BANGKOK — Western masters of impressionism to surrealism are brought to expansive, animated life at the From Monet to Kandinsky exhibition, running in Bangkok from Friday through July at River City Bangkok.
A looping 80-minute projection screens enlarged and animated artworks set to accompanying music. Degas’s ballet dancers and their tulle skirts fill the room at one point. Later, the waving fronds of Rousseau’s jungles cloak the walls, as a tiger peeks out from between the grass. Van Gogh’s haunting eyes, each blown up as big as a head, morph as his various self portraits are shown. Finally, Kandinsky and Malevich’s squares and circles spin and spiral increasingly frantically, before a triumphant explosion of shape.
“It’s different to how paintings traditionally appear in a museum. There, it’s quite serious, and the viewer has to be serious too,” said Oleg Marinin, a managing partner at Vision Multimedia Projects, which developed the exhibition. “I think the artists would have appreciated this style because they were revolutionary.”
Before entering the projection room, visitors can read short biographies of the 16 artists featured: Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Signac, Henri Rousseau, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt, Juan Gris, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian. The exhibition collates works of impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism, art nouveau, cubism and abstract art.
“Many people get emotional when looking at Van Gogh,” Marinin said.
Much like a previous exhibition of Caravaggio works blown up and displayed on lightboxes, visitors will be able to interact with light: have Mondrian shapes projected onto your body, or sleep right next to the “The Sleeping Gypsy.”
Linda Cheng, managing director of the River City Bangkok mall where the exhibition is located, says that it took two years to organise the exhibition. The exhibition was previously held by the Berlin and Moscow-based company in Berlin from 2017 to 2018. Its display in Bangkok marks its first time in Asia.
From August 8 until October 31, the same venue will hold another video projection exhibition titled “Italian Renaissance”, featuring the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Botticelli.
Tickets to the “From Monet to Kandinsky” exhibition cost 350 baht, with reduced prices for students, elders and groups. River City Bangkok, a four-story shopping mall overlooking the Chao Phraya River, can be reached from BTS Saphan Taksin or any boat that stops at Si Phraya Pier. There are also tickets that allow entry into both the Monet to Kandinsky and the Renaissance exhibitions.
The exhibition’s Facebook is to date with activities related to the exhibition, such as talks by art history experts and live music.