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“Van Gogh & Japan” reveals the fascinating story of Van Gogh’s deep connection to Japanese art and the role it has in understanding his most iconic works.

The Arts

‘Van Gogh & Japan’ explores artist’s Asian connections

Admission for “Van Gogh & Japan” is $12 ($6 for students) at the door. Proceeds benefit Latchis Arts. For more information, visit www.latchisarts.org. Information about the 1919-20 season of Exhibition on Screen, as well as an announcement about a new series of films by Seventh-Art, the producers of Exhibition on Screen, will be available on Aug. 17 and 18.

BRATTLEBORO—Latchis Arts’ popular Exhibition on Screen series returns Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17 and 18, at 4 p.m., with Van Gogh & Japan at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St.

A pioneering series of cinematic films about exhibitions, galleries, and artists, Exhibition on Screen sheds light on a surprising and little-known aspect of the work of Vincent van Gogh.

Taking its inspiration from the critically acclaimed exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum, the film reveals the fascinating story of Van Gogh’s deep connection to Japanese art and its influence in his most iconic works.

Featuring excerpts from Van Gogh’s personal letters and written accounts by friends and contemporaries, this film investigates the expression of Van Gogh’s “Japonisme” and explores how people in Japan have developed an affinity to Van Gogh’s work as a result of his engagement with their culture.

Featuring insights from contemporary artists, including calligrapher Tomoko Kawao and performance artist Tatsumi Orimoto, Van Gogh & Japan provides revealing and modern perspectives on the rich, symbiotic relationship between Van Gogh and Japan.

“The brilliant thing about working on a film about Van Gogh is the richness of insight one can gain from his letters and just looking closely at his artworks,” said director David Bickerstaff. “You think you know them — they are famous — but with every viewing they reveal something new.

“The intensity of his fragile mind as he struggles with his art is laid bare with every mark he makes. It is the pursuit of a powerful simplicity that attracted Vincent van Gogh to the art of Japan, and the Japanese to his story.”

The film is 90 minutes.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #523 (Wednesday, August 14, 2019). This story appeared on page B4.

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