You don’t have to travel overseas to get up close and personal with Yayoi Kusama’s artwork, because the National Gallery Singapore is bringing over 120 of her pieces to Singapore.
The “Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition” will be open from 9 June to 3 September, and will feature some of the artist’s most iconic installations and never-before-seen pieces.
Speaking in a video shown at the preview of the exhibition on Tuesday (6 June), Kusama sent a message to everyone in Singapore. It said:
“It is my great pleasure to hold a solo show at the National Gallery Singapore. Everyday, I struggle intensely from morning to night to create artworks.
‘Creation of art is a solitary pursuit’
As an artist, I am convinced this can only be achieved by struggling desperately and risking my life to inspire and share my passion with people around the world. This is my belief, and I want it to be delivered as my message throughout the world.
I want to keep fighting until my last breath. It is my most earnest wish and greatest pleasure to imagine that the slightest touch of my desire in creation, hope and passion towards art are sensed by everyone even after my death.
The fight stretches to infinity.
I want to create more artworks that are even more innovative. My sleepless nights are spent thinking of this. My desires for creation are longings for the unknown mystery. As an avant-garde artist I just want to fight to the end of the universe, until I expire.
From, avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama with love”
Response to the exhibition is expected to be high and the gallery will be releasing a limited number of timed-entry tickets to ensure the exhibition’s capacity is not exceeded.
Tickets start from $10, and can be bought online or on-site.
Here are some highlights not to be missed:
1. “Life Is the Heart of a Rainbow” painting
The “Life Is the Heart of a Rainbow” painting will presented to the public for the first time. The painting is part of Kusama’s “My Eternal Soul” series, which she started in 2009. The series currently comprises 500 paintings, a far cry from the 100 paintings that Kusama initially intended. The exhibition holds 24 paintings from the series, containing familiar motifs – such as eyes, profiles, dots and nets – from her work over the years.
2. “Infinity Mirrored Room – Gleaming Lights of the Souls” installation
First created by Kusama in 1965, the Infinity Mirrored Room at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition allows visitors to step into a mirrored space adorned with a seemingly endless array of LED lights.
Only two visitors are allowed into the room at a time, so be sure to plan your trip wisely.
3. “The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens” installation
Pumpkins are one of Kusama’s favourite motifs, appearing in a great number of her artworks. This installation invites visitors to step into a room surrounded by the polka dots she is known for, and to have a peek into a box that creates an illusion of a vast field of pumpkins stretching to infinity.
4. “With All My Love for the Tulips, I pray Forever” installation
As a child, Kusama had frequent hallucinations involving screens of dots, which were the inspiration for this installation. The work also reiterates her concept of self-obliteration, as three tulip sculptures merge into a white room covered wholly in colourful dots and become part of the space around them.
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