Over the past few years, you’ve probably seen images from Van Gogh exhibits flood your social media timeline—like the one that recently came to the Vancouver Convention Centre.

But instead of having to make the trek downtown, you can now experience Vincent Van Gogh’s most iconic works accompanied in Surrey at the Agriplex on Cloverdale Fairgrounds. 

The exhibit features more than 300 of Van Gogh’s most recognizable classics such as Sunflowers, Cafe Terrace at Night, The Starry Night and more than 300 other iconic masterpieces. Accompanied by a symphonic score and narrated words from Van Gogh himself throughout the course of his life, Beyond Van Gogh is a unique way to introduce yourself to the journey and portfolio of this prolific artist. 

I had the chance to check out the exhibit last week, and it's definitely a step up from the immersive experiences I’ve gone to in the past. 

Beyond Van Gogh was a dynamic and interactive exploration of Van Gogh’s life, an artist I admittedly didn’t know all that much about other than a few of his key works. 

This exhibit draws you right into the art of a man who was able to express both the darkest, most painful emotions and the beauty of the mundane through art. 

The exhibit starts with an education room made up of hanging frames that provide information about Van Gogh’s life, his approach to his art, and his unfailing relationship with his younger brother Theo Van Gogh, who provided steadfast emotional and financial support to him until the end. The score was composed of a mix of classical songs and renditions of contemporary music that compliments the featured art being projected all around. 

One thing I especially appreciated about this exhibit was how dynamic the presentation of the various artworks were. I’m typically used to seeing static projections of the artist’s works. Here, we see animated interpretations of the art, The Starry Night stars gradually swirling around us as they slowly form into the final form of the acclaimed painting. We get to watch flowers bloom in front of us as the music swells and the petals fly off their stems. 

To close out the exhibit, there’s also an opportunity to try out a virtual reality experience that explores the relationship between Van Gogh and his brother through the many letters they sent to each other throughout the course of their lives. This addition brings us into a small part of Van Gogh’s creative process, as he writes to his brother of his own struggles envisioning how he wants to colour a landscape piece that he’s been working on. 

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is great for a local date night, for family, friends and everything in between. It’ll be in Surrey until March 5th, for more information check out their website https://vangoghsurrey.com/.

About the author

Jeevan Sangha

Jeevan is a writer, producer and the editor-in-chief of 5XPress. She loves writing about pop-culture, media, politics and everything about the South Asian diaspora. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Sociology and has previously worked in community engagement and mental health. When she isn’t writing, you can find her over-caffeinating, binging a new show or sharing her thoughts on Twitter @jeevanksangha

Instagram: @jeevanksangha 

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