The famous Japanese artist, known for her colourful, polka-dotted compositions, is preparing to open the doors of her own museum in Tokyo on Sunday. According to reports from the New York Times, which was present at the press conference, “even the restrooms are covered with dots”. The rooms of the museum are lined with all the forms and motifs that have made Yayoi Kusama famous over the years: not just dots but also mirrors and pumpkins.
The museum focuses uniquely on her work and the first exhibition, Creation Is a Solitary Pursuit, Love Is What Brings You Closer to Art, explores the period 2007 to 2017. “Until now, I was the one who went overseas. But I now recognise that there are more people coming to Japan to see my work. And that is why I decided to establish a place for them to see it”. The luxurious setting is a five-storey building fitted out by architect Kume Sekkei.
Since childhood, Yayoi Kusama has taken inspiration from her hallucinations, which have in particular made her see dots. “I saw my first dots at the age of ten”, she explained, “and I still see them now”. After living in the heart of the contemporary scene in New York from some 15 years from 1957, she moved back to Japan in the early 1970s. Since then she has lived in a psychiatric hospital close to her museum.
The opening of this new space should increase her standing on the art market yet further. Her works have been very popular with collectors over the last ten years. Artnet reports that the highest sum paid for her work is White No. 28, which was sold at Christie’s New York for over $7 million in 2014.
For the moment, you have to keep patient if you want to visit her museum in Tokyo. The New York Times has reported that tickets for the entire month of November have already been sold out. Visits are limited to 50 people at a time and for a maximum of 90 minutes. Exhibitions by this artist are extremely well attended, and in 2015 she was named the most popular artist of the year.
For Parisians wishing to see her art, some of her works will be on show at the exhibition Être moderne : le MoMA à Paris at the Fondation Louis Vuitton from 11 October to 5 March.