National Gallery to hold Kusama show

More than 120 of the Japanese artist's paintings, sculptures, installations and videos will be showcased from June

Yayoi Kusama in front of her latest work, Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow, which will be on display at the National Gallery Singapore exhibition.
Yayoi Kusama in front of her latest work, Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow, which will be on display at the National Gallery Singapore exhibition.PHOTO: YAYOI KUSAMA, COURTESY OF OTA FINE ARTS, TOKYO/SINGAPORE, VICTORIA MIRO, LONDON, DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK

Yayoi Kusama, the grand dame of Japanese avant garde, will be holding her first major museum exhibition in South-east Asia at the National Gallery Singapore in June.

The exhibition, titled Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow, will showcase her signature splash of polka dots, mesmerising infinity mirror rooms, shiny pumpkin sculptures and more.

On display will be more than 120 of her artworks - in the form of paintings, sculptures, videos and installations - spanning seven decades, from the 1950s to the present day.

Visitors here will beamong the first in the world to view new works that will make their premiere in Singapore.

The exhibition will be held from June 10 to Sept 3 at the National Gallery's Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery on level 3. Admission prices have not been released.

It is curated by Mr Russell Storer, National Gallery Singapore's deputy director (curatorial and collections development) and curator Adele Tan.

The exhibition will examine how her work resonates across geographical boundaries and how she defied societal and personal challenges to create an impact in the art world, says the National Gallery Singapore.

The red-wigged Kusama, 88, is one of the biggest and most influential artists today, winning admirers around the world with her use of psychedelic colours, provocative performance art pieces and hypnotic, dream-like mirrored rooms.

The avant garde pioneer was crowned the world's most popular artist in 2015, according to a survey of museum attendance for 2014 conducted by The Art Newspaper.

An ongoing exhibition featuring Kusama's mirrored rooms at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC has attracted a record number of visitors and become the most popular showcase in the museum's history.

Kusama's works reflect the nightmarish hallucinations and psychological trauma she has endured since young.

Based in New York in the 1950s and 1960s, she returned to Japan in the 1970s and checked into a psychiatric hospital after suffering a mental breakdown.

She continues to live there by choice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'National Gallery to hold Kusama show'. Subscribe