River of Light 2018: The Elements to light up Liverpool ahead the firework spectacular - The Guide Liverpool

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River of Light 2018: The Elements to light up Liverpool ahead the firework spectacular


We’re on countdown for the annual waterfront firework display, but wait….there’s even more to River of Light 2018.

The Elements, four specially commissioned artworks will light up the city’s waterfront this November as part of the third River of Light celebration. The installations will represent the elements which underpin Chinese philosophy: wood, water, earth and metal, with the fireworks themselves covering the fire element.

As well as the five Chinese elements being represented, from 5pm Sunday there will be a wide variety of streets performances on the waterfront including fire artists and performers. Visitors should also be on the lookout for a fire-breathing dragon patrolling the waters of the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, courtesy of artistic company Walk the Plank.

Each evening, from around 4.30pm on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November, visitors will be able to see these amazing light installations….

The Wave

River of Light

Representing water, 40 triangular interactive gates will be found along a 100metre stretch of the Strand (on the pavement near Salthouse Dock). Designed by Copenhagen-based artists Vertigo, the gates will respond to people’s movement creating a unique light and sound reaction.

Pool of Mirrors

In a nod to metal and taking inspiration from Chinese ‘magic mirrors’ which were cast in solid bronze and shrouded in mystery, Liverpool based arts collective The Kazimier will bring these ancient artefacts bang up to date with cutting edge materials, creating a metallic mirage of light on the canal.


This European premiere was first showcased at this year’s legendary Burning Man festival and falls into the ‘wood’ category. Located in Mann Island basin, 6m tall copper pipes will create the effect of a giant oak tree, transforming the area into a mysterious woodland. It has been created by Italian photographer and videographer Stefano Casati.


Fulfilling the earth section, the Royal Liver Building will become a canvas for light projections which will explore the traditional view of earth from space. The light has been designed by local lighting, audio and staging specialists Adlib.

The artworks are the finale of this year’s China Dream season which has seen a ten month celebration of Chinese culture as part of the programme of events marking ten years since Liverpool held the transformative European Capital of Culture title.

The Guide Liverpool

Chinese New Year

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “There is always an exciting build-up to the fireworks themselves, and the pre-show activities have proved hugely popular over the past couple of years.

“We’re delighted to be able to pay homage to China Dream and each of the newly commissioned artworks will look fantastic on our World Heritage Waterfront and add an unmissable creative edge to the event.

“Right of Light was hugely successful last year, and we hope families come along to the waterfront once again to enjoy the five Chinese elements in all their glory.”

To find out more about the River of Light celebrations click here or head to www.cultureliverpool.co.uk. Don’t forget to tag your pictures on the night with the official hashtag #RiverOfLight and keep it locked to @TheGuideLpool for all the waterfront action, as it happens.



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