If you are visiting Washington DC any time until November this year, do not miss this fantastic exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Exhibited here are five works by contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Located halfway between the Washington Monument and the US Capitol, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C.
Kusama (born 1929) works primarily in the field of sculpture and installation but is also active in diverse fields, including painting, video art, fashion, performance, poetry, etc. Titled ‘One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection’, the exhibition is a tribute to the life and practice of this visionary artist, according to the organisers. The exhibition includes two of the artist’s transcendent Infinity Mirror Rooms, sculptures, an early painting, and photographs of the artist.
According to media reports, Kusama suffered from mental illness in her childhood and would experience hallucinations. But it was through her artistic expressions that Kusama fought her illness and came out a winner. She even drew inspiration from the hallucinations she experienced and turned them into artistic renditions and poignant compositions.
The Infinity Mirror Rooms include her first creation and one of her most recent where she has created a ‘never-ending space’. These transcendent rooms are exhibited alongside an early painting; sculptures, including Pumpkin (2016) and Flowers—Overcoat (1964); and photographs of the artist.
Among the additions to the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection is Kusama’s milestone, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965/2017), ‘the first of the artist’s immersive installations to transform the intense repetition of her earlier paintings and works on paper into a perceptual and participatory experience’, according to the Museum website.
The two Infinity Mirror Rooms in this exhibition are experiences by themselves, a world consisting of polka dots and neon illuminations. To protect these artworks, there are designated floor paths in each Infinity Mirror Room. Visitors are allowed to deviate from these paths or touch anything inside the rooms. The second Infinity Mirror Room, Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018), features a path lined by a 4-inch lip, with a sharp left turn followed by a sharp right turn. Visitors will be reminded to stay on this path and be mindful of where they step.
Although entry to Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is free, visitors to Kusama’s exhibition have to obtain a same-day timed pass distributed on the Hirshhorn’s plaza every open day and till the passes last. The exhibition will run till Noember 27 this year.