Yayoi Kusuma sent London into meltdown two years ago with her mirror illusions, dazzling lights, and giant polka-dotted pumpkins in the show, Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms. Today, she opens her twelfth exhibition at Victoria Miro’s Wharf Road galleries and waterside garden, THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE – which includes new work from her My Eternal Soul series and her much-acclaimed Infinity Mirrored Rooms.
Now seven decades into her art career, Kusuma has developed her work according to many practices of art, from Surrealism to Eccentric Abstraction. Her works embody messages of disorientation and fear of the unknown with its hallucinatory sequences and protrusions in forms of lines and dots. Elsewhere, she uses back-to-back mirrors and illuminated lights to create endless reflections that set the audience in a perplexed infatuation and dream-like daze.
Kusuma’s upbringing has no doubt inspired her work. She was born and raised in Japan in the mountainous Matsumoto City. Her family were agricultural farmers, which explains why she has been drawing pumpkins since she was a child. As an adult, she studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in the 1950s, on the advice of fellow artist George O’Keefe, and her success grew from there. However, after a series of suicide attempts and mental breakdowns, Kusama departed the city and voluntarily checked herself into a psychiatric asylum in Tokyo, where she still lives – creating her works from a studio nearby. All of these experiences deeply inform the work that she continues to make.
The exhibition will mark the debut of the Infinity Mirror Room, “MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE” – which will be filled with ornaments relating to Kusuma’s childhood of paper lanterns and pumpkins.
Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE entry will be by free, timed ticket only from 3 October–21 December 2018 at Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW