Pumpkin power

At the centre of a bright yellow room studded with polka dots stands an imposing fibreglass-reinforced polyester pumpkin.

Pumpkin (2016) is part of the exhibit One With Eternity, featuring the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, in the United States.

It includes two of 93-year-old Kusama's Infinity Mirror Rooms, which are designed to create a sensation of endless space, and photographs of the artist. It will run until Nov 27.

The pumpkin is one of the artist's most well-known motifs, and she uses the gourd as both allegory and a form of self-portraiture, as they are said to represent a bright spot in her troubled childhood.

Kusama began to incorporate the fruit into her dot-motif drawings and paintings, as well as in prints and installations, in the 1980s.

Many of her pumpkin sculptures are on display around Japan, with one of the most famous being a large yellow structure on Naoshima Island.

However, that pumpkin was swept into the sea by a typhoon last August and has yet to be replaced.

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