Technology brings Van Gogh genius to new audiences

  
Via:  Buzz of the Orient  •  2 months ago  •  10 comments

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Technology brings Van Gogh genius to new audiences
 

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Technology brings Van Gogh genius to new audiences

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Photo provided to China Daily]

The excitement generated recently by rumors a lost Vincent van Gogh painting had resurfaced was proof that, more than 130 years after his death, the world's fascination with and appetite for anything to do with the enigmatic Dutch artist remains as strong as ever.

The picture has yet to be authenticated by the Van Gogh Museum in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. According to the museum website, the myth he only sold one painting in his lifetime, before dying aged 37, is untrue, but his stature-and consequently the price tags of his works-have increased stratospherically in subsequent years.

The museum has the world's biggest van Gogh collection, with more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters, mainly to his brother Theo, and the insight given by these letters has added hugely to understanding of his life and art.

According to The New York Times, 85 percent of museum visitors are from overseas-and interest from China is huge. The 2016 documentary China's Van Goghs, which is about the artists of Dafen village in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, revealed the country's appetite for copies of his work, and its desire to engage with the real thing has seen the museum make great efforts to cater for Chinese art lovers.

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London hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"We have the most engaged social media fan base of any museum in the world, and in 2019, 5 percent of our daily visitors were from China," a museum representative told China Daily.

"Recently, we did a livestream on our WeChat account, and we have collaborated with Chinese brands like Peacebird and Meet-Lady on van Gogh-themed products.

"Intellectual properties are the source of artworks and graphics that licensees use on products and packaging, which are in great demand. When people travel again, we hope this will encourage them to come back here."

In recent years, another way of meeting global demand to see van Gogh's works has been traveling experiences, using digital technology to allow art lovers inside the mind of the genius.

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London hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Although he is arguably the world's most famous Dutchman, who lived in France for many years, England is also significant in van Gogh's story.

In 1873, his first trip abroad was to London, and the house where he stayed in Stockwell now has an English Heritage blue plaque. He also worked in Isleworth in West London as a teacher.

Before lockdown began last year, the Amsterdam museum's official Meet Vincent van Gogh experience, which made its overseas debut in Beijing in 2016, and will make its next stop in Madrid in September, opened in London, only to be brought to a premature halt by the pandemic.

"The appeal of his painting, drawing and letters is universal," said the museum representative. "The experience is about the emotional dimension, the van Gogh myth, his ambitions, and why he is still such a source of inspiration."

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L ondon hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

This summer, London hosts two more van Gogh experiences. The first, Van Gogh Alive, is already open in Kensington Gardens in West London.

Its promoters say it is the world's most popular multisensory experience, having visited 65 cities in seven years, including stops in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai and Xiamen, and it will return to Beijing later this year.

The second, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, will open in August at the Old Truman Brewery in East London, and it too has toured the world since 2017, with 150,000 visitors when it was on at the National Museum of China in Beijing and the Zhejiang Exhibition Hall in Hangzhou in 2019.

Rob Kirk, head of traveling experiences at Grande Experiences, creators of Van Gogh Alive, said their show was "born from a desire to do things differently".

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London hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"We've toured many traditional format art exhibitions, and put two years of research into this to come up with something adaptable to audiences worldwide. We've found it's particularly popular with people who wouldn't necessarily go to a traditional gallery, but are interested in the subject and the environment we create," he said.

"We take visitors on a geographical and emotional journey as you can see his changing mood and style in his work, and that connects with people all over the world."

Van Gogh Alive uses more than 3,000 images to create a contact-free, socially distanced immersive experience which, Kirk said, was designed as a complement to art galleries, and may inspire visitors to go to one afterward

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London hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Often when talking to prospective future hosts, finding a suitable location is the biggest challenge so we're lucky to have this purpose-built temporary venue in such beautiful surroundings, to do the exhibit justice," he added.

Mario Iacampo, CEO of Exhibition Hub, the organizer of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, said their exhibit "seeks to put the movement back into his art and immerse people within this to give a sense of what it was like when van Gogh was painting".

The show includes what it calls a one-of-a-kind 11-minute seated virtual reality experience, giving visitors an opportunity to live a day in his life, learning about his surroundings and inspiration.

The exhibit has been a global hit, tailored to suit local tastes. "In Asia we move the show along faster with more transitions and the use of more paintings in the immersive part," he said.

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London hosts van Gogh experiences, Van Gogh Alive, already open in Kensington Gardens in West London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The aim of the experience "is to create a new way to explore Vincent-it's so much more than the paintings, it allows people to step inside and look at his work through new and different means… we hope people will come away with a new understanding and appreciation", he said.

Van Gogh's last reported words were "La tristesse durera toujours", or "the sadness will last forever".

The mental health issues that so blighted him are an integral part of van Gogh's story. But as packed museums, WeChat posts, commercial spin-offs and sold-out experiences show-to say nothing of his pictures' price tags-with every passing year, the joy brought by the life-affirming genius of his art inspires more fans, and burns even brighter.

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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The multisensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will return to Beijing later this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

What an AMAZING exhibit.  If it should ever come to Chongqing I will definitely go to experience it. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2  sandy-2021492    2 months ago

This is currently running in the DC area.  Tickets are hard to come by.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    2 months ago

Having seen the pictures on this article, I can understand why it's hard to get tickets.  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    2 months ago

I looked into it. No weekends were available. I might have to take a day off work in order to see it, but even weekday tickets weren't available until January, and this was several months ago.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    2 months ago

Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. I love these

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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 months ago

On my 13th birthday my uncle gave me an illustrated book about Van Gogh which I treasured.  When I left Canada, my son wanted that book so much I gave it to him. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
4  evilgenius    2 months ago

Van Gogh was considered a mad man and a failure at the end of his life. He's a very interesting person once we get past the stereotypical tortured artist idea.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5  Kavika     2 months ago

What a great exhibit.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6  JohnRussell    2 months ago

I like the scene of the little kids taking in the wonder.

611727a3a310efa1e3b5f0a6.jpeg

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @6    2 months ago

I wonder what effect this exhibition will have on the rest of their lives - it affects me just seeing the pictures of it. 

 
 
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