Vividly Sydney

A photo of the MCA illuminated with geometric designs in red and blue. Flaming torches feature.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in full regalia.

Photo: courtesy of Vivid Sydney

Advancing illumination and projection technologies have given birth to a number of spectacular light festivals around the globe, including Berlin’s Festival of Lights and China’s spectacular Harbin Ice Festival. These festivals have several things in common; they highlight city architectural jewels and colour-drench streets, squares and hotspots, transforming cities and neighbourhoods into stages for stories, messages and a myriad of cultural interactions. In doing so, they enhance and uplift.

Traditionally, countries in the northern hemisphere that endure long, cold, dark winters have done decorative things with electric light – drooping them in garlands along buildings, above streets and scatter in fairy-like manner over dormant trees. But modern festivals of light take tradition one step further and Vivid Sydney is no exception.

Held annually and focused on the city precincts around the harbour, Vivid Sydney is much more than a light festival. It provides a forum, playground and summit; it offers a cutting-edge, contemporary music program, talks and creative thinking sessions. It showcases what can be done with laser, light and illumination with exciting outdoor sculptures and installations.

They highlight city architectural jewels and colour-drench streets, squares and hotspots, transforming cities and neighbourhoods into stages for stories, messages and a myriad of cultural interactions.

Aside from the not-to-be-missed dress circle events like the Lighting the Sails and the Harbour illuminations, here’s a run-down on other treats.

The National Maritime Museum is hosting Aquatic Nights a rooftop projection which will transport audiences to an underwater wonderland. Accompanied by a soundtrack which ebbs and flows like oceans currents, the projection is held nightly and extends across the width of the Pyrmont Bridge.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia has several events to savour. Dichroic Dimensions–don’t be put off by the name–requires the use of audience voices to activate the multi-coloured shards of light on the Mordant Wing of the building. It’s your chance to conjure–sing, shout, whistle or beat a drum to make an impact.

The Gamma Projections on the original façade of the MCA Australia is a sight to behold–the illuminations here include isometric designs to manipulate perspective, bold colour and animation to create a playful and dramatic viewing experience.

They are also hosting a number of interesting talks, so if thinking is what you want, The future of digital characters is set to be a drawcard event. The Redfern story traces the Indigenous struggle from street to stage and explores community activism with a panel discussion.

Sydney Living Museums is holding several events during Vivid, What can we learn from modern design looks interesting as does their related exhibition, Iconic Australian Houses.

Object Gallery is showing Resolved: Journeys of Australian design which explores design through idea, inspiration, process and people–a relevant and topical exhibition given Vivid’s specific relationship with design and technology.

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres of NSW create exciting and inspiring experiences for visitors and strong, thriving local communities. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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