Night among the stars

An animated, floor-to-ceiling projection of Vincent van Gogh's painting Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888) immerses visitors in a landscape painted by the Dutch artist more than a century ago.

The 360-degree display is part of a 20,000 sq ft touring exhibition titled Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which will run until the end of October.

At the exhibition at Skylight in New York's Vesey Street, socially distanced guests of all ages sit on the ground or walk through rooms, observing moving projections of the artworks while listening to an original classical score.

Highlights include a life-size replica of van Gogh's The Bedroom (1888); a virtual-reality experience that guides viewers through the neighbourhood of Arles, France, which inspired many of the artist's works; and a colouring activity that lets young visitors put their own spin on van Gogh's classic pieces.

The exhibition is one of several other van Gogh-themed events currently touring in the United States, including Beyond Van Gogh and Van Gogh Alive.

Such immersive art experiences were made popular in Europe more than a decade ago. One involving van Gogh was featured last year in the Netflix series Emily In Paris.

Other artists, such as Picasso and Monet, have been the subject of similar exhibitions, but van Gogh remains one of the most popular.

Experts say this is because his works have an enduring, accessible quality, while also being bold and innovative. The artist's life story, including his struggles with mental health, is also said to resonate with many people.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2021, with the headline 'Night among the stars'. Subscribe