SNEAK PEEK: Van Gogh Alive in Manila

You have until December 8 to see it.

(SPOT.ph) Viewing Dutch painter Vincent Willem van Gogh's famous works up close can be (very) hard on the pocket. You have to fly all the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for his 1887 piece called "Sunflowers," to The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam for "The Yellow House," and to the Musée D'Orsay in Paris for "Starry Night Over the Rhone." And who has that kind of money?

But for P750, you can catch a glimpse of the Impressionist painter's art for an hour and a half through larger-than-life projections. It may not be as moving as seeing the paintings in all their glory, but the traveling exhibition Van Gogh Alive is just enough to pique everyone's interest about one of the world's most important cultural figures. You can catch the show from October 26 to December 8 at One Bonifacio High Street Mall in Bonifacio Global City.

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To better enjoy Van Gogh Alive, visitors can first read about the painter's life and works at the exhibit's waiting area.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

A real-life rendition of van Gogh's "Bedroom in Arles" (1889) 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

"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, with the musical genius of Bach, Schubert, Vivaldi, among others," revealed Maria Isabel Garcia, Managing Director/Curator of the Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. in a statement.

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This state-of-the-art technology is made possible by Grande Exhibits, which developed SENSORY4TM—a combination of multi-channel motion graphics delivered through high-power projections and playing in sync to every note and beat of the cinema-quality surround sound. It's like a movie played in many screens inside one room. The experience starts with a crash course on everything van Gogh, from a short biography of the artist to descriptions of 15 of his most famous works: "Café Terrace at Night," "The Red Vineyard," and "Vase with 12 Sunflowers," among others. This anteroom also has a life-sized reproduction of "Bedroom in Arles," plus snapshots of its studies: from a sketch to his letter to his brother Theo to three other versions from 1888 to 1889.

Self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

"Wheatfield with Crows" (1890) 
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"The Starry Night" (1889)
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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Van Gogh has a number of cityscape and landscape paintings that he created during his travels.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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The show runs for about 45 minutes; but since each ticket lets you stay inside the room for one-and-a-half hours, you get to see the whole thing all over again. The projected works are divided according to different time periods in van Gogh's artistic journey: his early 20s in The Netherlands, where he created "Man at Work" and "Head of a Woman;" his experience in Paris, where he lived with his younger brother Theo and painted "Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat" and "Still Life with Quince Pears;" his post-Paris escape to Arles where he created the famous "Starry Night Over the Rhone," his stay at an asylum in Saint-Remy, where he came up with "Corridor in Saint-Paul Hospital;" and his final days in Auvers-sur-Oise, where he painted the haunting "Wheatfield with Crows."

Van Gogh's paintings during his time in The Netherlands were stylistically dark, such as "Head of a Woman" and "The Potato Eaters."
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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"Starry Night Over the Rhone"  
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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"Sunflowers" (1888) 
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Close-up shot of "The Red Vineyard"
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Van Gogh drew portraits of people he met during his travels, such as Paul-Eugène Milliet from Arles, a one-eyed man, and postman Joseph Roulin.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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"Apricot Trees in Blossom"
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

Each segment of the show is accompanied with carefully selected classical pieces, such as "Le quattro stagioni" by Antonio Vivaldi, "Skye at Night" by Oliver Ledbury, and "Sarabande" by George Frideric Handel. The projections change in sync to every beat of the music, creating an audio-visual story that's best enjoyed when you take a seat on one of the wooden benches inside the room.

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Aside from paintings, the projections also show copies of van Gogh's letters to his peers. These scribbles tell us more about the artist's inspirations, aspirations, and influences—a closer look at how he looked at the world. In one of his letters, van Gogh wrote: "The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." And live he did.

Van Gogh Alive runs from October 26 to December 8 at 4/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced at P750, are available through Van Gogh Alive's website.

Photos by Jilson Tiu

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