Lights On: The Light Art Festival involves art in public spaces with students from Timișoara and Cluj-Napoca

Miruna Macsim 08/09/2023 | 16:12

Lights On is Romania’s first light art festival that directly involves two major universities in the country in a public space exhibition. Thus, students from the West University of Timișoara and those from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca will have a significant presence at the festival in Timișoara, through two light installations. At the end of the Timișoara festival, one of the installations created by students will go to Leeds, UK, for a prestigious light festival.


The Lights On festival aims to transform the first European city to be publicly illuminated (in 1884) into a city of light. Timișoara will thus become a city of light, with the help of students from the West University of Timișoara (UVT through the Faculty of Arts and Design) and the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca (UAD), who have joined the Daisler Association in this unique initiative, supported by BCR. Lights On thus becomes Romania’s first light festival to integrate universities into the vibrant world of new media, providing a platform for collaboration and exposure for students from both institutions.

Specifically, each university received a grant of €5,000, obtained at the initiative of the Daisler Association through BCR, to bring to life entirely unique and special light installations. One of the works challenges introspection about love and affection, about how personal desires are an expression of collective desires, while the work of students from Cluj-Napoca offers a non-conformist vision of the values of various citizens in a unique and special way.

The students were guided in creating the works by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniel Popescu, artistic director of Lights On Romania, who coordinated the work of both Timișoara and Cluj-Napoca students.

“This year, we found the most suitable context to invite two of the traditional universities in the academic field specializing in visual arts to help us reimagine public space through contemporary art created by students in the Sculpture department. We were inspired by successful models in countries such as France, the Netherlands, the UK, or Spain, where the partnership between Light Art festivals and universities brings innovation, experimentation, and quality works, supporting the local creative ecosystem and future generations of artists,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniel Popescu, artistic director of Lights On Romania.

“I wanna be loved/Everybody does” – proposal by UVT students

Ana Messer, András Hunor, Mátyás Attila, Sorin Ștefan Valea, and Ștefania Iakab-Chirca, under the coordination of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bogdan Rață, are the names behind the work carried out by the West University of Timișoara. Their inspiration was Lauren Berlant’s book “Desire/Love,” which examines attachment, affection, and intimate relationships. The light installation invites the public to break patterns and rethink an already known concept: community. Through art, people are guided to look at how intimate relationships intersect with the community space and discover that personal experiences are often influenced by what is happening in the community at that moment, by the “trendy” experiences.

“The involvement of students from the Faculty of Arts and Design in Timișoara in a project that brings visionary concepts about sculpture, light, space, public space, and community together is a team exercise that opens up new ways of perceiving, conceiving, and interacting with contemporary art,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bogdan Rață, coordinator of the project for the students of the Faculty of Arts and Design at UVT.

“Talk Socks” – proposal by Cluj-Napoca students

The luminous installation created by students from Cluj is non-conformist and invites introspection. “Talk Socks” is a game of resizing and offers a pretext for social activation of the community around everyday themes, a personification of the typologies of citizens and their values. In an innovative way, creative students propose the personification of typologies in the form of socks. Thus, the installation presents 2,000 individual socks that will be displayed under UV light.

The unique and non-conformist work is the result of collaboration between students from the Sculpture department at UAD: Maria Brîneț, Cristina Nițu, Gabriela Leu, Andreea Grigoraș, Roxana Csucsak, Ana Dimitra Avram, David Bandi, Alin Tănasă, Florin Marc, Teodor Buruiană, under the coordination of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Septimiu Jugrestan and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniel Popescu, with ArtiViStory Collective, consisting of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alice Iliescu, Adrian Buda, Mihai Guleș. ArtiViStory Collective is a group that brings the comic book medium to a unique format, the sock.

“The students of the Sculpture department at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca (UAD) enthusiastically responded to the challenge launched by the Lights On – The Night-Art Festival. We hope that in the future, such collaborations will be repeated, encouraging the vision of future artists and supporting the idea of multi/interdisciplinarity,” explained Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eugen Savinescu, Rector of UAD Cluj Napoca.

Support from trusted partners

All of this was made possible with the support of Banca Comercială Română, through George, the first intelligent internet banking service in Romania. BCR supported both the work of students from the West University of Timișoara and the work of students from Cluj.

The bank allocated a grant of €5,000 to each educational institution to facilitate access to the Lights On Festival.

“BCR invests in scholarships for students who imagine the connection between art, technology, and society through innovative techniques. Together, we connect the future to the creative potential of each community, and this will create the premise to reinvent business, education, and society. BCR is a partner for Timișoara, for a smart city, and for a smart future,” said Ionut Stanimir, Director of Marketing & Communication at BCR.

One of the works goes to the UK for another light festival

One of the works created by students will go to Leeds, UK, for another light festival, among the largest in the UK. Three of the students who created the work will go together with it to Light Night in Leeds, becoming ambassadors of Romanian art there.

“Lights On is an atypical light festival, one of the best-connected in this part of Europe. We are pleased to announce, together with our partners, the first grants for creating light installations that will then be exhibited at one of the largest festivals of its kind,” said Andi Daiszler, founder of Lights On.

“Lights On” thus becomes more than just a festival that celebrates light but also a platform aimed at integrating and promoting talented young people in the field of light art.

The project is part of the National Cultural Program “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is financed through the Grow Timișoara 2023 program, carried out by the Projects Center of Timișoara Municipality, with funds allocated from the state budget, through the Ministry of Culture.

The grants are provided by George, BCR’s innovation, as part of the Lights On – The Night-Art Festival.

BR Magazine | Latest Issue

Download PDF or read online: July 2023 Issue | Business Review Magazine

The July 2023 issue of Business Review Magazine is now available in digital format, featuring the main cover story titled “At a Crossroads: Budget Deficit Endangering Romania’s Economic
Miruna Macsim | 31/07/2023 | 14:14

    You will receive a download link for the latest issue of Business Review Magazine in PDF format, based on the completion of the form below.

    I agree with the Privacy policy of

    I agree with the storage and handling of my data by

    Advertisement Advertisement
    Close ×

    We use cookies for keeping our website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our website is used.

    Accept & continue