Ota Fine Arts Shanghai is delighted to present “THE LONGING FOR MY LOVE ALL BEGAN FROM MY HEART”, a solo exhibition by Yayoi Kusama featuring 32 paintings from her ‘My Eternal Soul’ series, a peep-in Infinity Mirror Room and several soft sculptures. As an internationally-acclaimed artist, Kusama’s practice remains vigorous, innovative and multi-disciplinary to date, and she continues to inspire and captivate the hearts of people all around the world.
In 2009, Kusama began her ‘My Eternal Soul’ painting series that characterizes her work of the 21st century. She had initially planned to create around 100 paintings but have since went on to paint over 550 paintings, with the number still increasing today. When hung together in sequence, these paintings offer viewers a snippet into Kusama’s vibrant and repetitive world of form, color and movement. Biomorphic shapes, frontal faces that Kusama refers to as ‘Manga’, eyelets, faces in profile, flowers, phallic shapes, pumpkins, nets and dots are sprawled across each canvas. Occasionally serious yet clownish and humorous at times, these paintings lie between the surreal and the figurative. They are an amalgamation of the artist’s signature motifs, her boundless explorations of new motifs, and a blossoming narrative of her life’s work.
Accompanying the paintings are soft sculptures of varying height and dimensions. They echo and reflect the shapes, lines and colors in her paintings, bringing them to life in three-dimensional forms.
Obsessed with the notion of infinite space, Kusama re-creates that to fascinating perfection in her Infinity Mirror Rooms. In this exhibition, viewers experience an obliterative encounter as they peer into the small windows of the mirrored hexagon chamber “I WANT TO SEE A HEART WITH MY OWN EYES”. Small light bulbs flicker on and off as they change in color and are multiplied through reflection, moments of erasure are experienced as space and light expands infinitely in all directions.
Kusama’s creations are well-received globally: she has had numerous solo exhibitions which have remarkably toured museums internationally. In a short span of 6 years, Kusama has held 6 touring exhibitions over 27 cities all around the world. In 2011, her large retrospective was held at the prestigious Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Spain), Centre Pompidou (France), Tate Modern (UK) and Whitney Museum (USA). In the following year, her Latin America retrospective tour travelled to Argentina, Brazil and Mexico through 2014. She continued to extend her reach to Asia with a touring exhibition in 2013 with over 100 recent works, travelling from South Korea to China and Taiwan. 2015 marked the beginning of her Scandinavian tour exhibition which took place in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland with record-breaking visitor numbers.
In 2017, her North American tour began at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington) and travelled to Seattle Art Museum (Seattle), The Broad (Los Angeles), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Cleveland Museum of Art (Ohio) and High Museum (Atlanta) through 2019. During the same period, her largest solo exhibition “YAYOI KUSAMA: My Eternal Soul” was held at The National Arts Center (Tokyo).
Most recently, her retrospective exhibition, “YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow” was held at National Gallery Singapore and travelled to Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia and Museum MACAN, Jakarta, Indonesia. Yayoi Kusama’s widespread popularity across the globe points to her increasing influence and solidified place in international art history.