Happy Place & Museum of Illusions

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Are we seeing art, or are we truly feeling art? Explore immersive exhibits!

Traditionally, when one would think of art or exhibitions, there is a an idea of historical pieces, deeper meanings, thought-provoking visuals and stunning imagery. In Vietnamese culture throughout time, art was considered a form as visual or architectural modes. Vietnamese art showcased ancient, modern or original artifacts derived from detailed craftsmanship, historical significance, or treasured emotions from the artist.

In today’s digital age where social media and technology have rapidly emerged into society, culturally the way art can be displayed or intended for as changed too. Society has become more interactive with art and heavily desire to be photographed with the visual arts in which we share onto our social media immersively. Recently, our booming Toronto city had introduced two popularized galleries into its downtown core, attracting demographics from all ages: The Happy Place and The Museum of Illusions.

Jenuine Taste was delighted to attend the Happy Place as it was its early opening weekend located at the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W., Toronto). This exhibit originally was in Los Angeles and endorsed by celebrities, tourists, locals, and attracted social-media savvy users. Regularly the admissions price was around $45 CAD each, and there were a total of around 9 installations.

The installations included themes that were vibrant, bold, and distinctive amongst each set. Should keep in mind that these exhibits were designed in mind for them to be photographed and shared amongst all social media, thus every angle of the exhibit had picture-worthy fun spots! Installations were led through paths and had its own story. There was a rubber duck bathtub where people could pose inside with plastic balls in the eye-catching 3 walls, a chocolate chip room where they also gave us free cookie samples, a flower ceiling which was reached for optimal photos by climbing through a mini ladder, colourful confetti room, and to top it off – a huge yellow ball pit where we all jumped in! Once you finished the exhibit there was a Happy Place merchandise table and snacks being sold such as lemonade and rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches! For the price you are paying it is quite steep, but given it’s limited time and the exclusivity in Toronto for a pop-up the buzz was definitely running through the city!

We also visited Museum of Illusions (132 Front Street East, Toronto), another popular interactive art exhibition in the core of downtown Toronto, which seemed to involve live optical illusions and paintings of art around the space. Around $25 ticket per person, it was worth the experience, as it was great for photo ops and mind-tricky illusions, which was fun to figure out. From the Vortex Tunnel to the beautiful Infinity Room, there was lots to explore while in the museum. The Museum of Illusions had a small gift shop by the entrance, which customers can purchase memorabilia or fun, pocket-sized illusion games.

Overall, these two exhibits were the hottest trend in Toronto, as it attracted many visitors from all over the city to experience and walk-around these stimulating, fun art exhibitions and offered a great way to take some Instagram-worthy photos. Unfortunately, both Happy Place and Museum of Illusions are only built for a limited time, but it was a great way to bring attraction and fun into the city! Similar exhibits will be jam packed in months to come, which were led to more interactive exhibits opening after the success of Yayoi’s Kusama Exhibit from Japan featured at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) this past summer 2018.

Let’s keep exploring together, and find out where we go next with Jenuine Taste!

Jennifer & Natasha Dao