Yayoi Kusama exhibit - I Who Have Arrived In Heaven

Yayoi Kusama, the aged Japanese artist that sports the retina burning orange crop cut has a new exhibit at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea and it's worth a look.  The show is divided into different sections with the show pieces being the Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of a Million Light Years away and the equally beautiful Love is Calling exhibit.  These two exhibits along with a series of brightly colored, square shaped painting and a video installation titles Manhattan Suicide Addict make up the show.   

 From David Zwirner Gallery- http://www.davidzwirner.com/

From David Zwirner Gallery- http://www.davidzwirner.com/

 

Kusama has done mirrored infinity rooms before and this one is beautiful.  Because of the number of visitors and the sapce for one viewer at a time, you have 45 seconds to enter a room completely surrounded by mirrors with hundreds of multicolored bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  The lights turn of and on slowly and flicker creation like you are in your own Matrix-like movie.  The floor is surrounded by a pool of water to add to the reflection all around you.  It can be very zen-like in it's own electrical and colorful way.

 

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The larger Love is Calling allows up to 10 people at a time and therefore gives the viewer a minute to stay in the room.  This is another mirrored room, but this is filled with amorphous stalactites and stalagmites that change color and are covered with spots.  You feel like you have stepped right into a Tim Burton produced Alice In Wonderland set and while in the room Kusama recited the following poem in Japanese:

 

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Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears

When the time comes around for people to encounter the end of their life

having put on years, death seems to be quietly approaching

It was not supposed to be my style to be frightened of that, but I am

In the shadows of my loved ones footprints, distress revisits me at the dead of night refreshing my memories

Being in love with and longing for you, I have locked myself up in this “castle of shed tears”

Now may be the time for me to wander off into the place, the guidepost to the other world points to

And the sky is waiting for me, attended by numerous clouds

Overwhelmed by your tenderness that has always encouraged me

I have been searching for “love” in earnest taking my wish for happiness along

Let me call out to and ask the birds flying about in the sky

I want to convey to them my feelings

Over many long years, with art as a weapon

I have treaded the path in search of love

During the days I have lived through keeping “despair”, “emptiness” and “loneliness” all to myself along the way

there were times when the fireworks of life “splendidly” adorned the sky

Dancing in the night sky in a myriad of colors, the fireworks sprinkled dust all over my body

I will never forget that exhilarating moment

Now I think is the time to dedicate my heart to you, my dearest

Was the beauty of the end of one’s life nothing more than illusion?

Would you give me an answer to this?

Devoting all my heart to you, I have lived through to this day

Hoping to leave beautiful footprints at the end of my life

I spend each day praying that my wish will be fulfilled

This is my message of love to you

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This is a beautiful and fantastical exhibit for all ages.  The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturdays from 10am - 6pm and I recommend going early as there can be long lines waiting to get into the timed exhibits.  This will only be running through December 21st so go soon before the magic disappears.