It's the weekend! The Gallery is open 10:30 am to 5:30 pm.

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

Exclusive AGO Members' booking begins Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

Public tickets on sale starting Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

 

GET UPDATES VIA EMAIL

Become a Member today for your best chance to experience this exhibition including exclusive Members' Previews!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

#InfiniteKusama

KEY TICKET 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 instantly at all its previous venues.

Tickets will be available for sale online only through AGO.ca. AGO Members will have an exclusive first opportunity to book tickets before the general public on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at noon. Reserve early as we cannot guarantee member tickets will be available for your preferred date and time due to the popularity of the exhibition.

The first opportunity to purchase tickets for the general public will be on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at noon. There is a maximum of four (4) tickets per transaction.

This exhibition has timed tickets for entry at a particular date and time. Be early and don’t miss your ticketed time. Plan to enter the exhibition line 10 minutes before the time on your ticket.

Visitors will have a limit of 20 to 30 seconds in each of the 6 rooms, as directed by the artist’s intent, and wait times for each room is estimated at 20 minutes. Plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition.

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

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

PLAN YOUR VISIT

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 purchase tickets?

Tickets will be available for sale online only through AGO.ca. AGO Members will have an exclusive first opportunity to book tickets before the general public on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at noon. The first opportunity to purchase tickets for the general public will be on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at noon. Due to the unique nature of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, all tickets are timed. 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?

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. 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. 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 wait times of 20 minutes per room.

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. You will be able to purchase same-day on-site tickets pending availability, and as capacity allows, but we strongly encourage advance purchase due to demand. Speak to an AGO Visitor Services Representative for more details.

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 do not have a computer, perhaps a family member or a friend can help you out, or a nearby library or community centre with computer access. Alternatively, 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.

Is this exhibition family-friendly?

This exhibition features six immersive spaces designed to give access to only two to four people at a time. This exhibition is recommended for all ages, however visitors should plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition with average wait times of 20 minutes per room. Seating/resting spaces are also limited in the space. Please keep in mind, the exhibition contains some mature content (nudity).

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.

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 the exhibition accessible?

Yes, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is an accessible exhibition.The AGO is committed to providing a welcoming and accessible destination and workplace. We embrace the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity to serve our visitors, staff and volunteers, and our community at large. The AGO offers front-of-the-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.

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.

Kusama Ticketing Info

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 Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

Members will have an exclusive first opportunity to book tickets before the general public on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at noon. As a reminder, membership benefits are non-transferable.

  1. Ensure that your membership account is active from the date the tickets go on sale to the desired date of your visit. To login as a Member on our website, use your membership number in the ID field and your password. Your default password is your last name (in lower case) followed by your membership number.
  2. Activate or renew your membership account online using your membership number (found on the back of your card) and the last postal code associated with your membership. If you need assistance, contact membership@ago.net or 416-979-6620 (Monday Friday, 9 am 5 pm).
  3. Reserve online in advance: Print your tickets at home or show your tickets on your mobile device. You will be required to present valid photo ID along with a member ticket at the entrance to the exhibition.

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 the exclusive opportunity to secure tickets first during our Members-only presale, starting on December 12, 2017. However, 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. These events are expected to sell out so advance tickets for Member events and viewing hours are highly encouraged!

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

You mentioned that a limited number of Member tickets will go on sale in December. Will other tickets be released?

We will be evaluating capacity on an ongoing basis and may release more tickets in the future. But to avoid disappointment, we recommend that AGO Members book tickets as early as possible.

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).

You can visit as often as you like, but tickets can be booked only one visit at a time. Be sure you book tickets for your second visit after your first visit has taken place and so on for subsequent visits. You must have an active membership to book and use your tickets. Based on the popular nature of the exhibition, tickets are expected to be booked up quickly.

As a Member, can I secure non-member paid tickets for friends during the Member on-sale date?

Due to the high demand nature of the show, Members will have the opportunity to secure only Member and Member guest tickets (based on Member type allotments) during the Member’s on-sale dates. Non-members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at noon.

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. 

Infinity Mirror Rooms

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 as directed by the artist’s intent, and wait times for each room estimated at 20 minutes. The Infinity Mirror Rooms can be entered in any order. We encourage you to select the shortest lines first. 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.

Are the Infinity Mirror Rooms wheelchair accessible?

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 or ask staff for details. For more information, see our Accessibility webpage.

Is there an audio guide?

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

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? 

Yes! There are many different types of private events on offer. However, due to the exhibition's popularity there is limited availability to host private events. Contact our Event Sales Coordinators today at events@ago.net to find out how you can host your event. 

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. Private event bookings are available through our Event Sales Team. Contact one of our Coordinators today at events@ago.net

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

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.

 

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.

 
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

 

Sculptures

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

“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.

Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.