Jun 23, 2017
Avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s dotty universe and giant pumpkin sculptures have arrived at Singapore’s National Gallery. The highly anticipated exhibition runs from June 9 to September 3, and features more than 120 artworks spanning seven decades of her career, spread across three sections. It starts from her signature motifs of dots, nets and pumpkins, followed by works that engage the human body, ending with more recent large-scale installations and ongoing canvas series – ‘Love Forever’ and ‘My Eternal Soul’.
Here’s what you should look out for.
1. Explore her earliest works
A difficult relationship with her parents and the after effects of World War II in Japan led Kusama to express her psychological tension and anxiety through art. Specifically, repeated dot patterns. The first part of the exhibition walks you through the early years of her career when her massive infinity net paintings and pumpkin motifs were created.
2. Spot Kusama’s humble and beloved pumpkins
One of Kusama’s most recognisable motifs, the dotted pumpkin, can be spied throughout the exhibition in various forms – as acrylic paintings, giant sculptures covered in mosaic tiles (above) and a mirrored installation (main photo) that gives the illusion of a vast field of pumpkins as you peer through a peephole.
3. Be the first to see her new art series
Some of her most recent works on display include a cluster of soft sculptures (above) made from sewn, stuffed fabric. The four hybrid forms are surrounded by a vibrant selection of 24 paintings from her ongoing ‘My Eternal Soul’ series, including the exhibition’s titular painting, ‘Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’.