Yayoi Kusama’s Infinite Spaces

by kate on October 24, 2012

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!

{Image sources,  from top:  The Whitney Museum,  Youngna Park, ARTBoom, Art 21, The Whitney Museum}

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jee | Oh, How Civilized October 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

The installation is stunning. Heading over again today!

Stephanie October 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

I saw this exhibition in Denmark’s Louisiana and was so impressed. I didn’t even know it was a part of the museum at first, the door was tucked around a corner, but then when you get it it’s amazing!

janis-pinecone camp October 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

You’re so fortunate to have seen this! I love this woman. Wish I could pop over to NYC today.

stephanie October 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

another stephanie here who also saw this at louisiana (north of copenhagen)! we didn’t have a time limit which was nice. it was exciting and calm at the same time.

zillamouse October 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Just stunning!

Erin November 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I saw Gleaming Lights of the Souls at Louisiana too while on my honeymoon earlier this month. I forgot to take a photo of the sign identifying it and couldn’t find it on the Louisiana site, so imagine my relief/surprise/happiness at seeing the artist’s work here! Thank you! It was so peaceful and fun. I took some photos of my new husband and I inside too.

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