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  • Writer's pictureShanna Cheng

Dreaming Day by Day Series: #11

Hello Dreamers!

I thought I would write my first impressions and thoughts on Takashi Murakami's "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg" and the "Loving Vincent" film. I had the opportunity to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery and Massey Theatre this month and really explore and soak in the values of arts and culture. It was an amazing two weeks where I got to delve into the artists' minds and be inspired. While there have been many interpretations and critiques off of two very different shows, I will be telling mine; my interpretation, thoughts and why everyone should watch it.

First off, Takashi Murakami's exhibition stood out in the gallery. Whilst lining up for donation Tuesdays, I was worried there would be too many people, seeing how popular this exhibition was. While my friend and I came in one hour earlier, the line started filling up closer to the opening. I couldn't contain my excitement as it was the first time Murakami was showing his works in Vancouver. The first I have heard of him was under a Langara professor's recommendation. Since his style was awe-inspiring, I was exhilarated when I heard he was coming to town. But back to his exhibition, "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg" is a commentary on the artist himself. While it comments on his role as a contemporary artist, the octopus, it feeds on its own consumerism and commercialism. He makes a bold statement on how we consume culture at its highest and lowest. His reinterpretation of modern icons and historical pieces bring out the best of his work, making it a favourite of mine. I felt like I was in his mind and fully present in his work. The colours, creatures and process were the highlights of his exhibition. I would go again if I can!

Still reeling from the wonders of Murakami's showcase, I went to see the recent "Loving Vincent" film. The contrast in style and time periods were drastically different, however, they both managed to capture the beautiful wonders and imagination behind their own stories. While Murakami's works were bright and vivid, Van Gogh's paintings used in the film were calming and soothing. There was a great difference in mediums and texture where Murakami puts great emphasis on his flat planes versus Van Gogh who uses heavy and quick brushstrokes, adding texture throughout. Though the two can't be compared since they offer such a variety of talents from different eras, they both have something that makes them special and unique to each and their own.

It was a perfect memoir for Van Gogh. The story of his death and the people he touched in his lifetime as an artist was heartwarming and emotional. The film encompasses Van Gogh's pain and his struggle as a Dutch artist, only later after his death, marking him as one of the most important influencers of Post-Impressionism. The talents of over 100+ artists with more than 65,000 oil paintings contributed a lot to the story and the success of this film. "Loving Vincent" is a must see, I was so absorbed into the film and the storyline; the emotions came right off the paintings and out of the screen, it evoked despair, reality and mystery. The song and score accompanied the film perfectly, while the oil paintings and the imitation of Van Gogh's brushstrokes brought his story to life. "Loving Vincent" was a movie that we could ever hope to provide for Van Gogh. A memoir of a lifetime, "Loving Vincent" displays the true beauty of his art and mind. 

"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly' ... two hearts, one mind." Vincent Van Gogh

Out of 900 paintings he made, he only sold one in his lifetime.

More to come ... until next time.

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