Experience a Sensory Journey at Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors currently at The Cleveland Museum of Art, celebrates Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work over a 65-year career. Organized by the Hirshborn, the exhibit has embarked on an ambitious North American tour of the artist’s work.

The exhibit is most famous for the seven Infinity Mirror Rooms visitors can immerse themselves in, but the exhibit is so much more. Spanning a range of works from her groundbreaking paintings and performances during the 1960s to her immersive installations and US debut of her recent painting series My Eternal Soul.

Check out Portfolio – Infinity Mirror Rooms for images and videos of the exhibit.

If there is one theme Kusama visits over-and-over through her work… it is Love. A prominent presence in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s, with her staged polka-dot “Happenings” in the streets of New York, Kusama has continued to utilize her art to inspire love and acceptance.

The exhibit consists of Infinity Mirror Rooms. Each room allows only three visitors at a time and 30 seconds for viewing. Having attended solo, I was able to experience each (small) room on my own. No noise, no one else talking or giving their opinion, I was able to just be present and experience another human’s view of love, beauty, and acceptance. Walking along a small platform protruding into each room, one is enveloped within the solitude created by the silence, darkness, flashing lights, and infinite reflections. Yet one does not feel alone knowing thousands of others have stood (and others wait) in the very same spot experiencing an explosion of the senses. With each step you feel as if your moving further away from the present toward a place of peace and love.

Yayoi Kusama. Collage with pastel, ink, fabric on paper.

In between visiting the rooms, one can view Kusama’s paintings and photographs of her staged performance pieces. Kusama utilizes an assortment of materials such as: wood, mirror, plastic, black glass, LED, furniture, dot stickers, rubber, acrylic panel, pastel, ink, fabric, acrylic, canvas, and household objects to create a vast array of artwork. It is quite astonishing the range of her work.

At the end of the exhibit, a video of Kusama discussing her art plays on a loop. In the last few minutes, she talks about her desire to inspire the younger generation to love and make a positive change on the world. In a time when national populism, immigration restrictions, and hate crimes are on the rise, we can always use more love and polka dots.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors runs through Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The exhibit will then move to its final destination, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, Nov. 18, 2018 – Feb. 17, 2019.


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