Almost 350 concepts from 57 countries were submitted in an open call. An international jury of specialists selected three final concepts from these submissions, which were then implemented in the rooms of the Centre for International Light Art in Unna. On June 7, 2019, the award ceremony and the opening ceremony of the exhibition "International Light Art Award 2019" took place at the Centre for International Light Art.
With her work "LIGHT HIGH" German artist Jacqueline Hen is the first winner of the 2019 award:
A narrow catwalk – flanked by dark-coloured sheets of water – leads into a room that stretches vertically into infinity. The ‘Mise en abyme’ [reflections of reflections, reflecting themselves into infinity], called into being by the mirrored ceiling, constructs a virtual room that dissolves the physical one and extends it artificially. The result is a room within a room, which takes possession of the pre-existing architecture and rejects the usual perception of the vaulted basement rooms. With her ‘LIGHT HIGH’ installation, Jacqueline Hen aims to simulate the feeling of free-fall. The basis of her concept is continued with an acoustic signal: the Shepard scale – the illusion of an infinitely rising or falling series of notes. On the catwalk, visitors not only leave their usual habitat, but become part of an immersive installation that questions the very structure of the museum. Standing on the catwalk and looking back, the scenery behind appears to be a stage; and the visitors seem to be the actors upon it.