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Artworks at Amsterdam Light Festival 2021


Slowly the days are getting shorter and darker. At sunset, the water of the Amsterdam canals transforms into a playful display of city light reflections. It creates the perfect setting for this year's special celebration of the festival. Taking place from Dec 2, 2021 to January 23, 2022, this edition celebrates their 10th anniversary with an exciting trip down memory lane. Below we have a quick look at five favorite artworks that you're going to encounter during a Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise with us at Stromma.

Welcoming back former favorites and new installations

Good news for fans of the festival out there: this time the most popular light installations of the past nine years will make a comeback. Earlier, the public was able to vote online for their favorite artwork from the last decade. Now the votes have finally been counted and the winners are announced. The total route will consist of more than 20 light installations, including the public’s favorites and some new artworks. 
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‘Whole Hole’ by Paul Vendel and Sandra de Wolf

Making a comeback from 2017, this memorable work from Paul Vendel and Sandra de Wolf kind of pulls you into a ‘worm hole’ under the bridge. Their installation symbolizes the human existence: from being born into the light to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. The canal water plays an extra role, creating a full circle in it’s reflection.


‘Light a Wish’ by OGE Group

Another loved one from previous editions is the installation from OGE Group named ‘Light a Wish’, with their enlarged fluffy dandelion seeds hanging above the canal. The idea comes from the visualization of making a wish before you blow off the dandelion seeds into the sky. The seeds magically flow through the air, sending the wish into the universe. We predict that again many will be inspired by the installation and will be making wishes as they’ll pass this breathtaking work.

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‘1.26’ by Janet Echelman 

This remarkable piece is also celebrating its tenth anniversary by making a comeback this year. With ‘1.26’ the artist is referring to the earthquake in Chile in 2010, that caused that day to be reduced by 1.26 microseconds. This phenomenon is reflected in Echelman’s work, projecting colors that indicate the course of time on fishing nets. The result is this rare ripple in time that reflects beautifully on the Amsterdam canals. 

‘Ghost Ship’ by Biangle Studio

This eerie resemblance of The Flying Dutchman had its debut at the Amsterdam Light Festival in 2014. Two crossed projections create this 3D image of this famous Dutch seventeenth-century ghost ship. Water and wind are key elements for this artwork; they make the image of the ship vibrate and illuminate even more and truly makes it come to life. Take a good look again this winter to catch the glory of the infamous ‘Ghost Ship’ back in the waters of Amsterdam. See main image.


‘Butterfly Effect’ by Masamichi Shimada

Have you heard about the butterfly effect? And that something as small as a flying butterfly can cause big typhoons, only by flapping its wings? This meteorological effect is beautifully portrayed by Masamichi Shimada’s seven gigantic butterflies placed in the canals. The movement of the water caused by passing boats makes the wings of the butterflies light up in a bright blue color. Get ready for this magical and charming artwork that will light up your night.

Enjoy the festival with a canal boat tour

As official festival founding partner, we invite you to experience all of the installations on our Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise or Amsterdam Light Festival Open Boat Tour. This way you get to experience the festival the best way possible and in all its glory. During the canal cruise you can enjoy the artwork while you have a seat in one of our covered and heated tour boats with a guide. The open boat tours are more up-close and cozy. Our skippers are happy to share all you need to know about the festival and yes, we have extra warm blankets!

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Celebrate this special edition

Do you want to celebrate something special during the Amsterdam Light Festival? Our private canal tour can make it even more special. For more information about the festival and our boat tours, please have a look at our festival page or feel free to contact us. We hope to welcome you this winter and celebrate this special 10th anniversary edition together with you.


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