Van Gogh Alive

Have you guys seen the latest art phenomenon in Abu Dhabi? A few days ago my girlfriends and I spent a few hours immersing in Post-Impressionist masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh in the form of a 4D experience. Located at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre, this incredible gallery illuminates the life of Vincent Van Gogh and the evolution of his masterpieces.

The show was developed by Grande Exhibitions who utilize SENSORY 4 – a unique system which combines motion graphics, high quality surround sound and up to 40 HD projectors which provide this wonderful multi screen experience. Upon entrance, visitors will notice that the theatre is laced with large screens which are coloured by striking projections. Beautiful classical music fills the air as the art somehow comes to life, while scattered bean bags provide the perfect seating for visitors to sit back and fully enjoy the magic of the show.  I really loved the confluence of light, sound, colour and made me feel as if I was inside his paintings.

The exhibition explains how Vincent’s art evolved through 5 important periods in his life. Check this out:

  1. The Netherlands, 1880 – 1885 | showcases a dark period in Van Gogh’s life when most of his paintings were subdued with earthy tones.
  2. Paris, 1886 – 1888 | Van Gogh found inspiration in the energy of Impressionist painters and encountered Japanese art for the first time.
  3. Arles, 1888 – 1889 | one of Van Gogh’s happiest times, which is showcased through his positive paintings, most notably through flowers. Sadly, toward the end of the year his mental illness started to take control of his life.
  4. Saint Remy, 1889 – 1890 | another difficult period in Van Gogh’s life, when he committed himself into an asylum. His paintings included both tortured and peaceful landscapes, and it was in this period when he painted the coveted Starry Night.
  5. Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890 | the final moments of his life were spent in Auvers-sur-Oise where most of his paintings captured emptiness and broad landscapes.

I didn’t really know anything about him prior to the exhibition and as much as his art has found a permanent place in history, it is striking to learn how much he suffered. Vincent Van Gogh was not a celebrated artist during his lifetime, which makes me wonder – did this suffering contribute to the authenticity of his masterpieces which earned him a place among the artist elite posthumous, or was painting his only “escape” from depression?

Have a look at the alive experience below! 🙂

Van Gogh Alive is on in Abu Dhabi until 26th February, but don’t worry, in case you miss it – the show moves to Dubai’s Design District from 11th March – 23rd April 2018.




More information:

  • Ticket prices: AED 70 net for adults & AED 65 net for kids (until age 16) | Purchase here
  • Venue: Abu Dhabi National Theatre (click here for directions)
  • Timing: 9am – 10pm
  • Website:

Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary, unless otherwise stated. 


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