Naoshima Pumpkin
Photo: Kirill/Unsplash

There are currently no plans to replace the Naoshima pumpkin

Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin installation was swept off the shore of Naoshima art island last year in a fierce typhoon

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

It’s been months since anyone has seen Yayoi Kusama’s iconic yellow pumpkin on the island of Naoshima after the sculpture was damaged in a typhoon last summer. The site-specific installation is usually picked up and carted off to a storage space for protection in foul weather conditions. However, caretakers were unable to reach the pumpkin in time last August, when it got swept into the ocean and suffered cracks down its sides. 

The sculpture, which has become a trademark of Naoshima for almost three decades, was retrieved from the water and taken to storage before it was returned to Yayoi Kusama’s studio. 

While many assumed the sculpture would be quickly repaired and returned to its home on the Naoshima pier, a recent status update from Benesse Holdings Inc (the company that oversees most projects on the art island) indicates otherwise. A spokesperson from the company told Asahi Shimbun that as of March, no decision has been made on whether the pumpkin would be repaired or replaced. In fact, there are no immediate prospects of reinstalling the pumpkin. 

The latest update is understandably devastating to art lovers who hoped to see the emblematic piece during the 2022 Setouchi International Art Triennale. According to the Asahi Shimbun, however, Benesse is still in talks with Kusama’s studio to find a solution for the damaged pumpkin. 

In the meantime, there's more than one Yayoi Kusama pumpkin in Japan. Here are a few other places to catch the artist's signature spotted kabocha

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