|Title||KUSAMA YAYOI - Press release|
Yayoi Kusama, A Dream I Dreamed
The biggest-ever Asian exhibition of work by Yayoi Kusama outside Japan
- 118 pieces including 30 recent works to be displayed from July 16 through November 3, 2013.
- Yayoi Kusama is a superb artist representing our times, overcoming obsessive thoughts, and prejudices against Asians and women.
- Kusama’s art world craves the infinite world beyond reality through obsession, hallucination, polka dots, infinite space, and limitless proliferation.
- Yayoi Kusama, A Dream I Dreamed, a traveling exhibition to China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Macao planned by Daegu Art Museum.
Daegu Art Museum (Director Kim Sun-hee) has held exhibitions shedding light on Daegu and Korean art and presenting crucial tendencies of contemporary art around the world. Marking the second anniversary of its opening, the museum presents an exhibition of work by Yayoi Kusama (1929- ) known as the “greatest artist of this century,” arousing sympathy in people throughout the world. In recent years, prestigious art museums around the world, such as the Pompidou Center, Paris, Tate Modern, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art have held retrospectives of her work, taking note of her passionate and active presence in the 1950s and 1960s in New York, a contemporary art hub. Daegu Art Museum mounts this exhibition of work by Kusama, an icon of contemporary art, and plans to hold the show in Shanghai, Taipei, New Delhi, and Macao between 2013 and 2015. Titled A Dream I Dreamed, the exhibition is the biggest-ever Asian exhibition of Kusama’s work to be held in an art museum outside Japan.
The show will exhibit 118 representative works by 84-year-old artist Kusama including 30 recent pieces: installations, sculptures, and interactive pieces inducing viewer engagement, implicatively representing the notions of her work, the infinite world beyond reality, and eternal life with polka dots, mirrors, balloons, and light bulbs. Viewers can see her 30 latest works My Eternal Soul series in the show. Her recent painting work is particularly marked by a mixture of primitive, instinctive images that seem to appear in ancient murals.
1) Exhibition Title: Yayoi Kusama: A Cream I Dreamed
2) Participating artist: Yayoi Kusama
3) Exhibition Period: July 16 (Tue.)-November 3 (Sun.), 2013 (112 days / days for display 96 days)
4) Opening ceremony: 18:00, July 15 (Mon.), 2013 / Press meeting: 15:00, July 15 (Mon.), 2013
5) Venue: Daegu Art Museum UMI Hall, Gallery 1, 3, 4, 5
6) Genres of works on display: sculpture, installation, painting, video
7) Number of works on display: Approximately 118 pieces
8) Works on display
Latest works: 96 pieces in total including 30 pieces of My Eternal Soul series, Love Forever, Infinity Nets, Infinity Dots series
Representative sculptures: 13 pieces including Pumpkins, Puppies, and Tulips
Representative installations: 6 pieces including Infinity Mirrored Room, Dots Obsession, Ladder to Heaven, I’m Here, But Nothing, and Narcissus Garden
Documentary video: Manhattan Suicide Addict
Interactive work: Obliteration Room
9) Admission fee
The museum hopes many will experience this contemporary art with ease, departing from the prejudice that “art is hard to understand” through the exhibition. Viewers can realize the true worth of her art through this large-scale show encompassing all the genres of her work.
Why are we fanatical about Yayoi Kusama in 2013?
The 84-year-old artist who devoured Luis Vuitton with polka dots in 2012
“An avant-garde female warrior” hopping though many genres of art, fashion, literature, and film
Yayoi Kusama, inspiring Damien Hirst and Marc Jacobs
Yayoi Kusama is best known for her polka-dot painting. Born in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture in 1929 and growing up under conservative parents, Kusama underwent the war and has also experienced mental disorder (obsessive-compulsive neurosis) throughout her life. One day she was looking at flower patterns on the tablecloth. When she closed her eyes, she experienced afterimages hovering in her eyes. When she opened her eyes, she saw the same pattern changing into polka dots and covering the room. She still works on polka dots today.
She said “I was not trying to be an artist. I just wanted to put white circles like millets that endlessly multiplied on the wall in a sketchbook.” She was able to find rest and peace in her mind through unconscious arts therapy.
Her vast fields of polka dots and infinity nets were taken directly from her obsession and hallucinations. She built up her boundlessly extending distinctive world by sequentially depicting polka dots and infinity nets. This work itself was for the artist medicine. Her work characterized by repetitive polka dots and nets and intense hues brings forth a very surrealistic atmosphere. Her polka dots entirely covered on canvases, bodies, clothes, three-dimensional spaces, and objects. Kusama has actively worked in a wide variety of genres and mediums including not only painting, but installation, sculpture, performance, fashion, and film with the whole world as her stage.
Kusama owes her reputation as a world-class artist to her provocative, innovative work she executed during her early days in New York. She went to New York in 1957, and stayed there until 1972, working in large-scale painting, happenings, environmental work, and nude performance. Riveted by polka dots, Kusama executed a performance with polka dots, splattering paint over a naked female model, and took a pose in a garment with polka dots by a horse painted in polka dots. Kusama was not invited to the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, but exhibited her pieces outside the venue. She was officially invited to the biennale following year. After 30 years, she exhibited her work as an artist representing Japan in the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993. (원문에는1933년으로 되어 있는데요? 확인요망) Her art not only draws interest with unique narratives, but also takes a very significant position in contemporary art history.
Kusama has gained a reputation as a female warrior representing Japan in diverse fields such as literature, film, and fashion as well as art. She has addressed issues like gender liberation and human rights alongside a galaxy of star artists such as Donald Judd, Frank Stella, and Georgia O’Keeffe. She gained worldwide fame as “an avant-garde female warrior,” involved in novel and magazine publishing, and even running a fashion-related firm. In 1973 however, she returned to Japan due to a recurrence of her mental disorder. After, she released works in diverse tendencies, expanding her work in New York. She represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1993, consolidating her reputation. Her mammoth traveling retrospective Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968 took place at LA Contemporary Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, drawing favorable comments from critics and the public’s interest. In 2011 and 2012 her traveling retrospective exhibitions took place at prestigious art museums throughout the world, such as the Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain), the Pompidou Center (Paris, France), the Tate Modern (London, UK), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, USA).
Kusama has collaborated numerously with many celebrated fashion icons, including cellular phones, shoe brands and other genres, including joint work with Louis Vuitton in 2012. Why is her work especially popular with name brands? Common subject matters like polka dots, pumpkins, and nets turn to art through her hand. Despite common subject matters she approaches objects in a way that has never been devised by anyone else. Her work engulfs viewers with its splendid color, distinctive form, enormous, unique exhibit scale, and is loved by people as it is easy to understand and less abstruse than others. Is this why corporations have a preference for her art which is loved by the general public?
Kusama, who looks conspicuous with her style, often wearing a neon or red wig or red polka-dot clothes, is even now involved in diverse works (Coca Cola vending machine, and city bus designs of her home). Kusama refuses for her work to be defined by any tendency like minimalism, avant-garde, or pop art. In a narrow sense her work can be seen as a process of autobiographical, self-discovery, or in a broad sense it can be seen as a struggle against the world and her life suffering from pain, desire, obsession, and hallucination. Although Kusama took part in many biennales as an innovative artist addressing serious themes, she is a popular artist whose work is popular in the art market. Kusama at 84 has been raised to the level of world-class artists after overcoming handicaps as an Asian, a woman, and a psychiatric patient. She has still been active in using the whole world as her stage, creating works to touch the world.
Yayoi Kusama (1929- ), painter, installation artist, performance artist, video artist, sculptor, novelist
1929 Born in Nagano
1947 Entered Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts
1957 Moved to New York, USA (created large-scale paintings, and environmental sculptures using soft fragments, mirrors, and light bulbs)
End of the 1960s Involved in a body painting festival, fashion shows, and the anti-war movement and happenings
1968 Produced a film Self-Obliteration, and won many experimental film awards
1973 Returned to Japan / Opened her studio near a mental hospital / Worked consistently on artworks and published some novels and collections of poems
1986 Solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Dole, France
1989 Solo exhibitions at the Center for International Contemporary Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England
1993 Chosen as the artist to represent Japan for the 45th Venice Biennale
1998-1999 Retrospectives at the LA Contemporary Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo,
2000 Won the Education Minister’s Art Encouragement Prize and Foreign Minister’s Recommendations
2001 Won the Asahi Prize
2003 Won the Order of Arts and Letters (French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres)
2004 Solo exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
2005 Solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and Matsumoto city Museum of Art
2010 Participated in the Sydney Biennale and Aichi Triennale / Solo exhibition at Victoria Miro Gallery, London
2011-2012 Retrospectives at prestigious art museums around the world such as the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; the Pompidou Center, Paris, France; the Tate Modern, London, UK; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA.
2013 A Dream I Dreamed, solo exhibition at Daegu Art Museum
3. Main Works
1) Narcissus Garden, 2013, 1,500 stainless steel mirrored spheres (30 cm diameter each)
Although Yayoi Kusama was not officially invited by the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, she set this work Narcissus Garden, comprised with 1,500 mirrored spheres at the outside of the venue, and sold each sphere at two dollars. What’s significant in this work was the act of selling as if selling hotdogs or ice cream. This work was a topical work interpreting art with humor and wit.
2) Infinity Mirrored Room-Gleaming Lights of the Soul, 2008, 4.15x4.15x2.825m
This installation embodies an illusory space with mirrors, light bulbs in diverse colors, and water. Kusama engendered an infinitely extending space by adopting a mirror’s reflective effect. People who entered the gleaming room, with its various-colored lights, faced his or her own appearance multiplying endlessly. An illusory depth of water, whose end is unfathomable, makes viewers lose their sense of space. The viewers may have in this illusory space experience that cannot be sensed in the reality.
3) Infinity Nets, Infinity Dots series
It is known that Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot and net paintings began at age 10. These are motifs Kusama began depicting, suffering hallucinations due to trauma caused by her rigid mother’s abuse and her father’s frequent absence from home when she was a small child. Kusama first attained visible accomplishments in 1959 when she exhibited a series of white net paintings over 10 meters. After that, infinity nets and polka dots have become her trademark subject matter and work concept. While depicting nets and dots in New York, she felt the motifs were infinitely proliferating to the floor, the walls, and the windows from her canvas. Reiterating nets and dots are primary motifs symbolic of her obsession and hallucination which she suffers from.