Visitors are invited to "turn and face the strange" at an exhibition showcasing the remarkable career of David Bowie, that landed in Paris on 27 February, as it makes its way around the world.

Consisting of over 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photographs, and rare original performance material from the past five decades, the exhibition, called David Bowie Is, opens to the public on Tuesday at the Philharmonie de Paris and will show there until 31 May.

Bowie's career, spanning five decades, is hard to define and even harder to contain - he was known around the world for his music and outlandish sense of style, but his repertoire includes starring roles in movies like Labyrinth.

His creativity and penchant for the outlandish transcends language and culture and helped make Bowie a global phenomenon, says exhibition co-curator Victoria Broackes.

"There are so many levels of the David Bowie story. On one hand you've got somebody who came from a very ordinary background and is now a superstar and has had his ups and downs along the way. But equally, you've got fantastic music and the visual, which takes in aspects of European culture - not just European, but also Japanese and beyond."

The exhibition is a true multimedia experience, and each guest is given a Sennheiser headset which plays different Bowie songs and interviews as you walk through the space.

"The idea is that you wear the headphones, you don't have to do anything, they follow you where you are, but it creates this very immersive experience which was really important to us," Broakes said.

"Because of course Bowie is not just about a collection of artefacts and objects and the music, it's also an emotional thing, it's vitally an emotional thing. And we wanted people to feel, as well as learn things and look at things as they went about,"

The exhibition opened at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013 and has since travelled to Sao Paulo, Berlin and Chicago. It will stay in Paris until the end of May, after which it will make its way to Australia and then the Netherlands.