In an average year, tens of thousands of Chinese visitors head to the Netherlands to tour the Van Gogh Museum. In recognition of this interest, the museum has created a mini program for the social media platform WeChat. Through this app-like program, Chinese users can take selfies and have them digitally reworked in the style of Vincent Van Gogh. To remain compliant with GDPR legislation, and to scale the mini program to meet demand, the museum has deployed it in Microsoft Azure with Azure Blob Storage, Azure Functions, and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).
The Van Gogh Museum’s WeChat mini program is currently in its startup phase and is offering users their portraits for free. Soon, the museum hopes to add new features and purchasing options for its Chinese audience, including more Van Gogh portraits to base self-portraits on and the ability to create 4K resolution prints—both digitally and on canvas.
Creating these high-resolution prints will take up even more graphical processing power than the current portraits do, making scalability even more important. “At 4K resolution, you can zoom in on your computer and really see the complexity of the digital brush strokes created by the program, which I think people will find very cool,” says Pronk. “For us, this whole endeavor has been about connecting with people in China, and it is my hope that these pieces of bespoke art, in the style of Van Gogh, will be the cherry on top of that initiative.”
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