Sometimes art does exactly what it intends to do. This is the case with Water Fun by New Zealand-based architect and light artist Angus Muir. Several lighting elements float on the water’s surface near one of Amsterdam’s most famous bridges, the Magere Brug, or ‘Skinny Bridge’. In response to canal boats passing through their formation, the spherical buoys are illuminated in a rainbow of colors.
No cynicism. No underlying commentary on the unbearable lightness of contemporary society. The buoys exude an uncomplicated sense of joy, like balloons at a child’s birthday party or the thousands of colored bouncing balls that made their way down the streets of San Francisco in a 2005 Sony commercial. Watch it and enjoy.
A kind of lightning bolt himself, traveling from one international light art festival to another, Angus Muir has found the perfect expression: “Celebrating the space”. He celebrates the public space with his light designs - it’s almost like he brings the public space back to life. That’s not easy in an urban environment where artworks compete with flickering neon signs, streetlights and, in this case, the exuberantly lit Skinny Bridge, the bright contours of which catch your eye from a far distance. But Water Fun floats effortlessly through the visual violence. Amsterdam celebrates light during the darkest days of the year with a bright and sparkling party. And everyone is invited. We promise.