An original exhibition will be held at Yayoi Kusama’s birthplace, Matsumoto City. Exhibiting the largest volume ever at a single museum!
It’s been fifteen years since the opening of Matsumoto City Museum of Art. Our museum has previously held three special exhibitions of Kusama’s work:
"YAYOI KUSAMA" - an exhibition commemorating the opening of the museum in 2002,
"YAYOI KUSAMA - The Place for My Soul" in 2005 (touring exhibition),
"YAYOI KUSAMA - Eternity of Eternal Eternity" in 2012 (touring exhibition).
Additionally, the "YAYOI KUSAMA: The Place for My Soul" installation has been on permanent exhibition in the collection room since the opening of the museum.
In the spring of 2018, a unique and original special exhibition of Kusama’s will be held exclusively in the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. The largest ever collection of Kusama’s works - 180 in total – will be exhibited.
In order to escape from the horror of psychedelic experiences, Kusama has continued to draw feverishly, leading to worldwide recognition of her artistry. In recent years, her art has been exhibited in various parts of the world, attracting record admissions. The artist’s solo exhibition "YAYOI KUSAMA: My Eternal Soul", held at The National Art Center, Tokyo in 2017, attracted an extraordinary number of visitors (520,000).
Why has Kusama’s art world become appreciated so maniacally? The answer is that perhaps the world audience has finally caught up with Kusama, who has long been running ahead of the avant-garde art scene.
The lost youth of World War Two, Peace and Love, are the most common and important messages running through Kusama’s art works.
Display the very first exhibition works and the latest works in Japan
Kusama embarked on her latest painting series "My Eternal Soul" in 2009, which now counts over 550 completed works. Her non-stop production means the series is being continually added to.
This year’s exhibition in the Matsumoto City Museum of Art will display specially selected, domestically unreleased works from her "My Eternal Soul" series.
Kusama’s "Infinity Mirrored Room" is a large-scale installation, never exhibited before in Japan.Visitors enter Kusama’s kaleidoscopic world, immersed in & surrounded by this endlessly spectacular art.
The ultimate exhibition of Yayoi Kusama
89 years ago this March, Yayoi Kusama was born right here in Matsumoto City. The crystal-clear air that Yayoi breathed, and the ranges of the Japan Alps that she looked at daily, all impact on the visitor in this up close and personal celebration of Yayoi in her beloved birthplace.
Displaying Kusama’s work chronologically from early childhood in 1930’s, to the present day, allows us to follow her lifetime of art. Witness the atmosphere and history of Kusama’s art works, enjoy her comprehensive exhibition in Matsumoto City!
YAYOI KUSAMA – biographical information
1929: Born in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. From early childhood, she has fought against the unknown images of her psyche by creating art works.
1957: Went to the U.S. in, the success of "Infinity Nets" series of paintings announced her as a prominent avant-garde artist. In addition to these paintings, she experimented in various artistic activities during her stay in NY: soft-sculptures, films, installations, field sculptures, performances, fashion and fiction.
1973: Returned to Tokyo, Japan. Continuously produced art works and presented them worldwide.
Recent years: large-scale tour exhibitions have been held globally, she’s established an impregnable position as a top artist – in 2016 Kusama was selected as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
2016: Received the Order of Culture.
2017: YAYOI KUSAMA MUSEUM launched in Tokyo
The first display is Kusama’s field sculpture "The Visionary Flowers" (2002) displayed in the museum’s foregrounds; and "To the Future, from Matsumoto" (2016) which covers the entire frontage. Kusama’s world vividly appears even before you enter the museum. Other Kusama creations, such as her balloon works and compulsive polka dots, are on display - totally free - around the premises.
The First Exhibition Room
Ascending the X-shaped stairs to the third floor, the first exhibition space appears right in front of you. Kusama’s latest installations draw visitors into her extraordinary world. As you pass the installations, the exhibition unfolds in chronological order. Witness Kusama’s precious early works that pre-date her time in the U.S.; her "Infinity Nets" series of paintings and soft-sculptures which triggered her huge success in New York, the collage works which signpost Kusama’s return to Japan; her recent net paintings; and the infinite polka dots to 3-D works.
The Second Exhibition Room
Stage Two is found on the second floor. Stepping into the space, darkness gradually envelopes you. Infinity, in 3-D works of light and mirrors, takes you on a journey into another universe.
Out of the darkness, a huge space of light appears. There, you find the internationally reknowned artist, Kusama. "My Eternal Soul" is her most recent series of work, adorning the wall. Embarked in 2009, this series now includes over 550 pieces. In the second exhibition room, a total of seventy paintings from her "My Eternal Soul" series can be seen; half of these on display for the very first in Japan; some in fact making their world debut.
The final room is covered with mirrors and is called "All the Eternal Love for the Pumpkins". Never exhibited before in Japan, the mirror room invites visitors to an endless and overwhelming scene. Close the door and linger, enjoy becoming a part of this spectacle.
- ENDLESS LIFE OF PEOPLE, 2010
- THE EARTH GOES AROUND LIKETHIS AGAIN TODAY, 2016 / Premier in Japan
- DEAR DEATH OF MINE, THOUSHALT WELCOME AN ETERNALDEATH, 2017 / Premier in Japan
- WHEN I SAW THE LARGESTDREAM IN LIFE, 2017 / Premier in Japan
Across the connecting corridor on the second floor, Kusama’s early documentary films are broadcast on a large screen in this multi-purpose hall.
Surrounded by the museum buildings, a gigantic Pumpkin sits in the middle of the courtyard. Through the corridor windows, its actual size may surprise visitors.
Endeavouring to capture Kusama’s multiple talents, the exhibition is comprised of many other components such as poems, films and installations. The largest ever collection of Kusama’s works - 180 in total – will be exhibited.
Enjoy this local, internationally recognised artist’s latest works right here in Matsumoto!
*Except for the First (permanent exhibition room) and the Second (temporary exhibition) Exhibition Rooms and Memorial Exhibition Room (on the third floor), all other spaces in the museum are open to the public without charge.
*Please note that the exhibition contents and a number of the works may be changed without notice.