Every last Friday of the month, the Van Gogh Museum museum hosts “Vincent on Friday” in the evening, a relaxed party with cross-cultural programs. In collaboration with young creative artists, last Friday the museum received about 1200 people to discover the Japanese culture through paintings, workshops, and music.
During the party, visitors not only got to enjoy van Gogh’s art, but they were served several kinds of food as well as alcoholic beverages, including elaborate cocktails. While visitors enjoyed the masterpieces, a performance by the one-man-band Only In Japan, or OIJ, and DJ Camtrao resonated in the event, creating a party atmosphere. On the last “Vincent on Friday” of this season, the event was more special than the usual. Indeed, the museum recently opened the “Van Gogh & Japan” exposition which exhibits the painter’s finest work, inspired by Japanese woodcut prints and other artworks of the country. Consequently, the event enjoyed some Japanese touches. Visitors had the opportunity to design their own kimono in the museum’s art studio or to take a break from partying to watch “Tokyayo,” a Viceland documentary. Starring Pepijn Lanen, known as Faberyayo in theDutch rap group De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, and his friend Steven van Lummel, the documentary focuses on the Japanese capital Tokyo, in which the two friends discover the country from a new perspective.
Visitors of the event were pleased to see the recently-opened exposition. Fleur Rubingh, who attended the event, thought the exposition was “really cool.” The 28-year-old was accompanied by her friend Soleil Jongert. “I didn’t know that Van Gogh was influenced by Japanese art at all,” Rubingh said. “I was very interested to see this at the museum.” Both were excited to be at the Van Gogh Museum, stating that “they hadn’t been there in at least 10 years.” Among the visitors were several international guests like 55-year-old Donna Venti from Saint Louis, Missouri in the United States. “I love [the museum], it’s gorgeous!” Venti said. “I can’t believe they have so much works by Van Gogh in one place. We came to the museum precisely for this special event, and we’re going to see the exposition right now.”
The museum has over 200 paintings done by the Dutch painter and his artist colleagues, as well as about 500 drawings and 700 letters addressed to him, or written by him. Even though the exposition on Japan contains about 60 artworks by van Gogh himself, “Van Gogh & Japan,” does not only focus on him. The exhibit shows the work of young artists that were inspired by Japanese art. During a Q&A and performance, 4 artists presented their Japan-inspired works. One of them was Daphne Bleeker, a designer focusing on fashion with a Japanese touch. As of Jongert, the 24-year-old had the chance to model her designs, which she thinks are “very beautiful.” Next to the place where the Q&A was hosted, Joost Stokhof presented a visual travel log on his trip to Japan, showing animations on everyday subjects as well as Japanese nature.
The exposition ‘Van Gogh & Japan’ can be visited until June 24. The next Vincent on Friday event will take place after the summer holidays on September 28.
Avenue reporter at the Amsterdammer.
21-year-old Dutch girl with a passion for journalism, traveling and getting people to make her food. I’m also a Communication Science student at the University of Amsterdam and a lindy hop dancer -but I’m not that good at it quite yet.