The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey presents Lightopia, a selection of more than 300 works that demonstrate the performative power of light from the beginnings of industrial society to the visions that will define our future.

With its interdisciplinary approach, the exhibition shows how lighting design has influenced modern living spaces, explores the current paradigm shift and locates it within cultural history. It is the first exhibition that looks at the different facets of lighting design and places it in the context of current debates and it presents comprehensive showcase on the topic of lighting design, featuring examples from the realms of art, design, architecture and many other disciplines.

Over the past century, electric light has revolutionized our environment like almost no other medium. It has transformed our cities, created new lifestyles and working conditions, and has become a catalyst for progress in industry, medicine, and communication.

The selection of works includes featured creations of contemporary artists and designers such as Olafur Eliasson, Troika, Chris Fraser, Daan Roosegaarde, Joris Laarman, realities:united y mischer´traxler, among others, who illustrate new possibilities for designing with light.

The exhibition is divided into four sections:

Living in “LIGHTOPIA”
The first section begins with an inventory of our current living space, deeply influenced by light. In the western society, entire sectors are dependent on light as a basic resource and negative consequences of this development are energy consumption and light pollution. However, this situation has also produced countless opportunities and innovations that facilitate new design-free spaces and make possible to control and modulate light in ways that were previously unthinkable.

This section is complemented by film projections, background information and a detailed view of the light bulb as an icon, along with its successors in the digital age.

Icons of lighting design
This part of the exhibition presents a retrospective of the development of lighting objects with numerous examples of iconic pieces and deals with the causes of light design as well as social, political and technological factors that greatly influenced the principles of design.

Colour, space, motion
In this part, the vision shifts from the lamp to the light itself. It is about their ability to form spaces, create environments and tell stories. There is also a development in the design of light on a small scale, which has evolved in a close interlaced with the creation of spaces and tendencies of an art of the same time.

The use of innovating plastic materials became a relevant aspect of lighting design in the 1960s, a manifestation of the psychedelic color culture of that decade.

Light for tomorrow
The final part of Lightopia encompasses several large installations that are based on new lighting technologies.

Other exhibits place their emphasis on achieving a balance between natural and artificial light, between excessive light and sufficient darkness, between ambient lighting and personalized light sources.

These concerns are evident in city lighting systems that respond to moonlight, in street lanterns with motion sensors, or in soft, transparent, self-illuminated media facades that define urban spaces. The exhibition also shows how energy-efficient and luminescent diodes facilitate the connection of lighting and energy production.

Sunlight is also used today as a multifaceted tool for the production of artificial light. A central role for creations is played by light technologies beyond the classic light bulb: light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which started to gain popularity in the 1990s, or the organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), their fast-developing progeny.

This final section of Lightopia is designed as a large laboratory, showing contemporary pioneering solutions, as well as prototypes, experiments and visions that could modify the light in our daily lives.

© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

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