Her largest-scale retrospective soon open at Tate Modern, the show was recently running at Centre Pompidou, Paris and is travelling to Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In the southern hemisphere Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane is currently holding her major exhibition “Look Now, See Forever”. Yayoi Kusama, now at the age of 82, is obviously one of the world’s leading creators.
Meanwhile in Japan her solo exhibition “Eternity of Eternal Eternity” has begun at The National Museum of Art, Osaka. Kusama’s shows are always visually striking and exciting, the venue full of her flamboyant and energetic works is in some festive mood.
The exhibition starts with her painting series “Love Forever”, 50 drawings originally painted with black markers on canvases. This time all 50 pieces that have been silk screen printed on canvases are on display. The floor of the room is filled with “Clouds”. Using quick-drying materials like marker pens means that she’s done everything in a single burst.As soon as Kusama reached the goal of “Love Forever”, she immediately begun to devote herself into new painting series. Next section is dedicated to this latest and ongoing series “My Eternal Soul”. The series have more than 140 pieces and 47 works of which are exhibited here. In contrast to “Love Forever”, with extravagant colors and biomorphic patterns she seems to represent the eternal cycle of life, death and birth.
Several unforgettable works close out the show, “GLEAMING LIGHTS OF THE SOULS” and her self-portraits. The former is an installation of mirrored room where illuminating lights reflect infinitely. Standing inside the room, you can experience your body being surrounded by never-ending reflection of light. That is a tremendous time, in Kusama’s vocabulary, the moment when the self and everything is “obliterated”.
The latter is her newest works specially commissioned by this exhibition. Three self-portraits having totally different faces are all covered with dots.Her hallmark, the pumpkin placed in the passage introduces us to Kusama world.
Her recent FRP sculpture, “FLOWERS THAT BLOOM TOMORROW” is being showcased at the main lobby of Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka which is just 5 minutes walking distance from the museum.
Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929. She studied Japanese style painting at Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts. In 1958 Kusama moved to New York City, there she produced her first astonishing Net paintings and recieved attention in the art community. In 60s Kusama developed the series of provoking happenings and experimental environmental sculptures. She returned to Japan in 1973, where she began writing shocking novels, short stories and poetry. In the late 80s and 90s a number of retrospectives established international recognition of Kusama. Now she works and lives in Tokyo as a permanent resident of a psychiatric hospital.
text by Natsuki Niimi
Date: Jan 7 – Apr 8, 2012
Place: The National Museum of Art, Osaka
Address: 4-2-55 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan