1 October 2021

Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern

 Last month I visited Tate Modern for the first time since the Olafur Eliasson exhibition in 2019 to experience two of Yayoi Kusama’s immersive, highly Instagrammable Infinity Mirror Rooms.

Filled With the Brilliance of Life by Yayoi Kusama - Infinity Mirror Rooms at the Tate Modern, London - Emma Louise Layla UK blogger

The Japanese artist was born in Matsumoto in 1929, during a time of economic crisis and growing nationalism, when Japanese traditions and social conservatism were on the rise.  Despite being discouraged by her family, Kusama studied painting in Kyoto before moving to the United States in 1957 in pursuit of freedom and a wider world.  She immersed herself in the booming New York art scene, before returning to Japan in 1973.  After experiencing health problems and hallucinations, she admitted herself to a Tokyo hospital in 1977 where she still lives, near her studio where she creates internationally acclaimed paintings, sculptures, performances and installations.

Chandelier of Grief by Yayoi Kusama - Infinity Mirror Rooms 2021 exhibition at the Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern presents a rare opportunity to step into Kusama's unique world with two entrancing, large-scale works.  Chandelier of Grief features an eternal reflection of mirrored walls in a darkened room, with a flickering crystal chandelier rotating from the ceiling.

In Filled with the Brilliance of Life - one of Kusama’s largest installations, made for her 2012 Tate Modern retrospective - visitors move through a reflective walkway over a shallow pool.  Tiny suspended lightbulbs are repeated in never-ending mirrors and water, flashing through a rainbow of colours, blending where you end and the room begins, and immersing visitors in this vibrant, hypnotic, must-see artwork.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms runs until 12 June 2022
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