An educational space or another Instagram trap? Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience now open in Sentosa

All photos by Delfina Utomo/Coconuts

A space dedicated to celebrating the works of one of history’s most influential painters has arrived in Singapore.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has brought its “360-degree digital experience” of the Dutch painter’s works, in the form of replicas, projections and even in virtual reality, to Resorts World Sentosa.

While there are other similar exhibitions also riding the Van Gogh train, this one is organized by H&B, Exhibition Hub, Fever and Resorts World Sentosa.

The exhibition uses two of Van Gogh’s most famous pieces – The Starry Night and Sunflowers – every chance they can get. There are rabbits in sunglasses that are decked out in his artwork along a sunflower-filled facade at the entrance.

The exhibit features around 300 pieces of Van Gogh’s art displayed across various zones, including several along the staircase. There are also interactive installations, artwork displays, monographs and educational bits about the painter’s life.

But because the artworks are replicas and aren’t the real deal, most of the paintings’ quality has been compromised to fit the mediums used.

Anyhoo, there are rooms that bring some of Van Gogh’s paintings to life such as The Bedroom which depicts his actual room during his time living in Arles, France.

Aside from his paintings, the exhibition focuses on Van Gogh’s Japanese influences, mainly from the Japonisme movement in Europe in the late 1800s. This is a new section of the exhibit that is just for Singapore, which also features traditional Japanese art style woodblock prints and a matcha tea corner. 

But this is just a smaller version of yet another immersive room that is ruined by the several glaring red “exit” signs around the room.

The main attraction is The Immersive Room, which shows a 40-minute digital projection mapping of more artwork, albeit with tacky fonts. There are bean bags, benches and wooden chairs for visitors to kick back and view the show.

It wouldn’t be a proper immersive exhibition without even more ways to spend money on top of the ticket. Besides the exhibition space there’s a cafe selling more things Van Gogh, along with – you guessed it – sweet Van Gogh-themed chocolates.

Like many other art-based exhibitions that sell themselves as being an immersive ride, the question is whether visitors will truly get an appreciation for Van Gogh’s art out of it or if they’re simply meant to show up and document everything so they can post it online for clout?

We hope it’s the former, but the exhibition sure does make it easy to reduce the whole experience into Instagrammable snapshots. Regardless, it’s a perfectly good way to kill some time – for a small fee.

Tickets start S$24 for adults and S$15 for children.  

More photos:

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience 
Open 11am to 8pm from Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10am to 7pm on Sunday; closed Tuesday
Resorts World Sentosa, B1 Forum, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269

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