Have you been to the latest Van Gogh art exhibition in Tokyo yet? Unlike other art exhibitions, it lets you experience Vincent Van Goghs art through mesmerising moving pictures paired with beautifully curated music. This article gives you a taste of what it is like to visit this breathtaking place until mid-November 2022.
Art Exhibition At Kadokawa Culture Museum
It was pouring outside as I left the Higashi-Tokorozawa Station on a gloomy afternoon. The air smelled like Tokyo summer, and the cicadas stopped their noisy orchestra performance for once as I walked towards my destination. The weather is just perfect for an art exhibition. Today I am on a mission to visit a man’s work whose life was filled with a lot of tragedy, suffering, and pain. But, until this day, he is one of the most well-known painters in art history because he was able to transform his tormented emotions into ecstatic, unique beauty.
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A Dance Of Light And Shadows
The ‘Vincent Van Gogh – This Is How I See The World’ (僕には世界がこう見える) is a pretty unusual art exhibition at the Kadokawa Culture Museum, but it will definitely sweep you off your feet. Designed as an ‘Interactive Digital Art Theater’, the man behind the instalments is the Italian art director Gianfranco Iannuzzi. Van Gogh’s work is projected all over the exhibition’s walls and the floor. The 360-degree projections are paired with classical music selections from Antonio Vivaldi and Debussy and surprisingly well-fitted American singer-songwriters such as Moses Sumney and German pianist Hauschka from the present.
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A Journey Into The Mastermind’s Head
I stepped into the giant exhibition hall and immediately got sucked into the mesmerising world of Vincent’s universe. The room of the art exhibition is bathed in facets of warm yellows, reflected from the Dutch painter’s piece ‘Sunflowers’. It is such a fantastic contrast to see these cheerful and powerful colours, knowing that the painter struggled with poverty and unsuccessfulness his whole life, which led him to commit suicide when he was only 37 years old. As I wander around in awe, I watch how his impulsive and expressive brushstrokes start breathing in front of my eyes and come to life. Van Gogh’s view of his outer world, displayed in ‘The Starry Night’ with the dark blues of the night sky and the reflecting shiny little stars, sometimes moves slower, sometimes more dynamically over the walls. I decided to sit down for a bit in one of the comfortable hammocks, which are installed around the hall. Half sitting, half floating, even closer to the walls, with fewer distractions, snuggled into the hammock like in a cocoon, gave me an even better opportunity to let my mind wander and absorb his work of light and darkness. What still amazes me is that only after he ended his life did people worldwide start loving his paintings and making him one of the most influential painters in history.
Photo credit: author
Love Letters From Vincent At The Art Exhibition
The main exhibition hall with his poetic and dramatic view of the world is followed by a smaller one. In ‘One-Way Love Letters From Vincent’, I learned much more about lesser-known parts of his short life, backed up with curated letter excerpts and a chronological time bar. Before I leave the hall, I see some people writing little notes and pinning them to a wall with the title ‘What kind of letter would you write to Vincent?’, thanking him in this way for an extraordinary immersive art experience. Then, as I walked out of the museum into the present again, one of his quotes stuck in my head as I headed home: ‘If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.’ So yes, thank you, Vincent van Gogh, and of course, Gianfranco Iannuzzi, for creating such a magical ride on a rainy afternoon during Japan’s rainy season.
How To Get To The Art Exhibition
Kadokawa Culture Museum
3-31-3 Higashi-Tokorozawa Wada, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama 359-0023, Japan
If you go by train:
It is a little journey to visit the Kadokawa Culture Museum in Saitama from the heart of Tokyo, but either with the Saikyō Line or Chūō Line from Shinjuku Station, it takes you only about 1 hour to visit this fascinating art exhibition. So it is definitely worth visiting for everyone who would like to experience art with an exquisite twist.
Price of the ticket:
Big tip: buy your tickets online in advance to get a discount of ￥200, so you only pay ￥2,200 for general admission, ￥1,800 for high school students, and ￥1,100 for elementary school kids.
For all art enthusiasts out there, the exhibition still runs until 2022/11/27.
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