Feature: Yayoi Kusama

Yesterday we only had that one day to spend in Kyoto and typically it had to rain! All soaked as we tempted to check out the beautiful sights like the shrine with 1000 vermillion Torii gates. Cursed the weather until we arrived at the “geisha” district of Gion after some hesitation and came across the Forever Museum of Contemporary Art. Yayoi Kusama was having her work exhibited there!

I saw a program on TV featuring her some time ago and was quite mesmorised by her work as well as incredible life. She spent some time in New York as a young artist in the 1950s which was quite progressive for a single Japanese woman in those days. Now back in Japan and aged at least in her 70s she is a thriving artist with her unique designs. Famous for her fixation with pumpkins and her obsessively dotted patterns in her work, she uses a range of media like lithography and silk screen printing as well as collage with photographs, oil and acrylic painting and sculptures. She even collaborated with Louis Vuitton where her famous polka dots were incorporated on the handbags!

Since watching the TV program about her, I’ve been wanting to check her stuff out, and this was a perfect chance! Unfortunately we are not allowed to photograph in the museum except for three of her work so I took the opportunity to capture some shots to share.

Am not much for modern and abstract art but I love her work! My favourites are her flower series and her Mt Fuji in seven colours project (Ukiyoe woodblock prints). As they could not be photographed at the museum, allow me to share some examples I got from the internet.

One of the things I like about her artwork is her colours! So vibrant and bold. And she’s not afraid to experiment. And using her “repetitive” patterns to make something beautiful out of natural objects like flowers, animals, landscape and of course pumpkins!

Yayoi Kusama is definitely my inspiration. When am back from our holidays I shall be experimenting with her style and see what I could produce with my own variation.

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