I fell in love with Van Gogh’s work as an afterthought. As someone who didn’t used to look at art beyond the canvas, there were parts of him that resonated with me on a different level after I got to learn more about him. In college, I took an Art Studies class just so I could learn how to appreciate art better, and I found solace in looking at his paintings and studying his life.
His art, to me, has always felt like a sincere letter, penned by a man whose life both contrasted and echoed some of my own experiences. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how it’s wrong to gatekeep his art as if it were some sort of novelty item.
[READ: Stop trying to gatekeep Van Gogh and let people enjoy things]
I wondered, then, how it would be like to go to Amsterdam and see the real thing. I haven’t been to Amsterdam just yet, but the next best thing is right here in Manila: Van Gogh Alive. Van Gogh Alive is an experience that showcases Van Gogh’s life in a whole new setting. In an age where technology has given birth to a lot of our daily conveniences, to see artworks from centuries ago come to life is an experience worth getting excited about. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the whole experience, but as we got first dibs on the experience last Friday, we’re here to give you some tips on how to make the most out of the 30-minute show.
Van Gogh’s most famous painting, The Starry Night
Read up on Van Gogh before the show
We’re not saying that you have to know all about Van Gogh’s life and know all of his artworks, but it helps to at least know the basics. The experience is set per specific time periods and locations from Vincent Van Gogh’s life, including The Netherlands, Arles, and the Saint Paul Asylum. Familiarize yourself with his works, from his beginnings as an artist, to his personal struggles, and his artistic growth to make more sense of the show. It would also make it more meaningful.
Van Gogh’s early works are also included in the exhibit.
Find the perfect spot
There are multiple screens and you can walk around in the room, but trust me when I say that sitting down on the bench as the art is flashed is a much better experience. The dark room and the classical music playing in the background make for the perfect ambience, so calm down and find your spot.
Don’t talk too much
You can talk, but try to keep it at a minimum. Van Gogh Alive is a multisensory experience, so try to focus on all the works of art that surrounds you. Look at the finer details. Listen to the sound of Vivaldi and Schubert in the background. Reflect on your life — just don’t get an existential crisis.
Bring a friend to take the perfect photo
The Van Gogh Alive experience is worth all the selfies and photos so go ahead and pose away. There’s nothing wrong with taking those pics — looking back at the experience is probably the best way to reminisce. Just make sure you’re not bothering other people while snapping the perfect shot.
The Van Gogh Alive exhibit runs from Oct. 28 to Dec. 8, 2019 at the 4th Floor of One Bonifacio High Street Mall. It is open from Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are priced at P750 for adults and P450 for children. For more information, visit vangoghalive.ph.