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Technology + Art: WeChat Welcomes Van Gogh Museum on Intel Museum's Day

On this International Museum's Day, WeChat and the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands are deepening their collaboration with the launch of its brand new WeChat Channels and Mini Program with unique AI-powered features that combine technology and art.

On the evening of May 10th (Beijing time), the Van Gogh Museum became the first overseas cultural institution to livestream a virtual museum tour on its official WeChat Channels account, pioneering a new museum-going experience in the time of Coronavirus and paving the way for more cultural institutions that are looking to engage with the Chinese audience with creative digital tools.

Willem Van Gogh, Advisor to the Board of the Van Gogh Museum, introduced Vincent Van Gogh's paintings in Amsterdam and shared some life stories of his great grand uncle. Tens of thousands of Chinese viewers were able to appreciate Van Gogh's important works virtually—including his well-known works "Sunflowers," "Bedroom in Arles," "Tree Roots," and interacted with the hosts by pressing "Like", asking questions, and entering a lucky draw for souvenirs.

Established in 1973 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Van Gogh Museum is one of the world's top art institutions with the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh's works, housing 210 oil paintings and 704 drawings and watercolours. The debut of its WeChat Channels video livestream marks the museum's further integration into the WeChat ecosystem after its recent launch of WeChat Mini Program and acceptance of WeChat Pay.

The Van Gogh Museum selected 25 of Van Gogh's most famous works in its collection and digitalized them for its brand new WeChat Mini Program. Users can appreciate the high-definition art works virtually, learn about the artist's life stories and buy merchandise through the six interactive sections: "Understand Van Gogh," "AI Van Gogh," "Museum History," "Van Gogh Store," "Masterpiece Appreciation," and "Floor Guide."

The Mini Program's unique "AI Van Gogh" feature, an immediate hit upon its release, uses custom-designed algorithms to create Van Gogh-style portraits from personal photos uploaded by the user. This fun feature lets the Chinese audience get a better feel for the brushstrokes and colour treatment of the post-impressionist genius.

WeChat, which has been dedicated to empowering institutions with new digital capabilities, looks forward to spreading art and creativity with the Van Gogh Museum to more people by harnessing the power of technology. The collaboration also marks an important overseas partnership expansion for China's most used social platform. WeChat and its domestic version Weixin connect over 1.25 billion monthly active users worldwide. Its cross-border payment feature is currently accepted in 64 countries and regions.

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