Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist mostly known for her obsession with polka dots, pumpkins and infinity. She is 89 years old, lives and create in a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo Japan. She is one of most popular modern artists of her time. Her incredible work has been exhibited all over the world and now is to be seen in Victoria Miro gallery in east London.
The first thing that caught my attention at her exhibit titled ‘The moving moment when I went to the universe’ was fact that people of all generation are visiting her exposition. The art that Yayoi creates translates across different cultures and generations. I could see primary school children with their parents looking at her vivid and colourful work alongside with elderly and young adults.
The beginning of the exhibition is an infinity mirror room filled with a colourful immersive light installation; positioned in the void space with mirrors surrounding them. Standing in the centre of that cosmic image makes you feel, that you really are somewhere beyond the world we live in. There is something very mesmerising and intimate about being there, it is close to out-of-body experience. In someway it feels like you entered Kusama’s never ending imagination. Even you have been invited to this very personal space by the artists herself, it still feels invasive and cheeky to be there and stare at its inside. The exhibition is very successful, its popularity doesn’t let you to be in the infinity room longer than two minutes. Just as you begin to fall into the momentum of understanding what seats in the artist’s mind, you are being asked to move forward and make space for the next visitors.
The Japanese queen of polka dots makes infinity, that is almost not to be understood by people, in very human scale. She presents it not only in the installations but also in her paintings and sculptures. The brave and bold use of colours in the background makes a loud and clear statement, whilst the repetitive pattern painted or drawn over, normally in black, really stands out.
Another space was the room with enormous, porcelain, dotted pumpkins accompanied by paintings of pumpkins executed in different mediums. The sculptures have got something very magnetic about them, make you want to touch them; even you know you’re not allowed. On another hand, the paintings – longer you look at them, the more you can see and it is a view that you’d never get bored of. The polka dot pattern is so universal and enjoyable to look at; It’s not a surprise that Kusama collaborated with Louis Vuitton on his collection in 2006.
Overall the exhibition was an amazing experience. I feel very happy and highly privileged that I could see it for myself, considering that getting a ticket is a real mission (Totally worth it!). Kusama has definitely inspired me and influenced my recent work. More polka dots!