Stepping into the Life of Claude Monet
Review of the "Monet/ Drawing Light" exhibition
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With the daunting winter cold approaching a step closer, the weather for leisurely activities are now limited to days. If you are wondering what do with the few remaining days of reasonable weather, a good recommendation is a visit to the “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition at BonDavinci Museum. For those who have always wanted a “piece” of culture, but have not had the time or opportunity to pursue that interest, this is the perfect weather and timing to visit an art exhibit and learn about one of the most renowned artist of the Impressionist Era, Claude Monet.
Introduction to Monet
A photo of Oscar-Claude Monet
(Photo courtesy of Imgur)
Oscar-Claude Monet was born in France, into a family of second-generation Parisians. Despite his father’s desire for him to enter the family business, Monet was able to take his first step towards art with the support of his mother, who was a singer. However, there were severe obstacles in his pursuit, such as the death of his mother at the age of sixteen, and being drafted to the French-Algerian War. Although Monet’s father could have purchased his exemption from the draft, Monet’s refusal to quit painting led to his father’s inaction. Fortunately, he was able to leave the army in the middle of his service to enroll in an art school, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. The new approaches to art that they came up with, painting the effects of light on the landscape with broken color and quick brushstrokes, are now called Impressionism.
One of Monet’s most famous work, Impression, Sunrise
(Photo courtesy of WikiArt)
The term “Impressionism” is originated from the title of Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise. The philosophy of this movement is defined as the expression of one’s perception of nature, characterized by a keen observation of light and unique brushstrokes. In practice, Monet had painted same scenes multiple times at an attempt to capture the changing of light and the passing of seasons.
Monet/ Drawing Light: Part 2
Monet’s impressionism exhibit is an extension of the first exhibition. Supported by a wide range of popularity, the original “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition was re-opened in July with additional features. The key behind its’ popularity was the use of light; all of the artworks displayed in the exhibition are in the form of projected light, and who else would be more fitting for this manner of display than Monet? The painting style of the Impressionist maestro is directly related to capturing the change in light. By introducing the element of light and motion to the original paintings, this exhibition serves as an exemplary case of outstanding visualization. This unorthodox means of display is merely a stepping stone for the exhibit’s underlying goal to capture the essence of Monet’s art and life. Combined with delicate designs of interior structure, the beams allow the audience to literally step into a scene of Monet’s life and be consumed into the moment. Such reconstruction of two-dimensional art into three-dimensional spaces creates a mesmerizing mood throughout the duration of the exhibit
A display of a scene in Monet’s life
The display is divided into several chapters, each representing a crucial part of Monet’s life. Beginning with the invitation chapter that introduces the overall life story of Claude Monet, there is the “Giverny Pond: Flower Garden”, “Musee De Lorangerie: Water Lily”, “Painter: Garden of Fantasy”, and a chapter dedicated to Camille, the muse and love of his life. Each chapter is designed in a way that best captures the meaning that each place, scenery, and person has on Monet’s life. Aside from these chapters, there are collages of Monet’s art pieces in various captivating forms.
Giverny Pond: Flower Garden
Furthermore, there are a good number of photo booths between each displays. While some people find them as distractions from their exhibiting experience, the general opinions on the audience review page were praising it as an entertaining feature. However, the photo booths were generally well coordinated with the displays, and were more of an interactive platform as a part of the audience experience. At the end of the exhibit, there is a goods shop with art-related merchandises such as jigsaw puzzles, notebooks, post cards, and T-shirts. The goods were not limited to Monet, and also portrayed artworks of Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimpt, and much more.
A photo booth under the theme "Monet's dining room"
Room for improvement
Despite the admirable achievements of the exhibition designers and producers, a significant shortage of the exhibition comes from its’ management. To be blunt, there are a lot of children at the exhibit, and not enough supervision over them. It is an issue frequently raised by the visitors in the review section, and witnessed first-hand during the preparation of this article. Many parents opt to bring their children to enjoy the exhibition, as the interactive installations provide an exciting yet educational experience. The vicinity to the Children’s Grand Park also plays a big role in the large number of child visitors. It is agreeable that the exhibition is a great way to introduce toddlers to classical art in an entertaining fashion. However, this is done at the cost of other visitors’ satisfaction. Children’s screams were constantly heard throughout the exhibit, as well as banging of toys, running, and a child was even picking flowers from display installations. It was no wonder that a large number of reviewer comments were recommendations of the day and time for avoiding children. In addition to parent negligence, there were no staffs located in the exhibition to maintain order. As such, some steps are deemed necessary for the management to take in order to deal with this problem. Aside from the positioning of staff members, the directors could schedule particular days or hours when toddlers are not allowed to enter.
Lee Chang-hyun email@example.com
Photos by Lee Chang-hyun
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