YAYOI KUSAMA “KUSAMATRIX”

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After the show, I went to the art museum through a passage that is between the pond, where the dotted solids were floating. On the way to the entrance, there is a passage surrounded by a glazed wall, and the courtyard, which can be seen from there, is also dotted with the polka-dotted solids. Something resembling a lens is stuck on the glass and the various sizes of solids multiplies on the glass depending on the angle at which you view it.


Arriving at the entrance at last, a huge polka-dotted balloon about 5m appears. The wall which encloses it is also polka-dotted. The balloon is terribly appealing. Although well seen by photographs in a lot of magazines, the impression is completely different when it is actually seen at hand. By going into the room, the polka-dot balloons appear to be floating in the room. The four corners are surrounded by the mirrors, and 360 degrees is gulped down by the red and white dot world. Standing in the red space with the soft curved balloon, I felt like I was tripping inside of a womb. It could be because I had known that the exhibition title “Kusamatrix” was coined by uniting the words “matrix” and “Kusama”, however, I also felt that these balloons might begin to move at any moment synchronizing with the beat of a heart.

You’ll also see a deep-black, huge box which creates a wonderful floating feeling like being in a womb. Seemingly, we should go inside of the box. Near its entrance, a voice of admiration can be heard from inside. When you step into the box, it is pitch-black darkness and there are tiny lights which change their color every moment, spread through out the space. There is no light except for these lights and the circumference is surrounded by the mirror. It makes you lose your sense of direction. Being wrapped in the light, I wanted to feel the spread more and squatted down involuntarily. I was reminded of looking up at a starlit sky from a mountain. What you see next is a corridor surrounded by black and yellow polka dots. I was hesitant to take a step forward with the force of the work and the offshoot at the entrance. Hemisphere mirrors were attached to the polka-dot wall, and it brought the perverted world to myself.

Passing through such space perplexedly, you will come out to a drastically different space. It might be the sense of smell, not vision which stimulate your senses at first. The floor is covered with hay and there are huge girls on it. About 3000 drawings of 120 kinds of girls attached on the wall are shaking. Compared with the previous work, this installation is warm and feels soft. This installation reflects Yayoi’s “dream” in childhood.

As the last work of this exhibition, there is a simple drawing on a pure white wall. It calms down the various feelings stirred up with the work which had wrapped the whole body till then. The message by Yayoi who wishes love and peace strongly is also written down there. Yayoi says, “I want to deliver a message of love and peace through my works. The passion of young people was felt through this fashion show. I want to value such young free creativity. To keep the world peaceful is very important to raise such creative power.”

Stunning energy and a feeling of a life are felt from her work, creating a “Kusama” world through a wide variety of mediums like fashion, sculpture, pictures, the novel, etc… The works have been born from her womb; I felt that strongly. She is the mother of art.

Kusamatrix: Yayoi Kusama Exhibition
Date: June 5th – August 22nd, 2004
Place: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo
Open: 9:45 – 17:30
Address: 2-75, Sapporo Art Park, Minamiku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
TEL: +81-11-591-0090
http://www.artpark.or.jp

Text and Photos: Naoko Fukushi

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