Van Gogh Alive, the world’s most-visited multi-sensory exhibition, is now open in Manila, coming from its last exhibit in Hong Kong and before moving to Taiwan.

Thanks to the Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. (BAFI), in partnership with Grande Exhibitions, for presenting Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic works in an immersive 90-minute multimedia experience on the 4th level of BGC’s newest shopping, dining and lifestyle center, One Bonifacio High Street, from October 26 until December 8, 2019.

This is one of the most inspiring shows you should not miss in Manila for creative inspiration from Van Gogh’s work and specially for the kids’ immersion in the world of art. Most of the weekend online tickets are sold out, so you may go on weekday mornings or take a chance on the on-site tickets.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to maximize your 90 minutes and enjoy the immersive experience…

 

Van Gogh Alive Philippines
One Bonifacio High Street, Monday to Sunday
Operating Time: 11:00 am to 09:30 pm (7 time slots – 90 mins each slot)
Official website: https://www.vangoghalive.ph/
Facebook: Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio High Street
Official Hashtag:
#VanGoghAlivePH, #OneBHS, #ArtandScienceBGC

If your preferred date and time is sold out online, limited tickets may still be available in the ticket booths below on a first come, first served basis:

  • Van Gogh Alive Ticket Booth, 4th floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Monday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • The Mind Museum Ticket Booth, Tuesday to Sunday, 09:00AM to 05:00PM

First Things First

One of Van Gogh’s works is exhibited as an installation art for your souvenir instagrammable photo.

This can get crowded so make sure to think of how you would execute your shot already.

Maximize your time inside the exhibit by reading up about the Van Gogh Alive experience.

Click and zoom in to read this before you go: About the Experience (Van Gogh Alive).

Some of the works were disturbing so I wouldn’t recommend them for someone who has depression.

Wheat Field with Crows
Created: Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 50.2 cm x 103 cm

Van Gogh traveled to Paris in early July to visit Theo, Jo and baby Vincent only to discover that Theo and the baby were both ill, Jo was suffering from exhaustion and Theo was having financial problems. Upon his return to Auvers, Van Gogh descended into a deep depression, tormented by concern for his brother and feeling like a burden.

On 27 July 1890, Van Gogh began a letter to Theo which he never completed. In the midst of writing, he walked beyond the town to the fields, where he shot himself. He managed to stagger back to his room, where he was discovered by Doctor Gachet, still clinging to life. On 29 July 1890, Vincent van Gogh died in his brother’s arms. Sadly, within six months, Theo too was stricken with mental illness and died. The two brothers are buried side by side at Auvers.

Wheat Field with Crows is possibly Van Gogh’s very last painting and betrays a deeply troubled mind. Suggestive of impending gloom or even death, van Gogh himself described it as a reflection of his “great sadness and extreme solitude.”


If you are bringing the kids, best to read up on the story of each painting so that you’d be able to explain eloquently what the art is all about and become a hero in your little ones’ eyes.

Irises

Irises (Saint-Remy, 1889)

Starry Night

Starry Night (Saint-Remy, 1889)

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait (Saint-Remy, 1889)

The Church in Auvers-sur-Olse

The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise (Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890)

Portrait of Doctor Gachet

Portrait of Doctor Gachet (Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890)

 


Van Gogh Alive Experience

Resist the temptation to take photos. Best to immerse yourself in the experience during the first 45 minutes.

Here’s my favorite quote, and it reminded me that it’s my responsibility to put ideas on our online work.

It was crowded, so do be mindful of other people who want to bathe in the wisdom and emotion of the artworks.

I loved the colorful inspirations and non-conformity to established expectations.

Some of the portraits were intimidating, and they seemed to look at you straight in the eye, saying “I’m watching you.”

At the end of the show, you’d empathize with his works and get inspired to paint to feel alive.

It was hard to take photos because the screen could be so bright that everything in the foreground became silhouettes.

Best to wait until the end of the show to take your instagrammable souvenir shot.

Yes, I would like to live more musically and enjoy every living moment with the kids while praising God.

Check out the corner that showcases real objects in slow motion, which is a good backdrop for your photos.

If you sit still, you’ll notice that the way people behave around the works are actually part of the exhibit.

“You can’t be at the pole and the equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Don’t miss the sunflowers. I know it would be hard to resist  capturing the moment of their yellow embrace.

Either pick your spot or walk around this modern museum experience.

Plan your wardrobe and emote as part of the painting itself.

The best part was toward the tail end of the 90-minute slot when you get to enjoy the exhibit to yourself.

Yes, it is hard to get a solo shot so please be patient.

Don’t miss experiencing the painting moving and surrounding you with its provocative imagery.

Sometimes, real-life photos during Van Gogh’s time were presented (which could get creepy).

Starry Starry Night Creative Inspiration.

Reading this quote was one thing, but experiencing what he meant by this was powerful.

Strike a pose, but be mindful of other people enjoying the exhibit and doing their own shots.

Our favorite works were the colorful, larger than life artworks depicting inspiring landscape scenes.

Don’t miss Van Gogh Alive—a must experience in Manila!


Final Thoughts

Is it worth it? Definitely, yes—for that creative inspiration and love for life as seen through Van Gogh’s works. Highly recommended. Would go back to bring the kids. 🙂

Van Gogh Alive Philippines
One Bonifacio High Street, Monday to Sunday
Operating Time: 11:00 am to 09:30 pm (7 time slots – 90 mins each slot)
Official website: https://www.vangoghalive.ph/
Facebook: Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio High Street
Official Hashtag:
#VanGoghAlivePH, #OneBHS, #ArtandScienceBGC

If your preferred date and time is sold out online, limited tickets may still be available in the ticket booths below on a first come, first served basis:

  • Van Gogh Alive Ticket Booth, 4th floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Monday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • The Mind Museum Ticket Booth, Tuesday to Sunday, 09:00AM to 05:00PM

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We attended the gala opening of Van Gogh Alive exhibit.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. Check out The Trading Post, which opened at the same time, featuring IG stores selling unique products.