Kari Kola has been interested in light for as long as he can remember. Light is everywhere and it affects the world and our daily lives in many ways. Kari is from Finland where the autumns and the winters are long and very dark. He wanted to teach himself to use light to be able to utilize the darkness that surrounds everyone during those seasons. That’s why he became one of the world’s premiere light artists.
Kari has worked with light for approximately 17 years and has played a leading role in generating over 2,000 projects. He has worked with many historical castles and places and specializes in working with such vulnerable sites. He has created light installations to several unique sites including: UNESCO Headquarters, Stonehenge, Villa de Laak, and Saana Mountain. He has also worked both as a technical and an artistic leader in several productions including festivals, operas, musicals, multi-art performances and opening ceremonies across Finland and around the world. In 2005, Kola founded Valoparta Oy, a company specializing in light and event production.
Light is a really powerful tool and Mr. Kola believes that we can draw focus to any site, city or value using light art. His plan is to work on an unprecedented scale at unique sites and to push the limits of light art into new dimensions. This will create a new level of impact in raising awareness on many topics.
In January 2018, Kola bought the Joensuu Botania Garden, featuring Finland’s only tropical butterfly garden. Kari’s goal is to triple the number of visitors to Botania, expand the facilities, and make the garden an international tourist destination.
Yes, Kari Kola lit a remote mountain!
To give you a sense of the scale Kari Kola works on, consider the Luminous Finland 100 project.
Luminous Finland 100 light art ensemble comprised six massive pieces of light art that were exhibited all around Finland during the jubilee year of Finnish independence. Familiar Finnish landmarks, natural diversity and some historical sites were highlighted by light art in an unprecedented way. Luminous Finland 100 was a part of the official jubilee programme of Finnish independence and it was the biggest art concept. The main sponsor for the light art ensemble was the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland.
The artwork for the Jubilee Year Opening Ceremony in Töölönlahti Bay of Helsinki on 31st December 2016 launched the light art series. Luminous Finland 100 ensemble culminated around the Finnish Independence Day jubilee week, 28th November – 6th December, 2017, when the pieces of light art series were lit one-by-one in Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna, Näsinneula Observation Tower in Tampere, Kuusisaari Isle in Oulu, Saana Fell in Kilpisjärvi, and Turku Castle in Turku.
And he is the only artist ever to light Stonehenge!
Check out how nature interacts with technical and artistic wizardry in The Story of Light
Be sure to take some time to explore Kari Kola’s online portfolio!