Yayoi Kusama’s first major retrospective at the Tate Modern opens on Thursday but I went to have a look at the preview today. I can’t even begin to describe what an interesting person Kusama is, for a long time she has been an outsider in the art world and I think this is definitely reflected in her artwork.
I really like her obsession with repetitive process, you can see it throughout her work and it creates a tension, especially when you’re aware of her history of mental illness. Kusama has been a resident of Seiwa hospital since she checked herself in during the 70s, you can read more about her life here. There’s something very calming about doing something repetitive, I love sewing when I’m feeling stressed out, I even find the daily grind of Photoshopping images relaxing and to see that kind of repetition on the scale of the works Kusama creates is a bit awe-inspiring. Pieces like Airmail Stickers have a dizzying amount of detail when you get up close.
Her Infinity Mirrored Room (below) is definitely the highlight of the exhibition, one of those must-do experiences. It’s a mirrored room (duh) with masses of tiny lights that change colour and worth the visit to the Tate alone.
The Yayoi Kusuma exhibition is on at the Tate Modern until June.