The sound of camera shutters is constantly heard in “Renoir: Scent of a Woman.” Couples, families and friends are all busy photographing each other. “I searched for the exhibition where I can take the best shot in my life on social media,” said Lee, a teenager who visited the exhibition. In fact, you can often see “Renoir: Scent of a Woman” hashtagged on instagram with “# Exhibition for Life Shot.” The reason why the exhibition has such a modifier is probably because the audience are fascinated by the splendid effect of “Convergence Art.” Convergence Art, the theme of “Renoir: Scent of a Woman,” adds a flamboyant media image, background music and sensuous spatial expression to Renoir’s art. The Argus experiences the synesthesia of art.
1) What is Convergence Art?
Convergence Art is an art genre that reinterprets painting by combining art, IT technology and sculptures. It is a five senses experience that offers an opportunity to experience interactive exhibits and artifacts using video, music or paper in a multisensory approach.
2) Who is Pierre Auguste Renoir?
Pierre Auguste Renoir is the most colorful painter of the 19th century Impressionist movement. He drew lively pictures by freely using light and colors with his primary sources of inspiration being “persons” and “landscape.” His showpieces include “Bal du Moulin de La Galette (1876)” and “Danse a la Campagne (1883).”
Smell & Touch: feast of flowers
Entering the exhibition, there are 10 different flavored aroma oils on a shelf. Visitors can choose the scent they want, such as lavender and rose, and dab a drop or two on your wrist. Walk inside a little longer, and there is a room decorated with red roses.
Renoir enjoyed painting roses, especially above other flowers because he liked their red color. His roses always have rich red petals. The major works are “Roses dans un Verre (1905)” and “Roses Mousseuses (1873).”
What stands out most in the exhibition hall are the red roses in full bloom sticking out from the walls. These are flowers that reproduce Renoir’s rose paintings as paper art. A technique that prints Renoir’s red color on paper and crumpled paper is used to form a three-dimensional flower shape.
The audience can feel Renoir’s roses with their fingertips and on the tip of their nose. Paper flowers narrow the physical distance between the work and the audience. The aroma on the wrist provides intense olfactory memories like the scent of a flower.
“It’s impressive to get people to participate in the show in a friendly way, such as the aroma oil and paper art,” said a 22-year-old student, Lee Da-eum.
See & Hear: color of nature
Visitors will see Renoir’s work projected onto the screen at the end of the aisle under the huge arches made of paper. The colorful lights shoot at the arch and screen, and calm classical music plays.
The Montmartre Hill was the home of 19th century artists. Renoir moved his studio near the hill and observed the momentary changes of nature. Renoir wanted to capture the changing colors of nature in his landscape paintings.
The huge arches of paper are cut along with patterns of flowers and leaves to express the natural view of Montmartre Hill. The lights of green, blue and red are shot on paper to express the outdoor daylight. Red light reminds us of the brilliant sun and flowers, while green and blue reminds us of trees and the Seine River.
Walking under the arch, listening to classical music, you get closer to the screen. Renoir’s major works, “La Seine a Argenteuil (1879),” “A Garden in Montmartre (1890)” are projected onto the screen to show the scenery Renoir painted on Montmartre Hill.
A woman in her 30s requesting anonymity, said, “It’s good to enjoy art through a freewheeling exhibition touching paper, enjoying colorful lighting, and listening to the background music.”
See & Hear: meeting with muses
The muses that inspired Renoir can be met through media art. Renoir thought nothing stands still. Media screens and background music express Renoir’s intention to add dynamism to his work. When the muse of the portrait on the media screen blinks and tilts one’s head, calm music is played along with their relaxed movements. For example, when their hair waves in the wind, a melody reminiscent of the wind is played.
The four-part screen on the full wall presents the muse of Renoir’s portrait. Several chairs are provided in front of the screen for viewing the images. Sitting on a chair and watching the video, you can feel as if you are talking to the muses on the screen. The woman from “Madame Alphonse Daudet (1876)” winks at the audience as do the two women from “Jeunes Filles au Piano (1875).”
One seven-year-old girl said, “It’s amazing that the characters in the screen look alive. It feels like they are likely to walk out of the screen. I want to talk to them.”
The media screen is expressed not only on the wall but also on the floor. Walking on Renoir’s works makes you feel as if you are inside his paintings. Two men from “Charles and Georges Durang (1882)” put their arms around each other’s shoulders, and a girl and a puppy from “Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881)” rub their noses.
“I have been able to better understand the author’s intention through the feeling of movement,” said a 19-year-old student, Park Ji-heon.
See & Hear: Noise of Work
The sound of work, such as that of a pencil and brush touching the sketchbook and an erasing sound, goes on like ASMR and there is a moving digital canvas on the wall that projects Renoir’s drawings to the screen. A girl from “Julie Manet (1887),” completed in five minutes, is drawn along with the sound of pencil movements and painted with the followed sound of brush touches in the digital canvas.
You can imagine the moment Renoir conceived a portrait in his studio while listening to a variety of sounds and watching the process of painting on a digital canvas. “I get goose bumps because I feel like Renoir is working right next to me,” said 27-year-old, Kim So-young.
A man in his 40s said, “It seems that modern trends like ASMR are reflected, so people who are not very well versed in art can enjoy it comfortably. Rather than standing still in front of a painting and reading an explanation, feeling art with a variety of senses is better to enjoy.”
See & Touch: silhouette in curtains
Renoir’s nude paintings are projected on the red and pink curtains and reborn as sculptures. Renoir’s picture is kind of a plastic art that values liveliness of the body the most. He tried to add a sense of volume to his paintings by forming them in a round manner and expressing light and shade.
The feeling of volume provided by the curved interior gives a three-dimensional feeling to the two-dimensional paintings. The curves of curtains emphasize the voluminous body and luxuriant hair of women from “Sleeping by the Sea (1897)” and “A Nymph by a Stream (1882).”
“Convergence Art saves the value of art’s original work in a fresh way such as projecting a screen on a curtain. I felt that the absence of the original painting does not mean the ignorance of author’s purpose,” said a 21-year-old student, Jun Hye-rin.
Today, the way we access the exhibition has become diverse. Young people, including those in their 20s, who are the main visitors, choose the exhibition they want to see on their social media. is also famous for the keyword “Nice to Take Pictures” on Instagram. However, The Argus hopes it also becomes well-known for the merit that everyone can enjoy art from multi-sensory experience. Convergence Art, which uses media technology and a variety of sculptures to guide viewers’ sensory experiences, provides familiarity to those who find art boring, and offers a more expansive way to view art to those who are usually interested in only canvas paintings.
By Kim Min-ji
Staff Reporter of Culture Section