This past week I was in New York, and right before I returned to the West Coast, I had the pleasure of experiencing two of the most exhilarating and enjoyable minutes of my life: standing alone (twice, for one minute each session) inside Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water, a temporary installation which is currently open (for just a few more days!) at the Whitney. Yayoi is one of the preeminent Japanese artists working today. Her exuberant, iconoclastic work take many forms: paintings, installations, performances, and more. The installations shown here are variations on the same theme: Yayoi’s experimentation with infinite space.
These are rooms lined with wall-to-wall mirrors and a shallow pool of water covering the floor, with a single narrow platform that juts into the center of the room. Hundreds of LED lights dangle from overhead, multiplying into thousands upon thousands in the infinite reflections that bounce back from the walls. Being in one of these rooms can be slightly disorienting at first, but the experience quickly transforms into something quite magical. The images can’t capture the full experience, obviously, but they are also stunning in their own right. I wanted to share them with you, in hopes that you will seek out one Yayoi’s installations if you ever have the chance. For those of you in the New York area, rush to the Whitney and reserve yourself a minute inside Fireflies before it closes this Sunday. I guarantee you will love it!