The prolific, multitalented Nagano, Japan-born Kusama has produced art, installations, fashion shows, films, books and other creative work around the world for more than four decades. Her obsession with dots, pumpkins and infinity patterns are repeated in many of her works throughout her career and are based on childhood hallucinations. She describes this as a form of ‘active self-obliteration.’
Yayoi Kusama’s two fascinating mirror room installations are currently on exhibit at Victoria Miro Gallery’s in London (on till July 30, 2016, at 16 Wharf Road, free admission).
The dizzying room titled ‘all eternal love I have for the pumpkins’ has many of Kusama’s hallmarks: dots, mirrors and pumpkins. It consists of wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic and LED lights. It creates the disorienting feelings of infinity and upside-downness while also being both fun and disturbing. There is a sense of menacing threat and desperation. The room is a full-body experience with so many senses engaged. Alice of the Wonderland fame would feel right at home here.
The other room, titled ‘chandelier of grief’ is a space created with steel, aluminum, acrylic, plastic, one-way mirror, a chandelier, LED lights and a motor. Similarly, it evokes feelings of fear and panic, as well as splendour and awe. The mirrors ensure that the experience is both disorienting and overwhelming. It is the Haunted Mansion without the mansion.