Visitors get lost in van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, DC


Photo by Sophia Shiu

Sophia Shiu sits in the lights display room at the Van Gogh immersive exhibit.

The 360º digital art exhibition in Washington DC invites visitors to step into the universe of the Dutch genius Vincent van Gogh. Because it is a travelling exhibit, it will not be in DC forever. It opened in August 2021 and was planned to close in January 2022, but luckily for new visitors, due to high demand, the exhibits have been extended into March. These exhibits are all over the country in major cities, popping up in almost every state. It is brought to life by the organizers of widely successful exhibitions present in cities across Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

Visitors are able to immerse themselves in the artist’s masterpieces with a 360-degree digital show. It also includes features such as digital displays, sound effects and projection mapping.

Mario Iacampo, producer and artistic director of “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” said that in addition to the virtual reality segment, the exhibit offers various panels and specific recreations meant to offer information on van Gogh in a way that other immersive experiences might not. The exhibit looks slightly different everywhere it is exhibited, because it’s adapted to the building it is in. This makes it possible for someone to visit the exhibition in different cities and notice new things each time, even though the content is the same.

Junior Sophia Shiu visited this exhibition over the summer. She said she was able to look at all the different van Gogh paintings that were not as familiar to her because “people really ever only talk about The Starry Night.” There are more than 300 of his pieces on display, which provides a new perspective to those who do not know as much about van Gogh. 

Iacampo’s hope for visitors is that they enter the exhibition with an open mind, and after engaging with the exhibition for the full 60-75 minutes, they will come out of it with more of an understanding of both the art and artist.