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yayoi kusama's infinity room the souls of millions of light years away

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

March 3 – May 27, 2018

TICKETS — FOR SALE ONLINE ONLY

The first block of public tickets go on sale from January 16 - 19. An equal batch of tickets will be released online each day at 10 am.

Please expect a longer than normal wait time to accommodate a high demand for tickets.

Tickets are only available online – not by phone or in person.

The next Members' booking window starts on February 13 at 10 am. Online only.

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KEY INFO

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is unlike any exhibition the AGO has presented before. Make sure to read through these key points to ensure the best chance to experience this exhibition, which has sold out at all its previous venues.

Tickets will be available for sale online only.

Public tickets go on sale from January 16 - 19. An equal batch of tickets will be released each day at 10 am.

The next Members' booking window starts on February 13 at 10 am. 

Please anticipate long wait times to book tickets.

Use the 'Notify by Email' function so you don't have to stay at your computer or on the AGO website while you wait for your turn to book.

Tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be resold.

In signing up please note you will receive emails containing info on AGO’s full range of offerings.
You can unsubscribe at any time.
 

HOW TO BOOK TICKETS

Make the most of your visit – be informed and plan ahead with our top tips for a great visit. Please note there are additional details about the Infinity Mirror Rooms, For Members, Tours and Groups, and Gallery Policies below.

How can I get tickets?

Tickets will be available for sale online only through AGO.ca. Public tickets will go on sale from January 16 - 19. An equal batch of tickets will be released each day at 10 am. There is a maximum of four (4) tickets per transaction. Children ages 5 and under also require a ticket.

There will be a VERY limited number of same-day timed tickets available onsite, but they are expected to sell quickly. There are no refunds or exchanges of tickets for this exhibition.

What is a timed ticket?

All tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will be timed. Timed tickets ensure entry to the exhibition at a particular date and time. Timed tickets are required for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors due to the popularity of the artist and the nature of the exhibition, which features six immersive spaces designed to give access to only two to four people at a time.

How much do tickets cost?

Tickets are $30 for adults, $26.50 for seniors, and $21.50 for post-secondary students and youth ages 17 and under. On Wednesdays after 6 pm tickets are $15. Admission is free for AGO Members, but tickets are not guaranteed. Members must book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors include access to the AGO Collection galleries.

When is the best time to visit?

Mornings and weekdays are generally less crowded - although we are expecting crowds at all times of the day for this exhibition. Weekends and evenings tend to be busy and getting tickets on these days may be more difficult. Plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition, with average estimated wait times of 20 minutes per room.

Do children require timed tickets?

All visitors require a timed ticket. Children 5 and under are admitted free but will still need a ticket. This includes carried children or children in carriers. Timed tickets help us account for the time necessary to enter the Gallery and go through the exhibition. Please keep in mind, the exhibition contains some mature content (nudity). Due to the nature of the exhibition, there must be one adult present for every two children attending the exhibition.

How do I change the time on my ticket?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate request for time or date changes.

Are tickets transferable?

Tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be re-sold. Unauthorized duplication or sale of a ticket may prevent admittance.

Can I purchase a Kusama ticket on-site?

Advance tickets are available online only. There will be a very limited number of same-day tickets available for purchase onsite pending availability. Speak to an AGO Visitor Services Representative for more details.

Can I buy tickets outside of the AGO?

The AGO is the only authorized seller of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets. We are not responsible for any inconvenience or financial loss due to unauthorized duplication and/or resale of tickets, and reserve the right to deny admission.

If you have any questions about the validity of any online ticket offers, please call Visitor Services at 416-979-6648. 

Tickets are available online only. How do I purchase a ticket if I don't have a computer or email address?

Advance purchase tickets are available online only. Our team in the AGO Contact Centre would be happy to walk you through our website to familiarize you with the purchasing process. If you don't have a computer, see if you can ask family member or a friend to help, or visit a nearby library or community centre with computer access.

There will be a very limited number of same-day tickets available on-site, however, we highly recommend that you secure your tickets in advance.

I usually come to the AGO for free through the Teachers Access Program, MAP Library Pass Program, or the Neighbourhood Access Program and have an option of paying an upgrade fee for the specially ticketed exhibition. Will I be able to do that for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

Yes, there will be an upgrade ticket of $15. However, these are not available for advance purchase and there will be a very limited number of same-day tickets available. We highly recommend that you purchase tickets in advance. You can still visit our collection galleries for free during this exhibition, which will include Kusama's work, Narcissus Garden on the second floor. Narcissus Garden will be on view from February 24 until April 29, 2018.

Kusama Ticketing Info

Plan Your Visit

What are the hours for this exhibition?  

For the duration of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the AGO will be open from 10:30am to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday, and on Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm. Please note although this exhibition is open until 9pm on Tuesday to Saturday, AGO collection galleries close at 5pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30pm on Saturday.

Is this exhibition family friendly?

This exhibition is open to all ages; however here are some things to know before visiting:

  • All visitors need a ticket to the exhibition. Children under 5 are free, but still require a ticket.
  • Due to the nature of the exhibition, there must be one adult present for every two children.
  • Visitors should plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition with average estimated wait times of 20 minutes per room
  • Seating/resting spaces are limited within the exhibition
  • Strollers are allowed into the exhibition; however due to limited space, strollers are not permitted in the Infinity Mirror Rooms. You will be able to park your stroller outside of the room before you enter
  • Please keep in mind that the exhibition contains some mature content (nudity)

When should I arrive?

Be early and don’t miss your ticketed time. Plan to enter the line in the Sculpture Atrium on Level 1, 10 minutes before the time on your ticket. Feel free to ask an AGO staff member about any wait times or delays. If you have a long wait, tour the rest of the Gallery, visit the shopAGO, enjoy coffee and snacks at caféAGO or enjoy a delicious meal at AGO Bistro until 10 minutes before your entry time. You can find our full hours of operations on the Plan Your Visit section of our website. Please note although this exhibition is open until 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, AGO Collection galleries close at 5 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

Can I come earlier than my reserved time?

You may arrive early and enjoy the AGO Collection galleries. However, arriving early will not speed up your entry into the exhibition. You will be admitted into the exhibition promptly at the time indicated on your ticket.

Is my ticket valid all day? Am I able to leave and return?

There is no re-entry to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors so be sure to eat and use the restroom before your entry time to enjoy your visit to the fullest. However, your ticket does allow all-day access to the AGO Collection galleries. Please note although this exhibition is open until 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

What if I am late?

If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the time on your ticket, we cannot guarantee entry. We will make every attempt to admit you at the next available times lot, but late entry is not guaranteed.

What if I miss my ticketed entry time?

Unfortunately, tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the time on your ticket we will attempt to admit you at the next available time slot that day, but entry is not guaranteed.

Is there a restroom in the exhibition?

Yes. There is a restroom available in the exhibition on the 5th floor. 

The Exhibition Experience

What is this exhibition about?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors focuses on the celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's immersive, multi-reflective infinity mirror rooms.

The Exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to experience six of Kusama's most iconic kaleidoscopic environments, alongside large-scales, whimsical installations of over 60 key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present. It also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 88-year-old artist, who is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio.

What are the Infinity Mirror Rooms?

The exhibition includes six Infinity Mirror Rooms: five you enter and one you peek in to. The rooms are designed by the artist to be brief immersive experiences and are in chronological order from 1965 to the present.

How long are lines to enter the Infinity Mirror Rooms? How long can I spend in the room?

Visitors will have a limit of 20 to 30 seconds in each room. Wait times for each room estimated at 20 minutes. Plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition. The AGO offers front-of-line access to our visitors with disabilities; please contact us for details.

How many people can be in an Infinity Mirror Room at the same time?

The viewing platforms and areas are small. Two to three people may enter each room at a time. You may be asked by an attendant to enter with other visitors.

Is there re-entry into the exhibition?

No, re-entry is not allowed.

Can I enter an Infinity Mirror Room more than once?

In order to accommodate as many visitors as possible, you may only enter each Infinity Mirror Room once.

Is there an audio guide?

No. It was Kusama's vision for visitors to enter the Infinity Mirror Rooms and to immerse themselves in the art. The experiential nature of the Rooms do not require audio.

What accommodations do you have in place for visitors with disabilities? 

Yayoi Kusama: Infiniti Mirros is an accessible exhibition, however, due to the nature of some of the artwork, some areas may not be.

If you are visiting with a wheelchair, standard wheelchairs can enter and exit the Infinity Mirror Rooms one at a time. However, due to size restrictions, wheelchairs cannot turn around once inside the rooms and must back out to exit. While the Infinity Mirror Rooms have varying sizes, the narrowest entry point is 77cm (30 inches) wide.

The AGO offers front-of-line access to our visitors with disabilities; please contact us for details. Please see our Infinity Mirror Rooms section for more specific information about wheelchair access.

For AGO Members

I’m an AGO Member. Do I need a timed ticket to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? How do I get one?

Yes, everyone requires a timed ticket to enter the exhibition, including AGO Members.

We are pleased to have offered Members two exclusive opportunities to book a limited number of free tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors before the general public. There will be another opportunity for Members to book tickets starting on February 13 at 10 am. 

Do I need an active membership in order for me to book tickets?

Yes, please ensure that your membership account is active for the duration of the exhibition (March 3 - May 27, 2018). The last day to join or renew in order to book in the February 13 booking window is February 1. 

How do I login into my membership account online? 

To login as a Member on our website, use your membership number located on the back of your membership card in the ID field and your password.

If you don't know your password, click "Forgot Password". An email will be sent to your registered email address with your login information.

How do I join or renew my membership in order to be part of the February 13 booking opportunity?

Please make sure to join or renew by February 1 in order to access this booking window. It's easy to become a member:  

  1. ONLINE: Click here to purchase your membership through the secure membership registration page.
  2. IN PERSON: Visit Membership Services at the AGO and your membership package will be processed within minutes.
  3. BY PHONE: Have your credit card ready and call the Membership Office at 416 979 6620 (Monday Friday, 9 am 5 pm).

I've booked my Member tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Am I able to book a second visit?

As a member, you can visit as often as you like, but as with all other exhibitions, tickets for a second visit can only be booked after your first visit has taken place.

Based on the popular nature of the exhibition, tickets are expected to be booked up quickly, so we recommend booking your first-choice timeslot as you may not have another opportunity.

    I've always been able to get AGO tickets guaranteed with my Member status. Is this still the case?

    Due to a very limited gallery capacity and popular demand, we expect this exhibition to sell out quickly. AGO Members have another opportunity to secure tickets during our next Members-only booking window, on February 13 at 10 am.

    We cannot guarantee free member tickets so we advise members to act quickly.

    Are there special viewing opportunities for Members?

    Yes! We provide AGO Members with special opportunities to enjoy the exhibition. 

    • Members’ Preview Days
      Wednesday, February 28; Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2, 2018

    How many free Member tickets can I reserve for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

    • Individual/Student – One Member ticket
    • Dual – Two Member tickets
    • Member + Guest – One Member ticket and one Member guest ticket (Member must accompany guest).
    • Family – Two adult Member tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Long Distance – Two adult Member tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Contributing – Two adult Member tickets, up to two Member guest tickets and up to five member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Supporting – Two adult Member tickets, up to three Member guest tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Sustaining – Two adult Member tickets, up to four Member guest tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Fellow – Two adult Member tickets, up to four Member guest tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest).
    • Curators’ Circle – Two adult Member tickets, up to four Member guest tickets and up to five Member tickets for children ages 17 and under (Member must accompany guest), plus up to four Curators’ Circle VIP tickets to share with friends and family.
    • AGO Next Individual – One Member ticket and one Member guest ticket (Member must accompany guest)
    • AGO Next Dual – Two Member tickets and up to two Member guest tickets (Member must accompany guest)
    • AGO Next with Hosting Privileges – One Member ticket and up to three Member guest tickets (Member must accompany guest)

    As a Member, can I secure non-member paid tickets for friends? 

    No. Due to a very limited gallery capacity and popular demand, Members will have the opportunity to secure only Member and Member guest tickets (based on Member type allotments) during the Member’s booking dates.

    Public tickets will go on sale from January 16 - 19. An equal batch of tickets will be released each day at 10 am.

    What if I was unable to get tickets during the Member booking windows?  

    We are pleased to have offered Members two exclusive opportunities to book a limited number of free tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors before the general public. There will be another opportunity for Members to book tickets starting on February 13 at 10 am. 

    Public tickets will go on sale from January 16 - 19. An equal batch of tickets will be released each day at 10 am.

    I am not an AGO Member, but a Member of the Museum Alliance Reciprocal Program or the Art Museum Reciprocal Network. Do I get free access to the exhibition? 

    Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is not included in the reciprocal program. There will be the option of purchasing an upgrade ticket of $15. However, these are not available for purchase in advance and there will be a very limited number of same-day tickets. We highly recommend that you purchase full price tickets in advance.

    Gallery Policies

    Can I take photos?

    Non-flash photography is allowed inside the exhibition, except in Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. Video recording and tripods/selfie sticks are prohibited. Please be very careful when taking photos in the Infinity Mirror Rooms as many of the artworks are fragile. We encourage you to share your photos and tag them with #InfiniteKusama.

    Can I speak on my cell phone?

    Of course, however please turn your phone to the vibrate setting and be respectful of other visitors when using your cell phone.

    The Infinity Mirror Rooms are immersive, so can I touch them?

    Although you can peek or step into the Infinity Mirror Rooms, please do not touch the artwork. Keep a safe distance of 1 m (39 in.) between you and the works of art.

    Can I bring a stroller into the exhibition?

    Strollers are allowed into the exhibition, however strollers are not permitted into the Infinity Mirror Rooms.

    Should I check my bag before entering Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

    Due to the unique nature of the exhibition we encourage you to check all bags. Please do so before heading to the exhibition entry in the Sculpture Atrium on Level 1 to avoid having to return to Coat Check and missing your entry time. You will be requested to leave any unchecked bags outside of the Infinity Mirror Rooms where AGO staff will be stationed. However, the AGO is not responsible for your belongings and encourages you to travel light when you come to the exhibition. The AGO provides complimentary coat check services for prohibited items. The following items must be checked prior to entering the galleries:

    • Bags or other items larger than 45 x 40 x 15 cm (18 x 16 x 6 in.)
    • Backpacks or other items worn on the back (of any size)
    • Shopping bags
    • Briefcases
    • Umbrellas of any size
    • Wet items including wet coats

    For more information, see our gallery guidelines.

    Tours, Groups and Events

    Do you offer public tours of the exhibition?

    There will be no public tours of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors due to the unique and immersive nature of the gallery installation.

    Can I book my private event with a visit to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? 

    Due to the high demand nature of the exhibition, we are not able to accommodate private events in Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. 

    Do you offer discounted group visits of the exhibition?

    Due to the high demand nature of the exhibition, we are not able to accommodate group visits in Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. 

    I’m a teacher looking to bring a group of students. How do I do that?

    Due to the unique and immersive nature of the installation, there will be a small number of K–12 school group visits which will be allocated via a lottery. Please see our School Visits page for more details.


     

    YAYOI KUSAMA

    kusama with artworks

    Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016. Courtesy of the artist © Yayoi Kusama, Photo by Tomoaki Makino

    Guided by her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, critically acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama has been breaking new ground for more than six decades. In 1993, she became the first woman to have a solo presentation at the Venice Biennale’s Japanese Pavilion, and in 2016, Time magazine named her one of the world’s most influential people.

    Born in 1929, Kusama grew up near her family’s plant nursery in Matsumoto, Japan. At nineteen, following World War II, she went to Kyoto to study the traditional Japanese style of painting known as Nihonga. During this time, she began experimenting with abstraction, but it was not until she arrived in the United States, in 1957, that her career took off. Living in New York from 1958 to 1973, Kusama moved in avant-garde circles with such figures as Andy Warhol and Allan Kaprow while honing her signature dot and net motifs, developing soft sculpture, creating installation-based works, and staging Happenings (performance-based events). She first used the mirror as a multi-reflective device in Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, 1965, transforming the intense repetition that marked some of her earlier works into an immersive experience. Kusama returned to Japan in 1973 but has continued to develop her mirrored installations, and over the years, she has attained cult status, not only as an artist, but as a novelist.


     

    About the Exhibition

    kusama's pumpkin infinity room

    Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, black glass, LED. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

    Experience infinity: From her immersive infinity rooms to mesmerizing paintings and playful sculptures, Yayoi Kusama welcomes you to participate in her extraordinary and innovative explorations of time and space.

    Infinity may be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is easy to contemplate when you step inside one of artist Yayoi Kusama’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Rich with key works from the contemporary Japanese artist’s significant 65-year career, this major exhibition also shows the evolution of her immersive, multi-reflective installations, in which she invites you to share in her unique vision.

    Immerse yourself in six of these kaleidoscopic environments where you will be endlessly reflected within fantastic landscapes. You’ll also see Kusama’s mesmerizing and intimate drawings, her early Infinity Net paintings in which nets organically expand along the surface of a canvas like cell formations, and her surreal sculptural objects. These key works join more than 90 works on view, including large and vibrant paintings, sculptures, works on paper, as well as rare archival materials.

    The 88-year-old artist continues to work at a brisk pace in her Tokyo studio. The exhibition features the North American debut of numerous new works. Her most recent painting series, My Eternal Soul (2009–present), may be the greatest surprise. Exuberant in colour and paired with sculptures that bear titles such as My Adolescence in Bloom, they mark a striking progression in the use of Kusama’s signature symbol of the polka dot. Also on view in North America for the first time is the recently realized Infinity Mirror Room, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016 , a field of yellow, dotted pumpkins spreading into infinity.

    In addition to the paintings, sculptures, drawings and environments, viewers will encounter posters, letters, cards, and invitations that relate to Kusama’s early exhibitions and events—including her first solo show, which took place in Seattle—a slideshow of Kusama’s performances as well as an interview with the artist filmed on the occasion of this exhibition.


    About the Art

    Infinity Mirror Rooms

    In 1965, Kusama began using mirrors to transcend the physical limitations of her own practice and achieve the repetition that is crucial to her Infinite Net paintings and Accumulation sculptures. Sculptural, architectural, and performative, these installations blur the lines between artistic disciplines and create an engaged experience as the visitor completes the artwork.

    installation of kusama's "love forever"

    Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Love Forever, 1966/1994, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirrors, metal, and lightbulbs. Photo by Cathy Carver

    kusama love forever slide

    Love Forever

    Hexagonal in shape and mirrored on all sides, Love Forever features two peepholes that invite you to peer in and see both yourself and another viewer repeated into infinity. At the time Kusama created this Infinity Mirror Room, she was experimenting with new technology and viewed the work as a “machine for animation.” During the 1966 exhibition opening of Kusama’s Peep Show, which featured this work, Kusama distributed buttons with her message “Love Forever” printed on them. For the artist, this concept of Love Forever stood for civil rights, sexual liberation and the antiwar movement, brought to the cultural mainstream by activist groups of the 1960s.

    yayoi kusama's infinity room the souls of millions of light years away

    Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama

    kusama souls of millions slide

    The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

    Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away is like an out-of-body experience as you enter a a repetitive illusion created with lights and mirrors. Like stars in the galaxy, hundreds of LED lights hang and flicker in a rhythmic pattern that seems to suspend both space and time. You become part of the work as your body activates the environment and simultaneously vanishes into the infinite space.

    installation shot of kusama's All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins

    Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, black glass, LED. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

    kusama pumpkin slide

    All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins

    The pumpkin motif first appeared in some of Kusama’s drawings from the late 1940s and has repeatedly shown up in her paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations. Her initial pumpkin mirrored room was staged in 1991 and was later displayed at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Stepping into Infinity Mirrored Room—All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, you are transported to a space that recalls fairytales and fantasy.

    yayoi kusama's infinity room phalli's field

    Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, 1965. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017. Sewn stuffed cotton fabric, board, and mirrors. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carve

    kusama phalli's field slide

    Phalli's Field

    Kusama spent much of her time between 1962 and 1964 sewing thousands of stuffed fabric tubers and grafting them to furniture and found objects to create her Accumulation sculptures. She exhibited the works together in an attempt to create hallucinatory scenes of phallic surfaces, but making them was physically and mentally taxing. In a breakthrough moment, she started to use mirrors to achieve similar repetition. The reflective surfaces allowed her vision to transcend the physical limitations of her own practice. The mirrors also created a participatory experience by making viewers part of the work.

    installation of kusama's work "aftermath of the obliteration of the universe"

    Yayoi Kusama, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, 2009, Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LED, black glass, and aluminum. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York. © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

    kusama aftermath slide

    Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity

    In Infinity Mirrored Room—Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity you enter into a world of flickering golden lanterns, immersing yourself in a shimmering pattern of light that contrasts with the seemingly endless void of the mirrored black space. For Kusama, this work is a reflection on the experience of death and the potential of the afterlife. The imagery in this work recalls the Japanese tradition of toro nagashi, a ceremony in which paper lanterns float down a river to guide ancestral spirits back to their resting places on the final night of the summer Obon Festival. The ceremony often commemorates the victims of the atomic bombs. Mesmerizing and intimate, Kusama’s poetic installation underscores the impermanence of life and the certitude of death.

    kusama's "dot's obsession" installation

    Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession – Love Transformed Into Dots, 2007, Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York., © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

    kusama dots obsession slide

    Dots Obsession — Love Transformed into Dots

    Hanging from the ceiling and occupying the floor, large polka dotted balloons surround your view. As you navigate through the space, you can enter a mirrored room inside one of the balloons and peer inside another. The work engages you with its contrasting scales: at one moment you are enveloped by a massive balloon and in another, you squint through a small peephole to see a mirrored infinity. Kusama provides the soundtrack for your experience, as she hauntingly sings one of her poems on a nearby video screen.

    installation of kusama's obliteration room

    Yayoi Kusama,The Obliteration Room, 2002 to present. Furniture, white paint, and dot stickers. Dimensions variable. Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. Commissioned Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph: QAGOMA Photography

    kusama obliteration room slide

    The Obliteration Room

    Kusama’s The Obliteration Room invites you to complete the work. The room begins as a pure white room of furniture and everyday objects. All visitors are given polka dot stickers and invited to place them wherever they want, as the space gradually transforms during the run of the exhibition. Kusama’s concept of obliteration finds new expression as the pristine white space is gradually covered in an accumulation of brightly coloured dots allowing each visitor to partake on a journey to infinity one polka dot at a time.

     
    kusama's painting "searching for love"

    Yayoi Kusama, Searching for Love, 2013. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore; Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama.

    Paintings

    “...producing the unique art that came from within myself was the most important thing I could do to build my life as an artist.”

    Kusama’s paintings embody the motifs echoed often throughout her work, giving evidence to the singular vision that has driven her over the course of her long career. Colours and patterns pulsate within the bordered spaces of her canvases. She was determined to incite experiences of immersion and boundlessness even in two dimensions.

     

    Works on Paper

    “I thought of Seattle as only the first step in my reckless journey.”

    Kusama’s works on paper first garnered attention in the United States in 1957, when she was the subject of a solo exhibition at Zoë Dusanne Gallery in Seattle. These early drawings are intimate, organic microcosms that the artist later expanded on in her Infinity Mirror Rooms.

    kusama's painting "flower"

    Yayoi Kusama, Flower, 1975. Collage with pastel, ink, fabric on paper. 39.8 x 54.3 cm Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York. © Yayoi Kusama

     
    installation of kusama's work "Life"

    Yayoi Kusama, Life (Repetitive Vision), 1998. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017 © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

    Sculptures

    “I make them and make them and then keep on making them, until I bury myself in the process. I call this ‘obliteration’.”

    Kusama began making the Accumulations or soft sculptures in the early 1960s. They serve as important precursors to her Infinity Mirror Rooms. These works point to a crucial development that eventually transformed her process-based production from physical repetition to photographic reproduction to instantaneous reflection.


     

    Supplementary Installation: Narcissus Garden

    kusama's narcissus garden

    Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden, installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden 2016 ©YAYOI KUSAMA, courtesy YAYOI KUSAMA Inc.

    Don’t miss Kusama’s supplementary installation Narcissus Garden, featuring 1,300 stainless-steel mirror balls spread throughout our Signy-Eaton Gallery.

    Created in 1966, the first incarnation of Narcissus Garden appeared in the gardens outside of that year’s Venice Biennale. As one of her first pieces of performance art, Kusama planted a sign reading “Your Narcissism for Sale” and sold each mirror ball to visitors for two dollars. On view from February 24 to April 29, 2018. Free with admission.

     

     

     

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