UPDATE 11/10/23: “Field of Light” at Freedom Plaza will officially open on December 15. Complimentary timed tickets are now available right here.
New York is about to get more lit—literally.
Scheduled to open this winter for a yearlong residence, English-Australian artist Bruce Munro is bringing his “Field of Light” public art installation to Manhattan’s East Side. The immersive piece will transform more than 6 acres, from 38th Street to 41st Street on First Avenue, at the mixed-use Freedom Plaza space near the United Nations Headquarters.
Honoring New York City as "a beacon of freedom and home around the world," per a press release, the installation will consist of an array of 17,000 lowlight, fiber-optic stemmed spheres that will illuminate with a range of colors, creating a landscape that will almost look painted. The spheres will be powered by solar energy, "the nexus of art, technology and nature."
“Bruce shares an aligned commitment to the use of sustainable and innovative technologies to spark imagination and push the bounds of creativity. We are thrilled to work with him on this significant project,” said Stefan Soloviev, Chairman of Soloviev Group, which is behind the development of Freedom Plaza.
The artist himself—whose works have been displayed everywhere from London's Victoria & Albert Museums the Sharjah Museum of Art in the UAE to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum right here in New York—said of the project: “Light has always played a major part in my life and work, and for me, is a natural medium to use. With the light installation at Freedom Plaza in Manhattan, I intend to stimulate the imagination and senses of any viewer by creating a breathtaking immersive experience that utilizes every hue of light to create a visual Eden.”
The Field of Light installation is but one program planned for Freedom Plaza, which will also reportedly see a museum highlighting human rights and freedom of speech, thought and expression. The museum collection will feature artworks from international artists, including large-scale experiential installations, as well as historical artifacts, such as slabs from the actual Berlin Wall. Walking paths, shopping and dining options, a gaming facility and a hotel are also in the works for the waterfront space.
The “Field of Light” display will be accessible to the public starting this winter and will be on view for 12 months.