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Yayoi Kusama yellow pumpkin
Yayoi Kusama “Yellow Pumpkin” (1994)via Wikimedia Commons

Oh my gourd! Yayoi Kusama’s yellow pumpkin washes out to sea

The famous sculpture was swept off a pier on the Japanese island of Naoshima and left tumbling in the waves

Yellow Pumpkin, the six-foot sculpture by Yayoi Kusama, was dislodged and sent tumbling around in the waves after a typhoon hit Japan on Sunday night (August 8). The island of Naoshima, where the famed statue resides, was impacted by strong winds and high tide that struck suddenly. 

Videos show the art piece swept away from the pier, flipped over and tumbling across the shore as waves toss it around. The yellow and black polka-dot gourd has now been removed for restoration, according to Benesse Art Site of Naoshima.

The pumpkin was installed at the tip of the pier in 1994 and is a major attraction on the collection of islands in the Kagawa Prefecture that boast several artworks. In 2019, it was removed ahead of Typhoon Krosa hitting the coast. A video showed a team lifting Yellow Pumpkin together and carrying it down a dock, before being loaded onto a van.

Kusama‘s pumpkins have previously suffered other forms of damage: one was stepped on in 2017 by an exhibition visitor leaning over to take a selfie.

The Tate Modern is currently showing an exhibition dedicated to Kusama, which includes not one, but two of the Japanese artist’s career-shaping Infinity Rooms.

In other Kusama pumpkin news, a German heiress recently pleaded guilty in a London court of defrauding a buyer out of $1.4 million in relation to the supposed sale of a piece by the Japanese sculptor.

Watch the pumpkin taking a tumble in the video below.