Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh visits Taiwan

Balloon at Luye Highland in Taitung until Aug. 4

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Vincent van Gogh floating above Taitung (photo courtesy of the Taitung County Government).

Vincent van Gogh floating above Taitung (photo courtesy of the Taitung County Government).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Dutch master Vincent van Gogh is visiting Taitung until August 4, or at least his effigy in the shape of a 28-meter-tall balloon is.

The inspiration for the balloon came from his 1887 work “Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” the Liberty Times reported Wednesday (July 31).

The balloon is being piloted by Herman Kleinsmit, 66, who has experience with more than 3,000 flights over 46 years and has founded a balloon festival in the northern Dutch province of Friesland, according to the Taitung County Government.

He expressed wonder at the beauty of the Hualien and Taitung's valleys and mountains, which he followed before arriving at Luye, where the balloon will remain on view for several days.

Van Gogh’s stay is part of the Taiwan International Balloon Festival at Luye Highlands, which lasts until August 12 this year.