Bright Brussels, the Mont des Arts garden will come alive as a tribute to the Belgian film industry and its directors and actors. The facade of the Albertine will be decked out in a magnificent display of lights and the tree-lined walkways will echo the aisles of a cinema. This will all be accompanied by a soundtrack, for a completely immersive experience.
HYPERFORM – Antoine Goldschmidt & Colas Fiszman (BE) – Palais des Académies
A monumental laser sculpture, HYPERFORM weaves real sheets of light in the air. 250 lasers weave these surfaces of light, which come alive and play with the three dimensions of space and time, on the crossroads between orthogonality and organicity, nature and technology, shadow and light.
ENSAV La Cambre x Bright Brussels (BE) – Ecuries du Palais des Académies
Discover the prototypes of illuminated signage by the students of ENSAV La Cambre. Following the success of their first collaboration during the last edition of the festival, Bright Brussels and ENSAV La Cambre are joining forces once again. The graphic design and industrial design departments are working together to design and create a selection of illuminated signs that will guide spectators along the various Bright Brussels routes from 2023 onwards.
The first stage of this collaboration is taking place this year. An exhibition will showcase the prototypes made by 8 student groups. One of these prototypes will then be selected and produced as a series, which will be used from the 2023 edition of the event onward, to guide the public along the different routes.
Sibelga Light Market – Brussels Park
New this year: explore the Sibelga Light Market at Brussels Park. Discover more than 300m2 dedicated to the repair of damaged lighting and the sale of second-hand lighting. Visitors will be able to have their lighting repaired or treat themselves to new light fittings from a selection of 400 to 500 refurbished and second-hand items! This space will be managed by Sibelga, the Brussels-Capital Region’s network operator for electricity and natural gas. This initiative will be an opportunity for Sibelga and the communal public lighting network to interact with the people of Brussels in a playful way, while also promoting sustainability.