The first time I saw a Kusama artwork, I was left mesmerized and soon after perplexed. At first glance her work was deceptively simple but as I stood still against the plethora of dots I found myself drawn into her world — a disconcerting psychedelic world filled with myriads of circles.
“My art originates from hallucinations only I can see. I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings. All my works in pastels are the products of obsessional neurosis and are therefore inextricably connected to my disease. I create pieces even when I don’t see hallucinations, though.”
Although Yayoi Kusama’s body of work has span for over 60-years in the conceptual and contemporary art world. I only knew of her existence last year, during her collaboration with luxury brand Louis Vuitton.
This year, I was lucky enough to join the celebration of her work at Roppongi Hills, Tokyo.
The polka-dotted area was dubbed as “Love Tokyo Summer.” It consisted of beer and whiskey gardens, a café, children’s activities and creative workshops. You could even order polka dot shaved ice, cakes and other polka-dotted dishes in “The Me that I Adore” cafe. The whole event provided a full immersion into Kusama’s world.
Her work, called ‘Love is Calling’ was also one of the highlights in Mori Art Museum, “All You Need is LOVE: From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsune Miku” exhibition. The installation is an infinite world of glowing dotted tentacles that change colors.
With the wonderfully weird surreal surrounding, I am glad I could enjoy a Yayoi Kusama experience at its best.