Photokina is the world’s leading trade fair for photography and video imaging. With 983 exhibitors from 42 countries, including every major photography brand, and 191,000 visitors its safe to say its as big as it gets in the world of Photography. The multi day event was held in Cologne, Germany and here is the best part, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Light Painting Legend and LAPP founder Jan Leonardo Wöllert, this year Photokina showcased the Light Painting art form in a big way! There was an exhibition of over 100 Light Painting Artist from 40 different countries, Light Painting Lectures, Light Painting Workshops, and even a Live Light Painting Photo Booth in the Olympus Playground right in the front of the show! Jan Leonardo is a very busy man but I was finally able to talk with him a little bit about the event! Since this was such a grand event I also wanted to get another perspective from a few of the Light Painters that attended the event so I asked Pala Teth and Mart Barras to select one single image from the event and tell me why it was their favorite, that will be PART 2. First up is the Interview with Jan Leonardo Wöllert read on below.
Interview with Jan Leonardo Wöllert:
LPP ∇ Jan first off on behalf of the entire Light Painting community I want to say Thank You! What an extraordinary event for light painting art and artist you created this year at Photokina. Can you tell me more about some of the different light painting events you organized for for the show?
JL ∇ Thank you Jason, Together I worked with the organizers of Photokina and many other light painters and friends to created the event “Photokina Event- World LightArt” this included a few different areas:
The Photokina – LightArt Congress (PhoLAC) was held on September 23rd and 24th. The Congress was a great event that included live music, laser shows, Ironman & Avengers live, workshops, light painting lectures and presentations, and much more in the Center of Photokina!
We had the Digital Light Painting Exhibition powered by ZEISS On 22 Panasonic screens. One these screens we presented over 100 Light Paintings by artists from 40 different countries! The 100 nominated photographs from the International Light Painting Awards 2016, as well as the winners of the International Light Painting Awards 2015 and 2013. The exhibition area covered 150 square meters and was in the lighting area of Photokina. There was also a chill lounge for drawing a deep breath and enjoying the Photokina experience. The Winners of International the Light Painting Award 2016 were shown along with the winners of the 3rd International Light Painting Award on back lighted pictures. These beautiful illuminated images were produced from the print specialist Daniel Ries!
3rd: As special attraction we had the Light Painting photoBOX direct on the middle boulevard. The Live Light Painting photoBOX was on the middle boulevard in the entrance area of Photokina as a main attraction. It was a part of the Photokina Eventworld too. During the whole photokina produced lots LP artist more than 1000 live light paintings with interested photokina visitors.
4th: Finally we had a Printed Exhibition of the Light Painting Award – Photokina Special prize winner 2015 Darren Pearson from USA. Whitewall/Hahnemühle print exhibition
LPP ∇ WOW that is a lot going on! How many artist participated in the digital exhibition?
There were around 126 artist that were shown in the Light Painting Gallery powered by ZEISS together with the winners of the International Light Painting Award 2016.
LPP ∇ Can you tell me more about the live light painting photo booth, who was creating the portraits for this portion of the event?
JL ∇ Bernhard Rauscher organized the Light Painting photoBOX and hosted them together with Sven Gerard, Gus Mercerat Manuel Köstler. We also had a rich program and international guests, including Darren Pearson (USA), Eric Pare (Canada), Denis Smith (Australia), Mart Barras (UK) and many more. On the photokina opening day Ironman was there in person for photographs.
LPP ∇ How did you select the artist you brought to the event?
JL ∇ The idea was to bring light artist from around the world together! Eric Pare is one of the fastest growing international Light Painting artist. He and Kim are a amazing artist couple. Denis Smith is the best Australian Light Painter and was the 2nd Light Painting Award winner in 2013, he is also a very successful and professionel light painting artist. Mart Barras is a very creative light painter and well known too. The basis of my sellection was that the selected artists were role models and/or had a very special message, like the great German Artist Sven Nieder and his Stella Polaris story.
LPP ∇ What was your favorite moment from the Photokina?
JL ∇ The “After phoLAC FUN” there was for the whole community a great moment. Organized by Karin Brodowsky and Marcel Panne from Lichtfaktor was a night a full success with a unbelievable Brazilian Barbecue named Rodizio and a lot of beer. This event was planned to be a big Light Painting together but it was much much more. I saw so many faces and people that we spoke to for the first time after a long time friendship online.
The light and fire artist Rene Albrecht did a fantastic fire show. This “After photLAC FUN” was for a great moment for all of us.
LPP ∇ How many people visited the light painting exhibitions?
JL ∇ In all areas we had more than 16.000 visitors. Alone the Light Painting Gallery powered by ZEISS had more than 11.000 visitors at the six photokina exhibtion days. The Light Painting Gallery powered by ZEISS was the biggest international light painting exhibition world wide and a great success.
LPP ∇ What was the most challenging part of the event?
JL ∇ This is funniest part Jason! The most challenging part was my own speech on the Photokina – LightArt Congress. I spoked often about Light Painting at different events but I was never so unendless, dead, and empty. After a few minutes into my speech I lost my concept and was close to crying. The audience was great, they gave me big ovation and helped me in these painful moments. The Photokina “Event World LightArt” and the PhoLAC were planned so big, there was almost too much to be done! I noticed it during the Photokina, It was overwhelming and I slept only 3 hours each night.
Another very emotional moment was during the construction of the Light Painting Gallery together with Jörg and Garry from EMD also Anna and me. Garry hurt himself very bad. His middle finger was broken in eight places and between him and I we couldn’t prevent it. He had to go to the hospital and after only 3 hours he was back and continue working with us. Thank you very much dear Garry … you old hard bone.
LPP ∇ Who were the sponsors that helped put all this together.
JL ∇ At first is to be mentioned the Photokina. The Photokina and I were the promoter of the “Photokina Event World LightArt” and from the phoLAC. Without the support, power and believe in the success of the event there would have been no phoLAC. Thank you so much Mrs. Pudlat and Mr. Schmale.
Carl Zeiss and Manfrotto supported and sponsored all areas and helped with organization questions and with money. Thank Daniel Ries from the HQ Print Service delivered the best backlight prints I ever have seen. The fotoforum Magazine produzed together with me the fantastic fotoforum special print with all data’s of the different stages, events and areas. They printed 4000 magazines and they were after 5 days out of print.
Thank you very much dear Martin Breutmann for your help and ideas.
But the biggest sponsors and helpers were the humans: My friends! First to mention the good soul and my girlfriend: Anna Leonardo!!! She helped me in moments I was more than down. She talked with people when I hadn’t time for conversation. Anna is my artistic muse and my life. Thank you so much Anna Leonardo to be with me in this difficult times.
Garry Krätz from EMD was the Technical Manager and gave all his power, his event equipment and experience for the PhoLAC and the Light Painting Gallery powered by ZEISS. Thank you very much for your unendless power dear Garry.
Joerg Wurzbacher was the organisator of the Light Painting Gallery and one of the brains behind the phoLAC. Thanks you so much for your help, ideas and for your man-power dear Joerg.
Bernhard Rauscher organized the Light Painting photoBOX and hosted them together with Sven Gerard, Gus Mercerat Manuel Köstler. Not to forget the many Light Painting Artist they showed her talents in the BOX. Thank you so much for your great job guys.
Last but not least the amazing making of and event photographer Chritaian Arne DeGroot for the this wonderful documentations of all these events.
There are so many helpers, sorry I can’t tell every story. So I say thank you so much to: Karin Brodowsky, Marcel Panne, Anton Julmy, Jörg Schmidt, Barney Flashlight, Mafu, Ironman & the Avengers Live, Sven Gerard and all the others great humans they I have forget.
LPP ∇ Again it was a truly amazing event that really benefited the community and the Light Painting Art Form so thank you very much to you and everyone that contributed to making this event happen!
JL ∇ Thank you Jason.
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