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People profile
Yayoi Kusama

Artist

Yayoi Kusama – the Japanese artist famed for her use of repetitive patterns, polka dots and bold colours – has announced the opening of her own art museum, in Tokyo, Japan.

The five-storey museum building, designed by architecture firm Kume Sekkei, has already been erected in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, but the purpose of the structure had been kept under wraps.

Two of the storeys will be devoted to exhibiting Kusama’s latest artworks, while one floor will be dedicated to an Infinity Mirrors installation. There will also be archive space, a reading room and a shop.

“This museum is established by Yayoi Kusama and managed by the general incorporated association, Yayoi Kusama Foundation, with the purpose of dissemination and promotion of Kusama’s art throughout the exhibition of her artworks and related materials, to contribute afterwards to the general development of art,” said a museum statement.

“We aim to be the museum where everyone can get familiar with contemporary art; we transmit the message of world peace and human love, which Kusama has been embodying through her artworks, and hold biannual exhibition with her artwork collection along with some lectures,” it said.

Art therapy
The artist, who was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1929, has long spoken out about her desire for a peaceful, non-violent planet and also about how art has helped her deal with her mental illnesses and obsessive-compulsive neurosis.

“The world today is in a terrible situation,” Kusama told Bomb magazine. “My desire to use my art to protest against war and man’s inhumanity to man has never diminished. I am always trying to transmit through my work the message that we should all live life in peace and with humanitarian love.”

Since childhood, Kusama has painted numerous dots and “nets”, which she says helps block out dark thoughts in her head.

“I am an obsessional artist. I consider myself a heretic of the art world. I think only of myself when I make my artwork,” Kusama says. “I will continue to create artwork as long as my passion keeps me doing so. I am deeply moved that so many people have been my fans. I have been grappling with art as a therapy for my disease, but I suppose I would not be able to know how people would evaluate my art until after I die. I create art for the healing of all mankind.”

Kusama’s eminently “instagrammable” works – from huge polka-dot pumpkins to seemingly endless expanses of twinkling lights – could be a starting point for imaginative forms of visitor engagement. The museum will likely feature unique photo opportunities and other ways to engage visitors – and their phones – with art.

Named by the Art Newspaper as the world’s most popular artist in 2014, Kusama may also want her visitors to take advantage of their social media networks to infinitely share their experiences – and their selfies.

The Yayoi Kusama Museum is scheduled to open on 1 October, and its debut exhibition is titled Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art. Admission costs ¥1000 ($9 €8, £7) and scheduled visits last about 90 minutes.

A major retrospective, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, is touring North America and is currently on display at Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow is on at the National Gallery Singapore Credit: PHOTO: PA IMAGES / Then Chih Wey
People view Kusama’s artwork Obliteration Room at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the five-storey museum is opening in October Credit: PHOTO: PA IMAGES / JOSHUA ROBERTS
Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the five-storey museum is opening in October
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People profile
Yayoi Kusama

Artist

Yayoi Kusama – the Japanese artist famed for her use of repetitive patterns, polka dots and bold colours – has announced the opening of her own art museum, in Tokyo, Japan.

The five-storey museum building, designed by architecture firm Kume Sekkei, has already been erected in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, but the purpose of the structure had been kept under wraps.

Two of the storeys will be devoted to exhibiting Kusama’s latest artworks, while one floor will be dedicated to an Infinity Mirrors installation. There will also be archive space, a reading room and a shop.

“This museum is established by Yayoi Kusama and managed by the general incorporated association, Yayoi Kusama Foundation, with the purpose of dissemination and promotion of Kusama’s art throughout the exhibition of her artworks and related materials, to contribute afterwards to the general development of art,” said a museum statement.

“We aim to be the museum where everyone can get familiar with contemporary art; we transmit the message of world peace and human love, which Kusama has been embodying through her artworks, and hold biannual exhibition with her artwork collection along with some lectures,” it said.

Art therapy
The artist, who was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1929, has long spoken out about her desire for a peaceful, non-violent planet and also about how art has helped her deal with her mental illnesses and obsessive-compulsive neurosis.

“The world today is in a terrible situation,” Kusama told Bomb magazine. “My desire to use my art to protest against war and man’s inhumanity to man has never diminished. I am always trying to transmit through my work the message that we should all live life in peace and with humanitarian love.”

Since childhood, Kusama has painted numerous dots and “nets”, which she says helps block out dark thoughts in her head.

“I am an obsessional artist. I consider myself a heretic of the art world. I think only of myself when I make my artwork,” Kusama says. “I will continue to create artwork as long as my passion keeps me doing so. I am deeply moved that so many people have been my fans. I have been grappling with art as a therapy for my disease, but I suppose I would not be able to know how people would evaluate my art until after I die. I create art for the healing of all mankind.”

Kusama’s eminently “instagrammable” works – from huge polka-dot pumpkins to seemingly endless expanses of twinkling lights – could be a starting point for imaginative forms of visitor engagement. The museum will likely feature unique photo opportunities and other ways to engage visitors – and their phones – with art.

Named by the Art Newspaper as the world’s most popular artist in 2014, Kusama may also want her visitors to take advantage of their social media networks to infinitely share their experiences – and their selfies.

The Yayoi Kusama Museum is scheduled to open on 1 October, and its debut exhibition is titled Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art. Admission costs ¥1000 ($9 €8, £7) and scheduled visits last about 90 minutes.

A major retrospective, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, is touring North America and is currently on display at Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow is on at the National Gallery Singapore Credit: PHOTO: PA IMAGES / Then Chih Wey
People view Kusama’s artwork Obliteration Room at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the five-storey museum is opening in October Credit: PHOTO: PA IMAGES / JOSHUA ROBERTS
Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the five-storey museum is opening in October
 


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