It’s a warm Saturday afternoon at DLF Cyber City in Gurugram, but queues of people are lining up at a box office window. As soon as you step into a cool black enclosure, what awaits you feels certainly worth the wait.
Iconic artworks of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, one of the most influential figures in the history of western art, adorn the walls along with short snippets from his life. After some time, one enters through another door that opens into a huge room where the half-hour 360 degree show of Van Gogh’s artworks begins. A number of people sit in huddles on beanbags and stools, couples look on dreamily and little kids try to excitedly reach out to all the colourful shapes around them amplified through soothing sounds.
Van Gogh 360°, an immersive, multimedia event that brings the eye-popping colours of Vincent van Gogh’s most well-known works to life, opened in the National Capital Region (NCR) from April 10.
Using cutting-edge projection technology crafted by world-renowned audio-visual designers, Van Gogh 360° Delhi – presented by DLF Malls and Absolut Glassware – creates an engaging journey into the world of the legendary post-Impressionist painter.
“The exhibit is a globally acclaimed immersive experience, featuring the works of one of the most iconic paintings of his time,” said Florian Sallaberry, head of marketing for international brands at Pernod Ricard India.
Several attendees of all ages belonging to different walks of life – art enthusiasts, school teachers, design aficionados and corporate honchos – have been turning up in droves to check out the immersive exhibit.
Floor-to-ceiling stunning projections that animate the masters’ oeuvre shine a spotlight on the mind of the genius. Wandering through giant projections that highlight brush-stroke, detail and colour, the multimedia exhibit takes the attendee into a three-dimensional world that exhilarates the senses. The Delhi edition features an expanded footprint, which includes a lounge space and a bar sponsored by Absolut Glassware.
Kunal Khambhati, Head – Live Events & IP, BookMyShow, informs that Van Gogh 360 in Delhi is sold out for the first two weeks, with more than 20,000 patrons having already booked their tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
According to Khambhati, India’s culturally-rich and entertainment-loving audience has always been on the lookout for quality experiences across spheres of art, history, music and more.
“The Van Gogh 360 experience has by far, been one of the most exciting and widely adopted intellectual properties catching eyeballs across a wide demographic spectrum – including varied age groups, geographies within the city as also traction from neighbouring cities in India,” addedKhambhati, who expects a fabulous turnout in the coming weeks.
Indu Mehrotra, a 61-year-old educator from the Capital felt that Van Gogh 360° is a very unique way of experiencing art.
“It was as if we were experiencing van Gogh’s world as he saw it and painted it. Each painting came alive and we were living it! The immersive exhibit gave fans an opportunity to appreciate the finer detailing and strokes, which are so unique to Vincent van Gogh,” said Mehrotra, who wishes to have more such exhibits for creating art awareness and appreciation.
Isha Dalal, a 36-year-old professional, went to see the exhibition with her five-year-old daughter. It turned out to be a truly exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experience for both of them.
“The vivid colours juxtaposed with soft music in a cool indoor arena – the space was a perfect solace from the heat wave,” she said.
Though a beautiful and memorable experience on the whole, Isha felt that there could have been a little more to it, as some shows abroad even included interactions with the audiences.
Van Gogh’s innovation was in the boundless emotional nakedness rendered through his paintings and the new artistic interpretation of the form, colour symbolism and brush-stroke expression, which defined some of his most famous works, such as The Starry Night (1889).
His paintings are housed in many galleries and private collections worldwide: in the Netherlands, France, America, Russia and more.
The legendary artist continues to stay relevant and is an inspiration to young art enthusiasts till date. To show his works in one exhibition is nearly impossible, but transforming them into an immersive experience allows them to be accessible to people of all ages in different cities around the world.
Though Van Gogh 360° India is the first such exhibition to debut in India, immersive experiences that turn the walls and floors of an exhibition space into a kind of Van Gogh dream world have popped up around the world from New York to London, Tokyo and Toronto.
The experience also makes one think of the many possibilities of an exhibition like this one. For instance, India itself has had a plethora of artistic talent over several centuries. So, is it possible for us to replicate a similar exhibition focusing on a famous Indian artist?
“We’re exploring other markets and looking at developing new exhibits which could include original works from Indian artists,” explained Mark Monahan, executive director, Festival House Inc, the organisers of Van Gogh 360.
Tickets for the Delhi exhibition are currently available on bookmyshow.com. The Delhi exhibition has been extended till May 28, and tickets for the new run of shows will go on sale soon.
Van Gogh 360° will also travel to Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Kochi, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Lucknow, Nagpur, Pune, Indore, Goa and Surat later in the year. Registrations for shows in Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru are currently open.