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National Gallery Singapore presents ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ exhibition

If you’re a fan of the artists’s polka dots and patterns, hold tight because a sprawling exhibition is making its way to the Little Red Dot

Jun 01, 2017 | By Teri Chong

No stranger to the vibrant and quirky world of art, it’s only fitting that Yayoi Kusama’s upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore is entitled ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’. The exhibition of one of the world’s most influential artists in the 21st century, this retrospective is the first to see a congregation of Kusama’s works in Southeast Asia. Opening from June 9 to September 3, the exhibition invites audiences into the multi-dimension world of Kusama’s creative vision.

A champion of the Avant-Garde, Kusama is lauded for her signature polka-dotted artworks —especially on pumpkin motifs — as well as her breathtaking Infinity Room installations. Having worked with designers such as Marc Jacobs and luxury brand Louis Vuitton, Kusama’s works continuously inspire other art forms. The exhibition will feature over 120 of her works, which include interactive spaces, installations, sculptures and paintings. Amongst these are new pieces that have never been exhibited prior. Leading up to ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’, one of her interactive installations ‘The Obliteration Room’ has been installed in the National Gallery Singapore as part of the inagural Children’s Biennale.

Yayoi Kusama. Infinity Mirrored Room – Gleaming Lights of the Souls. 2008. Mirrors, wooden panels, LED lights, metal, acrylic panels. 287.4 x 415 × 415 cm. ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore, Victoria Miro Gallery, London.


The main exhibition will take place in the Gallery’s Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. An exploration of the influence of international artists such as Kusama, the exhibition will highlight how her works were able to reach across geographical boundaries to touch the lives of people all over the world. It will also look into the personal challenges Kusama faced, and how she overcame them to impact the art world.

Other than the main retrospective, the exhibition will extend across to workshops and programmes for all ages. These include a Curatorial Rountable for a discussion on the impact and influence on Yayaoi Kusama’s works. If you are up for creating your very own Yayoi Kusama inspired piece, sign up for Sunday Studio: Marbled Patterns. These marbling workshops are available at the Keppel Centre for Art Education at various timeslots.

A collaboration between the National Gallery Singapore and Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ will take place from June 9 to September 3. Opening hours are from 10am-7pm from Sundays to Thursdays and 10am-10pm from Fridays to Saturdays. Prices are $15 for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents and $25 for foreigners. Children enter free.

For more information, do visit the National Gallery Singapore.

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