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Dotty at (He)art: Yayoi Kusama exhibition to open in June

Written by
Rebecca Liew

Psychedelic colours, pumpkin motifs and polka dots have long shaped Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s practice. And, come June, fans can finally admire the most extensive collection of her works within South-East Asia yet.

Yayoi Kusama in front of her latest work, 'Life is the Heart of a Rainbow' (2017). Acrylic on canvas. 194cm x 194cm. ©Yayoi Kusama, Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore, Victoria Miro, London, David Zwirner, New York.

When Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow opens at the National Gallery Singapore, expect – alongside her perceptual Infinity Nets series and dotty prints – 120 paintings, sculptures, videos and installations from the ’50s to the present, including a recreation of the artist’s experiential infinity mirror rooms. Each is an examination of how Kusama’s works have created resonance across geographical boundaries, and the societal and personal challenges she’s overcome to make her mark in the art world.

As one of the world’s most iconic artists, the 87-year-old’s avant-garde use of shapes and colour have found their way onto Louis Vuitton bags, Lancôme lip glosses, and even the front cover of pocket London Underground maps. Kusama, whose pieces reflect the trauma and mental health problems she’s dealt with since young, continues her artistic practice from a psychiatric hospital where she voluntarily resides. 

The exhibition is in collaboration with the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), and will travel there following its run here.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow is at the National Gallery Singapore from Jun 9-Sep 3.

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