Collection Exhibition

Yayoi Kusama: The Place for My Soul


It is over half a century since Yayoi Kusama flew off from her home town into the art world, and in the last few years her popularity has been getting bigger and bigger. When we look for reasons why her works appeals to so many people, we can find in them eternal messages, such as love, life, death, infinity, and the universe. Kusama’s voice, sometimes screaming, intertwines with the viewer at a fundamental level.


Kusama was born in Matsumoto in 1929. As a child she struggled daily with hallucinations, and her drawings of those images on scraps of paper were perhaps the starting point of her art. After solo exhibitions in Matsumoto and Tokyo, she moved to the U.S. in 1957, spending 16 years there, mostly in New York. Her inner feelings found expression in polka dots and net paintings. As well as paintings, she worked on sculptures, performance art, video and installations, continuing her prolific output after her move to Tokyo in 1973.


Kusama has never let praise make her idle, instead channeling the acclaim into her new works. The series My Eternal Soul, which is the culmination of her magnificent art world, now amounts to over 550 paintings. Throughout her life she has always been ‘avant-garde’ and has never slowed down.


In this expanded exhibition, we would like to introduce Kusama’s soul as well as the process of creation which led from her early works to the latest series My Eternal Soul, including all 50 paintings from the Love Forever series, Great Gigantic Pumpkin and Ladder to Heaven, which have been acquired by our museum.