Little Sun, Founded by Olafur Eliasson & Frederik Ottesen, 2012 present, Sustainable light installation, Dimensions variable. Shanghai Himalayas Museum installation view, 2017


“Our actions have consequences for the world. Little Sun is a wedge that opens up the urgent discussion about bringing sustainable energy to all from the perspective of art to raise awareness about the unequal distribution of energy today.”

—Olafur Eliasson, Founder of Little Sun


Founded in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen and launched at London’s Tate Modern, the project represents the belief in the power of sustainable light and energy in transforming lives, especially those 1.1 billion of us who live without access to energy.

What started as a humble idea to create a small, portable solar lamp for people without electricity in Ethiopia is now a global project that has changed over a million lives through the awesome power of the sun. It has also strengthened populations from the inside by creating local jobs and generating profits through partners from the community and networks of young, African entrepreneurs. Buying a Little Sun product in an area of the world with electricity helps make the same product available for a locally affordable price in areas of the world without consistent access to power.

Solar is on track to becoming the cheapest form of sustainable energy within the next few years, making it also the most economically accessible form of energy for everyone. Little Sun provides a hands-on experience on solar energy while strengthening the connection among ‘us’ through our need of light. As an attempt to share the idea with the audiences, the Shanghai Project presents the Little Sun lamps and chargers not only as products but also as artistic installations in and around the museum space.

Olafur Eliasson (born 1967) is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995, he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research. Olafur represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London.