Immersive Van Gogh experience coming to Surrey

The exhibit will be open from Feb. 1 until March 5

The immersive Van Gogh experience is coming to Surrey on Feb. 1. (Submitted)

The immersive Van Gogh experience is coming to Surrey on Feb. 1. (Submitted)

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is returning to British Columbia, but this time will be held locally in Surrey. 

The exhibit will take place at Cloverdale’s Agriplex from Feb. 1 until March 5 and feature many of Vincent Van Gogh’s most popular works of art, including the Starry Night painting

Van Gogh’s work will be projected onto the walls and floors of the exhibit space. This new technology has grown more popular around the world because it displays famous artwork in a different way than people are used to seeing. 

“It is like setting foot inside a painting. Most people are familiar with Starry Night, but it is a whole different experience when you are surrounded entirely in this world,” says art historian Fanny Curtat. 

“Scale changes everything. When you have smaller artwork in front of you, you have a more intimate relationship to it. When it is something that engulfs you, it allows you to see more detail and it is just pure magic.” 

The exhibit is for all ages, but aims to promote art history to younger generations in a new and exciting way. 

“Museums may be intimidating and it might be hard to connect to a 19th century artist, so hopefully people will develop this connection with Van Gogh and want to go to New York to see an original Van Gogh on the museum walls,” Curtat says. 

“We’ve seen so many types of reactions, from kids running around to people being moved to tears. For younger generations, taking pictures and sharing them is the way we experience the world now.”

To get to know the artist himself, a room dedicated to background information about Van Gogh and his life is set up before setting foot in the immersive rooms.  

People who may be more familiar with Van Gogh’s work and life are still encouraged to come for the experience. 

“Our show really focuses on Van Gogh’s evolution from darkness to light that you can clearly see over the 10 years of his career. It is different from any exhibit because we are tapping into the potential of his incredible work,” Curtat says. 

Beyond Van Gogh:The Immersive Experience began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in high demand since. 

“With the fear of COVID-19 also came this craving for beauty and joy because it offered something to take your mind off these things,” Curtat says. “Painting is a great way to get through things and hopefully COVID-19 has led to more than just fear, but also this eagerness to see something meaningful and truly inspiring.”

The immersive experience has taken off across Canada with other touring exhibits focusing on Claude Monet and King Tut. Although Van Gogh’s work has been around for decades, the exhibit is bringing a refreshing take on his work. 

“It is really about how you showcase the art and what story you tell about it. You can showcase it in many different ways and make it renewable,” Curtat says.  

Tickets are available on the Van Gogh Surrey website.