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 appeal 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. 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. Here in Matsumoto where her journey began you can experience her roots and present.