Japan: New museum in Tokyo dedicated to renowned artist Yayoi Kusama

Kusama shows are crowd-pullers in all parts of the world. Source: National Gallery of Singapore

THE mass appeal of celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is proven with the opening of a new museum in Tokyo dedicated to her eccentric works.

The museum – in the Shinjuku district – is a five-storey building dedicated entirely to the art of Kusama through the years with two rotating exhibitions each year and a floor for her popular “infinity rooms”, The New York Times reported.

The museum will be directed by Tensei Tatebata, Tama Art University president and Saitama Museum of Modern Art director.

Kusama’s exhibitions around the world have often pulled in large crowds, even inciting a “survival guide” from The Washington Post about how to brave the record-breaking crowds.

Her current show at the National Gallery of Singapore has drawn in long queues and sold-out weekends. Timed slots are arranged throughout the day to avoid overcrowding. On top of that, the show blew up on social media with many visitors posting selfies against the distinguishable dots.

The 88-year-old artist’s style is both accessible and instantly recognizable; her trademark repetition of dots and colors, her obsession with pumpkins, and her photogenic “infinity” rooms have proven a big hit with fans.

According to Bloomberg, her works have been described as “visceral”, “eye-popping”, and “intriguing”. Kusama has been open about her mental battles from a young age including hallucinations and neuroses from a young age, leading to inexhaustible repetition of dots and patterns in her art.

Perhaps the fascination with Kusama is also a fascination with her internal demons, but she sure is pulling in the tourist dollars.

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