Light Installation by Matthias Oostrik Unveiled in Amsterdam's Underpass
The light installation Het Licht van Jan (Jan's light) was unveiled in an industrial traffic underpass near Amsterdam's city center. In the artwork by Matthias Oostrik, passersby activate surging light projections that illuminate the narrow sidewalk and weathered walls of the underpass.
The underpass is located on a historic site, where several natural and constructed bodies of water existed before the railway was constructed in the late 19th century. Het Licht van Jan brings back this past by reviving both the flow of water on the ground as the sunlight radiating through the railway tracks on the walls.
Matthias' artworks enable new and unusual connections between people and their surroundings. Using digital technology, his installations respond to visitors with changing light, video, or sound, allowing visitors to reshape their environment. His works in public space are often functional. They contribute to a sense of security and are designed to last.
Het Licht van Jan is activated by pedestrians who walk on the narrow sidewalks of the Kattenburgerstraat underpass. In the darkest parts of the tunnel, they trigger bright projections of light. On the aged tile walls, beams of light move along with the pedestrians, while on the sidewalk, waves of light gently sway towards them.
Het Licht van Jan's projections are produced by a simple arrangement of bright lights and steel grates. Three on either side of the road, the projections are created by shining a row of ultra-bright lights through a series of custom-designed grates. The shadows of the unique grates interact to create moiré patterns, producing entirely different effects on both the wall and the floor. In stark contrast with the existing warm, almost orange streetlights, the projections use cold white light.
Like so many places in Amsterdam, the underpass is located on a historical site, where several natural and constructed bodies of water existed before the railway was constructed on an artificial strip of land in the late 19th century. Het Licht van Jan brings back this past by reviving both the flow of water on the ground as well as the sunlight radiating through the railway tracks on the walls.
Het Licht van Jan is developed in commission by the City of Amsterdam and is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
Matthias Oostrik Profile
Matthias Oostrik, based in Amsterdam, works at the intersection of digital art, installation art, and architecture. He collaborates with renowned performance artists, neuroscientists, engineers, and, crucially, his audience, who often form an integral part of his award-winning work. His Installation PLPLPL.PL, Bijlmer Moodwall(2009) and A Trail of Water(2020) are some of the works which represents his uniqueness. Under the nameDikker + Oostrik, Matthias forms a creative partnership with neuroscientist Suzanne Dikker. Together they published several scientific papers and exhibited works at a range of museums and festivals. Their art-science experimentThe Mutual Wave Machine, conceived in collaboration with TodaysArt and the Marina Abramovic Institute, received the Art of Neuroscience Award from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.
"Het Licht van Jan" Fact Sheet
|Type||permanent light installation|
|Media||160 channel light, 12 channel optic sensor|
|Dimensions||approx. 40 meter wide|