Monday, September 28, 2009

Yayoi Kusama - Mirrored Years in City Gallery, Wellington.

Her work has always impressed me, since my first encounter with the spotted pumpkin in Naoshima, Japan. But I never really got to know the real person or her unfailing motivations or haunting visions or the delicate history which shaped her to become who she is today.

Yayoi Kusama - erratically focused, depressingly happy, an irony of all sorts coming together through her hands to become a form of artwork that is so single-minded yet delivers the kapow of freshness Although the art world has a tendency to include her into the different contemporary art period during her high time in the 50s and 60s, she remains an isolation to the different movements. It's almost like a drop of oil in a basin of water. She recognises her contemporaries but remain indignant of her uniqueness in mainstream movements. It's almost like trying to be anti-anti-establishment. Her most famous works include concepts of infinity spelled out in a spellbinding array of repetitive patterns that pronounce so much volume in one visual sitting. Within the canvas itself, she breaks free. Her work is simple but never stagnant with hints of highly sensual activities yet never in your face like how some post-modern American artists tend to represent nor un-tastefully done in her possible counterparts from Viennese Actionism. Her simplicity is almost childlike and if you watched her video 'I Adore Myself', shot by Takako Matsumoto then you'd understand how her creative energy had been mustered and channeled by both her childhood nature and self-forced nurture.

It isn't uncommon for those who have strong artistry in their blood, to turn to creative expressions to find salvation from their dark melancholic (sometimes disturbed) being. As with Van Gogh, Yayoi Kusama also had her own demons, thus channeling all her energy into creating works that are so visually tactile, you could feel your emotions embracing it by just allowing it to engage you. Here's a trailer as your artistic appetizer to the world of Kusama.

The exhibition in Wellington's City Gallery runs from now till 7th February 2010. Catch it if you can. And don't underestimate what the polka dots can do. They will consume you.

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