Each year, the Light Festival in Amsterdam is celebrated with thirty new light sculptures and installations that illuminate the streets of the city. ‘The medium is the message’ was the theme of the festival that took place in the city from 29 November 2018 to 20 January 2019 and Gali May Lucas was one of the youngest exhibitors in the festival, credited with the creation of the magical Absorbed by light, associated with a strong social message.
Designed by the British Gali May Lucas and executed by the Berlin-based sculptor Karoline Hinz, a lighted sculpture entitled Absorbed by Light displayed outside the Hermitage Amsterdam Museum, during the annual light festival of 2018-2019. The unique sculpture depicts three figures sat next to each other on a bench in the familiar poses and postures of the Smartphone users, with their heads bent, fingers typing and swiping, faces glowing in the reflected light.
In fact, it depicts people’s fixation with digital technology and aims to highlight, how digital technology engrosses and takes people away from reality. It intends to comment on a reality that has become so ubiquitous in current culture.
While Gali May Lucas is a senior designer in the Design Bridge Amsterdam Studio, Karoline Hinz is a sculptor, based in Germany. After Lucas discovered Karoline’s work on Instagram, she contacted Karoline and they worked together to create the absorbing piece of art that implies a social message.
The idea is simple and the impact very strong. Today, it seems to be impossible to imagine our life without the indispensable object, called the Smartphone. While its irresistible attraction mesmerizes us to become exclusively engrossed to it, we alienate and forget about everything and everyone except the magic world displayed on its little screen.
Although the magical light of the Smartphone brings us information, it draws us away from the tangible world. Gradually, and probably unknowingly, we engage ourselves more with the virtual and superficial reality and ultimately, it isolates us and detaches us from anything and anyone in the real world, something Lucas makes painfully clear in her Absorbed by light.