Finally, the Van Gogh Alive exhibition comes to KL!ANAS IQBAL
Having been held in over 80 cities worldwide and with more than 8.5millions visitors, the world-renowned immersive exhibition that pays homage to the life of Vincent Van Gogh has made its way to Kuala Lumpur.
Making its first debut in Malaysia, Van Gogh Alive exhibition offers a chance for visitors to experience an immersive, multi-sensory, and interactive exhibits that features floor-to-ceiling projections of the post-impressionist painter’s dramatic brushstrokes and bright colours which offer us a glimpse of the artist’s history and imagination.
To kick things off, the exhibition was officiated by Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC) Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan.
“It brings me pride to see our Malaysian corporations evolve and showcase their innovations to the world.”
“I believe Malaysia has great potential in spearheading such hi-calibre events and I look forward to seeing more of it in 2023," he said.
When visitors enter the exhibition, they will first be greeted with the Sunflower Mirror Room inspired by one of Vincent’s favourite subjects and colour as featured in his "Sunflowers and The Yellow House" paintings. The use of mirrors in this room gives an illusion like you are standing in a sunflower field.
After going through the sunflower filled room, we enter an area which highlights Van Gogh’s life and his masterpieces throughout his short ten year career.
The main attraction in this area is the recreation of Van Gogh’s room based on his painting titled "Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles" which gives a surreal experience of being in a painting.
After being introduced to Van Gogh and his works, visitors will walk through the Starry Night Tunnel before they get into the next area. This walkway inspired by his most recognisable painting, "The Starry Night" which provides one of many Instagram-worthy shots in this exhibition.
The next area is the Immersive Gallery and it is the main highlight of the exhibition. Here visitors will get to experience Van Gogh’s arts through their sights, sounds, and even smells.
This part of the exhibition uses a unique system called SENSORY4 which shows his painting styles shifting continuously using motion graphics and utilising projection mapping technology.
The beautiful visuals are accompanied by a musical score which uses cinema quality surround sound to encapsulate the audience in Van Gogh’s experiences and emotions.
That is not all, visitors are also treated to ever changing smells which range from the smells of oil paint, flowers, and the countryside to further the immersion.
Truly a multi-sensory experience.
After that dreamlike experience, we move into The Greatest Artist section which includes other artists beside Van Gogh and provides an interactive experience using the latest technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
At the start of this section we are greeted by Van Gogh himself, brought to life by AI. Then we enter the Infinity Starry Walkway inspired by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s painting "Nocturne in Black and Gold". Standing in here invokes the feeling of floating in the star-filled night sky.
Then we enter a dark room called The Light of Hope. Here we are given a lantern and were told to put it against the wall, which reveals pulsating sunflowers that follow the lantern light as we walk along the wall. This installation inspired by Van Gogh lets you experience how it's like to walk in a sunflower field at night.
In the next room, there are a couple of installations that fully utilises AI technology. Here visitors can take an AI Self Portrait in the style of Van Gogh Post-Impressionist, all generated by AI and you can bring your portrait back home.
Also in the same room, you can express your own creativity to create a projection on a pair of mannequins that transform right in front of your eyes, again with the help of AI technology.
Afterwards we enter a room called Shower of Joy inspired by "Nihonga" paintings by Reiji Hiramatsu. Here we were given an umbrella and stood at one spot to enjoy the motion visual on the wall and also catch the projection on the umbrella. The mist shower that accompanied this display gave it an overall ethereal feeling.
Then we move to the last installation for this section called the Infinity Zoom. With inspiration from "Zoomquilt" by Berlin artist Nikilaus Baumgarten, this installation interacts with your brainwaves to allow a patchwork of different Van Gogh’s paintings into a single, seemingly endless shot zooming into infinity.
It was an otherworldly experience to fully immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s masterpieces in a setting different from your traditional museum by putting yourself through the lenses of the artist.
Words simply can do it any justice as you have to take it in using your own senses!
To experience this once-in-a-lifetime experience of Van Gogh’s artworks for yourself, it will be available to the public this Saturday Dec 17 until March 16, 2023 and tickets can be purchased at www.vangogh.com.my priced at RM75 for adults and RM68 for children & senior citizens.
Once you get your tickets, head on over to Pavilion Bukit Jalil and experience it yourself!