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Where in the World is Yayoi Kusama?


Where in the World is Yayoi Kusama?
Yayoi Kusama floating in her "Narcissus Garden" (Image courtesy of Moderna Museet)

This summer is arguably the summer of Yayoi Kusama, one of Japan’s most prolific female artists, with multiple exhibitions and installations happening around the world over the next few months. This is somewhat unsurprising as it follows in the wake of the artist being named one of TIME Magazine's "100 most Influential People" for 2016. For those avid fans of her works, The Artling has put together a list of places where you can find a Kusama pumpkin or an Infinity Room so you can ‘self-obliterate’ into her wonderful world.

  1. Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden at The Glass House, New Canaan, USA

    An installation view of "Narcissus Garden"
    Image courtesy fo Urdesign Magazine
    Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden is a landscape installation that comprises 1300 floating steel spheres that will be installed in the Lower Meadow and forest of The Glass House, drifting across their newly-restored pond to create a kinetic sculpture. Also on show is a steel PUMPKIN that is situated on the hillside meadow, eat-northeast of the Brick House.
    "PUMPKIN" (2015) by Yayoi Kusama
    Image courtesy of Dezeen
    A special installation entitled Dots Obsession – Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope will run at the end of summer (1st till 26th September). The Glass House itself will house an ‘infinity room’ experience created by Kusama, covering the house in her famous polka dots.
  2. Solo exhibition at Victoria Miro gallery, London, UK

    An installation view of "All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins"
    Image courtesy of Victoria Miro
    For those Kusama-Krazed fans lucky enough to be in London, Victoria Miro is exhibiting a year’s worth of new sculptures, installations and paintings that spans both their Wharf Road, Islington (including the waterside garden) and St George Street, Mayfair!
    "Where the Lights in My Heart Go" next to "Narcissus Garden" at the Wharf Road gallery
    Image courtesy of Victoria Miro
    A highlight is her All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins installation that features a room covered entirely in mirrors and filled with glowing yellow and black plastic pumpkins that appears to stretch to infinity. Also amongst the other Kusama works on show are Chandelier of Grief – a take on her Infinity Mirror Room series, Where the Lights in My Heart Go, a permanent installation of Narcissus Garden, her Infinity Nets series and My Eternal Soul paintings.
    Installation view of her "My Eternal Soul" paintings
    Image courtesy of Victoria Miro
  3. Pumpkin at Sky, New York, USA

    Image courtesy of artnet news
    Meanwhile, in New York is a permanent installation of Pumpkin at the ultra luxurious Sky condominium. Weighing 2,668 lbs, the Pumpkin sculptures took the artist 2 years to develop. 
  4. In Infinity at Moderna Museet/Ark Des, Stockholm, Sweden

    Making its way around Scandinavia is a retrospective exhibition of Kusama’s work – first appearing at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and now Moderna Museet / ArkDes in Stockholm (its final destination will be the HAM Helsinki Art Museum).
    Kusama's "Mirror Room (Pumpkin)" is a polka dot-covered orange and black mirrored installation originally shown at the Venice Biennale in 1993
    Image courtesy of Architecture Digest

    As most retrospectives go, the exhibition reveals her life’s work featuring early watercolours and pastels, as well as her ground-breaking paintings and sculptures, psychedelic films, performaces, installations and political happenings between the period of the 60s and early 70s. Several of her more recent installations will also be on show, including Passing Winter and Mirror Room (Pumpkin).

    Fancy a Kusma ladder or chair with soft parasitic protrusions?
    Image courtesy of Deezeen

    In addition to including several important works from her early period that have never been exhibited before, this exhibition is the first to account for Kusama’s interest in fashion and design.

    Another installation on show at the 'In Infinity' retrospective
    Image courtesy of Architecture Digest
  5. Pumpkin at the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan

    If you haven’t yet been to any of the 12 islands of the Seto Inland Sea, this summer is the perfect time to go! Not only is there a lovely yellow Kusama pumpkin to check out on the jetty off the island of Naoshima where the Benesse Art Site is, but this year just happens to fall on the same time as the Setouchi Triennale 2016!


    A Kusama pumpkin sitting melancholically at the end of a jetty, staring across the vast sea
    Image courtesy of Wild About Travel 

    If this poignant pumpkin is not enough to convince you to start booking your flight right now, read about what you’ll be missing out on in our article here and here, and see if you don’t get a serious case of F.O.M.O (fear of missing out)!
  6. You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies at Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, USA

    "You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies" promises little to no waiting times!
    Image courtesy of ARTLOG

    If you are finding the wait times at some of the exhibitions on this list too ridiculous and you have better things to do with your life, then head on to the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. As the installation is permanent one, the 25sqf room lined entirely with mirrors made from polished black granite and 250 LED lights, is easy to access especially on the weekdays at low traffic times (i.e. just before closing and early in the mornings). Here, you can bask peacefully in the looping 2.5min light show and meditate on its mesmerizing effect. 

  7. Kusama: At the End of the Universe at MFAH, Houston, USA

    Yayoi Kusama, "Love Is Calling", 2013, wood, metal, glass mirrors, tile, acrylic panel, rubber, blowers, lighting element, speakers, and sound
    Image courtesy of David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; KUSAMA Enterprise. Image © Yayoi Kusama

    Finally, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston will have its Cullinan Hall transformed into an interactive environment of all things Kusama! It will feature two works: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, a floor-to-ceiling mirrored space illuminated by golden lights that will spark and fade, as well as Love is Calling, a room filled with soft glowing polka-dotted tentacles that constantly change colour in room that plays a recording of Kusama's reading of a love poem in Japanese.

    Yayoi Kusama, "Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity", 2009, wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic paint, LED lighting system, and water, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. 
    Image © Yayoi Kusama



Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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