The experience is the polar opposite of viewing, say, “The Starry Night” in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, where the quiet galleries invite you to reflect on the great artist’s brief life, lived mostly in obscurity.
“Van Gogh Alive,” the multisensory production created by the Melbourne-based company Grande Exhibitions, has impressed Filipinos that one has to book in advance to score tickets. It has so far traveled to more than 130 cities across six continents, reaching over 15 million people, earning it the title of the world’s most visited multisensory exhibition experience.
Today, this sensational production is in the country, running until Dec. 8, on the 4/F One Bonifacio High Street, 28th Street and 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Your ’Gram feed might already be flooded with selfies from this exhibit, but does it live up to the hype?
“Van Gogh Alive” is a 45-minute immersive experience into the life and works of the Dutch Postimpressionist painter. Watch “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” “Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” “The Yellow House,” “The Red Vineyard,” “Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear,” “Wheat Field with Cypresses” and up to more than 3,000 Van Gogh images at enormous scale in vibrant colors and vivid detail, from 40 high-definition projectors.
Images appear on walls, columns, benches (yes, there are benches you can sit on) and floors as you walk through the most prolific years of the artist’s life from 1880 to 1890.
Take a journey with Van Gogh through Arles, Saint Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise, where he created most of his masterpieces, and experience the thrilling ride of the steam train courtesy of 360-degree images and sound.
The production is synchronized to the timeless music of Antonio Vivaldi, Franz Schubert, Benjamin Godard, Johann Sebastian Bach and Franz Liszt.
“It’s the story of Van Gogh’s life—and art. It’s a unique way to get to know him as you see the evolution of his works based on his changing mental state,” said Maria Isabel Garcia, managing director and curator of the Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. (Bafi).
Van Gogh remains among the most intriguing Impressionist artists because his struggle for recognition—he remained unappreciated until after his death at 37—still resonates today.
“‘Van Gogh Alive’ is not Van Gogh gaining new relevance 150 years later, but the same genius up close and personal, navigating your soul in the language of nuanced light—from tender to cobalt blues, reticent creams to raging yellows,” Garcia said.
“Van Gogh Alive” is presented by Bafi and One Bonifacio High Street. Tickets are also available onsite on a first-come, first-served basis: Van Gogh Alive Ticket Booth, 4/F, One Bonifacio High Street, Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and The Mind Museum Ticket Booth, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.vangoghalive.ph.