6 unmissable immersive art exhibitions in London to book now
The art world is constantly evolving and over recent years a new trend has emerged, with a focus on all-encompassing immersive art exhibitions currently sweeping across the capital. Whether it’s Yayoi Kusama’s perennially sold-out Infinity Rooms at the Tate Modern, or one of the world’s most famous artists getting the full-on immersive treatment – complete with floor-to-ceiling projections and VR headsets – London’s most sought-after exhibitions have now gone high-tech. Here we’ve rounded up the ground-breaking installations you won’t want to miss this summer.
Weird Sensation Feels Good
From 13 May 2022
Opening to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, this new show at the Design Museum is the UK’s first ever exhibition dedicated to the ASMR phenomenon, which has become one of the internet’s largest cultural movements. Exploring content designed to trigger an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (otherwise known as ASMR), the immersive show includes a series of 40 audio, visual and tactile works, which visitors are encouraged to interact with.
The exhibition taps into a wide variety of different mediums, including works by Björk and world-renowned TV painter Bob Ross, as well as a performative installation by Tobias Bradford and viral works by YouTubers including The Slow Mo Guys and HidaMari Cooking, all of which bring the ASMR experience to life. Visitors to the show will also have the chance to create their own ASMR in an interactive studio space conceptualised and designed by sound-led artist Julie Rose Bower.
Klimt: The Immersive Experience
Location not yet disclosed
From 23 July 2022
This summer’s most hotly anticipated show comes in the form of a brand-new immersive art exhibition, coordinated by the team who brought the hugely popular Van Gogh experience to London. This time the star of the show is Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, whose instantly recognisable works will be brought to life through floor-to-ceiling projections that showcase the golden era of modernism as you’ve never seen it before.
Filled with spectacular colour and mesmerising moving paintings, the artist’s most beloved works are given the full immersive treatment, with 360-degree projections accompanied by an all-encompassing light and sound show. Alongside the main Immersive Room visitors will also be treated to a VR experience that takes them on a visually rich journey that explores the inspiration behind eight of Klimt’s most iconic works.
Woolwich Public Market
10 May – 24 July 2022
This immersive art exhibition is unlike any other you’ll come across, having been designed as the first artwork to be experienced with closed eyes. Created by Collective Act and designed as a collaboration between Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble and Grammy-nominated composer Jon Hopkins, this delightfully trippy, conscious-altering spectacle will take place inside your own head, with a hallucinatory experience created entirely by your own brain.
Inspired by a 1959 invention by artist Brion Gysin, the show will feature an immersive lightscape paired with 360-degree spatial sound, which will generate something different behind the closed eyelids of every participant – you might see patterns and shapes, or abstract waves of shifting colours. You might feel like you’ve taken a journey through time and space, or you might just drift off to sleep. Afterwards, you’ll be invited to reflect on what you saw, heard and felt with the other participants in your group, in a bid to shed light on how differently we see and make sense of the world around us.
Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience
Dock X, Surrey Quays
From 28 May 2022
If ever there was an artist that lent herself to the world of immersive art exhibitions, it’s the gloriously technicolour works of Frida Kahlo. So it’s a joy to have this new show arrive in London this spring, where visitors can dive into the vibrant colour palette of not just Kahlo’s paintings but also those of her equally celebrated husband, Diego Rivera.
Featuring more than 300 works by the prolific Mexican painters, ranging from the miniature to the monumental, visitors will experience an explosion of colour and vivid brushstrokes splashed across giant screens, bringing the beauty and emotion of their visceral works to life. There will also be a VR experience available, which will transport visitors straight to the Mexican streets that inspired many of the renowned couples’ paintings.
6 Burlington Gardens
Until Summer 2022
Just around the corner from the Royal Academy of Arts sits the London home of Superblue, the multisensory installation by the artist duo A. A. Murakami that has been a runaway hit both here and in Miami. Entitled Silent Fall, the show has been designed as a poignant confrontation of our environmental reality, looking at its past, present and assumed future.
Blending art and technology, the multi-sensory experience revolves around a grove of tree-like automata that release oversized ephemeral bubbles – bubbles that, delightfully, can actually be handled. Inspired by the notion that first life was originally created in bubbles formed from the primordial soup billions of years ago, the dream-like installation is accompanied by a bespoke scent created in collaboration with the artist and perfumer Paul Schütze, which evokes the experience of walking through a forest. Clever and thought-provoking, it’s the perfect show to visit ahead of Earth Day and beyond.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms
Until 30 September 2022
This hugely popular exhibition may have been running since last May, but getting your hands on a ticket is still proving tricky, with the latest batches selling out almost as soon as they’re released – hence the need to keep extending the exhibition’s run, which is now booking until the end of September. Yayoi Kusama’s Instagram-famous Infinity Mirror Rooms are known the world over, and this takeover at the Tate Modern features two of her most spectacular installations.
The first, Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled With The Brilliance of Life, features a walkway of mirrored tiles, with thousands of tiny LED lights twinkling from the ceiling and reflected in a seemingly endless cascade of mirrors. Alongside that sits Chandelier of Grief, which features a rotating chandelier of Swarovski crystals. Do whatever you can to nab yourself a ticket – this is one multi-sensory experience not to be missed.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
The Old Truman Brewery
Until end of May 2022
One of the first major blockbuster immersive art exhibitions to kick off the current art trend, this all-consuming show brings some of Van Gogh’s most famous artworks to life via a series of different mediums. Having popped-up in cities all over the world and different venues around London, the show is now being held at the cavernous Old Truman Brewery in east London, where a 20,000 square foot room has been transformed into a spectacular light and sound experience.
The main Immersive Room is the centre point of the exhibition, an impressive two-story space that features 360-degree projections of the artist’s most compelling works – including Starry Night and Sunflowers, among over 300 other sketches, drawings and paintings – in a spellbinding feat that makes it feel as if you are walking into the paintings themselves. Alongside this there’s also a 10-minute VR experience which takes you through a day in the life of the artist, as well as the chance to make your own Van Gogh-esque pictures and have them projected onto the walls.