Saturday, April 16, 2011

Van Gogh Alive! For everyone!

Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. 
This is a photo of the projection at CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES, France, Provence.

Be moved, be dazzled and be inspired by the images of the masterpieces by one of the most famous artists in history, Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890). This was my experience when I was at an exclusive preview of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition", right here in Singapore.

When I first found out that the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands will be presenting "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" from 16 Apr - 6 Nov 2011, I knew that this would be the exhibition that I must make time to go for. After my visit to this multi-media art installation-cum-show, I dare say that this is the exhibition meant for everyone. 

In this exhibition, over 40 high definition projectors are used to project more than 3000 images in super large format onto surfaces of the gallery. Drawing inspirations from the concept of "Image Totale" (Total Image) by Albert Plecy in which the spectator is intergrated in the work of art, visitors to "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" will be able to discover new angles and perspective to viewing Van Gogh's masterpieces while immersing ourselves in a brilliant world of colour, movement and light.

 Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. 
This is a photo of the projection at CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES, France, Provence.

Being inside "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" was a beautiful sensory experience for me. The countless beautiful images of Vincent van Gogh's masterpieces told the story of the passionate and visionary artist who had so lovingly painted them. "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" can be described as an immersive show that traces Van Gogh's artistic journey from Arles to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Auvers-sur-Oise, which were some of the most important places where he had created many of his masterpieces.

Admittedly, Vincent van Gogh is one of my favourite artists. I love his artworks for their originality, highly personal style, and for the passionate enthusiasm that radiated from them. At "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition", I was touched by artistically choreographed sequence of images and beautifully played classical music which were thoughtfully chosen to evoke the emotive essence of the artworks.

Vincent van Gogh is one of the artists that I think everyone ought to make time to experience his masterpieces. His works are highly personal, intensely creative and original. What I have found worthy of respect was his clear sense of devotion and passion in bringing beauty to the world through his paintings. His artworks are the expressions of his love for life and beauty, I would think.

Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh's "Self-Portrait" (Sep 1889).
Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 - 1890), also known by most people as Vincent van Gogh, was born in Groot-Zundert, The Netherlands. The son of a Calvinist pastor, he was brought up in religious and cultured atmosphere. When he finally decided to become an artist, he was determined to give happiness by creating beauty.

In 1886, Vincent van Gogh went to Paris to join his younger brother, Theo van Gogh, manager of Goupil's gallery. It was in Paris that Vincent van Gogh studied with Cormon, and met artists such as Pissaro, Monet and Gauguin. The move to Paris exposed Van Gogh to artists associated with the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements, influencing Van Gogh to lighten his previously very dark palette (choice of colours). Since his move to Paris, Vincent van Gogh adopted brighter and more vibrant colours that most people associate with his highly personal style of painting.

Van Gogh's "Vincent's Bedroom in Arles" (Sep 1889).
Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

 Projection of images from Van Gogh's "Vincent's Bedroom in Arles" (Sep 1889).
Taken at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands during the media preview on 14 Apr 2011.

In 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles with the aim of creating a school of art. As the year of 1888 came to an end, he travelled to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where he committed himself to an asylum. In May 1890, he went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr Gachet, a physician, before Van Gogh died on 29 Jul 1890 from a wound after an attempt to shot himself.

After you have learnt about the major events of Van Gogh's life, it is worth highlighting that "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" showcases images of Van Gogh’s art works from his most prolific decade from 1880 to 1890. The pleasure and delight of seeing the images of Van Gogh's masterpieces from the most prolific period of his practice as an artist is surely one good reason why I think it is worth catching "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" at least once.

Suggestions that could enhance everyone's experience of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition"

1. For visitors who are new to Vincent van Gogh, please take a look at the write-ups found on the walls of the corridors before entering the gallery where "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" takes place. These write-ups provide a good background of Van Gogh's life, key influences and style of painting.

2. For visitors who would like to learn more about some of Van Gogh's masterpieces, there are static panels inside the gallery to provide more information.

Taken at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands during the media preview on 14 Apr 2011.

3. For visitors who enjoy multi-media installations and want to experience every second of it, you may wish to know that each sequence of the projections last approximately 30 minutes. You would know that it is the end of the sequence when you see Vincent van Gogh's signature against the dark walls. The suggestion by the Artistic Director of this exhibition was to experience at least two sequences so as to optimise your chance to catch a glimpse of most of the 3000 images.

4. For visitors who prefer to appreciate the artistic direction behind this entire immersive show, it helps to read the Artistic Direction by Artistic Director, Annabelle Mauger. It is found in the gallery, near the static panels.

5. For visitors who are going with children, please know that it is alright for your children to touch the gallery walls and the projected images of Van Gogh's masterpieces. "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" offers children the opportunity to immerse themselves in Van Gogh's artworks and be fascinated by the play of light and colour. If your children were to sing along gently with the music, please take it as a good sign that your children are enjoying themselves. Let them be.

To help make the experience equally enjoyable for other visitors, please guide the children to be considerate while they are having fun.

6. For the budget-conscious visitors, stretch the value of your admission ticket by also visiting the other exhibitions held at the ArtScience Museum, for example "Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds".

7. Finally, for visitors who are seasoned museum-visitors, please go to "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" with an open mind and heart. This exhibition is a sensory experience that is better enjoyed with an open mind and heart. It may help to perceive "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" as an immersive art show rather than a regular art exhibition with actual paintings or an interactive multi-media installation.

Taken at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands during the media preview on 14 Apr 2011.

Suggestions for the ArtScience Museum

1. I urge that the ArtScience Museum could please consider having a family admission-package to offer a very affordable admission rate for visitors visiting the ArtScience Museum as a family unit. This will help to encourage more visitors to enjoy "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" with their loved ones.

2. While I understand from the Artistic Director of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition", Annabelle Mauger, that visitors are encouraged to walk about the gallery spaces, I think it would still help for the ArtScience Museums to consider offering a limited number of portable and foldable chairs for visitors who prefer a seat.

3. One of my friends, Belinda Tan, has a great idea. She suggested that a pyjamas party be organised in the gallery spaces of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition". During the pyjamas party, movies that are related to Van Gogh, e.g. Lust for Life, could be screened. If this event is organised, Belinda Tan, her friend (Lina Wee) and yours truly will definitely sign up to be one of the guests!

 Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. 
This is a photo of the projection at CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES, France, Provence.

ArtScience Museum, Singapore
Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition (16 Apr - 6 Nov 2011)
10 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018956
Tel: 6688 8868
Operating Hours: 10am - 10pm daily (Last admission at 9pm.)

Admission Charges
(Includes GST and SISTIC booking fee)
Adult - $30.00
Senior (65 years +) - $27.00
Child (2 - 12 years) - $17.00
School Group - $10.00

"Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" is presented by Grande Exhibitions of Australia and VisionsCom of France.

Please take note that photography and filming is strictly prohibited for "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition".

Official website of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition":


Read other reviews of "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition":


cordy said...

Hi, I love your post! And especially the pj party suggestion! Wondering if you've sent the suggestion to MBS? :) I would be sure to sign up too!

I'm trying to organize a group event to see the exhibition as well as I find the price of $30 is a bit on the high side :( Wish me luck!

oceanskies79 said...

Cordy, Thank you for your compliments. It's great to hear that you are supportive of the idea of the pj party suggested by my friend Belinda. It has been conveyed to staff of the ArtScience Museum. Hopefully it is taken up.

Wishing you good luck in organising the group event.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for posting this. I was wondering should I go for the exhibition as I've been to Van Gogh museum. Your post makes me realise that I should go for it as it is not an usual art exhibition and it'll be worth going!

oceanskies79 said...

ajjoelle: You are welcome. This is like a multimedia show presenting images of Van Gogh's works to let us viewers see his works with a different pairs of eyes. Quite a discovery once we get past the fact that there are no actual original painting by Van Gogh in this exhibition.

Enjoy it!

Leona said...

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