In a masterly response to one of the most daunting challenges in art, a group of students came together to reinvent Vincent van Gogh, one the world's greatest painters. The project, called Starry, Starry Night, after one of van Gogh's famous paintings, was the brainchild of Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival co-ordinator Katie Flowers. Ms Flowers worked with students from 10 schools and arts groups to set up a multimedia interactive exhibition at Hong Kong Arts Centre to examine and recreate the world of the Dutch painter. Building it was as much fun as viewing the finished works. The group recreated life-size images and objects featuring various stages of van Gogh's life. Visitors could walk through his room - even his bathroom, sit in his chair, read his diaries, switch on the television for visual images of his works, smell the sunflowers, and meet an actor playing the artist. Seven students from Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary created his garden, a great source of inspiration to the artist, who is best-known for his work Sunflowers. Fourth-formers Cheng Ka-yin, Hsu Nga-lee, Lai Chun-hung, Lam Mau, Yen Shuk-fun, Yeung Ka-man and Yeung Sin-yeem said they thoroughly enjoyed the work although it was tiring. 'Van Gogh's garden was always messy,' Nga-lee said. 'It was full of his unfinished works and pieces he was throwing away,' Ka-yin said. The girls planted paper flowers, mainly sunflowers, and in the centre placed a copy of a self-portrait by the artist. Van Gogh was born in 1853. The artist committed suicide aged 37 after a life marred by severe depression. One of his acts of self-loathing was to cut off his own ear. During his lifetime, van Gogh sold only one painting, but 100 years later one of his works fetched a record price of US$75 million (HK$577 million). The students said the project was a way to get to know van Gogh. Nga-lee said she didn't like him at first. 'He was crazy and too egoistical.' But she later realised he was a true genius. 'I also understood better his descent into madness.' Ms Flowers said the exhibition was a fun way of teaching art. 'Children have come here, got involved and have been keen to learn more about the artist.' Other participants included Always Says No Group, Hong Kong International School, Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute, St Paul's Secondary, Chinese International School, CCC Kei Heep Secondary, Yew Chung Secondary, German Swiss International School and King George V School.