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Yayoi Kusama, Kusama: Infinity
A still from Kusama: InfinityCourtesy of Dogwoof

Yayoi Kusama shares a defiant poem in the face of COVID-19

‘We shall fight this terrible monster’

Yayoi Kusama has shared a hopeful message as the world continues to face the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese artist, renowned for her polka-dot artworks and pumpkin sculptures, has written a defiant poem that encourages everyone to “overcome our unhappiness” and “fight this terrible monster”. 

Introducing the poem, Kusama says: “Today, with the world facing COVID-19, I feel the necessity to address it with this message.” The 91-year-old goes on to reference a “burst of light” which “points to the future”, adding that “now is the time for people all over the world to stand up”.

Kusama’s celebrated Infinity Mirrored Room – which is so popular a 30-second selfie rule had to be implemented to stop people taking so many pictures – has been made accessible online as the world isolates at home.

The artist is also set to be the centre of a Tate Modern retrospective, slated to open in May. Now likely postponed, the exhibition will feature two of Kusama’s Infinity Rooms and is set to be her largest installation to date.

Read Kusama’s full poem below.

A MESSAGE FROM YAYOI KUSAMA TO THE WHOLE WORLD

Though it glistens just out of reach, I continue to pray for hope to shine through

Its glimmer lighting our way

This long awaited great cosmic glow

Now that we find ourselves on the dark side of the world

The gods will be there to strengthen the hope we have spread throughout the universe

For those left behind, each person’s story and that of their loved ones

It is time to seek a hymn of love for our souls

In the midst of this historic menace, a brief burst of light points to the future

Let us joyfully sing this song of a splendid future

Let’s go

Embraced in deep love and the efforts of people all over the world

Now is the time to overcome, to bring peace

We gathered for love and I hope to fulfil that desire

The time has come to fight and overcome our unhappiness

To COVID-19 that stands in our way

I say Disappear from this earth

We shall fight

We shall fight this terrible monster

Now is the time for people all over the world to stand up

My deep gratitude goes to all those who are already fighting.

Revolutionist of the world by the Art

From Yayoi Kusama